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  1. #16
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    The fact that Superman isn't perfect hasn't stopped people from believing it though.

    You have a sizable population of comic readers who to this day will tell you he's too perfect, too wholesome, too flawed, too weak, etc. And some of those complaints will combine even if they're contradictory. There is a thread from this morning asking why he's not as smart as say, a reed richards. Some people hate that he's not as fast as the flash. What can you do?

  2. #17
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    The fact that Superman isn't perfect hasn't stopped people from believing it though.

    You have a sizable population of comic readers who to this day will tell you he's too perfect, too wholesome, too flawed, too weak, etc. And some of those complaints will combine even if they're contradictory. There is a thread from this morning asking why he's not as smart as say, a reed richards. Some people hate that he's not as fast as the flash. What can you do?
    I don't need a Superman who's perfect. I just think Superman's a character who's written "backwards." With most heroes, you focus on the things he can do, whereas guys who purposefully go out of their ways to show that Superman isn't "perfect" focus on the stuff he can't do. The effect IMO just is not satisfying, not even to people you're trying to win over who think Superman is not flawed enough.

  3. #18
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if that's more true with Superman versus another character or just a matter of perspective. I mean, virtually every superhero comic is about the hero not being able to do a particular thing, until the story has run for enough pages and it's time for the hero to do what they can. Superman wins, but you've created the illusion that maybe he couldn't. It's a strong enough impression that hey, now people complain that he can't do enough. When the illusion of defeat fails to impress upon readers, you run the risk of validating the "perfect" complaints. Well, close enough to valid even if it's a silly double standard.

    The angle actually described by Superman veterans:

    Quote Originally Posted by Neal Adams
    But I don't want to do a god. I don't think you could evolve a god on a planet — it doesn't make any sense. You can't fly into the sun. You can't put your hands on the side of a planet and move it. In fact, if you were a real Superman and you wanted to move a ship out to sea, you couldn't do it by pushing it because your hands are only about six inches long. What would happen if you pushed is that [the hands] would just embed into the ship and you would pretty much fly through the ship. In other sequences, Superman will fly through a ship. Why does he not fly through a ship in this sequence and fly through a ship in the next sequence? Because we're really not thinking of Superman; we're thinking of a god who can use his abilities at the whim of his mind
    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Bates
    Q: When DC decided to reboot Superman in 1986, you were given an opportunity to pitch your own idea. What do you recall about your pitch?

    A: Ironically it combined two of the themes DC would later incorporate in separate storylines years apart: de-powering (the Byrne reboot) and death (the Doomsday arc). My scenario called for a five or six part mini-series in which Superman 'died' first and was reborn later, inside a yellow sun. I believe I proposed introducing some never-before-revealed wrinkles in Kryptonian physiology that made this possible, but at a steep cost. The regeneration process permanently consumed a lot of Superman's inherent energy, in effect "de-powering" him.

  4. #19
    Incredible Member Lokimaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    I'd say he must do all those things. He has to challenge the system. He has to speak out against intolerance, sexism, inequality. He's a depression era character with strong social democrat roots. That's his core, that's his roots, not his ability to smile while wearing a cape.

    Of course, apparently we've gotta be careful about how Superman does it. In Dawn of Justice, Clark goes way out of his way to confront social inequality, to confront violation of civil liberties of the economically disenfranchised, and that's awesome! But he ran into a rock-solid wall of systemic apathy, and that's totally believable. The problem was that the apathy shook him so much, along with other things that also shook him, but undercut the social inequality aspects, which were largely cut from the theatrical cut.

    He's got to be able to care, very strongly, but he's also go to be able to actually help and make a difference. And he has to be determined no matter what, to fight the never-ending battle, not doubt himself.

    Is it unfair? Maybe. But I think it kind of makes sense to want Superman of all people to be indomitable.
    That's one of the reason I love the Injustice version of Superman. Say what you will about him he is still Superman. He's just more willing to go there then he was before. He still cares about people. Yeah he did try to destroy Metropolis and Gotham but I honestly think he was under the Influence of Ares at that time (Why we're his eyes so black?). In Injustice 2 he seems more himself, still homicidal but only for Badguys . It reminds me of my new favorite movie character Darius Kincaid said in The Hitman's Bodyguard “Who is more wicked, he who kills evil mother****ers, or he who protects them?”
    Last edited by Lokimaru; 01-11-2018 at 02:07 PM.

