The Superman Rant

Yeah, this new trailer for Man of Steel looks pretty cool in some parts, but over all I think there is very pessimistic feeling in anticipating this movie. Are a lot of going to go see it? Probably. Will I? Certainly. Do I have high expectations? Not. At. All. I feel like it’ll be better than I expect based on the Dark Knight franchise, but I think the real problem is the last Superman movie. Making Superman in illegitimate father was just a strange way of trying to humanize him, or give him a weakness/vulnerability, or whatever it was they were trying to do exactly. It’s definitely going to be visually stunning, slow in some parts, and have great action sequences in other parts. I’m still not excited about it though. Do you want to know what I think the real problem is here?

Superman is not as popular as he was once upon a time. The symbol is still very popular to get tattooed on your arm or to wear on your shirt, but that’s about it. I don’t hear about great Superman story arcs the way I do Scott Snyder’s Batman. I’ve read both books, and believe me, Batman is incredible and grabs readers without the intent of letting them go! EVER! Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are doing an amazing job, and I applaud him and his whole team! But Superman? Eh. I’m interested more now that Kenneth Rocafort is doing the art, but I’m just not a fan of the character in the new 52. For starters, everything I’ve read with him, it seems like he’s a real dick. Beyond that,  they’ve made the character far too powerful over the years top the point of him just not being incredibly interesting because no one is buying him being in real peril no matter what the story tries to convey to the contrary.

Some people might ask why not put Scott Snyder on Superman to help it? Well, I don’t personally think that’s the answer. I just don’t think it’s his type of book for starters. It doesn’t seem like something he’s interested in, and it’s nearly impossible to write a great story about something you just don’t care about. Snyder’s passion for a good Batman story is clear in the plots he devises. The mannerisms he writes into the characters are very well thought out and intimate to the perceptions of what these personas would be like in real life. It takes readers into a world they can imagine being real. I’ve picked up recent issues of Superman written by Scott Lobdell, who I am a fan of. I love his work on Red Hood and the Outlaws, it’s a fun book! That’s why I gave his Superman stuff a chance with the whole H’el on Earth storyline. There are some small intimate moments where Superman is very humanized, especially in his inner dialogue about Lois Lane. I still over all in the book just don’t feel a real connection to the story like I do in Batman. Is it just me? I don’t think so in talking with my group of friends about it.

Personally I think the real problem with Superman stems back years to a single event. The Death of Superman. It was such a huge Reality changing thing! It was enormous in it’s weight not only in the Comics World, but in the Real World as well. Life was changed for everyone who had ever read a Superman comic, seen the movie, or watched the cartoon. It didn’t matter what facet you had been exposed to the Man of Steel, this event resonated with you on a very personal level. The world, the REAL world, mourned Superman. Then came the Reign of the Supermen. Then came the Return of Superman, Then came the New Superman. Then cam Superman Red & Blue. Blow after blow to the legacy, the mythology, the icon that was Superman. I feel like this video below by Max Landis (Creator of the movie Chronicle!) perfectly describes the entire series of events leading to the world not caring about Superman anymore. Be aware there is harsh and adult language used in this video. The points, so gracefully articulated by this video, are very valid in my mind. The decision to kill and bring back Superman 1. destroyed the rules of Death in Comics and created years and years of pointless, consequence-less events in comics, and 2. cheated and pushed away legions of Superman fans, breaking many lifelong connections with the character.

 

The Man of Steel will need something incredible to bring him back to the level of awe-inspiring worship he once held. The best way to do that in my opinion though? Would be to kill him. The problem with that is, it will have little meaning because no one believes the boy who cried wolf the one time he is actually attacked by one. Just my thoughts. I’d love to read your comments and opinions as well, so please post them!!!  Remember, the world is ours to make.

 

-Nick Flair!

 

4 thoughts on “The Superman Rant

  1. Superman definitely got hosed up after the Death story. I really enjoyed that story, issue 75 specifically, but I think it just got too ridiculous after that. And I agree about the lack of a threat, the DCU doesn’t have the heavy hitters Marvel does to see him in trouble a lot. I used to feel the same way about Batman being that unstoppable person with his mind and skills too, Scott Snyder definitely threw that on it’s head. He’s doing Superman now with Jim Lee, so maybe things will start looking up (in the sky, it’s a…)

  2. Superman is an icon, probably forever, similar to the Greek Pantheon Supes and the Justice League will remain told over the years even after we become dust. His popularity is still high in my book, maybe not as high since Christopher Reeve’s portrayals of him or during the comic boom of the 90’s, but he’s still on underwear, bed sheets, toothbrushes worldwide.

    I’m curious as to why you think killing him now would make him “awe inspiring” again though?

    As you stated before it’s been done before and even recently it’s been approached in Grant Morrison’s and Frank Quitely’s ALL STAR SUPERMAN. What Supes really needs is a strong creative team like any character because he can be done right.

    • Solid point with the All-Star Superman comment Chauncey! Rather than judge his popularity by underwear and toothbrush endorsements, I was going by genuine interest in the character and sales of the comic. This is more of a personal opinion I understand, but I just haven’t cared about many Superman stories in the last 10 years. There’s been one here or there, but over all nothing great. I may have been overly dramatic in saying kill him again for good, but it was really about the importance of the event. Keep in mind I’m also a firm believer in progression of stories as opposed to re-hashing over and over.

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