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(io9)   Twelve things that ruined Superman   (io9.com) divider line 142
    More: Interesting, Superman, Dawson's Creek, comic book creator, Man of Steel, Superboy, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Brandon Routh, Martha Kent  
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10914 clicks; posted to Geek » on 31 Jan 2013 at 8:30 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-31 11:01:32 PM  
when done well, there are some exceptionally good Superman stories. Except those are few and far between the filler.

Red Son, Birthright, Secret Identity, Kingdom Come, All-Star Superman.

and yes, no more origin stories needed, if you don't know it by now, this is all you need to know:

img190.imageshack.us
 
2013-01-31 11:09:29 PM  

scottydoesntknow: I find 99% of Superman stuff to be horribly boring. BUT the one piece of Superman media that I do love (and will watch anytime) is when he finally gets to unleash all his power and deliver an epic beatdown to Darkseid.

That man won't quit as long as he can still draw a breath. None of my teammates will. Me? I've got a different problem. I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard. Always taking constant care not to break something. To break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control, even for a moment, or someone could die. But you can take it, can't ya, big man? What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose, and show you just how powerful I really am!

Youtube


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTECNKpZAM4 Every fight he had with Darkseid in both Superman and JLU was EPIC. Especially the one where Darkseid is sucked into oblivion, and he calls Superman a loser when Batman pulls him from the fight. His rage at Bruce for not letting him die trying to kill Darkseid was great. "You know what, Bruce? You're not always right!."
 
2013-01-31 11:12:14 PM  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmTg7ROPssc Justice League season 2: Twilight "This time I won't stop until you're just a greasy smear on my fist."


Superman is great when given the chance to cut loose.
 
2013-01-31 11:13:43 PM  
The Silver Age was just a dark time for comics in general. Nothing but enforced sweetness and fluff, taking every last bit of testicular fortitude out of comics.

That's how we ended up with 75% of the list.
 
2013-01-31 11:15:34 PM  

ModernLuddite: As lame as Superman is, this was the best cartoon ever:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x494]

//Hotlinks are hot.


YES!  I had this on some cartoon classic VHS tape when I was a kid.  Watched the fark out of it.
 
2013-01-31 11:18:09 PM  

calbert: when done well, there are some exceptionally good Superman stories. Except those are few and far between the filler.

Red Son, Birthright, Secret Identity, Kingdom Come, All-Star Superman.


I also liked A Superman for All Seasons.
 
2013-01-31 11:20:01 PM  

Zombie Butler: Fano: HeartBurnKid: scottydoesntknow: I find 99% of Superman stuff to be horribly boring. BUT the one piece of Superman media that I do love (and will watch anytime) is when he finally gets to unleash all his power and deliver an epic beatdown to Darkseid.

That man won't quit as long as he can still draw a breath. None of my teammates will. Me? I've got a different problem. I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard. Always taking constant care not to break something. To break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control, even for a moment, or someone could die. But you can take it, can't ya, big man? What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose, and show you just how powerful I really am!

Youtube

The whole Timm/Dini animated canon is just plain awesome, but JLU might be the most awesome of the awesome.  I'm of the opinion that JLU Season 2, taken as a whole, is one of the greatest superhero stories ever told.

Clash is a GLORIOUS episode, with Captain Marvel and Superman absolutely WRECKING a city, AND Superman is wrong. And Batman knows they've been set up.

Lets not forget the super awesome For the Man who Has Everything episode. Alan Moore I love you so.


R.I.P., Dwayne McDuffie. We still miss you deeply, two years later. :-(


WippitGuud: AdolfOliverPanties: NeedlesslyCanadian: Counting or not counting that Superman is a lame superhero in the first place?

This. I never saw the appeal of the character. Every bit of it is flawed. Ridiculous underwear on the outside costume with unnecessary cape, a secret identity a fetus in a jar could figure out, piled on attributes and backstory, more powers, last survivor of Krypton becomes one of many, different kinds of Kryptonite for different effects, some truly horrible villains, powers that make the JLA obsolete but he still joins..and on and on.

