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Old 09-02-2010, 07:06 PM   #101
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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If you can call Clark Kent a disguise just because he's been keeping secrets from people, then i've used the 'Becky' disguise on numerous occasions... does that make me any less Becky?
What I'm trying to say is Clark has hidden his true nature for all his life, the fact that he's an alien and has powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, that he has basically pretended to be someone he isn't to some degree.

If he lived his life using his powers in front of the whole world as Clark Kent, he'd likely be a different person. I mean, superpowers aren't something you can just turn off.

It's like Superman's cardboard speech on JLU. He has to put effort into acting like he's a normal man, to not hurt anyone or to not ace every single thing he does, whether it be school, work, or sports.

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Old 09-02-2010, 07:46 PM   #102
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:19 PM   #103
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I wasn't suggesting they care it was like 'Donner's version' as such, but that they couldn't connect with a character so similar to one that was popular in the 70s.

As for the Batman comment, I have absolutely no problem with Nolan's handling of him. I've had many an arguement FOR Batman being what Bruce is now, and there is not much of his old self left.

I just don't think that's what they should do with Superman.

Can you imagine this?

Clark: It's just a symbol, Mom.

Martha: (touching his glasses). No, this is your mask. Your real face is the one criminals now fear. The boy I raised - the one who vanished - he never came back at all. But maybe he's still out there somewhere. Maybe someday, when Metropolis no longer needs Superman, I'll see him again.

The difference is that Batman started out as Bruce Wayne and became obsessed with the Batman character to the point of letting it conquer his psyche, but Superman was Kal-L first. He's always been a being with phenomenal powers, and he's had to mask them with the persona of a normal human. Thus, you can't really have a point of "going back," as suggested above. His human upbringing influenced him, certainly (meaning none of this Ancient Kryptonian religion bullspit. He's a Mehodist. Sorry, Kuro.) but at the end of the day he's still a god posing as a man, whose ultimate goal is not to live as one of us, but to be our protector.

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Old 09-02-2010, 09:23 PM   #104
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The difference is that Batman started out as Bruce Wayne and became obsessed with the Batman character to the point of letting it conquer his psyche, but Superman was Kal-L first. He's always been a being with phenomenal powers, and he's had to mask them with the persona of a normal human. Thus, you can't really have a point of "going back," as suggested above. His human upbringing influenced him, certainly (meaning none of this Ancient Kryptonian religion bullspit. He's a Mehodist. Sorry, Kuro.) but at the end of the day he's still a god posing as a man, whose ultimate goal is not to live as one of us, but to be our protector.
But that's the thing. He was Kal first, but the first name he can remember having is Clark. Yes, he's not human, but his human disguise is still an integral part of his identity, not just some act.

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Old 09-02-2010, 09:42 PM   #105
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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Bruce Wayne is actually similar to Clark Kent in that they have three personas, so to speak. Bruce's two put-on personas are just more extreme, while Clark's is basically just emphasis on different aspects of who he is.
Batman has no alter ego at ALL. He is Batman 100% of the time and anything he does as Bruce Wayne he does completely to serve his mission as Batman.

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Way to warp what I'm saying. You want to know the Superman that I'm a fan of? The one that is a compelling, inspiring, self-sacrificing hero who might biologically be a god-like alien, but deep in his core is far more human than most people, and he draws his heroism and idealism from that core of humanity that was instilled in him by his blue collar Joe Schmoe adoptive parents in rural America. Superman is Clark Kent is Superman.
So only humans from rural America (where Smallville originally wasn't located) can teach idealism and compassion?

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Where do you Live kurosawa? In a big city or in the country? Did you realize that people act differently depending on where they were raised? His rural upbringing means everything to him. It shapes him as much as having superpowers does.
I think if you had grown up reading Superman as he was written from 1938-1986 you would see it differently. Of course a huge difference then is that although he grew up on a farm and then in a small town, Smallville was portrayed as being relatively close to Metropolis and not in Kansas, which was an invention of the movies. They have way overemphasized the idea of Clark as a hick from the country since the 1978 parody. And for the record, I live in a mid-sized town and never have lived in either a rural environment or a major city.

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Neither the Donner movie or the show LOIS and CLARK portray Superman as overly naive, overly pure, or close to retarded. Clark in the Donner movie ACTS naive....he isn't naive, he ACTS naive (you know, in an attempt to make people think he isn't the allpowerful Superman). The Clark portrayed in LOIS and CLARK is less naive than in the movies, but he again ACTS naive as part of his secret idenity. No one complains that Batman ACTS like a drunken wanker to protect his idenity....but let Clark act like he isn't all powerful and totally aware of what's going on around him, and it's time to shoot all the writers.
Lois and Clark doesn't. The movie did. In the movie both Superman and Clark are total parodies, and somewhat mean spirited at that. I loved the original movies as a kid but the years has shown the flaws in them to me and they pale compared to the comics that were produced in that same time period. I would say most people know what they think they know about Superman from the Donner movies, Byrne and Singer included.

