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Why don't you like Superman?

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  • Bad KarmaBad Karma Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    Look at the One Year Later arc he was in where he had no powers... a completely powerless Superman... almost entirely focused on Clark Kent... and frankly, it was still pretty damn boring. I have no idea why this is the case... frankly I just think that Clark/Supes doesn't have enough character flaws to be really interesting.

    You didn't like Up, Up, and Away?

    Ew.

    Bad Karma on
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  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Bad Karma wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Look at the One Year Later arc he was in where he had no powers... a completely powerless Superman... almost entirely focused on Clark Kent... and frankly, it was still pretty damn boring. I have no idea why this is the case... frankly I just think that Clark/Supes doesn't have enough character flaws to be really interesting.

    You didn't like Up, Up, and Away?

    Ew.

    I didn't hate it... but I didn't love it either. I dunno... maybe I'm to pessimistic to really enjoy someone as morally good as Superman.

    Sentry on
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  • Bloods EndBloods End Blade of Tyshalle Punch dimensionRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007

    My big breakthrough on Superman came in 1999 when I was working on my first proposal for the character. It was 2:00 in the morning and then-JLA editor Dan Raspler and I were sitting in that little Doctor Seuss-lookin' park outside the San Diego comic convention center, chewing the fat and trying to find a new angle on the Man of Steel. At that moment, I kid you not, two guys come walking across the rail tracks, and one of them is dressed in the best Superman suit I've seen. This guy looked fantastic as Superman - a cross between Chris Reeve and Billy Zane - so we asked him if he'd answer some questions for us which he did - in the character of Superman!!! sooperfriends.jpgIt was like a possession - I'd say to the guy, 'So how do you feel about Batman ?' and he'd come back with 'Well, Batman and I don't really see eye to eye on a lot of things. He's so hung up on the darkness in everyone's soul and I just don't see it that way...' and so on. He spoke to us for about an hour and a half, as Superman, then went back to his lonely Fortress at the YMCA or whatever - I met this guy a few more times but he never acted like Superman again - there's a picture on my website which shows him with me, Mark Waid and a couple of kids dressed as Superboy and Supergirl.
    The thing that really hit me though, wasn't so much what he was saying as how he was sitting. The guy was perched on a bollard with one knee drawn up, chin resting on his arms. He looked totally relaxed...and I suddenly realized this was how Superman would sit. He wouldn't puff out his chest or posture heroically, he would be totally chilled. If nothing can hurt you, you can afford to be cool. A man like Superman would never have to tense against the cold; never have to flinch in the face of a blow. He would be completely laid back, un-tense. With this image of Superman relaxing on a cloud looking out for us all in my head, I rushed back to my hotel room and filled dozens of pages of my notebook with notes and drawings.
    I don't think we need to 'make' Superman relevant. We just have to tell stories which resonate with human experience. The best Superman stories are fables about love, pride, shame, fear, death, friendship etc. We can all relate to those big issues. Superman stories should represent huge, basic human dramas and human emotions, played out on a larger than life canvas.
    Superman125.jpgMy first issue, for instance, has a new power for Superman and I thought I'd come up with something, well...not bad...then I just read - yesterday in fact - the story 'Superman's New Power' which appeared in Superman #125 from November 1958. And guess what Superman's new power was in the 'conservative' ‘50s. That's right - it's a teeny-tiny little Superman who shoots out from the palm of the big Superman's hand and does everything better than Superman himself, leaving the full-size Superman feeling redundant and worthless. Holy analysis, Batman! It's mindbending, brilliant and eerie work. This is what it would be like if Charlie Kaufmann wrote and directed the Superman movie and it's far from goofy or childish, it's genuinely affecting and slightly disturbing to read Superman saying stuff like 'Everyone's impressed except ME! Don't they understand how I feel -- playing second fiddle to a miniature duplicate of myself...a sort of SUPER-IMP?'
    And people think I'M weird ? I %$%$^ wish I was weird like this! I wish pop comics today had the balls to be as poetic and poignant and truly 'all-ages' again, and a little less self-conscious. I feel a little ashamed for not even daring to think of a magnificent tiny Superman who makes the real Superman feel inadequate every time he springs from his hand. Those kinds of stories were like weird fever dreams and they sold millions and millions of copies every month.
