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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Default "Classic superman"

    I recently ran into a thread. (https://community.cbr.com/showthread...e-about-Batman)
    where the discussion was whether morrison's superman was superman at all.There i found insinuations that goldenage superman was too aggressive and too "man of action" to be superman. This made me rather uncomfortable. This is siegel and shuster's superman .That question lead to the discussion on dceu superman as well. My question is,
    has the post crisis superman and donner superman left such an impact that we find anything different jarring, even the original golden age take?
    How much of it is superficial ? For example the trunks debate.
    Is the impact detrimental to the character?
    If so, how much?
    What version of the character do you think is the "classic superman" or you can say your favourite version ?
    If you are a new or postcrisis fan, are you familiar with older takes and differences with superman you grew up with?
    What is your opinion on the "classic" superman or the not my superman debate itself(i mean it's tiring) ?
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 09-22-2019 at 09:27 PM.

  2. #2
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    I have more problem with people trying to make Superman an amorphous term that covers everything.

    If 20 people can sit in a room working quietly and independently to come up with 20 unique characters and yet you can argue every one of them is Superman- I seriously cannot understand you.

    I can vaguely understand the mindset that can see Adam West and Christian bale as both being "A" Batman. But too many Superman fans seem to use that logic to argue that everything using the name Superman is equal. As if Action #1 (1938), the wackiest 1950's/60's stories, the movie seriels, the George Reeves take, Bob Holliday's Broadway run, the guy in "Who took the Super out of Superman", the Donner film, the Lester film, Smallville, Lois & Clark … are all equally the same guy with none of them possibly getting stuff wrong.

    Siegel and Shuster were evolving the concept from 1932's evil mental dictator through his Action #1 debut and into the stories they got published. So while the basics were there by Action #1 there were some things not fully formed. It's possible that Superman's more violent ways in the early stories were not something crucial to the character. Superman as a bully on the side of good, isn't something I'd list as a defining trait of the character. So I don't think having his creators as author/artist makes it any more valid than later works, though I will say that stuff that shows up in their stories and is still a defining trait by 1948 hold more weight than stuff introduce post-2010.

    For me I'd say that Superman is a concept largely defined by the 1950's and 1960's. I'm not saying I don't have fondness for other tales or that there aren't things I'd leave out. Just that if you took every Superman story written between 1950 and 1970 and used them to create a blue print (stuff that shows up often stays, stuff that is used in a single issue and then forgotten or contradicted isn't counted) then those traits are the "common" Superman and the further you move from them the less valid your version.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Korath's Avatar
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    For me, while I really can't like (or even outright hate some of those depictions), it's clear that the "classic" Superman is the one molded around the old movies, All-Star Superman and the like. The original take, while really interesting as an actual Champion of the Oppressed instead of Defender of the Status-Quo that he has turned into (because, let's face it, even in Bendis's run, he isn't doing shit to change the world for the better by getting ride of the corrupt and inept trappings of our current Western society and culture - then again, he IS married to a journalist, and they rarely if ever want the world to change anyway, at least those as high profile as Lois Lane).

    The only Superman I love and truly care about was the 2011-2016 Supes, warts and all. Then there is Bendis, because while the character is not really my cup of tea, the universe around him is fleshed out enough to be interesting. But the many controversies regarding his run make clear that his isn't the classic Superman either, despite his undies on the outside.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korath View Post
    For me, while I really can't like (or even outright hate some of those depictions), it's clear that the "classic" Superman is the one molded around the old movies, All-Star Superman and the like. The original take, while really interesting as an actual Champion of the Oppressed instead of Defender of the Status-Quo that he has turned into (because, let's face it, even in Bendis's run, he isn't doing shit to change the world for the better by getting ride of the corrupt and inept trappings of our current Western society and culture - then again, he IS married to a journalist, and they rarely if ever want the world to change anyway, at least those as high profile as Lois Lane).

    The only Superman I love and truly care about was the 2011-2016 Supes, warts and all. Then there is Bendis, because while the character is not really my cup of tea, the universe around him is fleshed out enough to be interesting. But the many controversies regarding his run make clear that his isn't the classic Superman either, despite his undies on the outside.
    Do you mean the live action movies or the animated stuff? All star superman is basically an alternative ending to silverage superman like " whatever happened to the man of tomorrow" . Donners superman is his own original take with elements taken from the old. But, i don't think donner superman really qualifies as silverage or all star superman. Donners superman was really original and different at the time. So, yeah! They are different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Do you mean the live action movies or the animated stuff? All star superman is basically an alternative ending to silverage superman like " whatever happened to the man of tomorrow" . Donners superman is his own original take with elements taken from the old. But, i don't think donner superman really qualifies as silverage or all star superman. Donners superman was really original and different at the time. So, yeah! They are different.
    There's different like "Jor-El designed the Fortress in the movies but not the comics" and different like "Superman in 1938 wouldn't have given Lois the same interview on her balcony". I think Korath is lumping the general attitude toward the world Superman shows in the movies with the Silver Age take and the attitude shown in later stories like All-Star or the 1986 Legends mini. Or even the over-the-top DKR where Superman is representing the US government against Batman's self-determined crusade,

    To him the 1938 Superman is radically different in his willingness to defy the government and TPTB. The classic Superman is more interested in keeping the peace and supporting the status quo than in rooting out corruption and inequality.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    There's different like "Jor-El designed the Fortress in the movies but not the comics" and different like "Superman in 1938 wouldn't have given Lois the same interview on her balcony". I think Korath is lumping the general attitude toward the world Superman shows in the movies with the Silver Age take and the attitude shown in later stories like All-Star or the 1986 Legends mini. Or even the over-the-top DKR where Superman is representing the US government against Batman's self-determined crusade,

