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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    That's a problem with defining a cutoff for classic where the character himself goes, as that example relies on defining the older takes on Superman by a situation that never did and never would happen. Golden age Batman didn't really share a universe, silver age Gotham never had to deal with the aftermath of a catastrophe. How does NML apply then?

    Also if it helps here's a recap of that story, where Superman refuses to leave without helping. His only failure is that he can't save people from themselves. "They're not ready."
    http://babblingsaboutdccomics.blogsp...-help.html?m=1

    He thinks to himself, "don't antagonize him" as he asserts that Batman can't stop him. Is that fear or just not being interested in unproductive conflict? I go with the latter considering what followed.
    I may have embellished on the shaking like a leaf part but the pages and the follow up pages I feel do in fact support my reading. He's in general nervous about how to handle the situation and does seem antsy that the slightest wrong move will set off some kind of confrontation. The internal dialogue seems like a guy psyching himself up rather than a man showing his conviction. When Bruce reaches behind his back he does legitimately panic for a second, I guess fearing that Bruce was about to bust out the Kryptonite or something which is a legit fear I guess. But that still seems for at least a second he was legitimately afraid of Bruce in that encounter. Afterwards Bruce tells him he has 24 hours and Clark meekly accepts his conditions. I mean don't get me wrong I did REALLY enjoy the bit with him and the engineer restarting the power plant and it was a great moment for the guy but what follows kind of reinforces he wasn't ready to put in the time or effort to actually fix things.After that the story shows Superman basically trying once and quitting the second he hits anything thats tough and requires some kind of perseverance.

    Sure there's no 1 to 1 older storyline where Clark and Bruce get into over Gotham being caught up in an Earthquake and the ensuing year long chaos that follows but we at least knew what happened to people when the tried to impede Superman from fighting for truth and justice.



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  2. #77
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    I can go into a pretty long explanation as to why that nobody is different from Batman (and the overblown nature of that "frenemy" description as there is generally less animosity than it leads to believe) but I think you may already be able to appreciate the difference.

    The most accurate comparison I can think from Action #1 is how Jurgens/Simonson and Fisch separately redid the wife beater story to show that just taking it to the guy isn't really a solution. I don't doubt Siegel understood that, I just imagine he wasn't concerned with it as most back then wouldn't be.
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  3. #78
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    John Byrne Man of Steel is the best version in my opinion and the trunks are a must. Also the S on his chest should stand for Superman that Clark and Jonathan created rather than something weird that just so happens to look like the letter.
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  4. #79
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Funny enough Byrne used the classic idea but was the one to coin the "two fish" gag. I think it's a weird idea that should have stayed in the movie. Might as well have transferred its properties as a cellophane binding projectile, too. But I can admit that for the narrative that he didn't come up with his own name it's the most reasonable explanation for the symbol.

    Although I have no choice but to stomach it, it gets more ridiculous now that Zod has a Z on his chest.
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  5. #80
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Although I have no choice but to stomach it, it gets more ridiculous now that Zod has a Z on his chest.
    I've come to the conclusion that this is just something we have to roll with, like the secret identity. It doesn't make any sense but it is what it is and you just gotta say "Yup! These Kryptonian House emblems just so happen to look like letters in the English alphabet because the universe is a weird place!"

    It was all a lot simpler in the Golden Age, when the costume and emblem were created by Clark himself (also showed off his intellect, since he invented that durable fabric himself) but I do really like the symbolism of Clark saving his adopted world while wearing the clothes of his birth world.
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  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I've come to the conclusion that this is just something we have to roll with, like the secret identity. It doesn't make any sense but it is what it is and you just gotta say "Yup! These Kryptonian House emblems just so happen to look like letters in the English alphabet because the universe is a weird place!"

    It was all a lot simpler in the Golden Age, when the costume and emblem were created by Clark himself (also showed off his intellect, since he invented that durable fabric himself) but I do really like the symbolism of Clark saving his adopted world while wearing the clothes of his birth world.
    Yes, but it was easier to accept the movie take (1st time it was a Kryptonian symbol) when the symbol comes before the name. I can buy the house crest for "El" looking like a stylized "S" a lot easier than the house crest of "Zod" resembling a less stylized "Z".

    Having your alien hero have a symbol that resembles the letter X (two crossed lines at 45 degree angles) isn't implausible. And having him then given a name on Earth that starts with an X like Xemplar also makes sense.

    Stating that the same character chose the name Xemplar and that his symbol was also used to represent the "ecks" sound on his home planet- not anywhere near as plausible (unless you have some ancient alien contamination in there somewhere).

    As for the costume, I'd split the difference. Either the suit is Kryptonian and the symbol was designed after the Superman name was given in the press or the symbol is El family crest but Clark came up with the material the suit is made of. Gives you the best of both- a bit of Krypton and a bit of Earth/Clark in the costume.

  7. #82
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    I liked it better when Jor-El wore what looked like a sun on his chest. ☼ Or sometimes he had an inverted triangle. ▽

    In the 1990s, they introduced a Kryptonian alphabet, where 'S' was represented by two oblong circles inside a pentangle.



    I like the symbols, but it's stupid to have a Krypton alphabet where all the symbols correspond to the letters used in the written English language. And I prefer to think these are actually Krypton logograms, in the same way that Chinese languages use logograms and not letters. Which would also mean that there could be a lot more logograms than those we saw in the comics.