Superman vs The Elite is actually a pretty decent animated movie.


Actually, much of what AdolfOliverPanties said was not true about Superman in the first place, but was added on by later writers. The original Superman was truly innovative in many ways, being the first time the particular combination of a character having super powers (which were nowhere near as extreme as they became) and a costume and a secret identity, etc. had been used together.

Granted, there were previous characters in comics and pulp fiction that had one or more of those attributes (The Gladiator, John Carter of Barsoom aka Mars, etc. had similar powers; The Scarlet Pimpernel apparently invented the seemingly incompetent secret identity and dashing costumed hero identity that was quickly also used by Zorro, and The Shadow had two secret identities [one of which apparently supplied Clark Kent's surname, while Doc Savage, Man of Bronze apparently supplied his given name], etc.), but Supes was the first to combine them.
 
2013-01-31 11:25:47 PM  

WippitGuud: AdolfOliverPanties: NeedlesslyCanadian: Counting or not counting that Superman is a lame superhero in the first place?

This.  I never saw the appeal of the character.  Every bit of it is flawed.  Ridiculous underwear on the outside costume with unnecessary cape, a secret identity a fetus in a jar could figure out, piled on attributes and backstory, more powers, last survivor of Krypton becomes one of many, different kinds of Kryptonite for different effects, some truly horrible villains, powers that make the JLA obsolete but he still joins..and on and on.

Superman vs The Elite is actually a pretty decent animated movie.


The conclusion is a giant middle finger to people that want certain heroes to become dark and edgy, because what you REALLY don't want is a crazed, pissed off Kryptonian god-man

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0lWjKK6KOM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APZFAryvC8Q  (spoilers of course, since I'm posting the climactic battle) "I understand now what the world wants. What it NEEDS."
 
2013-01-31 11:37:11 PM  
Essentially accurate but a little too heavy on some things.

There's way to do the character. Most writers don't do a good job with it. Superman isn't a blank canvas. He's essentially an archetype. You can't mold an archetype into what you want it to be. If you want to be creative and make a new character... make a new character.

Pocket Ninja: The only Superman analysis/critique worth reading was written over 40 years ago, and it's right here:  http://www.rawbw.com/~svw/superman.html


Wondered when that would appear.
 
2013-01-31 11:42:47 PM  
COMALite J:

R.I.P., Dwayne McDuffie. We still miss you deeply, two years later. :-(

Now I'm sad.  We are more for having him amongst us and less for loosing him.
 
2013-01-31 11:49:27 PM  
13. Superman 64
 
2013-02-01 12:06:33 AM  

Uakronkid: 13. Superman 64


OUCH.

That... that's about right, I'd say.
 
2013-02-01 12:07:54 AM  

COMALite J: Actually, much of what AdolfOliverPanties said was not true about Superman in the first place, but was added on by later writers. The original Superman was truly innovative in many ways, being the first time the particular combination of a character having super powers (which were nowhere near as extreme as they became) and a costume and a secret identity, etc. had been used together.

Granted, there were previous characters in comics and pulp fiction that had one or more of those attributes (The Gladiator, John Carter of Barsoom aka Mars, etc. had similar powers; The Scarlet Pimpernel apparently invented the seemingly incompetent secret identity and dashing costumed hero identity that was quickly also used by Zorro, and The Shadow had two secret identities [one of which apparently supplied Clark Kent's surname, while Doc Savage, Man of Bronze apparently supplied his given name], etc.), but Supes was the first to combine them.


Supes borrowed a few other things from Dr. Clark Savage, Jr. than just his first name.  Doc, a man with super-human strength and intellect, was known as "The Man of Bronze" before Kal-El was "The Man of Steel".  And Doc had the Fortress of Solitude(tm) first as well.  Maybe it was a time-share.
 
2013-02-01 12:10:37 AM  

likefunbutnot: NeedlesslyCanadian: Counting or not counting that Superman is a the lamest superhero in the first place?

ftfy


Uh, Aquaman and Arm Fall Off Boy.
 
