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Old May 17 2010, 06:08 PM   #31
Ryan Thomas Riddle
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

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I think eventually it'll be hard to do a version of Superman that isn't a period piece. I mean, print newspapers already seem to be a dying medium...
As a newspaper reporter, I love hearing it when people declare newspapers as a "dying medium."

Print newspapers may slowly be closing or laying off employees but it's hardly dying, especially in the Bay Area. The newspaper, and by extension the business model, is evolving. In Palo Alto, there is a newspaper war between three major local newspapers, including the one I work for. There is also a non-profit upstart journalism project, The Bay Area Citizen, that will partner up with the New York Times for its Friday and Saturday Bay Area editions.

There are also tons of alternative press out here — the San Francisco Bay Guardian being the best (but I'm biased; I worked for them).

Still papers are losing money and the model will have to evolve, adapt. But I don't see them ever going away since people still like to hold something in their hands and read over morning coffee.

Perhaps more homegrown local papers are the future rather than the conglomerate-owned papers like the San Francisco Chronicle or the Sacramento Bee.
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Old May 17 2010, 06:31 PM   #32
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

middyseafort wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
I think eventually it'll be hard to do a version of Superman that isn't a period piece. I mean, print newspapers already seem to be a dying medium...
As a newspaper reporter, I love hearing it when people declare newspapers as a "dying medium."
I agree. It's ignorance more than anything else.

Remember when people thought newspapers were dying off in the age of TV news, so the writers misguidedly had Clark become a TV reporter back in the late 70s/early 80s? Yeah, that lasted.
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Old May 17 2010, 07:09 PM   #33
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Okay, conceded. Still, the original idea behind Clark Kent going to work as a newspaper reporter was that it was the best way for him to find out about crises as soon as possible. These days, while newspapers still have their value, they're not the fastest way of getting information. How often, in Superman shows and movies (and maybe even the comics), do we see scenes where Clark and Lois are in the Planet newsroom and Jimmy or somebody says, "Hey, look at what's on TV!" in order to alert them to the crisis du jour? That makes the newsroom less of a means to an end and more simply a neutral setting. If you go with the idea that Clark chose his career on the basis of getting the most up-to-the-minute information possible, it makes sense to have him go into TV news or something online instead of print journalism.
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Old May 17 2010, 07:45 PM   #34
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

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Okay, conceded. Still, the original idea behind Clark Kent going to work as a newspaper reporter was that it was the best way for him to find out about crises as soon as possible. These days, while newspapers still have their value, they're not the fastest way of getting information. How often, in Superman shows and movies (and maybe even the comics), do we see scenes where Clark and Lois are in the Planet newsroom and Jimmy or somebody says, "Hey, look at what's on TV!" in order to alert them to the crisis du jour? That makes the newsroom less of a means to an end and more simply a neutral setting. If you go with the idea that Clark chose his career on the basis of getting the most up-to-the-minute information possible, it makes sense to have him go into TV news or something online instead of print journalism.
One of the things that Mark Waid did right in Birthright was having the Daily Planet use a multimedia platform alongside its print publication. Such a newsroom could address the getting the up-to-date crisis in a timely manner.

In fact, both papers and broadcast depend on wires and police/fire scanners for newsgathering and getting timely information, something that has been rarely seen in the comics and completely absent in the film adaptations.

And while papers may print something that happened the next day, they still get pretty much the same info at the same time as broadcast. For instance, my paper got wind of a possible murder-suicide at the same time as all the other papers and TV stations. Yet I beat the competition — other papers and TV stations — to the scene.

Or the reason for Clark going into news could be altered slightly, almost in the vain of Birthright. He could go into print journalism simply because he's good at it and enjoys it. Or it can become Clark's means of investigating people and places where it would be difficult to do as Superman, which is something the films have never done but other live-action and animated adaptations have.

Moreover, Clark Kent can go places that Superman can't. Something I feel has yet to be properly portrayed in the movies.
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Old May 17 2010, 07:59 PM   #35
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

^^Hmm, okay. Good points.