  5. #20
    Mighty Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    What has killed me throughout the years is when a lot of creators go out of their way to say things like, "People think Superman is too perfect, but out version of Superman has a lot of flaws." So it's like people think that people think that Superman is too perfect, but there really aren't that many modern or modern-ish stories to back it up. It's as though there are stories written to counter a notion of Superman that doesn't really exist, or at least hasn't existed in a long time.
    Definitely. At least since the early seventies, writers have been combating this idea of Superman as an overly perfect, overly powerful and ultimately boring character, but frankly, it wasn't even really true in the Silver Age. Every version of Superman feels the need to compensate for an inaccurate public perception.

    It's dumb.
    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  6. #21
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    I think he is, and it's really unfair. Not that he isn't a Boy Scout to some degree, but he also has a bit of arrogant (but not overly so) swagger about him, a mischievous side, and can match Batman when it comes to turning fear and intimidation on bullies who oppress others. In some ways, he can be even MORE effective than Bruce because he doesn't create an urban legend around his intimidation of criminals. He has a far easier time just letting his abilities speak for themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    Definitely. At least since the early seventies, writers have been combating this idea of Superman as an overly perfect, overly powerful and ultimately boring character, but frankly, it wasn't even really true in the Silver Age. Every version of Superman feels the need to compensate for an inaccurate public perception.

    It's dumb.
    The fans who complain about him being too powerful and perfect/boring are, to be blunt, full of crap. Most of them will then go on about how their favorite could beat Superman, and they don't notice the disconnect there. Or if writers go overboard in pointing out his flaws or depowering him, the same people who complained about him being too powerful turn around and say that he sucks because he's not living up to his reputation. The fans, and the writers catering to them, have created a trap from which the character has been having difficulty escaping from.

    I used to HATE Superman when I was little precisely because I thought he was so boring as a goody little two shoes and vastly preferred Batman. Once I discovered earlier, more nuanced portrayals of him along with the VAST lore of his world that has periodically been gutted over the years, he has since skyrocketed to being one of my favorite characters in all of comics. The trend that started in the 70s (but didn't really kick into high gear until the late 80s) to make Superman more like a Marvel character have done more harm than good.

  7. #22
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    To me the weird thing with Batman is, Superman has been interchangeable with other versions of himself. Aside from story diversity I can't really reconcile the difference between the Haney Batman, the O'Neil/Wein Batman, and the No Man's Land Batman. It seems like up until the mid 80s and the trend of comics where he scowled, he acted just like Superman and said many of the same phrases, which throws me off.

    As far as the seventies up to crisis for Superman go, there was almost a counterpoint through the years where instead of Superman worrying about paying his bills or getting dates or whatever Marvel was doing, he went around challenging billionaires to money collecting competitions and would remove every single person from the planet Earth in order to thwart a villain. Case in point being the immediate follow up comics to O'Neil's saga. To me for all it helped and hurt, it was a counter Marvel up until near the end with Wolfman.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue22 View Post
    That was actually my problem with Superman for years, and why I didn't start reading his books until Rebirth. I didn't really find his whole "Boy Scout/Perfect Hero/Shining Beacon of Hope" deal wasn't very interesting. The same way I never really found Batman's shtick all that interesting. Neither of them are very fun characters to read on their own. But their supporting cast is AMAZING. I love the Batfamily. I love Lois, Conner, and Jon. So I can handle reading about the Patriarchs of these families I as long as I get to see the family, themselves.
    That's been me generally these days.

  9. #24
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    I'm not sure if that's more true with Superman versus another character or just a matter of perspective. I mean, virtually every superhero comic is about the hero not being able to do a particular thing, until the story has run for enough pages and it's time for the hero to do what they can. Superman wins, but you've created the illusion that maybe he couldn't. It's a strong enough impression that hey, now people complain that he can't do enough. When the illusion of defeat fails to impress upon readers, you run the risk of validating the "perfect" complaints. Well, close enough to valid even if it's a silly double standard.

