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  1. #31
    (Formerly ilash) Ilan Preskovsky's Avatar
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    I don't necessarily mind the changes he made to the mythos (some were good, some less so) but the best thing about Byrne was that he set up the Triangle era to really deliver on his ideas.
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  2. #32
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    It's the best thing and it's hard to understand how much credit to give him. Obviously he didn't have such intentions, but the following dozen writers or so, up to 2003 like CK said, found things to unpack from his work. I mean just for one example you have the Cyborg Superman getting his start in the very first issue of the series. How crazy is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    I also dislike Lex being remade as a corrupt businessman (an especially sleazy one too, which I dislike for Lex), the type Superman would topple back in the Golden Age...and he's not only still in power by the end of the mini, he was an ongoing antagonist in that role throughout the run and beyond. And was able to wave Superman away with a Kryptonite ring.

    Clark being unable to bring Lex down as either Superman or as a journalist wasn't the best look for him. It's one of the reasons I prefer Lex as a full blown supervillain, everyone knows he's evil.
    Sometimes unfortunately, you can't keep a good villain down. What was supposed to balance that so it wasn't a Joker scenario was the fact that Lex was the atlas of the local economy and it wasn't possible to get rid of him for good without something major on him and somehow keep the trains in time. Plot wise though, Superman was deputized and collared him in Man of Steel, and then the ring you mention ended up costing him his right hand before Byrne left.

    Concept wise Clark Kent was supposed to be an alpha yuppie, the man of that time. So then I would say it's a contrast, Superman as the passion of the 80s boom while Lex is the lust of the same. Or the classic Hulk Hogan character vs the scandalous old reality star Hogan, haha. Making him a boss was in part inspired by his mob boss status in the golden age being updated for the time. He had gone into middle age without challenge, so instead of pushing and pushing back he just used his science for money. It should probably be dated, except with Lex explicitly being patterned after Donald Trump, his character arc from 1986 to 2003 is freakishly relevant still.
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  3. #33
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Sometimes unfortunately, you can't keep a good villain down. What was supposed to balance that so it wasn't a Joker scenario was the fact that Lex was the atlas of the local economy and it wasn't possible to get rid of him for good without something major on him and somehow keep the trains in time. Plot wise though, Superman was deputized and collared him in Man of Steel, and then the ring you mention ended up costing him his right hand before Byrne left.

    Concept wise Clark Kent was supposed to be an alpha yuppie, the man of that time. So then I would say it's a contrast, Superman as the passion of the 80s boom while Lex is the lust of the same. Or the classic Hulk Hogan character vs the scandalous old reality star Hogan, haha. Making him a boss was in part inspired by his mob boss status in the golden age being updated for the time. He had gone into middle age without challenge, so instead of pushing and pushing back he just used his science for money. It should probably be dated, except with Lex explicitly being patterned after Donald Trump, his character arc from 1986 to 2003 is freakishly relevant still.
    Those two things are nice touches, but for the first one Lex only spent one night in jail (which, to be fair, pissed him off to no end) and while the ring biting him in the ass is good, it's not really something of a victory for Superman himself. And the first use of it is in a story after his ex-girlfriend was beaten by this dude's thugs and he's sent off with his tail between his legs.

    If the intent of the reboot was to bring the hero back to his roots, he'd probably put the fear of God into Lex, come away with a clean victory and not be deputized. Meanwhile, Batman has the awesome scene in Year One where he crashes that gangster dinner and does his "you have feasted well..." bit. Which one is cooler and more iconic?

    I know it was the times, but coming at it from a modern perspective, I read three of the Byrne trades and had to tap put before I even got to the Barda porno lol.

  4. #34

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    I loved Man of Steel, and Byrne definitely wrote an awesome Lex Luthor.

    I feel like when he took over Adventures from Marv Wolfman however, that the quality of his work with the character dropped significantly. Maybe he just checked out by then?

