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Author Topic: A Wonderful Wesbite, Except...  (Read 3473 times)
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Dariodevil
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« on: April 22, 2004, 02:43:17 AM »

First off, I have to explain that I am a post-Crisis Superman fan.  As a child, Superman's adventures in print and on the screen weren't appealing to me, until I picked up by chance a copy of a Byrne issue of Superman.  From that moment on, I was hooked.

I have always maintained, often with hostility, that the Post-Crisis Superman was the "real" Superman, pointing to the various aspects of his pre-Crisis history that were erased, and with good reason (the dog usually being mentioned first).

As time went on and I grew up, I came to understand that Superman's history is a rich, beautiful tapestry of science fiction and fantasy, and even the pre-Crisis history (which at that point was being reintroduced in the titles courtesy of Jeph Loeb, Joe Kelly, and others) was still a vital part of the character.

I discovered this website a year or so ago, and marvelled at it.  Posting Superman stories for everyone to read?  Genius.  Heroic, even.  Almost everything about this site is a joy, which made what I'm about to talk about that much more frustrating.

The site makes every attempt to downplay (even rewrite, in some cases) Superman's history, misrepresenting and even slandering the period of time between 1986 and Birthright.  There is even a panel from an issue (JLA 80-Page Giant #1, from the late '90s - the story was entitled "The Green Bullet"), in which Superman's word balloon is altered.  In the original, he states that he murdered the Phantom Zone Villains, AND WHY.  On your site, it simply seems Superman is admitting he is a murderer.

Which brings me to that infamous storyline.  To a Superman fan, one raised on the stories written before 1986, the mere IDEA of Superman murdering is unfathomable.  Let me say that this storyline (The Pocket Universe Saga, as it's unofficially known) is part of the greatest Superman story I have ever read, in my humble opinion (featuring Superman in exile in outer space, and his redemption on Warworld).  Simply describing it doesn't do it justice.

Your website slights Superman's history, in that you willfully ignore this period of Superman.  I feel it is unfair to the character, and those readers looking for information on the character.  Furthermore, you ignore the opportunity to post stories from this era that would be just as welcome as those of yesteryear.

I have included a list of Superman stories I and others would love to see on your site, both of the Pre- and Post-Crisis continuities; note that technically, neither continuity is "canon," but does it really matter?  A story is a story.  And Superman is Superman, whether he came to Earth in a blue-and-red rocketship or a silver-and-gold birthing matrix.

"Superman vs. Luthor" (Superman Vol. I #4, 1940) - a charming little story in which Luthor, the Mad Scientist challenges Superman to a battle of strength vs. science.

"Superman vs. The Archer" (Superman Vol. I #13, 1941) - Jimmy the Office Boy comes into his own, as Superman matches wits with a villain targeting Metropolis' upper crust.

"The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk" (Superman Vol. I #30, 1944) - Superman's first encounter with the Imp from the Fifth Dimension (in comic book form - he debuted in the newspaper strip shortly before, I believe).

"The Menace of Metallo" (Action Comics #252, 1959) - The first appearance of Metallo - the Killer with the Kryptonite Heart.

"The Impossible Mission" (Superboy #85, 1960) - A young Superman learns the hard way that history can't be changed.  Heartbreaking, for it's time.

"The Night of March 31st" (Superman Vol. I #145, 1961) - Not really a story, but a fun contest where Editors had asked fans to identify all the mistakes in the story.  A time when comic books didn't take themselves so seriously.

"The Forever People" (The Forever People #1, 1970) - Superman is indeed the star, as he is drawn into the world of Jack Kirby's New Gods.  Featuring Superman's first encounter with the minions of Darkseid.

"The Jungle Line" (DC Comics Presents #85, 1985) - Superman is infected with Scarlet Fever, a Kryptonian virus that is causing his powers and his mind to go mad.  Enter: Swamp Thing.  A classic by Alan Moore.

