CO: You mentioned Superman earlier, and I just wanted to thank you for that one beat in All-Star Superman where he stops on the building and just hugs a girl who’s about to kill herself. That’s one of the best and most powerful Superman moments I’ve ever seen, and, holy jeez, I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it.
GM: I did as well! What I love most about that is that it’s actually real kids’ lives! You can look this up online. Kids writing in saying ‘I was about to commit suicide and I read that scene and I didn’t,’ and then other people said ‘that happened to me as well.’ For me, that’s Superman! That was how Superman works. He’s not real, he can never be real, he’s never going to break anyone’s neck, but he just saved a kid’s life. A creature of paper saved a kid’s life, and to me, that’s what’s great about comics and about superheroes. They don’t have to be real to be functional.
CO: Speaking of Superman breaking necks, what did you think about Man of Steel?
GM: I try to just take things on their own level. I enjoyed a lot of the film. It’s not my Superman in any way, but I enjoyed a lot of the work. But I just couldn’t buy into snapping Zod’s neck. Superman would have got Zod and flew him to the moon and punched the shit out of him on the moon. Superman thinks ‘Zod’s getting his powers from the sun, but he’s only been here for a few weeks, he won’t be that powerful. So it’s basically my power against his.’ That’s what happens in my scene. Then he hits him to Mars. Then he hits him to Pluto. The two of them punching it out on the barren, black landscape of Pluto.
CO: Yeah, I’d rather have seen that!
GM: Then Zod’s losing his powers, and Superman’s maybe losing his a little bit, so who goes first? That would be my version. To me, Superman’s the one character who solves problems by NOT killing people. Honestly, I think that should be a rule, because there’s no others. It makes you think differently if you’re doing it. You can’t just solve this problem Elliott Ness would solve it or the way Arnold Schwarzenegger would solve it. You should solve it like Superman would solve it.
CO: I don’t know if Arnold Schwarzenegger solves any problems.
GM: (laughs) He causes more problems than he’s ever solved. But just for your imagination, just to allow you to play with that as a concept. But filmmakers have got their own ways of looking at things, and there’s this idea of trying to make everything grounded and real, and so obviously they believe that it’s real that most of us would snap the necks of our enemies, given the chance.
CO: Which is why Superman not killing people is so goddamned important! Because too many of us would.