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Old 09-05-2010, 03:35 PM   #151
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I'm aware that Doc Savage has peak human abilities, but I've never heard them described as superhuman.
Then you need to read the pulps and the original advertising for them.

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Old 09-05-2010, 03:47 PM   #152
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

I'm not interested in reading Doc Savage books, I just want proof that he actually had super strength and it wasn't just some embellishment by the writers. Can he leap tall buildings, lift cars over his head, is he bulletproof? Is he definitively superhuman?

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Old 09-05-2010, 04:09 PM   #153
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I'm not interested in reading Doc Savage books, I just want proof that he actually had super strength and it wasn't just some embellishment by the writers. Can he leap tall buildings, lift cars over his head, is he bulletproof? Is he definitively superhuman?
You're kidding right? You actually have your nose out of joint because I pointed out that many of the characteristics and descriptions of Superman (1938) were predated by descriptions of Doc Savage (1933)?

BOTH Doc and Superman were written as entertainment by human beings. Both Doc and Superman are the results of embellishment by the writers. Doc was written as being trained from the earliest childhood by his father for a life of fighting crime. He is described as having the ultimate in human physical prowess. He has the strength of several men, he has trained his hearing to hear things others can't, he has superior eyesight and can see things that others can't. He has doctorites in medicine and many other sciences, he is an expert in martial arts, he is a genius who designed many of the things that people these days take for granted. And the most important thing to remember about him....he is a work of fiction. He's not real...and sadly neither is Superman.

I pointed out that the creaters of Superman took many aspects od Doc's mythos and incorporated that into his. If that hurts your sensibilities and you think you need to start an argument over which one can really jump the highest...well.....they...are...both...fiction.

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Old 09-05-2010, 04:45 PM   #154
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

I seem to recall a Doc Savage film I saw when I was a kid. That was along time ago tho so I may be wrong.

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Old 09-05-2010, 05:15 PM   #155
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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What Kurosawa fails to acknowledge (...and I've pointed this out to him so many times that I don't know why I keep trying) is that the Superman books were some of the lowest selling books on the shelves until DC asked Byrne to revamp the character. It was either fix the problem or let Superman become a dim memory.
Drama much? The character was hardly in trouble, and clearly he wasn't in the trouble that he is now. Those last few years were mostly placeholders, although Maggin's awesome "Ghost of Superman Future!/The Einstein Connection." issue which is better than anything Byrne ever wrote did come out of it.

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Yeah, I get it... Kuro is a huge fan of anything that doesn't disrupt his childhood image of the character but there are so many of us that also grew up with the character that couldn't sit thru another lame Bippo the superchimp/Lois as a cliche trying to discover Superman's secret identity/Luthor with yet another lame scheme and gadget.
Umm...my favorite version is the Golden Age, not the Silver, with the Bronze Age a close second. And people who represent the Silver Age as nothing BUT Jimmy Olsen Turtle Boy, Lois trying to expose his identity or Beppo the Supermonkey are either ignorant or lying. There were stupid stories and there were serious, great stories. All eras have had stupid stories-you know, like Big Barda and Superman doing porno or Clark and Superman being raised as brothers, or Superman having a force field and vibrating his face so he couldn't be photographed, or Lois being a mega-***** every issue, or...I think I've made my point.

Link discusses many of Byrne's degrading stories concerning women: BTW this is not a defense of the long running Lois and Lana as incredible shrews in Silver Age comics, as I never cared for that at ALL, and neither did Siegel, as he only wrote one story in the Golden Age where Lois suspected his identity and in fact wanted her to discover it in 1940.

http://www.heroplay.com/features/art...play.php?id=27

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DC was trying hard to make Superman a more interesting read. They tried to do some things with the character under the last part of Curt Swan's run but the problem was there were too many barnacles on boat to allow it to sail. It even got to the point where - not only was Clark NOT the last son of Krypton, it seemed the only Kryptonians who didn't die were Jor-el and Lara.
Superman being the last son of Krypton might have been an interesting take if 1) Krypton had been appealing at all and if 2) Superman had given a damn about his Kryptonian heritage. Byrne had a Krypton that deserved to be destroyed and a character that only regarded his heritage as an interesting story, like I would if I read something in an Encyclopedia or online.