2013-02-01 12:12:38 AM  

propasaurus: I can't tell you how much I hated Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane. It was irrational, I know, but yet,I hated her. How the hell can Lois Lane be a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist with years of experience when she's just barely 23? And then there's the whole having a 6 year old kid thing. Was Lois Lane, star reporter, banging Superman when she was a teenager?


I so agree, made no sense. I am far from being a geek with this genre but dang it get it close.
 
2013-02-01 12:37:25 AM  

erveek: likefunbutnot: NeedlesslyCanadian: Counting or not counting that Superman is a the lamest superhero in the first place?

ftfy

Uh, Aquaman and Arm Fall Off Boy.


Marvel has its own share of lame superheroes. Brother Voodoo, anyone?


Radioactive_Clown: COMALite J: Actually, much of what AdolfOliverPanties said was not true about Superman in the first place, but was added on by later writers. The original Superman was truly innovative in many ways, being the first time the particular combination of a character having super powers (which were nowhere near as extreme as they became) and a costume and a secret identity, etc. had been used together.

Granted, there were previous characters in comics and pulp fiction that had one or more of those attributes (The Gladiator, John Carter of Barsoom aka Mars, etc. had similar powers; The Scarlet Pimpernel apparently invented the seemingly incompetent secret identity and dashing costumed hero identity that was quickly also used by Zorro, and The Shadow had two secret identities [one of which apparently supplied Clark Kent's surname, while Doc Savage, Man of Bronze apparently supplied his given name], etc.), but Supes was the first to combine them.

Supes borrowed a few other things from Dr. Clark Savage, Jr. than just his first name.  Doc, a man with super-human strength and intellect, was known as "The Man of Bronze" before Kal-El was "The Man of Steel".  And Doc had the Fortress of Solitude(tm) first as well.  Maybe it was a time-share.


I don't recall Clark Savage having superhuman strength. More like suprahuman. The very best that humans could conceivably achieve, but still human, more like Captain America than even the original Superman (well, not the original Superman ― that one was a bald telepathic world-conquering villain! ― but you know what I mean).

John Carter and Hugo Danner (Gladiator) both had truly super strength before Superman (in Carter's case, for similar reasons as would be later used to explain Superman's strength: a species adapted for higher gravity has super strength when on a planet with lesser gravity, and it's arguable that John Carter was no stronger than maximal human strength, but seemed much stronger compared to the peoples of Barsoom). Danner's powers were virtually identical to the ones Superman would show in his first published appearance almost a decade later, and indeed the explanation for his strength was similar to that used in Action #1: about how insects can lift great weights compared to their size (Spider-Man would decades later use that).

True about the Fortress of Solitude, but Superman didn't get that until quite a bit later. His original super-home was known as his Secret Citadel, and was in a mountainside outside of Metropolis, not in the arctic. While he did allude to having a Fortress of Solitude a decade after his first appearance, that was more of a free-standing castle and never took a major role in stories. The Fortress that is anything like Doc Savage's didn't appear until a decade after that.
 
2013-02-01 12:42:14 AM  

COMALite J: erveek: likefunbutnot: NeedlesslyCanadian: Counting or not counting that Superman is a the lamest superhero in the first place?

ftfy

Uh, Aquaman and Arm Fall Off Boy.

Marvel has its own share of lame superheroes. Brother Voodoo, anyone?


Radioactive_Clown: COMALite J: Actually, much of what AdolfOliverPanties said was not true about Superman in the first place, but was added on by later writers. The original Superman was truly innovative in many ways, being the first time the particular combination of a character having super powers (which were nowhere near as extreme as they became) and a costume and a secret identity, etc. had been used together.

Granted, there were previous characters in comics and pulp fiction that had one or more of those attributes (The Gladiator, John Carter of Barsoom aka Mars, etc. had similar powers; The Scarlet Pimpernel apparently invented the seemingly incompetent secret identity and dashing costumed hero identity that was quickly also used by Zorro, and The Shadow had two secret identities [one of which apparently supplied Clark Kent's surname, while Doc Savage, Man of Bronze apparently supplied his given name], etc.), but Supes was the first to combine them.

