Advice From a Fanboy: Superman Edition

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Read Action Comics. You want a Superman that is awe inspiring, action packed and completely amazing? Its all in there.

stickmangrit:

Superman v Luthor as an allegory for Altruism v Objectivism,

Superman vs. Andrew Ryan.

I don't really read that many comics, but am curious to know; have there been any superman comics which focus on the fact that he has got the powers of a minor god, but spends a large amount of his time working in a job for a man that he could kill in a second, should he so please? I mean, I'm not a massive fan of Superman, but I always thought one of the more interesting facts about him would be how in everyday life he is a pretty forgettable man, but in secret, he can basically do whatever he wants.

I was thinking about how people could write Superman in particular, how it would be possible to do anything approaching a "gritty reboot" and the idea just struck me, was wondering if I was original or whether someone had done it before.

Batsamaritan:
woah, i LIKED smallville... I say liked, it should have ended two seasons ago but for a tv superman show i thought it was pretty good.

Ok i'm not the worlds biggest superman fan, personally i was always more into batman, vertigo and marvel when it comes to my comics, but smallville had the best lex luthor on screen (sorry gene hackman and kevin spacey but its true)

maybe its just movie bobs inner troll looking for a flame war?

While I actually agree about the luthors of smallville being somewhat awesome, they are also the only ones. The rest of the characters and plot/dialogue is so horrible awful that...just....BLARG...its unwatchable.

stickmangrit:

Whispering Death:
This has failure written all over it. It's like they're trying to re-create Batman Begins and just insert another main character which is not what the Superman character is.

Superman doesn't work in the modern day because he's an anachronism. He is one of the most simple super-hero characters by virtue of the fact he was one of the first. There's little depth or interest to his story. Everyone knows it: the damsel gets in distress, superman is powerful and almost saves her, then Kryptonite shows up in one form or another, but not-so-shockingly the Kyrptonite is removed by help from an unlikely ally, and Superman wins the day.

He existed in a time where spandex was a really modern invention and having a cape was new and novel. Where journalists were thought of as "cool". And when phone booths actually existed.

It's a simple story and an anachronism that doesn't translate into modern cinema. They keep trying to make it work because Superman is such a well-known brand. And maybe if they add enough explosions and monster robots they can get people to see it. But it will never be good.

Superman v Luthor as an allegory for Altruism v Objectivism, which is culturally relevant now thanks to the growing number of Randroids screaming about taking their gubmint back. give us that dynamic wrapped around punching Zod or Brainiac in the face multiple times and Lois doing suicidally stupid shit that she needs saving from, and you've got a solid story.

Lex Luthor: rich white businessman that happens to be a bad guy! Like we've never seen that in a movie before.

I have nothing bad to say about the comics, they were revolutionary and amazing in their time.

But that last phrase "in their time" is why the movies won't succeed. Superman doesn't translate to 2010.

and don't forget. Make it 3 hours long so the back story is not skimmed.

the Dept of Science:
I don't really read that many comics, but am curious to know; have there been any superman comics which focus on the fact that he has got the powers of a minor god, but spends a large amount of his time working in a job for a man that he could kill in a second, should he so please? I mean, I'm not a massive fan of Superman, but I always thought one of the more interesting facts about him would be how in everyday life he is a pretty forgettable man, but in secret, he can basically do whatever he wants.

I was thinking about how people could write Superman in particular, how it would be possible to do anything approaching a "gritty reboot" and the idea just struck me, was wondering if I was original or whether someone had done it before.

While it's not a Superman comic per se, The Dark Knight Returns touches on this brilliantly. Basically, Superman is Reagan's walking eff-you to the Soviets. I won't spoil any more for you, save to say that you get to see Batman and Superman really cut loose against each other... and it's fucking amazing.

OT: Sorry MovieBob, but I really can't agree with what you're saying. You seem to argue including the campiest elements of the Superman mythos, just to keep the uber-nerds happy. "Great Rhoa"?? Really? Why don't we just get "Holy metal rocks" Robin back in the Batman franchise as well? That'll keep the fans happy.

Silly antagonists? Krypto? A film adaption should take what's good from the Superman comic, not just random goofy details for nerds to wank over.

And as for your final point, 'Go nuts': they already tried that in the last film. Superman singlehandedly saves free-falling jumbo-jets, launches a space shuttle, deflects bullets with his eyeballs and lifts a fucking mountain of kryptonite out of the stratosphere. It was still a shit film. Superman is like any hero with super powers- he has the potential for some awesome setpieces, but that needs to be tempered with mature story telling.

