Superman

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by urbandefault, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No...and no. The "happy hopeful" Superman you refer to was a deviation in the incompetent hands of Weisinger (particularly post 1946) from the original portrayal of the character in the comics, who often behaved like a vigilante, which was in keeping with a part of the ideological climate of the era he was created in. ..and the abysmal Reeves TV series, the Super Friends, most of the Salkinds' films and just about every page created under Weisinger was not what the character was intended to be.

    Agreed, and every time such as story is produced, it serves as a reminder of how the character was written in his early days, much like the Novick/Robbins period of Batman reached back to that character's defining early years, skipping over the playpen nonsense of the latter half of the Golden/early Silver Age.
     
  2. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's interesting that because the first movie or two was so admired and I guess felt so respectful the character didn't get much backlash for his actions in the second and especially the third movie (outright becoming an international fugitive), I guess also because people thought it would quickly be reversed.
     
  3. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Now 20% less crazy! Premium Member

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    I get what you're saying. I really do. But I'm getting sick of *EVERYONE* on this thread falling into "I'm right and you're wrong" crap. I get enough of that in the "real" world. :mad:

    I think some of our disagreements here have to do with age differences and some to do with personal preferences and some to do with what Superman (and superheroes in general) mean to each of us personally.

    I was a little kid in the 70s. I read Superman as written by Cary Bates and Elliot S! Maggin and drawn by Curt Swan. Those stories helped shape me as a person. I still remember some of them 40+ years later, so they mean a lot to me. I was 10 when Superman: The Movie came out, so I will always love Christopher Reeves. As a lonely kid, comics were both my escape and my comfort. I felt like Clark and Bruce and Diana were my friends.

    I didn't know anything about previous versions of the characters until I was an adult. Then I learned all I could. I even wrote my college thesis on comic books as modern mythology (in 1988).

    My main issue with Man of Steel when I saw it in the theater was that Snyder was deconstructing before constructing. I understand more now about where he was coming from. It's certainly a valid take on the character. It's just not *my* personal favorite.

    So, that's where I'm coming from. If everyone can start acting like adults, that would be great. :hugegrin:
     
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  4. Serveaux

    Serveaux Mediocre Old White Man Premium Member

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    Snyder has touched more on what Clark's experience of the world might plausibly be like than previous movie and TV versions of him have. While the take on the character on Superman and Lois is very different, I think that the MoS movies' recognition of his interior life probably opened up the dramatic space a little bit for later writers to play with.

    There's a (maybe-not-so) subtle acknowledgment in Clark's reaction to having been possessed by Zod in season one of S&L that Clark has anger and fear and a dark side integral to his nature, like just about every person who's ever lived.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  5. theenglish

    theenglish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think there is room for many versions of a character. I enjoy Snyder's version. I also enjoy the CW version. I liked Smallville, Superman and Lois, Lois and Clark, Superman Returns and the Reeve films, even though I prefer some over the others. I never have agreed with everything in those interpretations of the character, but when it comes to Superman I am always open to enjoying the ride.
     
  6. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Now 20% less crazy! Premium Member

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    Good points! Clark in early MoS traveling to try and figure out what his place in the world is, which is certainly relatable for most of us. Then he's learning to be something that had never existed before in the world. I liked a lot of that.

    And yeah, he has a dark side. He's a hero, but that doesn't mean perfect. Some of my favorite Superman comics when I was a kid showed him having to handle things out of his control or that he realized he shouldn't try to control. He may be physically Kryptonian, but psychologically, he's human.

    Ditto, @theenglish! I'm always going to watch. Then usually re-watch to see what I may have missed and I often change my mind, or at least find more to think about.
     
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  7. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't understand this obsession you have with how a character was first portrayed because, 9 times out of 10, the early version of a character is one of the absolute worst in the characters history, since the people in charge are still trying to figure who the character is. Should all Star Trek stories involving Capt. Picard or Data really be judged by how the were portrayed in Encounter at Farpoint, or should every Batman story be judged by the early stories where he carried a gun, and hung dudes from the bottom of the Batwing?
     
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  8. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I welcome the more tolerant and thoughtful turn recent posts have taken, and thank Commander Troi for kicking off the trend. May it continue. :)

    (Full disclosure: I used to be on the front lines of the Superman Wars myself, but I got tired of every discussion of the character immediately devolving into bitter conflict. Surely not what any version of Clark would wish. So now I try to celebrate what I like, refrain from attacking what I don't, and ignore the posters who just can't let it go.)
     
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  9. theenglish

    theenglish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the oft cited early versions of Superman and Batman, people skim over the part where those versions were based on the way many stories were told at the time, and that they didn't last very long before they evolved into versions more recognizable to what we generally consider the characters to be like today.
     
