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Author Topic: Are there too many Superman origins?  (Read 17445 times)
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Ruby Spears Superman
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« on: April 08, 2007, 02:49:00 AM »

 I don't read the regular Superman comics for a very important reason, I don't like the constant origin revamps. This has soured me on DC continuity altogether. Even if they were to call me up tommorow and ask me what I would want done with his origin I still don't think I could go back at this point. I recently picked up "All Star" #6 in hopes of finding a Superman book that I can read on a regular basis again but I find that my past experiences have made me so cynical that I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop and for them to do something that I don't agree with. I also did this with "Generations", even though I have both the first and second volumes and parts of the third. It has yet to do something I don't like also, but I'm still expecting the worst. All of this has to do with the post crisis Superman.

"Man of Steel" came out when I was eight years old but I didn't find out about it until I was twice that age. I was grossly disapointed to discover that in this reality this Superman didn't even start developing his powers until late in life. I had read some post crisis comics up until that point with out realizing there was anything wrong with them and even after that I tried to continue reading them while ignoring the parts I didn't like. This only works for so long until they keep reminding you of the stuff you don't like on a regular basis. I then went back and embraced the pre-crisis stuff because it told me what I wanted to hear. But over time I have come to realize that this is not the solution or a particularly healthy attitude to have, it's just a symptom of a larger problem. There are just too many versions of Superman.

When you look at a character like Batman or Spiderman, you automatically know his history. With Superman, the only thing known for sure is that he left Krypton as a young child and sometime between then and the age of thirty he discovered he had super powers and put on a costume to save people. Is this a good thing? Is it a good thing that the Smallville Superman's powers developed differently then the Lois and Clark version did? It seems like everytime they do a new TV show, his powers developed a different way. Is this a good thing? Is it a good thing that you actually have a choice in which version you like best, especially if that version may not be around?

 Should Superman have a carved in stone history the way the other heroes do? If so, what should it be? This web site is dedicated to the pre-crisis Superman, so obviously there is a clear divide on the issue of how his history should be, I doubt you'll find a fan site dedicated to the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko Spiderman that says Marvel should bring back that version into continuity because technically, it already is. We all have our favorite version of the character, my question is, should we? Should there be so many to choose from in the first place? I have said on another thread how I like the pre-crisis version because it is very loose with the absolutes, this allows me a lot of leeway in interpretation. This is good for me but is it good for the character as a whole? I'm just curious if anyone else thinks that Superman has too wide a field to play in or if it's just me.           
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davidelliott
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2007, 07:38:29 AM »

Everyone who seems to edit or take over a title these days revamps it to his liking.... whether comics, TV, movies, etc...

I agree, pre-crisis had a tighter continuity. When Julie Schwartz took over the editorial reigns, he respected Mort W's continuity AND elaborated on it.

Today, whoever the editor of the month is, he revamps things to his own liking.  Ironically, the Crisis was supposed to iron all that out (well, it WAS the Iron Age!), but failed miserably
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crispy snax
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2007, 08:34:00 AM »

pre crisis had a messier continuity, if you look around  this site you can find a timeline which refereances supermans early days... the origin story was revisted so often that its pretty much become weighed down by lots of excess stories, i mean it started out with Jor-El only having one shuttle in a desperate attempt to blast it off... but after morty and the boys got to it, it turned out he had quite a few to spare...
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2007, 02:33:43 PM »

Superman's sheer longevity probably has something to do with the fact that his origin is constantly embellished as well as changed, but there is SOMETHING about the character that seems to drive people to want to re-imagine it.  I suppose partly because its such a big story, involving another lost world and a sense of him being an orphan among humans.
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2007, 03:17:11 PM »

Here are a lot of them, still missing one or two I think.

http://superman.nu/tales/origins.php


Krypton had rockets, it is just that no one believe Jor-El.

see:

http://superman.nu/wiki/index.php/Mala
http://superman.nu/wiki/index.php/U-Ban
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carmelo
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2007, 03:20:48 PM »

An part important of the problem is that from "Man of steel"the authors have given too much importance at movies and TV series.John Byrne'Superman was too much influenced from "Superman the movie" of 1978.Planet Krypton and Jor-El and Lara look,the cancellation of Superboy,Ma and Pa Kent that are alive (in the movie only Martha) ,Lex Luthor with red hairs,come all from the motion picture.Cancel Superboy was a big mistake.The character existed from 1945 (only seven years after the birth of Superman on comics),and was a great character;which was the problem with he? Im are very very angry with Byrne. After "man of style" every author has been felt free to change also important parts of legend (like the wedding of Clark and Lois).About all things that came from movies and tv they would have to be considered "imaginary stories",and not incorporate in comics.
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2007, 05:11:57 PM »

Having Clark as a Superboy that makes logical sense with Superman is difficult, as anyone who's seen both meet President Kennedy can attest.

Each choice introduces fun storytelling possibilities, but eliminates others.  Superman doesn't make such a grand debut by saving the helicopter or space shuttle if Superboy's been doing that stuff in Smallville for years.  Given the variants, I'm surprised they don't have a multiple choice checklist:

Status of Ma and Pa Kent relative to Superman:
a) both parents dead
b) both parents alive
c) Martha alive
d) Jonathan alive (not often used, we like Martha more)

Status of Jor-El and Lara:
a) dead on Krypton
b) alive, suspended animation, surrounded in a Kryptonite
c) Jor-El dead, but spirit lives on to torture Superman (Smallville option)

etc.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2007, 06:37:35 PM »

One thing that probably factors in is that many characters get powers at very certain times - Flash, Green Lantern, Spectre, etc.  Kal-El comes to Earth with his powers in place, and its always tempting to want to show them earlier and earlier, or to react against it.

I liked Superboy when he lived in a nebulous past, I lost interest when he moved on to battling the Nazis, to meeting Kennedy, having his parents rejuvenated, to meeting Bigfoot, and solving the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.
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