Grant Morrison and the New Superman Relaunch

Action Comics #1 1938

On June 11, 2011 at the LA Times’ Hero Complex Film Festival there was a brief discussion with DC Comics’ Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, who spoke about the recent announcements concerning DC’s comic books. Johns and Lee mainly took to addressing concerns and restating their excitement for the project. They really hammered home the idea that they are taking very great care to appease old readers while becoming more accessible for new ones. Johns also noted that the first arc of the JLA book he’s doing with Lee is an origin of sorts for the team and that it takes place in the past as the characters are all coming together and feeling one another out. As an example, he said that Green Lantern meets Batman for the first time and asks, “So what are your powers?” Beyond this origin arc, the book will be set in the present day.

As the night was geared toward Superman, Lee likened the relaunch to John Byrne’s re-imagining of the Man of Steel following Crisis on Infinite Earths and how that was what led him back to the character in those days. More interesting though was a video message the DC crew brought along from Grant Morrison, who will be handling Action Comics in September.
“The first Action Comics in 1938 was the first ever superhero book, and I think what we want to do here is recreate that first ever superhero, Superman — our greatest-ever idea as the human species, if you ask me. To recreate that guy for the 21st century and to do something that’s a little bit new and take a new look at something that people have big preconceptions about. To change some of the basics, to reintroduce some familiar faces in very unfamiliar ways, to try and refresh some ideas that have maybe become so well-known that people think they’ve got it all figured out,” said Morrison. “We want to introduce a take on Superman that’s going to be so different that no one can expect what might happen next. One of the things we’re going to do in this book is also to show you how Superman is, who he is, why he ended up wearing the costume that he wears. And to show kind of a different side to the character than we’ve ever seen before.”

Action Comics #1 2011

Morrison continued, “The art’s being done by Rags Morales, who people will be familiar with from Identity Crisis. Basically, we want to approach this book, as the title suggests, as a big action comic. But to try and create a new language for comics, a new kind of philosophy, a new kind of approach to storytelling that will do things that only comics can do and that even movies can’t match up with. So this is really a big beginning; it’s a new chapter for Superman, it’s a new chapter for DC Comics and for the DC Universe itself. I hope everyone’s going to get involved and join us into this ridiculous voyage into the unknown!”

I think the greatest quote in the statement by Morrison was “Superman — our greatest-ever idea as the human species, if you ask me.” Looks like he wants to reflect on Superman early beginnings and how Superman has evolved over the years. Grant Morrison definitely understands the history of the first Super Hero and it will be great to see what comes from the mind of this great writer. Story is important and the art of Rags Morales should compliment it well. Some are calling the relaunch historic. I don’t know if I would go that far but I am very pleased with the creative teams they have put together. See earlier article After Flashpoint DC New Superman Titles. I will read the relaunch but still have reservations about the digital comics at the same price as the paper comics that come out the same day. Some how a digital reproduction does not seem as valuable as the one you can hold in your hand.  I guess the consumer will figure that out for their self. Which ever way you read the new comics don’t miss this new Action Comics #1. Stay tuned comic faithful for more. 🙂 Walt


Grant Morrison Video on Youtube

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