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Author Topic: Do people actually hate Superman?  (Read 7029 times)
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Kronicpimp
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« on: September 19, 2006, 11:48:04 PM »

http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=143995

*thread taken from CBR.

And if this is true in some aspects/regards, what would be some ways to remedy this?
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Gary
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2006, 03:01:55 PM »

I think the author is right in that there are a lot of people for whom Superman is not their cup ot tea. I don't see much to be done about it, except maybe to make some of the best Supey stories available so they can see how good it gets, and this site is doing a marvelous job of that already.

I'm bewildered by some of the other things this guy says, though. Since when is Cap'n Marbles more popular than Superman (or is that not what he means)? I can't imagine why people who don't like Superman wouldn't dislike the Big Red Cheese even more. Marvel hasn't even had sales good enough to keep a monthly series going (and doesn't this guy know that DC bought out Fawcett long ago?)
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nightwing
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2006, 07:15:36 PM »

Re: Captain Marvel...

I think this guy's picking up on the sentiment out there that DC bullied Fawcett out of the market through legal action when Superman couldn't beat Captain Marvel in a "fair" fight...with newsstand sales.  There's some merit to that gripe, I must say, and it's just possible that some of the resentment towards Superman has been created by his corporate bosses.  DC has a long and ugly history of legal bullying when it comes to Superman...the most famous victims being Jerry and Joe...and there could be a perception out there that what's left of Superman today is merely a sacrosanct commodity rather than a dynamic, evolving character.  

I have to say I've sometimes felt the same about Mickey Mouse.  Sure his voice is like fingernails on a blackboard and his cartoons are so unfunny they make Jerry Lewis look like Groucho Marx, but after all he's a harmless little mouse who never hurt nobody.  Why should I dislike his very image so much?  Well of course it's because I don't like the history behind the Disney empire, and with Walt himself passed on, Mickey's the convenient lightning rod for all my enmity.  He IS Disney, in the same way that Superman IS DC.

All in all, though, I have to believe most people don't "hate" Superman.  I think a lot of today's fans are bored by him because he represents a sort of mindset and value system they can't relate to.  He's more a "Greatest Generation" figure.  In a culture that makes heroes out of guys like Tupac Shakur, Superman must seem as out-of-it as a Jeanette McDonald-Nelson Eddie musical.

But in the end, deep down everyone loves Superman the same way they love their dad.  They may go through a long stretch where they're embarassed to be seen at the mall with him, but deep down they love him and take comfort from the knowledge that he's always been there, and always will be.
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2006, 08:43:37 PM »

superman fanboys hate SUPERMAN.

Don't believe me? Go on a standard comics forum and tell people that post-Crisis Superman comics suck, that Superman of Earth-1 was much better.

These people are generally still living with their moms (behold, a stereotype!) and have taken great pains to collect back issues of Byrne Superman, or various Jurgen gimmicks...so they hate any Superman that isn't the one they've put their efforts into.

I guess the same disaffected 20-somethings that popularized "grunge rock" are the same generation that first read Byrne's Superman, and are now approaching 40. It's easy to assume that Superman is an establishment character if you don't know his history...and let's face it: in every classic live-action version of Superman, he's been treated that way.
Those are where public perception of Superman mostly comes from, and he's never been seen beating down the governor's door or eluding police on TV.

But that's enough for now...if I hang around here long enough, Nightwing is going to beat me to a pulp.
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nightwing
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2006, 10:30:33 PM »

Quote
These people are generally still living with their moms (behold, a stereotype!) and have taken great pains to collect back issues of Byrne Superman, or various Jurgen gimmicks...so they hate any Superman that isn't the one they've put their efforts into.


All I can say is, what goes around comes around.  Plenty of us were desolated when Silver/Bronze Superman was wiped away in favor of the rebooted model, and now that Byrne's take is being largely ignored, his fans know how we felt.

This all goes to show that just about anything can generate nostalgia if enough time passes.  I know people who revere He-Man as great animation and Duran Duran as classic music.  It all comes down to your age bracket I suppose.

The funny part is, Byrne's Superman isn't really a creation so much as an hodgepodge of leftover parts.  He's the George Reeves Clark Kent and the Chris Reeve Superman from the John Barry Krypton fighting non-stop Fleischer fights.  Everything else is borrowed from the Marvel play book. So apparently even a mere pastiche can come to be regarded as a "classic" if enough years go by.

And don't worry, I'm not going to beat you up.  Well, not if you give us a full report on that book and maybe some scans. :wink:
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Michel Weisnor
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2006, 03:08:21 AM »

People don't hate Superman. They just think he's boring and old fashioned. Usually the older you get, the less likely you are to find Superman interesting and relevant. For some reason, it's easier to relate to "adult" anti-heroes than to the first. Sort of sad, if you think about it.
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2006, 03:26:28 AM »

In communist Cuba, Superman is a symbol of imperialism. The Nazis also hated Superman.
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2006, 01:52:27 PM »

Quote
People don't hate Superman. They just think he's boring and old fashioned. Usually the older you get, the less likely you are to find Superman interesting and relevant. For some reason, it's easier to relate to "adult" anti-heroes than to the first. Sort of sad, if you think about it.


That all depends on how old one gets, while continuing to read comics.

I think kids who start out reading comics at 6 or 7 are drawn to Superman and similar characters *because* they are symbols of authority, morality and constancy.  They appreciate concepts like saving lives, preventing crime and doing good for good's own sake.  They seek out "heroes" in the traditional sense of the word.

If they stick around to their teen years, yes they're likely to develop a more cynical, jaded view of the world.  They reject the traditional notion of the unassailable hero in the white hat about the same time they decide that their parents are clueless, the government is corrupt and it's every man for himself.  Skepticism becomes its own religion and to be "sophisticated" means to believe in nothing.  In this age range, the heroes of Marvel take on real appeal.

BUT...for those of us who last even longer, who enter their 30s and 40s and in many cases become parents, those "old-fashioned" heroes draw us back again.  We get tired of the steady diet of nihilism.  We get over our youthful, righteous indignation that the world is not as perfect as we wanted it to be.  We come to understand that jaded cynism is, in it's own way, the most juvenile mindset of all, and that "heroes" who represent nothing more than revenge fantasies cater to our most infantile urges and do NOT help us grow as human beings.  We come to appreciate "goody two-shoes" like Superman precisely BECAUSE they are not "realistic," because they do NOT have feet of clay and do NOT give in to mankind's baser instincts.  Heroes at their best represent a standard just out of our reach, but one we should aspire to nonetheless.  A hero should inspire us, and I submit we can never be inspired by characters who are already on our level or indeed beneath us.

So anyway, I say the older you get, the more you LIKE Superman.  The trick is to hang around long enough.  :wink:
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