Superman Through the Ages! Forum

Superman Comic Books! => Superman! => Topic started by: Genis Vell on February 13, 2006, 09:26:39 AM



Title: THIS is Superman!
Post by: Genis Vell on February 13, 2006, 09:26:39 AM
This is probably the best description of Superman I have ever read (from SUPERMAN 394, 1984).

Gallant, brilliant and brave! All that we see in him we would like to see in ourselves...
In this great soul --as in all soul-- there is pain, there is ambition, there is unquenched love...
...but there is something else that makes this soul the soul of a... Superman
...the ability to grieve for pain he doesnít feel yet has seen in others!
There are those who say that the softness in his soul is the Man of Steelís greatest weakness...
...but he --and others who feel it-- would tell you that is what makes him strong!


Thank you, Mr. Maggin... This is what makes Superman really special to me.

I use this as a signature in an Italian forum.


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: alschroeder on February 13, 2006, 05:40:33 PM
A line from Mark Waid in KINGDOM COME summed up Superman for me.

   "Only the weak succumb to brutality."

   Superman's like those huge hulking guys who are so big and strong they almost never get into a fight, and are very gentle.  He has so much power, that he would almost never dream of getting into a fight just for the heck of it. To him, that's a sign of weakness, not strength.

     He doesn't have to prove anything. Power doesn't impress him. It's significant that his closest friend in the JLA is Batman, who has no powers, but has skill. Skill DOES impress Superman.

    That's why it's Lois, NOT Wonder Woman, (no matter what revisionists write) who captured his heart. She's a skilled reporter, plucky and brave on her own terms. Not only does Kansas-born Clark Kent have little in common with an Amazon princess, but the very things that causes fanboys to want a romance between the two, is precisely what would  bore him. Trying to impress Superman with power is like trying to show the heavyweight champion of the world YOUR boxing prowess. You can't compete.

    That's why Jimmy, for all his occasional goofiness, who's also a good friend of Superman.  He is a skilled disguise expert and an excellent reporter, and brave and plucky on his own terms.

    "Only the weak succumb to brutality".

    He would have nothing but contempt for the hot-tempered and deadly Wolverine, and has nothing but contempt for Lobo.  Brutality is a sign of someone's weakness to him---not their strength.

---Al


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: NotSuper on February 17, 2006, 10:18:37 PM
You know, I've often wondered why Superman has never tried to take down the Spectre or any of the other DCU heroes that kill. Granted, he took down The Elite, but they weren't established heroes (if you want to call them heroes).

I like the Spectre (and I'll be buying his new series!) and all, but let's be honest: he has no mercy and actually tortures his victims before killing them. I don't think Superman would let this go just because the Spectre has helped save the universe a few times. He might let it go if the Spectre STOPPED killing people, but not if he constantly does it. Even though Superman is much weaker than the Spectre it would still be cool to see the two Jerry Siegel characters go up against each other.

Anyway, that's something that I've wanted to see addressed in the comics: how does Superman deal with established heroes that kill in a premeditated fashion (i.e. not in the heat of battle)? I know the editorial reason, but not the in-story one.


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: MatterEaterLad on February 17, 2006, 10:38:18 PM
Any ideas of how Superman would fight the Spectre?  Maybe time shifting based on his abilities?

One of my favorite ideas from the Golden/Silver Age is that they work on totally different playing fields...


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: NotSuper on February 17, 2006, 10:48:40 PM
Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"
Any ideas of how Superman would fight the Spectre?  Maybe time shifting based on his abilities?

Superman has some allies that have vast magic powers, so I assume he would get help from them. It wouldn't exactly be prudent of Kal to take on the Wrath of God by himself. If it were me, I'd bring the entire JLA and Legion of Super-Heroes.  :)


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: MatterEaterLad on February 17, 2006, 10:57:29 PM
Maybe true...LOL... 8)

I think that my idea, and one that Supes COULD have used if he wanted in many stories was a constant travel to the past and appearance before an action that the Spectre was about to make...

But then, the "wrath of 'God'" was never settled with the science of the multiverse very well to my mind...what did "God" intend?


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: NotSuper on February 17, 2006, 11:02:18 PM
Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"
But then, the "wrath of 'God'" was never settled with the science of the multiverse very well to my mind...what did "God" intend?

Good question. My gut tells me that the Source wanted only one universe (though maybe that's my own limited mind talking). After all, it was Krona that created the anti-matter universe and the multiverse.


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: MatterEaterLad on February 17, 2006, 11:15:58 PM
It would have been fun to explore it, IMO...

