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Author Topic: Superman is giving up his American citizenship .. ?  (Read 30196 times)
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 05:38:13 PM »

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Is my trust in this board misplaced?

Depends on what you're trusting it for.

Above, Rao says he bought it, read it and rates it "excellent." DBN seems to have read it and not liked it.  I never read it at all and I'm guessing from the tone of his post that Aldous didn't either, so we're reacting to news pieces and blog posts.

So if you're "trusting" this board to actually buy new issues of Superman and read them, so far you're at about a 25% success rate (although it sounds like Rao ONLY bought the issue because of the headlines).  If you're trusting us to like the issue, that number goes down to 12.5%.  If you're trusting the site to be a cheerleader for DC's having kept the title in production for 900 issues, well it's up to Rao whether he wants to give it its own page (as he did #400), but the evidence suggests a lot of us (or the small group that's still here) just aren't reading the books regardless of the numbering.  Action may have hit #900, but the last 200 or so of those featured a character I didn't care about, and didn't buy.

I think it's possible the reason so much chatter on the internet deals with the (apparently minor but certainly headline-friendly) "citizenship" issue is because a great many people do not read the books.  What they (we) know about the character these days is what makes the headlines.  Twenty years ago, I was shocked at the reaction most of the world had to news of Superman's "death," which was, in a nutshell, "You mean they still print comic books?!!"  Today, I've switched camps to the "great unwashed" where everything I know about comics is what I read in the paper or on a web site.  If the discussions surrounding issue #900 are largely focused on the "citizenship" (non-) issue, I suspect it's for that reason; nobody's reading the books, but everyone's ready to hop on to the "gripe" wagon. 
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India Ink
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2011, 07:44:03 PM »

i think the reason the internet is making a big deal about it (or was before the news of Bin Ladin--at which point this became old news, except on sites specific to comic books) has to do with the nature of the internet and nothing to do with comic books. If we had the internet back in the 70s, a lot of comic book stories would be picked up for third party promotion by the internet, as people fained shock at some action of Howard the Duck or Captain America or Wonder Woman, which only helps to sell more comic books. And such shock would just as quickly be forgotten. Apparently, it's very easy to shock the internet. Shock and pornography seem to be the two main drivers of commerce on the web.

Maybe my choice of words was inexact. I meant that I trust the people on this site to look past all that "shock" and realize that there are other things worthy of attention.

Just to underline these points.

  • 1. Action Comics is the second longest running comic book in continuous publication.

    2. Superman debuted in Action Comics no. 1. And now this comic has hit no. 900. 100 issues more and it will hit 1000. Maybe it's foolish that we humans make a big deal about hundredth and thousandth--but we do and therefore anything hitting 900 is usually cause for celebration.

    3. Superman was the first comic book super-hero and his debut began a flood of other super-heroes. The fortunes of DC and Marvel are virtually built upon Superman.
     
    4. It's amazing that a comic book can reach 900 when so many other comics are set back to no. 1 in order to jump start sales. And Action Comics reached that number the old-fashioned way. There was no clever fooling around with numbers. You can find copies of the other 899 issues, each with their own distinct number.

    5. Superman was stupidly taken out of Action, two years ago. Spoiling his run in the comics (although it's possible an image of Superman appeared in all of the skipped issues--I haven't checked), but at least with no. 900 he returns.

    6. There is a big battle between Luthor and Superman in this issue--which concludes the Luthor arc--while the same story begins a Doomsday arc.  The story has lots of flashbacks in it and features lots of guests. It even features Death of the Endless in it--which used to be a cause for Neil Gaiman to call his lawyers at scien****gy and fair game any writer or editor who dared to do such a thing--and further breaks down the Chinese wall between the DCU and the Vertigo-verse.

    7. The issue features a story by Damon Lindelof--of Lost fame--which is a lovely story worthy of E. Nelson Bridwell.

    8. The issue features an all too brief reprise of the Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes arc which appeared in Action a few years back, by Johns/Frank--in a bit of comedy cameos worthy of Jerry Siegel.

    9. Paul Dini scripts a very short little scene between Superman and a weird alien that is in the tradition of Elliot S! Maggin.

    10. Dick Donner & Dereck Hoffman provide a screenplay for a short Superman film (of the mind) with story boards by Matt Camp. Granted Donner has contributed to Action before, but it's still pretty amazing to have the director of Superman the Movie doing something like this--which indicates he might still have another Superman movie in him.

