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Author Topic: Why I DON'T like Alan Moore's Superman tales  (Read 22080 times)
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 12:04:20 AM »

I'm sure I once said I thought the "Sand-Superman Saga" was far superior to "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"

And I'm also sure Super Monkey had the temerity to argue with me.  Shocked

Yes, but you are not insane and going to start a new thread next month about how Alan Moore was the best Superman writer ever.  Wink


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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2006, 04:14:12 PM »

I still haven't read WHTMOT Cry
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2006, 05:02:21 PM »

It is part of the TPB DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore which goes for $13.59 at Amazon, it also includes the rest of his Superman stories.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2006, 10:10:55 AM »

Quote from: nightwing
Hmm...interesting perspective.  You may be right that Moore's too reverential of the 60s stories, but then I am too, so it doesn't bother me so much. 

I love Superman in the sixties too. This is why this topic is such a thorny one for me: 1) I do love the period Moore likes and I feel somewhat guilty attacking him for using elements from a period I enjoy, 2) Moore as a writer can write about whatever he wants,  and 3) I really do like Moore as a writer (mostly - which is what this thread is about, anyway).

Essentially my problem with Moore is, he is elevating a period of the character of Superman that was in many ways, very atypical...as being the entirety of who Superman is, both in his true-blue Superman stories and in Supreme, and that strikes me as being dishonest.

Quote from: nightwing
The point of that story was to provide a coda to the whole pre-Crisis mythos and like it or not, almost everything of any lasting importance to that mythos came from the Weisinger era. 

For the sake of argument let's say that statement is true (though I'd dispute it - so much of the Weisenger era stayed in the Weisenger era, and furthermore there's a difference between great ideas and not knowing when there's too much of a good thing).

If Alan Moore wanted to do as you say and bring to a close things of lasting importance to the mythos, instead of an exercise in sixties fetishization like I say... why the hell would he make the Kryptonite Man such a big player?

This also doesn't account for why Moore used the Legion of Super-Villains as they were in their first appearance instead of any of the subsequent rosters. Hey, he didn't even use any piece of LSV characterization post-sixties: like for instance, the fact that Saturn Queen was one of Prince Evilo's ex-wives. It is THAT that is unprofessional and regressive.

If Moore wants to use the LSV as they were in their first appearance, bully for him, I say. In fact, considering the LSV's time travel powers, their Silver Age-era characterization may be the only truly regressive element that truly makes sense. The LSV can pop to the end of Superman's battle anytime, maybe even after that fake kangaroo court the villains hold for him. But combine that original roster of the LSV with appearances by Silver Age Legionnaires (what, he couldn't get permission from Levitz to use Wildfire and Blok or something?) and Jimmy Olsen being Elastic Lad and you get something that disses by omission.

I honestly want to sit Moore down with some Len Wein tales with Chemo, or that Cary Bates story where Superman fights Weather Wizard, and say, "Look, you limey beardo, just read these. And if you don't like them...I promise, I'll get ketchup and eat them right in front of you."

Quote from: nightwing
The 70s gave us the elimination of Kryptonite (soon reversed), the dimunition of powers (quickly ignored), Clark's move to TV (a pretty cosmetic change, and one reflected in the story anyway) and not a whole heck of a lot else.

This exact same argument could be made of the Weisenger period as well. In fact, much more of the Weisenger Age stayed in the Weisenger Age, than Schwartz-era stuff stayed in the Schwartz era. Some of the stuff Uncle Morty and his boys threw out stuck (different colored Kryptonite, Kandor, Brainiac) but an overwhelming amount of it didn't and just was never mentioned after a certain point: when was the last time anyone used the Phanty-Cats after 1970, for instance? Zha-Vam? The Flame Dragon? Hercules and Sampson? Mynah the Super-Bird? The Kryptoniad? The Jimmy Olsen Fan Club? King Krypton? The duplicate world of Krypton filled with robots? The asteroid that resembles Lara and Jor-El? Lois and Lana getting powers? Jimmy Olsen transforming in a non-ironic way?

Quote from: nightwing
Julie Schwartz may have downplayed a lot of the Weisinger era baggage, but it didn't eliminate it.  Kandor, Krypto, the Zone, etc were all there, always waiting to be used in some way should the need arise. So when Moore set out to "wrap up" the mythos, he was bound to bring up that stuff that happened to be invented in the 60s, because that was the stuff that mattered, the stuff that was still around and in play and unresolved. 