Supes borrowed a few other things from Dr. Clark Savage, Jr. than just his first name.  Doc, a man with super-human strength and intellect, was known as "The Man of Bronze" before Kal-El was "The Man of Steel".  And Doc had the Fortress of Solitude(tm) first as well.  Maybe it was a time-share.

I don't recall Clark Savage having superhuman strength. More like suprahuman. The very best that humans could conceivably achieve, but still human, more like Captain America than even the original Superman (well, not the original Superman ― that one was a bald telepathic world-conquering villain! ― but you know what I mean).

John Carter and Hugo Danner (Gladiator) both had truly super strength before Superman (in Carter's case, for similar reasons as would be later used to explain S ...


you sound like a geek. lolz
 
2013-02-01 12:53:32 AM  
Take a chill pill, enjoy your comic.

/if you don't like it, don't buy it...try it again later.
 
2013-02-01 01:24:43 AM  

doglover: Number 1

[nakeddc.com image 544x523]


LOL, that's some sick funny shiat right there.
 
2013-02-01 01:32:39 AM  

AntonChigger: Mad_Radhu: wee: The only Superman worth watching/reading/etc is the one in Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.

The one who was Ronald Reagan's biatch?

You mean Lex Luthor's biatch right?

/Just watched Dark Knight Returns Part 2.  The final fight scene was AWESOME


After reading this thread, I just watched parts 1 & 2. Now it's 1:30 and I want MORE! Damn you.
 
2013-02-01 01:33:06 AM  
www.supermanhomepage.com

I blame Spiderman.
 
2013-02-01 01:33:41 AM  
killed my image. grrrrr

and eff you photbucket/google
 
2013-02-01 01:34:45 AM  

erveek: Uh, Aquaman


OUTRAGEOUS!

/my kids love Batman:The Brave and the Bold
//Aquaman's actually pretty cool in that
 
2013-02-01 01:35:29 AM  

erveek: likefunbutnot: NeedlesslyCanadian: Counting or not counting that Superman is a the lamest superhero in the first place?

ftfy

Uh, Aquaman and Arm Fall Off Boy.


YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH
 
2013-02-01 01:48:24 AM  

rocky_howard: I'm torn.

It has some legit stuff like JMS run and Smallville, but it has incredibly idiotic mind-numbing stuff such as "he flies" or "Lois Lane" that I can't take this bulls*** seriously. Par for the course with Gawker.


While I agree in general, flying is often used as a key early example of the expansion of his powers that went on to become just ridiculous. So I can see why it was listed, however the "every power anyone could think of" should have been part of the same entry.
This is my biggest issue with Superman, and why I much prefer Batman, Spiderman, X-men, etc. The best superhero stories are as much about the hero's flaws as anything else (hell, most of the best stories, period, revolve around the main character's flaws). And building up the all powerful, indestructible and near perfect Superman really makes that hard to do.
 
2013-02-01 01:48:39 AM  

I_Am_Weasel: 13.  Superman takes up horse back riding.


GRND FLOOR
 
2013-02-01 01:56:34 AM  
I don't see how he could possibly leave the Daily Planet. He worked the crime desk to give him a heads-up on crimes in progress that required Superman's presence. Because Superman isn't good at finding this shiat out himself.
 
2013-02-01 02:10:29 AM  

RoyFokker'sGhost: wee: The only Superman worth watching/reading/etc is the one in Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.

I would argue that MIller is partially responsible for the ruination of comics today. Dark Knight Returns was exceptional and a good piece of comics literature, but the problem is that with the success of DKR and Watchmen, 'deconstruction' became far too popular. Suddenly, every character had to deal with vastly amplified problems. Comics from the big two became less and less about action and adventure and more about how much torment a hero can take. When Stan Lee wanted to give superheroes real-world problems, he never intended it to go to the extreme that is has these days. It's no longer enough to have Peter Parker worry about making the rent or Aunt May's health; now, he has to get beaten to a bloody pulp, framed for murder and suffer through a Daily Bugle smear campaign all while Aunt May lies comatose in Manhattan General ICU.