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I think that's seriously over analyzing it. He was raised in a small town in Kansas, that was a part of his back story from the very beginning. Fleshing that out was simply a natural part of developing the character, not a conspiracy to hide his Jewish roots and turn him into a Christian icon.
As I mentioned before, Smallville was moved from the northeast to Kansas by the movie, and it was the movie that stripped away many of Superman's roots and started moving away from the design of Siegel and Shuster that the comics had followed to that point. It may have been a financial decision, as changing the public perception of what Superman is to something substantially different could have helped DC in their copyright claims against them. American Superhero comics are largely a Jewish creation, and they have moved away from that to a certain degree over the years as different people have moved into the field. It's...disappointing that they would be so ignorant of where Superman came from. Another thing Clark represents: the secret lives of the American Jewry in the 20th century, where the ethnicity was hidden under romanized names, privately Jewish, publicly American. Clark Kent is basically Woody Allen. The movie switched all this and cast Jor-El as God and Superman as Jesus when the correct allegory is Jor-El is a Noah who failed and Superman is Moses/Golem/Samson.

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No. It wasn't. At all. Richard Donner took the movie very seriously. It was one of the first comic book adaptations to actually try and make a good movie as opposed to a cheap action fest with corny jokes.
Donner tried but too much of the camp in the script leaked through and he didn't have anyone to teach him about Superman. I guess they didn't presume to have the right.

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A few points...

1: Batman isn't Batman at all times. Bruce Wayne? Hello?

2: People rarely bring up Diana's secret identity because, for most of the past 25 years, she hasn't had one, and has been better off for it.
Bruce Wayne is nothing to Batman except a tool. He's not an alternate personality that Batman needs to operate. As far as Diana, yeah they did abandon it and I think that was a mistake, but even before then (and I was reading comics then), no one seemed to care. Maybe it was because Steve Trevor was never as interesting as Lois, maybe it was because the genders were different.

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But back to Superman... I kind of agree that Clark doesn't know exactly which him is the real him, but I have to go back to my old point... it's because they're all the real him. He is Clark Kent. He is Superman. These are vital aspects of who he is. You say that when Clark Kent isn't a construct, it robs the character of complexity. I disagree, I think it adds complexity. On the one hand, he has to act timid and quiet while at work and Big and heroic while Superman-ing in order to maintain his lifestyle. On the other hand, there is a part of him that is just timid and quiet, and is big and heroic, and over time the lines between the act and his real identity have been blurred. To say that he is really Superman and Clark Kent is an act, that's simplistic. To say that he really is Superman and he really is Clark Kent and they're both, on some level, constructs, that is complexity. And it's real, and it's human, and it's relatable and inspiring at the same time.
Pretty much agree here. I would also like to add that I think Superman sees humility as a virtue, and Clark's defining characteristic is humility. Putting an ass like Steve Lombard in his place is a little moral victory that I think Superman enjoys. Superman fights for the little guy.

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He's not written as a naive man child or close to retarded, and his intellectual side has been played up enormously over the years. Some writers portray him as a dumb jack ass, but in his main book and in most mainstream DCU books, he's portrayed as an intelligent, insightful, caring person with simple tastes and strong morals. I don't see where you're getting this impression of his mainstream portrayal, unless the only things you've read of him were done by Frank Miller.
Post-Crisis he has often been written in such a manner by plenty of writers. Some writers have written him with more maturity and intelligence than others, but too many people allowed themselves to be influenced by what Miller did to him in DKR. DKR was where the country boy "Clark", as his Batman would sneeringly call him, was created. A lot of people got sadistic joy at seeing Superman getting humiliated and owned in that series, and Byrne drew influence from it. The current Superman comics are somewhat different, as the character has been in a flux phase since Birthright and has yet to be completely repaired. Miller and Byrne destroyed almost 50 years of work on Superman with just 10 comics. It will take decades to fix what they wrecked if it ever does get fixed. But that will take a combination of work and will that I don't know they are capable of or willing to do to be honest. They do seem to have a clue that there is a problem...a high profile movie that removes most of the mistakes would be a good start, but reports are they plan to go with the flawed and failed direction of the 80's.


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Old 09-02-2010, 10:00 PM   #106
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But that's the thing. He was Kal first, but the first name he can remember having is Clark. Yes, he's not human, but his human disguise is still an integral part of his identity, not just some act.
Of course. I'm not trying to downplay it, just to point out that it is, as you said, a disguise, and that it has been for as long as he's needed to fit in among people.

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:04 PM   #107
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As I mentioned before, Smallville was moved from the northeast to Kansas by the movie, and it was the movie that stripped away many of Superman's roots and started moving away from the design of Siegel and Shuster that the comics had followed to that point. It may have been a financial decision, as changing the public perception of what Superman is to something substantially different could have helped DC in their copyright claims against them. American Superhero comics are largely a Jewish creation, and they have moved away from that to a certain degree over the years as different people have moved into the field. It's...disappointing that they would be so ignorant of where Superman came from. Another thing Clark represents: the secret lives of the American Jewry in the 20th century, where the ethnicity was hidden under romanized names, privately Jewish, publicly American. Clark Kent is basically Woody Allen. The movie switched all this and case Jor-El as God and Superman as Jesus when the correct allegory is Jor-El is a Noah who failed and Superman is Moses/Golem/Samson.
So what if Smallville was moved from the Northeast to Kansas. It doesn't change anything. He's still a guy from a rural town moving to the big city.

Again, you're over analyzing it. The biggest stretch is saying Jor-El was cast as God. He was far from God like. I also find the Moses allegory suspect.

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Donner tried but too much of the camp in the script leaked through and he didn't have anyone to teach him about Superman. I guess they didn't presume to have the right.
He seemed to know quite a lot about Superman. Making changes for artistic reasons isn't the same as not knowing the material. And it doesn't change the fact that the movies were not a parody.