Still, I think the rest of what I said about the future still holds merit. It's already hard to justify successfully keeping a secret identity in the age of DNA testing and ubiquitous video surveillance. That and other superhero tropes are going to get even harder to justify over time. At the very least, it would be easier to tell a classic superhero story in a period setting.
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Old May 17 2010, 10:38 PM   #36
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

middyseafort wrote: View Post
Moreover, Clark Kent can go places that Superman can't. Something I feel has yet to be properly portrayed in the movies.
See, that's what made Lois & Clark such an enjoyable show; they hit the balance between when to focus on Superman, and when to focus on Clark Kent.
Clark was much more than a secret identity. As an investigative reporter, he could go places, and follow lines of investigation that Superman couldn't. The story of the week often relied as much upon Clark's investigative ability, as it did on Superman's abilities.
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Old May 17 2010, 11:20 PM   #37
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Christopher wrote: View Post
Okay, conceded. Still, the original idea behind Clark Kent going to work as a newspaper reporter was that it was the best way for him to find out about crises as soon as possible. These days, while newspapers still have their value, they're not the fastest way of getting information. How often, in Superman shows and movies (and maybe even the comics), do we see scenes where Clark and Lois are in the Planet newsroom and Jimmy or somebody says, "Hey, look at what's on TV!" in order to alert them to the crisis du jour? That makes the newsroom less of a means to an end and more simply a neutral setting. If you go with the idea that Clark chose his career on the basis of getting the most up-to-the-minute information possible, it makes sense to have him go into TV news or something online instead of print journalism.
Good post. That's one of the things with Superman, the industry he works for is dying out. He would need to work for something that gets the news much quicker. Daily Planet being bought out by a Rupert Murdock-type makes more sense.

It would be in Clark's interest to stay off-camera though.
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Old May 18 2010, 01:04 AM   #38
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

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Part of me is starting to wish that the last 10 years of Smallville have all just been one big setup. They spend 10 years giving us a generally mediocre show, that has flashes of brilliance every now and again, and constantly teases us with Supes mythology, and by the time that show ends, the fans are literally dying for a legitimate weekly Superman show - Red and Blues, secret identity, Lex Luthor, the whole nine yards.

What better time to release one?

It's been joked often on the internet that Smallville should have been re-named "Metropolis" by now, seeing as the town of Smallville barely features in it anymore. Maybe that's not such a bad idea. For all people on the internet can moan about Welling's acting, or the writing, I think if they ditched the whole "No Flights, No Tights" mantra that seems to have plagued Smallville for the last 10 years, and they were allowed to cut loose and make a full on Superman show without tip-toeing around the mythology, I think they'd be capable of making a damn good show. It probably wouldn't hurt for a show like that to have access to a larger budget, but I think they could pull it off.

It would be a bold move to "evolve" the show, and re-brand it from "Superman - The Early Years" into "Superman", but one that I think would really pay off.

Basically, if the rumours of next season featuring Darkseid/Apokolips are true, then it would be an ideal opportunity to turn Clark into Superman. I mean, Apokolips would be such a massive threat to Earth - much more so than Zod's army ever were - that Clark has to fully embrace his destiny in order to defeat Darkseid. I'd love to see Clark, in the season 10 finale, pull on the Superman outfit, and give a Doctor Who-esque "This planet is protected" speech, before leading the JSA/JLA heroes against Darkseid.

After that, use whatever maguffin to create Clark's dual identity (hell, they've been using them for 10 years, why stop now?), and re-brand the show as Metropolis season 1, with the same actors, bringing us a proper Superman show.

I'm well aware that it would never happen in a million years. There'd be far too many things getting in the way of making it happen - budget constraints, the alleged fact that Welling won't wear the suit, the difficulty of getting the actors to commit to maybe another 5-10 years of the show if it's successful, the rumours of a Nolan-produced Superman reboot on the big screen... etc

Hell, I can dream, can't I?
I haven't read the whole thread so if this has already been said I apologize.

Smallville already is a Superman show. It has always been a Superman show. It was never a prequel, except possibly in the first season or two.

Smallville has Clark Kent interacting with every character from the regular Superman mythos. It has all the same villains, the same love interests and the same sorts of plots, with a heavier dose of angsty romance maybe, but still. Smallville cannot be set up for a Superman show because as a Superman show it would have almost nowhere to go - it is already a pretty thorough treatment of the Superman mythos.

In short, don't get hung up on the suit and the name "Superman" - they just aren't a part of this version of the story, which doesn't make it any less a legitimate version of this particular pop culture mythology.
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Old May 18 2010, 01:12 AM   #39
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

^ We've already seen glimpses of the blue and red suit and there is evidence that he will be called "Superman", but you're right, they're already playing out the mythos without him actually being Superman.
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Old May 18 2010, 01:31 AM   #40
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Smallville already is a Superman show. It has always been a Superman show. It was never a prequel, except possibly in the first season or two.
But that's the thing, it isn't. It's a Clark Kent show. It uses established characters from the Superman and DC mythos in general, but the show has always been about Clark Kent. For all it teases and sets things up, this show is not about Superman. It's about how Clark becomes Superman.