Comics have gone from the 'Saturday Morning Matinee' type of stories to the 'Saw Torture Porn' type of stories.


you spelled 'Grant Morrison' wrong.
 
2013-02-01 02:41:24 AM  

Hoban Washburne: ModernLuddite: As lame as Superman is, this was the best cartoon ever:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x494]

//Hotlinks are hot.

YES!  I had this on some cartoon classic VHS tape when I was a kid.  Watched the fark out of it.


Seeing it now reminds me of how much of a missed opportunity Sky Captain was.
 
2013-02-01 02:47:39 AM  
I always kinda liked the Superman-Wonder Woman thing. At least he's found someone he can bang without worrying about accidentally tearing her in half. And their outfits don't clash.
 
2013-02-01 02:53:20 AM  
well, he has two weaknesses:

The first is obvious - kryptonite.  Don't have much to say about it.

The second is he can't be in more than one place at once.  Now this.... gets broken all the time from what I've seen of Superman shows....  From the famous punching time in the face to an army of super robots it removes one of the very few weaknesses he has and cheapens his character.  It brings out the old question of why even have a Justice League if Superman can do literally everything.
 
2013-02-01 03:41:18 AM  

exparrot: RoyFokker'sGhost: wee: The only Superman worth watching/reading/etc is the one in Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.

I would argue that MIller is partially responsible for the ruination of comics today. Dark Knight Returns was exceptional and a good piece of comics literature, but the problem is that with the success of DKR and Watchmen, 'deconstruction' became far too popular. Suddenly, every character had to deal with vastly amplified problems. Comics from the big two became less and less about action and adventure and more about how much torment a hero can take. When Stan Lee wanted to give superheroes real-world problems, he never intended it to go to the extreme that is has these days. It's no longer enough to have Peter Parker worry about making the rent or Aunt May's health; now, he has to get beaten to a bloody pulp, framed for murder and suffer through a Daily Bugle smear campaign all while Aunt May lies comatose in Manhattan General ICU.

Comics have gone from the 'Saturday Morning Matinee' type of stories to the 'Saw Torture Porn' type of stories.

you spelled 'Grant Morrison' wrong.


I agree that Morrison ramped up the decay, but the problem started when DC & Marvel both decided everything needed to be gritty like Moore and Miller, rather than just have gritty stories as the occasional break. The next step came with the Jim Lee/McFarlaine/Liefeld anti-heroes, then Morrison stepped in with the batshiatting craziness that was fun in his Vertigo titles, but just completely destroys mainstream characters. Mark Millar and Garth Ennis upped the ante with Authority, then the inmates truly started running the asylum when Quesada and DiDio were put in charge and all stories had to reference minutiae from 30 or so years ago. Which leads us to the ruins of comic books today...
 
2013-02-01 05:00:16 AM  

timswar: scottydoesntknow: I find 99% of Superman stuff to be horribly boring. BUT the one piece of Superman media that I do love (and will watch anytime) is when he finally gets to unleash all his power and deliver an epic beatdown to Darkseid.

That man won't quit as long as he can still draw a breath. None of my teammates will. Me? I've got a different problem. I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard. Always taking constant care not to break something. To break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control, even for a moment, or someone could die. But you can take it, can't ya, big man? What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose, and show you just how powerful I really am!

Youtube

As much as I love that little speech [spoiler alert] it's kinda diminished by Supes subsequently getting smacked down and having to be bailed out by someone else's hail-Mary gambit.

Oh, and what ruin Superman for me is the "situationally adaptive powers". I had some Superman cartoons on VHS growing up and I swear each episode involved him unveiling a new power.


