Celebrity Death Match: Geoff Johns vs. Mark Millar

It seems that both of these guys want to pen a Superman movie. Good for them. I’m dying to see a new one, whether it’s Brandon Routh, Tom Welling, or any other new phenom to get in the tights and spit curl his hair.

But if Superman Returns did nothing else, it reinforced the Superman fans’ love of the traditional mythology when it comes to the movies. Lois Lane is the spunky reporter with the hots for Superman, not a thirty-something emo with a five-year-old Superman love child. Simply said, the fans don’t want a re-imagining; they want the same kind of “hell yeah” moments that brought in $1 billion for The Dark Knight last summer.

The two biggest names that have come across the wire with interests in writing a new Superman movie are Mark Millar (of Wanted fame) and Geoff Johns, the current god of anything and everything Superman and DC in general. Mark Millar’s experience with the Superman character extends as far as Superman: Red Son, an Elseworlds tale. And Johns, well, the turn around of the Superman titles in the last couple years is largely due to his run on Action Comics. And I’m sure we’re all strongly anticipating his Superman: Secret Origin miniseries coming up in 2009.

Millar has said in various interviews that his vision for a Superman movie is a darker tale, much like his Red Son story. Sorry, but as interesting as Red Son might have been, it’s not the Superman people want to see. I want Kansas, Clark Kent, the Daily Planet, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Lex Luthor, and the Big Blue Boy Scout in all his Kryptonian farm boy glory.

Johns is so in tune with the Superman universe right now, one might think that he actually is Superman. He certainly is the Superman of DC Comics right now. He said this week in an interview on MTV.com that he “would love a crack at Superman.” My only question at this point is why the head honchos at Warner Bros. haven’t already made an official announcement. What are they waiting for? Johns is the Holy Grail.

I liken the idea of Millar writing a Superman movie to Joe Quesada being hired to write a live-action Wonder Woman movie. The obvious questions about character familiarity have to be raised. Character research would certainly be involved, but I personally would feel a whole hell of a lot better handing a franchise the size of Superman over to someone who already has inside-out knowledge of the character and RESPECTS what Superman is all about. Suggesting a departure from the traditional Superman formula suggests that it no longer works. But frankly, we all could use a couple heroes like Superman. Do us all a favor, Millar: stick with Marvel.

By Mandy Stegall