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Author Topic: Is the Superman who never fail more inspiring?  (Read 11645 times)
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2006, 12:23:54 AM »

Well, I suppose, but the scenes showing "unhappening" (reversing) being from Superman's point of view would be the only scenes from the movie from his point of view...
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2006, 03:17:09 AM »

The answer to your question is no. Like Michael Jordan, Superman has failed lots of times. I'll try to list some of Superman's major failures, in chronological order:

1. Losing his parents. Not his fault, but when going to Krypton, he always failed to save them.
2. Lyla Ler-Rol..the woman he loved more than anyone else, blown to smithereens on Krypton.
3. His friendship with Lex Luthor.
4. His relationship with Lana Lang, or lack thereof, during an awkward time in life.
5. Losing his parents...again. He was unable to save the Kents. He found out later that it wasn't his fault...but they were still dead anyway.
6. Proposal to Lori Lemaris...shot down!
7. William F. Cramer, college roommate, died in a burning building thinking that Clark was ignoring him. Clark didn't make it in time.
8. "Ducky," another college roommate, was a raging alcoholic, got in an accident, and was paralyzed.
9. "Superman's New Power" - he was outperformed by a mini version of himself, got jealous, and kind of murdered the little guy if you want to know the truth, or at least tried to.
10. Parenting....loser! Dropped his cousin off at an orphanage.
11. Smallville people: Lana turned out alright, but Pete Ross went on to have personal problems that even a Superman couldn't solve. And Lex Luthor...well, you know how that turned out.
12. Failed to keep Lois from marrying a weird Kryptonian named Dahr-Nel...although Dahr-Nel did mysteriously die from a chunk of green k  from Superman's fortress. Hmm...
13. Many tragedies occurred in the 30th century that I cannot list here.

Those were some examples, and that's not even counting the many stories where Superman was written to fail on purpose, just to prove the worth of Jimmy Olsen or Snapper Carr.
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nightwing
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« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2006, 01:29:23 PM »

Quote
My opinion was (and still is) that the moviemakers were showing Superman traveling backward in time. The "time reversal" effect showed the events "unhappening" from Superman's POV.


Wow, this old subject again!

Another of the many problems with this scene: remember that Lois dies because Superman has to triage a whole host of disasters and decide on a priority for dealing with them.  Ms Teschmacher makes it harder by insisting he save New Jersey first, which gives the California missile time to detonate, unleashing a string of mishaps for Supes to correct; the dam, the school bus, the fault itself, and so on.  If he really turns back time the most he could do is go back and re-prioritize the various crises.  So, if he saves Lois, who does he allow to die?  The residents of New Jersey?  Somebody in California?  Since the fissure is not even near Lois' car when he returns, can we assume the California missile never went off?  If so, then I guess New Jersey has been blasted off the map.  My condolences to any Jerseyites on this board.  :cry:

As for "never failing," there is a difference between a miscalculation or an inability for superpowers to fix everything, and a basic lack of direction or will.  It's not so much that modern Superman fails, as WHY he fails.  Luthor pulls crimes and gets away again and again, but Dr Doom did that for years and we never hated the FF for it.  The real problem is that Superman wallows in self-pity and moral uncertainty and never seems to have any faith in himself or any clue how to use his powers.  I can accept a Superman who makes an honest effort, goofs it up, and goes in to fix his goof.  I cannot accept a Superman who fails to act because he can't decide on a proper course of action, or whether he even has a right to act at all.

I think what irks me most about post-Crisis Supes is not that Lex beats him all the time, but that, all things considered, I'd be tempted to beat him up too if I ever met him.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2006, 01:23:22 AM »

Nightwing's point summed up the matter succinctly: Superman ought to fail, but because he miscalculated, didn't know all the facts, or his opponent is just incredibly incompetent, but not because of a lack of inner fortitude or lack of direction.

One of my biggest problems with LORD OF THE RINGS is, the bad guys never do anything right there. Not once. They never win any battle (except a meaningless one in the third movie that did not involve any major characters), they kidnap two Hobbits but they were the WRONG two Hobbits, and so on.

One thing that ought to be avoided with Superman however, which is indulged in recent times, is "Beat up on Worf" syndrome.

The name comes from the fact that to show how tough the new cyborg, shapechanger, squid alien or whatever they just introduced is, they have the thing beat up Worf. The consequence of this was, after a while, nobody thought Worf was all that tough anymore.

The same has been done for Superman. Wanna show how smart Batman is, or how fast the Flash is, or how smart this or that person is? Have them beat up Worf...er, I mean Superman. Thus, Superman's own intelligence and strength have gone unappreciated.
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2006, 12:11:44 PM »

Interesting opinions, thank you all. Let's continue.

Elliot S! maggin said:

"An irregular pentagon containing a stylized "S" blazed over the boy's chest and cape. On that hill, silently, he promised himself and whatever else might hear his toughts that his life would be devoted to the preservation of life; that he would use his powers whenever possible to save and improve the conditions of life and of living things everywhere; that under no circunstance would he ever be responsible for the lost of a single conscious life; that failing in these affirmations, he would renounce his power forever.

There could be no nobler mission for a superman".

This is not like saying Superman would never fail in anything, just about the human life. I suport that. We all know that both the pre and post Crisis have killed. Not talking about the Golden Age and pre-moral code here. Pre-Crisis Superman killed in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow and indeed renounced his powers forever. Hence, that was his last story. Post-Crisis killed in the infamous Pocket Universe Byrne story. He exiled himself in space, found redemption and made a promess of never kill again (but he would kill the Cyborg in Reing of Supermen). About the killing, I know that the circunstances were different, that in the Moore story it was necessary (maybe) and in the Byrne story it was murder (for sure).

But the question is, one version did give up on his mission as protector, leader and inspiration of all humanity. The other killed, but learned from that (I think it's possible for a killer in the real world to find redemption, too) and didn't stop being Superman. I know that the story Moore wanted to tell was written to be the end of the pre-Crisis mythos, but still.

Opinions?
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2006, 08:14:50 PM »

Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, while a good story, was essentially Alan Moore throwing a temper tantrum and destroying everything because Byrne was coming. While I like to think of it as actually happening, I don't think it was true of the Silver Age or Bronze Age Superman to renounce his powers because of Mxyzptlk's death, which was essentially an accident.

Superman-as-executioner is one of the things I don't like about the Superman of the late 80s. In 1980, Miracle Monday had Superman spend an entire novel NOT killing an aggravating foe. That was more true to the character since WWII.
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NotSuper
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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2006, 02:58:52 AM »

Regarding the time travel scene in Superman: The Movie, I think Smallville handled it better. Imagine if Kal went to Jor-El after Lois died and pleaded for help. Jor-El gives Kal a crystal, he goes back in time, and he succeeds in saving Lois. However, due to Jor-El's cryptic message about not interfering in human history, the Fortress and the essense of Jor-El are lost forever.

Or he could've just given Lois super-CPR.  Smiley
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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.
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