The television series Lois & Clark depicted Lex Luthor in a rather unique manner. When the series ran in the 1990s I always thought of him as somewhat akin to Donald Trump in representation. But for the final version of my book manuscript it occurred to me that Trump has become in public such a a boorish figure and a divisive person, in ways that Lex Luthor would never seek to appear, that I better find a new billionaire as an analogy. Branson’s persona of surface jolliness fit Lois & Clark’s Luthor. So Branson it is. To be clear my analogy is about public personas and not the acts and deeds of either the fictional Luthor, or the very real Donald Trump and Richard Branson.
In Batman v Superman (2016) there is a blink and you will miss it moment referencing the Superman #247 (January 1972), story “Must There Be a Superman” by Elliot Maggin. The extensive credits of the film make no mention of Maggin. On hearing of this Maggin tweeted I’m pissed. In July that year the San Diego Comic Con presented Maggin with the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing, an award named after an often unacknowledged writer of Batman comics. Accepting the award Maggin vowed to take on the insidious work-for-hire employment status of many comic book professionals. In my forthcoming book Superman: The Persistence of an American Icon I detail the stormy relationship between Siegel and Shuster and DC and also point to the work of many other “work-for-hire” creators, like Maggin, who shaped the Superman we know today.