DC Comics writer and the creator of Batman villain Bane, Chuck Dixon, recently explained why he believes that current Superman writers are unable to tell good stories about the Big Blue Boy Scout.
Dixon comments came when he answered a fan question in his on going YouTube series “Ask Chuck Dixon.”
On Facebook, Andrew Runion asked, “Same question I keep asking: Over the past however many years, Superman has been Destroyed as a character. Do you think there’s any hope that big blue will ever be restored to greatness, or do you think we should grieve and move on as we would for a dead relative?”
Dixon initially responded by lamenting the current state of major franchises. He stated, “Well, there’s so many franchises now that it’s hard to be a fan of. I mean it’s hard to be a Star Wars fan. I know, I was a Star Wars fan for years and they just ruined it for me. And I’m not angry about it. I’ll just walk away. This is not Star Wars made for me. Other than The Mandalorian. I like The Mandalorian.”
He continued, “Star Trek pretty much ruined for me the last few years. And Superman, long ago ruined. Basically when the classic guys, for me, the last classic guys, Jurgens and Ordway and Roger Stern and Butch Guice. When they left the Superman franchise it was over. I didn’t care anymore. Because they loved the character.”
Dixon then went on to detail why current creators are unable to tell good Superman stories, “The problem that Superman has, and it’s not really a problem. It’s a problem for the creators. It’s a problem for the writers. They don’t know how to write good stories about a guy who is a Boy Scout. A guy who has a moral spine, a code of behavior. He’s a gentleman. He’s a paragon of virtue. They simply do not how to write that kind of character and make it interesting.”
Dixon continued, “And yet the road map is drawn. Even though that seems like a very tight set of restrictions, it’s not. There’s a lot of room in there to tell great stories.”
He elaborated, “And people will say, ‘Well, he has the powers of a god, you know it’s not interesting because how can you challenge him?’ Well, the writers in the 50s and 60s certainly came up with plenty of ways to challenge him.”
Dixon then detailed that he’s struggled writing Superman in the past, but he would find ways to work it out, “And I’ve been backed into a corner on Superman stories myself with the Mort Weisinger process of what if Superman did this? Then you are like, ‘How’s he going to do this?’ Well, it’s my job to figure out how it’s going to work.”
He continued, “And I’ve been in that corner and it was tough and it was challenging, but I did it. I didn’t whine and cry and change the rules just to write my version of Superman or somehow alter Superman to my quote on quote vision.”
Dixon then states, “So, will he ever return to greatness? No. We are just going to have to remember the way he was until some other generation brings him up and takes him back to his former glory.”
“But in the minds of the general public, the people just walking around, Superman remains the same. Superman is not altered by all of these different, especially comic book version of him. Because most of the public isn’t even aware of those changes,” he adds.
Dixon concludes, “So, I wouldn’t worry about it. Superman continues to exist in the pop culture zeitgeist and that is never going to change. He’s still going to be the character we all know and love.”
When Dixon isn’t answering fan questions on YouTube, he is still staying quite busy writing. He currently has Blood: The Graphic Novel up for pre-order on Amazon.
Dixon also has a story in the the Planetary Anthology Series: Mars.
The prolific writer is also adapting John Ringo’s Black Tide Rising series into graphic novel format. A crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo for the first volume is expected to launch on August 22nd.
Dixon also recently returned to DC Comics in March where he penned a story with artist Scott McDaniels in the Robin 80th Anniversary 100-page Super Spectacular #1 titled “Aftershocks.”
What do you make of Dixon’s explanation regarding why current writers can’t tell good Superman stories? Do you think we will see any good Superman stories in the future?