By Filip Sablik
Here at Top Cow, we don’t publish a lot of straight up superhero comics. Most of the stuff we do is rooted more in other genres like horror, supernatural, sci-fi, espionage, and so on. Even the superhero style projects we do like Wanted or Twilight Guardian tend to be a bit left (or right) of center.
I (like almost all fanboys) grew up on a steady diet of superhero comics. My first love was The Uncanny X-Men during the Chris Claremont/Marc Silvestri/Jim Lee era. Years later, the 14-year-old part of me still can’t believe I’m working for one of the guys who initially got me excited about the art form. Thanks to George Perez and Marv Wolfman, I will always have a soft spot for The Teen Titans. But at some point in college I realized that my favorite superhero is Superman. Superman was the first superhero so that automatically makes him special. When was younger I often heard that Superman wasn’t “cool” because of his “truth, justice, and the American way” Boy Scout personality. Or that he was too powerful, so none of his stories had the threat of him failing. For my money, what makes Superman great is Clark Kent. It’s the man behind the power. It’s the idea that a god would choose to be a mere mortal. It’s because I get the impression that Clark Kent would still be “super” even if he wasn’t Kryptonian.
Here’s the thing though, I don’t own a lot of Superman comics. I’ve never really collected the Superman titles on a regular basis. When I look at the Superman books that I’ve read and kept, almost all of them are out of continuity stories like All Star Superman, Secret Identity, Son of Superman, and Red Son. Superman is an icon, a modern day mythological hero; because of that (and the more pragmatic licensing issues), he cannot change. He doesn’t really work for me in a serialized ongoing story. So here’s what I would do if I ran DC Comics – I would only put out stand-alone Superman stories by hit creative teams. If you want to run these stories consecutively in a comic series called Superman, I’m okay with that. But each time a new group of story-tellers comes on board the stage is reset to the basics – Clark Kent grew up in Kansas, he’s a reporter at the Daily Planet, he loves Lois, his boss is Perry White, his buddy is Jimmy Olsen, and he’s the best superhero in the world. Just start there and tell your very best Superman story without worrying about what came before.
What do you think, comic fans? What are your favorite Superman stories?
Filip Sablik is the Publisher of Top Cow Productions, Inc. He’s been in the business for eight years and just officially entered his thirties. Occasionally, he does a bit of writing and drawing. He loves comics. Top Cow Productions, Inc. was founded by Marc Silvestri, co-founder of Image Comics. Top Cow currently publishes its line of comic books in 21 languages in over 55 different countries. The company has launched 20 franchises (18 original and two licensed) in the industry’s Top 10, seven at #1, a feat accomplished by no other publisher in the last two decades.