Scripps Howard News Service considers the challenges writers face when tackling the 68-year-old Man of Steel:
In recent years, DC Comics has tried everything under the sun to draw attention to the character. He’s changed costumes. He grew a mullet. He married longtime sweetheart Lois Lane.
Superman even died, but he eventually came back.
The bright-and-shiny Superman is now facing something deadlier to him than kryptonite — competition. Darker characters such as the X-Men’s Wolverine and even Gotham City’s Batman appeal to younger readers seeking accessible characters.
Spider-Man’s everyday travails — his loneliness and tendency to be misunderstood — make him more lifelike to readers than Superman, whose big muscles and positivism can be alienating.
For some insight, the wire service talks briefly with writers Geoff Johns and Brad Meltzer.
“I love the optimism that the character embodies,” Johns says.