Doug, I am right there with you. Those 70's-era issues of All-Star Comics with the JSA are something special.
|Posted: 12 December 2019 at 2:21am | IP Logged | 3
While the Captain America films did well overall, I personally know a couple of people who still don't like them because Cap is, well, boring. A good guy and all, but so what? Nothing about his being a fine, upstanding fellow spoke to them at all and they found revisiting his films a chore in the lead up to Infinity War and Endgame.
A good, moral Superman will appeal to many, sure, but the acclaim still won't be universal. To far too many, Superman is the guy who's just too damned nice, especially in comparison to the Marvel stable, or, worse, Batman. SO many people consider it an either/or situation between liking Superman or Batman. Almost no one I've ever met has led with, "I like 'em both." It's always Ginger and Mary Anne with those two, and Superman, like Ginger, loses every time.*
I am, to the best of my knowledge, the only one of my friends & acquaintances to prefer Superman to Batman, and even there, I get where everyone else is coming from. My friends Linda & Laura especially feel that the only reason to have Superman and Batman in the same universe is to have Batman kick Superman's butt on a routine basis**. And these are women whose names start with "L!" If Superman can't count on their support...
So, as much as a good and noble Superman is something Superman fans can hope for, the people making the movies would argue that A.) So what? You're going to watch anyway. and B.) That's exactly what we have been giving you and you still don't like it. Honestly, Zach Snyder's vision may be dark, but it doesn't give us a dark Superman. He's morally conflicted because he wants to be good and the world is too messed up to allow for it. He's forced to snap Zod's neck. It's not like he's into it. Brandon Routh's Superman was still a good guy. He was decent, kind, and brave. He was just ineffective.
Phillip Wylie's "Gladiator" was likely a strong influence on Siegel and Shuster's Superman. Hugo Danner fought in the Great War in that novel and isn't shown as ineffectual for not being able to simply end it. I could easily see a WW II Superman film taking its cues from the Look Magazine feature way back when and Tarantino's INGLORIOUS BASTERDS and having Superman bring Hitler and Stalin to trail at the Hague (!) but the film wouldn't be a failure if he doesn't. Wonder Woman wasn't held responsible by audiences for not ending WW I. I don't think Superman would be either.
It may be worth noting that in October of 1945 Superman survived an "atomic bomb" in a story that was intended to see publication two years earlier. That would have put it less than a year away from the final Fleischer cartoon. He climbed the power scale quickly back in the day, and the Fleischer version wasn't that far removed from the "overpowered" one complained about here, usually by folks who have no trouble with the Silver Surfer, Galactus, Thanos, et al.
* And universally, everyone who picks Batman (and Mary Anne) thinks that they're the rebel for doing so.
** Present-day DC seems to agree.