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Author Topic: Some Rambling Thoughts On Superman  (Read 23004 times)
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Gernot
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2005, 03:25:14 PM »

Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"
Cool to hear, imagine what it would be if you came into a stash of Silver Age stuff without GBS, Morgan Edge, Kents the age they should be, hip language (at least no one took Snapper Carr seriously), Supergirl without a search for the "grooviest" costume, and a sense of goofy and yet never dated timelessness... Cheesy


Even though I was born in '62, and lived through quite a bit of the Silver Age, I think my favorite era of Superman was the Bronze Age.  I'd read a LOT of Superman comics through both eras, but the BA just seemed to be a LITTLE bit more on the serious side (unlike today's comics, which tend to take things on the GRIM side).  

Now, don't get me wrong:  I'm STILL a current-day comics fan, but I've NEVER seen Superman's artists cast him or his family in shadows so much before!
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2005, 03:29:45 PM »

Well, it wouldn't be any fun if we all agreed... Cool
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Gernot
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2005, 03:31:08 PM »

Naw, it just wouldn't be as MUCH fun!  

Don't you agree?  Wink
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2005, 01:07:04 AM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
IMHO, what differentiates Marvel in general from DC is their greater willingness to embrace fads and trendiness. Note the Silver Surfer (derived from the surfer teen fad of the 60s), the Inhumans (deriving from the hippies),. Dazzler (disco era hero), Shang Chi/Iron Fist (martial arts fad), Deathlok (bionics craze).


Oh...really now? DC doesn't chase fads?

Remember the KARATE KID series? Props to DC for jumping on the Kung Fu bandwagon several YEARS later. Better late than never, guys!

Remember BLACK LIGHTNING?

Remember ATARI FORCE?

Remember Denny's "Mod" Wonder Woman?

Remember WARLORD? (How hard could it possibly be to get a license for a real Sword & Sorcery character, anyway? Cheesy )

Remember Wolfman's "All-New, All-Different Teen Titans?"

Remember GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW? Superheroes caring about society or whatever was the Marvel guys' shtick until then.

And this is not even getting to Modern stuff.

DC chases fads just as much, they just aren't as savvy as Marvel used to be.
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TELLE
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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2005, 01:15:37 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"

I don't know about that; MASTER OF KUNG FU still has a wonderful charm about it, reading it years and years later.

It's best not to think of comics history in terms of what gave way in favor of what, because the opposite is usually true: there's give and take both ways. DC inspired the Marvel heroes, and Lee's characterization-heavy worldbuilding approach inspired DC right back.

So much of what was done in the Marvel Silver Age and the seventies didn't survive to the eighties so I wonder what you mean by "industry standard"; it certainly wasn't the use of thought bubbles, or electric bubbles at dramatic moments  and the dramatic asides by the wiseacre narrator in caption boxes that break the fourth wall ("Who's that making the scene? I'm afraid you'll have to see Ol' Webhead Next Ish, Marvelite!" or "How do you think you defeat a robot with the power of Thor? If you're Hawkeye...you don't.").


Thought bubbles and ironic, self-aware narration (the first a standard device in comic books and strips for a hundred years; the second, a shared device during the sixties and seventies, most strongly identified with Marvel and Smilin' Stan, but also evident in Mad, DC, and even Archie) were the last thing on my mind.  I'm thinking more in terms of plot and tone and of the late-70s.  Dark Phoenix, dead X-men, super-serious "topical" writing.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2005, 01:38:26 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"

Oh...really now? DC doesn't chase fads?


I gotta' agree with that, IMO DC chased fads in a ham-handed way and got me off my feed in the Bronze Age...

To me, they could have developed a finer science fiction and emphasized their rich history, rather than compete directly...the 70s were a weird time, by then counter culture was semi "normal" but watered down, it didn't work in DC comics, it seemed strange and forced...
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Gernot
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« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2005, 02:31:27 AM »

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.  

 
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2005, 02:39:18 AM »

I didn't say 'DC didn't chase fads'.  I said Marvel tended to do it more.

Line their characters and titles up against each other and you'll see Marvel tends to be more trendy.  And both companies fail miserably when they try it.  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.

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.

That same writer, O'Neill, also penned one of the landmark Superman storylines, The Sandman Saga.  Denny updated DC's characters but didn't lose their essential souls.  Even in the various Pre Crisis eras, DC has always updated the fashions and speech of their books, same goes for Marvel.  That's hardly trendy in the fundamental aspects.

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.

Again, both companies have visited the trendy route (ugh! Vibe and Gypsy still bring a bad taste to the back of my mouth).  But DC's heart really isn't in it as their forte has been the legendary route from the beginning thus explaining their more flagrant failures at it.
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Captain Kal

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