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Author Topic: A journey in the past  (Read 7597 times)
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Genis Vell
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« on: February 14, 2006, 09:32:10 AM »

Just a question.
How did you react when the most important events in Superman's life in the last 20 years were published? Or, if you weren't Super fan yet, "How did you react when you first read those stories?".

1) The last Superman story.
2) The reboot.
3) Superman as a killer.
4) The death.
5) The long haired Superman.
6) The wedding.
7) The Blue suit.
8) Waid's new origins.

Let's begin...

1) I have read it 3 years ago circa. I considered it one of the best stories ever, and I still do. But, when I have began to collect the pre-Crisis stories, I have understood how sad is this story. An end of an era... A great era.

2) I have always loved MOS and I'll always do. It was the best Superman I had seen at the time. By the way, I thought that DC could relaunch the character even without erasing the previous continuity.

3) I discovered it reading a story which summarized the Superman saga from MOS to the Blue Superman. I felt very sorry, Superman doesn't kill! Then, reading the Golden Age stories, I learned that the original Superman did the same and with no regrets.

4) I was 9, and I heard it at the tv news. "Dad, it's true?"; "Nope, it's only a marketing idea". I didn't like Superman at the time, but I was sorry for his death. 10 years later I have read the story. An important part of comics history... But not a good one.

5) Sigh. He seemed an adult who tries to seem younger. Ridicolous.

6) It seemed logical. By the way, I preferred the engagement.

7) It was announced on newspapers. I loved that suit, but of course I didn't want it forever.

8) "Hey, they're changing the past! Stop!". Now I don't really care for those small changes in the post-Crisis continuity. The most important things are still the same.
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Permanus
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2006, 10:24:37 AM »

1) You mean Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? I loved that. I was about 18 then and hadn't been reading Superman for a while, though I had been picking up just about everything else Alan Moore was writing -- Swamp Thing, Miracleman, you name it. It was charming and reverential, and really brought a lump to the throat. Wow! Hard to believe it was 20 years ago.

2) I have to admit (buries his face in shame), I was really excited about John Byrne's reboot. I had read his Fantastic Four and Alpha Flight and really enjoyed them. Now I look at them and can't even remember what I ever saw in them. Same goes for Man of Steel. I realise now that I actually hated it even back then, I just didn't like to admit it to myself. I'd got too jazzed up about it.

3) Superman executing the three Phantom Zone villains. It wasn't even self-defence or anything. He robbed them of their powers, and then murdered them in cold blood. I don't care about the rationale they gave for this (it would be too risky to leave them alive, oh yeah, sure. Then why doesn't he just kill all the supervillains while he's at it?), I hated every single panel of that accursed comic book.

4) I knew it was a marketing gimmick, and that Superman would be back, but that story was a real downer. My father died the same month. Thanks, DC!

Apart from that, quite a lot could have been done with this story if it hadn't been such a pompous, crossover-laden affair. He should have got ambushed in a back alley by Lex Luthor, weakened by Kryptonite, and quietly shot in the back of the head with a silenced gun. Then you could have had a whole story where Batman solves the case, the body disappears, and Superman eventually returns. None of that Doomsday tomfoolery.

5) I don't want to think of the long-haired Superman ever again.

6) One day, Clark will wake up in apartment 3-D at 344 Clinton Street and say: "Great krypton! What a strange dream... I dreamt I was married to Lois, and that she knew I am really Superman! Of course, I could never allow that to happen in real life. If nothing else, it would make our relationship a lot less interesting! Just as well it was ONLY A DREAM!" (Winks at reader)

7) I had pretty much stopped reading the Superman titles by then, so I sort of missed out on it. Just another marketing gimmick, and not a very good one at that.

8 ) [How do you do 8 and close brackets without turning it into a Smiley Face with sunglasses?] I only picked up Birthright just before Christmas, and I have to say, I really liked it with only a few minor exceptions. I really think Jonathan and Martha should be dead by the time he puts the costume on. There should be that element of tragedy to the character, that he has lost so much and is alone in the world. But hey, I can live with it. The return of the geeky Clark Kent was very welcome, and I am happy that his suit is made of Kryptonian blankets. (I can't explain why that last point is important to me.) I even liked the depiction of Krypton, a somewhat upgraded version of the 1950s vision. Any alien planet that has flying cars is okay with me.
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RedSunOfKrypton
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2006, 12:51:37 PM »

You check the box above [Preview] [Submit] marked "Disable Smilies in this post".
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2006, 03:54:19 PM »

1) The last Superman story.