"For the Man Who Has Everything" (Superman Annual Vol. I #11, 1985) - Batman, Robin the Boy Wonder, and Wonder Woman arrive at the Fortress of Solitude for Superman's birthday, only to discover something's wrong... another classic by Moore.  A tear-jerker.

"Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" (Superman Vol. I #423 & Action Comics #523, 1985) - A story that once served as The End for the saga that began in 1938 and was reborn in 1986, now an interesting and emotional ride that sees Superman's friends and foes gather together one last time.

"The Secret Revealed" (Superman Vol. II #2, 1987) - Lex Luthor takes center stage, in this post-Crisis tale of a Luthor who never grew up in Smallville - he crawled his way up from the dregs, raised in poverty of Suicide Slum, and grew to adulthood to become the richest and most powerful man on Earth.  This Luthor has surmised a connection between Clark Kent and Superman, and in this story, spares no expense to find out what it is.

"The Super-Menace of Metropolis" (Superman Vol. II #10, 1987) - Lex Luthor once again shows just how much of a b****d he is, by using a satellite to cause Superman's powers to go haywire.  The scenes with Clark at the Planet are great in of themselves.

"Loss & Space" (Action Comics Annual #6, 1995) - Superman's first adventure in space.  The art may be pedestrian, but the story more than makes up for it.  A personal favorite.

"seonimoD" (Superman Adventures #6, 1997) - Mr. Mxyzptlk returns, and shows Superman the destruction of Metropolis - backwards!  (A panel from this issue has been posted on your site - Superman looking up at Metropolis)

"Clark Kent, You're a Nobody!" (Superman Adventures #16, 1998) - Clark Kent comes to the realization one evening that he's a normal man, and Superman is a seperate being.  What's going on?  Who could be behind such a strange scheme?

"Family Reunion" (Superman Adventures #30-31, 1999) - Superman returns to Earth from a mission in space to discover one year has passed... and then, he comes face-to-face with Lara, his mother from Krypton.

There are countless more, of course, including the Kirby Jimmy Olsen issues from the 70's, the Sand Man saga, and several other "Superman Adventures" stories, while being "for kids" were some of the best Superman stories written at the time.

I am asking for the Powers-That-Be on this website to include all interpretations of Superman, not just those they grew up with.

 -DD
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2004, 06:34:46 AM »

This is Great Rao's website and this site was created to promote and celebrate the Pre-crisis Superman for Pre-Crisis Superman fans. At the time of this site's creation, there was nothing on-line about the Pre-crisis Superman on-line and no reprints from DC.

DC refused to even talk about the Pre-crisis Superman and tried hard to erase him from History or by downplaying him.

Those days, thankfully are behind us, thanks to the efforts of this site, now there are many sites out there about the Pre-crisis Superman and even sites that before pretended that he didn't exist now have sections just for him. DC now has embrace their history and have publish reprints and toys and has brought back more elements of the Pre-crisis Superman into the fold.

This site however is still very much dedicated the memory of Pre-crisis Superman. While there is some info on post crisis stuff, that is not the focus or purpose of this site and it never will be.

If you would like more infomation on the post-crisis version I would suggest checking out the endless ammounts of excellent sites dedicated to that version.
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Dariodevil
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2004, 07:03:53 AM »

I completely understand and empathize.  A good amount of my childhood was spent putting down pre-Crisis stories, because frankly, I was a child who didn't have fully-formed ideas about context, quality, and things of that nature.  I just didn't like the dog, and thought the art was too cheesey. Wink

However, you still have not responded to my question regarding the misrepresentation of post-Crisis Superman.  For example, on The Iron Age page, you posted a pre-Crisis cover.  Moreover, you altered a panel from a story to fit the misrepresentation of post-Crisis Superman you're putting forth.

I say "you," as in Great Rao and those of you who work on this website.  Not you, specifically.

"Superman: The Movie" featured very little Pre-Crisis aspects, yet that's just as celebrated.  Same thing with the television series starring George Reeves.  However, both of those are celebrated on this site.  Why?

