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  1. #6916
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super-Cyke View Post
    I'm a casual comic reader that hasn't read much since Rebirth. I have a few questions. The Super Family focus of the Rebirth era of Superman seems to have quickly become one of the most beloved runs/iterations of Superman and some of his supporting cast. It seemed critically acclaimed and to sell well.
    Ok. Let's get this straight.

    The success of the Rebirth era depends on a lot of factors - some of them are tied to the stories themselves, but a LOT of them concern the context in which they were created. To keep it short, at one point the New52 era had lost its steam - not because it was inherently or completely bad per se; there are several good stories which were created during the New52, and some of them were VERY good, but everything was badly organized and coordinated on editorial level. The climax - or the nadir, if you prefer - was the DCYou initiative, a commercial flop in which the entire DC line was involved and that basically triggered the Rebirth initiative as a reaction/desperate attempt at regaining readers.

    Please note that, even if this is the favourite narration of the BTS among the readers, NOBODY really knows what the real motivations behind some choices were. And, on a personal level, I think that most of such choices are tied to matters - IP rights-related factors, longterm sales strategies - which fans know nothing about and probably wouldn't even understand. Most of the urban legends which fans seem to love so much about the latest years of DC - i.e. good Johns vs bad Didio and such - are just simplistic versions of something which is probably way more complex.

    Just to give you an idea, a key character of the Rebirth storyline - Mr Oz - was introduced by Johns himself in 2014, in a, quite frankly, lackluster storyline with a lot of concepts which were quickly abandoned afterwards. And that was at least two years before Rebirth, and one year before DCYou. Even if it is likely that the identity of Oz was changed at one point, there are few doubts that DC and Johns were planning a Watchmen-related event and it is entirely possible that it was planned, even BEFORE Rebirth was conceived, to end the New52 era. I'll say that the Superman-related DCYou storyline puts the character in such an inescapable narrative corner (his secret identity is revealed to the world) that they couldn't have ended it without some major twist la Spider-man: One More Day. If this speculation is correct, it is possible that they had been aiming at something like DC Rebirth all along, just THREE years after the beginning of the New52 (IMHO, all things considered, the New52 era itself was never planned as a definitive continuity; maybe it was just a temporary setting to settle copyright-related problems and get some concepts ready for the DCEU and TV series; but this is just a speculation of mine). It is true the most of the DC Rebirth is Johns-centric in terms of approach, but it is extremely unlikely that Johns could have done it (AND Doomsday Clock) without Didio's approval. If I remember it well, one user of CBR forum who is also a writer with ties to the industry (I won't name him because I don't know if he wants to get involved, but I think that most of the users here know who I am talking about) openly confirmed that Didio's favorite recent Superman era is the Tomasi one.

    The mere existence of Jon Kent (a character who was NOT created by Johns but rather by Jurgens, even if he became a major player only during Rebirth) is nothing more than the concretization of a concept which Didio has tried to implement into continuity for YEARS, that is a new Superboy with family ties to Superman. Again, there are a lot of complicated copyright issues at work here and their influence to the storylines is way stronger than creative approaches/differences. Jim Shooter openly stated that at one point (before the New52) DC was at risk of losing the rights to the classic Superboy and tried to create Superboy-ish surrogate characters to replace it (proof: http://jimshooter.com/2011/06/super-lad.html/ ). That happened in 2008-2009. In 2006 Johns had created Chris Kent, a character who was basically a prototype for Jon. Again: obviously, Chris couldn't have become a reality without Didio's approval. It is possible that Chris was introduced just to test the waters for a later introduction of another, improved Superboy (and of course, there was also an attempt at "synchronizing" Superman with his screen version from Superman Returns).

    As for the Rebirth stories themselves, there are three major factors which made them successful (please note that they were not groundbreakingly successful: we are not talking about "Death of Superman" sales here. In general, the entire Rebirth operation - which concerned the entire DCU - had good results for the entire line).
    1- The nostalgia factor. The name of Jurgens himself was a draw for most longtime readers with fond memories of the Death of Superman (of course, I am not referring to young readers and IMHO the entire Rebirth operation was aimed at old readers: a "We didn't forget about you!" statement after the New52 which alienated some, or a lot, of them). Jurgens did his best to push the nostalgic buttons, with a lot of winks and references to the 1990s storylines, including the return of classic Doomsday and the Cyborg Superman.
    2- The return to relatively simpler, more contained storylines. DCYou had created such complicated and incomprehensible storylines that for several readers the return to a recognizable Superman was a relief. At one point the Kents were just a family living in a Rockwellian, Smallville-like town, with no members of the classic Superman cast.
    3- The Jon factor. That's what Tomasi - who had successfully managed the Damian Wayne character after Morrison - comes into play. Basically he had to recreate an acceptable father-son dynamic, analogously to what had happened with Batman earlier.