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Luthor was just a cliche mad scientist. In an attempt to make him more of a threat they gave him the power suit. Fortunately, that part of the attempt survived into Corporate Shark Luthor. Anyone here remember the goofy Lynx arc? The Superman continuity just needed to be scraped clean and add the better elements back in a way that made sense and just wasn't silly.
Maggin's Luthor was more complex, interesting and sympathetic than anything Byrne wrote with Luthor. In fact, seeing as his Luthor didn't kill, I would say the Maggin Luthor is morally superior to Byrne's "Superman" who murdered in cold blood. Maggin and Cary Bates had a pitch that used the existing continuity and I'd love to see it. Alan Moore was right when he warned DC about alienating their current readers and creating a schism amongst Superman fans. The lack of a schism with Batman is a good part of why Batman flourishes while Superman flounders.

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So... here I go again (Hey, I played that last night in the club... the audience went nuts!) trying to bring K into the light... I should just call it a lost cause and move on.
I actually have had good things to say about some of what Stern, Jurgens, Joe Kelly and several other writers did with Superman during the Iron Age (86-2000), so I feel I am not as unreasonable as you think.

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Clark Savage Jr.
Called The Man of Bronze
Described as a Superman
Had a Fortress of Solitude in the arctic
Described as having superhuman strength, hearing, eyesight, intelligence


I didn't say rip off (you did)...I'm just saying who came first.
Very true, but to me that just explains more of why the two most innovative elements of Superman's creation was Clark Kent and the costume.

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Old 09-05-2010, 05:49 PM   #156
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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You're kidding right? You actually have your nose out of joint because I pointed out that many of the characteristics and descriptions of Superman (1938) were predated by descriptions of Doc Savage (1933)?

BOTH Doc and Superman were written as entertainment by human beings. Both Doc and Superman are the results of embellishment by the writers. Doc was written as being trained from the earliest childhood by his father for a life of fighting crime. He is described as having the ultimate in human physical prowess. He has the strength of several men, he has trained his hearing to hear things others can't, he has superior eyesight and can see things that others can't. He has doctorites in medicine and many other sciences, he is an expert in martial arts, he is a genius who designed many of the things that people these days take for granted. And the most important thing to remember about him....he is a work of fiction. He's not real...and sadly neither is Superman.

I pointed out that the creaters of Superman took many aspects od Doc's mythos and incorporated that into his. If that hurts your sensibilities and you think you need to start an argument over which one can really jump the highest...well.....they...are...both...fiction.
Ok then, so where does that leave Superman? If he's just derivative of Doc Savage, where's the value? What's the point in liking a character that's nearly a copy of another? I care about things like this. Tell me I need a life, I don't care. I just don't like it when I see something I enjoy unravel before my eyes till it's nothing.

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Old 09-05-2010, 06:28 PM   #157
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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Very true, but to me that just explains more of why the two most innovative elements of Superman's creation was Clark Kent and the costume.
Absolutely. But it's unrealistic and doesn't make sense

BTW, on the whole rip-off thing: Some people pretend it's the worst thing in the history of mankind, yet it's vital to progress as a whole. Just because someone had a good idea doesn't mean he has the best execution for it, but with strong copyright in the past those other tribes couldn't have adapted the wheel because of infringement and we would still live in caves

Superman and Batman are better than the characters they ripped off, even if they aren't 100% original.

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Old 09-05-2010, 07:28 PM   #158
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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Absolutely. But it's unrealistic and doesn't make sense

BTW, on the whole rip-off thing: Some people pretend it's the worst thing in the history of mankind, yet it's vital to progress as a whole. Just because someone had a good idea doesn't mean he has the best execution for it, but with strong copyright in the past those other tribes couldn't have adapted the wheel because of infringement and we would still live in caves

Superman and Batman are better than the characters they ripped off, even if they aren't 100% original.
Yep, plus the entire immigrant angle and how Superman's guise as Clark mirrored the dual lives of Jews in America, as many of them worked under romanized and assumed names keeping real life secret identities, the fellow in my avatar as good an example as any.

