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Author Topic: Your Superman Dream-Team?  (Read 19558 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: September 14, 2005, 07:33:12 PM »

A lot has been said about ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, however, the most interesting thing is that nobody is terribly excited, at least the way people were about Busiek's JLA recently. The consensus on this particular newsgroup seems to be one of the following: Morrison is okay, uninspired, and alright, but at least he knows Superman better than the guys writing his comic right now.

Incidentally, I'm more nervous about my buddy Grant's writing than Frank Quitely's art. Frankie's art is a little like sushi; an acquired taste that the first time it's in your mouth you want to retch it out, but if you chew it down you start to like it a little. Ditto for Frankie; his Superman looks like a big-chinned bendy-toy at first, but sticking with his work a while, one realizes how detailed and "busy" his work really is, how involved his backgrounds and designs are. Grant Morrison on the other hand...if he ever had an original idea in his entire life, I must have missed that issue. It took Busiek to breathe to life his concepts in his CSA story arc. Grant can't do characterization and he can't do mindblowing concepts. He is a walking advertisement for why comics creators should read books or magazines or anything instead of just going to see hit action movies.

But what if someone really great instead of just sufficient was on Superman? How wonderful would it be to tap dance like Fred Astaire all the way to the comics or candy store?

In short, who would be your writer/artist Dream Team, the one to make you excited about Superman again?

My Superman Dream Team:

WRITER: Kurt Busiek

I think I've written a post about this before, but the more I muse on it the better an idea it becomes and the more qualified "Mr. Silver Age" gets.

Superman is science fiction in nature and emphasis, but more importantly, a type of period space opera; LENSMAN, SLAN, or STARSHIP TROOPERS with Heat-Vision instead of "Primary Beams" and "Mind Bolts." Kurt Busiek is good at worldbuilding; he is good at building a setting so that it feels like a real place. Kurt works well with science fiction; if he was not a comics writer, he'd make a great science fiction scribe. Just look at Kurt's recent JLA arc. Not since Steve Englehart's eight issue JLA run or John Broome's GREEN LANTERN has there been such a detailed, thoughtful treatment of the Weaponeers of Qward, and his worldbuilding with the Crime Syndicate Earth, which rivals their original story for detail and degree of thought placed into their evil flip-world.

What will Busiek's Krypton look like? I don't know, but it will have two things going for it:

    1) It will be very Silver Age, in spirit if not in precise details;

    2) It will be very well thought through.


Anyone that's read Busiek's ARROWSMITH knows Busiek has a feel for pre-1950 science fiction and adventure stories; he frequently lists Milton Caniff as one of his greatest influences.

But the best qualification I can think of for Busiek?

No matter how big of a Superman geek you are, I assure you, Busiek is a million times bigger.  Cheesy


ARTIST: Jerry Ordway

Mark Evanier once told a story about Jack Kirby when he worked at DC: Curt Swan once sighed and said that he was working on a really terrible Superman story. Kirby said, without irony or espionage whatsoever, "You mean it's possible to tell a bad Superman story?"

The past years under Mike "Dunderhead" Carlin have provided an answer to that question, proving the cynics right and the Kirby idealists wrong.

Through it all, though, was Jerry Ordway, going like a trooper he is, giving his all to what can charitably be described as chump scripts that missed the point of Superman. He, like Jack Kirby, felt that it wasn't possible to tell a bad Superman story. One wonders the heights he can achieve with a classic Superman, one that doesn't have to sport a Super-Mullet or eyes that glow red like the Terminator.

Nobody does grandiose superheroic action scenes with cars and cranes chucked better than Kirby, but Ordway comes close - watch the Black Adam/Captain Marvel fight in his POWER OF SHAZAM! miniseries and see if that doesn't get your fist pumping.
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NotSuper
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2005, 12:40:34 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
What will Busiek's Krypton look like? I don't know, but it will have two things going for it:

(1) It will be very Silver Age, in spirit if not in precise details;

You're probably right about it resembling the "spirit" of the Silver Age Krypton, but it won't resemble their style of dress. Busiek never really liked the fashion sense of pre-Crisis Kryptonians--that's not that to say he liked the way the post-Crisis ones dressed, either. I'd think his version of Krypton would be more similar to the one in the Donner film.

But however he designed it, I'm sure he'd add a lot of new concepts. It wouldn't be a complete re-tread of any era.
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NotSuper
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2005, 01:07:37 AM »

As for my own Superman Dream Team...

Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: George Perez
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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.
JulianPerez
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2005, 01:34:06 AM »

Quote from: "NotSuper"
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: George Perez


Ooooh, good choices. Though for me, I'd have to specify the well-adjusted, intellectual, humorous Alan Moore of today, instead of the depressed Alan Moore of 1985-1990. A friend of mine who had only read the slow-paced, dead serious (with "dead" being the operative phrase) WATCHMEN (possibly Alan Moore's worst work - but still better than 75% of most comics, especially today) was amazed to hear it when I described that Alan Moore had a wonderful sense of humor. His humor and charm is what makes him a great writer; as is his skill with characterization. Look how well defined every single member of the giant cast of TOP TEN is, for example. Even Alan himself admits his work in this period was pretty lousy; once he started taking Prozac or whatever it was, he got back into the groove.

I for one, am glad to say they never got about to making Alan's dreary TWILIGHT OF THE SUPER-HEROES; there was not a single thing there that really struck me as being that amusing. Combine that with the wholesale, pointless slaughter that was wildly out of character that read like something out of an issue of WHAT IF...? (where was it ever demonstrated Captain Atom had it in him to kill anyone - to say nothing of Wonder Woman?) the abject Batman worship, and the tired, cliche theme of superhero world government, and one sees a humorless story that would have most likely been destructive to Alan Moore's legacy.

It's not a question of "dark" vs. "light" - I always thought this was a specious, meaningless distinction, with Superman on one side (standing for "science fiction") and Batman on the other (standing for "realism"). SWAMP THING, for instance, was very "dark" but was wonderful because it was so funny and had a bizarre charm and was filled with acid-trip wild ideas. MIRACLEMAN had an emphasis on plausibility that was almost Michael Crichton-esque, but it too, was humorous and well-plotted. WATCHMEN and V FOR VENDETTA had none of the things that made the other works that they share qualities with work so well.

But today's Alan Moore today writing Superman - what a wonderful idea.

Quote from: "NotSuper"
Artist: George Perez


George Perez might be interesting as a Superman cover artist; remember the wonderful covers he did for JUSTICE LEAGUE when Gerry Conway was writer?

Though I'd lean towards Alan Davis more than George Perez myself, actually. Perhaps with inking by John Totleben or Rick Veitch?
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2005, 01:37:41 AM »

Dream teams, Pair them up however you wish:

Writers:

Alan Moore
Elliot S! Maggin
Kurt Busiek

Artists:

Art Adams
George Perez
Neal Adams
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2005, 01:58:05 AM »

This is going to sound like such a really morbid question, but...is Cary Bates still alive?

But I agree with you, SuperMonkey - Elliot S! Maggin, of the two great Schwartz-era writers, is the one I'd go with too. Not just because I love his take on Luthor, but because of the Schwartz writers he is the one that is most disposed to working on a modern comic. Consider:

    Maggin used extended story arcs featuring recurring characters;
    He developed the Superman world more in depth (with those bird-riding Vikings)
    Maggin developed character interaction more - at one point, he either wanted to pair up Superman with Lois or kill her off completely


Bates, while a genius, used gimmick-centered stories that were resolved in less than a single issue, and while his stories were wonderful, there are different expectations of modern readers, who expect long-term benefits from readership. Maggin, who used multiple issue stories and subplots involving background characters, is clearly the one better suited to the 21st Century.

Quote from: "SuperMonkey"
Neal Adams


I dunno - that would mean one more thing on Neal's checklist before he has to do the sequel to BUCKY O'HARE AND THE TOAD WARS.

Though anything that would tear an old great like Neal away from "Amateur Geology" and the gradual descent into madness - is welcome.

Why Neal, though? I know he did JIMMY OLSEN covers, but he's more a Batman kind of artist, isn't he?
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NotSuper
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2005, 02:23:07 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
WATCHMEN (possibly Alan Moore's worst work - but still better than 75% of most comics, especially today)

I have to disagree there. Watchmen is my favorite Alan Moore story (narrowingly edging out Miracleman) and, in my view, is everything a great comic should be. It had all the essentials a great super-hero book needs: action, drama, mystery, intrigue, and, perhaps most importantly, a good plot. Putting the Charlton heroes (or characters based on them) in a world where there existed a gray area was a stroke of genius on Moore's part. When I hear about all the awards the series has won (Kirby awards, Eisner awards, Hugo, ect) I'm never surprised.

As for Moore's worst work, I wouldn't want to speculate on that. I've literally liked everything I've read of his. Moore himself doesn't seem to regard The Killing Joke as a special piece of his work, though (despite the fact that many others do).

I'd like him to write Superman not only because he understands the character and won't be manipulated by fanboys, but also because he has incredible range as a writer. For example, he can write a story about eldritch horrors and he can also write a four-color super-hero story. Not many writers can do both successfully--Moore can and does quite often.
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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.
Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2005, 02:25:14 AM »

Writers: Evan Dorkin/Sarah Dyer
Artists: Chris Sprouse/Karl Story

Let's make Superman comics fun to read and easy on the eyes.
Eschew the dark and broody, the screwily squiggly, and the fugly.
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