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  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    On the other hand, the basic idea of Superman as a character who's almost supernaturally moral has always been present in the character, not just from the beginning but in those subsequent evolved versions. The primary evolution in the Superman comics was not of Superman himself, but of the world he inhabited; the earliest Superman stories were what we might today call "social justice warrior" power fantasies, with Superman fighting slumlords and war profiteers; by the 1950s, Superman was just as wholesome, but the community he inhabited was also wholesome, and the villains became fantastical threats.

    That idea -- of Superman being, as Alan Moore put it in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, a man who came from the sky and did only good -- was just intrinsic to the character until people started trying to grim-and-gritty-ize the entire DC Universe. It ruined what made Superman special, and all for the sake of turning Superman into yet another version of the same Angsty Brooding Dark Manpain trope.
     
  11. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Now 20% less crazy! Premium Member

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    And if *Alan Moore* could write that story... :lol:

    Seriously, the concept of Superman spawned an entire industry. And imitations. There are an infinite number of stories there to tell and they will hit different people in different ways. I feel there's life in the old grey mare yet. :hugegrin:
     
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  12. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're going to love the midterms as covered by cable news.... ;)

    It was not deconstructing before constructing--he was not--nor did he need to acknowledge other interpretations (save for Superman feeling like more of an outsider as he had been in the early Golden Age comics). He--like Nolan's Batman before him--finally had a superhero--and the public--act and react was he would in a real world, and most importantly, he (Superman) is not only an alien, but one with abilities no human could understand or relate to--and while some might see him as a hero, most would be frightened and/or attempt to take actions against him (hence the warnings of his father, which echo how a "minority" has to navigate through a majority unlike himself), which Snyder perfectly set up, addressed in Man of Steel, and carried over into Dawn of Justice.

    According to...? Evidence would help your position.

    You seem to be unfamiliar with the Batman fans of the mid to late 1960s who despised any influence from that TV series or having any connection to the worst of the late Golden/early Silver Age comics. It was this large and very vocal group of readers who called for DC to return Batman back to his darker, early roots--a period where he was often violent (even in the first year after Robin was created). The changes by Robbins, Novick, Adams and O'Neill revolutionized the character, all because those creatives knew what Batman needed to be and answered the call from readers who understood the best of the character--which was (before the restoration) in the earliest issues where the character appeared.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
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  13. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Now 20% less crazy! Premium Member

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    Hence why I avoid news, cable or otherwise. :hugegrin:

    OK, I see your point about MoS. So is Snyder's Superman about being a minority and/or immigrant? He certainly is both, despite his ability to "pass" as a Midwestern white guy. That would be an interesting "lens" to re-watch the movie through. Especially as I now know Snyder intended an arc for Supes from MoS through JL wherein he fully becomes the preeminent hero by the end of JL. Much like how Matt Murdock isn't fully Daredevil until the end of the first season of the Netflix show.

    I kept the bit about Batman at the end because there's no thread like this for Bats. Denny O'Neill's take on the character was another of those things that shaped me as a child, and I was lucky enough to tell him so at a con shortly before he died. While they absolutely wanted to take the character back to his roots, there were a few differences. For one, no guns, as Denny hated them. Also, no killing. And Bruce was also shown to have deep compassion. Yes, he needed to be terrifying to criminals, but everything he does is driven by the desire for no one else to suffer like he did. IMO, that's something Snyder and Affleck got 100%.
     
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  14. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And I previded my evidence in the next part of the post, which you even quoted yourself.



    Yes, they took the character back in a darker direction, but even then they didn't go all the way back to the very first appearances of the character. They still kept the influences and changes that had been since he first appeared.
     
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  15. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Indeed. O'Neil's Batman was grim and obsessed but aware of his obsession, occasionally regretful over it and often very humanistic when events warranted.
     
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  16. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "30s viigilante Superman" was, in many ways, a smiling, hopeful, character. Yes, his politics were more in line with Roosevelt than Eisenhower, but he was still doing "good:" razing (and rebuilding) slums and rescuing people from death row, usually with a grin on his face and a quip at the ready. He wasn't glowering and snapping necks.
     
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  17. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What are the sales figures these days compared to, say, ten or twenty years ago?
     
  18. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They should be judged a lot more by that then when he had a child sidekick running around with him.
     
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  19. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    He's had a child sidekick/sidekicks for the vast majority of his history (including the current comics).
     
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  20. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I bet some in this thread don't believe homo sapiens are where humans are supposed to be now. That TRUE humans were and will always be australopithecus. Everything after that is just nonsense and not what true humans are. We're wrong for believing otherwise.
     
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