    So, I'm still not sure about 'realistic' comics. Sales are always crap when comics get 'realistic' and sales are particularly crap right now, considering the wide-ranging public acceptance of superhero stories in other media. So Frank and I are keeping modern sensibilities in mind while trying to make sure that each of our stories addresses some basic human fear or need in a big, colorful, comic book way. We hope to produce a collection of science fiction folk tales with Superman at the heart of them. I like to think of these stories as 'relevant' to the human condition although not necessarily relevant to the current headlines, if you see what I mean. The All Star Superman is intended to appeal to a wide audience of diverse people for a long time, like the Greek myths.
    NRAMA: Well, let’s hit that angle – the mythology of Superman. You’ve alluded to it before - is Superman a Christ-like figure for the mythology of the 21st century?
    GM: In the sense that he inspires us towards our best, yes.
    I don't want anyone to think I'm taking this literally - it's not like Jimmy Olsen's one of the disciples or Lois is the Magdalene - and imagine how diffferent Western religion would be would be if God had rocketed Jesus to Earth so that he could escape the destruction of Heaven...brrr... Superman is very different from Christ in that here we have a powerful redeemer who doesn't feel the need to sacrifice himself to get his point across. No-one has to die in Superman's name. Superman is a much more progressive figure than Jesus, and as a science fiction savior rocketed to Earth from a world of wonder, I think the character has the potential to transcend his humble origins and say something quite profound to those of us living in the secular 21st century.
    NRAMA: So let’s go with that - how do the people of the DCU see Superman? Is it, you feel an accurate mirror of our own world? When I was talking to Howard Chaykin recently, he pointed out that as a society, we don’t have a good track record in regard lifting up the different and special, and in fact, tend to persecute and fear the different. What makes Superman different in his world in that people love, adore, and look to him as a savior – at least in the literal sense of falling off of a building, or aliens invading?
    GM: Howard is dead right. People in the real world hate achievers. They hate the good-looking, the well-off, the happy, the successful, whatever. They hate Howard and they hate me. I know they do - I've read the Newsarama message boards. Fortunately, we comics creators can commute to the DC Universe, where everything is different, including physics, morality and human nature. We can imagine a better world, with better people there, and voila! it appears before our very eyes.
    In the DCU people like Superman. Not all people, but more people certainly than would like him if he lived on our own world. He'd be despised here, let’s face it, and everyone would be trying to kill him but the population of the DCU welcomes him and knows only he can deal with all those pesky alien invasions they get over there.
    NRAMA: Since we’re hitting the broad issues about Superman, let’s go for the fun one as well - the Jules Feiffer viewpoint, which was recently adopted in Kill Bill v2 – in your view, is Clark the mask Superman wears, or is Superman Clark’s mask, or are both masks for the alien, Kal-el?
    GM: I don't know, we could talk about this all day. 'Superman' is an act. 'Clark Kent' in Metropolis is also an act. There are actually two Kents, at least - one is a disguise, a bumbling, awkward mask for Superman. The other is the confident, strong, good-hearted Clark Kent who was raised by his surrogate Ma and Pa in Kansas and knows how to drive a tractor. I think he's the most 'real' of all. 'Kal El' is where he goes when he wants to escape from his human nature and see things from outside.
    I don't know if it's a relevant question anyway. The Superman scene in Kill Bill was one of Tarantino's weakest moments in an otherwise brilliant movie and career. In the original version of his story, Superman spent a couple of years on Krypton, arrived on Earth with baby superpowers and was raised by humans. In those circumstances, I think he'd possibly have more of an alien outlook. In the Byrne revision, he grew up completely human then developed superpowers at puberty, thereby becoming an alien at a very difficult time in any young man's life. In that version, I imagine he'd have a more human outlook.
    Frank and I have our own way of integrating all the previous takes but we don't dwell on the origin or the early years, so it doesn't really affect what we're doing. Our story catches up with Superman as he is now. Everybody knows the basics anyway, so we'd rather do something new.
    Of course, one way of looking at 'Superman' is that Clark wears the costume because it makes him faintly ridiculous and non-threatening. He's colorful like a circus strongman. And that costume is like the flag of a one man country that the whole world can recognize and trust.