    However, even if some fans have come to love this specific era (and some of them aggressively defend it as some kind of unlikely lost golden age destroyed by an evil duo formed by Didio and Bendis) and it was objectively more recognizable and readable than what had come earlier, there were a lot of downsides to it. Some of them depended on the general situation of DC at that moment and pre-existing storylines (especially Johns') and some concerned Tomasi and Jurgens themselves. Even if the continuity for the single Superman adventures was more comprehensible, the general implications of continuity for how this new setting had come to be were and are a total and utter mess. The way they tried to reconcile the New52 Superman with the Reborn one was an insult to the intelligence. There was a Luthor-turned-good storyline (created by Johns) which nobody knew how to deal with and - predictably - went nowhere. Another Johns creation, Mr Oz, became Jor-El, for reasons no one understood and probably nobody will ever understand.

    In several stories Jon's voice was off - basically that's what often happens when an almost 60-year-old writer like Jurgens tries to recreate a teenager's voice. I'd say that Tomasi was a bit more successful at that, even if there were problems with this stories as well. There is an awful 2-part storyline about war veterans, so cringeworthy that it looks like a lost episode of Straczynki's Grounded (generally considered one of the worst Superman stories ever, if not THE worst one). In general - and this is a huge problem which I personally have with this specific era - Superman himself, a character who has been accused of being patronizing throughout the years, is openly and unbearably paternalistic in a lot of Rebirth stories, and with a reason to be so - he has a son. Basically, SuperDad gives a lot of lessons of life to Jon (just to be clear, nothing particularly complex or interesting; he is a stereotypical comic book dad) in such a condescending tone that, if a father had systematically adopted it in a real-life context, his 12-year-old teenager son would have become a juvenile delinquent or a satanist as a reaction. However, the aforementioned factors were enough to keep the readers interested.

    (To be continued)
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  2. #6917
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    (Continuing from a previous post)
    As for why Bendis came into play, other users have already answered. As usual, a need to bump sales and probably the decision to give the entire Superman universe (including Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane) to someone who can guarantee relatively stable sales - a promise which Bendis has delivered so far, even if there some problems with his storylines as well (in particular Rogol Zaar). Anyway, his stories are not inherently worse than the Rebirth ones and a lot of anti-Bendis rants are just aggressive, but ultimately not particularly relevant comments. Unless there are some huge flops along the way (but it doesn't seem the case, since Bendis is gaining more and more influence in anything Superman-related), his detractors will simply have to wait for some years to Bendis to end his run - as it always happens with every comic book writer.

    Just one final, personal thought: even if, on a personal level, I have nothing against Superman having a son, I think that DC has dealt with this specific concept in the worst, or at least very debatable way. I have some problems with Jon himself - in a lot of Rebirth stories is a Little Lord Fauntleroy with wide eyes, but that's a characterization which may change depending on the writer. However - and this is something I am absolutely, 100% convinced of - I think that the character of Superman needed a LOT of refining and rethinking (about his mission, the main cast, the villains, what he represents... Everything, basically) which should have come BEFORE adding a character with such a strong presence in the Superman stories. Basically every Superman writer will have to deal with Jon from now on - he is a character whom they can't ignore.

    A Batman writer can ignore Damian Wayne in a relatively easy way, because his dynamic with his father doesn't follow a typical family route and this specific Robin was conceived as a very independent character in the very first place. However, Jon IS Superman's son. He lives at Superman's place and does teenager things (in a "Super" way, of course, but he's a teenager nonetheless). It's very difficult to ignore him and if he doesn't interact with Clark and Lois a writer will have to justify his absence (and that's one of the reasons for him joining the Legion IMHO). In a different situation, he would have been an interesting narrative opportunity, but the very first thing which I thought when they introduced him years ago was that he could become quickly a burden. Up to now, I've seen a lot of confirmations to my doubts - basically, with few exceptions (Invisible Mafia and such) EVERY single main Superman storyline has been Jon-Centric since Rebirth; and that includes Bendis and the current Legion storyline.
    Educational town, Rolemodel city and Moralofthestory land are the places where good comics go to die.

