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Author Topic: Who can save Superman now? KURT BUSIEK!  (Read 147641 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: August 05, 2005, 05:58:31 AM »

Is there anyone more qualified to write Superman than Mr. Silver Age himself, Kurt Busiek? Busiek has obviously demonstrated his encyclopedaic knowledge of comics history, the proof of which is...well, the whole of AVENGERS FOREVER.

Kurt is skilled at characterization. Superman was always at his best when written by writers that know how to get poignant moments out of the emotions the Super-characters feel. For instance, Maggin's treatment of Luthor as a misanthropic misfit, whose rage, misdirected onto Superman, comes from his lifetime of being misunderstood. Witness the sentimentality of how Superman and Supergirl maintain their Kryptonian holidays, despite the fact these rites only have meaning to them. Watch Siegel's tragedy of Krypton. Busiek understands how to tell sad, poignant stories: look at "Tarnished Angel" for ASTRO CITY and the story arc in his AVENGERS run where Wonder Man confesses how much he envies the Vision, and the Vision confesses how others must pity him for his attempts to be truly "human."

Superman's courageous characterization in Busiek's JLA/AVENGERS showed that Mr. Silver Age knows exactly who Superman is. Superman's overreaction at the Marvel Universe comes from a personality trait in him, his anxiety at doing too much for mankind. And just look how in the climax, Superman triumphantly battles on by sheer force of will?

(And if writing the greatest intercompany crossover ever written doesn't qualify Busiek to write Superman, what will?)

The Samaritan in ASTRO CITY, who bears more than a little similarity to Big Blue, is the most spot-on characterization of Superman we've seen yet, and it wasn't even really a Superman story.

If Busiek ever does take over, one thing's for sure: we'll see some great old villains. Most writers when given a comic, the first thing they do now that they can play with the toys is pull out the biggest and most famous villains. Not Busiek; when he was given JLA, he used great, underused guys like the Construct. His AVENGERS run, Mr. Silver Age uses great, classic and unjustly obscure bad guys like Kulan Gath, Moses Magnum, and Morgan Le Fay (Ultron doesn't even show up until the second year of his run, and Kang until the third or fourth).

And best of all, Busiek hates John Byrne. Not literally, of course; it's hard to imagine loveable old Kurt, who has never had a bad word to say to anyone, hating anybody. But if you really look at Busiek's career, he's spent a lot of it undoing the thoughtless dunderheaded idiocies that Byrne inflicted on comics. AVENGERS FOREVER was basically one long excuse to establish that Byrne's dehumanizing notion the Vision wasn't really the android human torch was a load of baloney. Busiek restored the Vision's classic origin from Byrne's fat clumsy whittling fingers, and his AVENGERS run showed that the Vision had a soul, and was not, as Byrne stated, "a toaster." Also, when Byrne retooled Spider-Man's origin in SPIDER-MAN: CHAPTER ONE, including wiping out Busiek's UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN, Busiek said "I...I wish he wouldn't do that." Now, for the inoffensive, kindhearted Mr. Silver Age, that's the equivalent of a pagelong harangue from the likes of Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis.
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NotSuper
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2005, 07:33:37 PM »

I once asked Kurt Busiek which version of Krypton he preferred over at Millarworld. Here's what he said:

Quote
The one that blew up!

kdb

PS - seriously, that's a question I've never considered. I think the old pre-Crisis headband-Krypton had some dorky-*** fashion sense, but the cotton-balls-down-the-arms post-Crisis Krypton didn't have battery beasts, so that's kind of a wash.

As long as the place blows up, I think it's done its job.


There's actually a thread where you can ask Kurt questions (and he graciously answers almost all of them)--check it out here.

Oh, and I agree that Kurt should be writing Superman. I love the guy's work.
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2005, 08:03:35 PM »

He did write the "remake" of Superboy-Prime called "Superman: Secret Identity" you can read the 3 part Superboy-Prime story that this story is loosely based on on this very website.



A small review:

Superman's origins have been imagined and reimagined over the years. Here is a new take on the character's roots. Busiek and Immonen start with mild-mannered teen Clark Kent, who, after years of being kidded about his name, suddenly discovers that he has powers like those of his fictional namesake. He feels obligated to use his capabilities for good but realizes that, to live a normal life, he has to operate in secret, performing his superfeats covertly. His precautions prove insufficiently protective, however, and government agents investigating the existence of a real-life superhero have ominous plans for him. Busiek here uses the same trick--setting characters with fantastic powers in a "real-life" world closely resembling that of readers--that has made his Astro City a critical favorite, and Immonen greatly aids him with quietly powerful, realistic artwork. Superman has remained popular for nearly 70 years because of the appeal of having powers "far beyond those of mortal men." Busiek gives us a glimpse of what actually possessing them would probably entail, taking a cue from the contemporary superheroic slogan, "With great power comes great responsibility." Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2005, 04:40:20 PM »

Quote
And best of all, Busiek hates John Byrne. Not literally, of course; it's hard to imagine loveable old Kurt, who has never had a bad word to say to anyone, hating anybody. But if you really look at Busiek's career, he's spent a lot of it undoing the thoughtless dunderheaded idiocies that Byrne inflicted on comics. AVENGERS FOREVER was basically one long excuse to establish that Byrne's dehumanizing notion the Vision wasn't really the android human torch was a load of baloney. Busiek restored the Vision's classic origin from Byrne's fat clumsy whittling fingers, and his AVENGERS run showed that the Vision had a soul, and was not, as Byrne stated, "a toaster." Also, when Byrne retooled Spider-Man's origin in SPIDER-MAN: CHAPTER ONE, including wiping out Busiek's UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN, Busiek said "I...I wish he wouldn't do that." Now, for the inoffensive, kindhearted Mr. Silver Age, that's the equivalent of a pagelong harangue from the likes of Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis.


I remember Byrne bragging about trashing Busiek's Spider-Man material, boasted that he "Man of Steel'd it clean outta here" and that he saw no gaps in the original books that needed to be filled in, thus he felt Busiek's stuff was redundant.

As for Busiek on Superman...maybe the All-Stars version. DC took advantage of his recent illness by stiffing him of his JLA run to promote their Infinite Crisis event (which is really just another excuse to make the DCU pitch-black, bleak, and miserable). I can't imagine them letting him do the usual Superman on a regular basis. The All-Stars version? He's got a shot.
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RedSunOfKrypton
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2005, 08:23:42 PM »

I have Secret Identity, it scares the heck out of me. The perfectly portrayed despicable acts of the lengths the US Government would go to control a Superman.
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"...and as the fledgeling Man of Steel looks for the first time over the skyline of this city, this, Metropolis, he utters the syllables with which history is made and legends are forged: This, looks like a job...for Superman."
JulianPerez
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2005, 08:35:41 PM »

Quote from: "RedSunOfKrypton"
I have Secret Identity, it scares the heck out of me. The perfectly portrayed despicable acts of the lengths the US Government would go to control a Superman.


All the more reason Kurt Busiek is worthy of acclaim if he can breathe fear into that tired boogeyman, the Secret Government Conspiracy.
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RedSunOfKrypton
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2005, 03:56:04 AM »

It's not a boogeyman if they really ARE after you...>_>  Tongue
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"...and as the fledgeling Man of Steel looks for the first time over the skyline of this city, this, Metropolis, he utters the syllables with which history is made and legends are forged: This, looks like a job...for Superman."
NotSuper
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2005, 04:19:37 AM »

I'd like to see Geoff Johns write Superman, too. He seems to have a fondness for the pre-Crisis DCU, and Rebirth was just a great story.
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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.
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