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Thursday, January 11, 2024 

Jason Aaron compares his Superman story to what he did with Thor

Newsarama interviewed one of the wokest writers of the past decade, Jason Aaron, and as you've probably guessed, whatever he has in store for DC could easily be similar to what he did at Marvel. As the following from the beginning states:
With the intent of making a statement about Superman on the same level as the statement he made about Thor in his long career at Marvel Comics, Aaron is diving in hard right off the bat in January 9's Action Comics #1061.
As anybody familiar with Aaron's Thor run can guess, that can mean he'll write up metaphors for liberal feminist nonsense, and even making the Man of Steel look less heroic as a man. And even making Lois Lane less sexy, though that's possibly already occurred under other writers of the past decade. And no change he'd do any better with Supergirl. If he gets his mitts on the Maid of Might, I hesitate to think what he'll do with her. Here's more, and what the interviewer says is just as problematic:
I'm a huge Bizarro fan, so I love that you chose him as the antagonist for this story. I don't want to get too spoiler-y, but Bizarro allows you to capitalize on his nature as Superman's total opposite in a new way that hinges on how they both interact with the concept of magic. How did you dial in on that as the key to Superman and Bizarro's relationship for this story?

It was really just about exploring, you know, what is the nature of Bizarro? Like, there have been different versions of Bizarro over the years. The one I'm using here is the one who comes from Bizarro World, this planet of other Bizarros like him. So all we know about him is just that he's meant to be Superman's doppelganger, this warped funhouse mirrored image of Superman who's got the same powers. Someone who, in a knuckle-on-knuckle fight, can hold his own against Superman, is that powerful.

But what else does it really mean to be Superman's opposite? And yeah, the relationship to magic became a big part of that, and kind of opened the door for Bizarro to strike at Superman in a way that takes this from just being a fight of two guys punching each other to something that's much darker and more twisted, and more difficult for Superman to deal with.
Now this sounds fishy in the sense Aaron could be elevating a villain to a higher emphasis than need be. As I've noted before, spotlights on villainy - including the dangers of glamorizing violent criminals - has become a serious problem in this day and age. What's in discussion here vaguely reminds me of J. Michael Straczynski's claims he wanted to get inside Spider-Man's head (and Capt. America's too), and we've seen how far that got. Now, Aaron wants to get inside the head of a villain? That's easily worse, and Aaron's take on magic is bound to be ruined by politics, along with the darkness and twistedness he speaks of. He continued:
I think I read a quote from you where you said you drew some inspiration from the Superman stories of the '50s, where Superman encounters some circumstance that totally changes his life, and has to navigate that back to his status quo. I picked up on that right away because everything about Action Comics #1061 has that very elemental essence of Superman, the same way those Silver Age stories do. What were your big touchstones in how you found your voice for Superman and your vision for Metropolis?

Well thanks, yeah. I mean, I think that's definitely, I don't know if I went into it consciously knowing "this is what I'm going for." But I think what you're saying fits exactly with how I see those Superman stories after, you know, 40 years or so of reading them.

I mean, I learned to read from that first issue of World's Finest I picked up, you know? I kind of learned to read from that book and those other comics that I was picking up at the time, so I think some of that has just imprinted touchstones in me along the way.

Like I said, those Alan Moore issues right before Crisis, and Crisis itself was a big book for me. And then John Byrne's stuff that came after that. And you know, there's some of Byrne's stuff that I look back at now and I don't necessarily agree with all the choices he made back then, but I was really swept away by those books at the time.

And of course All-Star Superman, and some of the choices Grant Morrison made in that book where they kind of took that Bizarro code to these really profoundly strange lengths. I'm trying to do the same thing, but with a, you know, a darker twist on it.

And then of course Mark Waid's Superman stories like Kingdom Come with Alex Ross and Superman: Birthright with Leinil Yu. Mark's the guy I feel like who has been able to distill Superman's voice and those Superman stories down to like, the diamond core of him in so many different ways.

And so Mark was actually the first person I called, you know, when I started trying to figure out like, what do I want to do. You know, I had the germ of an idea, and I called him to kind of get the Mark Waid approval on it. So, when Mark gave me a thumbs up, I felt like okay, you know, I'm good to go.
When darkness is emphasized - all in a franchise it wasn't built upon - you know something's wrong. And Kingdom Come, which emphasized Lois Lane's death and Superman's misery, is another example I wouldn't want to emulate if I were a writer. Yet no wonder Waid would give his stamp of approval to somebody like Aaron, based on how woke Waid's become himself.
You mentioned Crisis on Infinite Earths and also the All-Star Superman version of Bizarro, which is interesting because the plot of this story and Bizarro's involvement in it kind of hinge on the Multiverse, and DC's changing Multiverse, in a very tangible way. How do you approach a character like Superman who has all these very distinctly separate mainstream incarnations that all count, and all feed into the somewhat fluid modern day version of the character, versus someone like Thor, who exists in a Multiverse, but who is also part of what Marvel likes to call a single, unbroken narrative where there's just one mainstream version of Thor Odinson with a single continuity?