It may surprise a lot of people to learn that originally Superman only had two powers- his incredible speed and strength. Everything else, including his flight and bulletproof skin, was added hodge-podge over the years. I personally wouldn't mind seeing the next film going right back to his roots, and re-introducing audiences to the Superman who doesn't just insta-win problems by flying them out into space.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

the Dept of Science:
I don't really read that many comics, but am curious to know; have there been any superman comics which focus on the fact that he has got the powers of a minor god, but spends a large amount of his time working in a job for a man that he could kill in a second, should he so please? I mean, I'm not a massive fan of Superman, but I always thought one of the more interesting facts about him would be how in everyday life he is a pretty forgettable man, but in secret, he can basically do whatever he wants.

I was thinking about how people could write Superman in particular, how it would be possible to do anything approaching a "gritty reboot" and the idea just struck me, was wondering if I was original or whether someone had done it before.

While it's not a Superman comic per se, The Dark Knight Returns touches on this brilliantly. Basically, Superman is Reagan's walking eff-you to the Soviets. I won't spoil any more for you, save to say that you get to see Batman and Superman really cut loose against each other... and it's fucking amazing.

I've read Dark Knight Returns, its very good but not quite what I was thinking of.

My idea was more like, seeing Superman working his everyday job, getting all the shit normal people get from their daily routine and how to cope with doing that, knowing full well that he is the most powerful man in the world.

Most famous fictional character?

Nah, that goes to God.

*fkees*

I hope the film makers will include a hundred foot robot for Superman to fight.
Oh, and don't give us another fucking origin story, everyone knows Superman.

And yes, shoehorning in 'fan-favorite' characters or storylines was definately a bad idea in Daredevil, X-men 3, Spiderman 3. I've spent so much time mentally re-writing those movies...

Onyx Oblivion:
I heard that Tom Welling isn't ever going to put on the costume. Something about his contract...

Actually it's been revealed that he will be putting it on for the last season's finale(Please let this be the last season).
The reason they ignored the whole thing was that for a long time the show had the mantra; "No tights, no flights", noble intentions for the first few seasons, but as the show dragged on it just got silly.

Ok, so I gotta admit.. I can't f***ing stand superman, and it's all because of one silly flaw. If not for this, I totally love Superman. And it's like I'm the only one noticing this but SUPERMAN HAS NO FRIGGIN DISGUISE. I mean, most superheroes at least try and cover up their face, but Superman? He removes his glasses and put on boots that give him an extra inch!? And then they try to make me engaged in some plot where someone suspects that Clark Kent is Superman. NO SHIT, just look at a PHOTO of him.
And even if, he has some sort of hypnotic power that makes people oblivious to this fact, there are face-recognition softwares capable of deducing this fact that wont be fooled by a pair of glasses. And I know, we are supposed to suspend our disbelief but I just can't. I buy the aliens and magic and shit, but that people are just plain blind and cat see this fact? No, I can't do it. Talk about everyone ignoring the big pink elephant.
My solution? If you won't give him a new suit, kill of Clark. He is the most redundant part of Superman and I like him better in Justice League(from the animated series), when he appears to be Superman full time, than in any other incarnation when trying to juggle the mundane existence of Clark with his superhero life in a world full of very stupid people.

Phew, bit of a rant, but please, I can't be the only one bothered by this?

Superman has to fight a giant spider.

/thread.

Also, the main reason I keep watching Smallville is that I want to see how they handle the Suit/Identity thing when he finally "goes public" If they, just like every other Superman incarnation, just ignore it, I will be really upset

We're getting a DC Animated movie of All Star Superman relatively soon anyway, which will most likely put to shame any other efforts to commit Superman to film that have happened or will ever happen.

I've never read Waid's Birthright story, which is apparently what the new movie is being based on, but Morrison's Superman made me realize how ignorant I was during all those years of considering Superman to be one-dimensional and irrelevant.

At first when I hit the bit where Toyman and such were mentioned and suggested I wondered if that section was in fact sarcasm. After all, it did mention that it was somewhat unserious.
But you know what...while those specific examples might not be good, playing it over the top could be a good idea. I actually liked Superman Returns, but even with all the Kryptonite...there wasn't really any satisfying heroics. He effortlessly did everything for a while. Then he got his ass kicked due to kryptonite. Then he lifted a big rock and coughed a bit. Some nice effects and all but...its not really the same as seeing two superpowered guys having an impressive, well down, rip-roaring rampage, an exciting visual spectacle that really shows the struggle and...well, fight.

