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Old 12-17-2011, 11:05 PM   #53
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Default Re: What was Mark Waid's issues with the 1986 retelling?

Originally Posted by Kurosawa View Post
Neither is close to the Golden Age. What is close to the Golden Age is Grant Morrison's great run in the current Action.
This Superman in a t-shirt and blue jeans by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales is the opposite of returning to his Golden Age roots, same as the drastically redesigned costume by Jim Lee, same as Luthor being already hairless when Superman first meets him, same as Clark Kent working at a rival newspaper to Lois and Jimmy, same as Lois thinking Superman is a trouble-making menace to Metropolis, Clark Kent's persona being a poor slob with messy hair, wrinkled untucked shirts, no tie, etc. And people trusted the Golden Age Jerry Siegel Superman as a hero. In Action Comics #6 (1938) by Jerry Siegel, the newspaper headline for World Herald says "Entire Town Saved by Superman" and Evening News says "Superman Wars on Injustice", etc.

Waid cribbed a few scenes from the Golden Age, while Byrne knew next to nothing about it...or Superman, period. What Byrne took most from was the Donner movies and the George Reeves TV show.
John Byrne's The Man of Steel and his preceding Superman run is evidence to the contrary. Byrne's influences definitely included the Golden Age Jerry Siegel Superman comics, as I pointed out and gave examples of in my first post on the thread, as well as Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie, the George Reeves Adventures of Superman TV series, the Fleischer Superman cartoons and even some Silver Age Superman comics (Ed Hamilton and Wayne Boring's heavyset business suited con-man Luthor, Bill Finger's Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris, Otto Binder's Lucy Lane, Bizarro, etc.), and Jack Kirby's Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen and New Gods comics from the Bronze Age with Dan Turpin, Darkseid, etc.

It was a total Marvelization, as Byrne is one of many writers who cannot handle Superman and therefore runs from the challenge by changing him. His Superman was a mix of Spider-Man (with the constant running home to mommy scenes cribbed from Spidey going to Aunt May for advice) and also Colossus, as Superman was turned into a near-moronic farmboy gentle giant type of character. There's also some 'Lil Abner and Lennie Small in there.
Where is Superman constantly running home to mommy for advice during John Byrne's The Man of Steel and preceding Superman run? They do not exist. After he became Superman he visited with his elderly foster parents in Smallville rarely. Nor did Byrne portray Superman as near-moronic at all. Superman often defeated foes by outsmarting them during Byrne's run.
Superman figured out that Bizarro is an artificial being with cells that mimic living cells and that Lucy's vision was being restored by exposure to some of the dust from Bizarro's body that mimics living cells in The Man of Steel (1986) "The Mirror, Crack'd" by John Byrne.
Superman figured out how to move the whole structure of Professor Emmet Vale's underground laboratory into space by burrowing around the lab at super-speed, using his heat-vision to fuse the silicates in the soil into a steel-hard bowl a yard thick and then lift the entire complex and carry it "up, up, and away" from the earth and position the whole thing at the Lagrange point, where the gravities of the earth and the moon combine to create an area of stability in Superman #1 (1987) "Heart of Stone" by John Byrne.
Superman figured out the control circuitry on scientist David Gundersen's mind-transferring machine to transfer his mind back to his own body in Action Comics #584 (1987) "Squatter!" by John Byrne.
Superman figured out that everything in Host was suboperated to the transfer circuits and Superman outsmarted the H'v'ler'ni into turning on each other and causing a massive short circuit of all of Host's internal systems in Superman #6 (1987) "The Last Five Hundred" by John Byrne.
Superman figured out how to absorb Rampage's solar radiation into his own cell structure and then found a way to discharge it by hitting himself with lightening in Superman #7 (1987) "Rampage!" by John Byrne.
Superman and the Metal Men outsmarted Chemo, who had duplicated the powers of Superman, by the Metal Men blocking the sun's rays, and Superman using his heat-vision to make Chemo boil in order to have Chemo's chemical components jet out of his super-heated steam. Superman blasts it with his super-breath to propel it into the high atmosphere to crystallize and remain harmless floating at the edge of space. Superman figures out that without his molten insides, Chemo's empty body has gone as hard and brittle as glass, and with a tap from Superman, shatters into pieces in Action Comics #590 (1987) "Better Living/Dying through Chemistry" by John Byrne.
Superman figured out that a secret satellite had been in orbit that was bombarding half the country with chosen wavelengths of solar energy, the same solar energy that drives Superman's powers. When the energy in his body reached a certain level, his powers went out of control. By "fine tuning" the radiation, Luthor could control which power went haywire at which point. When Superman flew up in space, he realized that he could see all of the infrared stars, Superman figured out that the robot, Klaash, was surrounded by a selective warping field which rendered it visible only in the infrared, and Superman's infrared vision was on, courtesy of Luthor, all the time he battled Klaash, so Superman dismantled the satellite that directed Klaash and made his powers go haywire, and presented the evidence against Luthor to the police in Superman #10 (1987) "The Super Menace of Metropolis!" by John Byrne.
Superman outsmarted Mr. Mxyzptlk into typing and saying his name backwards by re-wiring the insides of a giant type-writer at super-speed, so when Mxyzptlk hit the "m" key it made a "k," the "x" made an "l," and so on, because Superman depended on Mxyzptlk to cheat and use his powers to strike the correct keys, and when he did, Mxyzptlk came out Kltpzyxm, in Superman #11 (1987) "The Name Game" by John Byrne.
When Darkseid tried to trick Superman and Wonder Woman into fighting each other by having each of them fight Kalibak and Amazing Grace in disguise as them and then having Kalibak and Amazing Grace duck out of view, so Superman and Wonder Woman would then battle each other, but Superman and Wonder Woman figured out that it was Darkseid's minions Kalibak and Amazing Grace disguised that they were each fighting, realizing that Darkseid's minions do not have the same level of power that Superman and Wonder Woman have and they noticed their impostors conveniently ducked out of view in order to try to get Superman and Wonder Woman to fight each other but instead they mocked fighting in order to cover their search for Darkseid, which brought them right to Darkseid's secret lair in Action Comics #600 (1988) "Different Worlds" by John Byrne.
Mr. Mxyzptlk bets Superman he can't make Mxyzptlk paint his face blue and Superman outsmarted Mxyzptlk by changing the makeup Mxyzptlk puts on to a kind that changes color under special lighting conditions to blue in The Adventures of Superman #441 (1988) "The Tiny Terror of Tinseltown" by John Byrne.
Superman deduced a way to defeat Psi-Phon and Dreadnaught with his intelligence by forcing Psi-Phon to overload Dreadnaught. Superman deduced that Psi-Phon created something very much like psychosomatic blindness. Just as a person afflicted with that ailment can still see, but his brain refuses to accept the images transmitted by his eyes, his powers were still there, he just couldn't work them. Psi-Phon was testing the strength and intelligence of the superheroes by analyzing the brains of beings with super-powers, finding the area of the brain that controls the power and shut it off, the Dreadnaught duplicates the power, thus creating the illusion that they steal it. Psi-Phon and Dreadnaught were not really alive. They were super-sophisticated probes, sent by an unknown alien race to determine if the earths heroes were smart enough to foil a would be invasion in The Adventures of Superman #442 (1988) "Power Play" by John Byrne.

