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Author Topic: Things you like to read/don't like in Superman comics?  (Read 29107 times)
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2007, 05:54:39 AM »

LOL, the Legion is a delicate agreement, any small thing can set them off... Grin

I hate to disagree with Continental Op, but the bodies of the Legion women are looking OK when they are doing the "twist", the faces are expressive but look pasted on and somewhat weird...
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Permanus
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« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2007, 07:03:52 AM »

I'm quite amazed at Shrinking Violet's "Teensy-Weensy? How small of you, loverboy" remark.
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nightwing
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« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2007, 01:06:10 PM »

Forte's faces could be expressive, but they were all the same face.  Then again, the same could be said of many, many comic artists over the decades.  And sorry, but complimenting an artist on the ability to differentiate characters by "different hairstyles" is faint praise, at best.  In fact, it's always been one of my gripes against poor artists; when you can only tell characters apart by hair color, mustaches or glasses, it's not a good thing.

What bugged me most about Forte's art...well, it was two things really.  First, his figures were so stiff and awkward.  This is something that always bugged me about Dick Dillin's work, too...either of these guys would have been fine as fashion artists, but comics require an ability to draw lithe, supple figures in action.  Second, Forte had no sense of scale or proportion.  It's hard to concentrate on the story when Saturn Girl, for instance, is 6 feet taller than Cosmic Boy, or when 16 Legionnaires file into a clubhouse the size of a phone booth, like clowns piling into a miniature car.  I'm willing to make a lot of allowances for oddball art styles, but when the art takes you out of the story, there's a problem.

On the other hand, as noted Forte could be good on inks.  I was reading one story in a Showcase volume recently and noticed a different inking style, one I really liked.  I looked up the credits and was gob-smacked to see the inks were by John Forte.  So maybe it's just a case of being assigned the wrong job.  Lord knows it's happened to enough artists.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2007, 01:34:52 PM »

I never liked Pete Costanza on the Legion. His work reminded me of Chic Stone inking over Kirby in FF: if cavemen drew comics on their cave walls, I always imagind they'd look something like Costanza.

Quote from: Criadoman
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.

I agree with all that you say - certainly Superman and Batman can learn a lot from each other, but this is a good justification for a team-up or an issue of DCCP, not a friendship that defines both characters (and which is, strangely enough, a sticking point for a lot of people), and certainly not something that becomes a spin-off series with a life of its own.

One idea I always thought was interesting was the idea of the Green Lantern/Superman friendship, especially since Neil Gaiman explored that one so well. The two most powerful and outer space heroes certainly have something to talk about to each other. They can "bond."

GENERATIONS had its moments (the Batmobile spaceship was great) but it was depressing for me, a guy that worshipped Byrne for X-MEN and IRON FIST, to see how awful his art has gotten in recent times. It's depressing because I remember when he used to be great.

Quote from: Criadoman
Maybe I'm showing my age, but I do enjoy a good frivolous 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!

When I think of a frivolous story done well, I think of the E. Nelson Bridwell Elongated Man backups in DETECTIVE COMICS, with Sue and Ralph solving mysteries and whatnot. Bridwell did what he set out to do: write a story that can entertain the reader for five minutes.

It is the "kid" part of our brain that makes us love superhero comics, sure. However, there is a difference between something being for children...and something being childish.

Quote from: Criadoman
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 never saw Pre-Crisis Krypton as a Paradise Lost, because Krypton was always a very dangerous place; if it wasn't the insane, killing machine carnivores that got you, it was the wilderness, or evil scientists trying to mutate sealife into lake monsters, or Generals trying to stage a coup and become dictator with hundreds of imperfect clones, or an Eileen Wurnos-esque female serial killer that needed to be taken down from the air.

Mark Waid, of all the writers in recent times, gets what Pre-Crisis Krypton was about: it was the Wild West, a struggle of elbow grease and guts vs. nature.

Waid has an amazing ability to pick up on these themes in a book and bring them to the forefront, make them explicit: for instance, the idea of the Legionnaires being hip, rebellious kids vs. an authoritarian bunch of mind-controlled grownups is very, VERY Jim Shooter. The guy CAN write in the spirit of a book if he chooses to.