    Bloods End on
  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Morrison made me love superman because he really explained the aspect of superman I loved the most- not a superhero, but an explorer, a revolutionary, a lover, a dreamer. As has been said in this thread already, Superman isn't about justice, or revenge, or dark, dark vengeance. It's about using what you have to change things for the better. And I thought the first issue of All-Star really showed that. Superman has had an impact on how the world thinks. Interstellar, or microscopic exploration aren't unheard of anymore because of him. He has expanded the consciousness of the world.

    Dex Dynamo on
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  • The JudgeThe Judge The Terwilliger CurvesRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    All-Star Superman was the first time I'd actively sought and read a Superman story of any type.

    He just doesn't appeal to me, though I can understand why others like him. Personally, I tend to pull for underdogs and one would have to admit that, among the costumed set, Superman is arguably in New York Yankees territory.

    The Judge on
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  • Spectre-xSpectre-x Rating: AWESOME YESRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I think Batman is helped by having a very decent Rogues gallery. I like them all and their film versions (Ignoring Two Face and the next film) all were enjoyable too. Superman on the other hand, the only villains I really know off the top of my head are Luthor, Brainiac, Doomsday and Darkseid. Luthor is in everything and it just gets old. I mean hes been villain in what? Every single film? Except the one with Richard Pryor in it I think. Brainiac, just don't know him that well which is how badly he must be under represented outside of the US. Doomsday I know because of the big story event but he isn't a huge bundle of fun. Now Darkseid, Darkseid is fun but my knowledge of him comes entirely from the animated universe where he is used sparingly because, as someone said earlier, hes god like in power.

    Now Batman, yeah embezzling millions isn't easy but it is HIS company and as a playboy hes expected to be squandering cash left and right. What makes him stand out to me at least is that he has to try hard just to make small scale changes in one city. He can't dodge bullets or anything, hes one guy trying to make a difference. Supes can just roam down to wherever a bullet was fired 500 miles away, deflect them all and so on. If he wanted, he could make the entire world a crime free zone but he relents for obvious reasons. There isn't much challenge for him.

    Darkseid isn't a Superman villain. Darkseid is a villain to be taken on by the entire population of earth's heroes.

    Balefuego wrote: »
    Mhmm. The hardest thing SUperman has to endure is pulling out of Lois and firing one off into the stratosphere. It's easy to be tolerant and have infinite patience when you haven't had to compromise yourself simply to survive and get anywhere in life.

    Jesus christ you dont know a fucking thing about Superman.

    Wouldn't matter. Topic is why I don't like him.

    It does matter, because the reason you don't like him is obviously because you don't know a god damned thing about him and therefore come up with a host of bullshit reasons to support your initial gut reaction which is also based on a bunch of false assumptions.

    Spectre-x on
  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? the foot of mt fujiRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    All-Star Superman is the best Superman comic I have ever read and I think it is proof that Superman can still have interesting and profound stories

    But man some of his stories are just dumb, so I can see why some people have a problem with him

    Olivaw on
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  • The Muffin ManThe Muffin Man Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Spectre-x wrote: »
    I think Batman is helped by having a very decent Rogues gallery. I like them all and their film versions (Ignoring Two Face and the next film) all were enjoyable too. Superman on the other hand, the only villains I really know off the top of my head are Luthor, Brainiac, Doomsday and Darkseid. Luthor is in everything and it just gets old. I mean hes been villain in what? Every single film? Except the one with Richard Pryor in it I think. Brainiac, just don't know him that well which is how badly he must be under represented outside of the US. Doomsday I know because of the big story event but he isn't a huge bundle of fun. Now Darkseid, Darkseid is fun but my knowledge of him comes entirely from the animated universe where he is used sparingly because, as someone said earlier, hes god like in power.

    Now Batman, yeah embezzling millions isn't easy but it is HIS company and as a playboy hes expected to be squandering cash left and right. What makes him stand out to me at least is that he has to try hard just to make small scale changes in one city. He can't dodge bullets or anything, hes one guy trying to make a difference. Supes can just roam down to wherever a bullet was fired 500 miles away, deflect them all and so on. If he wanted, he could make the entire world a crime free zone but he relents for obvious reasons. There isn't much challenge for him.

    Darkseid isn't a Superman villain. Darkseid is a villain to be taken on by the entire population of earth's heroes.

    Balefuego wrote: »
    Mhmm. The hardest thing SUperman has to endure is pulling out of Lois and firing one off into the stratosphere. It's easy to be tolerant and have infinite patience when you haven't had to compromise yourself simply to survive and get anywhere in life.

