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Author Topic: DC's attitude adjustment and long live the Classic Superman!  (Read 32211 times)
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Super Monkey
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« on: January 21, 2005, 02:53:46 AM »

I just got my copy of the Amazing Archives. I only got the chance to read the intro and the inside flap but wow what an attitude change. It appears that DC finally came around and has embraced Superman's Silver Age past. I mean just compare the text in this book with the 1st DC Silver age reprint "Superman in the 60's" and "The Greatest Superman stories ever told" where DC not only hated those stories but were also embarrassed by them, those days thankfully are long gone. I think you can thank all the great members here for posting their classic posts at the old DC board (which you can read here : http://superman.nu/dcmb/ ) and of course this amazing site, please note I have nothing to do with this site other than being a mod here and giving Rao some of those on-line comics, so please don't think this is a self serving post. I am posting this to say how glad I am that this attitude adjustment finally happened. People may not remember when this really was the ONLY site to even mention that Superman existed before Byrne, I kid you not, where DC wouldn't even discuss the Pre-boot Superman at all. A time when Howard Stern of all people, who is a HUGE Silver Age Superman fan went on a hour long rant on Superman on his show, only to have a DC editor call in to tell him that that silly old version didn't exist anymore, Stern wasn't aware that they reboot him since he stop reading the comics by the 80's, he was not too pleased. It was the Silver Age Superman that MOST people around the world know, not the reboot version, which is Superman in name only. Now of course DC has released many toys based on the Silver Age comics and have begun adding bits and pieces of the old school version to their reboot version, making him less and less like Byrne's version and more like the real deal. Soon with "All-Star Superman" a new Superman will be introduced that will be a modern take on the Silver Age version with an all star team working on the book like Superman deserves.

To me this archive is like the crowning jewel, the greatest victory so far for my childhood hero.

Hopefully before I die I will be able to have the full Silver age run in archive format.
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2005, 05:36:03 AM »

yay!
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2005, 07:09:20 AM »

This raises an interesting question: What happens when the Iron Age finally ends (in terms of this site)? Will there be reviews of NEW Modern Age Superman comics? And what exactly would we call this new age of comics, perhaps the "All-Star Age"?  Cheesy

Anyway, I've found that the most unlikely people are hardcore Superman fans. We all have that inner-child in us that the wonder and excitement of Superman appeals to. It literally is modern mythology.

It's good to see DC finally embrace the past, rather than try to downplay it.
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Many people want others to accept their opinions as fact. If enough people accept them as fact then it gives the initial person or persons a feeling of power. This is why people will constantly talk about something they hate—they want others to feel the same way. It matters to them that others perceive things the same way that they do.
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2005, 12:37:41 PM »

They have to finally - its called cross marketing strategy and the new Supes will'll have to entertain and please his fans around the world and since most know the Reeve era or Reeves era, the Superman must closley linked to those archetypes is of course, the Silver Age Supes. Cheesy

Where's my signal watch?  I feel a Jovian giant girl friend on the way and my porcupines are showing! :wink:  :twisted: :wink:

Holy cow - my standing just changed - Im the last son of Krypton?!!!  Guess it's my Birth Right, after all.  Cheesy
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nightwing
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2005, 02:34:47 PM »

I think DC is finally understanding that 20 years of pushing the post-Crisis Superman has done nothing to penetrate the culture on the scale the Silver Age version did.  With the reboot, DC wanted desperately to "Marvelize" Superman and they certainly succeeded; all he is now is just another conflicted, doubting, put-upon sad sack no more or less special than a gazillion other goofballs in long johns.  He is no longer the most powerful superhero, no longer the first to appear, and with the new emphasis on Clark Kent as the "real" man, he doesn't even have the "alien outsider" thing going for him any more.  In fact, unless you're really crazy about his costume, there's nothing, not one thing, to differentiate Superman from any other generic do-gooder at DC or Marvel.

References to the *real* Superman in Seinfeld episodes, the "Iron Giant" film, "Kill Bill" and so on prove that he lives on in the hearts of millions of people.  Now it seems even DC is catching on to something a 5-year-old should understand: if you have a character people love, take advantage of it!  Market him with toys and books and DVDs and anything you can.  Why knock your head against the wall trying to force a new version down people's throats when they're still willing...happy, even...to pay good money for the old one?

What we've seen here is a re-run of the infamous "New Coke" debacle, only on a grander scale and played out over two long decades.

Anyway, "The Man of Tomorrow Archives" is a fantastic book and I hope they fast-track it so I can get another one this year!

And yes, kudos to Rao for keeping the hope alive in the darkest of times!
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2005, 05:51:48 PM »

And a 30th century wink to Nightwing, Defender of Kandor,  for his grand work here too. :wink: Maybe that should be "candor". Cheesy

If you havent read his tribute to Chris Reeve -please do so.  Moving and profound.

Its on his site.

Zeeeeeee Zeeeeeeeee Zeeeeeeeeee!
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jmr72777
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2005, 07:34:40 PM »

Wow,

It's been a long time since I've posted here, and so back I come to once again tackle the tireless debate (albeit in a much more abbreviated fashion.)

First of all, congratulations all.  I sense (d'uh) that you perceive a victory here with DCs recent turnaround with SUPERMAN.  If you feel that this is a good thing, which I don't doubt that you do, then I wish you the heartiest of congratulations.  *SERIOUSLY*  (That's in case anyone thinks I'm being sarcastic.  It's hard to tell in writing.)