But there seems to be a bit of a problem. Luthor would have to be a secondary antagonist, or a man behind the man, which might go down rather badly. Zod? Done that...Doomsday? Maybe a reworked version, but that could be even worse. So honestly, yeah, screw it. Toss in Toyman and the other low power wackos like him to be tacken down as build up but be visually interesting and still put up an interesting show on the way. Then something huge...alien invasion, darksied, whatever.

Though not Mxyzptlk. Never him.

Oh for gods sake.

Superman is the Spirit of Hope
Batman is the Spirit of Justice
Wonder Woman is the Spirit of Truth

It's a very simple concept to grasp.

Varya:
Ok, so I gotta admit.. I can't f***ing stand superman, and it's all because of one silly flaw. If not for this, I totally love Superman. And it's like I'm the only one noticing this but SUPERMAN HAS NO FRIGGIN DISGUISE. I mean, most superheroes at least try and cover up their face, but Superman? He removes his glasses and put on boots that give him an extra inch!? And then they try to make me engaged in some plot where someone suspects that Clark Kent is Superman. NO SHIT, just look at a PHOTO of him.
And even if, he has some sort of hypnotic power that makes people oblivious to this fact, there are face-recognition softwares capable of deducing this fact that wont be fooled by a pair of glasses. And I know, we are supposed to suspend our disbelief but I just can't. I buy the aliens and magic and shit, but that people are just plain blind and cat see this fact? No, I can't do it. Talk about everyone ignoring the big pink elephant.
My solution? If you won't give him a new suit, kill of Clark. He is the most redundant part of Superman and I like him better in Justice League(from the animated series), when he appears to be Superman full time, than in any other incarnation when trying to juggle the mundane existence of Clark with his superhero life in a world full of very stupid people.

Phew, bit of a rant, but please, I can't be the only one bothered by this?

The thing is no one is looking for Supermans 'Secret Identity' because he gives them no reason to. He doesn't wear a mask, he acts completely normal. Lex Luthor isn't going "Who's Superman's secret identity" he just goes "That damn ALIEN!" because there is no mask!, John Stewert and Guy Gardner didn't wear masks as Green Lanterns, hell they went by there real names! Kyle Rayner wore a mask and everyone close to him (and far from him) figured it out. Superman is like John and Guy, he isn't giving them a mystery to solve so they don't care! He's not Spiderman who wears a full body suit to hide his identity.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

the Dept of Science:
I don't really read that many comics, but am curious to know; have there been any superman comics which focus on the fact that he has got the powers of a minor god, but spends a large amount of his time working in a job for a man that he could kill in a second, should he so please? I mean, I'm not a massive fan of Superman, but I always thought one of the more interesting facts about him would be how in everyday life he is a pretty forgettable man, but in secret, he can basically do whatever he wants.

I was thinking about how people could write Superman in particular, how it would be possible to do anything approaching a "gritty reboot" and the idea just struck me, was wondering if I was original or whether someone had done it before.

While it's not a Superman comic per se, The Dark Knight Returns touches on this brilliantly. Basically, Superman is Reagan's walking eff-you to the Soviets. I won't spoil any more for you, save to say that you get to see Batman and Superman really cut loose against each other... and it's fucking amazing.

OT: Sorry MovieBob, but I really can't agree with what you're saying. You seem to argue including the campiest elements of the Superman mythos, just to keep the uber-nerds happy. "Great Rhoa"?? Really? Why don't we just get "Holy metal rocks" Robin back in the Batman franchise as well? That'll keep the fans happy.

Silly antagonists? Krypto? A film adaption should take what's good from the Superman comic, not just random goofy details for nerds to wank over.

And as for your final point, 'Go nuts': they already tried that in the last film. Superman singlehandedly saves free-falling jumbo-jets, launches a space shuttle, deflects bullets with his eyeballs and lifts a fucking mountain of kryptonite out of the stratosphere. It was still a shit film. Superman is like any hero with super powers- he has the potential for some awesome setpieces, but that needs to be tempered with mature story telling.

It may surprise a lot of people to learn that originally Superman only had two powers- his incredible speed and strength. Everything else, including his flight and bulletproof skin, was added hodge-podge over the years. I personally wouldn't mind seeing the next film going right back to his roots, and re-introducing audiences to the Superman who doesn't just insta-win problems by flying them out into space.

Your reccomending Batman cock sucker Frank Millar AKA WhoresWhoresWhoresWhoresWhores as GOOD writing? DKR was a good story for it's time but it hasn't aged well, especially since Franky is fucking insane.

You want a GOOD superman story read All-Star Superman, though not All-Star Batman and Robin from Frank Millar, because the man is a hack.