    Overall I will say the first year or so with the character stands as one of my favorites, probably top 5. But Stern, Ordway, and Jurgens definitely picked up the ball and ran with it, significantly improving on what Byrne established.

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Those two things are nice touches, but for the first one Lex only spent one night in jail (which, to be fair, pissed him off to no end) and while the ring biting him in the ass is good, it's not really something of a victory for Superman himself. And the first use of it is in a story after his ex-girlfriend was beaten by this dude's thugs and he's sent off with his tail between his legs.

    If the intent of the reboot was to bring the hero back to his roots, he'd probably put the fear of God into Lex, come away with a clean victory and not be deputized. Meanwhile, Batman has the awesome scene in Year One where he crashes that gangster dinner and does his "you have feasted well..." bit. Which one is cooler and more iconic?

    I know it was the times, but coming at it from a modern perspective, I read three of the Byrne trades and had to tap put before I even got to the Barda porno lol.
    Dispenser of Truth called that out on his Tumblr as one of the main factors for Batman overtaking Superman. Bats kicks the mob out of Gotham in under a year. Superman utterly fails to dislodge Luthor after 10 years. But I do have to say I like Lex starting off as a villain with good publicity. I just don’t think him basically being the Kingpin is all that interesting for long, and I think Supes should totally pull down his empire, just so he’s not totally ineffective.

  6. #36
    Mighty Member Yoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Dispenser of Truth called that out on his Tumblr as one of the main factors for Batman overtaking Superman. Bats kicks the mob out of Gotham in under a year. Superman utterly fails to dislodge Luthor after 10 years. But I do have to say I like Lex starting off as a villain with good publicity. I just don’t think him basically being the Kingpin is all that interesting for long, and I think Supes should totally pull down his empire, just so he’s not totally ineffective.
    Point to Bats for kicking out the mob. Of course, the mob was then replaced by gangs led by very colorful homicidal maniacs that routinely slaughter people at random and a revolving door of a asylum. I bet the citizens of Gotham miss the organized crime. So while he never got Luthor long term, Superman did clean up Metropolis.

    I think the big difference between Batman Year One and Man of Steel is that Man of Steel reads and looks very much so like an 80's comic. All the fashion and character designs quickly became dated. While Batman Year One is very non-distinct in it's time frame and really only the absence of modern tech takes it out of the present day. Mazzuchelli did a much better job of that than Bryne did and I think that's one of the few things craft wise as I can still see some of in Superman: Year One. Though I think the lions share of that credit should probably go to JRJR.

    I didn't read Brynes run until long after I got into Superman, which was around Death & Return and though I picked up the Triangle Era from there out for the most part I wasn't to focused on going backwards. Maybe the spell of the super mullet just kept me looking towards the future. I absorbed most of Brynes stuff through osmosis basically, I don't think I actually read Man of Steel or the rest of Brynes run until the probably like 2004. By that point, I did still enjoy it, but it definitely felt and read pretty dated. It'd probably still be in my top 10 runs now. I appreciate a lot of what he tried to do and his art still is great. The 80's high fashion Lois rocked is something else.

  7. #37
    Fantastic Member mikelmcknight72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Hah a fellow New Krypton fan! What did you think of the finale? Up until War of the Supermen I loved it and having reread it recently I still think itís enjoyable.
    It could have been handled better, but it was fun. I just read Superman for all Seasons today, and I'd seriously consider replacing New Krypton with it in my top 5. Very good.

  8. #38
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    For Kuwagaton:
    https://www.cbr.com/comic-book-legends-revealed-254/

    The rejected Metropolis proposal is a personal favorite of mine and in the latest years I did my best - unsuccessfully - to get a clearer idea of what it could have been.

    As for Byrne's run: I didn't particularly care for it when it was published and IMHO most the things I didn't like in subsequent runs (including Jurgens', Simonson's, etc.) were created there. Especially the soap opera dialogues and Superman's preachy attitude, which Byrne was more skillful at writing than most writers who followed him anyway (including Jurgens).

    But.