    Jesus christ you dont know a fucking thing about Superman.

    Wouldn't matter. Topic is why I don't like him.

    It does matter, because the reason you don't like him is obviously because you don't know a god damned thing about him and therefore come up with a host of bullshit reasons to support your initial gut reaction which is also based on a bunch of false assumptions.

    Yeah. He's pretty much Marvel's Thanos (or Thanos is Marvel's Darkseid, if you will). He's the "huge, galactic threat" that just so happens to be linked back to one specific hero(in Marvel's case, it's the fairly obscure Adam Warlock, or sometimes the SLIGHTLY*that's dripping with sarcasm, folks* less obscure Fantastic Four. In DC's case it's Superman.)

    Which is a reason I dislike Superman. There's so few INTERESTING threats that can challenge him.

    I liked the JLU Superman because he seemed less like a "Golden Boy" and more like a "decent person". Less "Well gee, Ma, I'd LOVE to stay for dinner!" and more of an...actual human, really.

    I'm sure I'd like modern Superman if I read it, or All-Star Superman. The problem is psyching myself up for it.
    Wouldn't matter. Topic is why I don't like him.
    It matters because you're an idiot.

    The Muffin Man on
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited August 2007
    Olivaw wrote: »
    But man some of his stories are just dumb
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    Jacobkosh on
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  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Man I love 50's Superman.

    Lois all trying to trick him into marriage

    Jimmy screwing things up

    Superman getting a new bizarre power.

    It's just ridiculous good fun.

    In general, I think I like Superman just because how can you hate him? He's just a decent dude with an extraordinary amount of power trying his damndest to make life for people as pleasant as possible.

    The Lovely Bastard on
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  • LibrarianThorneLibrarianThorne Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I'm the first to cop to the fact that there's some god awful Superman stories. The sitcom stuff of the '50s and '60s is just painful to read and there's plenty of terrible stuff post-Return of Superman in the '90s. However, this is true for just about every superhero. Superman at his best is, in my opinion, the best damn spandex book on the market.

    LibrarianThorne on
  • BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    Really when someone says "Superman sucks!" I tell them to go read Birthright.


    It is the best Superman origin ever.

    Blankspace on
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  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I love the sitcom stuff

    The Lovely Bastard on
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  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Here's the thing I've come to realize. Yes, Superman is really powerful*. Most people's complaints against him have to do with this level of power. But so what? Any superhero story worth its salt doesn't just come down to who wins in a fight for its entire purpose. The same is true for Superman. If the fact that he is a powerful being keeps you from enjoying his story, then you're missing the entire point.

    Take the new Thor series. Thor is just about the most powerful hero in the whole marvel universe. But the new book is great so far, because it's about so much more than just fighting.


    *Compared to a normal human.

    SageinaRage on
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  • FellhandFellhand Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    My biggest problem with Superman used to be that he was basically unbeatable and could always 'make up' new powers.

    This attitude changed when I read Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow and then years later All Star Superman

    Now he's just plain awesome in my book, but I have had a large shift away from the Marvel stories toward DC.

    Edit: And I think that Red Son is Millar's only decent contribution to comics, but man does it rock.

    Fellhand on
  • PantheraOncaPantheraOnca Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I only enjoy superman in his darker moments.

    It is occasionally entertaining when he noticably "cuts loose."

    For all his power, he doesn't do enough.

    The stories I've read also don't have him struggling enough with the fact that he can hear everything fucked up that's going on and still maintain his boy scoutiness. That to me is disturbing. Someone with super-hearing on his level should be trying to kill themselves.

    PantheraOnca on
  • Adaemus1sfAdaemus1sf Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I only enjoy superman in his darker moments.

    It is occasionally entertaining when he noticably "cuts loose."

    For all his power, he doesn't do enough.

    The stories I've read also don't have him struggling enough with the fact that he can hear everything fucked up that's going on and still maintain his boy scoutiness. That to me is disturbing. Someone with super-hearing on his level should be trying to kill themselves.
    Have you read Legend of the Green Flame? You might like it, or at least parts of it.
    Also, I read somewhere a theory about Superman's powers being more psychic in nature, telekinesis and so forth, which said that his "super-hearing" was more a telepathy localized on people he cares about, which helps your problem as well as some of the physics problems his super-hearing creates, if you worry about the laws of physics in comics.