    The angle actually described by Superman veterans:
    I think the problem with the Neal Adams thing about how Superman can't really lift or move something that big and heavy because he'd just break it or go through it and if he can, that makes him a god is this. Why doesn't it also make Ben Grimm a god, and Colossus and the Hulk and Aquaman and every character with significant super strength? It seems the only one people worry about being "realistic" with and toning down is Superman, again because of this false perception that he and only he is "overpowered".
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

  10. #25
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Superman's only typecast in that creators just listen WAY too much to the people who have "problems" with him who'd never pay attention anyway. It's like watching the 3rd act from "The House Bunny" (2008 movie) play out for decades and never end. For those who haven't seen it, you see the whole group forget who they are in their chase of being the "cool" people.

    They need to lay off and run with what they have. Offense is defense, that kinda thing. No apologies for who he is. He's a guy who does the right thing because he sees it's the right thing to do. He's VERY powerful, fast and smart. He's got a strong moral center. Can you have all of those things and still have a compelling story? Absolutely. Even someone with all of those things comes across problems that all those assets don't easily solve. And if the writer can't write that, they can find another character to write.

    And most importantly of all.... the Jesus metaphors need to end. Full stop. I'm a Christian, but doing that to Superman is just overbearing as heck and needs to go quietly into that good night.. lol
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  11. #26
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Agreed. I'm not bothered by it, just find it really goofy and distracting. One can make that comparison... but I have no idea how that's taken as one should. In like 16 years on online forums, I haven't seen someone go, "yeah, more of that please."

    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    I think the problem with the Neal Adams thing about how Superman can't really lift or move something that big and heavy because he'd just break it or go through it and if he can, that makes him a god is this. Why doesn't it also make Ben Grimm a god, and Colossus and the Hulk and Aquaman and every character with significant super strength? It seems the only one people worry about being "realistic" with and toning down is Superman, again because of this false perception that he and only he is "overpowered".
    Adams likes a very capable Superman, but just thinks pushing planets around in particular is a silly feat that requires too much suspension of disbelief. The understanding that Superman is way stronger than the characters you mention, in addition to having many other powers, is something that quote takes for granted.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    The fact that Superman isn't perfect hasn't stopped people from believing it though.

    You have a sizable population of comic readers who to this day will tell you he's too perfect, too wholesome, too flawed, too weak, etc. And some of those complaints will combine even if they're contradictory. There is a thread from this morning asking why he's not as smart as say, a reed richards. Some people hate that he's not as fast as the flash. What can you do?
    Well if writers and editors would stop portraying him that way or at least be more willing to acknowledge his flaws, maybe that problem would be a lot less prevalent.

  13. #28
    Mighty Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    I personally think of it as having a well-defined character rather than anything else.

  14. #29
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Well if writers and editors would stop portraying him that way or at least be more willing to acknowledge his flaws, maybe that problem would be a lot less prevalent.
    What do you mean "stop"? They aren't portraying him that way. They haven't been doing anything terribly interesting with him PERIOD lately.

    And don't cater to the people who want flaws acknowledged. They already can be, just not in the way they want. And they still won't read the book anyway, so who cares about what they think?

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by marhawkman View Post
    I personally think of it as having a well-defined character rather than anything else.
    It's more on how he stands out from the other heroes in appeal and individuality than being properly written, he has so many default heroic aspects about many other heroes share with him that he feels manufactured than realized a full character. Superman is always going to be good, nice, loving, hopeful and proud of being a symbol of justice and his flaws only high light his main perks on how ideal and perfect he is and almost always has a ideal image of being flawless. He's not like Spider-Man who shares his mentality but suffers from fear, insecurity and paranoia or Batman who shares his determination but has a crack in his armor from trauma and dispair. Superman has nothing the balance his pure greatness and the intentions he holds. If he's scared, afraid, completely selfish, arrogant, stubborn, mad, depressed or anything it's hard to stick him that way and not expect him to fix it/overcome only the man of steel can, he's Superman or he'll be more unpopular than he is. The problem is Superman still has to be Superman which goes with the expectations and foundations of what the character is all about and people don't like the routine anymore since he's a born winner hero type that explores his character just finding ways to win without failing from it or he's too good to have something blow up in his face showing he's not always right or fair causing controversy with his fellow heroes and friends.
    Last edited by SpideyCeo; 01-12-2018 at 11:08 AM.

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