I agree with what you're saying about the Byrne reboot Krypton; Superman needs the tragedy of Krypton for his whole identity and to make him sympathetic. But just on a visual level, the Byrne Krypton looked great. Krypton was badly in need of a makeover for decades: even as late as the 1980s, they had a "Buck Rogers" looking fifties Krypton.

This was back when Byrne could still draw. His Krypton was alien and fragile. It looks like how I always imagined the Martian cities in Bradbury's MARTIAN CHRONICLES, or the cities of the Eldren in THE ETERNAL CHAMPION.

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

My Marvel Zombie older brother scared me away from DC comics (which he called "Dunce Cap comics") for years and years with horror stories, told in a hushed whisper, about the existence of a dog that has Superman's powers and wears a cape.

Even at age seven, this struck me as the most retarded thing I've ever heard in my life.

The very idea of the existence of a dog with Superman's powers, is enough to rupture suspension of disbelief about Superman's entire world.

There were two - and only two - occasions where, for me, Krypto ever was actually cool, and what made Krypto so interesting in both these stories was ignored by writers immediately after:

One such appearance was in an Elliot S! Maggin/Swan Green Arrow/Black Canary backup story in ACTION. Maggin remembered that Krypto, like Superman, has proportionate superintelligence. In the story, Krypto uses his canine superbrain to figure out how to unbolt a door and work a doorknob.

(It should be remembered at this time that JURASSIC PARK and their chimpanzee-intelligent velociraptors were decades away.)

A canine with a frightening and fascinating level of superintelligence that can figure out how to open doors? That's just a great idea. No other writer really played up this aspect of Krypto.

Consider this: Krypto can probably see in color better than we can.

The other story is a Jim Shooter/Pete Costanza "Revolt of the Super-Pets." So many great insights here that were ignored, that I'm not sure where to begin. The story has the pets have definite personalities, including Krypto: he had a pride about being "important." Thanks to him, Kal-El could reach earth. The Super-Pets resent their human owners for treating them like mere pets and patronizing them.

This story showed exactly why, despite the fact the pets are so powerful, they never could do the Legion's job: they were less clever, more naive, and were taken in by a ruse that the human Legionnaires saw through immediately.

Quote from: nightwing
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.

In all fairness, the Kents have not been written this way for at least a decade.

I agree with you, but not for the same reason. The most important element of Superman's characterization, the thing that keeps him likable, is the fact that he's a very lonely person. Clark Kent spends his Christmases by himself, for instance. And surrounding him with a loving family undercuts this.

Quote from: nightwing
Super-Romances: Again, I'm with Julian on this one (twice in one thread...I may faint!)...

Really now? Because if I was to be asked who of the STTA regulars my tastes in comics are closest to, I'd say either you or Aldous.

Who's your favorite artist? Neal Adams.

Who's my favorite artist? Neal Adams!

You think Kirby's seventies stuff is terrible. Guess what? So do I.

You like the Englehart DETECTIVE COMICS, and I really, really, really like the Englehart DETECTIVES! Ditto for the Englehart/Brunner DOCTOR STRANGE.

We both prefer realistic artists - guys like John Buscema and Kubert - over cartoony, stylized artists. We both believe (mostly) comics exclusively for kids are a waste of time.

The person whose taste in comics I overlap the least with of the regs is Telle, who I appreciate despite it all, but...

If I was forced to choose between being either a Bat-Mite fan or a pedophile...I'd have to give the matter serious thought.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 01:59:58 PM by JulianPerez » Logged

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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2007, 11:38:28 PM »

Superman fighting in space. Oh hell yeah. If it's got Superman with spaceships, aliens and space gladiators, heck yeah, I'm buying. In fact, I bought the Kurt Busiek SUPERMAN series because of the promise there'd be some outer space asskickery on alien planets. Mongul or Roger Stern's creation, Maxima, are also real crowd-pleasers.
This is why Superman needing a gas mask and space ship is such a turn-off to me.  He's super, darnit, and should generally travel the cosmos under his own power. 

