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Author Topic: Holy Superheroes  (Read 17892 times)
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Maximara
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2005, 03:49:13 AM »

Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"
Quote from: "Maximara"
I never said it was save the world but it certain would have made the world a better place. Weather control alone would save millionos of live not to mention money but Superman happily sits on this technology. Also there were the time Superman acted like a full fledged jerk; hardly the one representing the idea of him being the 'the big blue Boy Scout.' Then you had the problem of Superman being Stupidman so you would have a crime story that lasted more than 4 pages.

Also it was during the Silver age that Luthor changed from simply being evil to being another world's hero (even giving up his freedom to help  them), having a family but still having this warped streak that had him come to earth to commit crimes and maybe kill Superman while he was at it.


Well, maybe the fault is as much that the 1950s-60s mind set was that technology could create a utopia...weather control alters ecosystems that are just as critical to overall global dynamics...even increased human survival introduces massive problems with overpopulation...


Of course the world comic took place in was a very simplistic place where these and other consideration never entered inot the pricture. As a child with a disability I still remember how the Legion of Suerheroes gave Supergirl the blow off when to qualify she had to create a tunnel through the Earth and encountered ome Red K which make her age until she was physically 18.

Even then I knew there was something way wrong there. What did it matter how she looked she was still by the calender the same age? Also the only one member a year rule was another piece of stupity that I never understood.  The more you looked at the world of Superman and his friends during this period the more you knew something was not right. Perhaps you didn't know what it was but there was just something well off about the way they acted.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2005, 04:17:07 AM »

Sure, things were wrong...what was the solution?

Would "realism" made it better?  I don't know, but "real life" today or in the 60s is (was not) a universally wonderful picture...

Plato, Erasmus, Machiavelli, Danta, Hobbes, and Locke (among MANY others) had no answers...

We as a people are mediocre and self centered...we are TERRIBLE at seeing the big picture...

Haunted and self tortured super heros are hardly the answer...

But the nuances ARE interesting... Cool
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Maximara
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« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2005, 09:54:25 AM »

Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"
Sure, things were wrong...what was the solution?

Would "realism" made it better?  I don't know, but "real life" today or in the 60s is (was not) a universally wonderful picture...


No but the comics of that time were not protraying 'real life' were they?  (by the code they couldn't) In the case of Supergirl the LSH should have let her join on the basis of her actual age - appearent age was a problem as what did you do if you had somebody who looked 16 but was in fact hundreds of years old wanting to join?

Of course there were many time where the Legion of Superheroes became the Legion of Supermorons. We saw in one issue where the security was so bad they let a guy try out whose whole purpose had been to scan their Headquarters - this kind of idiocy was echoes years later in the Challange of the Superfriends cartoon where Luthor would come on the Trouble Alert screen and rebuke the comment made by a Superfriend.

Ok Superdummies obviously Lex has planned a bug in the place; perhaps it is time to go looking for it. While it could come up with a good story Challange also demonstrated what had been so wrong with the SIlver Age - poorly thought out stories that required aobut half the characters to be dumber than Bizarro.
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Maximara
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« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2005, 04:38:24 AM »

Quote from: "TELLE"
Quote from: "Maximara"
Quote from: "Defender"
It could be that because comics were originally created as an entertainment medium for everyone--much like the pulps they were based from--that of course the superhero stories would follow the mold of more traditional pulp heroes like the Shadow and the Spider. .


Obviously he was talking about the U.S. pamphlet-sized comic (1930 to present) in general and the superhero/adventure genre of comic book (1938-present) in particular.


If you has followed the link to the The History of Comic Books that I provided you would know the U.S. pamphlet-sized comic (17" wide x 11 tall") goes all the way back to 1902 and the first Superhero book (a reprinting of the Phantom strip) was in 1936 and the adventure genre was well represented by the likes of Flash Gordon, Popeye, Dick Tracy, Terry & the Pirates, and Mandrake the Magician.

On a side note here are some films that when resummited to the MPPA got an 'R' rating: Tailspin Tommy (1934); Crash Dive (1943) and Apache (1954).This is relevent because it shows that the serials (which lasted all the way into 1955) were pretty violent. Fortunilty the high body count that tended to go with a serial didn't extend to the Superman serials of 1948 and 1950. The fun thing is thanks to National Periodical Publications (DC) refusing Republic in 1941 they blew the chance for Superman to be the first major comic book character in a live action serial. That honor will forever go to Captain Marvel.
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TELLE
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« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2005, 09:00:18 AM »

Quote from: "Maximara"
Quote from: "TELLE"

Obviously he was talking about the U.S. pamphlet-sized comic (1930 to present) in general and the superhero/adventure genre of comic book (1938-present) in particular.


