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Author Topic: ever noticed?  (Read 3635 times)
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Just a fan
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« on: January 26, 2005, 12:55:24 AM »

Did anyone else ever notice when someone with powers on par with Superman showed on earth (other then Mon-el, Supergirl, the dog and the folks in the bottle) they were always evil? I was looking thru some old comics the other day and it seemed like no-one with great powers ever "Just stopped by to  maybe make some new friends and have a look around" Just a point to ponder.
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Bill 9000
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2005, 02:01:14 AM »

Um ... well ... Captain Marvel and the Martian Manhunter are in Superman's class, and they seem like pretty nice guys ...  Cheesy
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2005, 11:48:58 AM »

Hyper- Man from Oceania was a good guy.
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The Starchild
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2005, 12:36:50 PM »

Just a fan, I certainly see your point and agree with it for the most part.  But I have to add to the list of exceptions that people have started:  Vartox was a great friend.
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2005, 01:26:18 PM »

There are a couple examples of super-powered nice guys just passing through, but the important thing is they kept on going!

It seems to have been very important in the 50s and 60s especially to keep Superman the only super-powered hero in action.  Everyone else who shows up is depicted as a competitor and threat, to some degree or other.  It's never a case of "great, now I've got someone to help me," it's always, "now that he's shown up...sniff, sniff...everyone's forgotten about me!"

These rivals are always shuffled off the scene in the last act, revealed to be:

- a villain posing as a hero until he tips his hand
- a robot (sometimes built by Superman himself, ala "Powerman")
- a genuinely nice guy who loses his powers in the end
- a genuinely nice guy who sacrifices his life for Superman (who "deserves" life and powers more)

...and so on.  In the case of Mon-El, lead poisoning takes him out of the picture for 1000 years.  In the case of...I forget his name, but he's got the same story as Mon-El (shows up thinking he's Superman's brother), the guy finds out he's not related to Superman and so he leaves (not tempted at all by a life with superpowers on Earth!).  

There seems to be an underlying premise in the mythos (at least in these years) that there's only room on Earth for one Superman.  I get the impression we as readers are supposed to be rooting for Superman to get rid of these pretenders asap, whereas a few years later we're supposed to be thinking, "Great! Another new hero! Put him in the JLA!"  Even in the World's Finest stories where superpowers are granted to Batman, someone we know is virtuous enough to use them wisely, we are still supposed to root for them to go away by story's end.

All this ends, sort of, when Kara shows up to stay.  But even then, she's no threat to Kal since she's "just a girl" and thus not really competition.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2005, 06:30:17 PM »

I think the guy you're thinking of is Halk Kar.  He's in many ways, the Golden Age version of Mon-El.  He came from Thoron, a sister planet to Krypton that was slightly smaller so his gravity-based powers ('heavy gravity' was the power origin then) were somewhat weaker than Superman's.
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