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Author Topic: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards  (Read 2955 times)

Pillow Biter

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2016, 01:34:40 PM »

Anyways, peace pipe Necro. I find this discussion interesting, and am happy to keep exploring. I'm open to being wrong and am happy to change my mind. I'm just getting too old for the aggro. I'm sorry if I pressed one of your buttons. Let's smoke a virtual bowl and dial things back.
Again, I'm not really sure exactly where we disagree. But maybe we can find out, in a chill way. I'm not Jelly or Abhi.
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Necro

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2016, 02:02:16 PM »

Respectfully, I think you are being wildly unfair to me. And we don't actually disagree very much here.
I admit, the whole "Superman IS his powers" is getting to me. The idea just makes me bristle, since he is so much more. No one disputes that he is first among his peers, as it -should- be.
But that shouldn't be -all- he is.

I said that I prefer Superhero (and Superman) stories where there are other heroes to interact with. I didn't say that I had a problem with Superman having a human supporting cast, just that it can get boring if overdone. That is my opinion. Maybe others feel differently. I loved many of the moments with Ma and Pa Kent. But you can make Superman work with a wide variety of "supporting" cast members, as long as he is Superman.
See, I don't get this.
If this is your stance, shouldn't you have loved the Nu-52 Superman?
Pretty much all of his "serious" interactions have been with other demi-gods and superheroes, and the humans and mortals he interacted with were either victims of "bad things happening around Superman", or gained Superpowers and fought against/with him, and so on.
Even the Daily Planet did not really play an semi-important role in Nu-Superman's life.
So, shouldn't you BE happy?
This is what you wanted.

I liked Morisson's work. My point is that it can be harder to write good Superman stories than it is for other characters on account of him not having the same obvious flaws. Many writers have said this. But that doesn't mean it can't be done--and it has. Moreover, many have said (and I agree) that when you do pull it off, it's all the more rewarding.
Which, pretty much, boils down to the Superman editorial not being lazy asses and get proper, good writers on the books. There is no excuse not to actually try and do a good job here, instead of just pumping out uninspired drivel.
Same with the artists. This, along with Batman, are the flagship comics. They better get the damn best artists and writers on it. If not, then they failed.

I don't get how this is all some power fantasy of mine. Superheroes are ultimately brightly-colored Greek myths, in a way. Part of their appeal is that they operate on the same basic level. Power levels and rankings matter, just as they did with the myths. But just because they set the scene--not because a character should be a power fantasy. Zeus should be the most powerful God because that is part of his mythos. Other characters should not be too powerful. Odysseus should be less of a warrior than Achilles. It's about everyone's power matching their mythos, no more, no less.
So, and I assume you -did- read the greek myths, not simply throwing down talking points, but do you really think this is what Superman stands for? What he should embody? A "Greek God"?
Is that not going wildly against the core of his very personality, in that he has such powers, but he is NOT a god? This is literally one of his core traits. He's simply a farmer boy, raised in Kansas by hard working, caring people, who taught him that he is NOT his powers. And he is not.

And again, power.
No one said he should not be the first among peers, but that is not what -he- is.
He is not Zeus. He's the guy who sits on the porch and watches the sundown.
He comes from fighting an Archangel to a still stand, and he relaxes by plowing the fields, or eating apple pie with his parents. He has the POWER of a god, but he is NOT a god.
That is literally the point why he is so humanized. Why he -needs- that tether.
NOT having a human identity, not having human friends, family, but having a Greek GODDESS as a lover, a multi-millionaire friend with who he roomed, his only friends being other beings who can destroy a planet while sneezing, that is not what he is.
And that is what they -made- Nu-52 to be.

And none of this has been about power. But now I stand accused of taking my "power fantasies" into the realm of personal characteristics. Like there should be no ranking or comparison of those, either. But there is, and should be. It's all necessarily a little more ambiguous than the ranking of super power levels, but it's there and it matters. But again, it's all about the proper positioning of characters relative to what makes their mythos work. There may be "better" or "worse" (in a rough sense), but you shouldn't want your favorite guy to be better or worse than anyone just because you like them. You want them positioned in the best way for that character. That's all.
Superman's moral core--that he will always try to do the right thing--is central to him. And does distinguish him. But that's not all there is to it. Some other characters--not all, but some--have that as well. It's the complete package of core personal attributes that matter. And in a shared universe, some guys should be better or worse than others in terms of different aspects of their persona--again, "better" and "worse" being very rough concepts in this space. But in a shared universe, you do look at characters in relation to one another.