    Personal tastes aside, it is probably the most consistent Superman run of all time and the one with the richest and most interesting Krypton mythology. Joe Kelly's run, which is tonally opposite to Byrne's, was mostly built on Byrne's continuity, and to me this is a proof that what Byrne created was solid enough to support completely different creative approaches. None of the reboots which followed is comparable to that. All in all, I don't think that the endless series of origin stories we had in the latest years was ever necessary because I see very few stories in the latest 15 years which couldn't have been built on what Byrne created (with some small retcons here and there). Including Rebirth. Yes, more recent stories are different in tone from what Byrne wrote, but aren't the current Fantastic Four different from Byrne's run, or Stan Lee's run, even if they preserve the same continuity?

    I'd say that post-Crisis Superman would have needed one writer to forge the character in a very consistent, recognizable way in any case and what Byrne did was somehow necessary and in some measure successful. The problem is, some of his things are very dated nowadays and people like Miller, Moore or Gerber would have probably done a better job... Simply becasue they were better writers. In my mind, Batman: Year One is something akin to William Friedkin's 1985 movie "Live and Die in LA", which is still a classic these days, while Byrne's run is more of a 1980s classic sitcom with a laughing track: it had its relevance and some people are still fond of it, but it's irreparably stuck in the past. Even if some ideas, like mongul Lex, were solid enough to stay.
    Last edited by Myskin; 08-29-2019 at 12:50 AM.
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  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Dispenser of Truth called that out on his Tumblr as one of the main factors for Batman overtaking Superman. Bats kicks the mob out of Gotham in under a year. Superman utterly fails to dislodge Luthor after 10 years. But I do have to say I like Lex starting off as a villain with good publicity. I just don’t think him basically being the Kingpin is all that interesting for long, and I think Supes should totally pull down his empire, just so he’s not totally ineffective.
    I really, really don't think that Byrne's version of Lex Luthor had anything to do with Batman usurping Superman as DC's/WB's most popular character.

  10. #40
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Dispenser of Truth called that out on his Tumblr as one of the main factors for Batman overtaking Superman. Bats kicks the mob out of Gotham in under a year. Superman utterly fails to dislodge Luthor after 10 years. But I do have to say I like Lex starting off as a villain with good publicity. I just don’t think him basically being the Kingpin is all that interesting for long, and I think Supes should totally pull down his empire, just so he’s not totally ineffective.
    Yep, and I mostly agree with DoT's take on the whole run.
    That's a cool way to start with Lex, but 10 years is too long. And I'm biased because I just don't think Kingpin knock-off Lex is that interesting in the long run compared to what came before.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    I really, really don't think that Byrne's version of Lex Luthor had anything to do with Batman usurping Superman as DC's/WB's most popular character.
    It's probably not a coincidence that Batman had Miller and overtook Superman as DC's most popular character when the latter had Byrne putting out more dated comics and establishing iffy trends on the character that haven't stood the test of time. it was a deadly combination of TDKR, lack of any good Superman movies compared to Burton's Batman at the time, and Byrne's reboot compared to Miller's that did it.

    Him being ineffective against his arch nemesis is pretty bad.

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    It's probably not a coincidence that Batman had Miller and overtook Superman as DC's most popular character when the latter had Byrne putting out more dated comics and establishing iffy trends on the character that haven't stood the test of time. it was a deadly combination of TDKR, lack of any good Superman movies compared to Burton's Batman at the time, and Byrne's reboot compared to Miller's that did it.

    Him being ineffective against his arch nemesis is pretty bad.
    Batman overtook Superman as the more popular character because Batman is "cooler" and you can do more...complex (for lack of a better word) stories with the character than you can Superman. It can be argued that Batman overtook Superman within the comic books in the 70's, and certainly by the mid-80's.

    I've heard the "ineffective" argument before, and it's Mark Waid's big harping point regarding Byrne's Lex. My retort to that is always that any scenario where Superman doesn't kill Lex or Batman doesn't kill Joker or whatever, the hero looks ineffective. What is Batman accomplishing by defeating Joker, only for Joker to be put in Arkham and eventually escape, killing again and again?