As for how he turned Luthor into Kingpin, all I have to say is:

Originally Posted by Neil Gaiman
It's a pity Lex Luthor has become a multinationalist; I liked him better as a bald scientist. He was in prison, but they couldn't put his mind in prison. Now he's just a skinny Kingpin.
Neil Gaiman prefers the Silver Age to Bronze Age Lex and his use of the snide "skinny Kingpin" remark also doesn't make it a fact.

This is how badly Byrne misunderstands Luthor:

Originally Posted by John Byrne
I never believed the original Luthor. Every story would begin with him breaking out of prison, finding some giant robot in an old lab he hid somewhere, and then he'd be defeated. My view was if he could afford all those labs and giant robots he wouldn't need to rob banks. I also thought later that Luthor should not have super powers. Every other villain had super powers. Luthor's power was his mind. He needed to be smarter than Superman. Superman's powers had to be useless against him because they couldn't physically fight each other and Superman was simply not as smart as Luthor."
John Byrne didn't even say that. That quote is from Marv Wolfman from this interview:

Maggin easily wrote the best Luthor ever, a character who was not a "mad scientist" because he was completely sane. Maggin's Luthor is a good man who took a tragic turn-his involvement in crime is a tragedy. Luthor doesn't rob banks, he has billions hidden in secret accounts and under false names. He only stays in prison as long as he wishes to, and he only breaks out to fight Superman. There is nothing else in the world that is worthy of his time or his brilliance. And lastly, Byrne's comment about how Superman is not as smart as Luthor is very ironic, considering that the reason Superman always beat Luthor in Maggin's stories is because Lex underestimated Superman's own intelligence, plus Superman is a genius in his own right, as per the intentions of Jerry Siegel, his creator.
Again, Byrne didn't make that comment about Superman not being as smart as Luthor, those are Marv Wolfman's words and views. Luthor underestimated Superman's own intelligence in Byrne's stories. Byrne's Superman is quite intelligent.

