Wednesday, Apr 8, 2009
In the mid-1990s, Alan Moore (yes, the guy who wrote Watchmen) took over writing a comic called Supreme and completely reworked it, turning it into something amazing and fun. His Supreme stories have been collected in two volumes, Supreme: The Story of the Year and Supreme: The Return.
Supreme was a '90s version of Superman, powerful but dark and morally ambiguous. Moore took over writing with issue #41, abandoning almost everything from the past 40 issues in a blatant revision. Moore uses the remaining issues to create an homage to Superman (and to a lesser extent Captain Marvel) comics of the Golden, Silver Age and Bronze Age. And it's absolutely brilliant. If Watchmen is a deconstruction of traditional superhero comics, Moore's Supreme is a reconstruction and glorification of the best of superhero comics of the past. At the same time, Moore creates a lot of humor by warmly playing up some of the goofier aspects of older superhero comics (while also making pointed jabs at comics writing and publishing of the 1990s). Moore riffs on the revision of comics characters, the imaginary stories that were popular in the 1960s, goofy origin stories, Superman, Supergirl, Krypto the Superdog, Lana Lang, Lois Lane, kryptonite, Batman and Robin, the Justice League of America, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, the Legion of Super-Heroes and more. And it's all wrapped up in a complex, intelligent, engaging storyline. If you like old school superhero comics, I definitely recommend Alan Moore's Supreme.