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Author Topic: The Phantom Zone Miniseries  (Read 21823 times)
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Supermanica Council
Council of Wisdom
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« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2006, 06:18:08 AM »

It's interesting what makes a character memorable. As a kid, I thought it was mostly visual appeal and awe- or envy-inspiring powers.  Aspects of the character's personality were mostly lost on me --although stronger personalities (the curmudgeonly Thing, the wise-cracking Spidey, the alternately fatherly and absent-minded Reed Richards, the supremely competent yet socially inept Superman) tended to make more of a lasting impression and helped make the morality of superhero comics more palatable.

Maybe I never reached the stage where it became imprtant to me how well minor (or maybe I should say non-titular) characters expressed a unique point-of-view (unique to their milieu) and was integrated into a convincing backstory and supporting cast.  I have no idea if Doc Samson is a good character, from a literary standpoint.  I just remember him as being amazingly cool (circa 1978).

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Superman Family
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« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2006, 06:28:39 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
This is why stories that a alter an origin, like Mopee or the Byrne SPIDER-MAN CHAPTER ONE, are so unwelcome: it DOES matter where the Flash's speed comes from (accident or magical elf), or whether Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus were created at the same time.

Yeah, but I don't see how you can lump post-Crisis Superboy into this category. He's not a character whose origin was settled and then later changed. He's a character whose origin was left mysterious and then revealed bit by bit. If you read the Superman's Rebirth arc it's clear that whether Superboy is Superman's clone is not settled. The very first SB story, if I remember rightly, ends with Luthor asking his Cadmus mole "I thought you couldn't clone Superman?" The mole answers "Well, yes and no. Listen, I'll tell you everything." And then the scene fades out.

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Though I do believe that characters are the sum of their history, not just bite-sized soundbytes, there is something to be said for origins that are "tight." A character like Batman with an origin that can be given in a sentence is stronger than a character like Cable or Spider-Woman.

I think both settled origins and mysterious, developing ones have their place. Neither is inherently stronger than the other -- it depends on the kind of story you're trying to tell. Settled origins are pretty much a necessity for series that are mostly episodic, where what happens in one month's storyline is usually forgotten by the next. When you've got more of a continuity, there are more options.

As for Steel, I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree.
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« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2006, 01:00:28 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
...Ask anyone that was reading comics in 1982 what they remember happened to Superman in that year, and they'll tell you "oh, that was the year the Phantom Zone criminals broke out, right?"...

Sorry I'm chimin' in so late!  

Julian, I'm afraid I have to disagree with you here.  

The story MY friends and I discuss from 1982 is the 9-part serial in Action Comics that splits Superman into two beings while battling Lord Satanus and Blaze.  

THAT is the big story of 1982 with Superman!  Smiley

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