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Bruce Wayne is nothing to Batman except a tool. He's not an alternate personality that Batman needs to operate. As far as Diana, yeah they did abandon it and I think that was a mistake, but even before then (and I was reading comics then), no one seemed to care. Maybe it was because Steve Trevor was never as interesting as Lois, maybe it was because the genders were different.
I don't agree with you about Batman. That idea just seems too simplistic. The fact is that he is Bruce Wayne, heir to the Wayne family fortune and son of Thomas and Martha Wayne. That means something to him. Yes, he's a lot more obsessive than Superman, but he has ties to the normal parts of his life, like Alfred.

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Post-Crisis he has often been written in such a manner by plenty of writers. Some writers have written him with more maturity and intelligence than others, but too many people allowed themselves to be influenced by what Miller did to him in DKR. DKR was where the country boy "Clark", as his Batman would sneeringly call him, was created. A lot of people got sadistic joy at seeing Superman getting humiliated and owned in that series, and Byrne drew influence from it. The current Superman comics are somewhat different, as the character has been in a flux phase since Birthright and has yet to be completely repaired. Miller and Byrne destroyed almost 50 years of work on Superman with just 10 comics. It will take decades to fix what they wrecked if it ever does get fixed. But that will take a combination of work and will that I don't know they are capable of or willing to do to be honest. They do seem to have a clue that there is a problem...a high profile movie that removes most of the mistakes would be a good start, but reports are they plan to go with the flawed and failed direction of the 80's.
I don't see it. I have consistently seen Superman portrayed as an intelligent, mature, highly moral person who commands the respect of the people around him. Yes, he's a country boy, but that's not a bad thing. That doesn't mean he's a hick, it means he's a humble person with strong morals who enjoys the simple things in life. He certainly hasn't been portrayed as borderline retarded. COuld you give me some examples of what your talking about outside of Frank Miller?

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Of course. I'm not trying to downplay it, just to point out that it is, as you said, a disguise, and that it has been for as long as he's needed to fit in among people.
It's a disguise, but it's also who he really is. The man has layers.

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:07 PM   #108
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Default Re: Alternate disguises for Superman... Should Superman wear a mask?

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I think if you had grown up reading Superman as he was written from 1938-1986 you would see it differently. Of course a huge difference then is that although he grew up on a farm and then in a small town, Smallville was portrayed as being relatively close to Metropolis and not in Kansas, which was an invention of the movies. They have way overemphasized the idea of Clark as a hick from the country since the 1978 parody. And for the record, I live in a mid-sized town and never have lived in either a rural environment or a major city.
I started reading Superman in the 60's.

They didn't make him a hick from the country...the people from the city just naturally assumed he was a hick because he was from the country....because that's what every movie, tv show, book, portrays...city slickers thinking the guy from the country is a hick...stereotype upon stereotype.

I see that "parody of 1978" is your mantra of the week.

I have lived in both, and a few inbetween. From a country town of less than 200 to Orlando, Florida.


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Lois and Clark doesn't. The movie did. In the movie both Superman and Clark are total parodies, and somewhat mean spirited at that. I loved the original movies as a kid but the years has shown the flaws in them to me and they pale compared to the comics that were produced in that same time period. I would say most people know what they think they know about Superman from the Donner movies, Byrne and Singer included.
Not sure what movie you were watching. In the Donner movie...Clark is a bumbling, stumbling, "Oh Gee", naive, farmboy....WHEN FOOLING THE BIG CITY PEOPLE BY ACTING THAT WAY. He is obviously not really the way he acts (such as when he acts likes hes stumbling to obscure that he is catching a bullet)...that kind of thing.

And Superman in the movie...he's noble, heroic, self sacrificing, nice, friendly......I don't really see what there is to complain about there.

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:10 PM   #109
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But that's the thing. He was Kal first, but the first name he can remember having is Clark. Yes, he's not human, but his human disguise is still an integral part of his identity, not just some act.
I believe there was a time in the comics when Clark could actually remember being on Krypton, but I prefer the interpretation where he doesn't become aware of his alien heritage till he's older. To me, no matter which identity is considered the true ID, Superman should have a human personality and not fly around shouting "great Krypton" or "great Rao". Still, I do think Superman should care about Krypton and love his biological parents, as opposed to the Byrne interpretation where he has a big freakout over finding out he's alien and then brushes his heritage under the rug and tries to forget about it.

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:13 PM   #110
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I believe there was a time in the comics when Clark could actually remember being on Krypton, but I prefer the interpretation where he doesn't become aware of his alien heritage till he's older. To me, no matter which identity is considered the true ID, Superman should have a human personality and not fly around shouting "great Krypton" or "great Rao". Still, I do think Superman should care about Krypton and love his biological parents, as opposed to the Byrne interpretation where he has a big freakout over finding out he's alien and then brushes his heritage under the rug and tries to forget about it.
Yeah, my biggest problems with Byrne's reboot were Krypton being so obviously douchey and Lex's purely "I want money" personality. I mean, Krypton should be kinda douchey, why else would they be so stubborn as to not listen to Jor-El, and Lex should like money, but it should be a little more subtle on the part of Krypton, and Lex should have more complex motivations.

However, I do absolutely love how his Krypton looked. Regardless of how the society is portrayed, I think all adaptations of Superman should have the aesthetics of Byrne's Krypton.

