Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Trek4Ever, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    I used to be very big on the Byrne version of things, but I've come to see its flaws. Something that I thought SR got right, completely against Byrne's take on things, was the idea of Superman thinking of himself as an alien. I'd never liked how that idea was portrayed in the Silver/Bronze Age comics, but I've come to think that Byrne went too far to the opposite extreme, to the point of being overly simplistic in making Clark such a perfect, idyllic individual.

    For example, Byrne seemed to think that if Superman hadn't played football in high school, he couldn't have been psychologically normal...but lots of kids don't play football in high school, and Clark abstaining from sports could be seen as a character-building experience. Superman may wish he were a normal person, but he never could or should be one, IMO. Being Superman should be an awesome responsibility and a heavy burden, and I'm glad that MoS also went with this take on the character.
     
  2. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. I thought MOS struck a nice balance with a Clark who feels like an outsider, but doesn't really see himself as "alien" either. He's conflicted about what he is, which is exactly what you would expect from someone growing up with all these crazy ass powers.

    The Byrne Clark always seemed a little too perfect and happy and well-adjusted to me.
     
  3. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Superman playing football sort of makes him look like a giant asshole.

    Whenever if he loses it's because he intentionally threw the game. If he wins then the other team never had a chance. Either way, it isn't a contest. It's just a question of how much power he's willing to show off.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  4. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Also if Clark uses too much of his strength and collides into someone, he might accidentally break another player's neck.
     
  5. theenglish

    theenglish Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, I was raised on seventies comics when his parents were dead. Byrne's decision to bring back Superman's parents was one of the best things about his reboot. I agree that having his parents alive really shows the humanity of the character.

    Even back in the seventies and early eighties, the Superboy books did a great job of showing this relationship. There was one arc in Action Comics when Pa Kent came back to life and got to see his boy as Superman. It may be trite by today's standards but it was and still is one of my favorite Superman stories.

    I think the reboot made a serious mistake by taking Superman's parents away. For a moment I was hoping that they would come back when we found out that they had actually been killed by the 5D villain (not going to try to spell his name, although it is arguable they were actually killed by Mxy based on the epilogue to Morrison's arc).

    Some of the best moments in the new 52 Superman have been the flashbacks to the Kents. I loved the story when Supes travels back in time to meet his dad again.
     
  6. theenglish

    theenglish Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't see this as an either or though. The Byrne Superman was an outsider but had supportive parents.

    I think it is best to look at young Clark as an adolescent who feels different in some way. Either the kid who is too tall, or too smart, or the kid who has autism. He is a teenager who knows he is different but is still trying to find his way in the world.

    The new movie did this quite well I thought. Leave out the super powers and it is a story about a young man trying to find his place in the world.
     
  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    ^Byrne's Clark never acted or felt like an outsider...he was Mr. BMOC in his teen years. I used to rationalize his playing football, but it always rubbed me the wrong way on some level. At best, he came off as clueless about his true nature in Man of Steel #1 (1986)...like he was in denial of how different he was until Pa showed him the ship.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  8. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    i think the death of ONE of Clark's adoptive parents is necessary -- to keep him humble and show that even with of his great powers, he has limits, and is a SuperMAN, and NOT a god.

    i think MOS was able to show that humility for Clark (that & Zod's death)....but going back to the original post...

    i can't really think of what moral lessons (one element of a good hero movie) can be learned...other than wait at least one month after having sex with someone before you fly off to another part of the universe for several years

    I don't "hate" SR...but it's not a movie that gives me inspiration or joy, which i think is a part of Superman...
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But as I said, we're talking about someone who would feel the loss just as keenly if he failed to save anyone. If he only felt grief at the loss of someone important to him personally, if the death of other people didn't matter as much, then he wouldn't really be Superman.
     
  10. Corwwyn

    Corwwyn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No...but I am thinking that Tom Hiddleston (Loki in Thor and Avengers) is a Brent Spiner doppelganger. :eek:


    ...
     
  11. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't see it. But I do see this:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Yea, with the Page-Boy cut, he looks pretty similar. Not as similar without the Page Boy Cut, though
     
  13. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    I think that's holding Superman to too high of an ideal...he cares about everyone, but even he's going to feel it more when he loses a parent or other loved one.
     
  14. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Feeling loss of a loved one and feeling responsibility for the people of his adopted planet are different things. They would affect him in similar, but different, ways. (Or to demonstrate an example for another thread, "The effect they would have on him is similar, but different.")
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I just don't accept that the death of a parent is somehow an obligatory part of every fictional character's backstory. That's too formulaic. Superman got by in comics and TV just fine for over 20 years with both adoptive parents alive -- obviously it is possible to tell good Superman stories without orphaning him a second time. It. Is. Not. Required.
     
  16. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There was a comic, many years ago, where either Superman or Superboy, I don't remember which, sent his dying parents to the Phantom Zone. He could call them up with his PZ projector to chat or whatever.
     
  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    It's just part of Superman being an ever-evolving mythos...one iteration can go this way, another can choose to go back that way just as easily. I think the "Pa dies, Ma lives" trend is a happy medium between the two extremes.
     
  18. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is true. A character is more than able to be fully fleshed-out and sympathetic without the death of a parent. But it's not inherently objectionable, either. In the context of MoS, I think the death of his father is an especially significant moment - regardless of whether or not that moment was effectively portrayed.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think it was effective in that it showed how mind-bogglingly stupid this version of Jonathan Kent was. He was a man who lived in fear and who, for all his rhetoric about how his son would achieve great things someday, spent his life teaching his son to be afraid to use his abilities for fear of discovery. If this Jonathan hadn't held his son back, then Superman probably would've been a more established and seasoned hero before Zod showed up and would've been more capable of standing up to him without letting a whole vast metropolis get destroyed and probably millions of people killed. Heck, if you ask me, Jonathan was as much the villain of MoS as Zod was. (And Jor-El was the actual hero, with Clark/Superman as an occasionally helpful sidekick.)

    Not to mention Jonathan's added stupidity in that scene of telling people to shelter from a tornado under an overpass. That is absolutely the worst advice you can possibly give in that situation. The overpass concentrates and intensifies the wind, it keeps you from running if the tornado comes right for you, and clustering there can block emergency vehicles.
     
  20. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Eh...Luke Duke was always the smarter one anyways ;)