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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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10913 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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2013-02-01 10:58:13 AM
During the 60's I was in middle school and it seemed like every other Superman issue dealt with Red Kryptonite giving Superman wierd problems.  So my friends and I came up with our
own story where Superman was exposed to a version of red Kryptonite that made him fart every hour on the hour for 48 hours, each one twice as powerful as the last one.  I can't remember
each and every detail but I do remember we had him leaning his butt out of a window while in a meeting with Perry White and 'blowing' a falling building upright.  We also had him hiding in a
volcano to hide his predicament and the final fart ended with him re-igniting a dying sun.   Oh yes and he was being pursued by the Martian Manhunter because it turned out that kryptonian-farts were
like ecstasy to Martians and in the old days they used to hire Kryptonians to walk around farting (after taking a special pill) during Martian 'rave parties' so the Martian man-hunter couldn't
help himself and kept wanting to hang around Superman.  The story ended with the Martian Manhunter re-exposing Superman to the special Red-Kryptonite along with Supergirl and Krypto.

Yes, we were weird and it is a wonder any of us got married....
 
2013-02-01 11:47:50 AM

czetie: (Contrast Superman II, where a de-powered Superman is willing to... go and get his powers back.)


And how did a de-powered Superman walk back to civilization from the North Pole? Or and he and Lois for that matter? And when he gets his powers back he farks up the trucker guy? That's not very Superman of him. That was a highly overrated movie.
 
2013-02-01 11:49:34 AM

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: 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.


Bingo. Superman's greatest weakness isn't kryptonite or magic. It's his friends, his family, and his city.
 
2013-02-01 11:58:20 AM
superman.nu

Is it too late to join the party?
 
2013-02-01 12:51:00 PM

Mugato: czetie: (Contrast Superman II, where a de-powered Superman is willing to... go and get his powers back.)

And how did a de-powered Superman walk back to civilization from the North Pole? Or and he and Lois for that matter? And when he gets his powers back he farks up the trucker guy? That's not very Superman of him. That was a highly overrated movie.


For sure. A smarter man would have flown the Depowering Machine somewhere more convenient before using it. And who knows how long Superman was hanging around outside that truckstop waiting for that guy to show up?

Everything about that movie's plot is a loose thread crying out not to be tugged. Where did the Power-Losing Device come from? Why does it even exist (if Superman turned evil, who is going to put him in it?) How does it work (other than A Wizard Did It)? Why does Superman suddenly have never-before mentioned powers? And on and on...

Some people say that the franchise started to go downhill with Superman III. The reality is that it started downhill about 10 minutes before the end of Superman 1, whose message apparently was: "Superman just brought somebody back from the dead, with all of the mind-shattering ethical, spiritual, religious and philosophical implications that entails. Let us never speak of this again."
 
2013-02-01 12:53:30 PM
The one and only response that is needed for any "Superman totally sucks because he's too powerful!" argument: All-Star Superman. If you can read that story or even just watch the adaptation (which is free on Netflix right now), and if you can  still say you hate Superman then, fine... you and I have an irreconcilable difference of opinion. That, and you're completely wrong.

The only problem that Superman has isn't that he's too powerful, or too perfect, or anything else of the sort. The problem is that too many writers don't know how to write for the character. Those who do can produce amazing works that take advantage of Superman's traits rather than treating them as things that need to be written around.

See also, The Dark Knight Returns, Red Son, and Kingdom Come.
 
2013-02-01 01:03:21 PM

Pyynk: 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.

Bingo. Superman's greatest weakness isn't kryptonite or magic. It's his friends, his family, and his city.


And his rigid moral code. How many times have we seen this?

MegaUberEvilOverlordman: Haha! I have killed dozens of innocent bystanders, and will kill hundreds more!
Superman: The only way to stop him is... to kill him! What should I do???

(The answer, by the way, is to use your superspeed to fly off and fetch somebody with a less stupid moral code, use your superstrength to break them into MegaUberEvilOverlordman's lair, and shield them with your invulnerable body while they care of business. A SWAT officer or a Marine sniper would be good choices.)

Amongst his greatest weaknesses are such diverse elements as kryptonite, magic, his personal affections, his moral code... I'll go out and come back in...

And yet, still, none of that is very interesting in story terms because he doesn't risk or sacrifice himself to save his friends, his family or his city. As I suggested in another post, he's more like a force of nature than a character.
 
2013-02-01 01:07:23 PM
Superman Red Son is still the best one around.
 