If you has followed the link to the The History of Comic Books that I provided you would know the U.S. pamphlet-sized comic (17" wide x 11 tall") goes all the way back to 1902 and the first Superhero book (a reprinting of the Phantom strip) was in 1936 and the adventure genre was well represented by the likes of Flash Gordon, Popeye, Dick Tracy, Terry & the Pirates, and Mandrake the Magician.


Having just presented an academic paper dealing partly with the 18th-Century origins of the graphic novel, I appreciate your repeated linking to the Platinum history web-site.  Now maybe I'll learn something!  Smiley

(I urge everyone interested in comics history to check out the essay on Platinum/Victorian Age Comics by Robert Beerbohm et al in the Overstreet Price Guide. Beerbohm also maintains a great discussion group on Yahoo about pre-1940 comics.)

But I stand by my original statement: regardless of actual comics history, it seems apparent from the context of his remarks that Defender was referring to what most people think of as the American comic book/superhero (1930s-present). Any other reading is just pointless nitpicking and flame-fanning.  Accidents, one-offs, and contested definitions of superhero (vs costumed adventurer, etc) notwithstanding.  After all, what's a few years between friends?

And for the record, a good case can be made that the first modern-size comic book was actually the first US comic ever, the Brother Jonathan printing of Rudolph Topffer's Obadiah Oldbuck, circa 1840.
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Maximara
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« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2005, 07:35:12 PM »

Quote from: "TELLE"
But I stand by my original statement: regardless of actual comics history, it seems apparent from the context of his remarks that Defender was referring to what most people think of as the American comic book/superhero (1930s-present). Any other reading is just pointless nitpicking and flame-fanning.  Accidents, one-offs, and contested definitions of superhero (vs costumed adventurer, etc) notwithstanding.  After all, what's a few years between friends?


And I stand by my original statement that some of the concepts Holy Superheroes review are incorrect. For example the review talks about Batman having an "Old Testament-style justice" but once he dropped the gun Batman never directly killed which contradicts the Old Testament's view of an 'eye for an eye and a life for a life'. Also it is stated that the code against killing was broken only 20 years ago when in fact many examples in and out ide the main stream books can be found (especially in the so called 'clean' Golden Age)  Also the whole moral issue theme is a problem when you deal with some of the more distasteful things Superman espcially did in the Silver and Bronze ages.
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« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2005, 08:01:23 AM »

Agreed, the article (and, I would imagine, the book) if fairly crappy, if not downright ignorant.
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Maximara
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« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2005, 02:21:08 PM »

Quote from: "TELLE"
Agreed, the article (and, I would imagine, the book) if fairly crappy, if not downright ignorant.


Well the Amazon reviews of Holy Superheroes and Who Needs A Superhero? are not that promicing but then atain there is really too few revies to got a real idea on either book. Personally I think there there are enough themes in comic books that you could make them portry any idea you had (even some pretty hair brained ones ala Seduction of the Innocent and Seduction of the Innocent Revisited)

The problem is when you really look at comic books you quickly realize they were inconsitant with the way they did characters and were more a reflection of the times they were written. But once you try to link them to an ideal then you have problems.

For example if Superman was some sort of moral giant where was he during the Korean and Vietnam wars? DC's out of the JSA disbanding as the result of a Mccarthy-like witch hunt (which has never really been explained) doesn't work for Superman as since he never wore a mask there was no reason to believe he had a 'secret idenity' (an idea never really delt with until after the Bronze Age).

Of course this is the problem when you 'plug in' Superheroes into our history. Once you add Superheroes to the equation then you have a lot of problems trying to get history to follow our course. Watchman did it right in making a world very different from our own as a result of the Superheroes' actions. Because they were seen as a national asset Mccarthism never happened and comics largely abandoned the superheroe genre and went to story lines that made EC's stuff look like Little Orphan Annie by comparison.

Marvel which has  tried to plug its heroes in the 'real world' has similar problems. In anything like our world the first time a Sentinal went out of control would have been the last time with the whole Anti-mutant movement relegated to the likes of the KKK or Aryan Nation. Instead the Sentinal program continues and the public continues to support it evenafter some Mutant take over the world loony showed how easy it would be to reprogram the robots.
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