Monday, September 5, 2011

Superman - Morning Train

This is my idea for a new series about ordinary people and their encounters with superheroes. In some the normals are just collateral damage, in others they turn the course of history. Sometimes a hero generates the story but the superheroes are usually incidental.

I know it's been done to death ('Marvels' 'Astro City') but I have a cool 'encounter with Superman' story in my head. It would play up how focused but also how distracted Superman is. He would be watching and thinking about a thousands things at one time. He would be almost buzzing with energy and to be around him would feel like ten times the static you get when taking a sweater out of the dryer.

How would he deal with just one person? I imagine his interactions would be like a rehearsed role, a character actor saying the same lines over and over again about things being okay and people being safe and "here is your puppy" and "let me set that broken leg for you...SNAP". Very robotic and weird and frankly...ALIEN.

He's like the dog that keeps calling out, "SQUIRREL!" in the movie, 'Up'. It would be infuriating to be around him because he would be so distracted by everything going on around him - from the honey bee he can see in slow motion in the 'Daily Planet' newsroom to the rock slide that just destroyed a passenger rail bridge 200 miles away.

My story is about how he deals with that train, those passengers on that destroyed bridge on that day in one five minute period. It would be a series of panels - no more than three a page - like snapshots of moments caught in time.

Superman doing his thing but mostly people REACTING to Superman doing his thing - bending steel, holding train car above his head, ripping through twisted metal to save trapped survivors. Each page could be done by a different artist too. Each taking the perspective on one person at this one disaster.

This image got me thinking about how ALIEN Superman would appear to me if he was standing right in front of me. A hero off some pulp magazine cover - a strongman lost from some off world circus (another of my great ELSEWHERE ideas) - anything but human.

He would be standing in the middle of a group of survivors when I first would see him. I would be one of those survivors. Superman had just kept our passenger rail car from going into a ravine and had spilled us out of the burning train car after tearing open the top like it was a can of sardines.

Everything would have happened so fast the passengers almost didn't have time to react. They were dead and they were saved in the same split second it took for Superman to intervene.

Superman walks through the crowd looking for ways he can help but he is already to the next emergency in his mind and he passes me without giving me a notice. I feel snubbed.

Then he stopped and turns to look at me like he had read my mind about me feeling beneath his notice but he doesn't have powers to do that. Does he?

If he could read my mind he would also know how scared I was of HIM. More frightened that he can harm me than the carnage of the train/bridge disaster all around me.

I understood an act of God but I don't understand anything about him. Because if he was real and possible then what other wonders are out there in the Universe? How petty do the concerns of one planet seem in the face of all that?

After having him stare at me for what seemed like an enternity he would be GONE faster than a speeding bullet. Maybe leave the wind behind, blow up some dust to make his departure just that much more dramatic.

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