That being said, I still can't believe that you guys would see this as a good thing.  Case in point:

Quote from: "nightwing"
with the new emphasis on Clark Kent as the "real" man, he doesn't even have the "alien outsider" thing going for him any more.


Sorry to pick you out there, Nightwing.  I just don't see how he can have that "going for him."  The original concept of SUPERMAN was supposed to be someone you can identify with.  The "alien outsider" part has nothing to do with that.  The CLARK KENT/SUPERMAN relationship was that we all feel like the poor schlubs who no one pays attention to.  But if they knew who we really are, that we are indeed Supermen (and women) then that would be something else.  The alien part was a means to an end.  A way to get him those powers.  The joy of BATMAN is that he shows that you don't need to have super powers to be a hero.  But more importantly, SUPERMAN is the opposite of BATMAN in his methods.

Look back to KINGDOM COME (the original comic version, if you will.)  I think it can be argued that the SUPERMAN presented there was nondescript enough that he could have been interpreted as either being the Silver Age or Iron Age or any other in between incarnation of SUPERMAN.  What was it that made SUPERMAN stand out?  He was an inspiration to all other heroes in his ideals and his morals.  It was this belief and refusal to change that set him apart from the rest.  It wasn't his alienness.

I can't identify with an alien.  He sees things differently than I do (literally, I suppose.)  He may think differently, he may believe different things.  This doesn't mean that I don't like him, but it's that much harder to put myself in his shoes.  To identify with what it is like to be him.

Being an alien doesn't differentiate him from other heroes.  There are a thousand other heroes (and villains) that are aliens.  Even being a Kryptonian doesn't make him unique (we've definitely gone over that arguement before.)

If your problem is with that fact that he can brood, and that he is fallible like the rest of us, go read the "Continuing Adventures of Jesus."  Superman should not be a religiously perfect character.  I doubt that anyone would be comfortable in that role, and if he was, I don't think I could ever trust him (I mean, what an egotist.)  And if he's uncomfortable with that sort of role, I call that angst.  D'oh!

Look, you're all obviously not alone.  There are many people who agree with your arguments.  Some of them are even the higher-ups at DC.  That's how the change was made.  Kudos for you that you could get that done.  All I'm saying is that I'm starting to find SUPERMAN becoming a character that I can't identify with anymore.  I don't think it would hurt anyone here to simply acknowledge that the Iron Age SUPERMAN had some wonderful stories.  I know you guys will forever brand him a murderer (he did kill.)  He's a murderer like our presidents have been.  Like the forefathers of the United States have been, and yet these people have fostered our admiration, regardless.

You hold your SUPERMAN to a high standard, that much is for sure.  And I don't blame you.  I do as well.  But the difference is that as a kid I always imagined being SUPERMAN.  I used to pretend I was him.  For the most part it was me being me with his powers.  I simply made sure that my morality matched his.  I'm not saying I would be an ideal SUPERMAN, but I always wanted to believe that if I tried, I could do it.  I know that if I was SUPERMAN, I'd have angst.  I'd have moments to brood.  I'd even be reflective from time to time.  I want to see myself in SUPERMAN.

Is that such a crime?
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2005, 07:51:01 PM »

Welcome back, jmr72777.  I, too, have been a bit too silent on this board and have only recently been drawn into more involved discussions.

Superman being marginalized because he's an alien is the original social outcast in comics.  That same formula is why Spider-Man works and more importantly, the X-Men work too.  In the mutants' case, they speak to the adolescents who feel like outsiders as they struggle to cope with their identity crises; we all went through that.  Kal-El is no less human in actions, characterization, theme, nor motivations for his 'alienness'.  He's still quite clearly 'human' in character regardless of any debate on his biological rights to the name -- and I can justify within comics canon that all eras of Superman are biologically 'human'.

I've always looked up to the real Superman as a role model to aspire to.  Making him more flawed in fundamental ways doesn't make him more relevant for me but less inspirational.  He's never been a 'god' but his influence on the real and fictional worlds has certainly been godlike.  I accept that some fans want a flawed Man of Steel.  I just agree with Nightwing that this doesn't set Superman apart from the crowd of his imitators that followed -- and all comics super-heroes besides him are his imitators to some degree.

Let's remember something else: The classic Superman appealed to more generations of fans than the Byrned version, and this includes the Post WW2 population bulge that dwarves the fanbase of any era.  While the Byrned era appeals to some superfans, obviously, that fanbase is clearly a small subset of the total superfans.

What can one find in a superbook that is unique if all he does is imitate his imitators?  The Superman-haters will continue to hate him and will simply rejoice in the greater opportunities to knock him for powers, power-levels, and character that didn't exist before; they certainly will not come into the fold to enjoy the character but to berate him further.  And this has happened in the Byrned era.

The dedicated fans would tolerate the flawed imposter being published but would campaign and long for the days when the True Legend reclaimed his title.  And this has happened.

The new comics fans would see whatever incarnation is currently out there and would either buy into him or not.  And if he's just the same as all the other guys competing for rack space, coupled with the notion that he's 'old fashioned', then he's likely to not appeal to them.  But if he has an iconic appeal with truly larger-than-life motivations and ideals that he lives by instead of just paying lip service to, then he sparks interest in them -- the way he got me interested when I saw a character that was truly the ideal Humanity should aspire to.

'The Man of Tomorrow' isn't just about his powers.  It's also about his character ... the character that we should one day evolve into.
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