Writing for the Glasgow Sunday Herald, Mark Millar considers Superman’s place in the American consciousness:
Superman is how America views itself – he’s even wrapped in the colours of their flag just in case those undercurrents are too subtle to notice. His face could be chiselled on Mount Rushmore.
So why did he disappear for all those years? Perhaps the simple truth is that we didn’t need him as much for a while. He was conceived in the Depression and hit his stride under Joe McCarthy when America needed something big and simple to save or distract it from the worries of daily life. But as Reaganomics trickled down and made everyone more prosperous, as communism collapsed and made the country feel safe, people weren’t looking to the skies for gods anymore. America felt secure enough in itself to have flawed characters up there on the screen, be they angst-ridden teens like Spider-Man or billionaire sociopaths like Batman. But something bad happened recently. Something terrible. America got scared again and, just as he gave us hope against the Nazis and the Soviets, Superman is coming back at precisely the right time.
Just as interesting, perhaps, is Millar’s mention of his own “big, fat consultancy” at Marvel, and that he’s identified as a “senior story consultant” for the publisher.
Related: How superheroes save the world