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Old 12-24-2011, 09:08 PM   #110
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Default Re: What was Mark Waid's issues with the 1986 retelling?

Originally Posted by theMan-Bat View Post
Heh, you underestimate me.

The Super Friends cartoons were made by Hanna-Barbara Productions, Inc., for the ABC television network. Hanna-Barbera had acquired the rights to adapted the Warner/DC characters for television. Frank Miller had nothing to do with Hanna-Barbara or ABC and certainly was not a Super Friends fan. Alan Brennert and Frank Miller definitely were not pals. Brennert hated Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. As reported in Comics Journal #111 (September, 1986), on June 27, 1986, Alan Brennert called into Harlan Ellison's Hour 25 radio talk show which was broadcast on Los Angeles KPFK (90.7 FM):

As I acknowledged, Frank Miller was making changes to Batman's history, yet, Miller's Batman: Year One left most previous Batman stories intact. Gordon's age wasn't specified in those early Finger and Kane stories. Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns featured a friendship between Bruce Wayne and Gordon and Frank Miller's Batman: Year One featured a developing friendship between Bruce Wayne and Gordon as Bruce saved Gordon's baby. Frank Miller obviously changed the baby to James Junior. I already pointed out that Frank Miller made Alfred the person who raised Bruce. Batman isn't shown facing the Joker in Batman: Year One. The Joker was only referenced as somebody threatening to poison the water. That does not mean the early Finger and Kane Joker stories couldn't have also happened. Gordon's love life was not stated in the early Finger and Kane stories. Selina's origin was not stated in those early Finger and Kane stories. She first appeared without an origin and was only known as just the Cat originally, and she was never once called "Catwoman" in Batman: Year One.
As for The Spirit, Frank Miller explained: "The specific stories that made the core of this movie were three. One was 'Sand Saref' (originally published on January 8th, 1950 in The Spirit newspaper strip) the second one was 'Bring In Sand Saref' (originally published on January 15th, 1950 in The Spirit newspaper strip) which is basically a two-parter. And the other one was another story called 'Showdown' (originally published on February 4th, 1951 in The Spirit newspaper strip), which was nothing but a bloody fight between the Spirit and the Octopus where it was demonstrated that both of them could withstand inhuman punishment, which led then to figuring out how to justify that. And that’s where the original part of the screenplay takes shape because the relationship between the Octopus and the Spirit is at the heart of the story. It allowed me to make the Spirit a man who is existentially confused about why he came back from the dead."
Alan Burnett and Alan Brennert are two different people, but that interview you posted is awesome, and while Brennert is already one of my favorite writers, my respect for him has increased even more after that. He also added Kathy Kane to Earth-Two because O'Neil killed the Earth-One version. He's a better writer than Miller and O'Neil combined.

Originally Posted by theMan-Bat View Post
I don't like Geoff Johns' shoehorning the Richard Donner movie style Krypton into the comics at all, either. It looks just as dated to the 1978 movie with the feathered hair, etc., as the Silver Age and Bronze Age Krypton looked to the 1930s Flash Gordon movie serials. I prefer The Man of Steel version by John Byrne. Byrne really updated it without just repeating Donner's version.
Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Krypton is the style that Shuster intended, and I find Byrne's Krypton to be incredibly ugly, both visually and as a society. I don't like Byrne's designs much.

I do not ignore early Superman stories where he was a vigilante and I do not ignore Batman being officially deputized in the comics first. Batman becoming part of the establishment in Batman #7 (1941) "The People vs. The Batman" wasn't really Bill Finger's decision. Bob Kane explained in his autobiography Batman & Me, "The editors placed increasing limitations on what Bill and I could you. The new editorial policy was to get away from Batman's vigilantism and to bring him over to the side of the law. The whole moral climate changed after the 1940-1941 period. DC prepared it's own comics code which every writer and artist had to follow. It forbade any whippings or hangings, knifings, or sexual references. Even the word 'flick' was forbidden because the lettering (all in block capitals) might run together."
Here's some scans from that book:

DC's Editorial Director Whitney Ellsworth had created DC's own comics code in the form of an Editorial Advisory Board in 1941.
These book excerpts are from Comic Book Nation by Bradford W. Wright about the Editorial Board DC had:

And the effect on Batman:

Every DC title had a list of the Editorial Advisory Board members on the inside front cover:
Jerry Siegel's Superman's early vigilante actives consisted of his concerned for social issues and early attempts at social reform without having the legal authority, including traffic safety, juvenile delinquency, urban renewal. Superman also executed criminals occasionally without legal authority, but much less frequently than Batman had killed criminals.

Batman was made part of the establishment because of the new editorial policy to get away from Batman's vigilantism and to bring him over to the side of the law. Unlike Finger and Kane's stated dislike of DC's insistence in 1941 that Batman become part of the establishment, Superman's progression into having an accepted relationship in the establishment was never stated as an issue of contention for Jerry Siegel, and Superman's gradual developing acceptance in the establishment seems more like natural character progression by Jerry Siegel since Superman wasn't forced into the establishment in 1941 like Batman had been by DC's new Editorial Advisory Board.

Bill Finger and Bob Kane made it clear that Batman would have remained an anti-establishment vigilante had Bill Finger and Bob Kane had control. But Superman wouldn't have remained the same if Jerry Siegel had complete control. Jerry Siegel's "The K-Metal from Krypton" story of Superman in 1940, with revealing his secret identity to Lois, which had been completely penciled, inked, and lettered, made it clear that Jerry Siegel was interested in evolving and changing Superman's life with character growth, relationships evolving and changing. I believe that included Superman's relationship with the establishment evolving and changing over time.
I feel that most of Siegel's feelings about Superman as a character are clouded by the bad business deals that he and Shuster had signed. Who knows how opposed he was or wasn't to making Superman part of the establishment. But I doubt he would have ever wanted Superman to be treated like he was a pet by the President or anyone. It's degrading to Superman, which is why Miller did it and why you apologize for it.

