More than 30 years later, Miller is revisiting the character. In the works is a three-part series titled “Superman: Year One,” that revolves around the early days of Clark Kent’s life as he discovers his powers and the women that shaped him into a hero.
“What I want to do is to help bring him back to this iconic force and maybe play up the truth and justice and just not be so noisy about the ‘American way’ part,” Miller said. “We’ve got plenty of that now.”
Sixty-one-year-old Miller has never been shy about sharing his political opinions in his work or publicly. He’s been vocal in blog posts and at conventions about such things as the Occupy Wall Street movement, immigration and terrorism. In 2011, he released a graphic novel titled “Holy Terror,” in which a superhero named The Fixer battles against Islamic terrorists.
However, his newest comic isn’t going to be a sermon railing against his ideological opponents, he said.
“[Superman’s] not gonna tell you how to vote,” Miller said. “He’s going after much larger truths. The truths are going to be emotional and moral, not political.”
Bendis, who is in the midst of his own Superman storyline with DC and shared the stage with Miller at New York Comic Con, echoed that sentiment. He said that some writers have used Superman as a soapbox to lecture the audience. Rather, he said, the hero should teach comic book readers through his actions.
“I’m writing Superman in a world where for the first time the ideas of truth, justice and the American way are not being taken for granted,” Bendis said. “Truth is something that people are arguing about, justice is not for everybody, we have all now seen, and the American way, the idea that anybody can come here for freedom, is under siege.”
Bendis, a comic writer and artist from Cleveland, Ohio, penned Marvel heroes like Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers throughout his career before transitioning to work with DC exclusively last year.
His debut with the company came in the form of Action Comics #1,000, which came out in June, and marked the start of his limited series with the Man of Steel. The comic, which retailed for $8, sold more than half a million copies, said John Jackson Miller, creator of Comichron, an online comic book database.