SpaceMedarotterX:

Your reccomending Batman cock sucker Frank Millar AKA WhoresWhoresWhoresWhoresWhores as GOOD writing? DKR was a good story for it's time but it hasn't aged well, especially since Franky is fucking insane.

You want a GOOD superman story read All-Star Superman, though not All-Star Batman and Robin from Frank Millar, because the man is a hack.

I agree that Frank Miller is insane, and I've not really enjoyed anything else I've read from him apart from Batman: Year One (proof that he can write a Batman story and not have the character come off as a psycho-Dirty Harry wannabe). I still think DKR is an excellent read though. It's definitely a product of the eighties, but that doesn't mean it's aged all that much. Certainly no more than Watchmen, which DKR is pretty much the counterpoint of.

Regardless of the fact that Miller is a right-wing nutjob, DKR is still an excellent story. Yes, it's very clear which side of the political fence the author sits on, but it still carries a lot of genuine emotion, it was the first comic to imply that Batman is actually just a psycho himself (and amazingly, Miller didn't completely endorse that idea at the time), and the final showdown between the Dark Knight and Superman is just made of pure awesome.

Superman has probably been one of most difficult superheroes to transfer to film due to his absurd power. How exactly do you give a man who can juggle planets a challenge? I do think Nolan and company can come up with something compelling and Snyder is a talented director (even if Watchmen was doomed to be a colossal mess from the outset)

Am I the only one here who doesn't want to see Zod as the villain? I mean, as far as pitting Superman against another super-powered being, it seems a bit cheap to rely on someone who has the exact same power-set as Kal-El.

I would love to see any of the following villains in place of Zod:
Bizarro
Brainiac
Darkseid (he may not work as well for non-readers)
Doomsday (not a big fan, but much preferred over Zod)
Metallo
Mongul
Parasite

And, if Lex Luthor has to be in the film: DO NOT HAVE HIM BE AN IDIOT LAND BARON. That is NOT Lex Luthor. That is the lowest common denominator's lowest common denominator. Granted, Luthor in the comics probably wasn't the same then as he is today. But, the modern Luthor is such an effective bad-guy when compared to the Richard Donner Luthor.

(I'm well aware that no one from Hollywood is reading this.)

I have to disagree with so much of this. Bring in some of the more ridiculous Superman villains? They SUCK! Nobody wants to see Toyman or Mxysptlyk or whatever his name is. Even the DCAU couldn't make Toyman a decent villain. And ignore Smallville? Umm, that show is pretty successful and a lot of people's primary source for Superman. That's like saying ignore Batman: The Animated Series for a Batman movie. I'm not saying you have to follow the show exactly (as Nolan didn't follow B:TAS) but I'm pretty sure Nolan watched some of it and knew the material.

Open the Fortress of Solitude with a building sized yellow key? Really? Because the way to make a good Superman movie is to make the Super Mario Bros. movie seem subtle and realistic by comparison. That's a good strategy.

I do like the thought of Independence Day, but with Superman. The movie should be something like that. Aliens, demons, whatever, invade and Superman goes nuts. I remember a comic where parademons or whatever were invading and Superman just cut loose. His heat vision weren't aimed rays, but wide arcs of death. He stopped punching and just flew at top speed through demons. It was awesome.

But making it a dumb comedy based on "oh he's strong, that's funny" like you suggest? I think that would never please anybody.

bojac6:
That's like saying ignore Batman: The Animated Series for a Batman movie

Last I looked all the live-action ones kind did ignore B: TAS

Pallindromemordnillap:

bojac6:
That's like saying ignore Batman: The Animated Series for a Batman movie

Last I looked all the live-action ones kind did ignore B: TAS

The tone and plot for Begins is due in large part to an episode in B:TAS

It's odd, people really like characters like Venom and maybe Doomsday, but you don't... But I can see why. Venom's basically an "evil version of Spider-man", and that's about it. Doomsday is strong enough to kill Superman... And that's about it.

I don't read the comics, so if there's more to them that I'm not getting, please tell me.

Also, I never watched Smallville, but I get the feeling it's like DC comics mixed with Dawson's Creek. And that doesn't sound too good.

Pallindromemordnillap:

bojac6:
That's like saying ignore Batman: The Animated Series for a Batman movie

Last I looked all the live-action ones kind did ignore B: TAS

Well, they directly tie in with the Tim Burton movies and were made specifically with that in mind. The Animated Series invented the whole Mr. Freeze is trying to save/avenge his wife thing (that was done poorly in Batman and Robin) and that Two-Face was already obsessed with duality before the accident when he was just Harvey Dent (that was done brilliantly in The Dark Knight). We're ignoring the Schumacher films, because they are an example of how to make a bad movie, not a good one. Nolan's Batman films have the same feel as the series. As I said in my original post, he didn't follow the plot, but he really caught the appeal. Besides my earlier example of Two-Face, the portrayal of Bruce Wayne draws a lot from the show. He's willing to look the buffoon a lot, but nobody really mistakes him for idiot. The scene in the Dark Knight where he crashes his car is very similar to others in TAS. I have a hard time believing Nolan didn't watch some of the Animated Series.

