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Author Topic: Post Crisis comics that are in the spirit of Pre-Crisis?  (Read 12270 times)
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Council of Wisdom
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2007, 08:10:03 PM »

Quote from: Great Rao
True, Julian - but I don't think that a pre-crisis Superman would have to "reign in the instinct to kill."  That's a definite Jurgens touch.

Well, what I meant was Superman was fighting the killer urge in other, more warrior-minded alien heroes that he was paired with.

“No killing! You may fight that way on your planet, but not today.”

Dan Jurgens comes off more and more as Goneril’s husband in KING LEAR: a good man surrounded by scoundrels. Here, when writing a self-contained story, Jurgens pretty much told a story very Pre-Crisis in spirit: Superman fighting in outer space, Vartox’s return, Superman using his mind and strategy, and showing restraint and a cosmic humanitarianism.

Quote from: Superman Forever
There are some basic points that make the difference: 

This post shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the Pre-Crisis Superman comics.

Lots of people don’t like Pre-Crisis Byrne/Wolfman/Helfer Superman. I mostly agree and understand with this view. However, what’s worse is people have redefined Pre-Crisis Superman’s identity in reaction against and opposition to Post-Crisis.

Quote from: Superman Forever
1 - Superman as the real identity in Pre-Crisis;

This is a perfect example of what I mean. Where…where in Pre-Crisis was it stated that Superman is the “real” guy and Clark Kent is the “disguise?” Maggin believed this was so, and described the relationship between the two in those terms.

But lots of other writers…in fact, most writers of this era, didn’t see it that way. Len Wein believed it was Clark Kent that was the truer identity, for instance. Cary Bates, in “Who Took the Super out of Superman?” said it wasn’t as simple as one is “real” and the other is a “disguise;” they’re intertwined and he can't be one without the other.

In other words, Pre-Crisis, there was a diversity of opinion on something as complicated as Superman’s identity. 

Though along comes Post-Crisis, which definitively states that Clark Kent is the more central identity. So, what’s the reaction? “Superman is the real identity and Clark Kent’s the disguise! That’s how it was Pre-Crisis!” Well, not really.

As my Father told me, "Reactionaries are called that for a reason.”

Quote from: Superman Forever
2 - Krypton being a utopian future;

Again, also something of a misrepresentation of Pre-Crisis.

Pre-Crisis Krypton was certainly better off than earth in many ways, and much more exciting and exotic than Earth (just like John Carter’s Barsoom was), but it would be misleading to call it a “utopia.” There was crime, evil scientists, Generals staging coups, serial killers, and a government that was (ironically) stagnant, conservative, foolish and self-satisfied (which is what led to that civilization’s demise).

Mark Waid had the most interesting take on Krypton: it was far from a utopia, but rather a frontier world that required guts and toughness to tame.

It’s interesting to note that except for the "movie" Krypton, just about every version of Krypton has scary, tough wildlife.

The Byrne/Wolfman/Helfer Krypton was a Dystopia, yes, but reacting against this to the point of saying Pre-Crisis Krypton was a “utopia” is not being honest to what Pre-Crisis Krypton is about.

Quote from: Superman Forever
3 - Superman being effective.

Actually, this statement is accurate.

Quote from: Superman Forever
Kingdon Come is like a manifest against the Iron Age, a celebration of the iconic and noble super-heroes and a comentary on the comics industry itself.

Boy, was KINGDOM COME awful. It was like going out on a date with a Norwegian girl: yeah, she looks pretty, but she's also cold, humorless, and not a lot of fun at all.

That’s KINGDOM COME right there: it was the STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE of supercomics. It so concentrated on being BIG and IMPORTANT that it forgot to remind us just why we liked these characters to begin with. It lacked warmth, it lacked humanity.

There were only four things in it that were even remotely fun, unstifling and interesting:

1) The whole “Quit making the world safe for science, Beetle, and let an old man be paranoid” interaction. If only the miniseries had this much personality and character as this one panel did!

2) The superhero diner sequence.

3) Batman saying “Ah, so that’s what that feels like” when Superman walked out in the middle of a conversation.

4) That annoying kid from Superfriends getting popped in the face. God Almighty, never in my entire life have I wanted to own an original piece of art more!  Grin

Other than that, this was by far the most cliché story of all time. Every element seen here has been seen elsewhere: Superman vs. Batman, Superman getting together with Wonder Woman, heroes trying to fix society but going too far and getting lectured on why this is wrong, and finally, the most cliché element of all: aging heroes coming out from retirement because the world is a mess.

If someone other than Alex Ross had done this miniseries, like say, George Tuska…nobody would have cared about it at all.

And worst of all, it was done with a totally sanctimonious, full-of-itself tone with BIBLE QUOTES. Bible quotes, people!

Every Alex Ross painting of the Superman vs. Shazam battle looked like the album cover of a bad eighties hair band.

And the whole “old school heroes show up and give new heroes a sorely deserved beating?” Boy, I sure loved that. Superman and the rest of his fellow stormtroopers went around beating the everliving snot out of anyone under 25…and THEN theu had the cast-iron testicles to tell to them that “violence is wrong?”

The part I love best is that the obvious irony of this position escaped Mark Waid and Ross.

You know what I’d love to see? A sort of reverse-KC future where the outlaw “take the law into their own hands” heroes of the pulps and Golden Age comics return, and beat the everliving snot out of their undeserving successors: the duly deputized, neutered heroes of the early Silver Age that walk arm-in-arm with the establishment. The guys that traded self-respect for a deputization badge.

God, that would be the shortest battle in history. In a fight with ERB’s genius superwarrior Tarzan, 1950s-1960s Batman would last about as long as Ann Coulter in a steel cage match with Queen Latifah.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2007, 08:27:37 PM by JulianPerez » Logged

"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)
Council of Wisdom
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2007, 08:36:57 PM »

Also...was the German hero named Von Bach? An obvious reference to Moorcock's VON BEK. His big role in the story is to break out of the gulag and kill his jailer Captain Comet, just like Ulrich von Bek broke out of the concentration camp in THE DREAMTHIEF'S DAUGHTER and killed the Nazis that tortured him.

Somehow, this makes the morally bankrupt position of Superman in this story all the more apparent. The Von Bek bloodline were agents of Chaos against a corrupt, warped Law, from the French Revolution to Nazi Germany.

Way to go, Waid: you actually got me rooting AGAINST my hero Superman.

« Last Edit: August 08, 2007, 08:41:19 PM by JulianPerez » Logged

"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)
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
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Semper Vigilans

« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2007, 09:08:24 PM »

Boy, was KINGDOM COME awful.

On this, at least, we agree.  Pretty underwhelming brand-new, and worse as time goes by.  I think your "Titanic" analogy is much better applied to this series than to A-SS.

It was like going out on a date with a Norwegian girl: yeah, she looks pretty, but she's also cold, humorless, and not a lot of fun at all.

You lost me there.  I happen to have married a Norwegian girl and she's always been an outgoing, funny, sweet ray of sunshine to my crusty curmudgeon.  Then again, if she were dating you, she might've had a hard time keeping that sunshine radiating, sure enough.  Cheesy Cheesy

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