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Author Topic: Worst Superman Stories?  (Read 24732 times)
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2005, 03:59:36 AM »

Frankly, Gil Kane's stuff looks good when compared to post crisis drek by "upcoming supestars".

And that partiular annual reminded me of an earlier Batman yarn (One of my faves) "The Man Who Quit the Human Race" about a man/mutant.

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JulianPerez
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« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2005, 05:25:43 AM »

One Superman comic I didn't particularly like was in ACTION COMICS #502 (1979) by Cary Bates, "Rise and Fall of the Star-Child."

It pains me to write this, because Cary Bates is such a great, great Superman writer and his work is terrific. And this story starts off with an equally amazing beginning: a meteorite crashes, which sends out brainwaves that only the high-powered minds of Kryptonians can detect. It lures Superman and Supergirl to the site of a crashed child in what looks like a glass version of a 12 sided dice from AD&D. Inside is - surprise! A baby! One the supercousins are asked to raise. The child, though intelligent and growing quickly, has no emotion.

Then, the universe once more, is attacked when a radio telescope draws the Galactic Golem out from his last defeat. Kara and the robot boy watch the screen as Superman tackles the Golem - only to find that Superman is weakened by the touch of the creature. Finally, Superman appears to be "killed:" left only as a smoking pair of pajamas! How could this be? The Parasite exits the Golem's body, having drained the Golem entirely.

At this point, I'm thinking, "Wow, Cary Bates hits another homer out of the ballpark with this one! What a concept: the Parasite uses a radio telescope to draw the Golem to Earth, merging his body with it so that their combined might would be fatal to Superman! And now it appears Superman has somehow been defeated and the only ones left are Supergirl and a robot boy to face a Parasite with the powers of both Superman and the Galactic Golem...and he was headed right for the fortress!" I was riveted to the comic page like it was epoxied to my face. The drama was as thick as cheesecloth.

And then it started to get lame.

It turns out the "Parasite" was really Superman in disguise all along! Not since "and he woke up and it was all a dream" was there ever an unsatisfying ending. Apparently, the robot had to absorb Supergirl's emotions at learning of Superman's death, so that he could go back and give his emotionless race emotions or something like that.

In conclusion, maybe Jurgens's super-stories may have been way, way worse, but this one betrayed a brilliant plot concept with a cheesy deux ex machina.
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Maximara
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« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2005, 02:23:15 PM »

Quote from: "nightwing"

Quote from: "Maximara"
In reality that is NOT what What If was about. In the Spiderman F4 stories they do NOT 'all die' - Sue leaves the F4 to become Namor's wife. In the story where the F4 get different powers  (What if v1 #6) Read soundly defeats Dr. Doom by taking over his body - this version of the F4 was not killed until the TimeQuake storylin some 25 (!) years later.


I wondered if anyone was going to call me out on that.  I know that's how What if #1 went, in fact I wrote that and then changed it to keep things simple.  Maybe everyone doesn't die in every issue, but my point's the same; things always end up for the worse.


Again NOT true. Also in the matter of the F4 getting different powers as a
review the story was pretty much a 'stadard' F4 story. You knew that if the story continued some event out of left field would occur and Sue would return and F5 would be back together. We have seen this sort of 'tramatic' event before and since and little really changes.

Quote from: "nightwing"
I just feel that where DC's Imaginary stories often had an upbeat message ("There must always be a Superman" -- even if it's not Kal), the Marvel tales were often frightening and negative ("If you think your hero has trouble now, trust us-- it could always be worse!").


Well DC's Imaginary stories were not that upbeat. Lois Lane dies in at least two of them, there there is the one where Lex Luthor does not go bad he must exile himself from Earth because of the Gold K fever he got by curing Kal-El. Superman himself dies in one and so on.

