superman.nuMary Immaculate of Lourdes NewtonHolliston School Committeefacebook    
  •   forum   •   MIRACLE MONDAY: "THE MIRACLE!" •   fortress   •  
Superman Through the Ages! Forum
News: Superman Through the Ages! now located at theAges.superman.nu
 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
May 21, 2024, 09:21:48 AM


Login with username, password and session length


Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Favourite Representations of the "S" shield  (Read 15667 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
MatterEaterLad
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1389


Silver Age Surfer


WWW
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2011, 11:19:58 PM »

The whole "Sword of Superman" idea is yet another example of the late pre-Crisis baloney that led to over-mythologizing and the whole Crisis and modern era of over-thinking in general.

Superman is the greatest individual on Earth. He's super, and hence, the "S".

It didn't take any Bronze Age junk to over-analyze the matter.
Logged
Great Rao
Administrator
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1897



WWW
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2011, 02:45:54 AM »

Quote from: Joe Shuster
Jerry Siegel and I came up with the 'S' insignia - we discussed it in detail.  We said, 'Let's put something on the front of the costume.'  From the beginning we wanted to somehow use the first letter of the character's name.  We thought S was perfect.  After we came up with it, we kiddingly said, 'Well, it's the first letter of Siegel and Shuster.'
Logged

"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
Adekis
Superman Emergency Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 58



« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2011, 07:57:29 PM »

You're right, Superboy's "S"-Symbol is kinda cute, rather than arrogant.

But I prefer versions of the mythos that do not have Superboy. I love the character, but if he's Superboy before he's Superman, Superman showing up in Metropolis isn't "MYSTERIOUS SUPERMAN SAVES (whatever)! WHO IS HE?", it's "SUPERBOY MOVES TO METROPOLIS!". Without Superboy, the "S" can't convincingly stand for Superman, I don't think.

My favorite version is the Waid conception of the "S". It's a symbol of hope for all of Krypton, and thanks to the efforts of Kal-El, it's a symbol of hope for Earth as well, and many other planets throughout the galaxy that know of Superman's Never-Ending Battle for Truth and Justice.

The idea that it's merely "S Stands for Superman" seems rather silly to me. He's not that arrogant.

Also: I didn't know about the fish thing, but I remember the one from "the Kents" miniseries. I believe it was an American Indian healing blanket adorned with a snake. I used to prefer that version of it, since it allowed Johnathan Kent to have come up with the symbol, like in MoS, but it still meant something besides "S is for Superman". If it comes down to it, I'd still pick that over "S is for Superman", because I feel like the symbol needs to be something that had a meaning before Clark put it on his chest.
Logged
India Ink
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 547


« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2011, 03:05:59 AM »

After seeing that shot of Superboy, I was thinking about this--because there are a lot of people who say they prefer a Superboy-less Superman. And I can kind of understand that, because Superboy might take something away from Superman. But in terms of which character makes more sense--I would say Superboy actually makes more sense than Superman (that is if you want comic books to make sense--which is debatable).

It makes sense for Superboy to be a boy scout. This is the boyhood ideal that he's living out. His whole life is a good boy's fantasy. A fancy action costume. Really why wouldn't a kid put his initial on his shirt--and make it really big and loud? We all had ideas we thought were super-cool when we were kids, that we think are rather embarrassing now.

And everything that Superman does is what any kid would do if he had the chance. That's why it's such a great fantasy. Of course, a lot of people criticize Superman for being childish. But you can't really criticize Superboy for being a child--because he is a child!
Logged

India Ink
nightwing
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1627


Semper Vigilans


WWW
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2011, 01:30:14 PM »

Quote
yet a mere S that stands for superman, ( or superboy ) doesn't have as much meaning. Any random heroe could have a large capital letter of their title, yet the best ones have symbol's.

Ah, but when Superman was created, he wasn't in competition with those characters, was he?  He was THE FIRST.  So the mere fact that any of them have a chest emblem at all means they're all -- every one of them -- paying homage to Superman.  The Phantom is often cited as the first real costumed comic hero, but he didn't have a chest emblem.  Neither did Zorro, John Carter or Flash Gordon.  You could argue Prince Valiant had that "rook" symbol, but I've never figured out how it relates to anything, so it wasn't a very effective one.

