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Author Topic: What was wrong with the Bronze Age Superman?  (Read 15646 times)
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2006, 08:37:01 PM »

I think it was part of that trend. There were several differences, however, as The Dark Knight Returns and The Watchmen were not a part of continuity. (Miller later got his turn at Batman with Year One, though.)

The major difference after Crisis on Infinite Earths was that most DC Characters' histories were not erased. Hal Jordan's origin from the silver age was still a part of continuity. and the Flash's genealogy continued through Crisis on Infinite Earths, even to this day. Superman was the only one to have such a hard reboot, with about 50 years' worth of stories, characters, and situations immediately being discarded.

John Byrne gets most of the blame for this, but I think a lot of it was Marv Wolfman's intention as well. However, considering what Byrne recently said about Steve Irwin, I don't care what people are blaming Byrne for.

Coincidentally, you should read Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? It was a fitting tribute, probably one of the best stories I've ever read. T'was the last story published before Byrne took over.
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Great Rao
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2006, 08:47:23 PM »

Quote from: "Doctor Will Magnus"
I was inspired to ask this question after reading Maggin's Last Son of Krypton and Miracle Monday.  Both of those sweeping stories had so much going for them that I could not imagine anyone wanting to replace that cast of characters.

The people at DC who were making the big decisions did not read Maggin's novels.

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Was the Byrne reboot inspired by the deconstructionist trend created by Watchmen? Or was it in the works before that began?

You may want to check out this article.

S!
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"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2006, 12:02:34 AM »

Quote from: "Doctor Will Magnus"
I have not encountered much in the way of "relevance" in the Bronze Age Superman comics I have read.  It may just be my particular sampling of stories.


There may not be as much in Superman, but a few stories definitely showed signs of it, along with the updates of WGBS etc.  But again, its all a matter of taste and what era you are used to and like.

The Denny O'Neil Green Lantern/Green Arrow really put me off at the time...
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Johnny Nevada
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2006, 01:36:43 AM »

I always liked the Bronze Age Superman--- "Who Took the Super Out of Superman", the Galactic Golem, "Superman Takes a Wife"/Mr. and Mrs. Superman stories (well, the Earth-2 Superman, but still Bronze-Age-era stories), even the cheesy "Starshine the hippie orders everyone over 30 out of Metropolis with please-power" story (though the "return" of Pa Kent part was quite nice...). That, and Steve Lombard, WGBS, the rise of Darkseid, etc. Well, also Johnny Nevada too... :-)

Guess the Bronze Age hit the halfway mark between eras for me--- more modernized writing styles and elements, a Lois who isn't as obsessed with marrying Superman (as amusing as the Silver Age "Lois Lane" stories could be), more minorities showing up (well, guess that one's important to *me* :-) ), etc., but still respectful of the stories of the previous years---all vs. the post-Byrne "let's retcon everything six ways to Sunday" grim and gritty recent trends in writing...

Don't get me wrong---I like the Silver Age stuff, as well... :-)
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2006, 02:03:04 AM »

Well, you know, I am becoming more interested in the Bronze Age Superman, and have deliberately tried to research the 70s mythos for Supermanica just to keep myself informed.  There are some stories I do like.

The reason I left comics in the early 70s was because for all the unreality of Lois's trying to marry Superman, or Jimmy becoming a Hollywood producer, it was an unreality that I could take or leave but wasn't that removed from Superman fighting Zha Vam, a Flame Dragon, or journeying to Krypton's past.  In the 70s I was never convinced that Superman could really take on societal problems or even if he should.  It seemed forced and somewhat too topical for a super hero...as a 12 year old, I knew that Lois couldn't solve race issues and I liked my comic book characters to get involved with things they could somehow fix.
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Doctor Will Magnus
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2006, 03:48:29 AM »

Gangbuster Thorul, I own a well-worn copy of "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" It was a great story to go out on.

I have to say that Johnny Nevada really put my preference in perspective for me.  The Bronze Age seems like a happy medium between eras, maintaining strong ties to the elements of the past despite its more "modernized" characters and stories.  I agree that "relevance" is one of the era's low points...

I must admit, I occasionally run into Silver Age stories that put most Bronze Age works to shame.  "The Team of Luthor and Brainiac" in particular stands out in my mind as a real gem.
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TELLE
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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2006, 04:02:18 AM »

The Maggin novels and then, ironically, Crisis, were my gateway first to Bronze Age Superman and then to a love for all pre-Crisis Superman.

Those two Maggin books summarize everything great about the Superman of the 70s, including the WGBS cast and setting.

I think that the Byrne reboot was in the works from at least the time he took over the Fantstic Four and radically re-energized that title using some minor retcons and giving a new look to the characters.  A DC editorial crew who hated classic Superman and were looking for a post-Crisis revamp seized on Byrne, the most popular artist of the time and made him an offer he couldn't refuse: total power to mess with the most iconic superhero property.

Alan Moore had little to do with the inspiration for this, in my opinion.  He understands Superman better than any writer currently working in comics.
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2006, 05:07:18 AM »

Quote from: "TELLE"
Alan Moore ... understands Superman better than any writer currently working in comics.

Kurt Busiek is doing pretty good. Grant Morrison is up there too.

S!
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"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
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