This week, writer Mark Millar released his newest creator-owned series, Huck, with artist Rafael Albuquerque. The series is meant to present a more hopeful and optimistic take on a superhero than what's been seen in recent years - even, admittedly, by Millar himself.
The writer penned an essay for Total Film magazine titled, literally and explicitly, "How Man of Steel Traumatised Me So Much I Created Huck." It's not hard to see what he's saying there.
Again, first, Millar admits that he's "had a lot of fun being a part of" making superheroes "be assholes." He cited his work on Ultimates and Red Son, and even his original character Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass as characters and concepts that show he has "blood on [his] hands as much as anyone."
But when he saw Superman "beating the bad guy by twisting his neck so hard he broke it and murdered him," it made Millar "really wonder if we’d come to the end of that particular road."
While he accepts the logic of the scene, with hundreds of thousands dead by Zod's hands and an inexperienced Superman, it still hit him hard. "I loved Superman as a kid not because of his edginess or his potential for a fatal solution, but because he could do anything he wanted and still chose to be nice. This was always the moral of a superhero comic to me."
Ultimately, this all led to his creation of Huck, a "lovely, sweet, Jimmy Stewart/Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg kinda good guy." He says that while he wanted to do it as a writer, "as a reader I'm desperate for it."
Read the full essay at the link above, and see what the thinks is doing things correctly.