    Adaemus1sf on
  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I've read most of the stories, and while they were maybe good stories, they didn't really change my opinion of Supes. In fact, Red Son makes me think he'd be a better villain character than hero, make him one of those global threats everyone else needs to team up against.

    DCAU for example was mentioned as something to turn people into Supes fans. Here's my favorite DCAU characters: Batman, Question, Hawkgirl, Huntress, Green Arrow. The first four are all pretty much opposites of Superman; low-powered, mostly street level, and mostly darker or rougher. Some of them are willing to use lethal force even. GA, I just like his sense of humor.

    That's the sort of thing I like in my characters. Depth, a bit of reality, something I can relate to. I can't relate to Superman at all; I wouldn't do things the way he does.

    Scooter on
  • DJ EebsDJ Eebs Moderator, Administrator admin
    edited August 2007
    Superman is one of my favorite characters. I think the thing I find most fascinating about him, and what should really be explored more, is the amount of control he has to have to live among humans while he has such great power. The fact that he doesn't "cut loose" more often is a testament to the level of control he has.

    And whoever said that Superman should have a drug addiction or something to make him more interesting is retarded.

    DJ Eebs on
  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    He should have a sex addiction.

    Balefuego on
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  • PantheraOncaPantheraOnca Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    adaemus, no i haven't read that story. i'll look in to it.

    if his powers did end up being more tele- based i think i would be able to stand him less.


    scooter, i think red son supes is a wonderful character. he's someone trying to do the right thing but going about it the wrong way. it reminds me of not-pyschotic magneto. this is a good thing.

    also, how can you not include dcau flash in your top 5? FOR SHAME.

    edit:

    Geebs, while the amount of control may be impressive, its just another thing in the litany of things that superman-can. in order for them to use it more in stories, he would need to be less successful with controlling it than he currently seems to be. without the risk of him crushing louis in a hug or elseways (which ruins my sense of suspended disbelief) the struggle element would be lacking.

    PantheraOnca on
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Superman is one of my favorite characters. I think the thing I find most fascinating about him, and what should really be explored more, is the amount of control he has to have to live among humans while he has such great power. The fact that he doesn't "cut loose" more often is a testament to the level of control he has.

    And whoever said that Superman should have a drug addiction or something to make him more interesting is retarded.

    It was a joke. But then, I guess you have to be pretty humorless and dead inside to get that much joy out of such a one-dimensional character.

    Sentry on
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    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    Superman is one of my favorite characters. I think the thing I find most fascinating about him, and what should really be explored more, is the amount of control he has to have to live among humans while he has such great power. The fact that he doesn't "cut loose" more often is a testament to the level of control he has.

    And whoever said that Superman should have a drug addiction or something to make him more interesting is retarded.

    It was a joke. But then, I guess you have to be pretty humorless and dead inside to get that much joy out of such a one-dimensional character.

    Mario fans are humorless and dead inside eh?

    C WUT I DID THAR?

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  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    also, how can you not include dcau flash in your top 5? FOR SHAME.

    I liked Flash-as-Luthor, and he's ok, but other times it feels like he's a comic relief archetype rather than a fleshed out character.

    Scooter on
  • DJ EebsDJ Eebs Moderator, Administrator admin
    edited August 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    Superman is one of my favorite characters. I think the thing I find most fascinating about him, and what should really be explored more, is the amount of control he has to have to live among humans while he has such great power. The fact that he doesn't "cut loose" more often is a testament to the level of control he has.

    And whoever said that Superman should have a drug addiction or something to make him more interesting is retarded.

    It was a joke. But then, I guess you have to be pretty humorless and dead inside to get that much joy out of such a one-dimensional character.

    man you sure have me pegged huh

    DJ Eebs on
  • ShoggothShoggoth Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I don't really like (most) Superhero comics. If that doesn't sum up why I don't like Superman I dunno what would.

    Shoggoth on
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  • LuxLux Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I'm okay with Superman because vulnerability & power sets aren't what make a story interesting for me.

    What bothers me is how Superman stories tend to have a lot of annoying comic book science & deus ex machina going on. Things like how, because of his telescopic vision, Superman can see radio waves if he squints. Or when Kurt Busiek gave him back his super-brain and he imprinted microscopic encyclopedias into the periods of a novel so he could gain a lot of useful knowledge on a plane flight.