The sales of all DC titles were down in the early 80's. In fact, at one time it was even being tossed around that Marvel might have licensed some of DC's characters, and Byrne actually pitched the same basic thing that he ended up doing in Man of Steel, and Shooter said that if Marvel had licensed Superman, he would have rejected Byrne's pitch (no shock there, as Shooter actually knows his Superman). And none of the Post-Crisis sales matched the sales in terms of units and more importantly, market share, that Superman had in the 60's, which was by far his most successful, iconic and important period.
The sales of DC's flagship characters were down in the early '80s, Superman was still the Weisinger version, which was viewed as too powerful and dull by much of the public, Batman also had an image problem as he was still viewed as Adam West's version by much of the public, and Wonder Woman's sales were down after the cancellation of the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV show.
Superman comics were generally more successful in the '50s with the success and popularity of the George Reeves Adventures of Superman TV show, than in the '60s.
All comic book sales generally were lower in the '80s than they were back in the '50s and '60s. They were still sold everywhere, but the growing popularity of video games had a negative impact on comic book sales.
However, Superman #75 (1992), "The Death of Superman" issue, set a record as DC's best selling single issue ever.
Comic book sales shrunk much, much more into it's current closeted state when they stopped selling comic books in mainstream newstands, shopping centers and grocery stores.
What John Byrne purposed as Marvel's version of Superman to Jim Shooter in 1984 is very different from what he ended up doing in The Man of Steel in 1986. There is no Council of Twelve seen in The Man of Steel. A pregnant Lara didn't get sent in the rocket to earth and pulled out by Jonathan Kent and then gives birth and names the boy Kal-El before she dies in The Man of Steel. Instead, Kal-El was created by artificial insemination in The Man of Steel and there is a birthing-matrix in the rocketship in The Man of Steel. Byrne's version of Krypton in The Man of Steel is influenced by Donner's version, but it's not repeating Donner's version. John Byrne said, "I liked the cold, antiseptic Krypton that I saw in the movie." Jonathan Kent doesn't die from a heart attack in a tractor stuck in some mud in The Man of Steel. Lois doesn't get any stories first in The Man of Steel and Perry White doesn't urge Clark to try harder in The Man of Steel. There is no President taken captive by terrorists in The Man of Steel. Clark doesn't suddenly start using his powers for good and become Superman after he gets the job at the Daily Planet in The Man of Steel. He doesn't suddenly start wearing glasses to help disguise himself when he’s Clark Kent after he gets the job at the Daily Planet in The Man of Steel. Superman doesn't break up an armored car robbery, or rescues a stuck tramway car, or pulls subway cars full of people from a collapsed tunnel where Lois first meets him as Superman in The Man of Steel. Luthor isn't first seen as a shadowy figure watching television news accounts of the exploits of Superman and reading the Daily Planet article by Clark Kent in The Man of Steel. The Man of Steel is very different than the version he had purposed to Marvel in 1984.

I think it's pure garbage, but seeing that you do defend Miller and love how Superman was in DKR and DKSA, it all makes sense now. It's a shame that you have such a solid factual knowledge of comics history but, IMO, you just don't get Superman. Most Batman fans don't.
Saying those you disagree with "just don't get Superman," are just "Batman fans" and are "Superman haters" is both childish and untrue. I just prefer a different version of Superman than you do. To each his own. Over the years there have been radically different versions of Superman so each of us today has a highly personal view of who Superman is and favor those Superman stories that reinforce our view, our Superman. I'm a fan of both Superman and Batman.

All of that is true, but Mort treated all his people like crap. Guy was a douche, although he had a lot of personal issues as well. It does piss me off to no end that Siegel had to suffer such treatment, but it was not just Mort who did Siegel wrong-it was all of National. I'd like to see a version of Superman that would have been closer to Siegel intentions: Superboy from basically the beginning (he pitched the idea to DC in 38), and the entire K-Metal scenario would have completely changed Superman very early on.

Just by discovering and preserving K-Metal, Waid did more for Superman than Byrne ever did.
Neither John Byrne or Mark Waid knew Jerry Siegel's unpublished "K-Metal from Krypton" story from 1940 even existed before 1988. Mark Waid just happened to come across it when he was working in the DC library in 1988, where it had been preserved and forgotten for decades.
Jerry Siegel envisioned Superboy as a super-prankster rather than as a crime-fighter. Jerry Siegel sued DC for their use of Superboy and for publishing a Superboy without even consulting with him first or trying to buy the rights from Jerry Siegel first. "It is clear to me that, in publishing Superboy, the Detective Comics, Inc. acted illegally," said the judge J. Addison Young in his 1948 ruling. "I cannot accept defendant's view that Superboy was in reality Superman. I think Superboy was a separate and distinct entity."

Half-man, half-bat.
Originally Posted by DaRkVeNgeanCe View Post
Manbat I adore you, those articles were amazing thanks!!!
Originally Posted by Octoberist View Post
Honesty, God bless you Man-Bat.
Originally Posted by The Joker View Post
Wow, brilliant post, man. Seriously, I couldn't possibly counter debate that. That post is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. You're obviously a true scholar of Batman lore
You've convinced me. Well played, sir. It's great to debate with someone who has the hard facts to back up what they say

Last edited by theMan-Bat; 12-19-2011 at 05:31 PM.
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