Sure. I mean, certainly, the two are different in that way, but also in other ways, not so much. You can look at Marvel and say it's an unbroken narrative, but it's not like you can take all those stories and make them all fit neatly together. You have to kind of pick and choose, this is the stuff that's important, and this other stuff, we can kind of fudge, and change.

I mean, I changed a lot of things during my time on Thor. Characters are built on, retconned. You know "retcon," it's like a dirty word. But so much of what we know and love, especially about Thor, are things that changed from the get-go, things that were changed from the mythological character by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Larry Lieber.

So I think change is a fundamental part of these characters. They have to change and grow and evolve over time, just to stay relevant. That doesn't mean you throw out everything before. Again, you pick and choose the best parts that feel important, and fundamental to who the character should be.

This is why people still care about them so many years, so many decades after they were created, right? Like, you get to use all the best bits of that history to, again, tell a story that's different from all that other stuff. Not just standing on the shoulders of the great creators of the past and picking the bones of their stories, but how are you going to tell a story we haven't seen before? So I think that's absolutely what I'm trying to do here.

I'm still also cognizant of the fact that I've been in comics, you know, for almost 20 years, but in terms of DC, I'm still like the new kid on the block, right? I'm enjoying being the guy just kind of showing up and doing this Batman story that's a bit different, going into space, and now doing this Superman story that hopefully shows my love and appreciation for the character while also putting him through some awful stuff that we haven't seen him face before.

I think you can see in my Superman story, there's a little bit of that new guy mentality where right away, I think on page one, there's a reference to Gemworld, and to Warlord, and there are great references to the Hunger Dogs and Apokolips. There's stuff like that sprinkled throughout the story to show that, yeah I'm the new guy around here, I maybe just showed up here as a creator, but my love and my understanding and my appreciation of DC goes back to before I could f—in' read, you know? [laughs] It's been a long time, and hopefully the joy I feel in getting to work on these characters, especially writing Superman for the first time.
His defense of changing is equally pathetic, considering how woke many of the changes over the past decade and more have been. Predictably, Newsarama won't raise any queries about the woke side of his work, and that's how he changed the characters for the worse, no matter what he says. I vaguely recall him claiming his Thor run emphasized "worth", but the finished product was worthless. Which is exactly why many people no longer care, if anything, about the stories men like Aaron are brewing up, because politically speaking, they're just simply appalling and uninspiring, right down to the story where Jane Foster became a temporary replacement for the male god of thunder. Something they don't seem to get into either. If Aaron's picked and chosen, he's done it according to his woke politics, and "staying relevant" is just leftist figures of speech, since there's only so many subjects the mainstream refuses to focus on today, and so many others that're just plain poor.
Along with this three issue run of Superman, you've got Batman: Off-World going on right now. Are you going to be sticking around at DC? Can you tease us on what you're working on next?

I can't give you any specific teases cause I could get in trouble [laughs]. But yeah, I mean, I'm not going anywhere. I kind of just showed up, just started working on stuff for DC last year. I'm super excited that the first projects I'm doing here are a Batman book and a run on Action Comics. That's a pretty great way to start off your relationship.

And that relationship is continuing. There's other stuff I've been working on and am about to start working on. I'm about to start writing something later this month. So yeah, that's the point of my career I'm at right now. I'm happy to be able to spread my wings and work wherever I choose to work on whatever characters speak to me in the moment.

Like I've said many times, my life as a comic book reader began with DC. Those are the books that first sparked my love for comics and made me really want to read comics for the rest of my life. Writing Batman and Superman right out of the gate is not a bad way to start, but I'm not even scratching the surface of what I have to say about those two characters, let alone the entire rest of the DC Universe.
Well I hesitate to think of what he has in store for Batman, no matter how short the length of his story may be. No doubt, there's plenty of other characters who're bound to fall under his influence, and will fare no better than the Man of Steel and the Masked Manhunter. Aaron sure sounds full of himself, but the reason he gets to choose is because he's a leftist, and somebody with the exact ideological perspectives the Big Two favor, along with several smaller publishers. So to see DC follow in Marvel's footsteps and give Aaron jobs this big is no surprise, and nothing to finance either.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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