    DC writers and editors looked up and shouted "Save us!"
    And Alan Moore looked down and whispered "No."

  3. #6918
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soubhagya View Post
    What is this 'Parkland kids' comparison? Sorry, i haven't gone back to previous previous pages to understand it. If i wasn't enjoying Bendis' work i might have dropped Superman just after seeing the preview. I haven't been as disappointed, since i started reading Superman when Rebirth started. The only thing which keeps my interest is Superman's adventures can be different as he tries to forge the alliance.

    There are ways around this. In the future, LoS say to Jon that they overplayed his role because they wanted him for something.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_Again_MSD

    Long story short, there is a huge aftermath to a very recent and major school shooting. As a former Douglas student (2006) I would rather not see it come up with just any comic book parallel but I suppose the idea here is that Jon is being proactive because where we sometimes look at Clark's future, the future belongs to him and others too.
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  4. #6919
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    There are ways around this. In the future, LoS say to Jon that they overplayed his role because they wanted him for something.
    Well, that's an insult to Jon. And maybe the Legion, too. But hey, DC won't care.

  5. #6920
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    (Continuing from a previous post)
    As for why Bendis came into play, other users have already answered. As usual, a need to bump sales and probably the decision to give the entire Superman universe (including Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane) to someone who can guarantee relatively stable sales - a promise which Bendis has delivered so far, even if there some problems with his storylines as well (in particular Rogol Zaar). Anyway, his stories are not inherently worse than the Rebirth ones and a lot of anti-Bendis rants are just aggressive, but ultimately not particularly relevant comments. Unless there are some huge flops along the way (but it doesn't seem the case, since Bendis is gaining more and more influence in anything Superman-related), his detractors will simply have to wait for some years to Bendis to end his run - as it always happens with every comic book writer.

    Just one final, personal thought: even if, on a personal level, I have nothing against Superman having a son, I think that DC has dealt with this specific concept in the worst, or at least very debatable way. I have some problems with Jon himself - in a lot of Rebirth stories is a Little Lord Fauntleroy with wide eyes, but that's a characterization which may change depending on the writer. However - and this is something I am absolutely, 100% convinced of - I think that the character of Superman needed a LOT of refining and rethinking (about his mission, the main cast, the villains, what he represents... Everything, basically) which should have come BEFORE adding a character with such a strong presence in the Superman stories. Basically every Superman writer will have to deal with Jon from now on - he is a character whom they can't ignore.

    A Batman writer can ignore Damian Wayne in a relatively easy way, because his dynamic with his father doesn't follow a typical family route and this specific Robin was conceived as a very independent character in the very first place. However, Jon IS Superman's son. He lives at Superman's place and does teenager things (in a "Super" way, of course, but he's a teenager nonetheless). It's very difficult to ignore him and if he doesn't interact with Clark and Lois a writer will have to justify his absence (and that's one of the reasons for him joining the Legion IMHO). In a different situation, he would have been an interesting narrative opportunity, but the very first thing which I thought when they introduced him years ago was that he could become quickly a burden. Up to now, I've seen a lot of confirmations to my doubts - basically, with few exceptions (Invisible Mafia and such) EVERY single main Superman storyline has been Jon-Centric since Rebirth; and that includes Bendis and the current Legion storyline.
    Rather interesting analysis, you and Dispenser seem to be on the same page regarding the Rebirth era. There are some things I agree with and some I don’t. I agree that Jon has been far too overused in the Superman titles since his inception, to the point it feels like the book has become about him. But I disagree that Lois and Clark need to justify why he isn’t there for every arc. The two were already apparently fine with him traversing the Multiverse on his own, I don’t really think they’d have a problem with him hanging out with Damian. Simply relegating Jon to the Super Sons book would have been a totally fine compromise I feel.

  6. #6921
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Simply relegating Jon to the Super Sons book would have been a totally fine compromise I feel.
    And would have killed a lot of my interest in the book (which I already quit reading because of Jon aging up, and was very irritated with before because of Lois characterization, so no difference there, I guess). I loved the family aspect, which cannot be a thing if Jon's with Damian all the time. It's already distressingly difficult to find any fan material (memes, fanfic, etc.) that don't include Damian. Then again, it's frankly similarly difficult to find Billy Batson material that doesn't reference Batman. I like the Batfam, but they do swallow everything, and it can be frustrating.