I'd also like to add that Superman's situation parallels things like the history of music: the Beatles were clearly influenced by artists from the 50's but they did the same kind of music much better than most of them. Siegel and Shuster exceeded their influences much like Lennon and McCartney did.


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Old 09-05-2010, 07:31 PM   #159
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

I've always found Superman to be more interesting than Moses.

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Old 09-05-2010, 07:54 PM   #160
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I actually have had good things to say about some of what Stern, Jurgens, Joe Kelly and several other writers did with Superman during the Iron Age (86-2000), so I feel I am not as unreasonable as you think.
LOL. There's hope. Actually, my favorite time of the Superman books is when Byrne left the book and the writers worked with what he estabilished.

Golden age? Do you like a Superman that doesn't fly, is a vigilante and has no regard for the law?

By the way, the examples you cited in the private message of him being cocky are not him being cocky at all but smart and confident. That`s a whole different story. If you analyse deep down, our versions of Superman aren`t that different. I just don`t like Clark to be an act. Thats why i said i prefer how the real world Clark Kent was portrayed in Secret Identity. That personality is the perfect Clark. Someone who is just reserved and a person who has another perspective on life and uses his writing to change the world and do good. Instead of writing books, something that our fictional Clark can do too, he is a reporter to uncover the truth and write about it. I dont like Clark to be a jock and extremely confident too, same as you.

Its funny, all origin stories portray Clark as somewhat of an outsider, hates to be an alien, different, more Peter Parker like. In secret origins he was portrayed like that and i didn`t like it. In fact, i would like Clark for once, to enjoy his amazing powers and love being who he is. He loves to have this different perspective on life, flying and all. And even helping people when disaster comes. I don`t want Clark to be Superboy and wear the costume but using his powers for good from an early age is something nice. I want Clark proud to be different and proud to have these amazing abilities he can use for good, from early on. Proud that he can just fly to the moon and watch the earth and all. All-star Superman had a little bit of that.


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Old 09-05-2010, 08:45 PM   #161
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I seem to recall a Doc Savage film I saw when I was a kid. That was along time ago tho so I may be wrong.
It was made in 1975...starred Ron Ely (Tarzan TV series) as Doc. Ron did a really fine job in his portrayal....but the movie was very bad. It was played as a camp comedy instead of the Indiana Jones style of the original books. I, as well as others, are working on fanedits of the movie to make it more watchable.

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Old 09-05-2010, 09:12 PM   #162
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Ok then, so where does that leave Superman? If he's just derivative of Doc Savage, where's the value? What's the point in liking a character that's nearly a copy of another? I care about things like this. Tell me I need a life, I don't care. I just don't like it when I see something I enjoy unravel before my eyes till it's nothing.
So...I have to do all the work for you huh? Ok...here's something to think about.

Unlike Superman, Doc has no secret idenity....so with Superman you have stories about creating and maintaining it. The troubles it causes in his life with friends and family. The drama of threats to reveal it or to do harm to his family and friends because of it.

Unlike Superman, Doc is not an alien from another world....so with Superman you get stories about knowing you are not human, but was raised as one and must live among them with hardly any connection to your true heritage or the people you are actually from. Plus Doc doesn't have to worry about lunatics wanting him dead or disected because he is an alien. Having fanatical bigots screaming for your death and hatred towards you because you are different creates nuances to your character.

Unlike Superman, Doc is neither invulnerable nor posesses unlimited strength....so the way they enter into and act during dangerous situations differs. Doc only flies using an airplane or helicopter....and the top speed of one during his time was around 150 mph....that's a mere stroll for Supes.

I could go on and on...but my original intent was not to destroy your life but to give you something new and interesting to think about. So I started you off with some things to think about here...now you can contemplate what else makes Superman unique.

