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Author Topic: Some Rambling Thoughts On Superman  (Read 23076 times)
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2005, 03:02:47 AM »

Well, I bought two issues of GL/GA at the time and watched GL being forced into a "law and order" role and GA assuming the riteous role and I kept thinking is this Paul Revere and the Raiders story of "Indian Nation" without Casey Kasim talking the story up on America's Top Forty every Sunday morning...why was either character forced to assume such a polarized view?  For an award?  The story of native Americans is way bigger than that, super heroes have a story that doesn't fit that story...

My last purchased issue of comics ever was the Superman issue after the Sandman Saga, one where Supes was again flying into space and knocked backward in time by a super nova to a planet where he had a weird relationship with a starry eyed space siren and by flying back, ruined "miracle potions" said to cure all of the world's ills...even there a contradiction of his mission, and I wondered, "no matter what I feel about the world, what do these heroes think anymore"...
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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2005, 03:08:31 AM »

Quote from: "Gernot"
One of the funniest fads I remember seeing in a Superman comic was the Planet of the Apes story in a Silver Age World's Finest issue.  


then there is this: http://www.lethargiclad.com/gorilla/
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Gary
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« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2005, 07:35:56 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
I didn't say 'DC didn't chase fads'.  I said Marvel tended to do it more.


Marvel also tended to go off the deep end with these things. Both DC and Marvel might get interested in movie monsters (for example), but where DC would put out one book and see how it goes, Marvel would put out twenty.

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
All such characters are obsolete and dated, regardless of how much Silver Surfer fans refuse to acknowledge their fave is based on a long gone 60s phenomenon.


While the Surfer isn't my favorite, I do enjoy reading him when he has a decent writer. I think the reason why Surfy works (IMO) is because he didn't go too far with his trend. Yes, he uses a surfboard as a prop, but that's it. He doesn't wear jams, and he doesn't talk like a surfer. "Whoa! Radical, dude!" Had they written him like that, he probably would've fared about as well as the Dazzler.

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
GL/GA must have done something right to win the awards it did for best writer, best artist, best inker, and I don't know what else.  It was a critical success even if the sales figures didn't pan out.  What was that before about actual quality of the books vs sales figures?  Green Arrow developed his defining character instead of being another mayonaissey copy off the assembly line.  Hal/GL's character grew the most in this series too.  And a Guardian becoming closer to humanity, and the overpopulation problem on Maltus brought the high-and-mighty immortals down to Earth.


I think GL/GA was a pioneering work. The problem with venturing into new territory, of course, is that sometimes you take wrong turns -- in this series' case, they had a tendency to deliver the message with the subtlety of a nuclear blast. But there never would've been a Watchmen without GL/GA or something like it.

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Wolfman's Teen Titans worked and resonated with the fans using both existing and new characters.  That's something that previous several incarnations and creative teams had failed to accomplish.


It's hard to believe Titans wasn't inspired by X-Men. Not that I think anybody deliberately decided to follow a trend or to rip Marvel off -- more likely it's just a case of imagination being the sincerest form of flattery. Unfortunately, Wolfman isn't the writer Claremont is.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2005, 07:44:38 PM »

It must be noted that the Silver Surfer's real name is Norrin Rad, as in "Radical, dude!" Cheesy  That is a bit off the deep end right in his own name.

I see little derivative in Wolfman's Teen Titans that screams 'X-copy' aside from the new team aspect.  The characters, characterization, themes -- everything is pretty much different from the X-Clowns.  The closest we get is Cyborg's self-pity for being half-human but that is more internal as he certainly isn't derided by the people he protects like the Marvel mutants are.  Changeling is the closest thing they had to a mutant -- a mutate according to the OHTMU definition -- and he had no alienation or other socio-psychological problems.  The team seemed to be pretty well-balanced psychologically compared with their X-Buddies at Marvel.

It's not like Byrne's swiping Parker's origin and inflicting that motivation on Clark Kent on the gridiron.  heh heh
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Captain Kal

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JulianPerez
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« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2005, 08:45:57 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Wolfman's Teen Titans worked and resonated with the fans using both existing and new characters. That's something that previous several incarnations and creative teams had failed to accomplish.