    It's very difficult to ignore him
    It should be. I have issues with Damian ignored in Batman. If a hero has a nuclear family in their home (or any non-roommate superficial relation, really), then that family needs to play a role. Ignoring their existence is just bad writing.

  7. #6922

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    (Continuing from a previous post)
    As for why Bendis came into play, other users have already answered. As usual, a need to bump sales and probably the decision to give the entire Superman universe (including Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane) to someone who can guarantee relatively stable sales - a promise which Bendis has delivered so far, even if there some problems with his storylines as well (in particular Rogol Zaar). Anyway, his stories are not inherently worse than the Rebirth ones and a lot of anti-Bendis rants are just aggressive, but ultimately not particularly relevant comments. Unless there are some huge flops along the way (but it doesn't seem the case, since Bendis is gaining more and more influence in anything Superman-related), his detractors will simply have to wait for some years to Bendis to end his run - as it always happens with every comic book writer.

    Just one final, personal thought: even if, on a personal level, I have nothing against Superman having a son, I think that DC has dealt with this specific concept in the worst, or at least very debatable way. I have some problems with Jon himself - in a lot of Rebirth stories is a Little Lord Fauntleroy with wide eyes, but that's a characterization which may change depending on the writer. However - and this is something I am absolutely, 100% convinced of - I think that the character of Superman needed a LOT of refining and rethinking (about his mission, the main cast, the villains, what he represents... Everything, basically) which should have come BEFORE adding a character with such a strong presence in the Superman stories. Basically every Superman writer will have to deal with Jon from now on - he is a character whom they can't ignore.

    A Batman writer can ignore Damian Wayne in a relatively easy way, because his dynamic with his father doesn't follow a typical family route and this specific Robin was conceived as a very independent character in the very first place. However, Jon IS Superman's son. He lives at Superman's place and does teenager things (in a "Super" way, of course, but he's a teenager nonetheless). It's very difficult to ignore him and if he doesn't interact with Clark and Lois a writer will have to justify his absence (and that's one of the reasons for him joining the Legion IMHO). In a different situation, he would have been an interesting narrative opportunity, but the very first thing which I thought when they introduced him years ago was that he could become quickly a burden. Up to now, I've seen a lot of confirmations to my doubts - basically, with few exceptions (Invisible Mafia and such) EVERY single main Superman storyline has been Jon-Centric since Rebirth; and that includes Bendis and the current Legion storyline.
    Can i ask you one thing? How is having an additional support character a burden? Is perry white, lois lane,jimmy olsen, kara, conner kent.. Etc a burden? How is having a kid in the background suddenly make clark so different? And what are you on about? Jurgens and tomasi's jon actually felt like a kid in today's world compared to bendis's jon. Sure, jurgens jon might have felt different but it was because of his entire method is dated. His superman himself felt dated.how is calling jon calling clark "pa" any better? Jon's voice has been terrible only since bendis made him a 17 year old.

    The only issues that were bad where the holiday trip. Even those weren't boring, a bit jingoistic but whatever. Paternalistic? Dude, he was a dad teaching his kid. How the hell is that paternalistic? Unlike Bendis's pushover and idiot of a guy that let his son get lost and get tortured.clark was trying his best to keep him safe and allowing him to grow freely .

    And jon wasn't a twelve-year-old. he was 10 or 11. He wasn't a teen, but a kid or a pre teen. There is a huge difference. Jon was at the stage where girls were thought to be weird. Show me, one freaking instance where jon was given life lessons in condescending tone. that is a blatant accusation that cannot be backed up with the material.And there is no proof that clark would have screwed up jon unlike now. On the other hand there are dozen of instances including one in the latest justice league where Clark's interaction with jon has been nothing but fantastic.

    Action comics was not jon centric. And during the start of rebirth it was only because jon needed to be set up as a character. (also because tomasi liked to write the dynamic). The only reason superman is made jon centric now is because they sent him away. Not only did they sent him away, they did a status quo change and aged him up. This had to be explained. same would apply if it was damian and this was batman in place of jon-clark. After his return as a teen jon has been barely there. Clark was always given the driving seat. Also, they took away the book that featured jon as main lead.

    Bendis had the freedom to not focus on jon. He could have let the status quo not change that forced the ending of supersons. Supersons could have continued Jon's story with cameos in main book as background character. Clark and lois could have cameod in supersons in reverse. That was all that it needed. If tomasi wasn't feeling it. they could had others take over. Heck! Could have Had a new direction. Instead bendis chose to play with him and change his status. Which meant book needed to end. And split panel time in main superbooks.

