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Author Topic: Widely disliked ideas about Superman that you like?  (Read 25160 times)
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Johnny Nevada
Last Son of Krypton
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Milwaukee, WI

« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2006, 02:14:36 AM »

To add my two cents:

Krypto and Superboy are two ideas I like, even though it seems like most current comic fans can't stand the former (due to the lack of "realism") and thanks to the past 20 years worth of comics/media adaptations (Lois and Clark, "Smallville") are too used to the idea of Superman starting his career as an adult (plus general Silver Age resentment/the fact they're used to the recent Kon-El Superboy/etc.).

The idea of Clark fighting crime in secret around Smallville and Metropolis before starting his career doesn't seem to make said fans revolt the way Superboy does, though (see: "Smallville", among other things); never mind that that's what the Superboy concept was meant to be, as a "training period" for Clark. Plus, can't imagine doing a lot of his deeds "in secret" (like saving an airplane from crashing, say)---some things would demand open use of his powers...

Other disliked ideas I like:

Bizarro: Thought the Bizarro World stories were amusing, but also like the "pathos" Bizarro as well.

The Superman Museum: I've gotten reaction from current fans who think the idea of Superman having a museum is "silly", but have no problem with the Flash Museum. Never mind that seems akin to building a museum to Scottie Pippin while relegating Michael Jordon to just a statue (as good as both players/heroes are)... :-p

Superman being able to travel through time/space under his own power: Various people seem to think it's "too powerful", never mind that the Flash still has the ability to do the time-travel bit (among other heroes), or that the existence of wormholes/etc. could somewhat rationalize the idea of space travel, or that it's not like he'd be using his time-travel ability to do it every day (just as Flash only uses it occasionally)...

Super Monkey
League of Supermen
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2006, 03:04:36 AM »

The Super Pets:

Iron Age fans hate them, and that should be reason enough to love them. Their stories are lots of fun. Sometimes with a strong social message!

Other Kryptonians:

Come on now, nothing is cooler than evil Kryptonians, plus John Bryne hates the idea, so that automatically means it's the greatest idea ever.


One of the best Bizzaro stories ever happen in the 1980's with the intro of the Bizarro Justice League.

Superman's supersuit:

A whole book can be written on his suit! The real suit never rips and the cape can stretch across a football field!

The fake (Iron Age) Superman wears a costume is forever tearing and ripping like the peice of (BEEP) that it is.

"I loved Super-Monkey; always wanted to do something with him but it never happened."
- Elliot S! Maggin
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
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Semper Vigilans

« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2006, 02:25:23 PM »

I think the original concept of Bizarro -- that of a tragic, deformed clone of Superman -- has tremendous potential.  Bizarro, done right, could be and has been at once scary and sympathetic, like the Frankenstein Monster.

On the other hand, Bizarro world is just dumb.  The mere existence out there, somewhere, of a cube-shaped world is enough to ruin the suspension of disbelief about Superman's entire universe.

I actually like some of the Bizarro World stories, though as Julian says Jerry Seigel's sense of "humor" is highly suspect.  But they work only as gag strips, like Super-Turtle.  Whenever they cross over into the "real" world of Superman, everything falls apart.

I think they made Bizarro a clown because to take him too literally would be terrifying.  Imagine a mentally challenged creature with an inverted sense of right and wrong flying around with the powers of Superman.  And if he's really the "opposite" of Superman, then why doesn't he have a code in favor of killing?  If Superman goes out of his way to avoid taking a life, shouldn't Bizarro spend every waking moment trying to destroy life?

As for Superboy, even Byrne admits it was a mistake to get rid of him.  Again in "Krypton Companion," he says he wishes he'd kept him so he could write stories about Superman "learning the ropes."  Just as well he didn't though...with Byrne writing, we'd probably have seen stories about Clark using his X-ray vision to spy on the girl's locker room or read the Answer Key to his school exams.  Of course then he'd learn such things were "wrong," but as written by Byrne, the only way Superman ever knew right from wrong was to try both.

This looks like a job for...
Superman Squad
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2006, 11:09:14 PM »

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"

Composite Superman

I ran across a conversation on a certain Superman board the other day, and the consensus was that Composite Superman was lame. First of all, without knowledge of his origin, it simply looks like somebody sewed together a half-Superman/half-Batman costume. Part of the problem also lies in the comtempt for the idea that Superman and Batman are best friends that complement one another. Who knows, maybe Superman's optimism is what kept the insane Frank Miller Batman from ever happening for all those years!

