Thursday, 29 March 2012

The origins of New 52 Action Comics Superman!!!

I just started re-reading the first six issues of Action Comics because, with the final issue of the first arc still to get (the downside of buying comics from a distant shop), and an initial struggle for me to get on board with the series, I decided to re-read issues 1 through to 6 and see if I could get a better feel for the book second time round.
I confess that I have so far, which might end up saving it from the chopping block. However, it occured to me by issue 3 (specifically the scene where the police do a "search" of Clark's apartment) that Clark Kent/Superman is incredibly vocal about corruption, social justice etc. Now, this is most likely what Grant Morrison was going for when he wrote the book, as he had indicated bringing the character back to his 30's roots.
But what I wondered when reading this second time round was, in the story telling sense, how did Superman become this heavily outspoken critic of society and the corruption found within?
If you think about it, the only possible reasoning you could give is that, prior to Action Comics issue 1, something happened directly to Clark Kent (or by connection, Ma and Pa Kent) that was the result of the rich getting what they wanted while the poor suffered.
Now, this is totally conjecture because a lot of people feel the rich get more while they (the poor) suffer and take the hits in the world. However, very few of these people make such an aggressive effort to delve out some form of karma or retribution. No, for Clark Kent/Superman, the only possible reason would be that he directly suffered from social injustice.
How do I see that happening? Well, maybe Ma and Pa Kent were driving home in their nice Ford truck when some rich boy reckless driver ploughed into them, causing their deaths. When the time came for this kid to pay the piper and go to jail, he instead bribed the judge/jury to let him off. This idea (or something similiar), along with what the Kents taught him, would then have given the young man of steel an incentive to make sure that social justice was meted out to whoever escaped legal justice.
One can only hope that Grant Morrison and DC eventually go back to give the reasons behind his taking up the role of Superman beyond beging an alien and "because he is". It would give the character a depth that has never been seen, and I'll be sure to pick up that issue when they do.

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