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Old May 18 2010, 06:57 AM   #46
Admiral_Young
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Essentially Smallville is a SUPERBOY show without being able to actually call Clark Superboy...I've skipped the entire thread because I've not really had anything to say except that I've been working on something called "Beyond Smallville: Metropolis" which is a reworking of seasons five onwards but instead of three extra seasons I've ended Smallville in seven so "Beyond" is three seasons. I've also rewritten season four entirely. I've been working on this and mentioned it in previous threads but have never posted it because I'm waiting for the series to finish.
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Old May 18 2010, 01:46 PM   #47
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
Essentially Smallville is a SUPERBOY show without being able to actually call Clark Superboy...
That was its original brief, but for several years now, especially the past two seasons, it's been much more a veiled Superman show than a veiled Superboy show. All the Superboy trappings -- Ma and Pa Kent, Lana Lang, Pete Ross -- are gone now. Clark and Lois work at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, and Clark is a member of the Justice League. In every respect except the name, the costume, the flying, and the glasses, it's already a Superman show.
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Old May 18 2010, 05:20 PM   #48
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

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^^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.
You know the first Iron Man film had an interesting way around that.
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Old May 18 2010, 05:54 PM   #49
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Well, actually, Iron Man would be one of the easier secret identities to keep, since he's completely hidden inside the suit and isn't likely to leave any DNA evidence lying around. On the other hand, I gather that modern voice-recognition technology is pretty good at identifying voices even when they're electronically distorted, so he might have to avoid talking.
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Old May 18 2010, 06:40 PM   #50
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

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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.
See that's where I'd argue. It's not about how Clark Kent becomes Superman at all. There is no real sense of Clark evolving towards a life as a public superhero, there's just "the adventures of a superpowered young man" and meanwhile they've used every stand by of the Superman mythos to spin Superman stories. The nods to the costume are the entire presence of the traditional Superman identity within the show - heavily reimagined to be sure, but there's nothing missing except for the public presence of a superhero named Superman. You can certainly argue that this means it cannot ever be a true treatment of the Superman mythos but I'd simply respond it is Superman in all but name and tights.

And really, when you approach it that way - it's a far less frustrating experience, and a somewhat more interesting interpretation than any traditional Superboy or Superman series could ever have been. That is, if you forget the largely terrible writing.
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Old May 18 2010, 06:50 PM   #51
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
See that's where I'd argue. It's not about how Clark Kent becomes Superman at all. There is no real sense of Clark evolving towards a life as a public superhero, there's just "the adventures of a superpowered young man" and meanwhile they've used every stand by of the Superman mythos to spin Superman stories.
The past two years have been all about Clark's evolution toward being a superhero. He already is a superhero who's famous and admired by the public. And this season we've seen him assuming a leadership role in the superhero community.


The nods to the costume are the entire presence of the traditional Superman identity within the show - heavily reimagined to be sure, but there's nothing missing except for the public presence of a superhero named Superman. You can certainly argue that this means it cannot ever be a true treatment of the Superman mythos but I'd simply respond it is Superman in all but name and tights.
Wait a minute, first you were saying it wasn't about Clark becoming Superman and now you're saying that it is about Clark effectively being Superman? Aren't those contradictory positions?

And really, when you approach it that way - it's a far less frustrating experience, and a somewhat more interesting interpretation than any traditional Superboy or Superman series could ever have been. That is, if you forget the largely terrible writing.
The largely terrible writing ended when Millar & Gough left the show two years ago. It's gotten much better since then, though Chloe is still saddled with some of the worst attempts at faux-Whedonesque witty dialogue ever written.
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Old May 18 2010, 06:55 PM   #52
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, actually, Iron Man would be one of the easier secret identities to keep, since he's completely hidden inside the suit and isn't likely to leave any DNA evidence lying around. On the other hand, I gather that modern voice-recognition technology is pretty good at identifying voices even when they're electronically distorted, so he might have to avoid talking.

Really? I was reading up on voice-recognition tech for a CSI project and my impression that was that tech was nowhere good enough yet to compensate for electronic distortion. (I actually wanted to have Archie do something like that, but decided it was too unbelievable.)

I'm not challenging you, I'm just curious.
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Old May 18 2010, 07:45 PM   #53
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Well, I'm no expert, but I remember reading an article about it a few years ago and it said that computer voice-recognition could still work even with a distorted voice. I have no better justification than that, so I could be wrong.

