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Author Topic: Save Superman  (Read 11623 times)
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PatrickG
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« on: February 11, 2005, 08:38:52 AM »

Alright, I admit I'm disturbed not just by Identity Crisis but by the wave of trends it's sparked. Marvel has announced that Wolverine will rape one of the X-Men.

There was an attempt in the form of BIRTHRIGHT to streamline and renew classic elements of Superman's classic origin. And though it stands as the "official" origin in place of "Man of Steel" now, I fear that the overall trend in comics is based on the misconception that darkness and realism are somehow more human than flights of fantasy. BIRTHRIGHT, due to lackluster support in its initial release, is something of a lameduck origin story. Even though Jor-El and Lara appear in colorful costumes in flashbacks now and DC acknowledges that Superman was born on Krypton, the overall tone that the company is taking seems unfairly dark.

There is one major bright spot the way I see things. The ALL-STAR SUPERMAN project by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. I know Frank's art isn't everyone's cup of tea but I think it's essential that this 12 issue maxi-series not be swept under the rug or ignored. DC is not treating it as official continuity but I think this may be our one chance to unite and show DC that bright, fun comics outsell gritty realism, that there is a larger audience.

I'm thinking of organizing some kind of 'Buycott' to show support for this project. I'm considering cutting back on my monthly books and instead starting a monthly pull list for five or more copies of "All-Star" a month. I plan to give these out to new readers.

Let me give you some quotes by Morrison to help sell the idea, copied from Newsarama:

"I don't think we need to 'make' Superman relevant. We just have to tell stories which resonate with human experience. The best Superman stories are fables about love, pride, shame, fear, death, friendship etc. We can all relate to those big issues. Superman stories should represent huge, basic human dramas and human emotions, played out on a larger than life canvas."

"I wish pop comics today had the balls to be as poetic and poignant and truly 'all-ages' again, and a little less self-conscious."

"So, I'm still not sure about 'realistic' comics. Sales are always crap when comics get 'realistic' and sales are particularly crap right now, considering the wide-ranging public acceptance of superhero stories in other media. So Frank and I are keeping modern sensibilities in mind while trying to make sure that each of our stories addresses some basic human fear or need in a big, colorful, comic book way. We hope to produce a collection of science fiction folk tales with Superman at the heart of them. I like to think of these stories as 'relevant' to the human condition although not necessarily relevant to the current headlines, if you see what I mean. The All Star Superman is intended to appeal to a wide audience of diverse people for a long time, like the Greek myths."

"We're using the leeway the All-Star concept gives us to take the best elements from every era of Superman and use them to build a whole new world and direction for the character. I'm certainly looking at this as my definitive statement."


A bit of a glimpse into the series itself:

"The first issue 'Faster…' starts with Superman attempting to rescue the first manned spaced mission to the sun! An overdose of solar radiation triggers a fatal chain reaction in his cell structure, P.R.O.J.E.C.T. specialists race to create a new Superman and...well, you'll have to wait and see.

The Fortress appears in issue #2, stuffed with a ton of new toys and gets haunted by the bandaged ghost of the Unknown Superman of 4500 AD. The Kandorians finally get out of that bottle. Superman gets a new power. Clark Kent winds up sharing a prison cell with Lex Luthor in issue #5. The Bizarro Cube Earth invades our world in an epic 2-part adventure (no 'decompression' here!) and we're recasting the Bizarros as a frightening, unstoppable zombie-plague style menace. Bizarro Jor-El and the Bizarro JLA turn up in the second part of that story too. What else? We meet Earth's replacement Superman and Clark Kent takes on a new superhero identity...Ten of the 12 issues are complete short stories in 22 pages, so lots of stuff happens. And it all links together as a maxi-arc or whatever they call them these days, entitled 'The 12 Labors of Superman'.

Superman's Rogues Gallery is pretty weak, so I've tried to add some characters I think might enhance the mix. Solaris, the Tyrant Sun from the DC 1 Million series gets a makeover and a return visit, and I figured Superman could use a 'Subhuman' counterpart, so I've created Krull, an evolved dinosaur dictator who rules a monstrous civilization at the center of the earth. He's only in the story for a few pages but the concept is strong and feels like one that could be used again. Then there's the Abominable Snowman, a tragic scientist who's a bit like a refrigerated Incredible Hulk and turns up for a couple of pages. Superman needs some good tough monsters to fight, so I've tried to think along those lines. In most cases, the villains only get walk-on roles in this one, however. Overall, the series is more about Superman's relationships with his friends and with the world than anything else.

People know my stuff and I'm sure they can guess what to expect. It's going to be big, bold sci-fi Superman for 12 issues."


Want a glimpse of Morrison's take on Superman? Try this quote from Morrison's JLA: CLASSIFIED #3 where Superman dresses down a paramillitary team of super-heroes who kill:

"Don't you realize, death is no object to most of the enemies we deal with? Quite frankly, as an alternative to some of the super-punishments we've had to devise over the years -- Execution's a walk in the park. These "No-Nonsense" solutions of yours just don't hold water in a complex world of jet-powered apes and time-travel."

This, to me, is Superman. The real Superman. He speaks with moral authority. He lives in a fantastic world where Bizarros live on a cube shaped planet. Luthor's in prison. The love triangle between Superman, Clark and Lois is in full swing. And the adventures are grand.

I don't want DC to have ANY excuse to label this a failure. I want to show them that doing Superman RIGHT will draw a bigger audience than killing him or deconstructing him or throwing skeletons in his closet. This is Superman... We just have to show DC that this is how the real world sees Superman, how we want to see Superman. Show them that no bloodshed or reimagining or realism can compare with a Superman who makes us all feel eight years old.

Thank you.
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2005, 01:06:14 PM »

Thank you and welcome to the site S!
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2005, 01:12:54 PM »

I concur and am saving my shekels to give ALL STAR a shot.
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Kuuga
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2005, 12:31:58 AM »

I'm afraid that one of the major things that hurt Birthright will hurt All-Star. Namely the artist. In Batmans case, the writer.

Still though, excellent post. Bravo!
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Bill 9000
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2005, 01:18:33 AM »

I'm willing to give "All-Star Superman" the benefit of the doubt. As Grant Morrison says, it's about time someone had the balls to write Superman the way everyone wants him to be written.
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Who goes there?!
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2005, 03:56:12 AM »

Quote
Alright, I admit I'm disturbed not just by Identity Crisis but by the wave of trends it's sparked. Marvel has announced that Wolverine will rape one of the X-Men.
 Where did you read or hear about this?
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NotSuper
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2005, 03:18:05 AM »

Personally, I'm looking forward to BOTH All-Star Superman and All-Star Batman and Robin. Morrison and Miller are two writers many fans have wanted to see write Superman and Batman again for a while now. And just think, they'll have much less restrictions in terms of continuity.
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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.
Kuuga
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2005, 07:22:25 AM »

Quote from: "NotSuper"
Personally, I'm looking forward to BOTH All-Star Superman and All-Star Batman and Robin. Morrison and Miller are two writers many fans have wanted to see write Superman and Batman again for a while now. And just think, they'll have much less restrictions in terms of continuity.


I seriously doubt Miller can be trusted to write an iconic, all audiences version of the character which is what All Stars mission is supposed to be. Esepcially not when he' touting that it'll be part of his DKR universe.  If this Batman is the psychopathic yutz from DKR and DK2 then I don't really have alot of hope for it.

Morrison I have alot of faith in, but like Waid DC shouldn't be letting the writer pick the artist because they obviously both have bad eyes.

The idea that they're wanting to make Supermans cape as short as Captain Marvels doesn't fill me with confidence either.
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