    11. There's the two page spread by Stellfreeze as mentioned above.

    12. It's a 96 or 100 (depending how you count) page Super-Spectacular.

    13. And there's the story by David Goyer--I guess it's too late to put up spoilers for this story, since the internet has spoiled this story all over the place (showing that the internet has no respect for comic book etiquette)--but frankly the slight turn at the end of the story would have probably gone past me if someone hadn't decided this was the most shocking thing that had ever happened to Superman and then pushed that angle all over the internet and then through traditional media. Goyer has lately garnered fame for co-scripting The Dark Knight movie, but he's written a lot of comic books. This story fits within his usual concerns. It's flawed for a lot of the reasons that Nightwing has given. It's an interesting little idea--worth discussing over a cup of coffee with a friend--but not really a subject that can be discussed by the internet at large, which has all the delicacy of an elephant performing the final scene from Black Swan.
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India Ink
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2011, 09:11:19 PM »

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i think the reason the internet is making a big deal about it (or was before the news of Bin Ladin--at which point this became old news, except on sites specific to comic books) has to do with the nature of the internet and nothing to do with comic books.

I think we're in agreement on that, actually.  My point is that most of the world would have no idea what happened in the book if not for the blogs that mentioned the Goyer tale, and even now all they now is those two panels.  That's to be expected from "mainstream" outlets -- by which I mean non-comics sites -- but it's interesting that the same thing is happening on sites that *do* deal with comics, which again says to me that all most people know about the book is those two panels.  Which in turn means that even people on comics-related sites are not reading Action.

That's just my take, mind you; I have no idea what the sales numbers look like.  For that matter, I have no idea how many comics *bought* these days are actually *read.*

I agree 900 is an impressive number -- I wish they'd let Adventure keep going! -- and it beats starting over every 6 months, for sure.  But as I said, for me the counter stopped advancing a long time ago. 

Quote
5. Superman was stupidly taken out of Action, two years ago. Spoiling his run in the comics (although it's possible an image of Superman appeared in all of the skipped issues--I haven't checked), but at least with no. 900 he returns.

They nearly did it before, when we got just two pages of Superman (or one, when they turned it sideways) in "Action Comics Weekly," so Big Blue could take a back seat to the likes of Chaykin-lite "Blackhawk" and some forgotten nobody in a hockey mask.

I would like to see Stelfreeze do Superman, though.  Maybe I'll pick the issue up if I find myself in an LCS for Free Comic Day (depends on whether there's anything good for my 8- and 6-year-olds).  Going to be hard to get past that cover, though...

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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2011, 11:04:25 PM »

I didn't like the regular cover. I thought it was drab and not fitting for an anniversary issue. Also I think this artist and the artist(s) inside the book have two completely different views on the main story. Mind you I found the main story kind of dull--it's not very active when you have a talking head Luthor vs. the Man of Steel--what's he going to do bore Superman to death with endless yammering on?

I tried to find one or the other of the variant covers--Adam Hughes doing a take on Superman 233 or Alex Ross doing a take on Action no. 1---but in the three stores that I checked they only had the regular cover.

But there is talk of more printings. Maybe one of these will have a better cover.

And since they will want to highlight the "controversy" on the cover of a 2nd or 3rd printing, I have the perfect cover idea for them--based on a common Silver Age theme. . .

In the extreme foreground is a Daily Planet newspaper with a headline that reads: "SUPERMAN SAYS 'NO' TO AMERICA" (another smaller headline reads "Action reaches 900")

In the foreground is Superman, while in the background is an angry mob of citizens. The citizens brandish sticks and throw rotten tomatoes and eggs at the Man of Steel. One person is holding a sign that reads "America Love It Or Leave It" while another sign reads "Superman Get Out!" A few people are waving American flags. Perry White is saying "Great Caesar's Ghost! I never thought I'd see the day!" While a young woman is saying, "You're no American!" and a little boy beside her, wearing a Superman T-shirt and probably her son, is crying while he rips up the current issue of Action Comics.

Superman has his back to the mob of angry citizens, but he's looking over his shoulder, back at them, as he thinks: "Who would have thought (choke) after 900 issues of Action . . . it would all end like this!"

A caption reads: "Is this the end of Superman? Hold onto your hats America, you won't believe the shocking conclusion of this issue's story: 'The Incident!'"
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India Ink
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2011, 11:06:30 PM »



  • 5. Superman was stupidly taken out of Action, two years ago. Spoiling his run in the comics (although it's possible an image of Superman appeared in all of the skipped issues--I haven't checked), but at least with no. 900 he returns.



I actually enjoyed the Lex Luthor centric Action Comics, Paul Cornell gave us possibly the best Lex Luthor in the comics after how Geoff Johns made him too much of a alien hating whiner. I had a good feeling about Cornell after reading his run at Marvel with Captain Britain And MI13, possibly the only geniunely good thing to come out of such a mess of an event like Secret Invasion. He also written many Doctor Who stories for both the show and the novelisations.