I want to see superman going up against myzpelisk just to see how nuts they can go.

Onyx Oblivion:
I heard that Tom Welling isn't ever going to put on the costume. Something about his contract...

Thus robbing the show of the one thing that might, someday, have made it cool.

Seriously, I TRIED watching Smallville, put more effort into attempting to engage in a totally passive medium that I really thought was possible.

Smallville has an interesting premise but is squandered at every turn between a new lame "meteor" villain and "WE NEED MOAR FANSERVICE! MOOOOOOOOOAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!!!!"

Oddly I love CW other "impossible in the real world" action show, Supernatrual, I don't knows what causes that.

I agree. This new Superman movie needs to have big ideas and money shots that make me repeat"Holy shit that was awesome!" throughout.

Superman can't work in film (or TV, for that matter. And I'm not really convinced that he works particularly well in comics) because he's Superman.

He's invincible and (basically) all-powerful - that does not a compelling narrative make.

So every single incarnation of Superman ends up manufacturing some hackneyed excuse why he can't use his near-omnipotence to save the day immediately - usually involving Kryptonite. The tension comes not from the plot ("How will Superman save the day this time?") but from "When will the writer allow Superman to be super, and win?"

It's a bit like how Captain Scarlet kept getting locked in cupboards* so he couldn't go around being immortal and drawing all the drama out of things, until the end of the episode when he would inevitably break the door down or whatever, and rescue everyone. Like he could have done right at the beginning, if he hadn't been locked in that cupboard.

Except with Superman it's always, always Kryptonite. Sometimes the Kryptonite is a different colour, though.

*Substitute 'bonked on head', or your other favourite 'Captain Scarlet can't help his friends right now, kids!' excuse.

First off, KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!
Secondly, I can just imagine Superman swooping in on a terrorist bombing and moving a building slightly to the left to save everyone and then having the terrorists shake there fists and say "Stinking Americans always coming in here and ruining our bombings!"
It would be interesting to see a Superman movie that tries to go all out and be real big. We have the technology to do it after-all nowadays. Still if they can make something worth of watching more then once ten at least it will beat out some other Superman properties.

Moriarty70:

The_root_of_all_evil:

Nobody Cares About Smallville

AHEM!...Lex Luthor? Lionel Luthor? Two of the greatest evil guys since evil was invented. The Seto Kaiba's of Metropolis.

Apart from that it's toss, but it isn't The New Adventures of Lois and Clarke now, is it?

Dean Cain is Superman's Adam West. That's all that needs be said about the appeal of that show.

Ahem? What are you saying about ol' westy? Huh? HUH?!

BIFF!!!! SOCK!!! POW-ZAM!!!

Moriarty70:

The_root_of_all_evil:

Nobody Cares About Smallville

AHEM!...Lex Luthor? Lionel Luthor? Two of the greatest evil guys since evil was invented. The Seto Kaiba's of Metropolis.

Apart from that it's toss, but it isn't The New Adventures of Lois and Clarke now, is it?

Dean Cain is Superman's Adam West. That's all that needs be said about the appeal of that show.

At WonderCon (last?) year I got Adam West to say aloud "Who the hell do you think I am? I'M THE GOD DAMN BATMAN!"

True Story.

Smallville is overall weak (though I think when they stopped trying to be different and just ran with stuff actually from the comics it got decent and posed some interesting interpretations), but to totally deny its impact is a bit jarring. It has run for several seasons, started interest in hero-based shows (which recently gave us No Ordinary Family as well as Season 1 of Heroes a few years before it), and brought in one of my favorite recurring characters on Chuck, so laughing it off is a bit much. Of course, it is easy to laught at the show sometimes. They did make Aquaman kind of a badass though, and considering popular consciousness, that's pretty impressive.

Oh yeah, Wonder Woman never showed up on Smallville because of the movie deal as well. A shame they're just doing another show, but hopefully they can give the character some of the dignity lost with the last show. I vote Lewis Lovhaug be made a consultant.

As long as they FINALLY put Brainiac on the Big Screen I couldn't care less. Be ven better if they got Casey Affleck for the part.

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