Superior isn’t your bog-standard tale of spider-bitten geeks and brooding playboy industrialists, however, with the story instead focusing on a young boy who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Granted a single wish (by a bona fide space monkey, no less), Simon is transformed into Superior, a fictional superhero and franchise icon whom he has idolised for years.
Millar has been outspoken regarding his decision to write a character with MS, the comic subsequently attracting the attention of The National MS Society; a charity that welcomes Millar’s attempts to present the disease in a positive light.
“I wanted to write about a superhero with a disability and I chose MS because it’s something that touched one of my school-friends growing up. I’m acutely aware of the unexpected way the disease can strike anyone and the enormous difficulties it can cause. Superhero stories are essentially wish-fulfilment fantasies and nothing seemed more powerful to me than a little boy with a magic wish not only wanting to walk again, but to fly.”
“I’m delighted to work with such an incredible institution as the MS Society and feel privileged that they approached me to use this character in a positive way. We’re used to seeing characters with MS as victims and I wanted to do something where the kid is not only a lead, but the most powerful person on the planet. I’m really delighted people have taken this to their hearts as much as they have.”
With the character using his powers both for the traditional crime-fighting duties as well as slightly less conventional causes – ending war in the Middle East, feeding starving children and rescuing people caught up in natural disasters – Millar can certainly rest assured that he has achieved what he set out to do.
Although Vaughn now owns the rights, it is by no means a sure thing that he will direct the picture, too. With a track record as glowing as his, however, he really cannot sign on the dotted line soon enough.