superman.nuMary Immaculate of Lourdes NewtonTomorrow's Lesson!Holliston School Committeefacebook    
  •   forum   •   MIRACLE MONDAY: "THE MIRACLE!" •   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 22, 2024, 04:08:54 PM


Login with username, password and session length


Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: What would PC Supes stand for in "Civil War"  (Read 17117 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Lee Semmens
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 201


« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2006, 03:13:39 PM »

Quote
Frank Miller already mined this concept in "Dark Knight Returns" about 20 years ago (but that's Marvel: the House of Recycled Ideas) and when he told the story, Superman sided with the government, revealing his identity (at least to government officials; it's unclear whether the world at large knows) and operating with the sanction (and at the political whim) of whatever administration's in power at the moment.


Ah, so that's why some people these days regard Superman as a "fascist." And I always wondered why.

Being a reader only of pre-Crisis Superman, I have always held the view that he is far from being a fascist, but is in fact apolitical.

Another reason for me not to like Frank Miller, if he distorts and cheapens Superman's character.
Logged
MatterEaterLad
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1389


Silver Age Surfer


WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2006, 03:56:45 PM »

Well, his take is a complete distortion in all kinds of ways, for its own story sake.  Doesn't impress me either, but I suppose it was novel.
Logged
nightwing
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1627


Semper Vigilans


WWW
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2006, 04:34:52 PM »

Well of course Miller was writing DKR in the 80s, and being a pretty liberal guy of course he had his issues with Ronald Reagan.  Basically he took Superman's traditional association with the flag (ala that famous opening of the TV show, and many many covers of yesteryear) and turned it against him, making him out to be a jingoistic government lackey.  Considering this book came in the era of movies like Top Gun and Rambo, maybe that was even a bold position to take, though of course the ensuing 20-years of America-bashing take a lot of the novelty away.

Technically, though, while Miller's Superman could be called a government stooge, or even a tool, the one who really employs fascist tactics is Batman, who formulates an ideal world view in his mind and sets about forcing it down Gotham's throat with fists and firepower.  In fact, the future world of DKR is a sort of Conservative's nightmare-come-true, a world of violence against innocents, cultural depravity and an utterly impotent legal system.  Characters like the psychiatrist who's convinced of Joker's reformation are presented as mush-minded intellectuals who can't grasp clear concepts like good and evil.  All of this makes the politics of Miller's DKR pretty confusing; in a lot of ways it's pretty right wing.

A quick check of Wikipedia turned up this definition of fascism:

Quote
"Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion." (Anatomy of Fascism, p 218)


Miller's Batman is not working on behalf of, or to benefit a political coalition or sitting government.  Otherwise, this description comes pretty close to his mindset (community decline, redemptive violence, without legal restraints...etc)

I suspect people who brand Superman a "fascist" (like Wertham, who predates Miller considerably) do so because of (1) his strong-arm, extra-legal tactics in the Golden Age or (2) an empty-headed, but all-too-common, belief that patriotism must mean "my country wrong or right."

Anyway, over time I've decided Miller isn't necessarily anti-American so much as anti-Superman.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe because in 1986 he was considered above reproach and it was "daring" to take shots at him.  But by now so many people have denigrated, insulted and mocked Superman in the comics that it's a tired act.  Yet Miller keeps trashing him.  Maybe because it's gotten so easy?
Logged

This looks like a job for...
Aldous
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 843


Downunder


« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2006, 10:32:13 PM »

Rugal, I can't remember for certain who made that quote, but it sounds like something nightwing would say.

I think an aspect of "suspension of disbelief" is not asking too many questions.

To read a comic I can appreciate that Superman comes from a planet with a less intense sun and higher gravity, so on our world he can lift up a double decker bus. If I start to look too closely at this comic book phenomenon, and ask too many questions, it will quickly fall apart.

Likewise with the first Spider-Man comic, in which a highly gifted science student (Parker) creates the web fluid and web shooters. (If this seems remarkable, I was always much more impressed that he created his spidey suit with a needle and thread!!) Start asking too many technical questions (like when Sue talks about the digestion in your example) and you quickly get into a bind of having to explain more and more until you have removed all the fun from the subject! You also create unnecessary traps for future writers of the character. This is why I never liked those encyclopedia-type comics Marvel brought out (and I'm sure DC would have had the equivalent) where they would have an entry for a character which explained in the most minute technical and pseudo-scientific manner how the powers and/or equipment of that character worked.

