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Author Topic: What would PC Supes stand for in "Civil War"  (Read 17115 times)
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2006, 10:49:03 AM »

Frank Miller explains his distaste for Superman in an introduction to an ASTRO CITY trade. He isn't so much anti-Superman as he is Anti-Comics Code Authority, which he felt had a detrimental effect on the very unusual and edgy heroes of the Golden Age, and changing them into ultra-sanitized defenders of the status quo, arm in arm with traditional authority figures like judges and police, law and order.

And to an extent, I can see Frank's point. Batman, in his Golden Age appearances was an adventure/detective character, but a very strange one with a scary come-on that people responded to with fright, that had many horror elements in his stories. It is very strange indeed to see Batman, post-Code, as a DEPUTIZED AGENT working with Commissioner Gordon.

If Frank is upset about what the Comics Code did to Batman, you can imagine how he feels about what happened to Superman!

It should be worth noting, incidentally, that the Spectre, the least Code-friendly hero of all, a dead guy that melts Nazis with his mind, was the LAST of the major Golden Age heroes to get a Silver Age revival, in 1967 with Fox and Anderson (and even then his comic only lasted for ten issues, and even THEN, it was just the Earth-2 Spectre instead of a reinterpretation like the Atom and Flash got).

While Frank's Comics Code point in DKR was interesting (heroes forced to retire or work with authority by busybodies in Congress and Superman being the worst of the lot - GEE, I WONDER WHAT HE COULD MEAN BY THIS?) I can't help but feel that even in 1986, this was beating a dead horse. I'm sure everyone has an exact point that they realized that the Code was officially toothless and irrelevant. But for me, it was in the late 1970a, when the White Queen popped up in the ubermainstream Claremont/Byrne UNCANNY X-MEN dressed in what was essentially bondage leather, and on the cover, no less.  

Going to the original question of the thread...

With respect, Nightwing, I'm gonna have to disagree. Superman would support registration of superheroes, at least when it was apparent that the act was being passed through and there wasn't anything he could do to change it. This is not to say that Superman wouldn't find it difficult; it should be noted that all the heroes in favor of registration, Iron Man, Hank Pym, etc. experience conscience pangs and wonder if they're doing the right thing. As Moore said, only the most moral people are troubled by conscience.

Superman would probably agree with a quote like "a sincere person worries about his own spiritual well-being and the physical well being of the rest of the planet, whereas a hypocrite worries about his physical well being and the spiritual well-being of everyone else on the planet."

Regardless, the reason Superman would be pro-registration is that Superman is that he is a character that has a strong belief in the rule of law. To quote one story, "Laws are an attempt to translate belief into action, which benefits everyone."

Superman probably would believe there are a few bad laws, but he would not use them as an excuse to break them all.

At the same time, Superman would be someone that would not "play ball" with all the very cynical SHIELD shenanigans under Maria Hill. Superman is an idealist, in the original sense of the term: one of his defining traits as a character is that he isn't willing to make compromises or trade-offs, even if he believed the objective is ultimately a noble one.

Still. If those that oppose the act don't like the law, shouldn't they just consider moving to Europe or something? Captain America wouldn't be the first expatriate in Paris - just ask Ernest Hemingway. If I was a superhero, sure, I'd fight crime and defend the weak, but there's crime in Aruba and Acapulco too, you know...I wouldn't hang around flyover country like Cap and his pals are for anything.
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Rugal 3:16
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« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2006, 11:06:36 AM »

Julian Perez..

I never posted/nor cared much about having a rep/or being liked in a message board.. but i'm not a troll and i didn't create the topic to create chaos but simple discussion..

and simple discussion with comments like yours and other people are what i intended it to be, if i did vent out, it's normal in the web.

I've been here since 2001 and i still have to work to do but i'll answer your claims later

in case you don't know (I'm a pre AND post-supes fan)
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Aldous
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2006, 03:57:27 AM »

Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"
What bothered me more was why Superman seemed to be able to quickly get into doomed love affairs in no time flat, but it seemed that he had more trouble with women he had known for years and years...well, it didn't bother me, it just seemed strange.


If you're talking about Lois, and to a lesser extent Lana, I see what you mean. I've no doubt the Man of Steel feels some sort of passion for Lois, say, but maybe a combination of things prevents him from going the whole hog. One thing that turns him off is undoubtedly her hero-worship of him, and the fact that he could snap his fingers and she would be there. Related to that, perhaps, is a feeling she wants Superman for the power, the fame, and the glory... How many times has Lois dreamed of being "Mrs. Superman" as if that's a worthwhile goal in itself? His doomed liaisons were much more like true "affairs of the heart" in which there seems to be a big dose of realistic, selfless passion (I'm thinking of the first Lori story as an example). Superman may find Lois's availability simply boring, and he finds himself easily attracted to someone new and exciting -- or dangerous. He wouldn't be the first man in history to act that out.

There's a story in the Showcase Vol. 2 book which touches on this subject.

Quote from: "Rugal 3:16"
i didn't create the topic to create chaos but simple discussion..


There's nothing wrong with chaos per se, Rugal, and I happen to like your sometimes quirky discussion topics. It was remiss of me not to say Hello and Good to talk with you again, as I haven't been on the boards for a while. Nice to see you are still posting.

