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  1. #61
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    I didn't mind starting out with Lex being a successful businessman who is actually corrupt. That wasn't a far cry from what he had been sometimes in pre-Crisis stories. But at some point I wanted him to get caught and stuck in prison.

    The Luthor I first knew was the guy in prison greys. The interesting thing about him--which Maggin later expanded on--was that he could get out of prison anytime that he wanted. He just stayed in prison until he had a good reason to leave--usually some new plot he had come up with.

    As we've learned from gangster movies, there's just as many great stories to be told about gangsters in prison as on the outside. And I think that would have made for a splendid ongoing plot--where Luthor is in prison, but he's conducting his criminal enterprises from inside.

    It's an interesting turn--because you can't really get mad at Superman for not doing his job--Lex is in prison--yet it shows the genius of Luthor that he is still in control even when he's in lock-down. Something that SUPERGIRL showed in its fourth season--to my everlasting surprise, as I don't give that show much credit for being inventive.
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  2. #62
    Fantastic Member magha_regulus's Avatar
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    I grew up with the Byrne origin. I learned to read earlier than normal thanks to the super powers mini comics that came with the action figures. When Man of Steel came out I could already it at 4. I collected comics since that time off and on but in earnest with the panic in the sky arc. Shortly after that i read the greatest superman stories ever told tpb. It was that book that got me to really understand the full scope of Superman's history, and it was there that the golden and silver ages became my favorites.
    Byrne's run definitely has its place but i liked the eras before and after it alot more. It was definitely better than JMS' mind boggling disapointing walk about run. Byrne's run doesn't get into my top 10 though.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Well yeah, his general mission is a never ending one, no one is disputing that. But this is an escapist fantasy character, he needs to have some unambigious cathartic victories. You can have a sympathetic character who never surrenders, but this genre (particularly at DC) needs to have its heroes get clear wins as well. I think a balance needs to be struck, but Byrne's run didn't really do it in an interesting way for me. Like I said, doing such an arc with Lex is interesting, but I question having it going on as long as it did.

    They were naive and simplistic. But honestly, I'm not sure modern superhero comics are any less naive and simplistic in their own ways.

    EDIT

    Since you bring up Moore and Gerber, I think was actually clicks with me with their takes is BECAUSE the retro futuristic/Disneyland take on Krypton was in place and is having less ideal, hidden elements explored.
    Modern superhero comics are naive and simplistic for different reasons - the endless reboots with apparently no consequences, the existence of multiple Robins, etc., but there are other elements which simply cannot be as naively presented as they were in the Golden and Silver Age - for example, the psychological depth of the characters and how easily they win. You cannot have a story with Lois Lane tricking Superman into a marriage or Superman capturing Hitler and Stalin like nothing. And it couldn't be any different, since Marvel completely changed the paradigm of what superhero comic books could be.

    I am not saying that all modern superhero comic books are cleverly crafted masterpiece of psychological exploration - quite the contrary, they are pretty dumb and personally speaking I have no hope that they will ever become what I really want them to be - but in general you simply can't tell the same type of stories you told in the SA.

    Again, look at Batman. Silver Age Batman vs Joker and post-Crisis Batman vs Joker are two completely different things. Silver Age Batman always got clear wins. Modern Batman rarely does (or at least more rarely). This doesn't prevent him from being the single most popular DC character. You get Bat-God stories where he basically annihilates his enemies, but also more nuanced adventures where he can't get clear wins. Especially the Batman vs Joker stories. I really can't think of a modern Joker story where Batman is 100% victorious against him.

    Yes, Gerber and Moore were very good at exploring sinister elements of Silver Age Krypton. But: A- Both focused on VERY specific elements (all of Gerber's stories are about the Phantom Zone, Moore explored an alternate take of Krypton with social problems, turmoils, etc.) B- Their stories didn't end with a 100% victorious Superman. Moore's For the Man Who Has Everything ends on a bittersweet note; Gerber's Phantom Zone mini ends with the criminals back to the zone, but also the unjust sacrifice of the only innocent zoner, while DC comics presents 97's ending (it was the last issue of the series) includes an almighty Mxyzptlk, Bizarro Dead, and an Argo City massacre. This type of ambiguous ending is exactly what I'd like to see. IMHO if Byrne hadn't introduced his version of Krypton they would have gone with something equally nuanced with other writers, but I'd say that Byrne - in this specific field of the Superman lore - did a pretty good job anyway. His Krypton more or less stands the test of time, even if it renounces other classic elements. And it is way more solid and recognizable than any Krypton which followed, including the one introduced by Morrison in his short AC run (Johns/Robinson tried something different with New Krypton and they were partially successful at that, but it's not as solid as Byrne's).

    IMHO if Gerber and Miller had gone with their Superman relaunch in the 1980s we probably would have got something more adherent to classic Krypton - especially in visual terms - but way grimmer and more serious in terms of atmosphere. Probably grimmer than Byrne Krypton itself. Nothing against it, personally speaking; and we would have a better Superman these days if we had followed that route, because Superman would have taken a deconstructionist path which he was in desperate need of and never had. But IMHO SA Krypton, with that specific atmosphere and fantastical elements, would have gone anyway.
    Last edited by Myskin; 08-30-2019 at 12:43 AM.
    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."

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