I wasn't collecting Superman at the time, but I bought these two issues on the strength of Moore as the writer, and liked them a lot. Good tribute to the Silver and Bronze Ages.

2) The reboot.

While not opposed to the idea of a reboot on principle, I found that Byrne didn't have the writing talent to carry it through. Most of his stories were just villain-of-the-week things (with or without guest heroes) where Supey would usually use some gimmick to win. Once the books were in the hands of better writers, I liked them and started buying them regularly.

3) Superman as a killer.

Pardon the pun, but execution is everything. IMO, Superman having to face a kill-or-be-killed situation is a great idea because of the test of his character it provides. But this one was so horribly botched that it ended up being just lame. First of all, I thought the idea was to make a clean break with the past. After they went through all of the trouble to eliminate the old continuity, why let it creep back in again? Secondly, as Permanus points out above, the "kill-or-be-killed" case wasn't made to the extent that it needed to be. Thirdly, Superman's reaction to the whole thing afterwards made no sense at all.

4) The death.

While it was obvious that they weren't going to leave him dead, I did enjoy these stories nevertheless. Worst parts about it were the many plot contrivances (which have been discussed elsewhere so I won't). Best parts were John Henry Irons, and the writing debut of Karl Kesel, who I still think is one of the all-time best Superman writers.

5) The long haired Superman.

Um, whatever. One of the best things about the post-Byrne continuity, IMO, is that they were willing to change the characters in ways that were at least semi-permanent. But as far as this particular change goes, I'm indifferent.

6) The wedding.

Again, I admire their willingness to take a chance on making major changes. After fifty-some years of status quo in their relationship, I think this possibility deserved to be explored.

7) The Blue suit.

And blue face to match. Bleah. This really didn't work for me, so much so that I stopped buying the comics at this point.

8) Waid's new origins.

Not familiar enough with them to comment.
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shazamtd
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2006, 03:56:23 PM »

Quote
Just a question.
How did you react when the most important events in Superman's life in the last 20 years were published? Or, if you weren't Super fan yet, "How did you react when you first read those stories?".

1) The last Superman story.
2) The reboot.
3) Superman as a killer.
4) The death.
5) The long haired Superman.
6) The wedding.
7) The Blue suit.
8) Waid's new origins.


1)  I remember thinking "How could it be the last Superman story?  I thought Superman would last forever."  I didn't realize then that DC was starting over with Superman.  When I did read it years later I thought it was a very good story and a very good ending to the Superman saga.

2)  I was 11 going on 12 at the time and I have to admit I thought it was fantastic.  I look at it today and I see there really isn't much of a story there.

3)  I thought "Doesn't John Byrne know Superman doesn't kill?"

4)  It was my senior year in high school.  Superman #75 came out the same week as my birthday and I was (pardon the pun)  thrilled to death.  Today I don't think it's as great as I did back then.  I don't think it's a terrible story I just think that it's an idea that could have been handled much better.  (See Superman vol. 1 #149)

5)  I liked it then and I like it now.  I think it was a clever way to update Superman's look without changing too much.  

6)  I've always preferred Superman and Lois not being married.  I also prefer Lois not knowing Clark is Superman.  

7)  HATE IT!  HATE IT!  HATE IT!  This for me was the last straw.  I stopped picking up Superman after this fiasco.

8)  I haven't read "Birthright"  so I can't comment on it.  
I did think they were on the right track with Superman #166.  I don't know what made DC change their minds and do everything over completly like they did with MOS.
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2006, 06:19:24 PM »

1) The last Superman story.

Alan Moore is my favorite writer in comics, so I loved this story while it was a bit grim it was also a fitting tribute.

2) The reboot.

When this series was released and I read it, I hated it and it made me stop reading Superman comics for a very long time. Looking back, it is actually even worst than I remembered it, which is saying something.

3) Superman as a killer.

Hands down the worst storyline ever, it really showcases what a horribly bad writer John Byrne is.

4) The death.

I didn't mind them killing of SIN-O (Superman in Name Only) since he wasn't even the real superman anyway, but it was such a lame mindless tale with really bad artwork. Just an awful gimmick to sucker people into buying comics who never brought comics before. One of the biggest nails in the coffin of the comic boom of the time.

5) The long haired Superman.

Yet another piece of evidence that showed just how worthless and pathetic those 90's superman comics really were.

6) The wedding.