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:17 PM   #111
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Something that takes after the aesthetics of the Byrne Krypton without it being a barren wasteland/ice planet maybe.

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:34 PM   #112
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But that's the thing. He was Kal first, but the first name he can remember having is Clark. Yes, he's not human, but his human disguise is still an integral part of his identity, not just some act.
In the Silver/Bronze Age he knew he was Kryptonian due to his power of total recall.

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So what if Smallville was moved from the Northeast to Kansas. It doesn't change anything. He's still a guy from a rural town moving to the big city.

Again, you're over analyzing it. The biggest stretch is saying Jor-El was cast as God. He was far from God like. I also find the Moses allegory suspect.
Many scholars would disagree with you. And moving from a small rural town that bordered on suburbia is different than coming from a the middle of nowhere.

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He seemed to know quite a lot about Superman. Making changes for artistic reasons isn't the same as not knowing the material. And it doesn't change the fact that the movies were not a parody.
He knew a fair amount, but the original script was a complete joke and he couldn't fix but so much of it. And yes, I think some of the changes-like getting away from the beautiful, Alex Raymond inspired Krypton and going to the Crystal castles Krypton were made for "creative" reasons. First thing I remember about the movie: they got Krypton wrong. It didn't look a thing like the comics.

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I don't agree with you about Batman. That idea just seems too simplistic. The fact is that he is Bruce Wayne, heir to the Wayne family fortune and son of Thomas and Martha Wayne. That means something to him. Yes, he's a lot more obsessive than Superman, but he has ties to the normal parts of his life, like Alfred.
He was born Bruce Wayne, he is Batman because of his parent's loss but Bruce Wayne died when Thomas and Martha Wayne died IMO.

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I don't see it. I have consistently seen Superman portrayed as an intelligent, mature, highly moral person who commands the respect of the people around him. Yes, he's a country boy, but that's not a bad thing. That doesn't mean he's a hick, it means he's a humble person with strong morals who enjoys the simple things in life. He certainly hasn't been portrayed as borderline retarded. COuld you give me some examples of what your talking about outside of Frank Miller?
Most of what Byrne wrote was that way as well. Even stuff that I like such as A Superman for All Seasons have a bit too much of it. Constant references to him as "Smallville" by Lois and others...there's lots of examples, but you've never noticed them because that is the only Superman you've ever known. To you Superman has always been this farm boy character. To me it is a new thing and not a change I care for.

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I started reading Superman in the 60's.

They didn't make him a hick from the country...the people from the city just naturally assumed he was a hick because he was from the country....because that's what every movie, tv show, book, portrays...city slickers thinking the guy from the country is a hick...stereotype upon stereotype.
No one ever treated him like that before, however. Maybe it's partially more recent writers not only misunderstanding that rural people are not all ignorant hicks, but also that city people are not all insufferable asses?

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I see that "parody of 1978" is your mantra of the week.

I have lived in both, and a few inbetween. From a country town of less than 200 to Orlando, Florida.
I have had a love/hate relationship about the original movie for years and even as a kid things in it annoyed me.

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Not sure what movie you were watching. In the Donner movie...Clark is a bumbling, stumbling, "Oh Gee", naive, farmboy....WHEN FOOLING THE BIG CITY PEOPLE BY ACTING THAT WAY. He is obviously not really the way he acts (such as when he acts likes hes stumbling to obscure that he is catching a bullet)...that kind of thing.

And Superman in the movie...he's noble, heroic, self sacrificing, nice, friendly......I don't really see what there is to complain about there.
I thought they took it too far with Clark. Too much slapstick for my taste in some scenes. I don't want to see that Clark really. And Superman was just way too goody-goody for me and came off wimpish at times. I guess you could chalk some of it up to the idea that he had just started as Superman and was a novice at the time. I also despised that scene in II where he loses his powers and gets the crap kicked out of him in the diner. And the scene where they kick the crap out of him in Returns sucked as well. They wanted to do a scene like that to Bruce Wayne in the 1989 Batman and Bob Kane (who I am no fan of) got them to stop it...I wish they had involved Jerry Siegel in the movies somehow like they did with Kane.

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:39 PM   #113
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what i'm trying to say is clark has hidden his true nature for all his life, the fact that he's an alien and has powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, that he has basically pretended to be someone he isn't to some degree.

If he lived his life using his powers in front of the whole world as clark kent, he'd likely be a different person. I mean, superpowers aren't something you can just turn off.

It's like superman's cardboard speech on jlu. He has to put effort into acting like he's a normal man, to not hurt anyone or to not ace every single thing he does, whether it be school, work, or sports.
^^this.

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:42 PM   #114
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Many scholars would disagree with you. And moving from a small rural town that bordered on suburbia is different than coming from a the middle of nowhere.
Okay. It would be more helpful to hear what their arguments would be.

And, like, I guess it's different. ALthough Smallville has never been portrayed as being in the middle of nowhere. The Kent family farm often has, being set a good few miles away from the main part of town, but the town has always been portrayed as within a reasonable driving distance to other larger places.

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He knew a fair amount, but the original script was a complete joke and he couldn't fix but so much of it. And yes, I think some of the changes-like getting away from the beautiful, Alex Raymond inspired Krypton and going to the Crystal castles Krypton were made for "creative" reasons. First thing I remember about the movie: they got Krypton wrong. It didn't look a thing like the comics.
So they changed the aesthetic of Krypton. I personally never liked the old Kryptonian aesthetic. I thought it looked too silly.

