I started working in the local comic shop a few months into Grounded. If you weren’t aware Superman lost his faith in the country and in himself and decided to walk across the country. This was a big thing since J.M.S. was writing it and they even ran a contest for Superman to visit different states and have adventures. We had a giant poster for it and everything.
The problem was this wasn’t Superman. Superman wasn’t being Superman. He’d been really beaten up about losing New Krypton but that was not Superman! Superman walking across the country is not Superman. The fundamental ideas of the Man of Steel were being challenged.
I learned about how bad Grounded was when people talked about Superman being a jerk – it didn’t make sense. When Superman yells at you for expressing distaste in what he does that is not Superman. That is not the archetypal defender of the common people, the anti-establishment hero taking down corruption so that freedom could grow.
I ended up ignoring Superman. When people asked for books I told them All Star Superman but to avoid the comic. It was sad because Superman shouldn’t be a hard person to write for. He is a person who above all believes in good. He is a person who so willingly gives of himself that he would die to save one person he might not even know. He is a person who will fight for those who can’t fight. He isn’t a petty person who gets angry like he was in the comics.
So when I heard Chris Roberson had taken over to do a good job I was surprised. I opened up his first issue and on that first page – he was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He was showing that trifecta of righteous powers. Soon after the Legion of Supermen literally came and said “Superman, you aren’t well. Something is wrong.” And they told the truth.
In the following issues, Superman became Superman again. Following loose instructions from corporate, Chris Roberson reforged the hero. He healed the wounds. He added support and he even shined up his past. He started saving people. He saw his friends in the Justice League, he met up with Super Chief. He had flashback about Lex Luthor stealing 40 cakes. And he hit on Truth, Justice and the American Way. When Superman came out, I was ready for it. More so than All-Star Superman, more so than Superman: The Animated Series, Chris Roberson turning around Grounded made Superman mean something to me. He made me day on those Wednesdays. I laughed, I shared and in the end I cried. Thank you Chris.
If you weren’t aware, Chris Roberson recently severed ties with DC Comics after ending his series iZombie. Besides a pre-agreed run for Fairest, he won’t be working with DC Comics anymore.
Because he doesn’t agree with how they treat creators. Because he looks at what happened to Siegel and Schuster and doesn’t like it. Because he sees Alan Moore asking a company he helped to remake screw him over time and time again. Because Chris Roberson is in many ways a Superman. He’s not just taking to the comments and complaining. He is not falling in line with corporate policy. I respect Mr. Roberson for that and I look forward to the magic that he will continue to bring in the future.
Thank you Chris.