James Gunn just slyly revealed the biggest influence for Superman: Legacy, and boy, is it a sign that Superman is in the right hands! Gunn posted a photo of his production office wall covered in Superman art to Instagram yesterday. Far from random, the pictures are all from one of the best Superman stories of all time: Superman For All Seasons.
Superman For All Seasons
Gunn’s production office is currently plastered with blown-up panels from the 1998 graphic novel depicting The Man of Steel at his most heroic. The art comes courtesy of the late Tim Sale. Sale and his partner, writer JephLoeb, are famous for a run of graphic novels in the ’90s/’00s that depicted familiar comic book characters in a new light.
The duo started their partnership with obscure DC team Challengers of the Unknown before striking it big with Batman: The Long Halloween. Sale and Loeb made several more comics featuring the Dark Knight, but they really hit their stride with Superman: For All Seasons. James Gunn’s choosing Seasons as one of the foundations upon which Superman: Legacy is being built should make Superman and DC fans everywhere happy.
A Four Part Story
The series doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to the character of Superman, rather, it perfects it and reinforces the wheel’s design. Much like Superman: Legacy itself, Superman For All Seasons isn’t an origin story. Instead, it’s a story told in four parts, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, each one focusing on a different character’s perspective of Superman. Pa Kent narrates Spring as he reminisces about the Midwest, farmboy side of Superman, and his adopted son Clark Kent.
Meanwhile, Summer is Lois Lane’s take on Superman as a superhero, a god in a cape sent to perform “miracles” as he attempts to singlehandedly save mankind. Fall is Lex Luthor’s rumination on Superman as the alien—a foreign visitor to Earth insultingly masquerading as a human and failing to be the messiah everyone else seems to view him as. Lastly, Winter is Lana Lang reconciling all of the different sides of Superman—farmboy, superhero, alien—as different facets of a single person.
Will Superman: Legacy Portray The Hero From Others’ Point Of Views?
While it’s possible that Superman: Legacy is taking something as superficial as its costume and set designs from Superman For All Seasons‘ aesthetic, it’s more likely, given James Gunn‘s style, that the graphic novel is inspiring more than just the look of the film. Don’t be surprised if Superman: Legacy is told from the perspective of supporting characters like Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen and their reactions to and opinions on the superhero.
Honoring A Legendary Comic Writer
As for Jeph Loeb’s opinion on Gunn using his work as the basis of Superman: Legacy, the writer’s comment on Gunn’s post says it all. “James, thank you! Honored. Wish Timmy were here to see 😢❤️” Timmy, of course, being Loeb’s longtime collaborator Tim Sale, who passed away last year from kidney failure.
Following After Smallville
Superman: Legacy won’t be the first time that Superman For All Seasons inspired a live-action Superman project. The comic previously inspired the idea for the TV series Smallville, with Jeph Loeb even serving as a writer and executive producer on the show.