    It's writers fault if he can't handle a simple family dynamic, not character's fault. The only burden is incompetence. Nothing more nothing less.Jon did not need this. It was forced nonesense the legion induction included.The ageup was not done to benefit jon may i remind you. It was done for clark. To give him an arc.

  8. #6923
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    I would rather not see it come up with just any comic book parallel but I suppose the idea here is that Jon is being proactive because where we sometimes look at Clark's future, the future belongs to him and others too.
    Right, and that's why I wanted to make clear that I wasn't making light of the situation and that it wasn't a direct comparison, but rather the spirit of young people helping to move mountains. I also wanna make very clear that this was ME making the comparison based on what I felt from the scene. Hopefully I didn't offend anyone or make light of a situation.
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  9. #6924
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    And would have killed a lot of my interest in the book (which I already quit reading because of Jon aging up, and was very irritated with before because of Lois characterization, so no difference there, I guess). I loved the family aspect, which cannot be a thing if Jon's with Damian all the time. It's already distressingly difficult to find any fan material (memes, fanfic, etc.) that don't include Damian. Then again, it's frankly similarly difficult to find Billy Batson material that doesn't reference Batman. I like the Batfam, but they do swallow everything, and it can be frustrating.

    It should be. I have issues with Damian ignored in Batman. If a hero has a nuclear family in their home (or any non-roommate superficial relation, really), then that family needs to play a role. Ignoring their existence is just bad writing.
    And that’s fine but others feel differently. Some people would prefer the Superman books focus on Superman and they’re equally entitled to that opinion. I myself was starting to grow bored with the family dynamic and that was why I was willing to see what Bendis would bring to the books. I merely suggested an alternative to what has happened now where Jon would retain his age and personality but would be shuffled off into other books with writers having the option to use him if they wanted to.

  10. #6925
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Can i ask you one thing? How is having an additional support character a burden? Is perry white, lois lane,jimmy olsen, kara, conner kent.. Etc a burden?
    If it has become basically impossible to write a story about the titular character of a series without necessarily dealing with the whereabouts of one, or all, of the characters you mentioned, they can become/have become a burden. Maybe Lois would make an exception, because she has been such an important part of the Superman mythos from day one that it simply feels weird to write a Superman story without her. Even if there are very good Superman stories without Lois and somehow in contrast with her role as Superman's main love interest (the original Lori Lemaris adventure, for example).
    Anyway, the examples you proposed don't hold much water. Jimmy Olsen and Perry White are easily ignorable (most of the time their characterization is so vague that I simply forget that they are there; especially Perry) and there have been literally years of stories without Supergirl or Superboy. Most of the time them can simply work as background characters or without really "being" there.
    This doesn't apply to Jon at all. For reasons which the user Tzigone has perfectly summarized here:

    If a hero has a nuclear family in their home (or any non-roommate superficial relation, really), then that family needs to play a role. Ignoring their existence is just bad writing.
    Do I really need to add more here?
    Just to be clear, one of the main issues I have with Jon (maybe the main issue) is not Jon per se (even if in most of his appearances in Rebirth I find him unbearable, but that's mostly because of Jurgens' writing) but the fact that they introduced an "unavoidable" character without fixing most of the problems and frailties of Superman as a character in the first place. In fact, those problems are still here. Just with one character more, whom you can't ignore.


    Paternalistic? Dude, he was a dad teaching his kid.
    I have read this justification a lot of times whenever someone brought up similar problems here on CBR forum (not me) and it has always sounded unconvincing. It's as if - once you have introduced a a character - you have ONE way to deal with him, ONE way to write his dialogues, ONE way to make him behave in ONE way. Nobody forced them to write a Superman who teaches that way. No one forced them to write a teaching Superman. And nobody forced them to introduce a son Superman had to teach to. Heck, no one forced them to write Jon as wide-eyed SuperLord Fauntleroy, either. And I really hope that we don't have to start nitpicking discussions about Jon being 11 or 12.

