How would you make Superman Relevant?

Discussion in 'Man of Steel' started by Visceral, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Visceral

    Visceral A Shadow

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    I have been contemplating my love for this character ever since I saw the trailer for Man of Steel.

    I grew up on Christopher Reeve a true superman in his own right. I read the comics for awhile, and after reading the great ones, I finally stopped reading the periodical. I liked the definitive versions, Loeb, Jurgens, Waid, Millar.
    And I know that people hated it but For Tomorrow. For Tomorrow had a Matrix like vibe and I always thought Neo was a philosophical adult version of Superman. Sort of like Moore's Manhattan or Miracleman or Miller's DKR version. Sort of a meditation on what it means to have superpowers.

    Superman was the first superhero, all other heroes are just shades of him, even Batman. People don't like him though, they all say they can't relate to him, every writer that comes onto superman tries desperately to make him relateable, some to glorious failure aka Superman Returns.

    I am currently writing about what I think makes Superman relevant. But before I post that I want to know. In an age where 20 percent of Americans don't believe that we landed on the moon, I want to know what do you think will allow people to believe a man can fly?
     
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  2. BlueLightning

    BlueLightning Caballero de la Luz

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    You need to put aside the relatability factor. Go to the basics. Superman is basically a figure to aspire to be, someone who sets up the example. Superman inspires humanity to be better. I believe that the best Superman stories revolve around that factor. These are universal concepts that are relevant anywhere, anytime. You just need the sensibility to showcase how great Superman is.

    Somebody posted this on another thread, I think it fits.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Uroboric Forms

    Uroboric Forms Your Move, Creep

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    -Black suit
    -No Flying
    -Fighting a giant spider
     
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  4. Anubis

    Anubis Sup?

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    He should totally kill a buncha people too.......and giant spiders. :o
     
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  5. Jochimus

    Jochimus Autobot Slacker

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    Personally I wouldn't worry about making him relevant so much as I would probably focus on making him necessary. Meaning, showing how screwed up such a world have to be that it would have need of a guy like him to pick up the slack when all else fails.
     
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  6. BH/HHH

    BH/HHH You Are My World

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    That just might be the greatest Superman moment of all-time, it captures exactly what I love about the character.
     
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  7. BlueLightning

    BlueLightning Caballero de la Luz

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    I agree. I saw the image before reading All Star Superman, and about little more than a year I decided to read the full series. I was really moved, I thought that this particular issue speaks volumes about Superman and his mission.
     
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  8. The Guard

    The Guard Well-Known Member

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    Exactly what the filmmakers for MAN OF STEEL are doing. Explore the concept of something like Superman showing up in the world...like the comics have done to make Superman relevant for years and years.
     
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  9. SuperFerret

    SuperFerret King of the Urban Jungle

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    Superman IS relevant. Forcing it just makes people think he's not.
     
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  10. Nemeres

    Nemeres Easy, miss. I've got you.

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    Oh, he's relevant. How can he not be? Being perhaps the simplest, most elemental superhero of them all, he corresponds to that messiah concept that others don't. Spidey is about wish fulfillment and seing the underdog win, Batman is about balancing light and darkness, etc. Superman is about "Wouldn't it be great if someone had the power to do good and he DID it?" It's an immortal question. He's the most relevant superhero of all, if you ask me.
     
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  11. BlueLightning

    BlueLightning Caballero de la Luz

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    I'm getting very good vibes about that film. So far the teasers and the images have given me a lot of hope, lets see how it does.
     
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  12. BlueLightning

    BlueLightning Caballero de la Luz

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    In a nutshell:

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Nemeres

    Nemeres Easy, miss. I've got you.

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    And to actually answer the question (lol) I'd put in plenty of scenes of him saving people from disasters and tragedies of the real-life type, and focus on the impact that he'd have on the world and in people's lives. That, interspersed with a bit of psychological exploration, and the reasons for why he does what he does (perhaps a deep need for connection, a need for feeling like part of the world he inhabits, like in Mark Waid's Birthright). I think that'd do it.
     
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  14. Kal-El.9859

    Kal-El.9859 Trust No One

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    make this movie....
     
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  15. Visceral

    Visceral A Shadow

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    I agree that he is relevant and that we shouldn't try to make him relevant as people should aspire to him. But do you guys have any ideas on how to do this.

    In a weird way I kind of think that superheroes do exist, not their powers, but the personality types certainly do. Take Batman for instance, Miller and Nolan both have stated that FDR and Howard Hughes were influences.

    This prompted me to watch the 1983 film the Right Stuff which centers on the Mercury 7 astronauts and Chuck Yeager. Hal Jordan is basically a rip off of Chuck Yeager, along with Jim Kirk, Han Solo, etc. Every time John Glenn shows up on screen though I couldn't stop thinking that this was a real life version of superman. sort of this Dudley do right, we need our Dudley do rights now.

