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Author Topic: Why I DON'T like Alan Moore's Superman tales  (Read 22821 times)
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« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2006, 01:13:59 PM »

Aldous writes:

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You're being a little unfair, my friend. Once you have a TV character with super-powers, what are you going to do with them? Gemini Man, week after week, could act out the fantasies of adolescence, like creeping into women's change rooms or pinching bikini-clad bums on the beach (maybe the footprints in the sand could create some dramatic tension). The Man From Atlantis, finding himself short of a bob or two, could get work for a fishing company as a tracker, but after several weeks (minutes?) of deep sea fishing scenes, it might all get kind of boring.

Yes, but you don't have to work in the spy angle, do you?

As you say, a superpower is meaningless without some crime or other to fight, and so the challenge becomes how do you get the hero onto the case?  With the James Bond angle, it's easy...M calls him and says, "Here's your job, get to it."  I can see the appeal.  But it's not the only way to go.

Simon Templar was a roving adventurer who seemed to find trouble wherever he went.  Usually it was handled well enough that it worked.  Batman, like Bond, was called to action by an authority figure but managed to keep his freelance status and, in the process, a bit more mystique than a company man like Bond.  Superman had his super-senses "on" all the time so he detected trouble anywhere in the world, 24/7.  The JLA had its satellite monitoring system, and so on.  Or you could do like the Equalizer or Paladin...just take out an ad in the paper and wait for the calls to come in!

In that regard, I have some respect for the "Hulk" TV show, which was at least "original" enough to rip off "The Fugitive" instead of Steve Austin.  Banner went from town to town and seemed to stumble into trouble wherever he went, with McGee a step behind him all the time.  (One thing always puzzled me, though...why did he leave whatever town he was in at the end of each episode, never to return?  The logical thing would have been to lay low until McGee left, then resume his identity in town.  Most of those places were so rural and quiet that the odds were very much against anything else ever happening dire enough to trigger the Hulk transformation).

Even Steve Austin didn't totally work as a spy.  For one thing, the show was too cheap to fully exploit the potential for international travel.  But a bigger issue was Austin's celebrity.  As an astronaut who had actually walked on the moon, he was a pretty poor choice for undercover work.  Also, his bio was so over-the-top only a 9-year-old like me could swallow it...test pilot, astronaut, superhero and secret agent all in one. If he'd only been a billionaire like Bruce Wayne, it would have been a complete package.

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However, I have to admit, I haven't seen those later episodes of "Wonder Woman". I rented the DVD set (nostalgia, you understand), and when I watched the pilot episode I was amazed what a gorgeous creature Ms. Carter was in that get-up, but found the story weak -- although fun and watchable. The first episode proper I thought was awful, and it went downhill from there, and I returned the DVDs unwatched for the most part. An awful series that doesn't hold up at all, unlike some of those 70s gems.

There are actually some folks who prefer the later episodes, but I'm not one of them.

I agree the pilot movie was much better than the rest of the series, and Lynda looked better.  She had a bit of "baby fat" or something that I really missed later on.  The great thing about Lynda was that she could wear that skimpy get-up and seem totally innocent and sincere.  There wasn't even a hint of the seductress about her, which of course made her seem twice as desirable. 

A highlight for me was the moment when Wonder Woman bursts in on the nest of Nazi spies and they all open fire on her in deadly earnest, except for Red Buttons, who already knows bullets won't stop her.  He goes through the motions of shooting at her, but the whole time he's rolling his eyes as if to say, "oh, yeah, like this is gonna help."  Grin





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« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2006, 12:51:42 AM »

Grumble grumble Bought to Light humph humph World War Two.
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