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Thread: Evil Supermen

  1. #1
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    Default Evil Supermen

    With Brightburn out this weekend, I thought I would ask, what do think of Evil versions of Superman? There have been several Evil Superman like characters from comics, Ultraman, Hyperion from Squadron Supreme, the Plutonian from Irredeemable, etc. Injustice Superman is another version of an evil Superman. Why do think this is a popular idea?

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    Wasn't the first Superman concept from Siegel and Shuster an evil Superman? I wonder if the Siegel family could sue the makers of BRIGHTBURN.

    For DC, I think it's inevitable that Superman fights his opposite. It's pretty much the only way you can go with any super-hero--at some point the hero meets an evil version of himself.

    For other companies it's a way to use Superman without paying DC for the privilege. And by making the character evil, they can pretend that they're doing a parody of or a commentary on the concept.

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    Mighty Member Minerboh's Avatar
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    Injustice Superman is the first that comes into my mind.
    In the Injustice Universe, it is implied that Clark was rotten to the core in the first place and only made his super hero stunds to impress Lois and it was not her death that warped his point of view.

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    Mighty Member Minerboh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Wasn't the first Superman concept from Siegel and Shuster an evil Superman? I wonder if the Siegel family could sue the makers of BRIGHTBURN.

    For DC, I think it's inevitable that Superman fights his opposite. It's pretty much the only way you can go with any super-hero--at some point the hero meets an evil version of himself.

    For other companies it's a way to use Superman without paying DC for the privilege. And by making the character evil, they can pretend that they're doing a parody of or a commentary on the concept.
    If that's the case then they shouldn't do the same to the creators of A.L.F and Thundercats for borrowing the doomed planet trope and Dragonball's Akira Toriyama for borrowing the doomed planet AND the raised alien by a noble earthling trope?
    Last edited by Minerboh; 05-25-2019 at 09:18 PM.

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    Mighty Member Vordan's Avatar
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    I have to admit to a very petty and childish pleasure at Brightburn not doing so well apparently. Because my God am I sick of the Evil Supermen. But the best one is the Plutonian from Irredemable. That story shows what would “realistically” happen if Superman went bad, and spoilers: Batman would be absolutely screwed as would everyone on the planet. I also liked that it basically showed that an evil Superman would be born of inherent character flaws that Clark doesn’t have, not dumb crap like one persons death sending him over the edge.

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    Incredible Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    I have to admit to a very petty and childish pleasure at Brightburn not doing so well apparently. Because my God am I sick of the Evil Supermen. But the best one is the Plutonian from Irredemable. That story shows what would “realistically” happen if Superman went bad, and spoilers: Batman would be absolutely screwed as would everyone on the planet. I also liked that it basically showed that an evil Superman would be born of inherent character flaws that Clark doesn’t have, not dumb crap like one persons death sending him over the edge.
    This.

    Say what you will of Ending Battle, Clark's response to his perception of Lois Lane dying was in character. Superman is who he is due to a multitude of reasons, not because his girlfriend/wife reigns him in.

    Personally, I don't care for evil Superman except when he's a foil for Clark. Defining where he stops by showing a version of him who doesn't. As s concept for a story like Injustice, well I don't care for it because it's always to prop someone else up at Clark's expense. Usually Batman.

    There was a time when Clark's star was brightest and could take it, but years of WB/DC tying another albatross around his neck have put him in a place where that can't keep happening for much longer.

    The common interpretation of Superman is one of dismissal, irony or distrust. I'm meeting fewer people who seem to genuinely like or love the character because "he's one bad day from Hitler," "you just need a rock to take him out," or "Supergirl is better than him in every way anyway."

    You don't show someone how special you are by being a tyrant. I'm a well past done with evil Superman as a result.
    Last edited by Robanker; 05-26-2019 at 06:13 AM.

