Written By: Kim ‘Howard’ Johnson & John Cleese (yes that John Cleese)
Art by: John Byrne, Mark Farmer & Alex Bleyaert
Peregrine Whyte-Badger – “How could you waste an opportunity like this?!?”
WHAT IS IT? It’s a ‘hilarious’ alternative universe Superman story where as a baby Kal-el’s space ship arrives in Britain instead of Kansas (sigh).Oh and replace the word hilarious with annoying.
GOOD IDEA/BAD IDEA: The origin of Superman had been retold numerous times and as the story was timeless it was pretty much adaptable to any variation on where Kal-el’s ship could have arrived.Often this has created some particularly memorable tales (Superman: Red Son) and with the same care and attention given to those stories, the setting of Britain could have produced another fine entry in the mythology.Unfortunately Superman True Brit was pants!Apart from a couple of genuinely good ideas, including the reason why Superman wore glasses as a teenager and the improvements he could make to the British railway system, the rest of the book just didn’t sit well.The classic British comics style (Beano, Dandy) clashed terribly with the traditional straight laced American superhero genre and it made for uncomfortable reading.Bananaman could get away with it because that was who the character was at heart, but trying to force an American icon into a ‘whacky’ British approach was just awful.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
Sent from the doomed planet Krypton, the infant Kal-el arrives in Weston Super Mare...in the UK (sigh).Found by the Clark’s (sigh some more), Kal is renamed Colin and raised to be British; which means hiding his abilities and never allowing himself to believe he can be someone important.Thing is secretly Colin wants to escape from his humdrum existence where he looks like a daft imitation of an iconic character, because for him IT JUST DOESN’T SEEM RIGHT!!!The harsh truth is IT REALLY ISN’T RIGHT!!! IT’S NOT RIGHT AT ALL!!!
Still whether it’s because God has turned his back on humanity, the devil walks the Earth or because someone thought this sounded like a good idea, Colin grows up, leaves Weston Super Mare and heads off to university...and then the big wide world.Once there he meets a variety of people including (sigh) Louisa Layne-Ferret and (sigh) newspaper editor Peregrine Whyte-Badger and soon finds a job as a reporter at the Daily Smear (sigh).He then sees someone in trouble, mounts a rescue, becomes Superman and continues to do a variety of ANNOYING THINGS THAT ARE MEANT TO BE FUNNY BUT ARE JUST IRRITATING!
With Britain finally aware of who Superman is, stuff happens including the introduction of (sigh) the cricket themed Bat-Man and some other nonsense that should just be forgotten.With Superman as a British icon possibly being the least convincing thing ever, the British comics industry takes another knock and fans of decent Superman stories weep.A dark cloud descends over Britain and it looks as if things could not get any worse.
A few years later...
Britain enters a terrible recession; people lose their jobs, their homes, their faith in their own government and not even Superman can save them.
NO SUPERMAN PLEASE, WE’RE BRITISH: *Since Superman True Brit was published a new law has been introduced banning anyone from ever suggesting that a story like True Brit should ever be published again.
*When asked what he thought about British super hero Bananaman, Superman said he wasn’t a fan of fruits.Apparently he didn’t realise the homophobic implications of such a statement.
*Superman has often said he’s a fan of Monty Python and Benny Hill.When asked what other British comedy shows he’s a fan of, the Man Of Steel got confused and said, “Comedy?I thought they were reality shows!”