    That kind of shit bothers me. Not the fact that only magic & kryptonite can kill him (Or top level strength people like Doomsday & Darkseid). Just annoying little quirks that take a lot more suspension of disbelief. DCAU Superman never really had that.

    I do believe Superman is probably the best, purest, theme/metaphor in comics. Elliott S! Maggin called it simply, "How should the powerful behave?" Captain America might be able to tell stories about America, or Batman could tell stories about crime, or Animal Man to tell stories about animal rights. But you don't need super heroes in tights punching each other for that. But to tell stories about the concept of super heroes themselves, you need that, and Superman is the best candidate for such a theme.

    Lux on
  • augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    Superman is one of my favorite characters. I think the thing I find most fascinating about him, and what should really be explored more, is the amount of control he has to have to live among humans while he has such great power. The fact that he doesn't "cut loose" more often is a testament to the level of control he has.

    And whoever said that Superman should have a drug addiction or something to make him more interesting is retarded.

    It was a joke. But then, I guess you have to be pretty humorless and dead inside to get that much joy out of such a one-dimensional character.

    Are you... serious?

    Do you euthanize the puppies down at the pound?

    august on
  • augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Yeah. He's pretty much Marvel's Thanos (or Thanos is Marvel's Darkseid, if you will). He's the "huge, galactic threat" that just so happens to be linked back to one specific hero(in Marvel's case, it's the fairly obscure Adam Warlock, or sometimes the SLIGHTLY*that's dripping with sarcasm, folks* less obscure Fantastic Four. In DC's case it's Superman.)

    Way OT, but Thanos hasn't been the galactic threat since the original Infinity Gauntlet. He also has no desire for worshipers or followers. He's also less powerful but way smarter than Darkseid.

    august on
  • VirralVirral Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I have never been a fan of characters who can do it all, and Superman embodies everything about that.

    I've always prefered characters with more limited or more focused abilities who need to work to solve the problems at hand with what they have. I think that is why I prefer Marvel over DC, because more of their characters seem to be of this variety (characters like mutants who really just have a single core power). The old "average joe with powers" versus "gods who walk amongst men" comparison between the two companies.

    Of course, thats also why I don't really like the Sentry in mainstream Marvel, because he just feels out of place compared to the rest of the MU.

    Virral on
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  • MufasaJoeMufasaJoe Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I read this a long time ago and thought it might be an interesting direction for a very, very stale character:
    With Superman I'd like to do a story which represents what a powerful figure Superman actually is, not necessarily a darker version. Regardless of how much good he does if you were standing in the room with him you'd feel scared just because of how powerful he really is. It's that feeling you get when your standing next to a cop and you know they're carrying a loaded gun. That queasy feeling, that at any moment if they so desired they could snuff you. That's my Superman.
    That was Ashley Wood in an old ass interview at CBR News.

    MufasaJoe on
  • LibrarianThorneLibrarianThorne Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I only enjoy superman in his darker moments.

    It is occasionally entertaining when he noticably "cuts loose."

    For all his power, he doesn't do enough.

    The stories I've read also don't have him struggling enough with the fact that he can hear everything fucked up that's going on and still maintain his boy scoutiness. That to me is disturbing. Someone with super-hearing on his level should be trying to kill themselves.

    That's actually a central theme of Busiek's JLA/Avengers, so if you'd like to see Superman (and the rest of the JLA) thinking and talking about the matter I suggest you give it a read.

    Also, Blankspace, Man Of Steel is just so much better than Birthright. Birthright's not bad, but the whole soul-vision, vegan-ism stuff, as well as Smallville's influence really drew me out of the whole thing. Man Of Steel is so much better in so many ways, in my opinion.

    Lux, I'm in total agreement with you. Super-intelligence kills Superman stories so hard. DOn't get me wrong, Superman really shouldn't be the dumb powerhouse that he's too often portrayed as (that just doesn't fly with the whole college graduate, great investigative reporter stuff) but being able to simply be smarter than anyone else destroys a lot of character interaction. Suddenly, Batman's not that useful on the League because Superman can simply outthink him. How are Lex Luthor and Prankster threats when Superman is just plain smarter than they are? There was a lot wrong with Jeph Loeb's Superman/Batman run, but his portrayal of Superman in volume 1 was absolutely fantastic, and in my opinion the definitive way a smart Superman should be portrayed.