Anyway, catch you on the forum...
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2006, 04:17:02 AM »

LOL, your points on Lois are well-taken, and its impossible to ignore the Lois stories of the 60s and her dreams of becoming Mrs. Superman...

Honestly, its the quick relationship with Lyla Lerrol that bothered me the most, she seemed very aloof and cold and panels later, she is off with Kal to see the wonders of Krypton...I realize that there were only a few pages to establish this, its just that such a grand passion and haunting memory needed more of a basis for me, and I was just a little kid at the time... Cool I think that the Lori Lemaris story did a much better job, not to diss Superman's Return to Krypton too much...
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nightwing
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« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2006, 01:49:52 PM »

Just to clarify my position on comics and "realism" (and yes, Rugal was probably referring to my old posts):

I have no problem with constructing a world around superheroes that maintains an internal consistency in terms of history, physics, character relationships, etc.  In fact, that's pretty essential to telling a good story. If that's what you mean by "realism" I'm okay.

What I have never liked are attempts to graft real-world issues into a funny book universe. For example, Green Lantern is a guy who makes his wishes come true with a freaking ring (in the Silver Age version, this is supposedly a sci-fi concept, but in the end it's still plain old magic...Green Lantern is Aladdin).  Having him deal with issues like racism, over-population and drug addiction, as he did in the O-Neil/Adams run, is not great literature; it's trendy political pamphleteering, just so much hippie hogwash.  Three decades later, those stories are more dated and creaky than anything from the Golden Age, and besides that they're embarassingly naive and ridiculous, the four-color equivalent of an "After School Special" or a "very special episode" of "Diff'rent Strokes."

Other stuff just doesn't fit either.  Homosexuality may make for great reading in a serious work like "Stuck Rubber Baby," but making Batwoman a lesbian is obviously a cheap marketing ploy that makes comics that much more inappropriate for kids and trivializes whatever "message" the writers might want to send about sexual identity in America.  Similarly, women may be murdered and crammed in refridgerators in crime novels, but do we need it in a superhero comic?  Does anyone really think having Sue Dibny raped and killed makes Elongated Man a more "believable character"?  The guy gets stretching powers from some exotic soda pop, for crying out loud.

I just think readers who believe they're somehow more "mature" or sophisticated than kids who read comics 30 or 40 years ago are kidding themselves.  Just sticking in a lot of sex and gore doesn't make a book "grown up", and no amount of "mature" subject matter makes superheroes any less juvenile.  In the end, we're still talking about guys who wear their underwear on the outside of their pants.  In Superman's case, a guy who fools his closest friends with a cheap pair of glasses.  

You will never get "reality" from a comic book.  It's a contradiction in terms.  So my point is, why not concentrate on what comics do better than any other form of entertainment; high adventure.  Leave the sex and violence to crime novels and HBO, leave saving the whales to Greenpeace and leave the politicial proselytizing to the usual suspects.  

Anyone who seriously wants reality should try putting down their comics and going outside the house now and then.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2006, 05:09:29 PM »

For how long after his intro was Batman (or for that matter, the "vigilante" Superman) really, edgy, dark, and scary?  My impression is that he was much less so after a few issues, and with the intro of Robin, that he became a more approachable hero in the vein of many Golden Age characters...I never got the impression that "Seduction of the Innocent" or the Code went after super hero comics on their scary characters and killings (like horror and true crime) but rather vague accusations of homosexuality etc.
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nightwing
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« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2006, 05:53:52 PM »

Batman was really only a "Dark Knight" for the first year of tales in Detective Comics.  Then came Robin and things lightened up.  That may still irk some "purists" who think the addition of a kid sidekick "ruined" the essence of the strip, but the truth is the strip didn't really take off until Robin joined on and if he hadn't brought a spike in sales, they'd have dropped him in a heartbeat.

It's my belief that characters change as they need to, and that includes Superman.  By the time I came along, Superman had been out of Jerry and Joe's hands for decades and was already an "institution"as much as a character, with a mythos cobbled together from radio, TV and movies as much as comics.  And that's how I liked him.  The original, vigilante avenger of social injustices may be a more "pure" vision, but to this day it's a version that doesn't interest me at all.

There certainly were a lot of bloodthirsty Golden Age heroes at the start (Hangman, for instance), but you know why that is?  Because they were all stolen from the pulps, where the blood flowed thick and fast.  Comics were a new medium then and they made it up as they went along, with pulps the closest "cousin" to copy from.  As soon as the medium found its feet it created its own conventions, and some of those early, ill-fitting (and again, borrowed) elements went out the window.  Bloody retribution can be fun, but it's hardly "essential" to good comics, as witness the stellar Silver Age, where there's hardly a hero to be found with blood on his hands.  At the very least it's not what attracted me to comics, and if they'd still been all about vengeance in the early 70s, when I came along, I doubt I'd have collected them.  Pre-Robin Batman and early Superman are interesting curiosities for me, but that's about it.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2006, 07:08:13 PM »

Yeah, that's why I don't think Miller blaming the Comic Code bears any weight, that was over 10 years after Batman was already a very kid friendly comic...if Miller wanted to make Batman dark, or liked the very early Detective Comics flavor, fine...but don't blame the straw man of the Comic Code or Wertham, who was more concerned with Robin's bare legs than super heroes being too "scary"...
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