If you want to talk about "symbols," I challenge you to find one more powerful and more universally recognized in all of comics than the Big Red S. It's not only more famous than anything in comics, it's right up there with the Coca-Cola brand, the Red Cross and yes, the Christian cross when it comes to recognition around the globe.

It may have been "just a letter" when it started, but it's a heck of a lot more than that, now.  And if Waid and others have scrambled to explain it and make it seem like "something bigger," it's only within the context of the fictional DCU.  In the REAL world, it needs no explanation and it does mean something bigger.

Quote
But I prefer versions of the mythos that do not have Superboy. I love the character, but if he's Superboy before he's Superman, Superman showing up in Metropolis isn't "MYSTERIOUS SUPERMAN SAVES (whatever)! WHO IS HE?", it's "SUPERBOY MOVES TO METROPOLIS!". Without Superboy, the "S" can't convincingly stand for Superman, I don't think.

That "Caped Wonder Stuns City" business isn't important at all to me, and I'm perfectly willing to sacrifice it for all the fun I get from Superboy.  Really, it's just one scene out of one story -- the origin -- and if DC was ever interested in telling a story other than the origin -- for the eleventy-billionth time -- they wouldn't need it at all.

Quote
And everything that Superman does is what any kid would do if he had the chance. That's why it's such a great fantasy. Of course, a lot of people criticize Superman for being childish. But you can't really criticize Superboy for being a child--because he is a child!

But how do they define "childish"?  When I say "childish" I usually mean unreasonable, petulant, willful or foolish.  Superman is none of those things.  What he is, is child-like...in his belief in the basic goodness of mankind, in his confidence that right will win in the end, in his optimism, generosity and kindness.  For modern fandom, and I suppose modern society in general, those are all immature, foolish traits. Real "grown-ups" know the world stinks, that people are no darn good, that everyone's only in it for themselves and that justice equals revenge, period.  In a climate so rife with jaded cynicism, it's no wonder the character no longer resonates.

But consider this: pre-Crisis Superman lost his parents...his homeworld...a whole life that might have been.  Then he lost his adopted parents.  Then he took on the job of protecting the world even though it meant keeping a certain distance from humanity all his life...he was an outsider, forever.  And yet, he kept hope in his heart and spread it to others.  He never used his powers for personal gain, but only to better the world.  He got on with his life and made a positive difference in the Universe.

Compare that to modern Batman, who's expended his talents, health and fortunes in an effort to avenge a wrong done to him when he was a small child...who seems to honestly believe he can remove crime from the face of the Earth, single-handed. by beating up thugs and hoodlums in back alleys.  Or take the Punisher, who doesn't even have that lofty a goal in mind; he just wants to murder every criminal he can find to avenge the loss of his family.  Or Wolverine, who lives, apparently, to start brawls everywhere he goes just to prove he's the toughest man alive.

Consider those guys, the darlings of modern fandom, and then tell me who's childish.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 01:32:06 PM by nightwing » Logged

This looks like a job for...
superboy
Superman Emergency Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 61


Up,Up and away.


« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2011, 12:19:38 PM »

[/img]
Logged
Rugal 3:16
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 341



« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2011, 02:00:24 PM »

Quote
It may have been "just a letter" when it started, but it's a heck of a lot more than that, now.  And if Waid and others have scrambled to explain it and make it seem like "something bigger," it's only within the context of the fictional DCU.  In the REAL world, it needs no explanation and it does mean something bigger.

Well I guess it's my bad that i failed to iterate that this thread was intended to be the best explanation of the symbol within the context of the DCU, i couldn't find the words before so i failed to remember it vividly and thanks nightwing for saying successfully bringing to light what i couldn't get out of the back of my mind.. my error so i'll just learn from this in future threads i make.

