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Comics: John Romita Jr. Discusses His “Superman: Year One” Collaboration with Frank Miller

Among the many awesome new projects announced at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, DC comic fans were somewhat surprised to hear that Frank Miller is planning to develop a Superman origin story with artist John Romita Jr.

Superman Year One Cover

Image from Superman: Year One, revealed at San Diego Comic Con 2017. Source: DC Comics

On one hand, for anyone who has read any of Miller’s Batman stories, it definitely seems like Miller hates the Man of Steel – so, why would he write about the superhero in what we assume will be a positive light? As time passes, fans’ surprise has also given way to a wary perspective on this new project – is another origin story about Superman really necessary?

Miller has already refuted fans’ initial shock since the announcement, assuring worried readers that he sees this as a grand opportunity to take a “meaningful crack” at the iconic mythos.

And during last weekend’s Boston Comic Con panel on DC’s summer crossover event, Metal, Romita took a stab at addressing fans’ concerns about a retelling of the well-known origin story:

“I’ve seen the reactions online about, ‘Oh, my God, here we go, another Superman origin,’ and it’s not really the origin retelling. It’s after the origin, it’s after he lands, what happens between the time he lands and the time he realizes what he is. And this slight slant on the development of Superman is that he’s really unconscious that he’s an alien ’til his parents tell him that he’s an alien. In the meantime, he just thinks he’s special. And he doesn’t appear in costume until the very end. It’s similar to the Daredevil: Man Without Fear back in the ’90s, and it’s the period of time up until he puts the costume on for the first time.”

It should be said that many previous Superman origin stories have also tackled the period from Superman’s crash landing onto the Kent farm up until he puts on his famous cape and spandex tights, such as Superman: American Alien, Birthright, Secret Identity, and even the CW television series Smallville in its earlier seasons.

However, it seems like Romita and Miller’s take will separate Clark Kent from his extraterrestrial heritage for a significantly longer period of time, thereby allowing him to develop into his superhero identity from a potentially unique perspective. This story will definitely be darker than what we’re used to as well, since Romita was quick to note that Miller couldn’t help but add his signature eccentricities to the tale during the plot development:

“And Frank has this twisted imagination about what should happen, and we talked about it, and his eyes glow… He said he’s wanted to do this as long as he can remember, since, when did Batman: Year One come out? Was that 30 years ago? He said he always wanted to complete the cycle and do a Superman: Year One.”

Other important details about this upcoming comic include that “it could be 200 pages,” according to Romita, and that “there’s a million people in it” who will surely contribute to Superman’s development and young adult woes.

Will you be reading this latest attempt at a Superman origin story by this creative team? Do you really believe Miller and Romita Jr.’s assertions that their ideas will be as unique and twisted as they claim? Do you wish any other character was getting a new origin story instead? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Source: Comic Book Resources



  1. This to me honestly is a great development. I have been a fan of stories developed by Frank Miller since the Daredevil devils on Marvel comics. Frank Miller to me is an excellent artist and plot raconteur. I know we will not be disappointed. The man is a genius. See Daredevil Electra story line. (The original)

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