    I'm fine if fans prefer pre-Crisis, take-over-the-universe Lex versus post-Crisis Lex. But the "ineffectual" argument has never held weight with me.

  12. #42
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    Batman overtook Superman as the more popular character because Batman is "cooler" and you can do more...complex (for lack of a better word) stories with the character than you can Superman. It can be argued that Batman overtook Superman within the comic books in the 70's, and certainly by the mid-80's.

    I've heard the "ineffective" argument before, and it's Mark Waid's big harping point regarding Byrne's Lex. My retort to that is always that any scenario where Superman doesn't kill Lex or Batman doesn't kill Joker or whatever, the hero looks ineffective. What is Batman accomplishing by defeating Joker, only for Joker to be put in Arkham and eventually escape, killing again and again?

    I'm fine if fans prefer pre-Crisis, take-over-the-universe Lex versus post-Crisis Lex. But the "ineffectual" argument has never held weight with me.
    It's more that Batman is a more versatile archetype that can cater to the lowest common denominator at times, not necessarily more complex. And I think that attitude, that Superman cannot be cool or complex, creeping into the creative process is a defeatist attitude that does not help him. A self fulfilling prophecy. He needed a shake up in the 80s, but the one he got didn't help him in the long run, IMO, by stripping him of all the stuff that made him weird and cool. They made him more "normal" and thus more boring, and didn't really replace any of it with cool stuff. Batman overtaking him in popularity wouldn't sting as much if he hadn't been turned into something he isn't in the process, and been allowed to lose his title on his own terms.

    Mark Waid is right in this instance (again, IMO). With supervillain Lex and Joker, their immediate schemes are at least thwarted by the heroes and they receive (at least temporary) punishment. By bringing Lex back to his roots as a corrupt businessman, the type of criminals Siegel and Shuster wanted Superman to take down, and then NOT effectively take him down makes him look ineffectual in a way that repeated jail breaks by Lex doesn't do. You think Golden Age Superman would have a story that ended with his ex girlfriend getting beaten without him giving the bad guys hell?

  13. #43
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    Well, I don't agree with the "ineffective" thing either (sorry DoT) and when Mark Waid came up with this specific topic the very first thing I thought is that he is simply too in love with the character for his, or Superman's, own good.

    If you think about it, it is not true that Batman is effectual against the Joker, or with Gotham mob in general. I'd say that a great part of Batman's charm is that he keeps fighting a battle he cannot win, and maybe he's also making Gotham worse just by being a vigilante (it's a common topic in a lot of Batman stories). Since the 1980s, that is when Batman became the most important DC character, he never really made Gotham a better place to live. He's basically a Bat-Sisyphus.
    I don't think that he is that effective against the Joker, either. In the latest decades the Joker has been elevated to an almost supernatural boogeyman, and I would have a hard time if I had to list every Joker story where Batman is 100% victorious against him. Most of the Joker stories end on an ambiguous note and the Joker is generally rather happy for having had another chance at tormenting Batman, no matter what the final outcome is.

    Having Luthor as basically invincible enemy provides a great opportunity for Superman writers, because - in the right context, with the right plot - you can make Superman appear as a righteous force of good against an evil symbol of status quo, instead of making Superman the protector of status quo itself. In Star Wars you side with the rebels, not with Emperor Palpatine. During the President Luthor storyline, before it became a mess, the writers were pretty good at using Luthor in this capacity. I'd say that the biggest problem with Byrne Luthor is that he is simply too uncouth, petty and sleazy (and sometimes also silly, for example when he discarded Clark Kent's secret identity) to be a really compelling villain.
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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    It's more that Batman is a more versatile archetype that can cater to the lowest common denominator at times, not necessarily more complex. And I think that attitude, that Superman cannot be cool or complex, creeping into the creative process is a defeatist attitude that does not help him. A self fulfilling prophecy. He needed a shake up in the 80s, but the one he got didn't help him in the long run, IMO, by stripping him of all the stuff that made him weird and cool. They made him more "normal" and thus more boring, and didn't really replace any of it with cool stuff. Batman overtaking him in popularity wouldn't sting as much if he hadn't been turned into something he isn't in the process, and been allowed to lose his title on his own terms.