Did Chameleon Boy, Element Lad, Cosmic King etc. have magical properties in that they could re-arrange matter and energy states, as much as Doctor Fate or Johnny Thunder's genie...was the Source "God"?  

I still like the Crisis in that it tried to touch on some of these things, and to ME super heroes dying in that tale was at least worth it...not that anything that good to me happened AFTERWARDS...LOL...

Of course, I would never want the ANSWER... :D


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: alschroeder on February 21, 2006, 09:07:16 AM
Although he DID have an interesting talk with Hitman, who you would think would be even MORE offensive to him, taking money for killing people. ---Al


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: Superman Forever on February 21, 2006, 04:46:42 PM
And don't forget about Lobo, even in the animated series...


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: alschroeder on February 23, 2006, 12:16:21 PM
Didn't Superman confront Spectre with the Spear of Destiny when the Spectre destroyed an entire country? (And the evil of the Spear, long held by Adolf Hitler, started to corrupt even him?)---Al


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: NotSuper on February 23, 2006, 09:35:17 PM
Quote from: "alschroeder"
Didn't Superman confront Spectre with the Spear of Destiny when the Spectre destroyed an entire country? (And the evil of the Spear, long held by Adolf Hitler, started to corrupt even him?)---Al

Wasn't that in a post-Crisis issue? I think I remember the cover, but I never read the story itself.

Anyway, I've always wondered what the in-story reason was for Superman not taking down anti-heroes. The closest we ever saw to that was the Gulag in Kingdom Come--and that wasn't set in the mainstream DCU.


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: alschroeder on February 24, 2006, 08:56:48 AM
Quote from: "NotSuper"

Wasn't that in a post-Crisis issue? I think I remember the cover, but I never read the story itself.

Anyway, I've always wondered what the in-story reason was for Superman not taking down anti-heroes. The closest we ever saw to that was the Gulag in Kingdom Come--and that wasn't set in the mainstream DCU.


Yeah, it was post-Crisis. But then, MOST antiheroes, at least in the DC universe, are post-Crisis. ---Al


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: Anonymous on February 24, 2006, 02:09:23 PM
wouldn't batman be technically consdered an anti-hero?

i would have loved to see a punisher/superman crossover.


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: Super Monkey on February 24, 2006, 02:35:51 PM
Quote from: "sikkbones"
wouldn't batman be technically consdered an anti-hero?

i would have loved to see a punisher/superman crossover.


the frank miller version, yes.


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: NotSuper on February 24, 2006, 03:13:37 PM
I think the Golden Age Batman might also qualify as an anti-hero. He carried a gun (which he used) and wasn't as interested in preserving life as he would become. I like to think that Robin mellowed him out.  :wink:


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: MatterEaterLad on February 24, 2006, 03:26:48 PM
Wouldn't the Golden Age Spectre also qualify, I haven't read enough to know if he killed...

I wonder about the emergence of the "anti-hero"...I remember reading the Denny O'Neil Green Lantern/Green Arrow series and thinking "I'm a kid, I don't know enough about social issues and discord to have a definite opinion, is this what the WRITER is interested in?"


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: NotSuper on February 24, 2006, 03:30:02 PM
Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"
Wouldn't the Golden Age Spectre also qualify, I haven't read enough to know if he killed...

I'd classify EVERY version of the Spectre as an anti-hero (except for maybe the Hal version, which wasn't a good idea).


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: Defender on February 25, 2006, 05:27:26 PM
That's one of the things that has so intrigued me about Jerry Siegel's creations and how they've morphed and evolved over the years. Superman has become a very 'New Testament' kind of character, exemplifying the hope that might could be used for right, that compassion as a force can be more powerful than violence. Sure, he may have to get into a brawl with the odd bruiser of the month, but fundamentally the first thing Superman will want to do is talk to the opponent and try to reason with him. That's why I'd like to think the villains of the DCU tend to respect Superman however grudgingly; the guy may come down hard on you at times, but he's a straight-shooter who'll at least hear you out.

 The Spectre these days has become very, very 'Old Testament'. You break the law, you do anything to harm the innocent and you are going to hurt for it. The Spectre in his incarnation as the Wrath of God has become an aspect of primal justice, the current incarnation of the 'eye for an eye' philosophy also espoused in the actions of more violent protagonists (I hesitate to call them heroes) such as Wolverine or the Punisher. The Spectre's actions in dealing out divine(?) justice and retribution are brutal and oftentimes deadly.