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He was born Bruce Wayne, he is Batman because of his parent's loss but Bruce Wayne died when Thomas and Martha Wayne died IMO.
That sounds nice and poetical, but grief and trauma are never that simple.

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Most of what Byrne wrote was that way as well. Even stuff that I like such as A Superman for All Seasons have a bit too much of it. Constant references to him as "Smallville" by Lois and others...there's lots of examples, but you've never noticed them because that is the only Superman you've ever known. To you Superman has always been this farm boy character. To me it is a new thing and not a change I care for.
How is people calling him Smallville a sign of writers portraying him as a borderline retarded hick? That's just Lois being snarky at Clark, something she's always been. It's just that now they've given her snarkiness a catch phrase, one that makes sense for both characters.

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:58 PM   #115
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Okay. It would be more helpful to hear what their arguments would be.

And, like, I guess it's different. ALthough Smallville has never been portrayed as being in the middle of nowhere. The Kent family farm often has, being set a good few miles away from the main part of town, but the town has always been portrayed as within a reasonable driving distance to other larger places.
I just posted several comments on Clark previously, and there has been several books and essays written concerning Superman both as a Christ Figure and as a Hebrew Icon. Donner, Tom Mankiewicz and Ilya Salkind have all commented on the Christian symbolism in the original movie. Up Up and Oy Vey : How Jewish History, Culture and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero by Rabbi Simcha Weinstein discusses the parallels between the comic book superheroes and the men who created them and how their Jewish heritage was reflected in it. It's well worth a read, as is Gerard Jones' Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book.

Another note: when Clark got older, they moved away from the farm and Jonathan Kent instead ran a general store. Similar setting, but I think they wanted to get away from the farm image.

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So they changed the aesthetic of Krypton. I personally never liked the old Kryptonian aesthetic. I thought it looked too silly.
Original Krypton was awesome to me both in terms of quality and because it referenced Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon designs which is a huge part of where superhero comics came from.

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That sounds nice and poetical, but grief and trauma are never that simple.
Bruce Wayne is not an alternate personality to Batman to anywhere near the degree Clark Kent is for Superman. Bruce Wayne became Batman but Superman was born Superman.

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How is people calling him Smallville a sign of writers portraying him as a borderline retarded hick? That's just Lois being snarky at Clark, something she's always been. It's just that now they've given her snarkiness a catch phrase, one that makes sense for both characters.
It's always annoyed me because it is the writers pushing it in the faces of fans like me that they had gotten rid of the 1938-1986 character when they decided they didn't care about their heritage. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive about it, but it's always came off as a slap in the face. I'd rather Clark be treated and insulted as a wimp or a coward than a farmer boy.


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Old 09-02-2010, 11:06 PM   #116
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I just posted several comments on Clark previously, and there has been several books and essays written concerning Superman both as a Christ Figure and as a Hebrew Icon. Donner, Tom Mankiewicz and Ilya Salkind have all commented on the Christian symbolism in the original movie.

Another note: when Clark got older, they moved away from the farm and Jonathan Kent instead ran a general store. Similar setting, but I think they wanted to get away from the farm image.
That happened for a little while in the Superboy comics. But I don't tend to think about the Superboy comics very much.

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Original Krypton was awesome to me both in terms of quality and because it referenced Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon designs which is a huge part of where superhero comics came from.
Jor-El wearing a headband and a cape was just never something I could get into. I actually do enjoy Alex Raymond style aesthetics a lot, but it just never worked for Krypton in my mind. Aesthetically, my favorite Krypton is John Byrne's. How they were written kind of sucked (although there were parts of Byrne's Krypton's history I liked), but I absolutely loved how it looked. It still had a cheesy pulp sci-fi vibe going on, but it felt more organic and I personally had an easier time taking it seriously.

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Bruce Wayne is not an alternate personality to Batman to anywhere near the degree Clark Kent is for Superman. Bruce Wayne became Batman but Superman was born Superman.
He wasn't born Superman. He was born super, but he had to grow up into Superman. He could have just as easily turned into a colossal douchebag or a neurotic wreck of a person if he'd been raised under different circumstances.

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It's always annoyed me because it is the writers pushing it in the faces of fans like me that they had gotten rid of the 1938-1986 character when they decided they didn't care about their heritage. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive about it, but it's always came off as a slap in the face. I'd rather Clark be treated and insulted as a wimp or a coward than a farmer boy.
It has nothing to do with them forgetting their heritage. Clark is from Smallville. Lois likes making fun of Clark. Lois is the type who would look down on rural towns for not being as awesome as big cities, as well as the type who would belittle people by not bothering to use their names. Hence, she calls him Smallville. It then evolves into a term of endearment over time. It just makes sense for the characters.

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Old 09-02-2010, 11:23 PM   #117
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George Lucas' Superman Alternate Costume

Hey, at least he's a better choice than Hayden Christiansen.

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Old 09-02-2010, 11:29 PM   #118
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That happened for a little while in the Superboy comics. But I don't tend to think about the Superboy comics very much.
Yeah, for about 30 years it was set up that way in Superboy comics.