    Mark Waid is right in this instance (again, IMO). With supervillain Lex and Joker, their immediate schemes are at least thwarted by the heroes and they receive (at least temporary) punishment. By bringing Lex back to his roots as a corrupt businessman, the type of criminals Siegel and Shuster wanted Superman to take down, and then NOT effectively take him down makes him look ineffectual in a way that repeated jail breaks by Lex doesn't do. You think Golden Age Superman would have a story that ended with his ex girlfriend getting beaten without him giving the bad guys hell?
    We had a story about the Joker murdering Batman's sidekick and getting off with what was for all intents and purposes a slap on the wrist.

    For me, the status quo with Luthor isn't as much of an issue for two reasons:

    1) Luthor never reaches the level of depravity that Joker often does.

    2) DC is clearly far more comfortable with Luthor getting some kind of comeuppance than the Joker.

    Eve n if Lex doesn't go to prison, you can always get some kind of satisfaction over his defeats. With the Joker it feels like he won almost all the time.

  15. #45
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    Well, I don't agree with the "ineffective" thing either (sorry DoT) and when Mark Waid came up with this specific topic the very first thing I thought is that he is simply too in love with the character for his, or Superman's, own good.

    If you think about it, it is not true that Batman is effectual against the Joker, or with Gotham mob in general. I'd say that a great part of Batman's charm is that he keeps fighting a battle he cannot win, and maybe he's also making Gotham worse just by being a vigilante (it's a common topic in a lot of Batman stories). Since the 1980s, that is when Batman became the most important DC character, he never really made Gotham a better place to live. He's basically a Bat-Sisyphus.
    I don't think that he is that effective against the Joker, either. In the latest decades the Joker has been elevated to an almost supernatural boogeyman, and I would have a hard time if I had to list every Joker story where Batman is 100% victorious against him. Most of the Joker stories end on an ambiguous note and the Joker is generally rather happy for having had another chance at tormenting Batman, no matter what the final outcome is.

    Having Luthor as basically invincible enemy provides a great opportunity for Superman writers, because - in the right context, with the right plot - you can make Superman appear as a righteous force of good against an evil symbol of status quo, instead of making Superman the protector of status quo itself. In Star Wars you side with the rebels, not with Emperor Palpatine. During the President Luthor storyline, before it became a mess, the writers were pretty good at using Luthor in this capacity. I'd say that the biggest problem with Byrne Luthor is that he is simply too uncouth, petty and sleazy (and sometimes also silly, for example when he discarded Clark Kent's secret identity) to be a really compelling villain.
    The problem is Superman is meant to be the Man of Tomorrow, and if the righteous force of good cannot take down the symbol of an evil status quo, what good is he?
    it's a good challenge for a finite story or arc, and there will always be battles to fight, but stretching this one out so long isn't good for Superman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    We had a story about the Joker murdering Batman's sidekick and getting off with what was for all intents and purposes a slap on the wrist.

    For me, the status quo with Luthor isn't as much of an issue for two reasons:

    1) Luthor never reaches the level of depravity that Joker often does.

    2) DC is clearly far more comfortable with Luthor getting some kind of comeuppance than the Joker.

    Eve n if Lex doesn't go to prison, you can always get some kind of satisfaction over his defeats. With the Joker it feels like he won almost all the time.
    I've been pretty vocal about not liking Joker as an increasingly depraved killer with a massive unchecked bodycount and I dislike the dead kid baggage. i'd happily get rid of all that as well.

    So yeah, Lex's status quo isn't as bad. But one pile of crap that smells a little less than another doesn't change the fact that they're both crap.

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