    Realism isn't always bad, especially when evil is a very real thing. I think that people give up sometimes, they get hurt and they stop believing in goodness, of humanity and their own. Look at TDK, people thought that was the best installment and its the one where the Joker wins, then years later Aurura. This shows me that people love darkness, because they think that this is the true nature of themselves. Martin Scorsese said that his film The Departed was about our socity post 9/11 that we were now at a moral ground zero, having lost faith in goodness.

    As for Morrison that is one of his best moments, full of heart but not much brains. Sort of like the conflict between Superman and Lex. The thing is I truly believe that heart wins out in the end. That in the end heart is the smart move. Morrison gets that I'm not taking away anything from his writing. His method though, to remind us that superman is a character to aspire to, is to make him less real. Morrison's Superman is a modern myth, an ideology that deals regularly with the fantastic and the all the other myths of old. I get that and agree with that. Its a good interpretation of the character. I do believe that Superman is human goodness and virtue personified.

    I also understand that there is no way in hell his writing is for everyone. Many people, if not most need realism. I'm not saying that I want to see sweat stains on superman's armpits, but people do need real examples of goodness before they can believe in the miraculous. Honestly, I want to bug people with superman, make them think about what is means to be a superman.

    I think of Kingdom Come, What is so funny about Truth Justice and The American Way?, and Superman For All Seasons. Superman is a character that should call us out, hold a mirror to society and say "hey stupid! you are better than this!"

    Now I think this is easier said than done. I am crossing my fingers for this film.
     
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  16. moviefreak

    moviefreak Jalwah tree loiter

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    Approximately 35% of Americans believe in UFOs and IIRC about a tenth believe that they have seen one. I even have a friend who claimed to have seen a UFO...so making Superman relevant seems counter-intuitive.
     
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  17. StarvingArtist

    StarvingArtist Well-Known Member

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    Superman will always be relevant.

    Trick is making him "cool"
     
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  18. Mace Dolex

    Mace Dolex Powerful User

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    I know how to make Superman relevant but I can say even for a fictional character he does in a way inspire people I guess in real life to be good to others, such real life heroes like policemen, firemen do these heroic things when helping others because they feel a sense of doing what's right.

    That isn't to say all cops are saints, I hate the police as much as anybody. :)
     
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  19. hopefuldreamer

    hopefuldreamer Clark Kent > Superman

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    He already is...

    Superman is a fictional character that represents a fantasy we have about someone swooping in and saving us... from small crimes, from major natural disasters, and from our own complete incompetance as a human race.

    I don't see how that is ever not going to be relevant.

    The more important question is how you make Superman 'likeable'. Which I think has been the main problem.
     
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  20. sup101

    sup101 Well-Known Member

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    Edit.
     
    #20
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  21. moviefreak

    moviefreak Jalwah tree loiter

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    I hate the term, 'making Superman relevant' mainly because I always regard Superman in comics and fiction as a fantasy story and in some cases with a small element of Sci-Fi. Therefore Superman can never be relevant in my view unless a real life alien suddenly appear floating down from the sky.
     
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  22. Lead Cenobite

    Lead Cenobite Exquisitely Empty

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    I'm convinced that 99% of the people who say he's not relevant don't really care about relevancy. They're just trying to sound smart and probably enjoy stupid dime-a-dozen 1 dimensional action flicks.
     
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  23. Skrilla31

    Skrilla31 Well-Known Member

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    Man Of Steel appears to be mostly a story about self discovery and that's something everyone can relate to. We all have it in us to do great things but first we need the courage to overcome ourselves.

    In my opinion no other hero symbolizes that journey more than Superman and it appears from the trailer that they're going to nail that aspect of the character. Granted I don't know the context of it yet, but I love that brief moment of him looking to the sky right before take off. It's as if he's had a spiritual awakening of sorts and understands his purpose, and it is after that awakening in which he take towards the sky. It's the perfect metaphor.

    Superman is and always will be the greatest superhero. And if Man Of Steel does it's job, everyone in the audience should leave the theater thinking the same thing.
     
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  24. BestGirl

    BestGirl Chillin' on Dragonstone

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    Superman's relevant because he's the only guy who can save the people of the movie from danger, same as any other superhero. Why does this question always get asked of Superman? Why do Superman fans fret about his relevance when Batman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Wolverine fans don't worry about their heroes? Maybe it's because he has a reputation for being uncool.
     
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  25. Mad Love

    Mad Love The Future of Justice

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    I think most of the people complaining about relevancy or relatability never really cared to know the character. They either only saw him on TV/movies or never read any of his comics. Other than that, some people just have different taste.

    I don't like Iron Man or Thor. I don't relate to them, but I don't think they're not relatable. Some people would rather blame the character.
     
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