superman.nuMary Immaculate of Lourdes NewtonHolliston School Committeefacebook    
  •   forum   •   KRISTIN WELLS' "FINAL ENTRY!" •   fortress   •  
Superman Through the Ages! Forum
News: Superman Through the Ages! now located at theAges.superman.nu
 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
May 23, 2024, 08:53:19 PM


Login with username, password and session length


Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: A Sermon Supreme #1: I Don't Want Origins to Honor the Past.  (Read 15674 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Gangbuster
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 589



« on: December 20, 2005, 10:58:57 PM »

This is partly a rant, and I hope the title has sufficiently warned you of this. I even included a number, so that I might number my rants in the future...I've been quite prolific in these past few days.

As I stated, and the more I've thought about it, I don't want Superman origins to honor Superman's past. I want them to contain Superman's past. It may, in fact, be a result of DC's editorial shenanigans that we have the former instead of the latter (and we have that only because of hard work by fans and writers.) Let me pose Spider-Man (another of my childhood favorites) as an example.

I have not read Spider-Man for years, but if I decided to suddenly subscribe to Spider-Man comics, if I have children for example, I would know several things to be true. The first Spider-Man story, in Amazing Fantasy #15, is still the first Spider-Man story. The first big villian that he faced was the Chameleon. His greatest nemesis was Green Goblin. Gwen Stacy is still dead. He married MaryJane Watson.

As for Superman, I am forced to buy only out-of-continuity stories, like Kingdom Come, Bizarro Comics, or All-Star Superman, because subscribing to a monthly Superman comic would require too much logical anguish and pain. There are 70 years' worth of Superman stories, and many are not worth mentioning again. But some are: just like the highlights of Spider-Man history above, I want to know the highlights of Superman's past when I pick up a new issue, things that affect his story today. And if these things do not matter...how Lyla died, how a canine followed his master through the vastness of space, a definite origin for principal foes like Luthor or Brainiac...then Superman fans will inevitably fall into two camps. One will not bother to read past stories, because they have no relation to the present. The other will not buy new comics, because they do not continue from the past. To the comics industry, which relies heavily on new magazines printed every month, the growth of the second camp is the most threatening.

Now, as far as Superman comics go, where did Superman's continuity go wrong? With the first continuity fix...Superman of Earth-2. This is a conclusion that I've reached very recently, as I have agreed with everything that Superman of Earth-2 has said so far in Infinite Crisis, and I can't find anything that I do not like about the character. Yet I have come to the conclusion that separating two Flashes, Green Lanterns, and Hawkmen into different earths is helpful and easy, while separating the Earth-1 and Earth-2 adventures of Superman is impossible. Take a look at this 1970s history of Superman, before a Superman of Earth-2 was introduced:

http://superman.nu/tales4/sand/1/?page=16

[While forgiving the big deal of Supergirl's costume change] Isn't that simple and easy? It keeps everything in one constant stream of time, avoiding the paralell universe of Earth-2 Superman, the "never happened" of Crisis, and the "everything is true" of Hypertime. The problem with continuity is continuity fixes!

Granted, Superman: Birthright is a good book, and it's everything that DC would let people get away with at that time. But it simply honors Superman's past. I want an origin that contains Superman's past.

somakelastsonofkryptontheofficialoriginofsupermantheend...justkidding
Logged

"Trying to capture my wife, eh? That makes me SUPER-MAD!"

-"Superman", 1960

NotSuper
Action Ace
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 512



« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2005, 11:29:14 PM »

That's quite a good rant, and I agree with quite a bit of what you said. It's a shame that great stories like "For the Man Who Has Everything" and "Must There Be a Superman?" aren't in continuity.

I hope that you write more of these.
Logged

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.
Kurt Busiek
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 214



WWW
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2005, 12:41:32 AM »

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"
Take a look at this 1970s history of Superman, before a Superman of Earth-2 was introduced:

http://superman.nu/tales4/sand/1/?page=16

[While forgiving the big deal of Supergirl's costume change] Isn't that simple and easy? It keeps everything in one constant stream of time, avoiding the paralell universe of Earth-2 Superman, the "never happened" of Crisis, and the "everything is true" of Hypertime. The problem with continuity is continuity fixes!


That's not actually "before a Superman of Earth-2 was introduced" -- the Earth-Two distinction had been made in the 1960s, and the Earth-2 Superman had appeared in JLA/JSA team-ups.

That ad focuses on change in the way Superman's been presented over the years; even when published, it wasn't intended as a description of the then-current Superman's actual history.

kdb
Logged
Gangbuster
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 589



« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2005, 01:09:03 AM »

You're right. I stand corrected. :oops:

Still, I those six panels are a decent template of the sort of thing I'm talking about. I don't think that Earth-2 Superman, when presented as an alternate version of Superman that diverges when he continues to work at the Daily Star, is bad. I think the problem is the next logical step, that Earth-2 Superman + Earth-1 Superman makes up the Superman we've been reading all along. The pieces of the puzzle do not fit.