2013-02-01 01:07:50 PM

czetie: Where did the Power-Losing Device come from? Why does it even exist (if Superman turned evil, who is going to put him in it?) How does it work (other than A Wizard Did It)? Why does Superman suddenly have never-before mentioned powers? And on and on...


Well a machine that could take away Kal'el's powers makes sense. Not everyone can deal with being a god. It's like the question of rather you be Han Solo or Luke Skywalker. Luke Skywalker can move shiat with his mind but Hand Solo got the girl. And if you start up about Mara Jade, I'll shoot you on general principle.

The goofy ass powers that Superman had in Superman 2 were retarded even for comic book standards.

message apparently was: "Superman just brought somebody back from the dead, with all of the mind-shattering ethical, spiritual, religious and philosophical implications that entails. Let us never speak of this again."

Don Corleone said that it was forbidden to interfere with human development to the point that Superman did but he did anyway and there should have been some consequence to it.
 
2013-02-01 01:19:39 PM
Other than 1, 2 and 7, I agree with this list.
 
2013-02-01 01:20:57 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: The one and only response that is needed for any "Superman totally sucks because he's too powerful!" argument: All-Star Superman.


That's not the argument (which, by itself, would be a pretty stupid one). The argument is that Superman "sucks" in story terms when he personally has nothing at risk.

[SPOILER ALERT] All-Star Superman fixes this precisely because Superman risks and loses everything (literally everything, when you think about the choice he makes in order to defeat Luthor).


Some 'Splainin' To Do: See also, The Dark Knight Returns, Red Son, and Kingdom Come.


...which are, respectively, Mixed Yet Interesting, Very Good, and Excellent, IMHO.

/I have to stop taking this stuff so seriously
 
2013-02-01 01:24:12 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


See, THAT version of Superman was great.  Can't understand why DC's hierarchy can't translate that awesomeness to live action...

Oh yeah I forgot, WARNER BROTHERS is pants-on-head retarded.
 
2013-02-01 01:27:07 PM

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.


If you're talking the whole Cadmus/"Panic In The Sky" season then, yes; holy crap that was awesome.  Not knocking the following season either 'cause that was plenty fun as well.

Have to admit, want to see "Superman: Unbound"; far more excited for that than "The Man of Steel."
 
2013-02-01 01:30:10 PM
Fano: 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.

Oh yeah, always loved Captain Marvel and actually geeked out for him not just standing toe-to-toe with Superman but actually winning before he made that one fatal mistake.
 
2013-02-01 01:31:44 PM

baka-san: Re: #12...

This was the outcome, so more power to it I say!

[www.anime.com image 380x344]


Haha, awesome!

/Project A-ko rules.  That is all.
 
2013-02-01 01:33:48 PM

AdolfOliverPanties: with unnecessary cape


2.bp.blogspot.com

Edna, is that you?
 
2013-02-01 01:34:37 PM

Zombie Butler: 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.


All of this.
 
2013-02-01 02:01:06 PM

czetie: Pyynk: 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.

Bingo. Superman's greatest weakness isn't kryptonite or magic. It's his friends, his family, and his city.

And his rigid moral code. How many times have we seen this?

MegaUberEvilOverlordman: Haha! I have killed dozens of innocent bystanders, and will kill hundreds more!
Superman: The only way to stop him is... to kill him! What should I do???

(The answer, by the way, is to use your superspeed to fly off and fetch somebody with a less stupid moral code, use your superstrength to break them into MegaUberEvilOverlordman's lair, and shield them with your invulnerable body while they care of business. A SWAT officer or a Marine sniper would be good choices.)

Amongst his greatest weaknesses are such diverse elements as kryptonite, magic, his personal affections, his moral code... I'll go out and come back in...

And yet, still, none of that is very interesting in story terms because he doesn't risk or sacrifice himself to save his friends, his family or his city. As I suggested in another post, he's more like a force of nature than a character.


I'm probably not the best person to argue most of those points since I'm much more of a Batman guy and there are some I agree with, especially in regards to lazy writing.

I think one of the big problems we've seen with Superman is a return of power creep. Every few years, a writer tries to dial down Superman's powers or power levels. Conversely every few months someone pushes him up a little bit until eventually you've got Superman travelling through time, super ventriloquism, or what have you.

Is it possible to tell a good Superman story? I think so. Waid proved it in Kingdom Come and Morrison proved it twice in JLA and All Star Superman. It just isn't easy to tell a good Superman story, especially since a lot of the common tropes have been used to death.
 