Yet another gimmick to sucker viewers of the Lois and Clark TV show to buy the comics, it made the TV show so bad and unwatchable that it was canceled. It also ruined the comics to boot.

7) The Blue suit.

Just when you thought DC couldn't stink any lower, they pull this. This is right up there with that Spiderman Clone storyline.


Cool Waid's new origins.

Too much Smallville connections which DC forced on him, but besides that, it was light years better than the garbage that DC was vomiting out before.
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DBN
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2006, 06:39:37 PM »

1. Great story and a fine tribute to the SA/BA Superman.

2. Thought it was good for its time when it was first released.

3. Didn't care for it and was glad that it was Byrne's last issue.

4. Thought it was a good story and the creators did a good job with the followup.

5. Laughed at Superman's apparent new ability to grow a mullet in such a short timespan.

6. Long overdue and a welcome change.

7. Interesting concept, but poor execution.

8. Great story, but DC dropped the ball by not explaining the changes to existing continuity which has become a confusing mess.
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nightwing
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2006, 07:10:25 PM »

1)  As a Moore fan (back then, anyway) I was excited about this story, especially with Swan, Schaffeberger and Perez on art chores.  I think it still holds up quite well.  At the time, it was just one of those Moore stories full of goose-bumpy moments and a nicely handled, growing sense of dread...with a happy ending at the last moment (for the record, this is how I like my stories...dance around the edges of darkness if you like, but don't wade hip-deep in misery and depravity just for the heck of it). I had no idea it would end up actually being THE LAST Superman story for many, many years.

2) I was unconvinced in 1986 that DC in general needed a reboot, and I still think it was unnecessary.  As for Superman in particular, I was willing to approach the reboot with an open mind, and I still have the issue of Amazing Heroes that came out a month or two before MOS #1, and which I pored over in detail more than once.  I liked that Byrne liked the old TV show (at this point I didn't realize his ENTIRE knowledge of Superman came from films and TV) and some of his other plans were intriguing.  I also looked forward to his teaming with Dick Giordano and...joy!...Terry Austin, since I had by then come to loathe Byrne's inks over his own pencils (I dropped the FF until Ordway came on to clean up the art).

I was unimpressed with MOS, which I found light-weight and padded.  It was so simple-minded it felt like one of those Power Records comics of the 70s.  Superman #1 was a bit better thanks to Terry's inks, but the writing was on the wall already; Superman is lying face down and beaten on the cover (of his own first issue!!!) and spends the whole book getting his clock cleaned.  After that, there were very few bright spots.  I didn't mind the Lori Lemaris story too much (since it was pretty much a remake of the original) and I was okay with the first Mxyzptlk.  But there was also Supes sleeping with Amazing Grace (ick!) and killing people on Apokolips, Bloodsport killing everyone in a McDonalds, Superman making a porn movie with Big Barda (what the...?), the abysmal "Pocket Universe" travesty and the piece de resistance, the murder of the Phantom Zone criminals.

So, short answer: I was ready to like the reboot, but that wore off fast.

3)  One of the low points of comics, period.  The murders are bad enough, but they come on top of several issues of the most bleak, hopeless, gruesome storyline ever printed.  A whole planet of people destroyed, all heroes killed, yadda yadda.  Byrne bent over backward to create a situation where Superman would "have to" kill.  That anyone could even imagine such a hopeless, dark scenario is bad enough; that he could take the time to draw it all is even worse.  That someone at DC thought a person with such a mentality was in any way suited to write Superman is just sad.

4)  A cheap stunt, unworthy of the character.  If you're going to kill Superman, let Lex Luthor do it, or even Brainiac, not some 5th-rate non-character invented for that specific purpose.  The death carried no emotional weight whatever.  The ultimate irony is that DC got what they wanted -- extensive press coverage -- and it backfired on them.  There are people who think Superman is still dead and has not been in print since 1993. In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz: "HAAAA-HA!"

5) Avoided it like the plague.

6) Not a very interesting book.  I liked the proposal, but by the time of the wedding I'd quit collecting and just bought the album as a one-off.  The art was pretty choppy throughout...even the Swan and Cardy pages were a let down.  Ultimately not the big thrill you'd expect after 60 years of build-up.  And I think most fans agree, a bad idea to boot.

7) I was long gone by the time of the blue suit.  I will say, though, that its presence in the earliest issues of JLA kept me from ever collecting that title.

Cool I have to confess I haven't read "Birthright."  From what I know of it, it sounds okay.  But as the song goes (more or less) what the world needs now is another Superman origin like I need a hole in my head.
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