    In Superman 2 (2016), just at the beginning of the Rebirth era, there is an exchange between Jon and Clark which summarizes their relationship pretty well. Clark gives him an extremely vague lesson about "doing the right thing when no one else will" and the powers which are not as important as having the right character, and Jon is humble and innocent and apologizes because he used his powers when Superman wasn't around. Well, even without being the most cringeworthy example (the war veterans story got plenty of them and, rather than jingoistic, it is unreadable: its only positive point is that everybody apparently forgot about it) this is a perfect example of why this type of lessons simply don't work in a comic book. The "right thing". As if there was a superhero who would teach his son to do the bad thing. "Right thing", like "hope", and "everything's well", belongs to the realm of the ethical lessons/words which mean zero and I hope not to see anymore in a superhero book (but I expect to see many times more, sadly). Besides that, the problem here (and that's a defining element of their relationship) is exactly that Superman is always represented as a hero all certainties and few/no doubts and Jon as a kid who sees his father as a God and never doubts his word.

    "But Jon is an 11-year old kid and every kid sees his father as a God". I'd say that this is debatable (I speak from personal experience) but OK, let's say that this is the case. The problem is, even if Jon is a kid, the reader isn't. And - if the reader has a bit of critical spirit - he/she cannot but see how Superman's words don't mean much. What does "the right thing" mean? OK, superheroes shouldn't kill - that's obvious - but is, for example, not fighting world hunger the right thing? Is not battling sickness the right thing? What about racism? And we are dealing with a character whose entire editorial history in the latest 20+ years largely focused on posing this type of questions. It's as if Tomasi had forced the reader to identify himself/herself with Jon and make him/her accept simplistic answers instead of more complex, but also more interesting ones. Superman's lesson: be a good person. Yeah, without Superman nobody would have ever thought about that.

    One thing's true, though. This is the typical approach to writing a "teaching" character in a mainstream superhero book. Mainstream as in Marvel or DC - a lot of Image books contains very complex life lessons without having the same tone. Unless you are a very good writer with a lot of freedom, most of ethical teaching you are allowed to include in a DC book have the same depth of a Masters of the Universe cartoon. The problem is, you have to be very careful when you add even more "teaching" traits to a character who for decades has been described as a paternalistic boy scout (and I hope that I don't have to demonstrate THAT such conception of Superman exists).


    Supersons could have continued Jon's story with cameos in main book as background character.
    I don't think that the Super Sons sales were good enough to justify the series to continue. And no, the sales didn't go down because of the introduction of teen Jon (but this is something people with more patience with me have already discussed about in this forum).
    Anyway, the upcoming Legion book will probably play the same role you are suggesting here. You don't like it? Don't read it. You don't have a version of Superman/Jon you like anymore? That's comics. It has always happened and it will happen as long as comic books will exist. How do you think New52 Superman readers felt when they introduced SuperDad? How do you think PostCrisis Superman readers felt when they introduced the New52? How do you think PreCrisis Superman readers felt when Crisis happened? And so on. If the new Legion proves successful and this version of Jon is appreciated by the readers, the Super Sons will simply become a thing of the past like thousands of other stories (and no, if it happens, it won't be because Didio/Bendis hate Rebirth Jon).
    Educational town, Rolemodel city and Moralofthestory land are the places where good comics go to die.

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    And Alan Moore looked down and whispered "No."

  11. #6926
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    Hey, so, just to put it out there, Bendis said this on IG regarding Action Comics 1017

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1YxHpXh...=1j0kss82mv6t8

    Bendis: "Meanwhile in action comics 1017 I gleefully reunite with my blockbuster avengers collaborator @johnromitajr and with once again with one of my life heroes @kjansonnyc to bring you the next explosive chapter in superman history. I’ve been planning this reunion with @johnromitajr for a while and there’s some stuff I’ve saved specifically for him. Johnny is one of the greatest comic artists of all time! So he deserves an enormous story! with that comes some giant changes in superman, action comics and with change to superman comes change to all of @dccomics Guest starring #justiceleague #youngjustice #Jimmyolsen #loislane and so many more! all of the trouble that’s been bubbling right underneath metropolis comes exploding to the surface and all hell breaks loose. Things will not go back to the way they once were. This is a game changer story.#toosubtle ?"

    So, this is gonna have both the Justice League and Young Justice in it, and it's gonna be a "game changer" for the whole DCU that will have leave it so "thing will not go back to the way they once were."

    Well, from what we know so far, I can only guess that this is where Naomi meets and joins Young Justice. Possibly even where Clack and Conner meet/reunite(?). It has to do with the Invisible Mafia and a gang war they start. Do they start it against Lex and the Injustice League with Superman and everyone else in the middle? Leone doesn't seem to care much for Lex, and apparently he'll be making some direct moves in the issues before this, so maybe this forces her hand? Does this somehow lead to Leone basically running the city? Maybe we find out the gang war is staged by Leone and Lex, and his gift to her IS the city, and her running it in open daylight?

