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Author Topic: Could Superman still function as a Hero after exposure to Gold-K??  (Read 16385 times)
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2007, 06:41:12 PM »

I don't know if Superman would continue being a crimefighter-adventurer-humanitarian without his powers, because a part of his motivation for being a hero is the fact that he has them.

Superman takes pride in his alien nature and his specialness. It isn't quite as simple as the Spider-Man style "responsibility of power," although his special nature does imply truly awesome obligations, as Martin Pasko points out.

Rather, it's more like, as Alex Ross says, Superman views his powers as a gift, not just to himself but to the entire world.

Let's say he's removed of his powers in a permanent and final way, like Gold-K. Would that not also absolve Superman of his responsibility to act as a hero that his powers bring?
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2007, 07:07:22 PM »

I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the concept of Superman being "absolved of his responsibility."

We're not talking about a Marvel character here; Superman doesn't do what he does out of guilt or obligation or any other onerous, misery-inducing motive.  He has powers so he shares them, it's as simple as that.  If his power was to do math really quick, balance objects on his nose or win hotdog eating contests, he'd find a way to turn that do the greater good, as well.

Superman does what he does because of who he is, and he is who he is because of his parents -- both sets -- and his own nature.  Jor-El and Lara gave him a shot at life in the face of unimaginable catastrophe (and in some tellings, at sacrifice of their own lives), Jonathan and Martha taught him to help his fellow man and stick to a moral code.  His own powers taught him the beauty and fragility of life in its myriad forms across the Universe.  None of that would leave him just because he could no longer "leap tall buildings in a single bound."

Further, Superman has seen "ordinary" humans risk their lives to save others, to stop crime, to better the world.  After seeing the acts of firefighters, soldiers and policemen, after knowing men like Bruce Wayne, how could he sit idly by and let the world go to rot while he enjoyed burgers on the grill with Lois somewhere in suburbia?

I think there's certainly a theme running through classic Superman tales where he wishes he could live a normal life, settle down and not be the world's savior.  On the other hand, there's an over-arching theme in those same tales that good men are required to do good deeds -- merely abstaining from evil is not enough, and not having superpowers is no excuse for not acting.  If Gold K entered the picture, I believe it wouldn't take long for plain old, depowered Clark Kent to roll up his sleeves and continue the good fight.  Superman is who is, and even he can't escape that.  Losing his powers wouldn't spur him to retirement; it would just make his job harder.

On the other hand, there are lots of ways to help without putting on a silly costume and punching thugs in the jaw.  So it's possible a depowered Kal would "crusade" in some other way entirely...some way we wouldn't find interesting enough to justify a monthly comic.
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AMAZO
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2007, 08:01:38 PM »

Don't forget this:


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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2007, 09:36:01 PM »

If Gold K entered the picture, I believe it wouldn't take long for plain old, depowered Clark Kent to roll up his sleeves and continue the good fight.  Superman is who is, and even he can't escape that.  Losing his powers wouldn't spur him to retirement; it would just make his job harder.
Whatever happened to Jordan Elliot? 

Do you think Superman deliberately killing someone would be enough to make him renounce his powers, give up the good fight, and live happily ever after?

Does the vision of a depowered Clark (or anyone else for that matter) fighting crime in the fugly Supermobile scare anyone else?  Smiley
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Great Rao
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2007, 12:12:34 AM »


Whatever happened to Jordan Elliot? 


This is additional proof that Jerry Siegel "gets" Superman more than Alan Moore does.

I really like the idea of having Gold-K only eliminate Superman's "additional" (ie, solar-based) powers but not his inherent (reduced gravity) ones.  I think that's a clever concept and makes a lot of sense.
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2007, 01:11:51 AM »

He can always become Nightwing! Smiley

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carmine
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2007, 02:16:03 AM »

ha, I forgot that. He has plenty of Non-powered crime fighting skills. He could wear his kandor suit.  Maybe he wouldnt be flying through time and the universe helping everyone but he could still fight crime as nightwing (or i guess not since batmans old sidekick now has that name).
 
Everyone would miss Superman though. Maybe he could control his superman robots so that everyone thinks supes is still around (dont want any supervillians to get too excited). It would be nice to see kal use his superman robots for something else besides covering up his secret ID.

I think Supes would put alot more effort into becoming a crusading crime fighting journalists of some sort and only occasionaly suit up for superheroing.

(It could be a fun tale to see supes back at his 1938 powers if he lost his solar based powers but kept his gravity based ones)
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2007, 03:18:54 AM »

Quote from: nightwing
Superman does what he does because of who he is, and he is who he is because of his parents -- both sets -- and his own nature.  Jor-El and Lara gave him a shot at life in the face of unimaginable catastrophe (and in some tellings, at sacrifice of their own lives), Jonathan and Martha taught him to help his fellow man and stick to a moral code.  His own powers taught him the beauty and fragility of life in its myriad forms across the Universe.  None of that would leave him just because he could no longer "leap tall buildings in a single bound."

There's a difference between being a decent human being and someone called to a special destiny.

Would Superman act to pursue goodness without his powers? The answer, as the Busiek/Johns stuff (among other things) tells us, is yes, he certainly would.