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Supervillains with one power. Who was that forgettable Marv Wolfman villain that later appeared as a member of the Fatal Five in NEW TEEN TITANS? Snore. Generally, if you have really one power and a costume, you shouldn't be taking on Superman. Hear that, Live Wire?
You talking to Garth Ranzz, by chance?  Smiley 

Livewire (as opposed to Live Wire) has a fair amount of diversity to her powers these days.  One could arguably call her White Vulcana or Blue Vulcanita at this point.   

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A canine with a frightening and fascinating level of superintelligence that can figure out how to open doors? That's just a great idea. No other writer really played up this aspect of Krypto.
There was Alan Moore's take in Supreme, which I enjoyed.
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Criadoman
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« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2007, 03:54:14 AM »

GENERATIONS had its moments (the Batmobile spaceship was great) but it was depressing for me, a guy that worshipped Byrne for X-MEN and IRON FIST, to see how awful his art has gotten in recent times. It's depressing because I remember when he used to be great.

It sure did.  But, yeah, that was the more disappointing aspect.  After years of gorgeous curves and subtle character indiosyncracies, the inked work let me a bit disappointed.  Also I thought Supes was a lot less bulkier than he was during MOS and the 2 years after.

Quote from: Criadoman
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 never saw Pre-Crisis Krypton as a Paradise Lost, because Krypton was always a very dangerous place; if it wasn't the insane, killing machine carnivores that got you, it was the wilderness, or evil scientists trying to mutate sealife into lake monsters, or Generals trying to stage a coup and become dictator with hundreds of imperfect clones, or an Eileen Wurnos-esque female serial killer that needed to be taken down from the air.

Jeepers - what Krypton are you talking about?  The thought-beast, et al. were all distant jungle nature type stuff.  Heck - what you describe pretty much sounds a bit like Earth as it is (minus the imperfect clones - but I'm sure it's being worked on).  How much cooler would it be to have all that and have flying cars, ray guns, and all the rest?  I'd take a vacation to Fire Falls over Niagra in a heartbeat.

Mark Waid, of all the writers in recent times, gets what Pre-Crisis Krypton was about: it was the Wild West, a struggle of elbow grease and guts vs. nature.

Waid has an amazing ability to pick up on these themes in a book and bring them to the forefront, make them explicit: for instance, the idea of the Legionnaires being hip, rebellious kids vs. an authoritarian bunch of mind-controlled grownups is very, VERY Jim Shooter. The guy CAN write in the spirit of a book if he chooses to.

I agree with what you're saying about the Byrne reboot Krypton; Superman needs the tragedy of Krypton for his whole identity and to make him sympathetic. But just on a visual level, the Byrne Krypton looked great. Krypton was badly in need of a makeover for decades: even as late as the 1980s, they had a "Buck Rogers" looking fifties Krypton.

This was back when Byrne could still draw. His Krypton was alien and fragile. It looks like how I always imagined the Martian cities in Bradbury's MARTIAN CHRONICLES, or the cities of the Eldren in THE ETERNAL CHAMPION.

I didn't mind the architecture but just not into the whole barren world thing.  I was much more into movie Krypton, but still, I preferred the Silver Age 'ton above all.  MOS Krypton was a dying world as it was - like the final death was more a mercy than anything.  With that type of world - the story would have been more compelling that Jor-El didn't want his son to have that legacy and never even bothered to send him the data of where he's really from.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2007, 04:14:51 AM »

It is a little hard to figure just where the Snagriffs and the Flame Dragons lived...
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TELLE
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« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2007, 09:38:19 AM »

When I think of a frivolous story done well, I think of the E. Nelson Bridwell Elongated Man backups in DETECTIVE COMICS, with Sue and Ralph solving mysteries and whatnot. Bridwell did what he set out to do: write a story that can entertain the reader for five minutes.

It is the "kid" part of our brain that makes us love superhero comics, sure. However, there is a difference between something being for children...and something being childish.

and then

Quote
We both believe (mostly) comics exclusively for kids are a waste of time

Smart comics for kids with quality art: the hallmark of most great superhero comics.  Bridwell is great!

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If I was forced to choose between being either a Bat-Mite fan or a pedophile...I'd have to give the matter serious thought.

Don't think to long! Smiley

(for the record, I choose Bat-Mite fandom.)

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