The trope stretches back further, but over the past decade or so “Evil Superman” stories have definitely become a lot more common. Probably intended as a response to the argument that the Man of Steel’s wholesome personality is “old-fashioned” or “boring” these days, the likes of the Injustice video game franchise or Zack Snyder’s DCEU movies have popularized the idea that Kal-El can be corrupted if his connection to humanity – usually Lois Lane – is removed.
Comic book writer Grant Morrison, the man behind one of the most fan-favorite Superman stories of all time, has blasted the “Evil Superman” trend in a new interview, however. Ahead of his incoming crossover series Superman & the Authority, the industry veteran called the trope that Clark Kent breaks bad once Lois is taken from him “ridiculous.” Here’s how he put it while speaking to CBR:
“I think the idea that Superman would react to the death of Lois Lane by becoming a tyrant is ridiculous; my mum and dad died and I didn’t become a tyrant. If I can handle it, Superman can handle it.”
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Morrison’s words carry some weight as he’s the author of All-Star Superman, one of the most acclaimed comic books to feature the Last Son of Krypton. As illustrated by Frank Quitely, All-Star is a story arc that fans often hold up as a great example for why Supes’ thoroughly good nature and capacity for compassion are exactly what makes him interesting as a hero and not the opposite.
Certain fans would agree with what Morrison has to say, then, but it’s clear that the “Evil Superman” subgenre of DC stories is not going away anytime soon. Even The CW’s Superman & Lois, which has mostly been praised for its wholesome take on the character, is in the midst of a “Corrupted Clark” arc. And let’s not forget the plethora of other superhero shows, like The Boys and Invincible, which feature dark Superman-like heroes.
Grant Morrison’s Superman & The Authority #1 releases on July 21th.