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Jor-El wearing a headband and a cape was just never something I could get into. I actually do enjoy Alex Raymond style aesthetics a lot, but it just never worked for Krypton in my mind. Aesthetically, my favorite Krypton is John Byrne's. How they were written kind of sucked (although there were parts of Byrne's Krypton's history I liked), but I absolutely loved how it looked. It still had a cheesy pulp sci-fi vibe going on, but it felt more organic and I personally had an easier time taking it seriously.
Byrne's Krypton from design to characterization has always disgusted me. I hate his costume designs apart from Alpha Flight. The only thing I ever cared for on his Superman run was some of his action scenes. I can stomach it as a guild in the Johns compromise, although when I think of Jor-El, I think cape and headband always. I just thought it was awesome looking.

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He wasn't born Superman. He was born super, but he had to grow up into Superman. He could have just as easily turned into a colossal douchebag or a neurotic wreck of a person if he'd been raised under different circumstances.
Yeah, that is true. That's part of why I love the bit in Maggin's second novel where Jor-El sends a message ahead to Einstein and Einstein selects the Kents as parents. That particular take is unworkable now but I think Jor-El wouldn't be so irresponsible as to send Kal-El to Earth without an idea of who should raise him. Smallville touched on this too. In the Silver Age comics, Jor-El watched Earth and the Kents in particular. While it was of course somewhat silly, the idea that Jor-El was impressed by Jonathan Kent is really really cool and I like the idea that they were chosen.

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It has nothing to do with them forgetting their heritage. Clark is from Smallville. Lois likes making fun of Clark. Lois is the type who would look down on rural towns for not being as awesome as big cities, as well as the type who would belittle people by not bothering to use their names. Hence, she calls him Smallville. It then evolves into a term of endearment over time. It just makes sense for the characters.
I meant the writers and artists forgetting the heritage of the comics that came before them.

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Old 09-02-2010, 11:36 PM   #119
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Yeah, for about 30 years it was set up that way in Superboy comics.
Are you certain? Granted I didn't read a lot of Superboy comics, but I read a lot more than most people of my generation, and I got the impression that the convenience store angle didn't come up very often.

In any event, I don't think having Jonathan run a convenience store was to distance themselves from the farming, I think it was just more convenient for the Kents to be closer to downtown Smallville for story reasons.

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Yeah, that is true. That's part of why I love the bit in Maggin's second novel where Jor-El sends a message ahead to Einstein and Einstein selects the Kents as parents. That particular take is unworkable now but I think Jor-El wouldn't be so irresponsible to send Kal-El to Earth without an idea of who should raise him. Smallville touched on this too. In the Silver Age comics, Jor-El watched Earth and the Kents in particular. While it was of course somewhat silly, the idea that Jor-El was impressed by Jonathan Kent is really really cool and I like the idea they were chosen.
I don't mind the idea of them being chosen. I just think the only way it would work is if Jor-El contacted them in some way. It certainly wouldn't work with them finding the baby in the ship on the side of the road.

But all in all I kind of like that Jor-El's final act was a desperate one to save his son. And in most versions he left some kind of computer doohiky to help guide Kal-El's upbringing if he never found a proper home. It just ended up being unnecessary until Clark needed to built the Fortress.

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I meant the writers and artists forgetting the heritage of the comics that came before them.
I get that. But what does Lois calling Clark Smallville have to do with that?

I also disagree with you on principal with that. As the years went by, more and more writers and artists were people who grew up reading Superman and other comics. They know the heritage better than anybody.


EDIT: Also, I forgot to ask, why do you think getting rid of Wonder Woman's secret identity was a mistake?

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Old 09-02-2010, 11:40 PM   #120
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:32 AM   #121
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Are you certain? Granted I didn't read a lot of Superboy comics, but I read a lot more than most people of my generation, and I got the impression that the convenience store angle didn't come up very often.

In any event, I don't think having Jonathan run a convenience store was to distance themselves from the farming, I think it was just more convenient for the Kents to be closer to downtown Smallville for story reasons.
Yeah, I have Adventure Issues from the mid-50's and they were off the farm by then. The whole farm thing was never referenced much in Superboy stories. Clark was already nebbish in them. It was never important until the movie.

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I don't mind the idea of them being chosen. I just think the only way it would work is if Jor-El contacted them in some way. It certainly wouldn't work with them finding the baby in the ship on the side of the road.

But all in all I kind of like that Jor-El's final act was a desperate one to save his son. And in most versions he left some kind of computer doohiky to help guide Kal-El's upbringing if he never found a proper home. It just ended up being unnecessary until Clark needed to built the Fortress.
Usually it's just treated as a total matter of chance, but I do kinda like the idea that he wouldn't just send Kal-El to Earth and just hoped it worked out...I can see both ways really. Fortunately Tony Soprano wasn't taking a country drive that day I guess.

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I get that. But what does Lois calling Clark Smallville have to do with that?

I also disagree with you on principal with that. As the years went by, more and more writers and artists were people who grew up reading Superman and other comics. They know the heritage better than anybody.
It gets on my nerves. Plus she never got a good comeuppance for it like she would for other taunts of Clark. The fun of Clark is he catches all that flak but gets people back from time to time. And if the current writers and artists knew the heritage it only showed in how much of it they got rid of. I'll never believe John Byrne knew jack about Superman comics past the TV show, the movie and what Stan told him. If nothing else, he bought the Marvel line on Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Superman hook, line and sinker.


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EDIT: Also, I forgot to ask, why do you think getting rid of Wonder Woman's secret identity was a mistake?
I'm not a big fan of superheroes who don't have secret identities past Elongated Man and the FF. And I like the chicks in glasses look. And I like the Lynda Carter spin transformation. Or maybe it's just Lynda Carter that I like.


