superman.nuStrange Visitor!facebook    
  •   forum   •   THIS WEEK'S CHAPTER: "RESTORATION!" •   fortress   •  
Superman Through the Ages! Forum
News: Superman Through the Ages! now located at theAges.superman.nu
 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
December 15, 2019, 11:45:24 AM


Login with username, password and session length


Pages: 1 ... 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 [30] 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Who can save Superman now? KURT BUSIEK!  (Read 148618 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Kurt Busiek
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 214



WWW
« Reply #232 on: October 30, 2005, 05:56:53 PM »

Quote from: "VanZee"
Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
I just like talking comics


Wonderful.  Then perhaps you'll answer what you think are the most emotionally resonate comics stories you've encountered.  The very idea of superheroes means they must, in some sense, celebrate or suffer their heroism in some larger-than-life way.  This makes for great storytelling.  What are your favorite storylines/story arcs?  Why?  Many thanks!


Aaaaah!  I didn't say I like doing essay-question tests!  Aaaah!

But to unpack your question a little, there's at least conceivably a difference between a reader's favorite storylines and what he thinks are the most emotionally-resonant.  And, for that matter, the idea that superheroes must celebrate or suffer their heroism may be unrelated -- what if those favorite or emotionally-resonant comics don't have superheroes in 'em?

For instance, much as I like superheroes, and much as the interconnections of shared-universe superhero comics is what sucked me into the comics medium in the first place, my pick for all-time favorite comics tends to flip-flop between Milt Caniff's TERRY AND THE PIRATES and his first 15 years or so of STEVE CANYON.

TERRY, I used to pick for the sheer thrill of adventure it offered -- the exotic locales, the action, the romances, the noble purpose of the war years, the picaresque of Terry growing up through the various episodes, the engaging characters, the mixture of action and comedy, all that.  Some favorite arcs include the first April Kane story (which I have an original from on the wall beside my desk), where Terry and Pat, hired to replace the missing Dillon Kane, get involved with his sister's search for him, and embroiled in the plans of the Baron de Plexus and Sanjak, the deadliest woman alive.  It's all movie-serial adventure, but riven through with young romance, humor and compelling suspense.  Another choice would be the extended sequence where Terry enters the Army Air Force and learns to fly along with a class of Chinese cadets -- as it happens, Sanjak is in that one, too, but it's the character growth for Terry, as he gains new skills (and with it, adult power) but also steps into adult responsibility, that hooks me, combined with the romance, mild as it is, and the suspense and sentiment of the court-martial and its conclusion.

More and more as I get older, though, I find myself appreciating the CANYON stuff -- I used to think it had a lot of parallels to TERRY, but it was more muted, less colorful, less overtly fun.  And it is -- but it's also more nuanced, more adultly sentimental, more rueful and reflective.  TERRY is the best boys' adventure there ever was, CANYON is more adult.  The storylines that jump to mind there include "Taps for Shanty Town," the story of an Air Force general who literally works himself to death in the service of the duty he's taken on, the work that he loves.  It's sad, raucus, sweet and powerful. My other most immediate choice would be very different -- "Dark Horse Team," the story of Canyon's adoptive daughter Poteet coaching a misfit team of high-school basketball players to the state championship, which works as an adolescent sports fable on one level but also embroils Steve with his greatest love and his greatest enemy, features a lot of adult emotion and suffering, ideas on community morale and business ethics, and a very different kid of triumph than what plays out of the basketball court.

I'm also a nut for Frank King's GASOLINE ALLEY and the tales of everyday life it depicts, and Leonard Starr's ON STAGE, the best ongoing "human interest" drama in comics.  The overaching melodrama and romances in ON STAGE are a lot of fun, particularly when they involve the tragic Maximus or the quirky gangster Johnny Q, but individual arcs later in the strip's run, like the one about the last days of a cowboy-movie star who sees himslf becoming an irrelevance in a changing world, are hauntingly effective.

Limiting the sample to comic books, my favorites range from the light, daffy humor of the pre-Pussycats JOSIE by Doyle and DeCarlo, an absolute meringue of a comic but perfectly done, to the hallucinatory adventure of Bill Everett's VENUS, a comic so bizarre that at one point, the heroine, a Greek goddess working as a magazine reporter, has been turned into paper by a demon and still manages to be the aggressor -- "Watch it, buster, or I'll roll myself up into a spitball and jump right in your eye!"

Simon & Kirby's "Mother Delilah" in BOYS' RANCH #3 is as raw a story of love and betrayal as comics has ever seen.  And I haven't even hit superheroes yet.

Lee and Ditko's Master Planner trilogy in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #31-33 is as good as Spider-Man has ever gotten -- it's the one with that great sequence where Spidey lifts the huge machine rather than drown.  "The Celestial Madonna Saga" in AVENGERS #129 through GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS #4 is wild and cosmic and amazingly-plotted, and the death of the SWordsman in GIANT-SIZE #2 is the best single issue of AVENGERS ever, to my mind.  And Englehart's subsequent run on DETECTIVE is my favorite Batman, from the pulpy menace of the Tobacconists' Club to the bittersweet romance with Silver St. Cloud.