Also it is unfair to comare DC's Imaginary stories to What If if for the simple fact they occured in two different eras of comics. The majority of DC's Imaginary stories were in the highly idealistic Silver Age (c1955-c1970) while all of Marvel's What If... have occured in the more darker Bronze (Volume 1) and Iron (Volume 2 and 3) ages. Another problem is that the Marvel Universe had always been darker than DC's. In A&E biography on Stan Lee someone commened about the angst that lies at the heart of many Marvel books:

'Here's Spiderman, 'My Aunt May has Alzimers. I don't have proper bowel movement.' Just once I would like to see them happy.'

Also I would like to point out that many item writer twist or forget a major plot device to make a What If turn out worse than the main timeline. Like the story where Peter keep the alien costume only to have it drain him dry. Ok why in the main timelin has it not done that to Brock? It is the same cooking of the plot the old 'what if Krypton had not exploded' stories was which had Kal-El still wind up in a Superman costume.
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2005, 03:09:53 PM »

Quote from: "Maximara"
'Here's Spiderman, 'My Aunt May has Alzimers. I don't have proper bowel movement.'

Someone's been reading a little too much Garth Ennis...
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Rugal 3:16
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« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2005, 10:36:06 AM »

Quote from: "Super Monkey"
Nearly everything I have read post-reboot was pretty much garbage, IMHO. Thankfully, for my sanity, I haven't read all that much and sold all the ones I did read on e-bay.  Cheesy

All the Byrne issues were the worst and Dan Jurgens who tried very hard to out crap him.


Tis' Really funny how Beppo always posts Biased anti-post supes $$$$$ and funny thing is he's a mod, of course they're bad by Pre-Crsis standards, you don't eat an apple and expect it to taste like an orange..

I did use to be one of the biggest post-supes bashers (well started as a fan then a basher and now a compromise) but there are other things in making comics rather than pleasing a hardcore market.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2005, 12:27:17 PM »

Quote from: "Rugal 3:16"
Tis' Really funny how Beppo always posts Biased anti-post supes $$$$$ and funny thing is he's a mod, of course they're bad by Pre-Crsis standards, you don't eat an apple and expect it to taste like an orange..


Super Monkey's been a fair moderator, I think. None of my posts have been censored, despite the fact I use lots of swear words and disagree with him nearly all the time (see the current All-Star Superman thread for a case of real disagreement). If he really was a ruthless tyrant of a moderator like you think, he'd have taken revenge on me by now for all those arguments he lost.  Cheesy

As for your objection: if they started making coca-cola that tastes like a milkshake (and worse, a particularly nasty kind of milkshake, like honey and saspirella) I would say, "hey, what happened to the taste of classic coke?" I'd be upset, because I've loved the taste of coke since I was a kid. I'd be furious, because there are plenty of places where someone can buy a milkshake if they wanted one, that there was no need for such an action to be taken. Coke - a timeless, national institution of a beverage known all over the world - was "replaced" by a trendy, faddish craze for honey and saspirella milkshakes, and sales of the original, classic coke were shortsightedly discontinued forever, no matter how many billions loved it. It can never be replaced, though: when comedians on the Late Show make jokes about Coke, they mean a sparkly, crisp, bubbly sugar water instead of a frothy dairy drink. The tiny minority of defenders of the new honey and saspirella Coke would say, "this is no big deal, Coca-Cola has altered their formula on many occasions; the Coke that one is drinking now is not the same as the Coke one would buy in 1908. So, what's wrong with Coke's current milkshake incarnation?" Sure, Coke has varied their formula over the years; they now use high fructose corn syrup to sweeten it instead of cane sugar like they did back in the day. But it was always a cola, the heart of the formula (boiled caramel, vanilla extract, mint leaves) was intact. It was never, ever a milkshake.

I'm going to stop myself before I take this metaphor so far that I forget just what the hell I'm talking about.