    For the two oblong circles inside a pentangle, I can see how that could be the house of El. Let's say the circles started out as sun or star symbols--representing the star-sun of Rao. A star is also a symbol of hope. For some reason the El family double the circle to make it plural (in some languages if you say a word twice that's the plural form), it's plural because it's the El family and not an individual. A pentangle, which might have started out as a triangle, becomes the symbol for house--when the other symbols are put inside it. So two oblong circles inside a pentangle is the House (enclosure) of the El (sun of Rao/star/hope) family. Superman simply imposes an S shape onto the two oblong circles to create his stylized S.
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  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    I liked it better when Jor-El wore what looked like a sun on his chest. ☼ Or sometimes he had an inverted triangle. ▽

    In the 1990s, they introduced a Kryptonian alphabet, where 'S' was represented by two oblong circles inside a pentangle.



    I like the symbols, but it's stupid to have a Krypton alphabet where all the symbols correspond to the letters used in the written English language. And I prefer to think these are actually Krypton logograms, in the same way that Chinese languages use logograms and not letters. Which would also mean that there could be a lot more logograms than those we saw in the comics.

    For the two oblong circles inside a pentangle, I can see how that could be the house of El. Let's say the circles started out as sun or star symbols--representing the star-sun of Rao. A star is also a symbol of hope. For some reason the El family double the circle to make it plural (in some languages if you say a word twice that's the plural form), it's plural because it's the El family and not an individual. A pentangle, which might have started out as a triangle, becomes the symbol for house--when the other symbols are put inside it. So two oblong circles inside a pentangle is the House (enclosure) of the El (sun of Rao/star/hope) family. Superman simply imposes an S shape onto the two oblong circles to create his stylized S.
    The problem with the post-Crisis Kryptonian language was that they used the symbols but the actual words were still English. It wasn't an alien language as much as a cypher. If you took it literally, there was no phonetic difference between "hello" in English and in Kryptonian. You'd only notice the difference if they wrote something down.

    I prefer the inconsistent E Nelson Bridwell idea that Krypton had a 100+ character alphabet and actual words in Kryptonese. It might not have been more than the Kryptonian equivalent of Nightcrawler tossing in the occasional German phrase to remind us that English is his second language, but "Mein Gott" and "danke" beats using a cypher to literally spell "My God" and "thanks"

  9. #84
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    Having Kryptonian letters be English letters is an interesting concept if you want to write stuff for the reader to decide but even in a world where the inhabitants coincidentally just happen to look just like humans it is way too far-fetched that their phonetic system would even slightly resemble ours.
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  10. #85
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    That's why I think we have to look past the English words spelled out with the Kryptonian alphabet, just like we should with the Interlac alphabet the Legion uses--as these are just in-jokes for the readers. Take the Kryptonian logograms and marry them with E. Nelson Bridwell's Kryptonian glossary to construct a Kryptonian language.
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  11. #86
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    On the subject of 'classic' Superman, I recently read Superman Smashes the Klan and couldn't but help feel it was the most 'classic' Superman thing I've seen in a while! This despite the fact that the Superman in that story is modelled after the Golden Age Superman, cannot fly, and doesn't wear the most recognizable version of the chest emblem.

    But that really got me thinking - for all the discussion we have here about how the Golden Age Superman is not considered as 'classic' as certain beloved later interpretations, I do feel thar there's a lot more awareness and respect for the original conception of Superman than there is for the original 'pre-classic' conception of a lot of other characters.

    Because of the historic place Action Comics # 1 and the iconography of its cover has in pop-cultural history, I think most people, even the most casual Superman fans, are aware of the original version of Superman on some level, and how he differs from modern interpretations.

    Then there are the Fleischer cartoons, which are fairly well-known. And Superman taking on the Ku Klux Klan in the radio show is something which there has been a fair bit of awareness of in media and in academia - Gene Luen Yang even said that he first read about that story in Freakonomics. So its something that is known outside of comic geekdom fairly well.

    Recent discussions about Superman's morality, his politics and actions, fuelled by our divisive political climate or the divisive Zack Snyder movies, have also put a spotlight back on the old Siegal/Shuster stories. And the new adaptation of the Klan story is only going to arouse more interest.

    Bottom line is, he may not be the most iconic or popular interpretation, but a LOT of people are aware of the Golden Age Superman in some way or form. Contrast this to, say, Batman - I doubt a lot of people are aware of how Batman was in the earliest Kane/Finger stories, in comparision.

  12. #87
    Incredible Member Gurz's Avatar
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    Classic Superman is Christopher Reeve. If you disagree with me, i can punch you... I solve my problems just like comics superman, with my fists... lol jk But THE SUPERMAN is CHRITOPHER REEVE.
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  13. #88
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    I know he is not the "classic" Superman, in the since that he is not what the average person thinks of when talking about Superman, but to me the Fleischer studios version is the most iconic. I just connect more with the early/New 52 interpretations of his personality and I love the Fleischer S shield and overall presentation. Ideally I would like to see something similar to Morrison's New 52 interpretation of Kal early on in his career and then mellowing out over time until he resembles something similar to the early Rebirth version of Superman. Wrap it all in the Fleischer costume though. I know this is a very personal opinion though and I dont expect anyone to say that is the "classic" Superman, I just wish that it was.

    In all reality, the classic Superman is probably the Christopher Reeve's version.

  14. #89
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    Hey man, anyone who throws shade at the Fleischer costume just isn't worth listening to!

    Best "S" evah!

    Though I am quite fond of Kingdom Come's too.....
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  15. #90
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    Kingdom Come’s crest was the best attempt at keeping the “S” while still making it look alien. Has anyone ever asked Ross about the design process behind it? I really want to know what that was like.

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