Superior is Mark Millar‘s take on Superman. Written by Millar and illustrated by Leinil Francis Yu.
It’s about a 12 year old boy living with multiple sclerosis, he longs for the days when he could play baseball and run with his friends. He’s now taken to filling his time with movies and comic books to escape reality.
But then one day, he’s visited by a being that allows him to be Superior, from the Superior movies – Superior is this world’s Superman.
But with all things comes a price…
Sounds simple enough right? But there’s much more. Not only is Superior a homage to Superman, but having Superior’s true identity be that of 12 year old Simon makes Superior a Shazam homage as well. Millar manages to capture the wonderment and fantasy of the golden age comic book heroes while still making the story compelling in today’s world. Superheroes don’t need to be dark to be relevant, if anything, they must shine all the brighter in our post 911 world. Millar manages to takes two heroes who have been relegated to historical entries and magnifies what makes them special and once popular. The world can a dark place but the nucleus of our hero shouldn’t be.
It’s sad to that the powers that be at DC Comics just don’t understand their once flagship character, yet Millar who’s known for his dark and irreverent stories (Wanted, Kick-Ass…) wholeheartedly understands what makes Superman… well Superman.
Goyer and the people who worked on Man of Steel, as well as the people who’ll be working on the dreaded Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, need to take a page from Superior.
With the success of all things Batman these days, DC Comics wants everyone in their pantheon to follow suite, but what they don’t understand is that it doesn’t work for everyone. Superior tackles such hard topics as; bullying, physical handicaps, corruption of power and a touch of the occult… yet our hero still comes out on top without yielding to the world around him. If a writer finds Superman hard to write and uninteresting, then he or she isn’t doing their job. As a writer their job is to make the subject, and inversely our main character, interesting. How come Millar gets it? And DC Comics/Warner Brothers doesn’t?
So not only is the story great, but the art matches it perfectly. Yu’s worked on Superman before (Superman: Birthright), funny he should work with Millar on another version of Superman. Yu’s art really leaps off of the pages.
Furthermore to inspiring hope, Mark Millar joined forces with Frank Quitely, Dave Gibbons, John Romita Jr, Leinil Yu, Paul Cornell, Andy Diggle, Jock, Duncan Fegardo, Sean Phillips and over fifty other comic book creators to collaborate at Kapow Comic Convention and used the Superior character to break two Guinness World Records;
-the fastest comic book ever produced
-and the biggeset number of creators working on a single comic
In less than 12 hours, the Superior World Record Special was written, penciled, inked and lettered. Then sold 10,000 limited copies, with all the proceeds from its sales going to Yorkhill Sick Children’s Hospital in Scotland.