Smallville has Clark Kent interacting with every character from the regular Superman mythos. It has all the same villains, the same love interests and the same sorts of plots, with a heavier dose of angsty romance maybe, but still. Smallville cannot be set up for a Superman show because as a Superman show it would have almost nowhere to go - it is already a pretty thorough treatment of the Superman mythos.
There are plenty of places to go. They've already set up the fact that Lex is alive, and will play a major role in the future. There are plenty of villains which have appeared throughout Smallville's run that it would be easy to bring back. Hell, they even set up Doomsday for a future return - buried in the Earth, as he was at the start of The Death of Superman, waiting to bust back out one day for the big smackdown.

As I said, I know it would never happen, but it's fun to speculate. I am, however, serious when I say it's time for a proper Superman show. And by proper, I mean no hang-ups about "flights and tights", and no angsty teenage bullshit.
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Old May 18 2010, 02:37 AM   #41
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

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it makes sense to have him go into TV news or something online instead of print journalism.
It might make sense for him to go into TV news as a writer or someone on the production side of things. However, him being an on-air anchor makes no sense as his face is viewed by tons of people daily. Eventually, someone would make a connection. At least, as a newspaperman, his face is hidden from a vast majority of people.

That being said, as someone who worked in TV news, Clark would have absolutely no time to sneak away to stop some disaster. It is way too busy, regardless of what your position is. It doesn't allow for the flexibility that working on a newspaper does.

I dunno. Maybe I am biased as I never liked the concept of Clark as a news anchor.
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Old May 18 2010, 02:40 AM   #42
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Broccoli wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
it makes sense to have him go into TV news or something online instead of print journalism.
It might make sense for him to go into TV news as a writer or someone on the production side of things. However, him being an on-air anchor makes no sense as his face is viewed by tons of people daily. Eventually, someone would make a connection. At least, as a newspaperman, his face is hidden from a vast majority of people.
If people as close to him as Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, or Perry White are, none of which have managed to make the connection (except in one-off stories, or the slight hint that they suspect as much -- though those hints have nothing to do with how he looks), I seriously doubt if people who only see him for half an hour a day, tops, would.
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Old May 18 2010, 02:45 AM   #43
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

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It might make sense for him to go into TV news as a writer or someone on the production side of things. However, him being an on-air anchor makes no sense as his face is viewed by tons of people daily. Eventually, someone would make a connection.
But... but he has the glasses on!
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Old May 18 2010, 04:14 AM   #44
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Checkmate wrote: View Post
Broccoli wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
it makes sense to have him go into TV news or something online instead of print journalism.
It might make sense for him to go into TV news as a writer or someone on the production side of things. However, him being an on-air anchor makes no sense as his face is viewed by tons of people daily. Eventually, someone would make a connection. At least, as a newspaperman, his face is hidden from a vast majority of people.
If people as close to him as Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, or Perry White are, none of which have managed to make the connection (except in one-off stories, or the slight hint that they suspect as much -- though those hints have nothing to do with how he looks), I seriously doubt if people who only see him for half an hour a day, tops, would.
Fair point. But the risk factor opens up greatly if you are on TV. Also, at that time in the comics, Clark was acting much more bumbling and weak in order to keep up the illusion. Average Joe watching TV wouldn't see that, unless Clark delivered the news like the "Boom, Goes The Dynamite" Guy. But if he did that, his ass would be fired before the commercial break.

I know the glasses are the conceit that you have to run with, but Clark as a news anchor just breaks my suspension of disbelief.
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Old May 18 2010, 04:27 AM   #45
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Well, the way I figure it is, lots of people notice that Clark Kent resembles Superman, but it doesn't occur to them that he is Superman, because Superman doesn't wear a mask and thus isn't thought of as having a secret identity. So they just figure Clark is one of those people who happen to look like celebrities. He probably gets people coming up to him all the time and saying "Hey, anyone ever tell you you look kinda like Superman?"

See, that's the brilliance of the glasses. If it occurred to anyone that Superman had a secret identity, they'd assume he'd wear a wig and fake beard, maybe a fat suit, something complicated to really disguise his appearance. They'd never believe Superman would be dumb enough to think just a pair of glasses would work. And that's exactly why it does work!

I liked Birthright's take on it -- that the feature of Superman's face that everyone notices most is the vivid blue of his eyes, and so by wearing glasses that damp down their shade, he changes the way people perceive his face.
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