Incidentally (and getting back on topic), if you want to see me go into further detail about the forces that made Byrne Superman an abysmal, dreary creative abortion without value or merit written by clueless, arrogant frauds, here is my review of "Death of Superman," possibly the most terminally retarded Superman story ever written (copied and pasted from an earlier post for your pleasure, natch):




God, where to even begin on how clueless and thoughtless the Death of Superman maxiseries really was.

There's a specific moment when the badness of a concept just crystallizes. Remember the 1996 Godzilla movie? What was the exact point the lack of understanding the directors had of who Godzilla is really hit home? It had to have been when "Godzilla," when confronted by fighter jets, turns tail and runs away from them.

Godzilla doesn't run away from fighter jets.

Ditto here for Superman losing a fight to some random monster. Superman doesn't lose fights to big monsters. He's Superman.

What was worse was the lack of intelligence ascribed to Superman, who in every one of his good stories is shown to be clever and intelligent and resourceful and cunning. He couldn't think of a better plan than just sit there and trade blows with the monster (putting aside for the moment that Superman is supposed to be invulnerable)?

Here's one plan, and this is just off the top of my regular, non-Super Brain:

Why not just pick Doomsday up and throw him into orbit?

Or, have Superman lay his cape out on the ground, so that Doomsday walks over it, then, gather it together, and drag that into space?

Or use his Heat Vision to blind the monster temporarily with a flash and then trip it?

Or (and here's one plan from Alan Moore's SUPREME) trick Doomsday into digging until he's trapped at the Center of the Earth?

Or get two Justice League teleporter pads: set one up on Mars, and the other where Doomsday can be tricked into stepping on it?

And that's just off the top of my head.

What's worse, it seems, is that stupidity was an airborne virus that day: nobody else in the DC Universe thought of a similar plan. There's got to be at LEAST one telepath that can neutralize Doomsday mentally, so Superman's ultimate sacrifice wouldn't be required. Like one comics commentator posted previously: "What, they couldn't just tear off his helmet so that Professor X can mind-blast him?"

Even worse, the monster had no clear motivation. WHY did it destroy the city and attack mankind? We get no explanation. Maybe Doomsday had nothing better to do that day and wrecking cities is the big scary monster equivalent of going Cow Tipping.

Note: Dan "Electric Superman Was My Idea" Jurgens later retconned that the reason Doomsday went after Superman is because he was a Kryptonian. ...Right. And apparently Doomsday had heretofore unrevealed sensory power to detect Supes somehow from all the way in the Midwest? And if Doomsday COULD detect Superman somehow ("Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of a Kryptonian") and pursued him, wouldn't Superman figure this out, and move himself to Antarctica, or at least somewhere that the fight would entail less collateral damage than say, downtown Metropolis?

And even Doomsday's potentially most interesting superpower, the ability to evolve a solution to defeat any foe, was handled incompetently by the writers (a superpower stolen from and more interestingly applied with Legionnaire Nemesis Kid). For instance, wouldn't it mean Doomsday, when facing defeat at the hands of Superman, would evolve into SOMETHING to deal with him - perhaps turning his body into Kryptonite, for instance?

And let's not forget the format of the actual issue: basically, several splash pages, making it the most I've ever paid for a coloring book somebody else has colored.
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"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)
DoctorZero
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« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2005, 09:52:21 PM »

I think that the real point of the Superman reboot was to provide a new starting point for Superman.  They felt that people were not going to read it unless they did something drastic like starting it over.
I'm not saying I agreed with this;  I in fact, don't.

But DC thought that was the solution to the falling sales.

I thinks simply by starting a new Superman #1 would have accomplished the same thing, without drastically altering the character.

New readers not knowing the entire backstory isn't a valid point.  In every character, new or old, we constantly learn "new" things about them and their past lives.  

It was a sales gimmick.  And they allowed John Byrne to do drastic changes to convince people that this was a different Superman.  That most of the concepts Byrne threw away have been brought back indicates how much DC erred.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #39 on: September 05, 2005, 11:01:42 PM »

For better or worse, I tend to agree with that...
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