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Old 09-05-2010, 09:32 PM   #163
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LOL. There's hope. Actually, my favorite time of the Superman books is when Byrne left the book and the writers worked with what he estabilished.

Golden age? Do you like a Superman that doesn't fly, is a vigilante and has no regard for the law?
Superman flew in the Golden Age, it just took a while. Siegel was the writer when he was codified as being able to fly. And for the others, I don't see anything wrong with Superman choosing justice over the legal system from time to time, and I strongly support him having a social conscience. I certainly do not support him being the government stooge that Miller made him into and Byrne followed up on. I think being such an establishment suckup and stooge is a good part of why many people see Superman as lame.

I don't know if you've ever read it, but the Outsiders origin involves Superman being an establishment stooge and refusing to help with a terrorism in Markovia because the US didn't want him to. That was suggested to Mike W. Barr by Frank Miller who sees Superman as nothing more than a mindless servant of the authorities. Byrne worked with this and shaped his Superman to fit Miller's characterization in DKR. His Superman is the same character.

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By the way, the examples you cited in the private message of him being cocky are not him being cocky at all but smart and confident. That`s a whole different story. If you analyse deep down, our versions of Superman aren`t that different. I just don`t like Clark to be an act. Thats why i said i prefer how the real world Clark Kent was portrayed in Secret Identity. That personality is the perfect Clark. Someone who is just reserved and a person who has another perspective on life and uses his writing to change the world and do good. Instead of writing books, something that our fictional Clark can do too, he is a reporter to uncover the truth and write about it. I dont like Clark to be a jock and extremely confident too, same as you.
Clark was usually portrayed as being excellent at his job Pre-Crisis too, either at the Planet or producing and anchoring GBS News. The sillier Clark is more the movie version. But Clark was created to be an act, at least in part. I always like the idea that Superman himself isn't sure how much of Clark is an act, but he knows he needs to be Clark to cope with his responsibilities as Superman.

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Its funny, all origin stories portray Clark as somewhat of an outsider, hates to be an alien, different, more Peter Parker like. In secret origins he was portrayed like that and i didn`t like it. In fact, i would like Clark for once, to enjoy his amazing powers and love being who he is. He loves to have this different perspective on life, flying and all. And even helping people when disaster comes. I don`t want Clark to be Superboy and wear the costume but using his powers for good from an early age is something nice. I want Clark proud to be different and proud to have these amazing abilities he can use for good, from early on. Proud that he can just fly to the moon and watch the earth and all. All-star Superman had a little bit of that.
Well, while Clark has some issues with hiding his powers, generally he enjoys having them and the things he can do to help people with them. And part of the point of scenes where he is watching other guys play football and regretting that he can't play is that he wouldn't feel right dominating with his powers. So it's an example of his moral character. I also always loved Pa Kent's enthusiasm for all the things Clark could do and came home and told him about. "Shh, Clark, you know how your Ma worries...so you say the atmosphere of Neptune kind of tastes like Pistachio popsicles? Do be careful, son...." As for Superboy, I don't feel he's something that has to be part of the story but he was created by Siegel, he makes sense, and even Byrne admits that getting rid of him was a mistake.

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Old 09-05-2010, 09:47 PM   #164
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I also hate the way Miller writes Superman so we agree on that. Superman believes in justice and in the law. Justice in an ideal that is always present. Law can change but he isn`t like Batman. He always, imo, has to operate under the law, arresting criminals, bringing them to justice without being, at the same time, a government tool. It would be actually cool to see some stories to each Superman helps to improve the law as it is, in the US, dealing with death penalty and all. A stronger conscience, as you`d say. Him doing something more real world, facing real world problems. I've seen some stories that briefly dealt with that but i`d like an entire run to do it, explore him to the maximum of his capacities as an inspirational character. I mean, how many origins do we have to see in the comics? They should just erase continuity once and for all and forget about it as it does nothing but create a huge mess because somebody will never be pleased by the changes. The comics are a mess because of that. Creating more closed stories should be a goal. In fact, i kind wish they would create titles for the Golden Age, Silver Age, etc so we would have many different eras of superman being published, pleasing every fan. With a character that has 70+ history and different incarnations, it would be stupid to chose one and run with it. Or even make another one. The focus should be on creating good stories. All-star did an amazing job with the silver age Superman. Issue #6 is just beautiful, even though i personally don`t like any of the Kents ding.


