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Old 02-22-2011, 08:58 AM   #108
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Default Re: Superman's power level

Originally Posted by Kurosawa View Post
People who understand and can write him correctly know that his power level is not an issue to making the character interesting. When people say they feel Superman is too powerful to write interesting stories with, they are actually making excuses for their own failures to handle the character. Superman could move planets but he couldn't change what is inside the hearts of men like Luthor or stop the evil heartless androids like Brainiac with just power alone. Superman's world is about morality and decisions. This is what makes him so interesting-that he is a moral, altruistic man in an ever more selfish and cruel world.
Originally Posted by TruerToTheCore View Post
Lex Luthor, Brainiac or Mongul (here's some irony for you: Pre-Crisis Mongul was STRONGER than Superman, Post-Crisis they had about the same power) are not capable of challenging Superman?
I was once talking with someone about the common reason people say they don't like Superman because he's too powerful and isn't "relatable." It was in response to Whedon's comments on why DC films suck. You can read these about it...

He said this...

Yeah, I can definitely relate to Spider-Man, who's so nerdy that nobody likes him, yet who inexplicably has his pick of big-tittied girls who all want to sleep with him for some reason. That's so relatable. I think it happened to me last week.

I've said it before and I'll say it as often as I have to. The idea that Superman is not a relatable character is BS. He might not be especially relatable to teenagers, who might see more of themselves in Spider-Man or Batman (characters with a bad case of adolescent arrested development), but Superman is a character who relates more to the struggles of adults who have gone out to make their way in the world. Superman is what comes after you put down your silly "me against the world" mentality and adopt a less self-centered worldview.

When you lose a loved one, blaming yourself and bettering yourself out of guilt is Spider-Man. Feeling wronged and bettering yourself out of a need to lash out is Batman. Reflecting on the positive aspects of the one you loved and bettering yourself by emulating them is Superman.

And there's the very basic routine of how he conducts his life. Superman isn't a rich guy with a huge house and lots of cars. He's not a nerdy teenager who inexplicably has a dream job and lots of big-breasted female suitors. He goes to work. He has a good friend at the office, a boss with whom he shares an unspoken mutual respect, and a female coworker for whom he pines. His whole life is one of labors for the benefit of the world around him--not to sate personal guilt, get revenge, or anything silly like that--which is very much a working class thing.

It has nothing to do with power level, either. Saying you identify with Spider-Man more because he's less powerful is like saying you identify with MJ more because Shaq is taller.
He later went on to say this when Snyder was announced as director...

With great power…

Superman has immense powers and an unerring moral compass. People often mistake this to mean that Superman has no problems. How can he, if he can do anything and he always knows what’s right? But consider it: Superman insists on using his powers consistently with what his moral compass tells him. That’s what makes him special.

When we fail to act according to what we know to be true, or act in spite of what we know to be false, the consequences can be devastating. Imagine what that’s like for Superman. His problem is never about whether or not he has enough power to do something. It’s that he has enough power to do anything. It’s a terrible responsibility that often gets glibly underestimated.

The Formula

Those problems are only made worse by people’s expectations of superhero stories. The formula goes like this: establish the character, explain his powers, and pit him against another character with similar powers. That’s superheroes in a nutshell, right?

The problem is that the formula is barely interesting in the first place. When you factor in Superman’s absolute physical superiority, you get a dramatically inert physical conflict. Superman’s always going to punch the bad guy out.

The trick is to find other ways to challenge him. Superman: The Movie (1978) and Superman II used romance to complicate Superman’s feeling of obligation towards humanity. That’s one strategy. Choosing complex villains is another.

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