2013-02-01 02:05:02 PM
I love the accompanying  video that had Elijah Wood and Ron Howard in it. However, I take issue with one thing they said.  The narrator went on about all the superheroes and villians that have returned from the dead since Superman "killed death."  Um, did he read comics prior to The Death of Superman?  This is not a new thing.
 
2013-02-01 02:06:23 PM
If superman has muscles that are so efficient that he can lift a car as a baby etc then surely he would look like this
farm3.staticflickr.com
because everything he tries to lift would not give him exercise?
 
2013-02-01 02:17:02 PM

Rwa2play: Fano: 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.

Oh yeah, always loved Captain Marvel and actually geeked out for him not just standing toe-to-toe with Superman but actually winning before he made that one fatal mistake.


It's a satisfying setup for why two heroes should fight, and "fight's over, kid."

Captain Marvel's rebuke to the Justice League was epic. He shows that he isn't JUST a big kid, just very idealistic. And just when you decide Superman is being a paranoid dick, he's shown to be justified. The whole Cadmus arc was well done. Of course, the Star crossed arc was built up well with Hawk girl. So many things that pay off much later. Hamilton turning traitor was a shock and totally believable based on all his appearances.
 
2013-02-01 02:18:40 PM

scottydoesntknow: Youtube


Wow, Superman caused a lot of property damage there, hopefully no collateral damage.
Oh, and I never watched the animated show before, he's very buff - how does he hide that as Clark Kent?
 
2013-02-01 02:21:13 PM

Gig103: scottydoesntknow: Youtube

Wow, Superman caused a lot of property damage there, hopefully no collateral damage.
Oh, and I never watched the animated show before, he's very buff - how does he hide that as Clark Kent?


Superslouching
 
2013-02-01 02:25:10 PM

Rwa2play: 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

See, THAT version of Superman was great.  Can't understand why DC's hierarchy can't translate that awesomeness to live action...

Oh yeah I forgot, WARNER BROTHERS is pants-on-head retarded.


So much THIS.

I didn't read a lot of DC as a kid, at the time the characters just didn't appeal to me that much. Around 2005, I started reading a TON of DC titles. What caused the change? Justice League Unlimited. If Bruce Timm, Dwayne McDuffie, and the rest of the DC Animation group could make me give a damn about a character like Vigilante or Vixen, characters that I'd rolled my eyes at for years, what might they do if they got the keys to the kingdom?
 
2013-02-01 02:26:48 PM

Gig103: scottydoesntknow: Youtube

Wow, Superman caused a lot of property damage there, hopefully no collateral damage.
Oh, and I never watched the animated show before, he's very buff - how does he hide that as Clark Kent?


It's the DC Animated Universe. *Everyone* is built like that.
 
2013-02-01 03:32:32 PM

Gig103: scottydoesntknow: Youtube

Wow, Superman caused a lot of property damage there, hopefully no collateral damage.
Oh, and I never watched the animated show before, he's very buff - how does he hide that as Clark Kent?


Glasses and 2 piece suit.

/sometimes jeans and a flannel shirt.
 
2013-02-01 03:42:05 PM

lc6529: During the 60's I was in middle school and it seemed like every other Superman issue dealt with Red Kryptonite giving Superman wierd problems.  So my friends and I came up with our
own story where Superman was exposed to a version of red Kryptonite that made him fart every hour on the hour for 48 hours, each one twice as powerful as the last one.  I can't remember
each and every detail but I do remember we had him leaning his butt out of a window while in a meeting with Perry White and 'blowing' a falling building upright.  We also had him hiding in a
volcano to hide his predicament and the final fart ended with him re-igniting a dying sun.   Oh yes and he was being pursued by the Martian Manhunter because it turned out that kryptonian-farts were
like ecstasy to Martians and in the old days they used to hire Kryptonians to walk around farting (after taking a special pill) during Martian 'rave parties' so the Martian man-hunter couldn't
help himself and kept wanting to hang around Superman.  The story ended with the Martian Manhunter re-exposing Superman to the special Red-Kryptonite along with Supergirl and Krypto.

Yes, we were weird and it is a wonder any of us got married....


Hey, in the 80s, there was some sci-fi erotica fiction compilation that came out.  I remember one story having to do with Superman trying to get Lois pregnant.  He's have to masturbate, then fly as quickly as he could to catch his semen (he had learned that his ejaculation would punch though walls), and catch his semen in a kryptonite-lined container before it punctured anyone.
 