  • 8. The issue features an all too brief reprise of the Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes arc which appeared in Action a few years back, by Johns/Frank--in a bit of comedy cameos worthy of Jerry Siegel.


Hey, a story that involves Clark having a fun time with the Legion is always good in my book.


Now about the Goyer story itself, there are a lot of people who are really upset about this and saw this as unneccessary and I can't blame them. However there are also a lot of people who did like it and a huge number of them don't come across as "PC liberals", in a way it does make sense why he wants to do it.

Also I'm going to go on limb and say that if it wasn't for the George Reeves TV series, "The American Way" would have possible been seen as a short lived part of the Truth And Justice slogan used for the WWII era Superman and not as iconic as it is today
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2011, 01:12:21 AM »

In over-sized anniversary issues you're apt to get a lot of "unnecessary" stories--especially when you have guest writers, who are using this as their one opportunity to do a novel take on Superman. There are probably bloggers out there who made these kinds of points, but their blogs weren't sexy enough. Only the blogs that shouted loudly about an easy to understand blast against the story could get through the internet filter. And like some messenger RNA this simple message was copied over and over again onto other posts. And with that message blasted into the brain, a lot of people were reading this story with that slant already in mind.

So again I think this says a lot more about the phenomenon of the internet and less about comics--although it is probably affecting how comics are now read.

A poster on another board made a good observation about the internet and that a deliberate negative message about a character serves to revive and solidify the iconic status of the given character in the mind of people who might not have read this character for a long time.

Actually this probably isn't entirely a new thing. When I think about discovering the Sand Superman Saga it was a galvanizing moment that revived my interest in Superman because it played against the traditional image of Superman. For that to work, you had to have the traditional Superman in mind. Curt Swan's art helped with that. So by pushing against the icon, the Saga served to reenforce the icon in my mind.

I'm not so sure that the push back from the internet is such a bad thing for Superman. I seriously doubt that people are going to boycott comics in high numbers. Most people who would be driven away from Superman have already been (I only buy new Superman comics on occasion when I'm really interested in the story). By creating this furor, intentionally or unintentionally, DC gets people to think about what Superman stands for. I doubt that a lot of people have thought about that in a long time.

The question is what DC can do with that. If they had a movie to promote, they could probably use it. It might help to push a few more comic books, but I'm not sure that this internet phenomenon is going to have a pay-off for Superman, unless the producers on the Superman movie are trying to get some more seed money. This might prove to investors that Superman is still an icon with some life in him.
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India Ink
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2011, 01:16:56 AM »

As far as whether or not there should be a "page" or "section" on STTA devoted to Action Comics 900, I think that's a fine idea, but I don't know if I'll get to it - so submitted material is welcome.  I've actually got a back-log material I'd like to add, which includes Action 900 along with some other modern issues.

I still regularly get the Superman title - I started to pick it up when JMS came on board, and I've been enjoying the storyline.  I also like the new writer who seems to be taking over from him - so far he's incorporated elements from Maggin, Morrison, and many other cool sources.  He clearly knows his Superman lore and likes it.  His stuff is a lot of fun.

I decided not to regularly read Action because I had no interest in a book devoted to Lex Luthor.  But the Doomsday storyline seems enjoyable, so I'll probably continue to get that title too - it comes across to me as a sequel to the old "Death and Return" arc - I'm not sure how the Cyborg Superman, Eradicator, etc, came back on the scene; but I'm not too worried about that.  Although it's odd to have a Supergirl present who, I'm assuming, isn't the "matrix" Supergirl.

Death did appear in Action 900, but apparently she's been a semi-regular in this latest (ie, just concluded) storyline; so this isn't her first appearance in the title.

The Legion story was great, I like seeing sci-fi elements, Superman's high-power level, and a lot more in the issue was very cool. (viz. India Ink's list above)

I chose the Adam Hughes cover - my store had all three versions at cover price.

And I pretty much agree with everything India Ink has said about the issue in this thread - I didn't reply until now because I didn't have anything to add.



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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2011, 02:23:46 AM »

Yeah, I wasn't really advocating for a whole page devoted to 900 on the Through the Ages site. There's already a lot of other stuff that demands attention. I just thought there were other parts of the comic as worthy of comment as Goyer's story. But that image by Stellfreeze really made me think of this site. Only, if it were me, I would want to drop in some more images of Superman from the first 40 some years of the character, most of the images are devoted to incarnations of Superman in the last 25 years.
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