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Author Topic: Why do they alays want Superman to be "weaker"  (Read 18097 times)
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Rugal 3:16
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« on: July 21, 2011, 01:17:08 PM »

It's kinda stupid how they say

"Superman is wayy too powerful"

but yet when they compare him to say Thor, Hulk and Juggernaut.. they go on saying

"Those three would stomp Superman easily"

and they NEVER complain about those three

kidding aside arguments are always

"It's hard to find a 'credible threat' to him if he's powerful"

If anyone here knows the term PIS (plot induced stupidity) they use it all the time.. ignoring by and lkarge that comics is a medium FULL of PIS

I guess it's part a syndrome of "People love to see a hero fall"

or maybe their love for "conservatism is dead  and those who are should be burned to a steak"

Elliot S! Maggin hated the motion of "always having to depower him" it's the easy way out..

Grant Morrison's All Star Superman was all powerful but he did make it work.

and they want supes to be as weak as the Byrne supes ARE THEY EFFING KIDDING? even without the argument of Byrne's work on the character

the power level was way wrong, he shouldn't have trouble lifting planes, and stronger bullets shouldn't hurt him it's pathetic.
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nightwing
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 02:35:01 PM »

The Hulk has a built-in weakness: no brain.

Thor works because rather than ramping down his power levels (how do you de-power a GOD?), they instead gave him a supporting cast nearly as powerful as himself.  Thor operates in a world of cosmic-power-level beings (friends and enemies) and consequently he's always more interesting in space or Asgard than he is fighting Earth-bound menaces or (yawn) pining over Jane Foster as the lame (in every possible sense) Don Blake.

With the exception of Kirby's work on the character, few writers have seemed interested in doing the same for Superman.  There's been little interest in giving him cosmic threats or space-borne adventures; instead everyone wants to hang out in Metropolis (or worse, Smallville) and focus on the marriage and Clark Kent's day job at the Daily Planet.  It's a tough balance; how do you focus on "human" stuff without wasting the enormous potential of a guy of Superman's abilities, and conversely how do you make it believable that a guy who juggles stars would worry about deadlines or the water bill?  Obviously it can be done, but historically only a few have really pulled it off. 

Byrne avoided the issue by deciding from Day One that Superman was an Earth-man first, ruling out space missions let alone time travel, which helps if you want to take the "he's just average guy with something extra" approach, but as you say in the end it just makes him one of the crowd, and even, given his reduced power levels, something of an also-ran.  It's one thing to say you want to make him more "relatable," but when everyone around him is more powerful than he is, you have to wonder how he even gets away with calling himself "Superman.'  Captain Marvel ought to pat him on the head and chuckle, "Well aren't you cute?"
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DBN
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 05:21:01 PM »

Comic book writers rarely have a sense of scale. The Byrne Superman was a hell of a lot more powerful than most give him credit for.

Consider this, the Byrne Superman was capable of reaching escape velocity. Translated into speed, that's mach 34. Now, what happens when an object of Superman's mass hits another at that speed? You get a massive release of kinetic energy. I'm not a physics guy, but hypersonic punches themselves should have more impact than the 16-inch shells from an Iowa-class battleship.

The Jurgens Superman, who was capable of high sub-light speeds was a bloody relativistic kill vehicle.

Of course, the funny book writers don't think like hard science fiction writers.
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countryboylife
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2011, 06:07:20 PM »

I always quote Neal Gaiman from here " http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2008/12/02/neil-gaiman-ala/

Talking about the Sandman character's genesis.

"And I wanted someone who is absolutely and utterly powerful. It’s interesting because at the time, John Byrne had just taken over Superman and had announced that he was making Superman less powerful because he had become too powerful and you couldn’t write interesting stories about people that were too powerful. That started me thinking, “Well, no, actually you can, because what makes a person interesting or not interesting isn’t how powerful they are, but who they are.”