    Any guesses?
    #MakeAlexGreatAgain

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  12. #6927
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    If it has become basically impossible to write a story about the titular character of a series without necessarily dealing with the whereabouts of one, or all, of the characters you mentioned, they can become/have become a burden. Maybe Lois would make an exception, because she has been such an important part of the Superman mythos from day one that it simply feels weird to write a Superman story without her. Even if there are very good Superman stories without Lois and somehow in contrast with her role as Superman's main love interest (the original Lori Lemaris adventure, for example).
    Anyway, the examples you proposed don't hold much water. Jimmy Olsen and Perry White are easily ignorable (most of the time their characterization is so vague that I simply forget that they are there; especially Perry) and there have been literally years of stories without Supergirl or Superboy. Most of the time them can simply work as background characters or without really "being" there.
    This doesn't apply to Jon at all. For reasons which the user Tzigone has perfectly summarized here:



    Do I really need to add more here?
    Just to be clear, one of the main issues I have with Jon (maybe the main issue) is not Jon per se (even if in most of his appearances in Rebirth I find him unbearable, but that's mostly because of Jurgens' writing) but the fact that they introduced an "unavoidable" character without fixing most of the problems and frailties of Superman as a character in the first place. In fact, those problems are still here. Just with one character more, whom you can't ignore.



    I have read this justification a lot of times whenever someone brought up similar problems here on CBR forum (not me) and it has always sounded unconvincing. It's as if - once you have introduced a a character - you have ONE way to deal with him, ONE way to write his dialogues, ONE way to make him behave in ONE way. Nobody forced them to write a Superman who teaches that way. No one forced them to write a teaching Superman. And nobody forced them to introduce a son Superman had to teach to. Heck, no one forced them to write Jon as wide-eyed SuperLord Fauntleroy, either. And I really hope that we don't have to start nitpicking discussions about Jon being 11 or 12.

    In Superman 2 (2016), just at the beginning of the Rebirth era, there is an exchange between Jon and Clark which summarizes their relationship pretty well. Clark gives him an extremely vague lesson about "doing the right thing when no one else will" and the powers which are not as important as having the right character, and Jon is humble and innocent and apologizes because he used his powers when Superman wasn't around. Well, even without being the most cringeworthy example (the war veterans story got plenty of them and, rather than jingoistic, it is unreadable: its only positive point is that everybody apparently forgot about it) this is a perfect example of why this type of lessons simply don't work in a comic book. The "right thing". As if there was a superhero who would teach his son to do the bad thing. "Right thing", like "hope", and "everything's well", belongs to the realm of the ethical lessons/words which mean zero and I hope not to see anymore in a superhero book (but I expect to see many times more, sadly). Besides that, the problem here (and that's a defining element of their relationship) is exactly that Superman is always represented as a hero all certainties and few/no doubts and Jon as a kid who sees his father as a God and never doubts his word.

    "But Jon is an 11-year old kid and every kid sees his father as a God". I'd say that this is debatable (I speak from personal experience) but OK, let's say that this is the case. The problem is, even if Jon is a kid, the reader isn't. And - if the reader has a bit of critical spirit - he/she cannot but see how Superman's words don't mean much. What does "the right thing" mean? OK, superheroes shouldn't kill - that's obvious - but is, for example, not fighting world hunger the right thing? Is not battling sickness the right thing? What about racism? And we are dealing with a character whose entire editorial history in the latest 20+ years largely focused on posing this type of questions. It's as if Tomasi had forced the reader to identify himself/herself with Jon and make him/her accept simplistic answers instead of more complex, but also more interesting ones. Superman's lesson: be a good person. Yeah, without Superman nobody would have ever thought about that.

    One thing's true, though. This is the typical approach to writing a "teaching" character in a mainstream superhero book. Mainstream as in Marvel or DC - a lot of Image books contains very complex life lessons without having the same tone. Unless you are a very good writer with a lot of freedom, most of ethical teaching you are allowed to include in a DC book have the same depth of a Masters of the Universe cartoon. The problem is, you have to be very careful when you add even more "teaching" traits to a character who for decades has been described as a paternalistic boy scout (and I hope that I don't have to demonstrate THAT such conception of Superman exists).



