Who Should Write Superman? Special Bonus Edition
March 12, 2007
In light of JT’s point that having Shel Silverstein write Superman would require reanimation of the dead (and my own convoluted follow-up), I’ve decided that we at the Salad should probably abstain from enumerating the virtues of Yesterday’s authors, lest another section of this site degenerate into an ode to Melville. And until such a time as Cool World is proved true, we should also refrain from espousing the virtues of literary creations as Superman authors. Actually, the real reason why we should refrain from having fictional characters write Superman is that there is only one choice, one literary creation whose knowledge of the Man of Steel is unparalleled, and who could devise new and exciting ways to put Superman in the depths of peril.
That’s right, Batman should write Superman.
As it stands, Batman already “wrote” one of the greatest Superman stories of all-time, when, in “Tower of Babel,” Batman’s plans for disabling the JLA were discovered and used by Ra’s al Ghul [Spoiler Alert: Laim Neeson]. His plan for Superman was particularly devious, and Superman (as always) barely escaped with his life intact. [My childhood seems much lonelier in retrospect…]
But does this really qualify Batman to write Superman comics? I propose that Batman, whose general world view is almost the opposite of Superman’s, would be an excellent Superman writer. His tortured background and untapped reservoir of emotional angst have the motivational force for dozens of powerful novels. Father issues have always proved to be wonderfully motivating for a writer (Roth’s Patrimony, The Facts, and Operation Shylock; anything by J. D. Salinger who, by the way, is Thomas Pynchon), and I suspect that Batman will be similarly inspired. Indeed, this type of perspective can shed new light on the loss of Superman’s biological parents, and add to the legend.
I don’t want to dwell on this too long, because this is simply supposed to be a fun bonus edition, but there are probably those of you at home who believe that Lois Lane would be a better Superman author than Batman, especially as she has already shown her writing bonafides as the Daily Planet’s ace reporter. While each are intimate with Superman in their own way, I ultimately believe that Batman’s familiarity with the DC Universe’s plethora of supervillains and minor figures give Batman the edge.
Up next: a return to plausible if incredibly unlikely Superman authors.