Growing up, I always had an affinity for Superman—but only the idea, the figure, rather than stories. Even when I was a very young comics fan, scrounging up my buck at the corner store, I preferred the soap opera theatrics of Claremont X-Men (and most especially their junior class, the New Mutants) over anything DC had to offer... But when pressed for my favorite comics characters, I’d invariably name Superman, Wonder Woman, and Hal Jordan. People I knew only through their Who’s Who biographies and indexes, whose histories were banked forever in that corner of my mind but whose monthly adventures—actually participating and enjoying them as they occurred—didn’t interest me at all.
For me, that math was simple and it remains simple: I like the idea of Superman and Wonder Woman, of inclusive human perfection, a lot more than the feet of clay that any given story demonstrates. I was a kid that loved soldiers and warriors, as ideas, but preferred my reading companions to be directly identifiable: I can talk about Superman all day, my house is frankly full of Superman crap, but I’d rather be reading about characters I understood and felt for.