My kneejerk response is to say something like, “hey, just because they failed doesn’t mean it wasn’t any good,” but then there was to my memory, nothing truly extraordinary about the second Titans incarnation that came before Marv's, so touche.

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
GL/GA must have done something right to win the awards it did for best writer, best artist, best inker, and I don't know what else. It was a critical success even if the sales figures didn't pan out. What was that before about actual quality of the books vs sales figures? Green Arrow developed his defining character instead of being another mayonaissey copy off the assembly line.


Just because it won awards doesn’t automatically mean you have to like it. The people that give awards are not high and mighty deities with minds beyond comprehension who can instantly determine greatness; they are fans, like you and me, who base decisions on subjective criteria. For all of its Oscar nominations, I saw nothing extraordinary about THE AVIATOR, for instance; it paled easily in comparison to possibly the greatest biopic of recent times, MALCOLM X, which did something AVIATOR could not do, namely show us WHY this person thought what they thought and did what they did.

I never saw what was so great about GL/GA. It’s sanctimonious, humorless tone is as unintentionally funny as a heavy-handed afterschool special. All the same, though, you are right that it was successful in one thing: Green Arrow was given a personality and an identity apart from being a painfully obvious copy using the Batman model.
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« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2005, 07:08:07 AM »

GL/GA also gave us Neal Adams as a high-water mark.  In reality a pernicious influence on cartooning.  As much as I loved his art when I first discovered it (for the record, his best work is Superman/Ali  Cheesy ).

GA having a personality is a plus, though.

As for other 70s books mentioned, MOKF is overrated: Sax Rohmer did some parts better, Bruce Lee and David Carradine did others better.  For the most part, the reach of the creative teams exceeded their grasps: variable art, purple prose and the serial, 15-20 page structure were ultimately the downfall of the project.  On the other hand --a pioneering U.S. non-superhero adventure comic/proto-graphic novel.  But then, I haven't sat down and read the whole thing in 20 years (is it even collected at all in trade paperbacks?).

Titans was at least INTENDED to rival Claremont's projects, repeating a 20-year-old pattern beginning at least with FF/JLA.  And Wolfman was a"Marvel" writer.  80s not 70s, I guess.

Seeing all the trend-chasing mentioned in this thread makes me realize that it wasn't just Kirby channeling pop culture through his comics, but most of the writers editors and artists at the big 2.
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SteamTeck
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« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2005, 12:47:48 PM »

Gary wrote

" I think GL/GA was a pioneering work. The problem with venturing into new territory, of course, is that sometimes you take wrong turns -- in this series' case, they had a tendency to deliver the message with the subtlety of a nuclear blast. But there never would've been a Watchmen without GL/GA or something like it. "

 But even Alan Moore admits that although he thinks Watchman is some of his best work that he feels it was influentual in destroying  the optimism and creativty of comics so this is not a good thing. For the record I loathed ( not to strong a word) both series.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2005, 04:22:27 PM »

I think we're missing the point on this sidetracked thread re: these books and characters.

GL/GA was a pioneer in social relevance for comics.  That's hardly faddish nor trendy since they started the darn thing.

Wolfman's Teen Titans, whether they aped Marvel or not, is similarly not a product of fads as that same team and characters could have applied to any era, not that specific one.  Certainly Cyborg came far after Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers had run their course for popularity.  The other new/adapted Titans weren't part of any popular craze of that time.  And the old guard just looked better with Perez doing the art.

While their contemporary New X-Men originally weren't faddish either, they did become so trying to tap into the punk rocker era with Storm's horrible mohawk and black leather look, the obviously punk Morlocks, Colossus' outfit altered to look like an S&M suit, and Rogue's similarly ugly frizzed-out hairdo and punk costume.  Titans never stooped to anything like that.

I don't think the case has been proven that DC was trendy or faddish with these guys.

Now, Vibe and Gypsy are another story ... *blechh!*
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Captain Kal

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