Again, the character failed fantastically, because this is literally what Nu-52 was, which has me baffled that you do not praise him for all he is worth. It is like this version is -exactly- what you wanted, and the only thing you're miffed about is that he doesn't command the respect and presence the Post, or even Pre-crisis version did.

I am not sure how you cannot see these things.

Post-Crisis Superman, now that he has returned, has the presence. He has an aura of confidence and respect around him. He is not acting brash, he is acting smart, he is considerate and intelligent in his approach, despite the powers he possesses. When he goes into battle, we see his thought bubbles, and we know he worries about things. We know he cares deeply about his (human) wife, and his son, whose power fluctuations worry him. He is still the first among many, and hell, I bet he is going to be even more powerful than Nu-52 Superman, since he is older, and they will forget that Nu-52 earth somehow weakened him.

But he has all the things Nu-52 Superman did not have.
All the things that humanized him, even with being so powerful, so intelligent, so... awe-inducing.
Post-Crisis Superman stands in the room, and people pay attention to him. It's a posture, it's a composure, and he inspires people.

Superman since Rebirth has been really interesting. The storylines unfolding so far, his own, his family, his interaction with the JLA, Lex Luthor trying to slide into the void, etc, all are highly intriguing.
The Superman books are the most interesting they have been since Morrison got off of the Superman books, and it involves all the things you prefer to avoid in favor of "colorful gods".

And you know what? This Superman is still the most powerfullest in the DCU.

Necro

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2016, 02:03:46 PM »

Also, fucking hell, another discussion about Superman devolving into a shitty power chart conversation.
Fuck.

Pillow Biter

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2016, 02:32:28 PM »

I don't see just a power chart comparison here. I think that while we are necessarily discussing those elements, and we may disagree, we are doing it in a way that is rarely done. We are simply talking about what kinds of power levels and personal characteristics properly fit this character. Neither of us is going "ra ra! Supes is number onest at everythings!".

We are actually in pretty broad agreement. I guess the one point I'd make is that the key thing is that Superman be Superman--regardless of who is around him. I'm not disagreeing that having him interact more with regular Joes is good way to show those aspects of him. But the key is that he has them in the first place.

The reason I didn't like New 52 Superman is because they failed at showing what made Superman special (beyond his powers). Even in the many issues where they talked about him the way they used to talk about Pre-FP Superman, they almost always failed to show it. The contrast between the Superman that the other characters talked about, and the Superman they actually showed was depressing. And I think we broadly agree about what personal characteristics Superman should have--his presence, maturity, morality, etc. The whole package.

But these weren't missing JUST because of his supporting cast. They were just missing. I agree that perhaps a better mix of supporting cast members would better showcase these elements, but the key point is that they just weren't there to begin with. Pre-FP, Superman has had extended arcs without many appearances from his more human supporting cast, but he was still Superman.

And I think you kind of failed to articulate something you were clearly aiming at. Superman is a colorful God. And he isn't. It's that contrast (even contradiction) that is essential. You need both sides. The reason people argue who is the real Superman: Clark Kent or Kal-El is that they are both him. You need both sides. He's the most powerful and alien of the heroes, and yet the most human. Like Jesus, he is somehow 100% God and 100% human at the same time. New 52 often tried to get at that. But somehow failed in the execution. I agree that a different mix of supporting cast might have made that easier to show, but somehow the failure was primal to that.

And I may not be expressing myself perfectly either. I'm old, and I've read Superman comics for too long. I remember too many arcs that were just about Superman stopping bank robbers and hanging out with the Daily Planet crew. And they were boring. But there have been some good ones of that kind, too.

Anyways, I basically agree with everything you've said in terms of the abstract. But I'm having trouble identifying the key element that was missing in New 52. You seem to be suggesting it was Superman's basic humanity, and it was because he surrounded himself with too many high-fliers, rich guys, and gods that they couldn't show it. That may have aggravated the problem, but that doesn't seem to be the essential missing piece. They did a lot to try to show his humanity and how he didn't feel like he fit in with all the Gods and Aliens, etc.

