“When Superman first turns up at the Planet building, Lois loses her cool and begins to stammer badly. She’s blushing and is all but speechless. This isn’t humorous, it’s embarrassing and deeply disturbing to her because she hasn’t stammered since she was a kid. This requires insightful writing and real acting in the body language. I can pull this off, I have faith that I can do it. But restricting me to parameters of a Catholic school play is going to kill it dead.”

 

I make the comparison to Alex Ross and Paul Dini’s treacle Superman: Peace on Earth, presented by DC in large format. “Their Superman was obviously meant for adults, too, and was packaged for that audience and sold in the venues of that audience,” I say, “so surely your book could also be packaged and sold to adults. To top it off, this is actually an adult story that the audience would have really enjoyed, rather than the super-sweet melodramatic crud that Peace on Earth was.”

BWS nods and smiles, “A veneer of sophisticated packaging does not make it adult. Think of Stan Lee’s remake of the Galactus saga, sans the Fantastic Four. Worked like an enema for me.” But Ross piques Windsor-Smith’s interest. “He’s a massive talent. I wish he’d stop wasting his time though, painting over George Perez. Jesus! He needs slapping around. He’s the only artist of the newer generation who compelled me to pick up the phone and call and say “You’re goddamn good!” He didn’t know what to do with himself. “Thanks, but who is this really? Is this Joe?” But Alex Ross is just one guy . . . there’s no revolution with just one guy.

We talk about the depiction of women in comics as well, since I note that his Lois is a very real woman, with a real figure. Another realistic woman is Adastra, who in the new book, Adastra in Africa, takes the place of Storm, a character from the X-Men that appeared in two LifeDeath stories scripted by Chris Claremont . As noted earlier in this interview, then Marvel opposed the third LifeDeath, which Windsor-Smith had written, due to concerns over a perceived pro-suicide storyline, he shelved the work rather than concede to Marvel’s hypocrisy, “Every title they publish is pro-violence, and they’re trying to tell me what to do?” Ten years later he reworked the piece and a new vehicle was created for Princess Adastra of Orgasma.

 
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