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Topic: When did they go wrong with Superman? Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Peter Martin
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Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 13941
Posted: 23 October 2021 at 2:54pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The TV show photos above look much better to me than the Cavill Superman. Like a live action of the Fleischer Superman.

Seems peverse to have Cavill killing himself to bulk up and then sculpt the muscles on the suit.
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Greg McPhee
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Joined: 25 August 2004
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Posted: 23 October 2021 at 4:23pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I've said that Henry Cavill (and Ben Affleck as Batman) suits the role, it's the scripts and the execution that have let things down.
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Tony Marin
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Joined: 28 August 2018
Posts: 91
Posted: 23 October 2021 at 4:58pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

One thing that has stuck in a lot of the live action media that bugged me even with the 78 movie is that he has to be told by Jor-El what to do with his life and powers. In the comics he always came to the decision on his own. It was his choice to create the look and how to help people. I definitely agree with keeping his powers down to the 86 level is perfect. Make him sweat to get the job done. I always love in the John Byrne stories how sometimes hed be a mess after some big fight. Cape tattered and him being bruised but not because of exposure to Kryptonite but because it took a lot out of him. It reminded of heroes like Doc Savage, Captain Kirk and Indiana Jones. 

Edited by Tony Marin on 23 October 2021 at 5:09pm
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 23 October 2021 at 9:33pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I liked Ben Affleck's Bat-suit. It's the best one we've seen in a live-action movie. It needed trunks -- like Superman, Batman looks "naked" without them -- but it was better than any previous suit. However, I wasn't exactly fond of Affleck as Batman, quoting THE DARK KNIGHT out of context and killing people and so on. 

And the MAN OF STEEL version of Superman's costume is -- how shall I put this? -- f**king absurd. 

As for Superman in the comics -- my enjoyment of them varies wildly, depending on the writers. I haven't exactly been fond of the Bendis and post-Bendis era. I've been used to the marriage with Lois for 20 years or so, so...it's just one of those things that "is." It's "normal" now.

Normal doesn't necessarily mean good, of course. It took away the paradox of Clark/Lois/Superman: it's a sort of unrequited love story which is about two people and three people at the same time. 

But the kid, Jon Kent, was and is a bizarre retcon. Granted, I liked him as a ten-year-old. Then Bendis did his "stuck on Earth 3 for seven years" story and we got 17-year old Jon, off to join yet another rebooted version of the Legion of Super-Heroes which nobody asked for and nobody seems to like. 

I don't have a problem with the idea of Clark and Lois having a bisexual 17-year old son (or daughter, for that matter) in some possible future, alternate timeline, whatever. But in the mainstream DCU it feels really awkward and I much preferred him as a not-yet-sexual-at-all ten-year-old. 

BTW, Tony -- in the 1948 retelling of Clark's life he's told by Pa Kent, who's on his deathbed, that his purpose is to go out and do good deeds. If Clark had figured that out before, we never saw it (outside of the Superboy stories which seemed like they were from some alternate history because the SUPERMAN comics never made a mention of Clark having been Superboy -- until the '50s).
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Tony Marin
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Joined: 28 August 2018
Posts: 91
Posted: 23 October 2021 at 11:55pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Well the silver age version which obviously had Superboy. Seemed to have a healthy Pa Kent telling him to use the powers to help people as a young boy, but Clark seemed to come up with how to in terms of creating a uniform from the baby blankets. My preferred unfolding of events is for him to already have the career as Superman before ever finding out hes from Krypton. Im just sick of this whole its your destiny, you have no choice.  aspect. 
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 126476
Posted: 24 October 2021 at 8:28am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Im just sick of this whole its your destiny, you have no choice. aspect.

Basically, they're still doing Mort Weisinger stories. He was fond of presenting "alternate" versions of Superman's life--imaginary stories--but they all seemed to end with Kal/Clark being Superman.

(Even the original "Death of Superman" [SUPERMAN 149] indeed killed the title character, but before the last page was over Supergirl revealed her existence to the world, so an avatar of Superman remained.)

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Steven Myers
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Joined: 10 June 2004
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Posted: 25 October 2021 at 7:12am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I've always found Superman rather bland. I've read the comic sporadically over the years, usually because a creative team interests me. Now there are so many "versions" with different movies and TV shows, cartoons included. Plus many comic versions over the years with hard and soft reboots.

Historically, DC "goes wrong" with Superman, then gets him back on track for a while, then messes him up again.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 3233
Posted: 25 October 2021 at 11:10am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

In the equivalency game I've always thought that The Silver Surfer became the Marvel Superman.Alicia Masters in place of the Kents and Shalla-Bal/Zenn-La for lost Krypton (even similar hyphenated names).

When there has been a cosmic/galactic storyline it hasn't always worked as well for Superman though, although I did enjoy what I've read of the Warworld encounters.

The main strengths to both is the basis of an outsider/orphan/exile on what for them is an alien world, alternating between admiring human beings to frustration with us! :^)

The '50s '60s Superman comics could be totally gonzo in an endearing way, but also a too heavy on Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane as the interesting characters leaving Superman/Clark as a big stiff in his own comics, and I got to really dislike either. How could you not outright hate Lois who was always all about trying to unmask Superman as a reporter? She was an enemy really! In the original movie and the JB version I thought Lois was finally supportive, last seen that way in the old tv series I used to see as reruns. '50s '60s DC comics always had characters betraying and appearing to destroy each other on the covers, and it never made sense how quickly the status quo of them being friends would again prevail. Superboy should've really told the Legion to get stuffed after they pulled various psycho type scenarios on him! But then he waould have a story where he is mad at Krypto and was putting him to sleep! So if you think today's comics can be awful, it was just a different kind of awful at another time.
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Brian Floyd
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Joined: 07 July 2006
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Posted: 25 October 2021 at 11:19am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Superman as a character is only bland when he's portrayed as severely overpowered. 


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Peter Martin
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Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
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Posted: 25 October 2021 at 11:27am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

He can fly. He's really strong. Really fast. And he can see through things. The writers need to spend two minutes imagining just how awesome that is and let some of it bleed into their tales.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 25 October 2021 at 11:37am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

And ignoring things like him being able to push the entire planet.


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Andrew Bitner
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Joined: 01 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 6844
Posted: 25 October 2021 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

JB gave us a Superman who isn't a god. He's powerful, but the right combination of powers set against him would take him out of action--and he often got banged up badly in fights against all kinds of enemies.

Unfortunately, it took almost no time for later writers to spiral up his powers to "he flies through interstellar space for fun" or "he takes mud baths in the sun" etc.

Superman is a GREAT character. His biggest problem is that he's beset by writers who aren't.
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