But there's a difference between, say, telling the truth as a crusading journalist, and the special duties that his powers bestow. Because he can act on such a scale, Superman makes certain things his business that otherwise wouldn't be.

For instance, take everybody's favorite Superman story, the Maggin/Bates "Who Took the Super out of Superman?" In his dream sequence, you've got planes crashing everywhere. That's not a concern to you or me, because what can we do about planes, right? But it's something that inspires enormous guilt in Superman, because he feels his duties are shirked by his selfish desire to act on Clark Kent's wants.

I agree with you that a great deal of what made Superman who he is, is what he was "programmed" with by his life experiences. Part of that is, that he interprets his powers as something he has an obligation to share and use to help.

In Superman comics, whenever something terrible happens and Superman wasn't around to help, or was occupied, his inevitable reaction to it is "if I was here, this wouldn't have happened." Whether you interpret that as a responsibility or an obligation, or "a spirit of giving" is up to you.

Quote from: nightwing
He has powers so he shares them, it's as simple as that.  If his power was to do math really quick, balance objects on his nose or win hotdog eating contests, he'd find a way to turn that do the greater good, as well.

I'm sure if his power was super hotdog-eating, he'd certainly find a way to have that help others. Like, say, if a hot-dog company would give $1000 to feed orphans if somebody could eat more hot dogs than the hot dog eating robot...sure, he'd pit his Stomach of Steel against the machine, John Henry-style.

But there's a difference between Superman's frankly godlike powers and hot-dog eating, in the sense that his godlike powers, combined with his sense of purpose, imply a ROLE. Superman can't help or save everybody at all times, sure. But if a plane goes down somewhere and he hears it, he has a responsibility to save it, for no other reason than because he can.

That's what I mean by his powers being an obligation that Gold K can absolve from him: he can, so therefore he should.

Quote from: nightwing
Further, Superman has seen "ordinary" humans risk their lives to save others, to stop crime, to better the world.  After seeing the acts of firefighters, soldiers and policemen, after knowing men like Bruce Wayne, how could he sit idly by and let the world go to rot while he enjoyed burgers on the grill with Lois somewhere in suburbia?

I agree, he wouldn't. If Superman was from a planet with a yellow sun and had no powers on earth, he would have selected a profession that would let him do a great deal of good. You know, like crusading journalist. Smiley

Somebody earlier in this thread mentioned "Under the Green Sun." I think there's a difference between a story like that and a situation where Superman loses his powers permanently with Gold-K. In Under the Green Sun, he saw a problem he had to overcome with guts and know-how. He had opportunity. There was something broken and wrong with the society around him: people enslaved and a dictator.

There's a difference between that, and a de-powered Superman in our society. If there was an injustice that huge (say, the Martians from Don MacGregor's KILLRAVEN invaded) he'd be the first to organize his block together to repel the invaders. If Superman had no powers, he'd help if he could, but he wouldn't go around looking for trouble.

Also, it's unfair to compare situations where Superman has temporarily lost his powers (e.g. Kandor) and a situation where he'd be permanently depowered by Gold-K. If he temporarily lost his powers, that would just be a bad situation where he'd have to make do for a while. If he lost them forever, however...his role changes.

Note that Superman doesn't go into Kandor as Nightwing to patrol unless there's a problem.

Quote from: nightwing
We're not talking about a Marvel character here; Superman doesn't do what he does out of guilt or obligation or any other onerous, misery-inducing motive. 

You're seeing a dichotomy there that I don't see.

The thing I always found most interesting about Hal Jordan, for instance, the most "DC" of all the DC white-male father-figures, was that, while he was proud of being a GL, the highest honor any human or alien could aspire to...at the same time, there was a non-democratic spirit to the Green Lantern Corps that he occasionally resented. The Guardians say "jump," he says "off which building?" In other words, many times, he cursed his responsibilities and duties, which took precedent over what he wanted to do as an individual. He had to do things the Guardians' way, not his way.

Also, reading my brand-new SHOWCASE FLASH, one of the things that strikes me as interesting is how Barry Allen's personal life suffers as a result of his superheroism.

Quote from: Great Rao
I really like the idea of having Gold-K only eliminate Superman's "additional" (ie, solar-based) powers but not his inherent (reduced gravity) ones.  I think that's a clever concept and makes a lot of sense.

I agree he'd be pretty formidable even without his powers. That's one thing that always bugged me about SUPERMAN II. A surly guy at a truck stop could beat Superman up? C'mon! Losing your powers doesn't make you a wuss.

Superman without his powers is a pretty incredible mental and physical specimen: maybe even Batman or Doc Savage-level, and he has tons of experience as an adventurer.

Maybe if Superman lost his powers permanently, he'd be a hero-trainer and befriend a kid.

Quote from: carmine
It would be nice to see kal use his superman robots for something else besides covering up his secret ID.

I love the Cary Bates Superman story where he comes upon a crazed Superboy robot holdout. That was a fascinating way to use an idea that was cool but doomed because it was misused.

Something as cool as the Superman Robots exist...but the BEST thing the writers can think of to do with them is something as boring as have them protect Superman's secret identity?
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