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Doctor Know's Avatar
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    Superman and other Herculean level characters like him are numerous and plenty. Focusing only on the evil ones. You get

    Superman - Injustice

    Superman - Red Son

    Brutaal/Savior - Superman under Darkseid's control

    Overman - Final Crisis/Multiversity

    Wraith - Unchained

    Bizarro

    General Zod

    Ultraman

    Black Adam

    Superboy-Prime

    Hyperion - Marvel

    Sentry - Marvel

    The Plutonian - Boom! Studios

    Supreme - Image Comics


    Other characters in the Superman mold, but that are not evil.

    Thor - Marvel

    Gladiator - Marvel

    Superior - Icon/Marvel

    Shazam/Captain Marvel

    Captain Atom/Earth-4

    Doctor Manhattan
    Last edited by Doctor Know; 05-26-2019 at 07:05 AM.

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    I think it's funny that when SUPERGIRL did Red Daughter on TV, she turned out to be an adorable, sympathetic character that I loved more than Supergirl herself. I found that a much more entertaining twist on the "evil" twin trope than what we usually get.

  9. #9
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    It is exhausting, tbh. I'm sick of evil Supermen.

    It really is chipping away at the IP. "Lois Lane is the key"- nah Lois Lane is a lovely woman whom Superman shares his adventures with. He would never let anything happen to her, but if something did happen- he is still our Superman. Just a sadder Superman.

    What people really get wrong about Superman is the WHY. Superman loves us. He loves all of us. Every single human being on this planet, even Lex Luthor. His connection to mankind isnt his girlfriend/wife- it is all of us.
    Follow your inner moonlight, do not hide the madness. -Ginsberg

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    Evil and Superman don't go together!! Superman stand against evil. I don't like when they want to make a story about a evil superman!! I think the injustice league superman and ultraman are a slap in the face!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Gordon View Post
    It is exhausting, tbh. I'm sick of evil Supermen.

    It really is chipping away at the IP. "Lois Lane is the key"- nah Lois Lane is a lovely woman whom Superman shares his adventures with. He would never let anything happen to her, but if something did happen- he is still our Superman. Just a sadder Superman.

    What people really get wrong about Superman is the WHY. Superman loves us. He loves all of us. Every single human being on this planet, even Lex Luthor. His connection to mankind isnt his girlfriend/wife- it is all of us.
    I agree with you 100% I hate that whole thing, when they try and say that these only thing that keeps SM connected to mankind is Lois!! That has never been true!!

  12. #12
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    Conner Kent was also an evil Superman in the Titans of Tomorrow Future...

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member WonderScott's Avatar
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    I always enjoy a good doppelgänger character and tale of the “path not taken” and/or character developing under different circumstances. It’s a personal thing and theme that sparks my interest.

    My favorite is probably Ultraman, mostly because a lot hasn’t been done with him and that leaves him open for additional interpretation.

    I’m not a huge Marvel reader, but I always like Gladiator too and the Strontian schtick.

  14. #14
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    I think it's a worn out trope. We get it. "What if the most noble superhero was evil?" YAWN! If I want to see a murdering Superman, I'll go watch MOS again. The irony of Injustice is that, at least according to the comics, the "good" universe looks better than the mainstream DCU. I'm worn out on "evil" Superman. And, BTW, Kingdom Come did a much better job of "What Superman would be like if Lois died" concept. He wouldn't turn evil, he'd just retire and go away. Neither one is a particularly good outcome but obviously one is much better than the other. I'm willing to buy the idea that he would murder the Joker in a fit of rage. Taking over the world so it never happens again and half the JLA joining him? Yeah, no. He'd regret it almost immediately afterward. And would turn himself in.

    Red Son is the only interesting variation on the concept and even then it's because he doesn't see himself as evil. He truly believes he's doing the right thing. In his mind, brainwashing people who go against the state is a much better solution than killing them. And technically I suppose he's right. He still keeps his code against killing.
    Now listen to me, Clark! This great strength of yours--you've got to hide it from people or they'll be scared of you!

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    I like the Lois Lane who is a fighter, who is annoying, who won't give up on a mystery until it's solved, who pushes people away, who is hard to love, who challenges Superman and Clark. Trying to understand and appreciate that woman makes Superman a better person. Making her into some kind of angel that saves Superman from himself is ridiculous.

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