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Old 09-03-2010, 12:47 AM   #122
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Yeah, I have Adventure Issues from the mid-50's and they were off the farm by then. The whole farm thing was never referenced much in Superboy stories. Clark was already nebbish in them. It was never important until the movie.
I was never a huge fan of the Superboy comics myself. I always preferred the idea that Clark didn't become Superman until early adulthood. But then I'm a sucker for coming of age stories.

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Usually it's just treated as a total matter of chance, but I do kinda like the idea that he wouldn't just send Kal-El to Earth and just hoped it worked out...I can see both ways really. Fortunately Tony Soprano wasn't taking a country drive that day I guess.
They actually did a story with that once. It involved clones made from space gas and other such silver age silliness, but it had an exact duplicate of Superman being raised by a pair of gangsters. It wasn't actually very good, though.

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It gets on my nerves. Plus she never got a good comeuppance for it like she would for other taunts of Clark. The fun of Clark is he catches all that flak but gets people back from time to time.
I've never really seen a need for Lois to get comeuppance for it. In part because being called Smallville isn't something Clark would be ofended by, in part because it does become a term of endearment as their relationship develops, and in part because I prefer a Superman who's above getting back at people for petty stuff like that. As both a journalist and a super hero, he has much larger concerns, and as an intelligent and mature individual, he doesn't really see a point in petty revenge.

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And if the current writers and artists knew the heritage it only showed in how much of it they got rid of. I'll never believe John Byrne knew jack about Superman comics past the TV show, the movie and what Stan told him. If nothing else, he bought the Marvel line on Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Superman hook, line and sinker.
Just because he had a different opinion of the character than you doesn't mean he didn't do his research. And the fact is, John Byrne is not the only person who ever wrote Superman since 1986, and a large number of those people were fanboys from an early age.

As for the thing about Marvel's line about silver age Superman... I have to say, Marvel was kind of right. While there were undeniably some gems for Superman during the silver age, the majority of his stories of that era weren't very good. They were silly and stupid. You had Superman dressing like a witch doctor and Lois and Lana Lang having petty battles for Superman's affections and being all around flat, boring characters defined only by how much they wanted to jump his bones. It got better in the 70s, no doubt about it, but the 50s and 60s weren't Supes' finest hours.

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I'm not a big fan of superheroes who don't have secret identities past Elongated Man and the FF. And I like the chicks in glasses look. And I liked the Lynda Carter spin transformation. Or maybe it's just Lynda Carter that I liked.
I just don't see a point in Diana having a secret identity. Like, maybe at first, just to blend in and get to know the world before she starts trying to make waves, but all in all she only had it because of tradition, not because she needed one. I thought she was at her best when they dropped it and played up her political role.

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Old 09-03-2010, 01:28 AM   #123
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I was never a huge fan of the Superboy comics myself. I always preferred the idea that Clark didn't become Superman until early adulthood. But then I'm a sucker for coming of age stories.
I can take or leave Superboy although if I were in charge of the movies, I'd use him...and do a LoSH spinoff.

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They actually did a story with that once. It involved clones made from space gas and other such silver age silliness, but it had an exact duplicate of Superman being raised by a pair of gangsters. It wasn't actually very good, though.
Yeah, I remember that one.

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I've never really seen a need for Lois to get comeuppance for it. In part because being called Smallville isn't something Clark would be ofended by, in part because it does become a term of endearment as their relationship develops, and in part because I prefer a Superman who's above getting back at people for petty stuff like that. As both a journalist and a super hero, he has much larger concerns, and as an intelligent and mature individual, he doesn't really see a point in petty revenge.
Superman should never be above making sure jackasses get theirs. Main thing is it to me is tied into the whole farmboy thing that I dislike. And I think it's a stupid nickname.

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Just because he had a different opinion of the character than you doesn't mean he didn't do his research. And the fact is, John Byrne is not the only person who ever wrote Superman since 1986, and a large number of those people were fanboys from an early age.
It's pretty clear from his stories that he didn't know jack about 1938-1986 Superman. Like in the pocket universe fiasco where he had his Superman kill the Phantom Zone villains and he misused Gold K. If a Kryptonian has their powers taken away with Gold K, then Green K is harmless to them. Byrne and Mike Carlin (who also doesn't know jack) failed to research that fact. He just doesn't know what he's doing. And a lot of current writers who were fanboys come off like they didn't know comics existed before 1985, including the alleged continuity expert Geoff Johns.

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As for the thing about Marvel's line about silver age Superman... I have to say, Marvel was kind of right. While there were undeniably some gems for Superman during the silver age, the majority of his stories of that era weren't very good. They were silly and stupid. You had Superman dressing like a witch doctor and Lois and Lana Lang having petty battles for Superman's affections and being all around flat, boring characters defined only by how much they wanted to jump his bones. It got better in the 70s, no doubt about it, but the 50s and 60s weren't Supes' finest hours.
Stan spouted that stuff because DC and Superman in particular, was the competition. All of the silliest stuff was gone by the Bronze Age, not retconned out but written out gracefully. Some of it was silly but then again there's some silly Marvel stuff too. Stan definitely did not have Superman's best interests at heart when he slammed the character and Byrne was a fool to buy into it. But I never trust Marvel guys or Batman guys with Superman anyway. Although Denny O'Neil is one of my favorite writers and he wrote some good Superman stuff, he really couldn't handle the character long-term either. What people instinctively do with Superman is they try to deconstruct him. This is a mistake. It takes a special kind of writer to handle Superman-he is way more difficult to handle than Batman and it shows. As soon as a writer says they cannot handle Superman being extremely powerful, or being a dual personality, or being married...they just need to take another assignment because to me they have proved themselves incapable of writing him.