The old stuff (cartoons, comics, TV shows) was lousy with that shiat. Especially in the comics and the Super Friends cartoon, Superman would whip out one new power after another that was just what the situation called for and would never appear again. Super-Knitting, Super-Math, Super-Anti-Malaria-Earwax, Super-Jazz Hands. Though you can't mock only Superman for that, all of the DC characters were guilty, especially Batman and his goddamned waist-mounted toolshed/laboratory.

Fortunately they stopped doing that shiat so much during the 90's and it's sticking so far.

/rolled my eyes so hard after Superman peeled off the S from his chest and tossed it at one of Zod's henchmen in Superman II and wrapped him in a Super-Saran wrap Bubble
 
2013-02-01 05:37:49 AM  

Hoban Washburne: ModernLuddite: As lame as Superman is, this was the best cartoon ever:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x494]

//Hotlinks are hot.

YES!  I had this on some cartoon classic VHS tape when I was a kid.  Watched the fark out of it.


We probably had the same tape.

*brofist*

I have it on DVD now, and made my wife a fan.
 
2013-02-01 07:22:11 AM  

ModernLuddite: As lame as Superman is, this was the best cartoon ever:


So weird, I JUST watched that like a WEEK ago!  Never saw it before!

/Lois, you're gonna get knocked around inside that giant metal robot full of diamonds and shiat!!
 
2013-02-01 07:28:45 AM  

Waldo Pepper: propasaurus: I can't tell you how much I hated Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane. It was irrational, I know, but yet,I hated her. How the hell can Lois Lane be a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist with years of experience when she's just barely 23? And then there's the whole having a 6 year old kid thing. Was Lois Lane, star reporter, banging Superman when she was a teenager?

I so agree, made no sense. I am far from being a geek with this genre but dang it get it close.


And Parker Posey was right there as Luthor's henchwoman. She would have been perfect.
 
2013-02-01 07:57:37 AM  
You know you've got a problem when the only way to have your hero in jeopardy is to take away the powers that define him.
 
2013-02-01 07:59:52 AM  
scottydoesntknow: Always taking constant care not to break something. To break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control, even for a moment, or someone could die. But you can take it, can't ya, big man?

And these buildings full of people that I'm about to knock you through right now, and near the large crater I'm going to make with you, and so on, they...uh, they can probably take it too. Probably. ...Okay. Good talk.
 
2013-02-01 08:05:43 AM  

czetie: You know you've got a problem when the only way to have your hero in jeopardy is to take away the powers that define him.


If your Superman story requires putting Superman in jeopardy, you're doing it wrong.

/as a rule
 
2013-02-01 08:12:23 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: czetie: You know you've got a problem when the only way to have your hero in jeopardy is to take away the powers that define him.

If your Superman story requires putting Superman in jeopardy, you're doing it wrong.

/as a rule


If your X story does not involve putting X in jeopardy, you're doing it wrong, for all values of X.

/as a rule
 
2013-02-01 08:33:20 AM  

czetie: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: czetie: You know you've got a problem when the only way to have your hero in jeopardy is to take away the powers that define him.

If your Superman story requires putting Superman in jeopardy, you're doing it wrong.

/as a rule

If your X story does not involve putting X in jeopardy, you're doing it wrong, for all values of X.

/as a rule


Don't be fatuous, czetie. For Superman, even more than most superheroes, the suspense should tend to arise from the possibility that Superman will be unable or unwilling to prevent some harm to others, not from Superman's own physical peril.
 
2013-02-01 08:34:52 AM  

StoPPeRmobile: [www.supermanhomepage.com image 369x288]



Ducking when criminals throw guns at you.
 
2013-02-01 09:11:44 AM  
1. Invincible characters are boring
2. Did you need something else?
 
2013-02-01 09:50:49 AM  
Actually, there's only one thing that ruins Superman, and that is that he is a character without a defining story. Similarly, the recent attempt to take the Watchmen out of their story and to create new stories around them is pointless because those where the characters necessary to telling that story. Characters shorn of their purpose in a story aren't much at all.
 
2013-02-01 09:59:07 AM  

randomjsa: 1. Invincible characters are boring
2. Did you need something else?