And as for Archie doing things that are technologically unbelievable, the guy routinely extracts high-resolution images from blurry pixels just by hitting the "enhance" button. The only way he could do something more unbelievable than that is if he got out his old Transmorpher and turned into the Blue Power Ranger again.
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Old May 18 2010, 08:59 PM   #54
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Christopher wrote: View Post

Wait a minute, first you were saying it wasn't about Clark becoming Superman and now you're saying that it is about Clark effectively being Superman? Aren't those contradictory positions?
No. If you already are something then you can't be evolving toward becoming that thing. Which is my point. On Smallville Clark has been Superman for a long time - he just doesn't use that name and wear the traditional costume.
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Old May 18 2010, 09:47 PM   #55
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

^No, I don't agree. As I said, the arc of the past two seasons has been about Clark's evolution from a self-absorbed farmboy resisting his destiny (as Millar and Gough forced him to remain as long as they were in charge) to someone who was more and more embracing his destiny as a hero. Yes, he's been operating as a hero, but he hasn't been fully Superman yet, in terms of being the leading light of the superhero community. He's gone through a lot of growth into his role over the past two years, and has had setbacks along the way. It's not like the new writers just flipped a switch and suddenly he was Superman in all but name. You said there was no real sense of Clark evolving toward becoming Superman, but to me, that's exactly what the past two seasons have been about.
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Old May 18 2010, 10:01 PM   #56
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Um... shouldn't the reflexion of the \S/ be backwards in Clark's eyes?
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Old May 18 2010, 10:34 PM   #57
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Mutenroshi wrote: View Post
Um... shouldn't the reflexion of the \S/ be backwards in Clark's eyes?
Maybe he got Bizzaro's costume by mistake. Or Ma Kent screwed up big time.
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Old May 18 2010, 11:07 PM   #58
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Mutenroshi wrote: View Post
Um... shouldn't the reflexion of the \S/ be backwards in Clark's eyes?
That's one of his lesser-known superpowers.
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Old May 18 2010, 11:08 PM   #59
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Mutenroshi wrote: View Post
Um... shouldn't the reflexion of the \S/ be backwards in Clark's eyes?
LOL! I didn't even think of that!
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Old May 18 2010, 11:18 PM   #60
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Christopher wrote: View Post
^No, I don't agree. As I said, the arc of the past two seasons has been about Clark's evolution from a self-absorbed farmboy resisting his destiny (as Millar and Gough forced him to remain as long as they were in charge) to someone who was more and more embracing his destiny as a hero. Yes, he's been operating as a hero, but he hasn't been fully Superman yet, in terms of being the leading light of the superhero community. He's gone through a lot of growth into his role over the past two years, and has had setbacks along the way. It's not like the new writers just flipped a switch and suddenly he was Superman in all but name. You said there was no real sense of Clark evolving toward becoming Superman, but to me, that's exactly what the past two seasons have been about.
Fair enough - I haven't watched the show regularly since about season three. My sense of it then though was that it was Superman in all but name - not in seeing the character evolve in any specific way because at that point he did not evolve, but meandered around a soap operaish territory of good-boy-bad-boy-lovesick-teen-memory-loss-personality-alteration-etc-etc - not unlike the way the character in the comics meanders around through various dramatic events involving a set of regular or semi-regular characters, villains and abilities which result in no character development but that keep the series going indefinitely.

In other words, I'm not talking about approving of the direction of the character's development towards writing that makes him fit a heroic ideal, I'm talking about a narrative structure and exploration of a set of characters and abilities which make up the mythos. And in that way, Smallville has been a pretty full, if reimagined, treatment of the Superman mythos (as opposed to a prequel that is exclusively about leading up to the moment in time when a character enters the mythos proper with all its attendant characters and narrative structures) sans name and cape, for a very long time. If they are continuing with the prequel conceit in order to avoid using the name and costume, more power to them for sidestepping some of the more awkward trappings of superhero stories - though it's certainly a case of having your cake and eating it too. That never has stopped them from introducing every other element of the Superman mythos from Perry White to the Justice League. And I don't see how, if you have absolutely everything associated with Superman except for the word "Superman" and tights and a cape - it's not simply Superman that you're doing.

As I said above, I'm talking more about a way to approach the material than I am about entering the story and trying to make it fit with the extablished mythos regarding when and how and what sort of person Clark was when he donned the cape.
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