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Author Topic: Things you like to read/don't like in Superman comics?  (Read 29106 times)
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« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2007, 08:45:20 PM »

I liked the cosmic stories the best, or any time Superman fought someone close to his power level. Dislikes? Well, the many, many tales from the Silver Age that had our hero pretending to be defeated, outwitted, or befuddled, only to have it turn out that he was merely playing along. There were way too many of those.
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Criadoman
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« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2007, 01:08:15 AM »

I'm probably going to get a lot of flak for saying this, because it's so ingrained in people's minds, but I really don't see what's so great and vital and important about the Superman/Batman team.

It's become such a "tradition" that I don't think anyone's thought over how little the team-up makes sense.

Apart from all questions of a severe difference in power level and the fact Batman and Superman are hardly a "balanced" team...the two characters are thematically not compatible.

Batman is a pulp-style adventurer detective dealing with madmen, gangsters, killers, and jewel heists. He'd be buds with the Shadow and Doc Savage, and all superficiality aside, he and fellow urban vigilante Spider-Man would have a lot in common. It's ridiculous to imagine Batman in an alien space arena or on the bridge of the Millennium Falcon.

Superman is a science fiction hero that fights space conquerors. He's from another planet, fights aliens, goes into space, etc.

It's not even a question of a power level difference. Superman and Flash Gordon are compatible with each other, for example.

What the Superman/Batman Team is, is a crashing together of two very different kinds of characters in very different kinds of stories. It feels like one of those embarassing "crossover" fanfics that combine two things in a way that totally miss the point of both - Astro Boy meets Conan.

See, I've got the Superman/Batman team viewed as a whole other angle.  It totally makes sense to see them together.  Batman - the apex of human development, most dangerous man on the planet, Superman - the unofficial super human cop on Earth.  Bats would want a relationship with Supes to understand metas, Supes to better understand what humans are capable of.  Each providing insight into the other in ways that make them effective and powerful.  They're like the *ahem* Illuminati of the DCU.  That's one reason why I thought Generations had some great moments.  I could see the relationship making sense.


Quote from: Criadoman
2. Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes stories.

Amen, especially if Dave Cockrum is involved.

You know, it's funny: except for Plastino, I can't really think of a single "bad" Legion of Super-Heroes artist. Even someone like Mike Grell, whom I don't usually like, produced workable, good Legion art. The Legion art pedigree is astonishing: Curt Swan, Cockrum, Stanton, Starlin, even the weird and detailed Joe Sherman (who did Earthwar, the best and biggest of Levitz's "everything but the kitchen sink" Legion tales).

I'd buy the Legion without Superboy, of course (they're just interesting enough on their own) but Superboy always added something.

Yeah - I loved Superboy in the Legion.  To me it was very important for Superman to have a Superboy career because there is only so much Pa Kent was going to teach his son about dealing with meta-peers.

Quote from: Criadoman
13. Fun Bizarro, Prankster, Toyman and Mxy stories.

No, I can't agree.

Matching wits with a fat man in a bow tie that hurls cream pies is totally beneath Superman in every way.

Maybe I'm showing my age, but I do enjoy a good frivilous stupid story sometimes.  It's like the Bog Lobo/Superman story (that had the cute plastic cutout/playset cover on it - Colorforms).  What a hoot!

Quote from: Criadoman
4. Krypton is a "cold world",

Really? I always liked the idea of Krypton as an ice planet (which it most likely would be, with a weak, dying red sun). The best example would be the semi-polar Krypton seen in The Animated Series, which had a very fascinating look.

Sorry, I was referring to post-Crisis Krypton.  To that I say "No, no, no, no!"  I always likened the death of Krypton to a sort of paradise lost idea - the world that died post-Crisis was a good world to die and should have.  I liked TAS Krypton, a world you hated to see die and the Brainiac angle was very clever.
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"If I print "She was stark naked"--& then proceeded to describe her person in detail, what critic would not howl?--but the artist does this & all ages gather around & look & talk & point." - Mark Twain
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« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2007, 06:48:30 PM »

What I like:

When Superman gets creative with his powers : I really like it when Superman uses his power in a very creative way; sadly this only happen in the classic books. The modern Superman seems to just blast things with heat rays or punch stuff like an idiot. I hope to see this change with the latest comics at some point. The same thing happen to Green Lantern, where post-crisis he wasn't allow to transform his ray into anything, so he just blasted things and people with a green ray from his ring and that's it. Talk about boring! Bill Finger was one of the best writers to use Superman's powers in a super creative way.

Red K stories: While green K was over use to the point of laziness on the part of the writers, and this was even worst in JLA. Red K stories were always fun and creative and many times surreal and thought provoking!

Powerful enemies: When ever Superman had to deal with someone or some monster just as powerful as him or at times, even more powerful than him, it made for some great stories.  This works far better when Superman is extremely powerful but still has these issues. Unlike the post-crisis or cartoon versions which just made him a weakling so that everyone was a threat. Which not only goes against the nature of the character but isnít nearly as suspenseful as a threat so great that even Superman canít stop them with muscle alone.

I can go on but I'll stop here for now.
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« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2007, 08:07:48 PM »

Likes:

Superman as the caretaker of Krypton's legacy: from the statues of his parents in the Fortress, to observances of the planet's demise, to his efforts to restore Kandor to full-size, I love the subtext of Superman as Last Ambassador of Krypton.  To me, it's not necessary that he be the "last son" of Krypton (ie: no other survivors), but it was great that he was the most visible emissary of the lost world to the still-living Universe; protector of Kandor, "warden" of the Phantom Zone, archivist of Kryptonian lore, representative of Kryptonian ideals.  The books lost all of this with the reboot and have never fully recovered it.