I can't quite peg it, but what was missing seems to be located on the other side: his impressiveness as a person. Not just that he would always try to do the right thing. New 52 Superman seemed to do that. But rather there was some element of his greatness--of the greatness of his spirit that had nothing to do with his powers--that was missing. And without that element, everything else fell flat. Including the contrasts innate to his character--his failings, his humble humanity, etc. Basically, there were many times where I felt like if you just dialed his powers back in yoru mind so that they didn't make him special, then there wasn't much else special about him. And without him being special in that way, all the attempts to show how "human" he was also feel flat. You need the contrast between him being powerful like Zeus, a great spirit like Jesus or Moses or something, but still just a guy who was raised on a farm.
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riv6672

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2016, 11:16:56 PM »

"Perfect" is a loaded word. But there can be no doubt that Superman's classic persona can be tough to write for. It's a tough balancing act that few writers can really nail, particularly in solo books where the focus is all on him. I don't mind some different takes to mix things up, where the core is still there, but you highlight some flaws.
Writing a nice person isnt that hard. Superman's a nice person. Its not a bad thing.

Lois is a core element of the Superman mythos--but not essential in that he works without her. Some people felt their marriage was a huge mistake. I don't think Superman being with Diana instead of Lois was a key element to what was wrong with New 52 Superman.
I think it was, and i guess a lot of people did, too.
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Pillow Biter

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2016, 02:50:58 PM »

I think we are all in basic agreement, and disagreeing over some smaller things. All good.

I'm not sure than Superman was meant to stay with WW for the long term--they were hoping he'd be a young fling and that he'd find Lois later. At least IMO. But maybe 4 years was too long for that. And I can't say what they were thinking for sure. These things do matter, and contribute to the problem, but I still don't see them as the real disease. From Kingdom Come to other non-Canon stories, Superman has been with Wonder Woman before. Or with other women. But the key was that he was still Superman--mature, competent, inspiring, decisive, etc...

As for whether him being a good guy is bad, no it isn't. But I'll disagree with you as to whether that makes it harder to write him. And I feel a lot of writers have backed me up on this. The consensus has always been, IMO, that Superman is harder to write than other characters, but more rewarding when you pull it off. Part of that is his power level, but another part is that he's a well-balanced guy with no obvious flaws to use as a writing crutch like Batman's dickishness, Hal's cockiness, Flash's impulsivity and immaturity, etc.
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riv6672

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2016, 09:50:13 PM »

Agree to didagree on the hard to write/nice guy subject.
Any writer worth his salt juxtaposes his hero against his villains and a strong varied supporting cast.
Its not rocket science.
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MTL76

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2016, 04:08:18 PM »

I'm with riv. Superman isn't a saint, he's a just a fundamentally decent guy. That doesn't strike me as someone hard to write.
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riv6672

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2016, 10:00:39 PM »

Thanks, i know i dint back up my opinions with lot of text; i dont think its really needed in this case.
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JookDukem

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2016, 11:42:37 PM »

None of these comic characters are especially deep or interesting if we're being honest.

Superman is pretty hilariously stronk and saves kittens and shit so it's fun to see people try to draw inspiration from him.

Really, the guy who moves planets and shits lasers inspires you? HAHHAHAHAHA wut the fuck I can't even.

It's dumb as fuck but still fun.
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Panthergod

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2016, 11:55:04 PM »

None of these comic characters are especially deep or interesting if we're being honest.

Superman is pretty hilariously stronk and saves kittens and shit so it's fun to see people try to draw inspiration from him.

Really, the guy who moves planets and shits lasers inspires you? HAHHAHAHAHA wut the fuck I can't even.

It's dumb as fuck but still fun.

The idea is that human potential is unlimited when we reach our evolutionary peak--an inherently spiritual concept. Solar archetype.
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riv6672

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2016, 05:02:44 AM »

None of these comic characters are especially deep or interesting if we're being honest.

Superman is pretty hilariously stronk and saves kittens and shit so it's fun to see people try to draw inspiration from him.

Really, the guy who moves planets and shits lasers inspires you? HAHHAHAHAHA wut the fuck I can't even.

It's dumb as fuck but still fun.
Jook is SO COOL. :)
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JookDukem

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2016, 02:15:15 PM »

LOL. It's crazy how much you care. It's sad but funny.

I'm sorry your favorite hobby is objectively terrible.
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riv6672

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2016, 10:45:25 AM »

Yeah, reading/commenting on what posters say on an MB is my hobby, and you are pretty terrible, objectively speaking.

Thanks for caring enough to reply.
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INDRA THUNDERER

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Re: So, Superman - Rebirth and onwards
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2016, 04:26:46 AM »

the 1st 4 issues thus far have rocked!rebirth is starting out great
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