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Old 09-05-2010, 09:54 PM   #165
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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So...I have to do all the work for you huh? Ok...here's something to think about.

Unlike Superman, Doc has no secret idenity....so with Superman you have stories about creating and maintaining it. The troubles it causes in his life with friends and family. The drama of threats to reveal it or to do harm to his family and friends because of it.

Unlike Superman, Doc is not an alien from another world....so with Superman you get stories about knowing you are not human, but was raised as one and must live among them with hardly any connection to your true heritage or the people you are actually from. Plus Doc doesn't have to worry about lunatics wanting him dead or disected because he is an alien. Having fanatical bigots screaming for your death and hatred towards you because you are different creates nuances to your character.

Unlike Superman, Doc is neither invulnerable nor posesses unlimited strength....so the way they enter into and act during dangerous situations differs. Doc only flies using an airplane or helicopter....and the top speed of one during his time was around 150 mph....that's a mere stroll for Supes.

I could go on and on...but my original intent was not to destroy your life but to give you something new and interesting to think about. So I started you off with some things to think about here...now you can contemplate what else makes Superman unique.
Good points and I agree with all. And any fan of Superman or of fantasy adventure in general would do themselves a lot of good to check into Doc's adventures. They are insanely important and influential. And it's great stuff.

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Old 09-05-2010, 10:12 PM   #166
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I've always found Superman to be more interesting than Moses.
Yeah, I mean all this stuff about a burning bush who speaks, stabs that turn into snakes and the Red sea business -- that's so Silver Age.

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Old 09-05-2010, 10:18 PM   #167
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I also hate the way Miller writes Superman so we agree on that. Superman believes in justice and in the law. Justice in an ideal that is always present. Law can change but he isn`t like Batman. He always, imo, has to operate under the law, arresting criminals, bringing them to justice without being, at the same time, a government tool. It would be actually cool to see some stories to each Superman helps to improve the law as it is, in the US, dealing with death penalty and all. A stronger conscience, as you`d say. Him doing something more real world, facing real world problems. I've seen some stories that briefly dealt with that but i`d like an entire run to do it, explore him to the maximum of his capacities as an inspirational character. I mean, how many origins do we have to see in the comics? They should just erase continuity once and for all and forget about it as it does nothing but create a huge mess because somebody will never be pleased by the changes. The comics are a mess because of that. Creating more closed stories should be a goal. In fact, i kind wish they would create titles for the Golden Age, Silver Age, etc so we would have many different eras of superman being published, pleasing every fan. With a character that has 70+ history and different incarnations, it would be stupid to chose one and run with it. Or even make another one. The focus should be on creating good stories. All-star did an amazing job with the silver age Superman. Issue #6 is just beautiful, even though i personally don`t like any of the Kents ding.
I really think allowing Superman to step outside of the law or at least not be a total stooge from time to time would help the characters reputation a lot. I do agree that seeing some stories where he could use his influence and also his influence as Clark to try to change the law is a good idea. There's no reason that Clark shouldn't say, write an Op-Ed condemning exploitation of the poor, etc. I think Superman's main mission is to help people. This makes him different from most other villain of the month characters. Superman has a higher calling and should work towards higher goals. There's no reason why certain things in daily life in the DCU Earth couldn't be better than real life-it balances out all the threats to the Earth's survival from supervillains. The recent JMS issue where Superman helps revitalize Detroit's economy is a good example. Or the floods currently in Pakistan. On Earth-0 Superman could stop those, it would easily be balanced out by all the destruction from the recent JLA/JSA crossover.