People have to remember (and they don't) that those comics were written for kids. To a 10-year-old, the Composite Superman is incredibly neat and makes for an exciting adventure. That's certainly how I felt when I first read his second appearance ("The Return of the Composite Superman") as a kid. I wasn't able to read the first adventure till I saw it on Nightwing's Superman website. Naturally I'll always think the sequel is better, but I do think it has better art and a better story anyway.
Composite Superman
Supermen of America
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2006, 01:22:20 AM »

I loved the idea of the Composite Superman, of course, but can fully understand why the character had to be killed off. (Superman and Batman never really defeated him, and probably never could. He just ran out of power.) As for Bizarro and his world, I could do without them. Same for the Super-pets.
Council of Wisdom
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2006, 01:49:38 AM »

Well, Bizarro was interesting and rather pitiable and sympathetic because ultimately he was not totally evil; that required somebody really nasty, like the orgiinal Toyman in that Martin Pasko story, to get him against Superman. Like I said, somebody that is the reverse of Superman in every way couldn't exist, or would be very different, so the "Frankenstein Monster" take on Bizarro makes more sense than the "backwards" Bizarro. (Does Bizarro live underwater? No. Is he black? No. He isn't backwards!)

As for the Super-Pets...well, I did like the absolutely surreal image of them coming to the Legion's rescue during the "Hand of the Luck Lords" story. My favorite character, at least in the art, was Streaky, because Curt Swan drew Streaky blasted by all these bolts from spaceships, and Streaky just kept that dumb, glass-eyed animal look as if he wasn't noticing what was going on!

(Though I have yet to get an explanation for why Proty can move and maneuver in outer space in zero-gee. He was never given a Flight Ring, and he has no flight powers independently. Also, is it possible that the Proteans can survive in space without suits?)

I do also like Comet   One thing I really like about superhero comics is that relationships are highly abnormal and often tragic. This is where a blind chick falls in love with a big tang-colored rock guy, or a mutant and an android get married. Alan Moore is especially good at understanding this; look at the talking dog/human love affair in TOP TEN! Comet's story had a great deal of human emotions to it. There were stories where Supergirl clutches his neck and he thinks something like "If only I were human, I could tell her how I feel."

My thoughts on Krypto were made clear in another thread.

As for Beppo, Streaky, Mynah the Super-Bird, Krypto Mouse, and the rest...their appearances are very, very small and they were humorous, cute comedy stories. I can no more dislike them than I can dislike that story where Aunt May becomes a Herald of Galactus.

Would I want to see any of them in a regular, mainstream Superman story, where he fights Lex Luthor or something? No. Loathe as I am to say it, the Iron Age guys have a point: Krypto (and maybe Comet or Proty) was the only character that can remotely be taken seriously in the context of an adventure story, even one that skews young.

"Wait, 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)
Supermanica Council
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2006, 04:16:09 AM »

I haven't owned a dog for decades and maybe that's the reason I find myself more inclined towards Streaky.  My favourite Streaky appearance lately is in the Mike Allred solo "Titans party" story.

I don't know how one of the 4 main ridiculous super pets is any more "realistic" than any other.  Maybe Super-Mouse, but not Comet, Streaky, Krypto, and Proty (my least favourite aesthetically and in practice but a great concept --what would a pet of the future be like, especially if "owned" by Chameleon Boy).  These four are essential to the classic Superman family stories.

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Superman Squad
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2006, 08:58:50 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"
The Bizarro World

While many people have reprints of Jerry Siegel's Adventure Comics run, the origins of the Bizarros, and especially their planet haven't been reprinted. Htrae is a planet of lifeless clones that predates the Borg...except it's funny! Siegel's run is the only reprinted one, and they are reprinted all in one book so that the format seems repetitive. This contributes to a lack of respect for Bizarros and Bizarro culture. Personally, the only way I found out some of my Bizarro information was from the Great Superman Book, and I've now copied this information here: Bizarro
One good thing about the Supermanica that it contains none of the Adventure Comics information. It's about 8 thick pages of only Superman and Action Comics info.

I really, really don't like the Bizarro World, at least in the form that it ultimately took.

I don't like the form that it ultimately took, either, and maybe it was Siegel's fault. Superman made the world square-shaped so that they would let him leave, but after that point in the early 60s, the Bizarro World never developed any more, and it had lots of potential. Bizarro started out as a very tragic figure, he left and colonized a dead planet, but after Siegel's run the element of tragedy was completely gone. And those are the only stories that have been reprinted, like I said.

"Trying to capture my wife, eh? That makes me SUPER-MAD!"

-"Superman", 1960

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