Comic books are a medium defined by constant evolution, by stories that are told and retold over the decades for new generations of readers. But how does a writer build on a story after it grows so popular, it becomes mythic? How do you redefine an icon?
To many, Superman is the face of American comic books, a character so timeless and iconic that his legacy can be felt through a single page. The character has undergone plenty of changes in his 83-year history, moving from a champion of the people to a wholesome all-ages hero to a conflicted but ultimately incorruptible figure. But by the early 2000’s, DC Comics was looking to redefine the character again, replacing the origin told in John Byrne’s classic Man of Steel series and finally bringing Superman into the 21st century. This new take on the character would arrive in the 2003 miniseries Superman: Birthright, created by writer Mark Waid along with artists Lenil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, and Dave McCaig. While the 12-issue miniseries celebrates and modernizes a number of points from the Man of Steel’s history, Waid and his team also used Birthright to redefine the character of Superman; examining his identity in a new, more cynical era, and how it shapes him, his chosen family, and eventually the world at large.
You can watch the full video retrospective on the series here: [Read more…] about SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT – The Man of Steel, Redefined