Thread: "Joyless" ?
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Old 10-19-2013, 06:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: "Joyless" ?

Originally Posted by smallville fan View Post
I really don't like how Superman is now suddenly obligated to be happy-go-lucky and funny just because the Donner films said so.
There is a difference between funny and joy. A child's birth is a joyful experience, it isn't humorous, though.

In my opinion, they held the character back from reaching the sort of potential I wanted to see, and is probably the reason to why many prefer Batman to Superman.
All-Star Superman is widely considered as one of the best "cape" comic books ever written, the story revolves around Superman coming to terms with his own mortality, whether humanity will be safe without him, as well as trying to prevent his own demise.

The story is still joyful. Because it's a celebration of the character.

I personally believe Superman can be interpreted to be even a more tragic, angsty and somber character(as seen in some episodes of Smallville) than Batman, except he chose rise above all that tragedy and make things better and hopeful about it rather than go deep and vengeful about it like Batman.
Batman can also be interpreted as a joyful character. Despite battling insane foes and risking his life, he knows how cool it is to be Batman and Bruce Wayne. He's the world's most eligible bachelor and has multiple women on his arms, he's a billionaire, he drives sports cars, he has a flying car, the coolest gadgets in the world:
"They say you're cool, like James Bond"
"James Bond? Oh no, I'm much cooler than he is".

Just because something can be done in a story does not mean it should be defined by it.

In my perception of how a Superman origin should go(which MOS nailed btw) it should carry the theme of sacrifice(as emphasized in the Krypton sequence as Jor-El had to betray his people to save his son and sacrifice his life to save Kal-El, the Tornado scene where Jonathan Kent told his son not to save his life just to sacrifice his life for protecting his secret and in many instances in Smallville, the show). For anybody, knowing that your loved ones will always sacrifice their lives and die for you because of what you will bring to the world(even though you are practically a god) and that "the world will always need you" would weigh anybody down.
The story sure is one of sacrifice, and of hope. But being Superman should not be a sacrifice for Clark. Clark wants to be Superman, he wants to be saving people, that is who he is (not in a "who is the real man sense"). Clark should find joy in being Superman, and the film did not express that.

Plus the fact that he "lives in a world of cardboard" and that he lived as a human only to realize he was never one of us, plus always having to hold himself back creates many hardships for him, another somber and perhaps angsty theme that comes with being Superman. This was seen a lot in Smallville(for example in the early years he felt he could never truly be with Lana even when the door was wide open and of course in the movie with the flashbacks).
The thing is though, that's not what the film presented us (in regards to being an alien) with at all. Clark was angsty when he was lost, and lacked identity, but the first scene of him after he finds out who he is, he's the happiest we see him in the film, he's beaming to his mother and we see he considers himself a child of both worlds.

All in all, the bottom line here is: Superman, especially in modern years is not as happy go lucky as some people think he is. I think in later movies there will be a progression in tone and things will become more hopeful.
Y'all need some more comics up in here.

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