The more they explained, the more limits they actually placed on future inventiveness. Likewise with the Star Trek magazines that come out which obsessively explain how the transporter works. Why would anyone want to know? I think Kirk explained it best in one of the episodes, along the lines of, The transporter converts the molecules of your body to energy, transmits it, then converts the energy back into molecules at the destination and reassembles them into you! Now, any further attempts to explain will ruin "suspension of disbelief" and make you sound like a twit!

It is pointless to analyse to death why Lois can't see that Clark is Superman. You will soon take the fun out of it all, then you have ruined the comics for yourself, and why would anyone want to do that? Lois's arrogance prevents her from seeing that Clark is really her hero, and he makes it as hard for her as possible, dressing differently, acting differently... Clark is, for all intents and purposes, a different person to Superman. Like any human relationship, if you start to pick Lois-Clark-Superman completely to pieces to see what makes it tick, you will destroy the very thing you are trying to find.

Quote from: "nightwing"
Hey, Superman did pick sides in the American Civil War. Notice he's wearing blue pants. That's how we identified our targets down here in Richmond.


Reminds me of the scene in which Tuco and Blondie ride up to a detachment of Confederates, much to their relief, but are dismayed when the leader of the troops bats the dust off his clothes to reveal the colour blue!
Logged
MatterEaterLad
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1389


Silver Age Surfer


WWW
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2006, 12:33:29 AM »

I agree completely on the science behind the comics...even as a kid, I knew it was better not to get overly into it, as it would expose more flaws and has nothing to do with good story telling...

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.
Logged
JulianPerez
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1168



« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2006, 02:41:39 AM »

Ever start loving a band you just discovered, only to  find, to your horror, that your parents also like that band? The music is the same, but your outlook suddenly changes.

That's how I feel right now about CIVIL WAR.

Rugal, no offense, but why do you still come here? Nobody here likes you. This forum's discussions often don't lean towards your interests. I stay the hell away from Kyle Rayner and Keith Giffen fansites, what are you doing here, anyway?

Quote from: "Aldous"
Rugal, I can't remember for certain who made that quote, but it sounds like something nightwing would say.

I think an aspect of "suspension of disbelief" is not asking too many questions.

To read a comic I can appreciate that Superman comes from a planet with a less intense sun and higher gravity, so on our world he can lift up a double decker bus. If I start to look too closely at this comic book phenomenon, and ask too many questions, it will quickly fall apart.

Likewise with the first Spider-Man comic, in which a highly gifted science student (Parker) creates the web fluid and web shooters. (If this seems remarkable, I was always much more impressed that he created his spidey suit with a needle and thread!!) Start asking too many technical questions (like when Sue talks about the digestion in your example) and you quickly get into a bind of having to explain more and more until you have removed all the fun from the subject! You also create unnecessary traps for future writers of the character. This is why I never liked those encyclopedia-type comics Marvel brought out (and I'm sure DC would have had the equivalent) where they would have an entry for a character which explained in the most minute technical and pseudo-scientific manner how the powers and/or equipment of that character worked.


I disagree with everything you just said.

I am deeply, deeply suspicious of anyone that says "just go with the flow, it's suspension of disbelief, it's just a story" etc, etc. because usually this position indicates a request for tolerance for bad or poorly thought out ideas.

An idea should get better the MORE you think about it, not less, because it is proof that the writer thought it through. A good idea is airtight and nitpick-proof.

If something is a good idea, it should not be "destroyed" by asking a basic question.

An example would be the Flash's non-superspeed enemies that derive their powers from gadgetry. Why is it enemies that have guns or otherwise derive their powers from gadgetry are credible threats to the Flash, who can snap said weapon out of their hands in an eyeblink?