+ Gaiman hommaged in one of the Sandman arcs "Jonathan Carroll" a fairly well-known American author who is also the name of Lois Lane's new boyf.
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2011, 08:10:11 PM »

Because generally they hate superman ( yeah, you, byrne) and want to make him easily clobbered by ordinary objects. I think supes should be powerful and making him weak is a easy way out. I think in one early 2000;s Justice League comic I read, he was knocked down with a club because he was caught" off guard."
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Adekis
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2011, 04:53:07 AM »

There are those who believe Superman should be stronger, and those who believe he should be weaker.

Here's the problem. If Superman becomes too powerful, he ceases to be Superman.
If he gets too powerful, so powerful he loses his touch with humanity, he isn't Superman. He becomes a god. And as pointed out before, a god among men is less fun then a god among gods. This is why I find the Silver Age Superboy stories more fun than the more ridiculous Superman ones- he has other Godlings to hang out with, the Legion. And even then, the stories get really silly. Nobody can sneeze out a star. Nobody can pull planets through space with a chain without hurting them. It's not believable. I don't care who it is, nobody can do that.

There's another way to keep his powers in check. He has to be Clark, to hold him back, to keep him from being a God. He has to be an everyman.
Siegel and Shuster did that on purpose, to make him relatable, despite claims that we're not supposed to relate to Superman.  That's just silly.
It's the whole reason behind half of the character. But he can't be totally held back either. If he can get knocked out by a club, that's every bit as silly as if he sneezes out a star.

Because here's the other problem. If Superman becomes too weak, he ceases to be Superman. An everyman Super-Hero who's only got mild super-strength, mild invulnerability, mild super-speed? That's Spider-Man. There are good stories about Spider-Man. But the appeal of Superman is not the appeal of Spider-Man. He's a normal guy, that Clark Kent. Normal clothes, normal (okay, mildly heroic) job, normal pal, normal girl trouble. And the greatest secret on Earth is that Clark Kent is one of the most powerful beings in the universe.
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Lee Semmens
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2011, 10:16:16 AM »

It's kinda stupid how they say

"Superman is wayy too powerful"

but yet when they compare him to say Thor, Hulk and Juggernaut.. they go on saying

"Those three would stomp Superman easily"

and they NEVER complain about those three


That's the sort of illogic some Marvel fans use when decrying DC heroes, such as Superman.

For instance, I know of some who hate Superman (because he's an alien), and Green Lantern (because he got his ring from an alien), because, of course, "that's impossible", on the other hand - in their opinion - of course it's perfectly possible  Roll Eyes for a radioactive spider bite to create Spider-Man, or a gamma bomb blast to turn a man into the Hulk!

Nothing against the Hulk or Spider-Man (or their fans), but I've always thought it is straw-splitting to maintain that some super-powered heroes are more realistic than others because of the use of very arbitrary and selective criteria in passing judgment in what is, after all, an extremely implausible and unrealistic medium; superhero comics.

Getting back on topic, the answer to your question, "Why do they always want Superman to be "weaker"?", well the main one is that it is a lot easier to write Superman that way, rather than as a god-like being, as Denny O'Neill -for one - observed years ago.
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nightwing
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 01:11:45 PM »

Quote
For instance, I know of some who hate Superman (because he's an alien), and Green Lantern (because he got his ring from an alien), because, of course, "that's impossible", on the other hand - in their opinion - of course it's perfectly possible  Roll Eyes for a radioactive spider bite to create Spider-Man, or a gamma bomb blast to turn a man into the Hulk!

Hear, hear.

It's always struck me as funny that The Whizzer is considered more or less the laughing stock of the MU because he got his super-speed from a transfusion of Mongoose blood ("Hahahaa! That's stooopid!") but Spider-Man is perfectly plausible and the darling of the MU after getting his powers from a spider bite ("Oh, that could happen!"). 

The real reason Marvel fans don't like Superman is that (1) he's confident in his abilities and his correctness (or at least used to be), and (2) he shows too much restraint.  Anyone with super-powers is supposed to spend their day beating up on somebody else; if you can't find a villain, fight another superhero.  In Marvel terms, anyone who doesn't doubt himself and/or throw a tantrum every two hours is boring.

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