Frank Miller has tackled his fair share of complex themes in his writing over the years. Now, the legendary comics writer says he wants to tackle one of the oldest, but oft overlooked, origin stories in the entire industry: Superman’s Jewish heritage.
According to an interview with Inverse at New York Comic Con, Miller, whose work include the likes of “300,” “Sin City” and “The Dark Knight Returns,” hopes to one day bring Superman back to World War II, the era he was created.
“He has a history in World War II, and I’d like to put him there again,” Miller said. “Superman needs to confront his Jewish roots, and I’d like to write that. I’d like to have him face a death camp.”
Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938, and is considered to be a direct response to the heinous imprisonment, torture and murder of Jews by the Third Reich before and during the war. At the time, the parallels were so apparent that, in 1940, Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels publicly denounced Superman and Siegel.
Signs of Superman’s Jewish heritage have largely fallen away over the years, replaced, at times, with Christian imagery. Nonetheless, Superman enjoys a decidedly Jewish origin, from his name, Kal-El, which sounds similar to “voice of God” in Hebrew, to the ship in which he escapes the dying planet Krypton, which bears a resemblance to the Star of Bethlehem.
If Miller does eventually get the gig, he would effectively be returning the Man of Steel to his roots.