Well, let me qualify everything I just said:

Superhero comics are like science fiction in the sense that they are dependent on the occasional fantasy element, what Arthur C. Clarke famously called a "magic wand." It requires a leap of faith to accept some things, including very basic things about the superhero genre, like powers, costumes, codenames, and so forth. But we can accept these things because we are told this is how things in a superhero world work.

How does it compromise enjoyment of a story if the effects and permutations of a character are worked out by a writer that respects the intelligence of an audience? The best period of the Flash's recent history has been one where serious questions about what it would be like to be superfast were asked and answered: under Baron and later, Messner-Loebs, the Flash was given a superfast metabolism and required to eat enormous quantities of food, he exhausted after prolonged uses of his superspeed, and he destroyed non-treated clothing, especially footwear by the shear of high speeds. And best of all, they gave the Flash superspeed enemies.

Quote from: "Aldous"
The more they explained, the more limits they actually placed on future inventiveness.


Since when does a level-headed and reasonable call for consistency equate to "placing limits?" If it is established that Chameleon Boy cannot grow to a size greater than 25 feet tall, ignoring such a clearly established limitation is BAD WRITING, because it draws us out of the reality the story is creating.

Suspension of disbelef is BASED on consistency. Just because something is a fantasy element does not mean it can come and go at the convenience of the writer.

This isn't just about the fanboy love of fun minutiae (though little things, like the fact that Sabretooth, like all cats, is color-blind, or Hawkeye wears a hearing-aid, improve one's enjoyment of comics because there's so much THERE there). This is about doing what a good writer has a responsibility to do: treat the world as if it was real. This goes from consistent characterization to even the little things.

Quote from: "Aldous"
Likewise with the Star Trek magazines that come out which obsessively explain how the transporter works. Why would anyone want to know? I think Kirk explained it best in one of the episodes, along the lines of, The transporter converts the molecules of your body to energy, transmits it, then converts the energy back into molecules at the destination and reassembles them into you! Now, any further attempts to explain will ruin "suspension of disbelief" and make you sound like a twit!


How does it ruin suspension of disbelief if someone thought something as small and petty as a transporter deserved an explanation, and they gave one in depth?

And those schematic things are way cool; I have one of a phaser on my wall, and whomever came up with it deserves my undying love.

Quote from: "Aldous"
It is pointless to analyse to death why Lois can't see that Clark is Superman.


How is it pointless if it can yield satisfactory answers that do credit to the strengths of both characters? A relationship this fundamental to Superman deserves an explanation. The idea that Superman is a great actor and Clark Kent's personality is an honest extension of his own, for instance, gives the most satisfying answer because it doesn't insult Lois's intelligence.
Logged

"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
MatterEaterLad
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1389


Silver Age Surfer


WWW
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2006, 03:08:08 AM »

The super hero genre was certainly not set to be a scientific explanation for powers and effects...it tries to maintain consistency over the years, but is modified from time to time...honestly, I can't see the difference from retroactively introducing a fast Flash metabolism or retroactively introducing a speed force, they are both preferences...

I want Dr. Fate and Superman to be consistent, but that's just not the same as a long-winded but ultimately wrong pseudo-scientific explanation for them...

A transporter that can change matter to energy and back again in a small space is about as accurate as Seigel's original explanation for Superman's powers...
Logged
Uncle Mxy
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 809



« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2006, 03:38:52 AM »

Quote
I know many of you will disagree, but I disliked Red Son's political message and the portrayal of Superman.

I didn't mind Red Son Superman.  He felt very Russian, and I think I would've said that even if the setting weren't in the Union of Superman Socialist Republics.  Mark Millar's Superman in his run on Superman Adventures was true to form, and miles better than most of the other Superman comics of the era.

Quote
Frank Miller already mined this concept in "Dark Knight Returns" about 20 years ago (but that's Marvel: the House of Recycled Ideas) and when he told the story, Superman sided with the government, revealing his identity (at least to government officials; it's unclear whether the world at large knows) and operating with the sanction (and at the political whim) of whatever administration's in power at the moment.

Note that the other heroes had outright quit in the wake of the government crackdown in DKR.  Superman was the only one who stayed, and put up with all kinds of crap to do so.  "Why" could've been an interesting story.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5   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!