Thread: Superman Lives!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:54 PM   #224
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Default Re: Superman Lives!

Originally Posted by Dr. View Post
Much of your post speaks of Supes in an abstract sense - as cultural icon and metaphor, and with the idealized qualities that are not far removed from certain religious figures. Nothing wrong with that, per se. Indeed, if you were writing a scholarly analysis of Superman as a symbol, it would be entirely appropriate to explore the moral and ethical attributes that the character has accumulated over the decades - and has come to personify as a pop cultural touchstone.

The problem is, Superman also has to function as a character in a set of narratives. And the more he’s delineated as an idealized construct, the less dramatically interesting he becomes. Now when that point is raised, the (petulant?) response is often: “Well, it’s a sad day when virtuousness is considered boring.” But this deflects the issue. Certainly, people are free to worship whomever they want. And they can also compose thoughtful dissertations on how noble and non-boring these wise sages are. But, typically, those sages are not - additionally - pressed into service as action heroes in adventure stories.

Again, if Superman is just a symbol (appearing only on posters and bumper stickers) then idealization works just fine. But if he’s an actual character, then he needs to be treated as such. The over-veneration has been a chronic liability for poor Supes.
Superman needn't be consumed with angst to function as an entertaining character. Superman wouldn't have been a success for decades, entertaining generations, if he failed to function as an entertaining character. As conceived and created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman was a generally positive, upbeat, enthusiastic personality, often smiling...

Action Comics #5 (1938) by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster:

Showed a great sense of humor and toyed with the criminals humorously...
Action Comics #12 (1939) by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster:

Action Comics #9 (1939) by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster:

Action Comics #7 (1938) by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster:

Action Comics #7 (1938) by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster:

Action Comics #2 (1938) by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster:

Action Comics #12 (1939) by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster:

In live-action George Reeves captured that personality, the sense of humor, smiling amusedly at criminals as they shoot him and the bullets harmlessly bounce off him, etc. on the Adventures of Superman television series.

Although lacking the rougher edge of the Golden Age Superman, Christopher Reeve's version captured the sense of humor in Superman: The Movie with "Hi there! Something wrong with the Elevator?" etc. Jerry Siegel even commented, "He really captured the sense of humor that Joe (Shuster) and I intended the early character to have."

As for Superman being an positive inspirational moral figure, that also goes back to how Siegel and Shuster created the character, and beyond him being a positive inspirational moral figure to people in Superman's world, he also can be a positive inspirational figure on audiences. For example...

Writer Denny O'Neil remembered the effect of Superman's words against racism had on him when he was a kid listening to the Adventures of Superman radio show in the 1940s. "The Superman radio show, I know, gave me my first peek into race situations because I remember, I was a avid listener of that show, if you can imagine little Denny O’Neil standing listening to mommy’s radio, every afternoon at 5:15," he said with a laugh. "And Superman once said that the difference in skin color was only due to a chemical. And that was the first time I ever heard anything like that. It is now 66 years later or so, and I still remember it."

Originally Posted by BlueLightning View Post
I must say theMan-Bat, even if I don't always agree with your posts, they are an enjoyable read.
Originally Posted by BH/HHH View Post
I've got a lot of respect for Man-Bat, the guys got great knowledge. I agree I really enjoy reading his posts too.
Thank you. I appreciate that.

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; 02-27-2013 at 03:34 AM.
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