Goodwin & Simonson's Manhunter, with that great finale.  The yearlong Death of Iris epic in FLASH (which I list for the writing, not the uneven artwork).  The scope and variety and wide-eyed SF of Levitz's first LEGION run.  The pathos of Len Wein's HULK.  And on and on.

In the Superman mythos, my favorites include a trio of sentimental Bates stories -- the "Miraculous Return of Jonathan Kent" two-parter, the Luthor three-parter where Luthor's own brilliant plan breaks his heart, and the passiona and drive of "The Dying Days of Lois and Lana."  And then SUPERMAN VS. MUHAMMAD ALI, of all things, has such glorious visual spectacle wrapped around a story in which we see a Superman who just won't, can't, will not let himself fall down, not while there's any chance of victory, no matter how slim.

But there's way too many good comics out there to focus on just a few  favorites -- I haven't mentioned the battered idealism of AMERICAN FLAGG, the majesty of Goodwin's von Tagge stories in STAR WARS, the goofy humanism of Arriola's GORDO, the rueful humor of Bill Overgard's RUDY IN HOLLYWOOD, the enchanting graphics of Haenigsen's PENNY...

And I keep finding new things.  I have some old S&K romance comics with great Bill Draut art, and I'd seen some of his Sixties stuff and thought it was flat and mechanical -- but I just stumbled across an early-Seventies PHANTOM STRANGER that's got a Draut job that's just stunning, and it makes me want to seek out the other stuff he did around then.  Plus Seventies Lee Elias, more Warren-published Grandenetti, those European Tarzan comics Mark Evanier packaged (I really, REALLY want a full set of the Evanier/Spiegle Korak) and on and on.  I want to read TOUCH, FATHER & SON and LIKE SHOOTING STARS AT TWILIGHT, three untranslated managa series I have, in English someday.  I want good translations of CORTO MALTESE.  I want to re-find that early DENNIS THE MENACE Sunday with the parking meter and the cop.

Mainly, I just love good comics, whatever form or genre or flavor they come in.  But I think there are at least some answers to your question in there...

kdb
Logged
VanZee
Supermen of America
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 27


« Reply #233 on: October 30, 2005, 06:54:50 PM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
Mainly, I just love good comics, whatever form or genre or flavor they come in.


Aye, agreed.  Thank you for the essay.  Agreed, comics are a unique form that unites often highly literary concepts with dynamic art (EC Comics, anyone?).  One wonders just how profound the influence of comics has been on the film industry... the blocking, the framing, each panel a distinct scene, etc.

In the superhero realm, I've found the classic-era Spider-man especially evocative and, in retrospect, very much in tune with the teenage angst of its readership.  The Captain Stacy arc, for example, where Spidey's triumph over Doc Oc leads to the death of Peter's girlfriend's father, for which she will forever hate Spider-man... the discovery of Peter's identity by Harry Osborne after Spidey had accidentally killed his father, Norman.... All so central to the character of a hero who tries to do what's right but ends up the eternal and alienated loser.  That was a time of greatness.

This stuff has been re-tried and re-hashed, retconned, by later writers, but it strikes me that in the superhero genre it was really being explored (successfully) for the first time.

Great writers, I think, understand their characters and write stories that push at the things that make these characters great.  Uncle Mxy asked what circumstances might make Superman kill... but a better story for Superman might be to introduce a circumstance that would make most of US want to kill and Superman deciding differently.  THAT would be powerful.  That would be Super.
Logged
Kurt Busiek
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 214



WWW
« Reply #234 on: October 30, 2005, 07:17:42 PM »

Quote from: "VanZee"
Uncle Mxy asked what circumstances might make Superman kill... but a better story for Superman might be to introduce a circumstance that would make most of US want to kill and Superman deciding differently.  THAT would be powerful.  That would be Super.


...and one of the great strengths of serial comics is that it's even conceivable to do both stories.  And if both are done well, then which one is better becomes an interesting discussion, but not one that overbalances the fact that both would be valuable additions.

Alternatively, both could be bad -- good ideas rarely survive bad execution.

kdb
Logged
Uncle Mxy
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 809



« Reply #235 on: October 31, 2005, 12:43:51 AM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
Aaaaah!  I didn't say I like doing essay-question tests!  Aaaah!

Ok, so my efforts toward silly multiple-choice questions are not in vain!  Yay!

So Kurt, where does Superman keep his boots when he's dressed as Clark?

a) In the pouch inside Superman's cape, compressed yet invulnerable
b) The mystic trenchcoat the Highlanders keeps their beheading sword
c) The same place Captain America keeps his shield as Steve Rogers
d) The same place that he keeps Clark's shoes when he's Superman
e) [fill in the blank with the quip or essay of your choice]
Logged
Uncle Mxy
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 809



« Reply #236 on: October 31, 2005, 12:54:34 AM »

Quote from: "VanZee"
Uncle Mxy asked what circumstances might make Superman kill...