    I don't think that the Super Sons sales were good enough to justify the series to continue. And no, the sales didn't go down because of the introduction of teen Jon (but this is something people with more patience with me have already discussed about in this forum).
    Anyway, the upcoming Legion book will probably play the same role you are suggesting here. You don't like it? Don't read it. You don't have a version of Superman/Jon you like anymore? That's comics. It has always happened and it will happen as long as comic books will exist. How do you think New52 Superman readers felt when they introduced SuperDad? How do you think PostCrisis Superman readers felt when they introduced the New52? How do you think PreCrisis Superman readers felt when Crisis happened? And so on. If the new Legion proves successful and this version of Jon is appreciated by the readers, the Super Sons will simply become a thing of the past like thousands of other stories (and no, if it happens, it won't be because Didio/Bendis hate Rebirth Jon).
    Heh well Clark is just following in the footsteps of his Pa and Ma, who never really had any meaningful advice to offer in Post Crisis despite sticking around for so long. That’s why I don’t want them to come back because the relationship you just described is 100% what Clark’s relationship with his parents would be even though he’s freaking 30.

    And Jon DID call his parents out on their lying and making him be a liar in Lois & Clark and Superman Rebirth #1.

  13. #6928
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Heh well Clark is just following in the footsteps of his Pa and Ma, who never really had any meaningful advice to offer in Post Crisis despite sticking around for so long.
    Exactly.
    At least when they were around you could quickly forget about them, but it's a problem when the "teacher" is the frickin' titular character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    And Jon DID call his parents out on their lying and making him be a liar in Lois & Clark and Superman Rebirth #1.
    Minor flaws. 99% of the time Jon simply trusts Clark.
    You know what a problem with Bendis' 17-year-old Jon is? Not the volcano exile (the whole "Bendis has tortured Jon" thing makes zero sense: there are literally ZERO important scenes with Jon suffering from PTSD. It's not as if he had fried a cat...), but the fact that he didn't take a chance to show Jon in rebellion phase towards his parents. It would have been a good moment to show how meaningless most of Superman's lessons are. Oh well.
    Educational town, Rolemodel city and Moralofthestory land are the places where good comics go to die.

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    And Alan Moore looked down and whispered "No."

  14. #6929
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    Would "like" Myskin's posts a thousand times if such a feature was available. Great stuff on the over-romanticizing about the Rebirth era for Superman.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "Now why don't we step up here and everybody get stepped up, and let's get some stepped up personal space up in this place." - Phillip Jacobs

  15. #6930
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    You know what a problem with Bendis' 17-year-old Jon is? Not the volcano exile (the whole "Bendis has tortured Jon" thing makes zero sense: there are literally ZERO important scenes with Jon suffering from PTSD. It's not as if he had fried a cat...), but the fact that he didn't take a chance to show Jon in rebellion phase towards his parents. It would have been a good moment to show how meaningless most of Superman's lessons are. Oh well.
    I don't really think every teen character has to also be some sort of built-in rebel. I like the idea Bendis presents specifically with how Lois has related to her son. When Lois meets up with her dad in Action Comics and tells her father that Clark is Superman, she also clarifies that she wished she'd been able to do this with him sooner.

    She said that she hated her relationship with her father and how things have shaken out, and she is actively taking steps to make sure that her son doesn't feel the same sort of resentment or need to rebel that she did with her dad. She's also just as sad over Clark's relationship with Jor-El, and how what Jor-El seems to primarily do is talk down to Clark and the choices he's made in his work.

    Jon not rebelling, but also not being tied to his parents hip is specifically attributed to how Lois and Clark raised him right, and avoided follow-ups to their relationships with their parents. But Bendis doesn't allow it to be a perfect system because he goes with the motto of "life sometimes just happens." And then it tests the conviction of Lois and Clark to adhere to this idea. Another test will be coming up in the form of the Legion offer, and we'll be getting both their feelings on in.

    I think it's far more nuanced and interesting (though flawed in its execution, mind you) than Jon just being another teen that rebels because of vague ideas of hormones. I can't I'm at all mad he stayed away from that so far.
    #MakeAlexGreatAgain

    "Your videos give us hope. They give us strength in these times of slow normals, Chun-Li costumes and rampant New York fires.
    We shall overcome. The day will come when we are all warmed up."


    -Coffee That

    PM me if you tryina mix it up in SFV (and Dragon Ball FighterZ). Just know: the hypa bomb takes no prisoners.

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