That's why Batman had to beat his ass to make the character halfway interesting.

My problem with Superman is that he works at a farking newspaper (or media outlet nowadays I suppose) instead of stopping international shiat from going down. Say what you want about Zod and his crew, once he took over he pretty much left everyone alone and would probably get around to straightening out the bullshiat around the world. And power hungry dictators threatening to take over or destroy other countries? Zod wouldn't put up with that shiat.

/Hail Zod
 
2013-02-01 10:41:36 AM  
"Hi Captain Dude! Welcome to the city!   I'm Lois Lane, can you answer a few questions about your career as a superhero?"
"Sure Ms Lane."
"Can you fly faster than the speed of light?"
"No."
"Do your visual senses extend into well beyond the visual range of ordinary humans?"
"No."
"Are you immune to nuclear explosions, and the cold dark vacuum of space?"
"No."
"Can you move planetary masses unassisted?"
"No."
<pause>
"Are you sure you're a superhero?"
 
2013-02-01 10:41:50 AM  
I'm going with geeks who spend far to much time worrying about stupid sh*t like this.

Ya.

Let's go with that.
 
2013-02-01 10:43:08 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Don't be fatuous, czetie.


Being fatuous is my superpower. Taking me seriously is my kryptonite.

For Superman, even more than most superheroes, the suspense should tend to arise from the possibility that Superman will be unable or unwilling to prevent some harm to others, not from Superman's own physical peril.

Yes, that's kind of my point, thank you. That's precisely what makes it so hard to make a Superman story interesting. The suspense that arises from Superman being unable to prevent some harm is, frankly, a very second rate kind of suspense. It's a Saturday Morning kind of suspense, not a Sunday Night kind of suspense.

What makes Batman infinitely more interesting is that he chooses to put himself in peril to prevent harm to others. (One of the themes of TDKR is Alfred's suggestion that Wayne is obsessively putting himself in harm's way, and that only actually suffering harm will satisfy his need to feel that he has done all he can.) Captain America embodies the ethos of putting himself in harm's way, lampshaded by the fact that his iconic weapon is a shield -- especially in the movie adaptation, beginning with his determination to sign up, his behavior in basic training, his mission to rescue the PoWs, all the way to his final self-sacrifice. Even the Thor movie understands this, making the central moment of the story a de-powered Thor's willingness to sacrifice himself to prevent harm to others. (Contrast Superman II, where a de-powered Superman is willing to... go and get his powers back.)

From a story telling perspective Superman is uninteresting precisely because he has nothing personally at risk (unless you take away his powers or kidnap Lois Lane). He's like the mirror image of a Natural Disaster movie: as a protagonist, he is about as interesting as a meteor or a tidal wave or a volcano is as an antagonist.
 
2013-02-01 10:47:41 AM  
those reasons are all true.
however you'll never really get Superman untill you've read Grant Morrisons All Star Superman. One of the best comics ever written IMO.
the reason he's crap is he's generally given crappy writers relying on crappy powers to save the crappy story.
 
2013-02-01 10:51:48 AM  

czetie: From a story telling perspective Superman is uninteresting precisely because he has nothing personally at risk (unless you take away his powers or kidnap Lois Lane). He's like the mirror image of a Natural Disaster movie: as a protagonist, he is about as interesting as a meteor or a tidal wave or a volcano is as an antagonist.


Incidentally, it occurs to me that at the opposite pole of the Superman story problem is the Teen Slasher Flick story problem. In the typical Teen Slasher movie, the teens are personally at risk for no reason other than for them to be at risk. When everybody at Camp Hackemup has been horribly dismembered and agonizingly killed... that's the end of the story* and the lurking horror goes to back to lurking, until next time.

Somewhere in the middle are all those stories where the protagonist accepts the danger to themself because something greater is at risk. Those are the interesting stories.

/*Or, as Ebert once noted, "the same teenager dies twice, if you happened to come in in the middle of the movie".
//It used to be considered bad form on Usenet to reply to your own posts, but I don't have alts
 
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