As for Superman's relationship with the establishment:
In Action Comics #1 (1938) by Jerry Siegel, the Governor says to the members of his staff about Superman, "Thank heaven he's apparently on the side of law and order!"
In Superman #13 (1941) "Baby on the Doorstep" by Jerry Siegel, when Superman turns a captured foreign spy chief over to the police force, one of the police officers remarks admirably to Superman, "If we could only draft you into the force!"
In Superman #15 (1942) "The Napkanese Saboteurs" by Jerry Siegel, Superman aids the U.S. Navy and has thwarted an attempt by Napkan saboteurs to sink a newly christened American battleship, Navyman Hank Fox pays Superman this tribute, "How fortunate we are here in America to have someone of Superman's caliber to aid us! In my opinion, he's worth several Armies and Navies!"
In Superman #17 (1942) "When Titans Clash" by Jerry Siegel, when Superman turns a group of Luthor's henchmen over to the police, Superman says, "Always glad to help the police!"
In Superman #20 (1943) "Lair of the Leopard" by Jerry Siegel, as Superman helps the police apprehend the Leopard's henchmen, a police office remarks about Superman, "To think we once considered him outside the law!"
In Superman #22 (1943) "The Great ABC Panic" by Jerry Siegel, the nation plunges into chaos when the Prankster copyrights the English alphabet, and Clark thinks to himself, "What can I do? The Prankster has the law on his side, and I won't flout justice at any cost!"
The police only went after Batman a few times as well, and it seemed more like Gordon himself who early on had an issue with him, mostly because Batman was making the police look incompetent. They never called in the national military to go after him like they did with Superman. If anything, the authorities backed off of Superman's case because they knew they had no shot at stopping him. With Batman, it was more that Gordon correctly made the case that Batman's operations helped make Gotham City a better place. And there were several early Batman stories that also reflected a social conscience, as Batman helped keep youths away from crime. The early Superman and Batman were quite similar, in fact. It's just that Miller dislikes the character of Superman, IMO, and until he shows him in a positive light, I'll continue to believe that. And no, taking over Earth with Wonder Woman and becoming a super-dictator as he does in DKSA doesn't count, at least not to me.

Batman was an extremely violent vigilante, and beat up police and used an actual gun that fired bullets and killed with it, Batman killed often, and comic books were getting criticized for violence, which is why DC's Editorial Director Whitney Ellsworth was so strict that Batman never use a gun again, never kill again and immediately become part of the establishment in 1941.
He killed no more often than other early super-heroes, but he was much more famous than characters like Hawkman, who also killed. And other characters, like Captain America, Bucky, Human Torch and Toro, and Sub-Mariner all did a lot of killing too, but that was war so it's different. Timely's books were always wilder and more violent than National's.

Denny O'Neil had returned Batman as a dark, mysterious vigilante back in the '70s Bronze Age. Michael Fleisher had returned the Spectre as a dark and vicious entity killing villains in creative and gruesome ways in the '70s Bronze Age, while Superman stayed iconically patriotic and law-abiding in the Bronze Age.
Not everyone thought Superman was beyond reproach in the Bronze Age:

Yes, John Byrne said that Dick Giordano came to him and asked him to reboot Superman, and Byrne said that he would have been willing to work within the previous continuity.
Yeah, and Byrne did show that he could write a more classic Superman in Generations. That's why I don't blame JB completely-that and I do like his non-Superman work for the most part.

The deathbed advice made sense in the origin story written by Bill Finger because that origin story didn't include Superboy, so Clark hadn't already been using his powers for the good of mankind.
Even with a Superboy history, parents stay parents until the end and to them, it is all about their children and helping them. And the way Maggin wrote the scene, if you had read it, then you would understand that Jonathan's point it he can't treat it like it is fun and games forever.

I've never seen you criticize anything Maggin has done.
1. That's avoiding the question
2. I'm not a big fan of his Superwoman character.
3. You defended Miller's Spirit movie.

Jerry Siegel's best stories were in the Golden Age, in my opinion, especially the wildly imaginative "Case of the Funny Paper Crimes," the action-packed "Bandit Robots of Metropolis," "The Beasts of Luthor", etc. Jerry Siegel still had such creative freedom to let his imagination run wild in the Golden Age.
I love his Golden Age stuff, but nothing he wrote then could touch "The Death of Superman!" and "Superman's Return to Krypton" to me. Except for the Powerstone Saga, that is. It's actually my favorite Superman story of all time.

The Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves has certainly had lasting power. It's been aired in syndication for decades. In 1966 Topps released card sets of the Adventures of Superman series starring George Reeves, rather than pictures from the '60s comics. The legacy of the Adventures of Superman TV series includes it's influence on The New Adventures of Superman TV series by Filmation in the '60s, the "Truth, justice and the American way" line in Donner's Superman: The Movie in 1978, John Byrne's characterization of Clark Kent in 1986, Inspector Henderson introduced into the comics in 1987, the original Superman title renamed The Adventures of Superman in 1987, etc., etc.
Never said it wasn't. But it wasn't as important as the Batman TV series, or that is to say it was not as harmful as the Batman TV series was to Batman-in fact it didn't hurt Superman at all, while Batman has always had to deal with the effects of the campy TV show. It's taken the Nolan movies to finally sort of put it behind Batman.

Regardless, have a good holiday.

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