It may have been a better idea (with my 20/20 hindsight) to have both Supermen work at the Daily Star, and have Earth-1 Superman eventually move on. Superman of Earth-2 would be in a divergent reality, always living in the Golden Age, but until the point of divergence they would have about the same backstory. It's much easier to correct "Mary Kent vs. Martha Kent" than it is to correct "Where did the 1940s go?"  Cheesy
Logged

"Trying to capture my wife, eh? That makes me SUPER-MAD!"

-"Superman", 1960

NotSuper
Action Ace
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 512



« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2005, 05:47:35 AM »

I've always liked the idea of the Daily Star becoming the Daily Planet, and George Taylor being replaced by Perry White.

The whole different power thing could work well if done right. You could have Superman's original powers (Golden Age levels) be natural and have him develop stronger powers due to the yellow solar radiation or however else you want to explain them. Then he could have his powers be reduced, existing somewhere between both power levels. Of course, this presents a problem with other Kryptonians (like Supergirl) but a clever writer could figure out ways around that.

There's any number of ways Superman could be presented, which is a testament to how great a character he is.
Logged

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.
TELLE
Supermanica Council
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1705



WWW
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2005, 08:02:26 AM »

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"
I would know several things to be true. The first Spider-Man story, in Amazing Fantasy #15, is still the first Spider-Man story. The first big villian that he faced was the Chameleon. His greatest nemesis was Green Goblin. Gwen Stacy is still dead. He married MaryJane Watson.


See, since I stopped reading Spider-Man long before the wedding, this seems like a "post-Crisis" event to me.  Even if the Crisis in question is my late-adolescent comic book buying crisis.  A married Spider-Man seems like a fake, new Spider-Man, along the lines of Byrne's Superman.
Logged

Everything you ever wanted to
know about the classic Superman:
Supermanica
The Encyclopedia of Supermanic Biography!
(temporarily offline)
Kal's Pal
Superman Emergency Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 50



« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2005, 12:11:22 PM »

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"
As I stated, and the more I've thought about it, I don't want Superman origins to honor Superman's past. I want them to contain Superman's past.


That is something I've noticed in the more modern version of Supes, the existence of a range of character-building story events that are looked back on as pivotal moments in his career, (in comparrison to say, Marvel's Spider-Man or the X-Men), the only two that come to mind are his death at the hands of Doomsday, and his marriage to Lois, and also more recently, the arrival of Supergirl - but even then, the introduction of Birthright has made to it difficult to reconcile all those events from 1985 onwards into current continuity as they were originally depicted in the comics. (Doomsday for instance, is a product of the genetic science of The Man of Steel Krypton, yet he has still made appearances since Birthright and it's new version of Krypton was rendered as the 'official' origin).

In fairness, Mort Wessinger made efforts to expand Superman into a fully fledged mythology during the 'Silver Age' (though admitedlly at the expense of the previous versions of the character) with having the adventures of Superboy, arrival of Supergirl, the finding of Kandor, encounters with the Legion as major moments in Supes' career. These were events that were returned to, and explored in many stories, and as such, were major turning points in Superman's career.

Also, the death of the Kents in Clark's youth is a major defining moment for the character before he becomes Superman, but it is a moot point since the Kents are now alive in recent continuity.
Logged

"Fellow scientists! Krypton is DOOMED!"
TELLE
Supermanica Council
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1705



WWW
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2005, 02:13:46 PM »

more pivotal events:

-finding Krypto
-the romance with Lori
-going to work at the Planet
-going to work for WGBS
-meeting Batman
-founding/joining JLA
Logged

Everything you ever wanted to
know about the classic Superman:
Supermanica
The Encyclopedia of Supermanic Biography!
(temporarily offline)
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

CURRENT FORUM

Archives: OLD FORUM  -  DCMB  -  KAL-L
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! Dilber MC Theme by HarzeM
Entrance ·  Origin ·  K-Metal ·  The Living Legend ·  About the Comics ·  Novels ·  Encyclopaedia ·  The Screen ·  Costumes ·  Read Comics Online ·  Trophy Room ·  Creators ·  ES!M ·  Fans ·  Multimedia ·  Community ·  Supply Depot ·  Gift Shop ·  Guest Book ·  Contact & Credits ·  Links ·  Coming Attractions ·  Free E-mail ·  Forum

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
The LIVING LEGENDS of SUPERMAN! Adventures of Superman Volume 1!
Return to SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES!
The Complete Supply Depot for all your Superman needs!