Superboy and the Legion:  Kal fit in with this group better than any incarnation of the League, partly because the LSH had members of comparable power levels but mostly because they took on genuine, cosmic-scale threats that mattered.  Or maybe it's just because in his younger years, he was less apt to totally dominate any group he belonged to.

Clark Kent as hero: I have to echo Julian's remarks here: some of my favorite moments came when Clark played the hero, as in the "Who Took the Super Out of Superman" story where he fights Intergang without powers.

Non-Super Superman: In fact, it's suprising just how many of my favorite adventures involved Superman losing his powers, from his battles with Luthor on Planet Lexor to his secret life as Nightwing in Kandor to "Superman Under the Red Sun" and the classic "Who Took the Super..." and even up to the Jurgens-era "Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite." Fun as it is to watch Superman "bathe" in the sun or stop a tidal wave with a handclap, his non-super moments were the times he seemed most heroic to me, and the most revealing of the man behind the legend.

Red Kryptonite: an ingenious way to make the impossible (temporarily) possible, and without resorting to magic (see below).

Krypto: every boy needs a dog.  And in a perfect world, one who'd put up with you attaching a cape to his collar.

Super-Romances: Again, I'm with Julian on this one (twice in one thread...I may faint!)...anyone but Lois.  Be it Lori Lemaris, Sally Sellwyn, Lyla Leroll or, in the teen years, Lana Lang, there were tons of charming, heart-tugging romantic moments in Super-history, and I liked them. Gone forever now with his marriage to the least interesting female in the mythos.

Dislikes:

Mind Control: I'm jumping on the bandwagon here.  Besides just being overdone, and boring, it's a rip-off.  I don't buy Superman comics to see a guy in a blue and red suit with someone else's brain.  Which is why I disliked the reboot in general, come to think of it. 

Living Kents: Nothing against the old folks; they're swell, but having them available to run to every time Clark has an emotional crisis (about twice a day in recent years) is boring and stupid, and breaks one of the basic rules of heroic mythology, which is that Dad must die.

Mxyzptlk: Bat-Mite gets all the hate press, but Mxy's as bad or worse in my book.

Magical Foes: Superman does not work in the world of magic.  I generally like Superman: The Animated Series, but that one with Dr Fate (who I love!) is utterly unwatchable; I haven't made it through even once.  Similarly, any comic that makes the leap from sci-fi to outright fairies-and-dragons Fantasy turns me off big time.  Into this category you may also place vampires, devils, zombies and similar creatures.

Sword of Superman and similar add-ons to the legend that add "extra layers" for their own sake and needlessly complicate one of the simplest and best origins in all of fiction.  This includes not only stuff intended to make the legend "grander" but also tinkering designed, apparently, to undermine the legend, like Frank Robbins having Jor-El and Laura floating around in space in suspended animation.

Superman lookalikes: okay, actor Gregory Reed is acceptable.  Maybe I'll give Van-Zee a pass.  But there must have been about 500 guys in the Silver Age who looked just like Superman, on both sides of the law.  Even accepting for a moment the old myth that everyone has a double out there somewhere, how does Supes rate hundreds?  Especially when he's not even a product of the Terran gene pool?

Superbaby: I mean, come on.  I love SA silliness as much as the next guy, but even I have limits.

Terra-Man: Ditto.


Julian Perez writes:

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You know, it's funny: except for Plastino, I can't really think of a single "bad" Legion of Super-Heroes artist.

Julian Perez, meet John Forte:




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even the weird and detailed Joe Sherman (who did Earthwar, the best and biggest of Levitz's "everything but the kitchen sink" Legion tales).

Just for the record, that was Jim Sherman.  And I liked him, too.



Klar Ken T5477 writes:

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Who could ever forget Batman's sudden inferiority complex and Superman ("Anything for a pal") taking the cowed crusader to Kandor so Batman could wail on him with a sword?

Soon, it'll be impossible to forget. It's included in the upcoming Kandor TPB. Grin

« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 08:17:53 PM by nightwing » Logged

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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2007, 11:32:39 PM »

Much as I agree with you on most everything there Nightwing old bean, I have take umbrage with the dislike of John Forte. 

Sure his art appears simplistic and almost childlike but that's the charm.  His women were the most lovely in the 30th Century (JF was romance artist)and his alien/futuristic technology was clunky to say the least but coupled with the space operatic stories of Edmond Hamilton, JF's Legion really fired my imagination.   

I also like Forte's inking Swan and his solo Jimmy and Lois tales.

Coincidentally enough, while searching for some representative JF LSH art I came across a few pulp covers signed by him!





Then again.....




« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 01:56:32 AM by Klar Ken T5477 » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2007, 03:02:41 AM »

I've said this before but it bears repeating:

John Forte posed his characters' BODIES as stiff as mannequins, and he wasn't much good with perspective, but he drew FACES superbly. Look at the expressiveness of the faces in those examples, or in any of his work. Not just when characters were angry or weeping or laughing, but more subtle stuff too.

Plus, he managed to give EVERY Legionnaire a unique hairstyle, so that you could have recognized them easily even in street clothes (even though they always wore their costumes). That was no easy task considering how many members the Legion had even then. Curt Swan HATED drawing the Legion because he couldn't remember all the costumes, let alone the hair and faces. Forte was not Swan's equal but he was his peer.
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« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2007, 03:10:50 AM »

I am sorry but that artwork is terrible. All the girls faces look the same and they are all ugly to boot.

The paintings are primitive, but at least have some charm to them. So I'll give him credit for that.
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« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2007, 03:59:47 AM »

Well, Beppo, now you've done it - you've honked off Triplicate Girl!  Wink

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