    I've got a lot of issues with the current Superman/Action Comics stuff. The Silver Age had some great Superman stories, yes. Miracle Monday remains one of my absolute favorite Superman stories. However, there was a reason that age ended. There was a reason John Byrne was brought in to write the new origin of Superman. Simply put, it is incredibly hard to write good stories with a character as powerful as pre-Crisis Superman because there were so few genuine threats. After Infinite Crisis, there's been such a horrible retooling of the character that I find him increasingly uninteresting outside of All Star Superman. You have to do a lot to make me not want to read Superman comics, especially if you happen to be Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns, but none of the new stuff has been really interesting. Superman has his pre-Crisis origin, only with more Donner fanwanking, back. Lex Luthor, jsut like before the Crisis, lived in Smallville. They even brought back Superboy, for all intents and purposes. On top of all that, as stated in Up, Up, and Away he's faster, smarter, and stronger than he was before Infinite Crisis. Busiek and Johns are simply trying to restore the Silver Age Superman without recognizing the good and necessary changes to the character that Byrne and Jurgens brought around.

    Bah. At least Morrison will be giving a double dose of Superman awesome when Final Crisis comes out.

    LibrarianThorne on
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Clark Kent is pretty dull. I think this is one of the biggest problems with modern Superman. This is why Kingdom Come is so good.


    Also, most of his books are pretty mediocre unless you are already a Superman fan. They need some more adventurous writers on him.

    deadonthestreet on
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    august wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Superman is one of my favorite characters. I think the thing I find most fascinating about him, and what should really be explored more, is the amount of control he has to have to live among humans while he has such great power. The fact that he doesn't "cut loose" more often is a testament to the level of control he has.

    And whoever said that Superman should have a drug addiction or something to make him more interesting is retarded.

    It was a joke. But then, I guess you have to be pretty humorless and dead inside to get that much joy out of such a one-dimensional character.

    Are you... serious?

    Do you euthanize the puppies down at the pound?

    Yes and no... I euthanize puppies on the street... I'm not allowed in the pound anymore.

    Look, I don't fault people for liking Supes (except Geebs because he was mean), but honestly, when peoples only defense of Superman is that "you just haven't read the right story" there's a problem there. I don't except every Spider-Man arc to be good... hell, at this point I barely expect them to be adequate... but even in the worst Spidey arc I can see what makes him an appealing character. Superman is ONLY good in the hands of a good writer... otherwise yeah, he's just a one dimensional boy scout with a glandular disorder.

    Sentry on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • LibrarianThorneLibrarianThorne Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    august wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Superman is one of my favorite characters. I think the thing I find most fascinating about him, and what should really be explored more, is the amount of control he has to have to live among humans while he has such great power. The fact that he doesn't "cut loose" more often is a testament to the level of control he has.

    And whoever said that Superman should have a drug addiction or something to make him more interesting is retarded.

    It was a joke. But then, I guess you have to be pretty humorless and dead inside to get that much joy out of such a one-dimensional character.

    Are you... serious?

    Do you euthanize the puppies down at the pound?

    Yes and no... I euthanize puppies on the street... I'm not allowed in the pound anymore.

    Look, I don't fault people for liking Supes (except Geebs because he was mean), but honestly, when peoples only defense of Superman is that "you just haven't read the right story" there's a problem there. I don't except every Spider-Man arc to be good... hell, at this point I barely expect them to be adequate... but even in the worst Spidey arc I can see what makes him an appealing character. Superman is ONLY good in the hands of a good writer... otherwise yeah, he's just a one dimensional boy scout with a glandular disorder.

    And Spider-Man is a whiny emo douche in the hands of a bad writer. And he's had so very many.

    Seriously, this argument is asinine. Every character sucks horribly when they get bad writing. Much as I love Dan Jurgens, a LOT of the '90s Superman stuff was total crap. A lot of Spider-Man comics in the '90s were also total crap. No one can read Clone Saga and really see what makes Spider-Man such a viable character.

    And I'm not asking that you read every arc. Hell, I haven't done that. But there's a few great Superman stories that really show what the character is capable of. Same for Captain America, same for Spidey, Batman, all the rest. Judging Superman by his worst simply isn't fair to the character.

