Nowadays, some fans and creators feel that the innocence of superheroes should be lessened to the nth degree. Why? Why should the grand morality of comic books slip away when it seems to be gaining ground again?
I asked Mark Waid if he thought that comic books containing Superman were more accessible to younger readers than in the past. He said, "I think more so than most comics, and certainly moreso these days under the new regime."
See, what I think is that we are in the middle of a grand and great era of comics creatively. The problem lies in the sales and exposure department. But the new Superman creative teams are leading the charge. They have made the Man of Steel the biggest, boldest and greatest character in the industry.
Do you think that "kids these days" will turn off their Playstation 2s to even read a comic book? Do you think they will feel that rush as they finish a new issue of Superman or any superhero comic for that matter?
I think they will.
It's going to all come back bigger and grander than ever. That's because Loeb and the rest of the gang have given us back the Man of Steel. The dumb thing is we are too jaded to realize it. The "we" I am referring to are the ones who turned away from comics during the Speculator Boom of the mid-90s.
It's the beginning of 2001. There is a job left to do.
I also asked Tony Isabella-creator of Black Lightning and writer on..well, you name it. He has been a scribe of Superman too. I asked him why folks are still attracted to Superman as a character.
Tony said, "Superman works on so many levels. He's our childhood fantasies of flight. He's our adolescent fantasy of being so much more than we appear to an unknowing world. And, if we've learned anything from his classic adventures, he's our adult fantasy of making the world a better place for all people."
So, this year let us get some readers back. Spread the word. Attend conventions and ask creators what they are doing and how you can help. Write snail mail letters to letter columns and comic companies.
I think this is the year it's all going to change. Just look up in the sky and believe.