05/06/2005: Thought for the Day:
Up until the spring of 2002, it had been a good, long while since anyone had stumped me with a Superman question. That changed the day I had to face one that, oddly, it had never even occurred to me to ask:
"Why does he do what he does?"
The man who confronted me with those words and got to savor watching a lifetime of smugness evaporate from my face as I flailed for an answer was Dan Didio, Executive Editor of DC Comics, the publishers of Superman's exploits. Again, being a Superman expert is not my day job, though it's certainly a pertinent sideline. For most of my adult life, I've enjoyed a career as a reasonably successful comic book writer, and my boss had just approached me about creating a new Superman series called Superman: Birthright that would, as he put it, "re-imagine Superman for the 21st century." Understandably, he wanted to get my take on Superman's basic motivation. Why does Superman do what he does? What are his reasons? What moves him to take on the role of everyone's protector and defender? Why does he invariably seek to do the right thing?
"Why? Because," I responded with a telling stammer, "because doing the right thing is...is...is the right thing to do..."
"I'm hiring you to re-imagine harder than that," my boss insisted....
Len on 05.06.05 @ 07:34 AM CST