Superman No More? (JMS Responds!)
A couple of weeks ago, Bleeding Cool reported rumours that Marc Guggenheim may have stepped down from the Action Comics book, because of JMS' insistence that Superman only appear in the Superman book he's writing. And indeed, Guggenheim's replacement Paul Cornell seems to be writing the adventures of Lex Luthor in that book now. But would JMS' plans be that demand he be the only Superman writer in the DCU? Is it ego? Or is it something else?
The solicitation to his first issue Superman #701 reads "After the devastating events of WAR OF THE SUPERMEN, how can Superman possibly continue his battle for Truth, Justice and the American Way?". The book is part one of the arc "Grounded". But what does it all mean?
According to industry rumours, the Man Of Steel is going to drop his Superman identity in an attempt to be a better man and to better relate to humanity. The story will follow his journey as he walks from one side of the USA to the other, trying not use his powers. One part Midnight Nation, one part Forrest Gump, two parts Amazing Spider-Man #50 and Superman II? It does seem to fit the theme of the gorgeous John Cassaday cover…
DC Comics may have not wanted to contradict said rumours when contacted – but Joe Michael Straczynski certainly did. He joined the Bleeding Cool board to post, quite unequivocally;
I wish to make several points very very clear.
It is absolutely and unequivocally untrue that I have at any time had any conversations at all with DC about Marc Guggenheim.
It is absolutely and unequivocally untrue that I insisted "that Superman only appear in the Superman book he's writing."
I have made every indication to DC that as and when Superman is needed during the time I am writing him, he will definitely be made available. You simply can't keep a character as major as Superman out of every title for the length of my initial run. It's impossible, and the idea that we could or would try is absurd.
It is absolutely and unequivocally untrue that Superman is "going to drop his Superman identity."
It is absolutely and unequivocally untrue that he "not use his powers."
So to those who have reacted (properly) to say that these are stupid ideas, you are absolutely right.
They are stupid.
Which is why we are not, have not been, and will not be doing any of them.
The only stupidity greater than those lay in the suggestion that we ever would.
J. Michael Straczynski
Certainly Superman doesn't appear to be present in upcoming issues of Action Comics. And while JMS contradicts a number of key aspects of the reported rumours, some aspects remain uncontradicted and may well reflective of the book – possibly the Walk Across America to gain a better understanding aspect? We shall see…