It’s a bird! It’s a plane!
It’s John Carter!
I always thought the idea of Superman as he exists in DC is, to put it bluntly, retarded. A godlike being who only has one weakness (oh look what I found under my couch Superman, KRYPTONITE!), ultimately makes for an predictable and boring story. The only other superhero who I take as much offence with is the Hulk, but that’s another discussion for another time.
If I were to create “Superman” today, I would write him in much the same way as Burroughs wrote John Carter from A Princess of Mars. A man who would seem quite ordinary on his home planet, arrives on another and finds that his natural evolutionary perks make him stronger and faster than the races native to that planet.
Changing Superman in this critical way would mean:
- No flying
- No laser eyes
- No ice breath
- No withstanding the coldness of space
- No weird connection to the sun
- No bulletproof skin
Basically you’d have a really strong, really fast guy, who could shrug off a small knife wound, but would have more in common with say, Captain America (minus the shield), than his current character. Essentially Superman would go from being a God to Man 2.0.
So, a modern Superman could be told like this:
Superman\Kal-el would be born on Krypton, a planet with a much harsher environment and much greater gravity than Earth. In order to deal with this, Kryptonians naturally would have evolved in such a way so that they could have survived that environment. Cue destruction of Krypton, baby Kal-el being placed in an escape pod by his scientist parents and being shot out into space to the nearest Krypton colony. Something happens to the escape pod and Kal-el is flung off course, where he crash lands on Earth. He’s found and raised as a (mostly) normal Earth boy. As he grows up he discovers he’s not like the other kids, so he confronts his parents to find out where he came from.
If I ever get off my lazy ass, expect some kind of fan fiction to follow these lines. If not, feel free to steal my work and make it into something worthwhile.
P.S. Behold my mighty Photoshop skills!