August 23, 2011: Chris Roberson Talks Superman, Sharif, Grounded and More

Original Image for Superman #712 ComicsAlliance.com interviewed "Superman" writer Chris Roberson about his run writing the "Grounded" story line, how much of the story was actually him and how much was JMS, they ask him why the Sharif story was pulled from "Superman #712", and they get his anotations on the final issue (#714).

Here's what he had to say about the Sharif story that was pulled from "Superman #712" and instead replaced with a Krypto story written by Kurt Busiek...

    I first understood that there would probably be problems when the cover was released with the solicitations, I think maybe in February, because the cover that you saw in the solicitations was not the cover. It was like a third of the cover, and they had cropped out all of these angry hands grasping at him, which you can see in the letters column of Superman #711, where they show the full cover, but without the Superman shield around the symbol, because DC had decided by that point that they didn't want to associate an Arabic letter with the Superman shield.

    The script went through, I think, five or six full revisions. It was lettered and re-lettered several times by the time it was approved by editorial. All of it was toned down -- all of the fear and hysteria about a super-powered Muslim was all toned down until by the final version that was about to go to the printer, it was two disgruntled people in two different crowds, kind of muttering under their breath "I don't trust that guy, I think he's a terrorist." I don't even think we used the word "terrorist." I think it was just "I think he's a Muslim, I don't trust that guy."

    The end of the issue was Superman saying what would seem in normal circumstances to be a reasonable position, which was "Maybe this wouldn't be so much of an issue if you weren't wearing an Arabic letter on your chest. Maybe if people couldn't see your face, if you wore a mask, if they couldn't see that you were an Arab, you could help them without running into this kind of static." And the kid says to Superman, "Well you're from another planet. You're an alien. You wear a Kryptonian symbol on your chest and last year," at least in the current continuity, "your people tried to destroy the Earth. You don't hide who you are, and you're accepted as an American. Why should I be any different?"

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