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Author Topic: Superman in "The Dark Knight Returns" by Frank Miller  (Read 21024 times)
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2006, 06:08:14 PM »

Super Monkey, by that logic, is the Silver/Bronze Age Superman guilty for letting his world go to oblivion by not pulling out all stops to defeat the Anti-Monitor?

He would had, but he was being mind controlled by some wolf person of Earth-Prime Wink
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"I loved Super-Monkey; always wanted to do something with him but it never happened."
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DBN
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« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2006, 02:44:30 AM »

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I would say to DBN, OK, fine, the guy in red-and-blue in "Dark Knight Returns" is not Superman. So, who is he? Or, to pin you down a bit more, if the Superman we know and love (Silver Age/Bronze Age) was faced with that world and those circumstances, what exactly would he do, and how would he behave? If not how Frank Miller has suggested, then how?

The guy in DKR? He's a sellout in a blue suit and a red cape. Or if you want somewhat of a modern comparison, he's Ironman in Marvel's Civil War to Batman's Captain America. Even then, Tony Stark is still working out in the open.

The Silver/Bronze Age Superman would never have let the world get to that point. In the face of an act passed by the government to ban Superheroes, he would not comply and would remain out in the open doing what he always did.
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Great Rao
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« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2006, 03:20:28 AM »

I can't see the world ever getting to that point as long as there is a "real" (silver/bronze-age) Superman in it.  The idea of a ban would never occur.  If you can't picture it happening in a George Reeves episode, then it would never happen.

Superman is immune to cynicism and is also cure against it.
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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
Aldous
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« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2006, 03:57:47 AM »

The Silver/Bronze Age Superman would never have let the world get to that point. In the face of an act passed by the government to ban Superheroes, he would not comply and would remain out in the open doing what he always did.

The trouble with that idea is I don't believe he would be the Silver Age/Bronze Age Superman anymore. Would Superman really do that? I have my doubts. Everything about the way he operates would have to change. What would he do with criminals? He can no longer arrest them. He can no longer give evidence in court. He wouldn't be able to visit schools or open supermarkets.

Far from being "out in the open doing what he always did", he would be doing things quite differently; perhaps like he does in "The Dark Knight Returns".

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Aldous
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« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2006, 04:28:04 AM »

I can't see the world ever getting to that point as long as there is a "real" (silver/bronze-age) Superman in it.  The idea of a ban would never occur.  If you can't picture it happening in a George Reeves episode, then it would never happen.

That's a big compliment to the George Reeves show, and fully justified as far as compliments go.

Except that George Reeves' Superman is not exactly the Silver Age/Bronze Age version. He's the George Reeves version. If you have watched and liked the first season of George Reeves' version (and I know you have), you will see that (in my view) he's the version best-suited to the world of "The Dark Knight Returns". He would fit right in there, probably embarrassing Batman with his two-fisted clean-up of the underworld and government corruption. George Reeves' Superman would probably be in his element. He would give the mutant leader in the mud-hole a worse beating than Batman gave him, and break a couple more bones besides.

George wouldn't go clandestine; he would be out there, slugging away and inspiring the man in the street.

The Silver Age Superman is a whole different kettle of fish. Not so different that they are not equally admirable, but one thing the proponents of the Silver Age Superman forget is what sort of a world he lives in. The public, for one thing, are as fickle as the most popular girl in high school. They can and have turned on the Man of Steel for the shakiest of reasons. With government propaganda in overdrive (assuming Superman bucked the system), how long before Silver Age people are throwing rocks at Superman in the street?

And that's what this is about. Superman transplanted to an unpleasant society where his own assumptions about his popular influence are thrown into doubt; which means it's also about what I said before: Superman's self-imposed limitations. George's Superman would not take half of what the Silver Age Superman put up with from the general public.
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2006, 12:43:46 PM »

It was -so- obviously intended to be jarring that I wasn't losing sleep over edge-less Superman.  I saw it "truth, justice, and the American Way gone wrong", clearly a product of its time.  Look at what would happen if Superman carried the flag through the Reagan '80s.

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Superman Forever
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« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2006, 03:08:12 PM »

It's certainly a product of Miller's view of the Superman character. Wich is different from Elliot S! Maggin's view. He created the situation in wich Superman would hide and follow american government, with the intention of deconstruct the hero, just like Byrne did in the Pocket Universe saga. Because tha's their worldview.

Maggins's Miracle Monday, Waid's Kingdon Come, Joe Kelly's Manchester Black stories are all samples of Superman stories where the character would fail in some way, in most of the cases, by killing the enemy. The story is constructed to reach a point in that the only solution for Superman would be to compromise. But Superman is Superman no matter what he is facing. Read the end of Miracle Monday? Try to put that character, with Maggin's confidence, in Miller's DKR and the result would be diferent. As Peter David said in one workshops recently, a story when Superman compromises is lazy wiriting, because he is Superman and always find a way no matter what.   

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Gernot
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« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2006, 09:33:46 AM »

The Silver/Bronze Age Superman would never have let the world get to that point. In the face of an act passed by the government to ban Superheroes, he would not comply and would remain out in the open doing what he always did.

The trouble with that idea is I don't believe he would be the Silver Age/Bronze Age Superman anymore. Would Superman really do that? I have my doubts. Everything about the way he operates would have to change. What would he do with criminals? He can no longer arrest them. He can no longer give evidence in court. He wouldn't be able to visit schools or open supermarkets.

Far from being "out in the open doing what he always did", he would be doing things quite differently; perhaps like he does in "The Dark Knight Returns".



Actually, the Bronze Age Superman was designated as a citizen in every member country of The United Nations, wasn't he?  Seeing as how almost every country on Earth would welcome him to set up shop there, I don't think The United States would actually throw away their "mightiest weapon!" 
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