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I just don't see a point in Diana having a secret identity. Like, maybe at first, just to blend in and get to know the world before she starts trying to make waves, but all in all she only had it because of tradition, not because she needed one. I thought she was at her best when they dropped it and played up her political role.
I like superheroes to have secret identities. The only WW stuff I really love is the Golden Age and bits of the Perez run just for the visuals.


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Old 09-03-2010, 01:36 AM   #124
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Superman should never be above making sure jackasses get theirs.
Why? It's petty and juvenile.

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Main thing is it to me is tied into the whole farmboy thing that I dislike. And I think it's a stupid nickname.
Well, the thing is, he is from a farm. He is, technically, a farm boy. I don't see the problem in writers referencing something that is a part of his backstory.

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It's pretty clear from his stories that he didn't know jack about 1938-1986 Superman. Like in the pocket universe fiasco where he had his Superman kill the Phantom Zone villains and he misused Gold K. If a Kryptonian has their powers taken away with Gold K, then Green K is harmless to them. Byrne and Mike Carlin (who also doesn't know jack) failed to research that fact. He just doesn't know what he's doing. And a lot of current writers who were fanboys come off like they didn't know comics existed before 1985, including the alleged continuity expert Geoff Johns.
Changing things to suit the story isn't the same thing as not knowing what the deal is in the first place. I think most of the instances of writers forgetting where Superman came from that you're talking about isn't them forgetting anything or not doing research, it's them having done the research and deciding to use aspects of the Superman mythos that haven't been seen for a while for their story but changing them to suit their story.

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Stan spouted that stuff because DC and Superman in particular, was the competition. All of the silliest stuff was gone by the Bronze Age, not retconned out but written out gracefully. Some of it was silly but then again there's some silly Marvel stuff too. Stan definitely did not have Superman's best interests at heart when he slammed the character and Byrne was a fool to buy into it. But I never trust Marvel guys or Batman guys with Superman anyway. Although Denny O'Neil is one of my favorite writers and he wrote some good Superman stuff, he really couldn't handle the character long-term either. What people instinctively do with Superman is they try to deconstruct him. This is a mistake. It takes a special kind of writer to handle Superman-he is way more difficult to handle than Batman and it shows. As soon as a writer says they cannot handle Superman being extremely powerful, or being a dual personality, or being married...they just need to take another assignment because to me they have proved themselves incapable of writing him.
He may have been saying that because DC was the competition, but he was right. The 50s and 60s Superman comics weren't good. If by the bronze age what you're referring to is the early to mid 70s and onward, then yes, I agree. But silver age Superman... heck, silver age DC in general... I prefer silver age Marvel to say the least.

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I like superheroes to have secret identities. The only WW stuff I really love is the Golden Age and bits of the Perez run just for the visuals.
But why? It doesn't suit every character.

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Old 09-03-2010, 02:09 AM   #125
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Why? It's petty and juvenile.
Not really. It's part of the entire wish fulfillment angle of Superman.

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Well, the thing is, he is from a farm. He is, technically, a farm boy. I don't see the problem in writers referencing something that is a part of his backstory.
It was never a big part of the story before, and I feel making it such an overwhelming part of the characters persona is a bad mistake. It's a small part of his background and his life, not the defining characteristic.

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Changing things to suit the story isn't the same thing as not knowing what the deal is in the first place. I think most of the instances of writers forgetting where Superman came from that you're talking about isn't them forgetting anything or not doing research, it's them having done the research and deciding to use aspects of the Superman mythos that haven't been seen for a while for their story but changing them to suit their story.
No chance. They didn't know what they were doing, period. The fact that they had Superman kill proves that. That story is worse than any silly Silver Age story ever printed and is the lowest point in Superman's history IMO.

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He may have been saying that because DC was the competition, but he was right. The 50s and 60s Superman comics weren't good. If by the bronze age what you're referring to is the early to mid 70s and onward, then yes, I agree. But silver age Superman... heck, silver age DC in general... I prefer silver age Marvel to say the least.
Superman's Return to Krypton, the Death of Superman, the Super-Key to Fort Superman...there are a ton of awesome Silver Age Superman stories along with some silly ones. Jerry Siegel wrote a ton of awesome stuff in the 60's. But I am actually not a huge Silver Age fan. I am mostly a Golden and Bronze Age fan, and the Silver Age elements I liked best were leftover from the Golden Age. Like the whole Lois/Lana trying to expose Superman's identity? Totally a Silver Age thing. Siegel wrote one story like that in the Golden Age. It's not part of the core and I don't miss it one bit. Those stories to me are wasted stories. Awesome stories like where Superman and Jimmy Olsen go into Kandor and fight crime as Nightwing and Flamebird...that's the kind of Silver Age stuff I like.

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But why? It doesn't suit every character.
According to Wonder Woman's creator, it suited her. I am about purity of superheroes to their creators' visions like strict Constitutionalists are about the US Constitution, not to take a political side because I'm not qualified to say who is right about that issue. But I do feel my knowledge of comics is enough to justify my belief that the core concepts of characters that made them successful in the first place are essential to any interpretation.

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