2013-02-01 04:36:26 PM

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


www.larrytye.com

Disagrees.
 
2013-02-01 04:39:52 PM

Fano: Rwa2play: Fano: 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.

Oh yeah, always loved Captain Marvel and actually geeked out for him not just standing toe-to-toe with Superman but actually winning before he made that one fatal mistake.

It's a satisfying setup for why two heroes should fight, and "fight's over, kid."

Captain Marvel's rebuke to the Justice League was epic. He shows that he isn't JUST a big kid, just very idealistic. And just when you decide Superman is being a paranoid dick, he's shown to be justified. The whole Cadmus arc was well done. Of course, the Star crossed arc was built up well with Hawk girl. So many things that pay off much later. Hamilton turning traitor was a shock and totally believable based on all his appearances.


Sadly, they wouldn't introduce the Marvel family until "Brave and The Bold."  Would've geeked out for Mary and CM Jr.
 
2013-02-01 04:59:00 PM

Pyynk: I didn't read a lot of DC as a kid, at the time the characters just didn't appeal to me that much. Around 2005, I started reading a TON of DC titles. What caused the change? Justice League Unlimited. If Bruce Timm, Dwayne McDuffie, and the rest of the DC Animation group could make me give a damn about a character like Vigilante or Vixen, characters that I'd rolled my eyes at for years, what might they do if they got the keys to the kingdom?


Just imagine how awesome DC would be at this point in time if (instead of the likes of Lee, Johns and Liefeld) Timm, McDuffie, Dini and others involved with "JLU" had become DC's head honchos.

(waits a bit)

Yea, that awesome.  Now I haz a sad.
 
2013-02-01 05:19:20 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: The only problem that Superman has isn't that he's too powerful, or too perfect, or anything else of the sort. The problem is that too many writers don't know how to write for the character. Those who do can produce amazing works that take advantage of Superman's traits rather than treating them as things that need to be written around.

See also, The Dark Knight Returns, Red Son, and Kingdom Come.


Although I like all three of those graphic novels, they are all weird examples that actually seem to run counter to your argument. Each of those graphic novels totally changes Superman's normal role and basically turns him into a new character. In DKR, superman is basically a villain who works for a corrupt government. In Red Son, Superman is again kind of a villain and a communist Superman fighting for the USSR. In Kingdom Come, Superman is part of the again old guard.

What does it mean if the best examples of a character are when that character is uncharacteristically portrayed?

It would seem to imply that AS A CHARACTER Superman is pretty weak, and that the only way to make him interesting is to change who he is OR to treat him as less an actual character than just an archtype to comment on ("What if Superman was a communist??")

Truly great and interesting characters don't need to be inverted or flipped around every time you want to make a good story with them.
 
2013-02-01 05:20:52 PM

Gig103: Wow, Superman caused a lot of property damage there, hopefully no collateral damage.
Oh, and I never watched the animated show before, he's very buff - how does he hide that as Clark Kent?


Ha, I noticed that too. "I'm always having to watch myself, because if I make the tiniest miscalculation, people will die! But I can whale on you all day long!" And then he demolishes a bunch of skyscrapers with Darkseid's body as panicked Metropolites flee for their lives. Yyyyyeah.

As for his secret identity on that show, when he puts on his Clark Kent reporter's suit, it shrinks him down to about a quarter his size. I believe he shops at the Not Really Men's Wearhouse. ("You're going to like the way you look nothing like your normal self.")
 
2013-02-01 06:12:13 PM

Rwa2play: Fano: 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.

Oh yeah, always loved Captain Marvel and actually geeked out for him not just standing toe-to-toe with Superman but actually winning before he made that one fatal mistake.


Wasn't a huge fan of Captain Marvel, kind of liked him.  Until I started watching Young Justice.  I found it really interesting how Captain Marvel reacted to them

Bill Frist: Although I like all three of those graphic novels, they are all weird examples that actually seem to run counter to your argument. Each of those graphic novels totally changes Superman's normal role and basically turns him into a new character. In DKR, superman is basically a villain who works for a corrupt government. In Red Son, Superman is again kind of a villain and a communist Superman fighting for the USSR. In Kingdom Come, Superman is part of the again old guard.

What does it mean if the best examples of a character are when that character is uncharacteristically portrayed?


I would have to disagree with Some 'Splainin' To Do's choices (and by extension your analysis).  In my mind 3 of the best choices are the DCAU (Specifically JLU), All-Star Superman (animated and book), Superman vs. the Elite.  All of them have essentially the token "overpowered" Superman.  And I find all of them compelling (especially All-Star Superman)
 
2013-02-01 06:35:17 PM

czetie: 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.