Superman is a fantastic character, with a fantastic history that should be celebrated as a whole, I feel.  However, this isn't my website, so obviously, I'm not one to tell anyone how to run it.  I simply wanted to express my opinions.

 -DD
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2004, 07:15:42 AM »

ok, you can talk to Great Rao about that one, since I had nothing to do with that. :wink:

I don't think I should be talking or posting for him.
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2004, 03:58:38 AM »

OK, a few things:

1 - A big THANK YOU to Super Monkey for answering this question and other general questions elsewhere on the forum.  I really appreciate your help.

2 - Just for the record, the "pre Crisis" Superman isn't the Superman of my childhood.  I never read a Superman comic until 1984 - a mere two years before Byrne took over.  During that two year period, I fell in love with the character and everything about him.  When Byrne came along, I was as excited as the next fan boy.  Until, that is, I actually read his stories...

3 - I haven't answered your question for a number of reasons.  First, it's well thought out, thoughtful, detailed and well written.  So I feel it deserves an answer of like kind, but I haven't really had the time or energy to devote to it.  Secondly, you aren't the first person to ask me this.  I've answered this general question so many times, and the answer is so long to explain, and it's all been hashed out and argued about so many times, in so many places, that I kind of feel something along the lines of: if you've read the kal-l archives and the old forum and browsed around the site and read all the editorial articles and you still don't get it, then what more can I possibly say that will help you to understand?

So for now, here's a hint:

You'll notice that I never actually mention any such creature as the "Iron Age Superman" - because there wasn't one.  This site does, in fact, celebrate all of Superman's history as a whole.  Everything from 1933 to 2004.

And I might come back some time in the future to address all of your individual questions point by point...

S!
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2004, 01:05:56 AM »

Personally, I never had any problem with Byrne's The Man Of Steel. It was the stories AFTER that that I had a problem with. One thing I hated was the PTB trying to shoe-horn in pre-Crisis concepts and characters with ridiculous backstories and explanations (ie Supergirl being a morphing purple blob). I think most other people dislike the "Iron Age" because of the characters in DC being "Image-ized." Image, of course, is a comics company. Many people have criticized them for using art instead of a good story to sell books. I don't necessarily agree with this, but I do believe this is one of the faults the post-Crisis DCU had. Thus, I use the phrase "Image-ized."

A perfect example of an "Image-ized" story would be two large, impossibly muscled behemoths fighting in a populated city with giant laser guns.

I thought Byrne mostly did a good job with the reboot. I liked the Kents being alive, more emphasis on Clark (although maybe there was TOO much), Clark not being a TOTAL weakling (again, maybe Byrne over did this), only one piece of Kryptonite on Earth (and only the green kind), and Luthor being a rich, misoginyst. The sterile Krypton never really bothered me because Kal's parents loved him. That's really all that matters to me. There were some things I didn't like, though. I didn't like Clark being a football jock. Clark doesn't need to be a weakling, but he also shouldn't draw that kind of attention to himself. Another thing I didn't like was Clark actively shunning his Kryptonian heritage. I've always been of the opinion that Clark/Kal should love both of his heritages equally. He should be both Clark Kent, son of Martha and Jonathan, and Kal-El, son of Jor-El and Lara. Mark Waid has fixed many of these problems in Birthright.

All this being said, I would still consider the "Iron Age" version of Superman to be a part of the character's history. Maybe not a good part of the character's history, but a part of it nonetheless. I don't know if anyone's noticed, but the Superman Homepage has opened up a "Who's Who" section for the pre-Crisis Superman. The site was once only dedicated to the post-Crisis Superman, but now that's changed. Not a very big change, mind you, but a still a good one.

Still, I go there for my post-Crisis Superman needs and come here for my pre-Crisis ones. So the non-inclusion of the Iron Age Superman doesn't bother me that much.
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Many people want others to accept their opinions as fact. If enough people accept them as fact then it gives the initial person or persons a feeling of power. This is why people will constantly talk about something they hate—they want others to feel the same way. It matters to them that others perceive things the same way that they do.
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