Yes S for Superman is a Given it's the branding it's what the casuals who doesn't care about the inner workings can identify with, and it's set in stone

I guess what gets the discussion a little out of sync is the blurring of the two contexts (which again is my fault if i didn't make it clearer)

Still The Pre-Crisis has been for me the Best "In-Universe" Context of the S logo as it pays homage to superman's stature as the center of the DCU and maybe even the chosen one by it's "in-universe" Judo-christian Deity equivalent Plus it doesn't in any way contradict Superboy's Cute Interpretations In-Universe of coming up with the S

True it maybe "The-whole-"Sword-of-Superman"-idea-is-yet-another-example-of-the-late-pre-Crisis-baloney-that-led-to-over-mythologizing-and-the-whole-Crisis-and-modern-era-of-over-thinking-in-general." and With due respect to the person who said that, it's still my opinion and my preference and my tastes taking precedence over other factors that take more priority in other people's tastes so there.

And I Hated John Byrne's Version because his concept "In-universe" just completely echoes the real world context without effort so instead of the Superboy example, he REALLY makes superman look arrogant.
Logged

Otenami Haiken to iko ka
nightwing
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1627


Semper Vigilans


WWW
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2011, 06:24:09 PM »

I don't think the "S" is arrogant, in itself.  If anything, the name is arrogant.  

I don't remember how Byrne handled it, but if Clark said something like, "I shall call myself Superman," you could certainly argue he had a big head.  If on the other hand it was Lois, or Perry, or some other commenter who witnessed his pre-costume feats and slapped the label on him, I can see him saying, "Oh well, that's how they know me, so I guess I'll stick with it."  

Of course even that's a problem in the post-Crisis DCU because Superman is no longer the first anything.  By the 1980s, the unified Earth has had super-heroes for over 4 decades, so if they saw a guy with super-strength and the power of flight, they wouldn't say, "It's...it's some kind of...superman!"  No, they'd say something like, "Hey, it's one of those hero characters like in the JSA!"  It's cool and all that he saves the space shuttle, but it's not so amazing that it would make him seem bigger and better than, say, the Alan Scott Green Lantern, the original Starman or even half-helmet Dr Fate.  A guy would have to go pretty far to out-super those super-people, and while post-Crisis Supes may (or may not) eventually get to that point, he certainly wouldn't be there on Day One.  So calling him "Superman," which implies either (a) a wholly new creature above mankind, for which no one yet has a label or (b) a superhero so outrageously awesome that he deserves THE name of names, over the various heroes who've been saving the world for 40 years, makes no sense any way you slice it.  Unless of course it is Lois who first uses the name, and she's thinking with her hormones.

But anyway, let's accept for a moment that he's been saddled with the name and decides to make the best of it.  What kind of symbol, exactly, is he going to use?  Batman gets a bat, Green Lantern gets a guess what.  All well and fine.  What is the symbol for "super"?  A muscular body in silhouette?  The word "Super" with an arrow pointing up to his head? I promise you, anything you come up with is bound to be more "arrogant" than the letter "S."

So maybe you could go with a symbol from Krypton.  But not if you're Byrne, because the whole point of his version is that Krypton means nothing.  He grows up thinking he's from Earth, finds out he's not and says, more or less, "I don't give a rip, I reject my alien heritage.  My home is here."  So in this iteration there's no way he'd ever use a Kryptonian symbol.  In Byrne's take, Krypton is all that's rotten and evil in the universe, a dystopian horrorscape where human beings live hopeless lives of emotional isolation, where babies are born in a lab away from mothers who couldn't care less.

Which leaves us with snakes on blankets and similar foolishness.

Personally, I have a lot less trouble with the "S" than I do with a pair of glasses as a disguise.  When you're talking about comic books, you have to be willing to accept some silliness. In fact, the only thing that's really silly is fans who insist on taking things entirely seriously.



Logged

This looks like a job for...
Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

CURRENT FORUM

Archives: OLD FORUM  -  DCMB  -  KAL-L
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! Dilber MC Theme by HarzeM
Entrance ·  Origin ·  K-Metal ·  The Living Legend ·  About the Comics ·  Novels ·  Encyclopaedia ·  The Screen ·  Costumes ·  Read Comics Online ·  Trophy Room ·  Creators ·  ES!M ·  Fans ·  Multimedia ·  Community ·  Supply Depot ·  Gift Shop ·  Guest Book ·  Contact & Credits ·  Links ·  Coming Attractions ·  Free E-mail ·  Forum

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
The LIVING LEGENDS of SUPERMAN! Adventures of Superman Volume 1!
Return to SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES!
The Complete Supply Depot for all your Superman needs!