Well, he is hardly my favorite character, but I think it is possible to write just as compelling a story about  a hero who isn't normally at risk of physical harm. I think there is plenty to work with in terms of Superman being at risk of personal loss or failure in ways other than simply getting his ass kicked, or stories that include things other than punching. So I'm not convinced he is inherently uninteresting. He is maybe less conducive to attempts to hack out a gripping weekly cookie-cutter adventure pamphlet, and that can be a problem for a character owned by a comic publisher. But I'm not sure that requiring a better writer in order to achieve his potential doesn't make Superman a worse character any more than requiring a better driver makes a Ferrari a worse car. And I feel like I'd have to sift through mounds of uninteresting garbage to find a worthwhile story in a comic book anyway.
 
2013-02-01 06:38:14 PM

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


what the fark did I just read
 
2013-02-01 07:11:24 PM

Rwa2play: 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.

If you're talking the whole Cadmus/"Panic In The Sky" season then, yes; holy crap that was awesome.  Not knocking the following season either 'cause that was plenty fun as well.


That's the one.  Just an amazing story, start to finish.  Ties up a lot of the loose plot threads from the whole Timm/Dini meta-series to that point, too.
 
2013-02-01 07:43:05 PM

RyansPrivates: Rwa2play: Fano: 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.

Oh yeah, always loved Captain Marvel and actually geeked out for him not just standing toe-to-toe with Superman but actually winning before he made that one fatal mistake.

Wasn't a huge fan of Captain Marvel, kind of liked him.  Until I started watching Young Justice.  I found it really interesting how Captain Marvel reacted to them

Bill Frist: Although I like all three of those graphic novels, they are all weird examples that actually seem to run counter to your argument. Each of those graphic novels totally changes Superman's normal role and basically turns him into a new character. In DKR, superman is basically a villain who works for a corrupt government. In Red Son, Superman is again kind of a villain and a communist Superman fighting for the USSR. In Kingdom Come, Superman is part of the again old guard.

What does it mean if the best examples of a character are when that character is uncharacteristically portrayed?

I would have to disagree with Some 'Splainin' To Do's choices (and by extension your analysis).  In my mind 3 of the best choices are the DCAU (Specifically JLU), All-Star Superman (animated and book), Superman vs. the Elite.  All of them have essentially the token "overpowered" Superman.  And I find all of them compelling (especially All-Star Superman)


I wasn't much of a DC fan until the DCAU. I grew up loving Marvel and disliking the "boring" DC heroes. During the 80s I'd read maybe a one off Superman or Batman if there wasn't anything else to look at. I thought Captain Marvel was just some poor man's knockoff Superman. The DCAU got me reading all the comics with the b-listers because they suddenly seemed compelling. Booster Gold would be another example, ditto Boston Brand.

In retrospect, I'm disappointed that Captain Marvel had so many legal troubles in getting published, because it's something that would be a great introduction for little kids into comics. Let's face it, comics for kids are about wish fulfillment, and the reason there are characters like Robin and Jimmy Olsen are so that kids can imagine themselves as their place as "Batman's pal" and "Superman's pal." But the truth is, no kid playing wanted to be Jimmy Olsen, he wanted to be Superman, thus Billy Batson cuts out the middle man.

I'm no Supermanologist, but between growing up with the movies and the DCAU, I think I get him now. They managed to distill the good parts and keep some of the stuff that drags down the character. Superman is meant to be an example, a beacon of hope. He can't solve all our problems. Turning Luthor at the end of All Star Superman, when he has his own "why don't you put the whole world in a bottle" is a gem in context " If it had mattered to you, Luthor, you could have saved the world years ago " was a great way to show how much he cares. Just my two cents, rather than dealing with land swindles, it would be nice to see a well-executed version of "Quest for Peace," where Superman realizes he can't just MAKE everyone get along, as a good movie if you aren't going to have a world-shattering villain like Darkseid for him to fight.

"Live as one of them, Kal-El, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. Always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you... my only son. "  Yes, he's space Jesus. But that's ok too.  All-Star Superman and Superman vs. the Elite both hinge on the issue of Superman showing us a better way. In the Elite everyone is glad for superpowered goons with the stones to finally do what Wimpyman wouldn't - throw all the bad guys into the sun. The climax shows exactly why he doesn't. And it's nearly the same answer Batman gives Jason Todd for why he doesn't kill. Because that's too easy. But it's not right. Superman ISN'T invincible and perfect. He wobbles enough during the Cadmus arc as Luthor pushes his buttons. You get to see villains like Mongul and Darkseid bring him to a full rage. Watching him try to do the right thing with is powers is interesting.