Well, my question was "should Superman kill", with the thought being "is it even Superman anymore when he's depicted as some killer, regardless of the circumstances"?  I made the mistake of following up with a lot of words while doing a zillion different things at work.  It takes effort to be succinct, as Twain duly notes, and I admire the comic book writers who can do a lot with few words.  Smiley
Logged
Kurt Busiek
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 214



WWW
« Reply #237 on: October 31, 2005, 03:46:20 AM »

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
So Kurt, where does Superman keep his boots when he's dressed as Clark?


"In the butt?"

(arcane Newlywed Game reference)

Quote
a) In the pouch inside Superman's cape, compressed yet invulnerable
b) The mystic trenchcoat the Highlanders keeps their beheading sword
c) The same place Captain America keeps his shield as Steve Rogers
d) The same place that he keeps Clark's shoes when he's Superman
e) [fill in the blank with the quip or essay of your choice]


Judging from some old stories, he super-compresses the soles and wears his socks and shoes over them.

kdb
Logged
JulianPerez
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1168



« Reply #238 on: October 31, 2005, 06:09:31 AM »

Mr. Busiek, who are your favorite great, underused Superman villains?

I'm sure you have some! You've used some villains in your time that other writers have overlooked (that issue of AVENGERS you wrote with Kulan Gath had - IMHO - some of the best art George Perez ever did, in addition to a wonderful character dynamic - my only regret is that the Avengers lineup you used in that issue wasn't the one used in the first 2 years of that run).

Incidentally, when your POWER COMPANY series used Dr. Cyber, I felt like jumping up and down, but just gave a yeehah out loud. You see, I was reading it riding the bus from classes because my car was in the shop that particular month, and people looked at me oddly (but not TOO odd, because only insane transients ride the bus in Miami).

That one WONDER WOMAN story arc where Wonder Woman had to perform 12 great labors for the Justice League was a great story, and Dr. Cyber's return appearance with her face of glass was possibly the highlight.

Dr. Cyber had an excellent motivation, at least in those early stories: she wanted revenge on Wonder Woman and a desire to restore her face, which always involved some antisocial action. I always liked villains that had motivations apart from vague desires for power. Mad Thinker, I think, was most interesting in "Mad Thinker's Triumvirate of Terror" in AVENGERS #39, when he was after the Avengers to steal Tony Stark's electronic secrets.

I apologize if this is not Superman-related, but have I thanked you for the gift of Silverclaw yet? I wrote a list on this newsgroup a while ago about my favorite characters in superhero comics, and Silverclaw was amongst them; one dissatisfying lack in mainstream comics is that there have been few truly captivating original characters (especially in the X-books). The moment in that one Avengers story where she starts to cry on Jarvis's shoulder was absolutely beautiful - and I think I laughed out loud that time she turned into a giant silver llama! Steve Englehart used her in CELESTIAL QUEST, though it's a shame this character hasn't appeared in Marvel too often.
Logged

"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
Uncle Mxy
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 809



« Reply #239 on: October 31, 2005, 12:36:50 PM »

Quote from: "Kurt Busiek"
Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
So Kurt, where does Superman keep his boots when he's dressed as Clark?


"In the butt?"

Lois gives her regards.  Note to self -- never (and I mean NEVER) give Kurt a "fill in the blank" question if I ever meet him in person.  Smiley

http://www.snopes2.com/radiotv/tv/newlywed.htm

Quote
Judging from some old stories, he super-compresses the soles and wears his socks and shoes over them.

Yeah, though there were obvious problems with that approach:

- how did he uncompress them when he had whacked-out powers -or- if they didn't need powers to uncompress, why didn't Clark's shoes explode

- if the soles were Kryptonian tough, wouldn't they be just as hard to compress -or- did Kryptonians count on super-compressable footwear

- are the soles the only "hardened" material, or are the boots as a whole hardened, in which case that raises the cobbler's nightmare to a new level.

What prompted this was that there's no real post-Crisis equivalent.  So a writer could do something very original here.  For example, you could have Superman get a costume from an alien civilization that turns out to have a bad influence on him.  The costume could migrate to other folks, and you could create new villains with names like Venage and Carnom, adding to the mythos of the character.  Heck, if your bad guy (or girl) is popular enough, he can be retconned into a good guy.
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 [30] 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

CURRENT FORUM

Archives: OLD FORUM  -  DCMB  -  KAL-L
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! Dilber MC Theme by HarzeM
Entrance ·  Origin ·  K-Metal ·  The Living Legend ·  About the Comics ·  Novels ·  Encyclopaedia ·  The Screen ·  Costumes ·  Read Comics Online ·  Trophy Room ·  Creators ·  ES!M ·  Fans ·  Multimedia ·  Community ·  Supply Depot ·  Gift Shop ·  Guest Book ·  Contact & Credits ·  Links ·  Coming Attractions ·  Free E-mail ·  Forum

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
The LIVING LEGENDS of SUPERMAN! Adventures of Superman Volume 1!
Return to SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES!
The Complete Supply Depot for all your Superman needs!