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Author Topic: Some Rambling Thoughts On Superman  (Read 23077 times)
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2005, 09:43:04 PM »

Quote from: "TELLE"
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 ).


I was just looking at the Superman/Ali  issue, that to me is one of the Quintessential Bronze Age Superman stories, it was so 1970's, and it could not of happen at any other time.
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laurel
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« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2005, 10:20:54 PM »

please ignore.  sorry.  i think i have it figured out now.
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TELLE
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« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2005, 04:43:24 AM »

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


There's a difference between following a fad from the larger popular culture (surfing, dystopian sci-fi futures ruled by apes, asian martial arts, disco, rap) and following fads from within the comics culture (teen super-teams, "adult" melodramas with lots of interior monologues and por/pre-tentious narration, social relevancy with after-school special-style themes involving social problems like drugs, poverty and racism, etc).

GA/GL largely started a fad and other superhero comics followed it for 10 years, with diminishing results.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2005, 04:49:47 AM »

It started something that super heroes couldn't finish...

Hate, distrust and ambivelence are the other end of a spectrum that conceives of righting wrongs...O'Neil gave Ollie a character that was nothing more than a REAL cartoon...
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« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2005, 04:52:37 AM »

But that's OK, I can't work up a real hate for any reflection of the times that people live in... Cool
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2005, 09:48:32 PM »

Quote from: "TELLE"
Quote from: "Captain Kal"
GL/GA was a pioneer in social relevance for comics.  That's hardly faddish nor trendy since they started the darn thing.


There's a difference between following a fad from the larger popular culture (surfing, dystopian sci-fi futures ruled by apes, asian martial arts, disco, rap) and following fads from within the comics culture (teen super-teams, "adult" melodramas with lots of interior monologues and por/pre-tentious narration, social relevancy with after-school special-style themes involving social problems like drugs, poverty and racism, etc).

GA/GL largely started a fad and other superhero comics followed it for 10 years, with diminishing results.


No argument there, Telle.  You're right on all points.

The context of my response was I stated Marvel tended to go with fads more than DC in terms of real world trends.  Going by that criterion, then DC is less guilty than Marvel on this front, though not entirely innocent.  Anything associated with real world fads tends to become obsolete and dated, most assuredly including comics.  That was my original point.

Comics industry fads are a bit less certain in this regard.  They cannot be truly said to become dated as at least some dedicated pockets of fans and/or creators will still be devoted to them.  The genre and its devotees are defining what they like and accept which doesn't necessarily have an expiry date.

Superman or Spider-Man, for examples, are not tied to specific times or fashions.  They can and have been updated in superficials while retaining some viable core elements.

Silver Surfer or Vibe are clearly dated concepts tied too strongly to fads of their own eras (surfer dude movies and breakdancing respectively).  A reason exists why these characters cannot sustain interest beyond the limited eras they were conceived in.

While the base concepts for Teen Titans and X-Men were not faddish, the latter's creators chose to key more heavily into a punk rock era trapping which started affecting the basic themes and characterizations of the X-books.
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Captain Kal

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« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2005, 02:27:42 AM »

I just have to say how much I LOVE this place!  

You guys took what was originally just some rambling nonsense, and really turned it into some great discussion!  

Wow...  

I'll have to ramble MORE in the future!   Cheesy
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2005, 04:47:35 PM »

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


But even there, GL/GA can hardly be considered to be innovative or a trend-starter.

The notion of superheroes giving a plug about greater society in general was created by Marvel, not DC: The Marvel people told anti-racist parables as far back as the "Sons of the Serpent" story by Roy Thomas in AVENGERS in 1966 (this, in an era where entire southern towns had memberships composed of the KKK; antiracism wasn't the impossible to disagree with cliche it is today), the Harry Osborn drug addiction story in Spider-Man, Englehart's Captain America becoming "Nomad, the Man without a country," Richard Nixon revealed to be a super-villain (!), the "ban the bomb" subtext of KREE-SKRULL WARS, the environmentalism inherent in Namor, among others.

And let's not forget the Roy Thomas/Englehart use of the Squadron Supreme, who represented a universe that was pure leftist conspiracy theory: in the Squadron Supreme Earth, Nelson Rockefeller was president. That's the 1960s/70s equivalent of an earth where Kenneth Lay is president.

Placed into this context, GL/GA is a latecomer instead of an innovator. In 1974, If GL/GA came out at Marvel, nobody would have noticed.

Here's a question, just to satisfy my curiosity:

Is there anybody whose personal politics are conservative/right-wing who actually enjoyed GL/GA? And why?

Heavy handed political views that one does not agree with can ruin a book; for instance, I for one, as a liberal/progressive, cannot enjoy Steve Ditko's fascist fantasy MR. A (STARSHIP TROOPERS without the sense of humor, charm, or satire) or the Ayn Rand subtext of Frank Miller's work, for example. Then again, it may be the case that some works with right-of-center themes that I can enjoy (LENSMEN has frighteningly jingoistic anti-Union sentiments and eugenics theory, but I nonetheless can appreciate it as a well-told adventure science fiction novel) because they "work" for reasons apart from the fact you either agree with the theme or you don't; they are successful as stories in and of themselves.
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