Moore brought in sixties stuff for his stories because Moore loves the sixties.

I'd agree with you here if not for the fact that Moore really DIDN'T resolve the plot elements that mattered with his "Whatever Happened..." He didn't talk about Kandor or the Phantom Zone. He gave closure to the story of the Kryptonite Man, Elastic Lad, and Lana Lang getting powers - in other words, the epitome of jettisoned Weisenger baggage, instead of a lot of the stuff that Uncle Morty brought in that stuck, like the Phantom Zone.

Incidentally, if you read that "Tomorrow Stories" issue where the First American fights Dozier D. Daze, the evil nostalgist, and then read his SUPREME - the bitter, unintentional irony becomes almost physically painful.
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2006, 03:02:22 PM »

Incidentally, if you read that "Tomorrow Stories" issue where the First American fights Dozier D. Daze, the evil nostalgist, and then read his SUPREME - the bitter, unintentional irony becomes almost physically painful.

I don't have a quote handy or anything, but Moore has certainly gone on record in interviews as being slightly regretful of his participation in the revamping of comics in the 80s, and a lot of his more recent work often appears to express a wistful nostalgia for the comics of earlier eras (his porn stuff with Melinda Gebbie notwithstanding) - look at Tom Strong, for instance. He clearly reveres the innocent and wonderful world depicted in pre-70s comics, and nowhere did this come through more clearly than in Miracleman, where the superhero, who is the only beacon of hope in the drab, pessimistic days of Thatcherite Britain, ultimately reshapes the world into a bright, four-colour reality.
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2006, 06:41:34 PM »

Incidentally, if you read that "Tomorrow Stories" issue where the First American fights Dozier D. Daze, the evil nostalgist, and then read his SUPREME - the bitter, unintentional irony becomes almost physically painful.

I don't have a quote handy or anything, but Moore has certainly gone on record in interviews as being slightly regretful of his participation in the revamping of comics in the 80s, and a lot of his more recent work often appears to express a wistful nostalgia for the comics of earlier eras (his porn stuff with Melinda Gebbie notwithstanding) - look at Tom Strong, for instance. He clearly reveres the innocent and wonderful world depicted in pre-70s comics, and nowhere did this come through more clearly than in Miracleman, where the superhero, who is the only beacon of hope in the drab, pessimistic days of Thatcherite Britain, ultimately reshapes the world into a bright, four-colour reality.

Far be it for me, of all people, to criticize a man for changing his mind about something important!

Though Allen Moore is successful at capturing one element of the pre-1970s comics world when he puts his mind to it: the creepy vibe that permeates even "innocent" stories.

The SUPREME story for instance, where "Radar the Hound Supreme" (ha!) looks like a cute story about flying puppies taking dinosaur bones from Museums...but it's really about a dog discovering sex.

Then there is his 1963 Horus tale, where he tells a swinging, Lee-Kirby type tale all the while doing jokes about how Horus's mother and father are also brother and sister...
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2006, 06:41:51 PM »

Speaking of ABC, he has remade a Bronze Age Superman story, "The Man who Murdered Metropolis!". So it's not like he is completely avoiding that age, but he could if he wanted too. There is nothing that says that he must deal with that age.

about "Whatever Happened..." :

Originally presented in Superman# 423 and Action Comics #583, September 1986
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This is an imaginary story (which may never happen, but then again may) about a perfect man who came from the sky and did only good.  It tells of his twilight, when the great battles were over and the great miracles long since performed; of how his enemies conspired against him and of that final war in the snowblind wastes beneath the Northern Lights; of the two women he loved and of the choice he made between them; and how finally all the things he had were taken from him save one. It ends with a wink.  It begins in a quiet midwestern town, one summer afternoon in the quiet midwestern future.  Away in the big city, people still sometimes glance up hopefully from the sidewalks, glimpsing a distant speck in the sky... but no: it's only a bird, only a plane.  Superman died ten years ago.  This is an imaginary story...

Aren't they all?

http://superman.nu/a/History/whatever.php
« Last Edit: December 03, 2006, 06:43:52 PM by Super Monkey » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2006, 09:19:01 PM »

If Alan Moore wanted to do as you say and bring to a close things of lasting importance to the mythos, instead of an exercise in sixties fetishization like I say... why the Heck would he make the Kryptonite Man such a big player? 

Maybe because the "saintly" Bates and Maggin did the same thing...

http://superman.nu/tales2/whotook/4/
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