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Author Topic: A question about multiple universes...  (Read 15247 times)
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #48 on: August 30, 2005, 02:16:49 AM »

Quote from: "TELLE"
Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Superman was the first superhero - at least in the form that we accept the character type as existing: secret identity with a degree of irony, emphasis on science fiction or fantastic elements as a matter of course, unreal powers that were so exaggerated they went into the realm of Tall Tales, a distinctive means of dress or costume, and a morality that is a vague humanitarianism that involves rescuing all peoples in danger.


The Shadow knows these elements also describe him. Cheesy


Most of the truly "super" elements of The Shadow came around the time of Superman.  There were several years beforehand where The Shadow was even more in the Batman mold, with no real "powers" or psychic villains or whatnot.  The Shadow started out life as the narrator of a detective radio  show, and was made into an actual character when they discovered that the narrator was the most popular part of the show.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #49 on: August 30, 2005, 02:44:33 PM »

Superman not only was the first super-hero to combine the elements of the classic super-hero.  He also was the first to have truly dramatic super-powers.

Those before him arguably were just heightened humans, or those with fringe talents that weren't much different from a circus mentalist or magician.

Superman was the first super-hero to be far and away indisputably a super-human with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.
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Captain Kal

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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #50 on: August 30, 2005, 03:31:16 PM »

Re: Captain Kal's last post...

There are a million shades of grey, and building on or altering what was going on before, but I tend to think that's a valid distinction, or "break" in defining Superman's role...
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #51 on: August 31, 2005, 02:52:01 PM »

Thanks, MatterEaterLad.

Just to emphasize this point, the kind of things the other 'mystery men' before Superman were doing were simulated/performed in stage productions and circuses for years.  While outside normal human abilities, they were commonplace and easy to visualize.

Superman's dramatic powers were far outside the experiences of anybody.  No one routinely did or simulated hefting a car overhead, or leaping over buildings, or outracing trains and later bullets (Action Comics #7 which wasn't long after his first appearance).

It's for that reason, amongst others, that the Man of Steel was the first true super-hero.  And he understandably created the comics industry as a profitable one instead of the paste-up reprint crap it was before him.
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Captain Kal

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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #52 on: August 31, 2005, 03:23:16 PM »

The first alien hero as well?
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #53 on: August 31, 2005, 04:10:24 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
It's for that reason, amongst others, that the Man of Steel was the first true super-hero. And he understandably created the comics industry as a profitable one instead of the paste-up reprint crap it was before him.


There's another notch in Superman's list of firsts: namely, that he was the first true phenomenon and breakout character in comic books, which up until that point consisted of 1) reprints of strips from newspapers, or 2) strips that were indistinguishable from the strips of newspapers. In comic books, until Superman leapt over his first building, it was the same evil oriental genius, the same salty sea-dog, and the same two-fisted detective over and over.

It wasn't just that Superman was different in formula, but he was so well received by America for that reason. It's no exaggeration to say comic books owe their existence at least in the form they have actually taken, to him. As I recall, in one memoir read from that particular period, THE COMIC BOOK HEROES, one contemporary person wrote of Superman like this:

"Until that point, heroes were always outmatched and overshadowed by the mad scientists and oriental geniuses that dwelled in their world. Thus, when Superman appeared, the response was not, 'how original,' but rather 'of course!' "
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Brainiac44
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« Reply #54 on: August 31, 2005, 04:47:19 PM »

I've fast read the replies but if you read the JLA companion book you'll learn that it was Julius (Julie) Swhartz (sp?) idea.  An idea that he in fact took from some novels.  What he did with it is that he "DCied" it.  Making it proper to the contents and also it was a great idea to bring back the ga heroes.  Basically, this idea could be considered like the first reboot.  I liked it, it made sense (sense in DC terms).  I think that the idea of the second reboot in the 80s was terrible.  Haven't even read it but it's like all the Earths merged into one.  First, if this did happen, there wouldn't be a place on Earth where humans couldn't step on each other, and if the the parallel worlds merged without overpopulated it means that a number not yet even invented of people simply died or vanished - which is terrible...!
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #55 on: August 31, 2005, 04:55:40 PM »

Quote from: "Brainiac44"
I've fast read the replies but if you read the JLA companion book you'll learn that it was Julius (Julie) Swhartz (sp?) idea.  An idea that he in fact took from some novels.  What he did with it is that he "DCied" it.  Making it proper to the contents and also it was a great idea to bring back the ga heroes.  Basically, this idea could be considered like the first reboot.  I liked it, it made sense (sense in DC terms).  I think that the idea of the second reboot in the 80s was terrible.  Haven't even read it but it's like all the Earths merged into one.  First, if this did happen, there wouldn't be a place on Earth where humans couldn't step on each other, and if the the parallel worlds merged without overpopulated it means that a number not yet even invented of people simply died or vanished - which is terrible...!


You're dealing with the original question of this thread, right?  Cool
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