Continuity wise, I don't see as big a problem as you. One reason I liked the Pre-Crisis DC better was the simplicity of it: Golden Age Earth-Two, Silver to Bronze Earth-One, etc. It honestly wasn't that hard to figure out. I'd gladly accept them continuing the Post-Crisis version just as he was first created if there was an Earth-One and/or and Earth-Two Superman book as well. The DCU is all about doppelgangers and counterparts and if Marvel's fans can keep Ultimate Spidey and 616 Spidey straight and just read the one they like then I don't see why DC fan can't. The Superman of today is in a flux phase, very similar to the era from Siegel and Shuster's departure until Weisinger took completely over in 1958. I really don't anticipate DC having a completely unified plan and direction until the legal issues are settled.

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Old 09-06-2010, 12:25 AM   #168
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Thank god i don`t read the comics anymore as I used to in the 90's. Just the ones that interest me. I`m reading the Stracinsky run and liking it. Read Secret Origins and thought it was meh. Last pages were good but Donut Parasite was just so stupid. Totally skipped on the Return to Krypton saga but read the Brainiac ones and liked it. All-Star Superman is amazing but overrated, IMO. Just re-read Superman: Secret Identity and, god, one of the best Superman stories ever. The art is just unbelievable.

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Old 09-06-2010, 12:40 AM   #169
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I have mixed feelings about the books atm except Action Comics where Lex is very entertaining.

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Old 09-06-2010, 06:50 PM   #170
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:50 AM   #171
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One thing I never ever understood was why the writers of the comics and movies thought the glasses & suit outfit for clark was an effective disguise for Superman? Seriously... Would no one at the Daily Planet suspect they are the same person??? Especially Lois, who regularly sees and works with Clark, and then also is saved by Superman?

How the hell is Lois considered as one of the greatest investigative reporters in Metropolis??? Doesn't make sense.

I think Superman should wear a mask to protect his identity from the world. Many other superheros do it, why shouldn't he? Besides, it's not like Clark could go around and wear a mask if the goal is to blend in as a human.

So what would be possible and realistic options to address this issue?
An excellent point.

Many other superheroes do it, why shouldn't he?

Much of brand loyalty comes from a familiar appearance. If Cheerios suddenly came in a blue box, they'd lose business. If Fords started looking like Hondas they'd lose a LOT of business. Giving a character in a visual medium, who exists primarily as their image a different image is offensive to that characters fans and off putting to those who have a casual interest in them.

Why [did] the writers of the comics and movies thought the glasses & suit outfit for clark was an effective disguise for Superman?

Because, at that time, it was. He also had a hat, and did all manner of things to hide his identity, including what became known as 'bumbling Clark.' Comics also weren't subject to the same scientific scrutiny, as you can see by looking at some of the devices Superman and Lex Luthor cooked up. Long story short: It WAS a good idea back then, and helped make Superman extremely popular.

Seriously... Would no one at the Daily Planet suspect they are the same person??? Especially Lois, who regularly sees and works with Clark, and then also is saved by Superman? How the hell is Lois considered as one of the greatest investigative reporters in Metropolis???

This is an excellent question, one that's never really been fully addressed to my satisfaction. It becomes even more grievous in a live action adaptation, when we, as viewers can SEE the resemblance, the logical acrobatics of 'no one would think to look for him' create a cognitive dissonance between the very simple reality of we can see both characters as the same actor, we see that same actor interact with Lois Lane as both characters, and she is none the wiser. That's pretty frustrating, unless the difference is enough to make the audience question their resemblance.

So what would be possible and realistic options to address this issue?

