Originally Posted by Human Torch
The problem that most people seem to have (and I'm not saying you alone) is thinking "We can't have the DONNER Superman today!That Chris Reeve was a nice guy and all,but nobody would buy him today."
But let me tell you where it's at kids: The 70's were (if possible) even more cynical than today.Even Reeve said at the time people can't help but smirk at the line "Truth,Justice & The American Way" but he still says it convincingly. Because Superman is supposed to stand for optimism,even in the most bleak and cynical times.He's the ideal that we strive to follow.
Instead the "modern" Superman has to be brought down to our level.Look!He's as depressed and moody as I am! Hooray!
I don't necessarily feel I should identify with Superman as I should admire him.
It's something that Kevin Smith has brought up.In the same way most modern films approach Jesus.I don't want to see Jesus as the guy next door,brought down to my pitiful level.That's not who He was,so that's not what I want to see.Superman is similar in that respect.He's not defined by what he can't do,but by what he can do.And it's much more than any of us can,that's for sure.
Here's a response to some of the stuff you said.
Dude, just in case I forgot to mention it in my earlier post, I LOVED the Chris Reeve Superman films, including Quest for Peace, which is almost universally despised. I saw SM TM in 1978, and came out feeling like I could fly ( I was 8).
Saw MOS in 2013, had the same feeling. LOVED IT ! To reiterate, it ain't 1978 anymore.
I still love the Chris Reeve films, but if I was seeing them for the first time,
I'd certainly question a lot of stuff about it, particularly the ending
-possibly the lamest superhero ending ever, he flies around the world and
turns back time (which wouldn't actually fix the problems).
First, you don't want Jesus as the guy next door ? Fair enough.
Your beliefs are your own, and I respect them.
Personally, I do, because if Jesus can be just a guy like me with real
hopes and fears, then maybe I too can do something worthwhile with my life that can change the world.
Superman, same deal. I love that he's a guy who grew wondering where he came from, not fitting in and really struggling to find himself. In fact, coming from humble beginnings like that make it more believable that once he learns to accept his great power, that he'll stay the good guy that he was brought up to be (if anything he's a poster boy for good parenting).
Maybe then, if I ever have great power in my hands I'll be inspired to use it to benefit the world, rather than for my own selfish desires.
tell ya, my favourite scenes in MOS are
1) flight: because that's when Clark accepts that he's kind of a demi-god and is okay with it, and even that isn't easy.
2) "you're the answer son." because the reason Superman feels empathy for people is because he was brought up parents who loved him.
3) the big smile on Cav-El's face when he tells his mom "I found 'em. My parents, My people, I know where I come from."
And I loved the mayhem and destruction and the all the ass-kicking too. About damn time
Superman threw a PUNCH !!!!! for those of you not familiar with the comic book paradigm,
Superman's number one move when some menace threatening earth is ......PUNCHING.
Darkseid shows up, threatens to turn us all into slaves, or puddles of goo, or both and
POW ! Superman punches his stony-faced-ass back to the firepits. Why that hasn't translated into the movies, and people are weirded out when Supes punches Zod across the sky ? I just don't know.
This next bit I'm putting a spoiler tag on. If you are a Christian you might not want to keep reading. I respect your faith, and your entitlement to believe in Christ the redeemer. But, I wasn't the one who brought up the Superman
vs. Jesus comparison. However, I feel I still have to address it.
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
Interesting the Superman vs Jesus comparisons. I think that's dangerous territory, because someone might make an argument that goes like this...
.... lets proceed from the assumption that both characters actually existed
in the same world (Jesus and Superman ) - I'm not saying Jesus didn't exist,
there's apparently historical proof, and of course that Superman doesn't exist
but IF they both did.....
On one hand we have Superman
1) He selflessly uses his great power for the benefit of others, not himself, and saves the world from alien invaders bent on genocide. If you want to admire Superman, admire him for having the power to do something, and then doing it -because a lot of people, who have a lot of power to make changes in the world, don't.
And then there's Jesus
2) You can argue that Jesus made a much more long lasting contribution, because he healed a few people, but more because he said lots of important stuff, got killed -and apparently rose from the dead.
And in that important stuff he said, which was written down after he died,
there was a lot about hope and comfort and being good to other people.
And there were lots of rules for people on how to live and what to think, and what was good and right, which somehow encouraged people to build churches to him, and carry out atrocities and wars in his name, and Kill other followers of his due to minor differences in interpretations of how people wrote down stuff he said (centuries after his death).
And, set up some people as leaders who commit abuses against children, discriminate against women, gays and anyone else they felt should be marginalized. Gather wealth, yet constantly appeal to the poorest of the poor to help them financially.......can you see where this is going.
So we've got Superman saving the world with his hands, and not telling anyone how to live or what to think, and then we've got Jesus, saying important stuff, getting killed and coming back to life, and his words living on and arguably doing as much harm as good.
Who's a better messiah ?
people might say Jesus, because somebody told them he saved their souls, by being crucified, and that God (who I actually believe in, not kidding) sent his son (an aspect of himself) to one of the most backward places in the world, 2000 years ago, kept him around for 33 years, let him die in agony and hasn't bothered to show up in person since then.
People believe this, not because of any extrinsic evidence or proof, but they believe it because they were told to believe it, and that a lot of other people believed it too.
By the way, the reward for believing this is that there's a life after life now, in which everything is good and fair, and the way it should be.
So it's okay to be subservient to the wealthy and powerful and suffer injustice in this life, because in the next life it'll all be better. Think critically about how things work in the real world, usually when something's too good to be true, it is (have a look at who tells us these things, and the underlying power structures that these promises maintain).
And then there's Superman....
(remember we're pretending he exists) someone who goes around making a tangible difference on a daily basis, not telling anyone what to do or what to believe, but just helping out, in the here and now or promising a better life if we do what he tells us. (BTW if you want to see what happens if Superman starts acting like Jesus, read Red Son, by Mark Millar).
In fact, I was deeply touched by the concept of Superman IV, arguably his worst film (although I loathed Superman Returns many times more than SM IV). A child writes to Superman, a prayer, save our planet from mutually assured destruction. What does he do ? He gets off his ass, and eliminates nuclear weapons.....until the wealthy and powerful find a way to stop him, and he has to resign himself not to interfering in human political affairs, and go back to trying to make the world a better place in ways humans can't **** up.
Again, which messiah is preferable ?
Anyway, this is just an argument. If people can't deal with arguments about faith, or can't critique their beliefs, then they can't be that strong.
Believing what they believe, because they believe it is circular logic - people who think like this are not using their intellect (which is odd, if they believe God gave it to them, what was if for ? ).
On the other hand, believing what they believe because they have really thought it through and made a choice, well hey, fair enough.
and that's why it's tricky comparing Superman to Jesus. An interesting stretch of the word Saviour.
Regardless, I'll take down-to-earth Jesus, and down-to-earth-Budweiser-drinking-football-watching-chest-hair sporting- doing-the-dishes-always-good-to-his-mom-working-minimum-wage and manual-labour-jobs-riding-a-bike-to-work-wears-blue jeans-Clark Kent
thanks very, because I'm human, and I like my heroes to have flaws, just like me.
Peace out Super-fans.