The argument that he's boring because he's invincible, and only kryptonite can hurt him, falls a bit flat when you start comparing that a mere mortal like Bruce Wayne never gets shot in the back of the head while facing off against 50 murderous goons, nor do they drop a bunker buster on the Batcave while he's washing his tights. shiat, we just concluded a storyline where he was blasted to oblivion by Darkseid's unfailing Omega beam, only to fight his way back from the past.
 
2013-02-01 08:40:59 PM
I think a key to making great Superman stories is to so write him that his character (moral fiber, compassion, and love) keep him from ever exerting ALL of his power and he's always holding back no matter how bad the bad guy is. This is what made Dark Seid so interesting because he plays mind games AND is so immensely strong that he pushes Superman closer to his character breaking point more than any other villain. He brings him closer more than anyone else to crossing the line.
 
2013-02-01 09:08:31 PM
io9. sigh.

A point regarding Marvel mythology:  Mephisto is  not Lucifer or Satan. Marvel  has a Satan (and a Son of Satan, and a daughter of Satan) and Mephisto is not that guy. Mephisto is a demon, not a devil (there's a difference in Marvel's cosmology) and he's certainly not THE Devil.

Yes, Mephisto has posed as Satan on a few occasions, but that was part of his M.O. -- He's all about chaos and mischief. He's not unlike Loki in that regard, except that he's far more malevolent and doesn't have much in the way of sentimental ties to other beings or family members.

I know it's nitpicky, but I just hate it when people say "Spider-Man made a deal with Satan." It's just wrong. First off, he didn't make the deal. In the end it was MJ who made the deal, and he agreed to it.  Second, as I said above, Mephisto is not Satan; He's a deal-making demon. Small difference, I know, but from everything I've read in Marvel, Mephisto is small potatoes next to Satan. Just ask Daimon Hellstrom or Satana about that. The Biblical Lucifer/Satan in Marvel is actually  Marduk Kurios, another demon of great power... One that has been known to taunt Mephisto, but otherwise tends to stay out of the affairs of most people.

And yes, both Mephisto and Satan/Kurios/Lucifer are rulers in Hell, but there are many others. Just like there are plenty of Hell-like dimensions with other demons, such as Limbo which has guys like Bellasco and demons like S'ym.

None of these guys, demons, devils, or creatures is anything when compared to the Elder Gods or beings like Death, Eternity, the Vishanti, The Living Tribunal, The Beyonder, Stranger, Shaper of Worlds, or the Watchers.

When you think of Mephisto, don't think of him as 'The Devil' or 'Satan", but instead as the demonic mirror-image of Loki. He's god-powerful in the Thor/Loki/Hercules way, but he's not omnipotent, omnipresent, or even on the same level as most cosmic entities in the Marvel Universe. Simply put, Thanos (without the Infinity Gauntlet) probably couldn't kick Marduk Kurios/Satan's ass, but he definitely could push Mephisto around for a while if he wanted to (and he has reason to, because Mephisto played toady to him when he had the Infinity Gauntlet, with the goal of stealing it for himself).

Somehow, I think that if Peter Parker made a deal with Loki, people wouldn't have been half as mad as they were with it being Mephisto, and I think a lot of that stems from the belief that Mephisto is Marvel's version of Satan... And well, he's not. Not all the time, anyway. Only when it suits him... And Parker knew that.
 
2013-02-01 10:59:38 PM
When I was a kid shiat like this had me convinced this Superman fella was a total maniac:

i42.photobucket.com
i42.photobucket.com
i42.photobucket.com
i42.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-02 02:09:07 AM

ZeroCorpse: Somehow, I think that if Peter Parker made a deal with Loki, people wouldn't have been half as mad as they were with it being Mephisto, and I think a lot of that stems from the belief that Mephisto is Marvel's version of Satan... And well, he's not. Not all the time, anyway. Only when it suits him... And Parker knew that.


I don't think they are so much fixated on the "deal with the Devil" as much as they are fixated on "wow, Parker chose to have a backalley abortion of his kid after Planned Parenthood told him it would be a good idea to have it."
 
2013-02-02 06:34:47 AM
13, Turning Superman into a child molester.
www.funnyreign.com
 
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