    It's like saying, "Man, who cares about Spider-Man? What's with all this clone and alien stuff? Bone claws? Seriously, sounds pretty lame to me." Yes, I can see how Superman doesn't appeal to some people because, honestly, he's a harder character to get a handle on than Bats or Wolverine or Spidey. It's hard to understand a character with infinite patience and hope, hard to get a tack on that motivation and any meaning he has. It's a Bird... really addresses this, a writer's analyzation of Superman and just what the character means to people.

    All superheroes boil down to reading the right story. I wasn't a huge fan of Captain America until I read Ed Brubaker's stuff. Same for Iron Fist. I got into Superman because of Gail Simone and John Byrne on Action Comics. I like Spider-Man well enough, but I've never really enjoyed the character yet I know I'm one good story away from that. That's all comics really are, fans wanting to read good stories.

    LibrarianThorne on
  • Spectre-xSpectre-x Rating: AWESOME YESRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    august wrote: »
    Yeah. He's pretty much Marvel's Thanos (or Thanos is Marvel's Darkseid, if you will). He's the "huge, galactic threat" that just so happens to be linked back to one specific hero(in Marvel's case, it's the fairly obscure Adam Warlock, or sometimes the SLIGHTLY*that's dripping with sarcasm, folks* less obscure Fantastic Four. In DC's case it's Superman.)

    Way OT, but Thanos hasn't been the galactic threat since the original Infinity Gauntlet. He also has no desire for worshipers or followers. He's also less powerful but way smarter than Darkseid.

    I don't think you know just how smart Darkseid is. He is a scientific genius. He knows how to create life using SCIENCE. Easily. He's just as smart, if not smarter than Thanos.

    Spectre-x on
  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I kinda wonder why this is an issue. If someone doesn't like Spider-Man or the X-men or Wonder Woman, no one seems to be surprised. Is there some sort of requirement that if you read superhero comics you have to like Superman?

    Reminds me of the one comedian's bit about not liking alcohol. "You don't read Avengers? Why? Are you addicted to Avengers? Is it alright if I read Avengers? I could read it outside..."

    Scooter on
  • LibrarianThorneLibrarianThorne Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Scooter wrote: »
    I kinda wonder why this is an issue. If someone doesn't like Spider-Man or the X-men or Wonder Woman, no one seems to be surprised. Is there some sort of requirement that if you read superhero comics you have to like Superman?

    Reminds me of the one comedian's bit about not liking alcohol. "You don't read Avengers? Why? Are you addicted to Avengers? Is it alright if I read Avengers? I could read it outside..."

    I'm interested in finding out why, mostly. It's not an issue, so much as me trying to get a handle on something. Few characters get as much bile heaped on them as Superman does, and usually those doing the critique have read precious few actual Superman stories. He's something of a polarizing figure within comics as he's emblematic of the superhero genre as a whole. I've been noticing that a lot of the problems people cite specifically for Superman (lots of bad stories, too powerful, uninteresting, etc.) can be applied to the genre as well. The responses in this thread are very interesting for me to read, and I hope that some people have given my suggestions on Superman stories a read.

    Me, I'm just not interested in guys like Wolverine or Spider-Man but even they never seem to attract quite the firestorm that Superman does. Maybe it's because Superman inspires more passion, either for or against, than other comic book characters through his role in Americana. I don't know really know and as a Superman fan I'm a horrible judge of the character's faults and his lack of appeal to the broader comic audience.

    LibrarianThorne on
  • augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Spectre-x wrote: »
    august wrote: »
    Yeah. He's pretty much Marvel's Thanos (or Thanos is Marvel's Darkseid, if you will). He's the "huge, galactic threat" that just so happens to be linked back to one specific hero(in Marvel's case, it's the fairly obscure Adam Warlock, or sometimes the SLIGHTLY*that's dripping with sarcasm, folks* less obscure Fantastic Four. In DC's case it's Superman.)

    Way OT, but Thanos hasn't been the galactic threat since the original Infinity Gauntlet. He also has no desire for worshipers or followers. He's also less powerful but way smarter than Darkseid.

    I don't think you know just how smart Darkseid is. He is a scientific genius. He knows how to create life using SCIENCE. Easily. He's just as smart, if not smarter than Thanos.

    I guess I should have said "sneaky." He's way sneakier than Darkseid.

    august on
  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    For me, it just boils down to Superman being the perfect hero, and that's less interesting to me. More conflict is good, which Batman and Spider-man have in spades. I don't want to read about a shining beacon of morality.

    Septus on
    PSN: Kurahoshi1
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