 The Spectre has considerable power with which to punish the guilty, but he has no real freedom either. He's the Wrath of God; essentially a form of sentient software designed for one purpose only: punish the guilty. Superman is a man gifted with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, raised by loving parents and taught to believe in a world where truth, justice, and the ideals behind the American way of life are goals to hope for and rules to live by. Superman isn't 'born good' as was postulated in Denny O'Neils godawful Green Lantern novel. His DNA hasn't hard-wired him in the same way the Spectre's creation by God/The Source/The Voice has. He chooses the right thing. In a battle against Superman, the Spectre is essentially powerless. The only dent in Superman's moral armor Post-Crisis might be the execution of the Kryptonian Super-Criminals from the Pocket Universe, but given the jumbled state of current Superman continuity I doubt it even applies anymore.

 In a contest of power between Superman and the Spectre, there's no question. Superman is powerful, yes, but he's mortal. He'd fare no better against the Spectre than he would in a prolonged bout with Captain Marvel. But the Spectre cannot defeat Superman because Superman is not the guilty. The Spectre couldn't attack Superman, and even if he did, he'd be destroying himself by defying the fundamental underlying rule of his own existence. It'd be like Kirk asking an evil computer to define love on Star Trek. It'd lead to one serious bang.

 Mind you, the Spectre and Superman have fought (in the pages of the Spectre, in the Day of Judgement crossover, etc.) but I believe that to be due more to outside influence or the desires of the Spectre-force's host rather than the entity itself. Might poke a few holes in my above theory, but I think that it's kind of a grey area really.

 I love this kinda stuff, don't you?  :D

 -Def.


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: MatterEaterLad on February 25, 2006, 08:05:14 PM
That is an interesting take...

But is this how the Spectre originated, or what he has become?  And if his power is limited the vengeance against a wrong, is it more limited than the magic of someone like Dr. Fate?


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: Klar Ken T5477 on February 25, 2006, 10:07:52 PM
Spectre - an anti hero? Hero - the guy's a spook - ghost- SPECTER! Beyond good and evil and does what he's told.


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: JulianPerez on February 27, 2006, 11:30:20 AM
Quote from: "Al Shroeder"
He would have nothing but contempt for the hot-tempered and deadly Wolverine, and has nothing but contempt for Lobo. Brutality is a sign of someone's weakness to him---not their strength.


Superman probably would have a problem with someone like Wolverine that's very results-oriented and has a killer instinct.

Although it's all too easy to say, "Superman wouldn't approve of Wolverine," who is a fish in a barrel target; does anybody STILL like Wolverine anymore? Did anyone EVER really like him? Wolverine-burnout isn't a new phenomenon; I have some of the Claremont 70s X-Men, and even there, the letters columns had almost universal condemnation for our pal Logan.

It's much harder to say "Superman wouldn't approve of Hawkeye." True, Superman probably wouldn't, but...somehow that feels different. Because I *like* Hawkeye, as do a lot of other people.

Quote from: "Al Shroeder"
Trying to impress Superman with power is like trying to show the heavyweight champion of the world YOUR boxing prowess. You can't compete.


I don't know if I'd agree with this characterization...Superman always valued and respected Elongated Man, for example, whose power is not terribly impressive.


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: alschroeder on February 27, 2006, 05:29:14 PM
Quote from: "JulianPerez"

It's much harder to say "Superman wouldn't approve of Hawkeye." True, Superman probably wouldn't, but...somehow that feels different. Because I *like* Hawkeye, as do a lot of other people.


Oh, I think he'd like Hawkeye---Hawkeye wasn't a killer, and he was skilled, to boot. He wouldn't probably get along with Hawkeye's PERSONALITY, Hawkeye being relatively hot-tempered and brash,  but he'd probably respect the man.

Quote


I don't know if I'd agree with this characterization...Superman always valued and respected Elongated Man, for example, whose power is not terribly impressive.


Right. But El-Man is also a skilled detective; does Superman particularly value Ralph's stretchiness---or his skill? I'd argue his skill. ---Al


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: laurel on February 28, 2006, 11:01:55 PM
Superman respects Mater-eater Lad's power :roll:
And Porcupine Pete's.
And Triplicate Girl's.
Bouncing boy and that stone guy, I forget his name....


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: Klar Ken T5477 on February 28, 2006, 11:35:06 PM
Stone Boy, Laurel. :wink:


Title: Re: THIS is Superman!
Post by: alschroeder on March 01, 2006, 08:54:49 AM
Look, I'm not saying Superman disses those WITH super-powers---just that he respects MORE those with great SKILL.---Al