They're as numerous as the stars my friend. And I'd suggest employing 5-10 of them so Lois does not look cosmically stupid. We want the audience to fall in love with her, after all, so we can't have her looking all... ignorant, y'know?
  • Acknowledge Clark resembles Superman. We all know he does, and pretending he doesn't is an intelligence insult, so the smartest thing is to deconstruct and then reconstruct that idea. Earlier in the thread they noted celebrities undercover how people would look at them and say 'nah, couldn't be.' Superman Returns actually had a descent scene of this. Having Clark lose a Superman look-alike contest could be a funny way of doing it.
  • Give Clark alibis. If Clark has a recorded message (panicked to explain his unresponsiveness) call Perry White or Lois Lane while Clark is visibly saving people, or flies a distance and changes mid flight to appear across town when Lois believes he's right near her... heck, have him give his neighbor John Irons his credit card so that he's making charges elsewhere while Superman's heroing. Basically, make it seem like there's reason to believe they're not the same person. Let Clark be SMART about his identity.
  • PROVE to Lois that Clark is not Superman. Clark under the effects of kryptonite nearby is shot and rushed to the hospital, and we all know Superman can take bullets (it would really mess Lois up if she was the one that pulled the trigger, because she was 'so sure.') Have Bizzaro show up looking completely Superman like at first (ala TAS) so that Clark and Superman can be clearly seen together.
  • Have them speak differently. My version of Clark would actually have a midwestern country accent, the way many small towners do. The vocal identification would be totally different, beyond just 'how authoritative they sound.'
  • Convince us its a different person with makeup and costume and so forth. They can change the way people look, then change the way they look, and it lends a great deal of credibility to the whole thing. Get a movement coach to make sure they move differently when they walk.
  • Reduce Superman's height. There's no way to make this make sense if Superman is 6'11" Let him be 6'1 for crying out loud.
  • Keep the out of focus/blur thing at first. When Superman is first seen, being out of focus makes him unidentifiable, until Clark figures out how to stay ahead of the press (he has the inside scoop) and keep his private life private, on the advice of his mother. That said, you can't have him generating trust amongst the populace, or building any kind of relationship with Lois, if he's constantly 'out of focus.'
  • Lose the bumbling Clark, but a playful, country, slightly backwards, typically oblivious Clark really does make the idea of him being Superman pretty preposterous, *especially* if that's the way Clark actually is, which makes sense for his upbringing, all things considered. He's not a city boy, by any means.
  • Illustrate that Superman is Clark's 'professional' persona. When people understand the difference between these two characters, when you can show, not tell that "Superman is what I do. Clark is who I am." Then it becomes much easier for an audience to accept that other people see them as different, because they do.
  • Thin the glasses. This won't really help, but it will make the whole thing less ridiculous, and if you practice the rest of these suggestions, you won't need 1950s black frames anyway. It would be kinda fun if Clark couldn't get the latest lenses in 'trifocals.'

Because this surreal aspect of the mythos is such a big deal, and part of the reason so few people connect with Superman, because he lives in an alternate world where there is not only incredible science, but people *think* differently, and don't know these two people are identical in facial structure... make it a part of the storyline, Lois' attempt to get Superman's real identity, and alongside her budding romance with Clark, you could have a different take on that triangle all together.

Conclusion: Should Superman wear a mask?

Superman does wear a mask. A mask of professional conduct and idealism that conceals his true nature as a down to earth, emotionally vulnerable human being. Not a mask of fabric. Such things are far too easy to see through, especially for a Superman.


Last edited by GL1; 09-07-2010 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:38 AM   #172
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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You're right...Maggin wrote some great stuff with him before it ended in 1986. And just recently, Grant Morrison wrote some nice stories in All-Star Superman, which is the 21st Century template.
Maggin is definitely one of my favorite Superman writers but lets not forget that the seventies rocked for Superman. Not only did the film come out in '78 but you had Elliot S! Maggin, Cary Bates, Len Wein, Jack Kirby, Paul Levitz, Marty "Pesky" Pasko, Gerry Conway, Robert Kanigher, and Dennis O'Neil doing some great stories.

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Old 09-07-2010, 04:07 PM   #173
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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[*]Acknowledge Clark resembles Superman. We all know he does, and pretending he doesn't is an intelligence insult, so the smartest thing is to deconstruct and then reconstruct that idea. Earlier in the thread they noted celebrities undercover how people would look at them and say 'nah, couldn't be.' Superman Returns actually had a descent scene of this. Having Clark lose a Superman look-alike contest could be a funny way of doing it.
That would be a funny and economical way of showing that it's possible for people to overlook a celebrity even when he's right in front of them.

Your other ideas are also excellent.

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