    To him the 1938 Superman is radically different in his willingness to defy the government and TPTB. The classic Superman is more interested in keeping the peace and supporting the status quo than in rooting out corruption and inequality.
    So, all the later takes on that remotely support the status quo atleast in his mind is the same. So, the version's from the 50's to 2011, And after the Rebirth are all the same for him

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Korath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    There's different like "Jor-El designed the Fortress in the movies but not the comics" and different like "Superman in 1938 wouldn't have given Lois the same interview on her balcony". I think Korath is lumping the general attitude toward the world Superman shows in the movies with the Silver Age take and the attitude shown in later stories like All-Star or the 1986 Legends mini. Or even the over-the-top DKR where Superman is representing the US government against Batman's self-determined crusade,

    To him the 1938 Superman is radically different in his willingness to defy the government and TPTB. The classic Superman is more interested in keeping the peace and supporting the status quo than in rooting out corruption and inequality.
    Basically that.

    Also, when it comes to huge comics characters, I don't think that the "classic" take can be the original, only the most popular among readers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    So, all the later takes on that remotely support the status quo atleast in his mind is the same. So, the version's from the 50's to 2011, And after the Rebirth are all the same for him
    At the very least he'd see them as closer to the classic than Morrison's "T-shirt and Jeans" take

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korath View Post
    Basically that.

    Also, when it comes to huge comics characters, I don't think that the "classic" take can be the original, only the most popular among readers.
    I see your point. I think in some cases the original can be the classic or close to the classic. Spider-Man comes to mind.

    For me I'd say the classic isn't necessarily the most popular but the best known by the most diverse grouping.

    Classic Superman is the version most compatible with what people know about the character and his world. People might prefer John Ford or Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent but if hearing the name makes them think John Schneider or Mike Farrell (voice) then classic Jonathan isn't the movie version,

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korath View Post
    For me, while I really can't like (or even outright hate some of those depictions), it's clear that the "classic" Superman is the one molded around the old movies, All-Star Superman and the like. The original take, while really interesting as an actual Champion of the Oppressed instead of Defender of the Status-Quo that he has turned into (because, let's face it, even in Bendis's run, he isn't doing shit to change the world for the better by getting ride of the corrupt and inept trappings of our current Western society and culture - then again, he IS married to a journalist, and they rarely if ever want the world to change anyway, at least those as high profile as Lois Lane).

    The only Superman I love and truly care about was the 2011-2016 Supes, warts and all. Then there is Bendis, because while the character is not really my cup of tea, the universe around him is fleshed out enough to be interesting. But the many controversies regarding his run make clear that his isn't the classic Superman either, despite his undies on the outside.
    +1
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  11. #11
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    I do have to ask though, is late 30's and 40's or tshirt superman take inferior to the "classic" take? For me, it isn't. As matter of fact, it is the opposite for me. It's funny now i am beginning to realise that i prefer the older take. I mean, i used to think i liked the preflashpoint superman(birthright version. Byrne reboot was blah! For me) . I mean, i started with new52. I didn't like johns justice league or the superman in it. I loved morrison's superman. The only thing that kept me around . Overall it was blah! For me. So i decided to read the olderstuff, famous ones first. I particularly loved alan moore superman stories. During which time the lois and clark returned. I was thrilled and loved that book more that new52 books at the time. Especially, jon became my favourite. Since, i had affinity for superboy whether it's clark or jon. Conner is great. But i only like the young justice version. Rebirth was fantastic for me. Now, i realise that i loved this version of rebirth superman because he was a dad to jon. Now, with Bendis's taking that away. I have began to realise i am simply bored with him.
    I think morrison's superman is very much the best take for superman this decade for me. I liked American alien.
    Last edited by Kuwagaton; 09-23-2019 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Off topic

  12. #12
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    You have to remember it takes effort to read beyond the modern day and look for the old stuff. Most people are fairly passive readers and just do surface level dives into material. For an 80 year old character like Superman being told you have to read back decades to get a real understanding of the character probably is a massive turnoff. I was once like that, but the older readers from the Pre-Crisis days use to hype up Pre-Crisis Superman so much that one day I bought a Superman Archive Collection #1 which had a collection of Superman's earliest adventures and I instantly got why they liked that old guy so much and understood a little of their disdain for the modern guy but I didn't hate him and I still don't. Mainly I was dissapointed the energy and passion of the Golden Age never got to make it to the modern day.

    The idea that the guy thinks he know more about Supes than Morrison is pretty funny though.


    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    I do have to ask though, is late 30's and 40's or tshirt superman take inferior to the "classic" take? For me, it isn't. As matter of fact, it is the opposite for me. It's funny now i am beginning to realise that i prefer the older take. I mean, i used to think i liked the preflashpoint superman(birthright version. Byrne reboot was blah! For me) . I mean, i started with new52. I didn't like johns justice league or the superman in it. I loved morrison's superman. The only thing that kept me around . Overall it was blah! For me. So i decided to read the olderstuff, famous ones first. I particularly loved alan moore superman stories. During which time the lois and clark returned. I was thrilled and loved that book more that new52 books at the time. Especially, jon became my favourite. Since, i had affinity for superboy whether it's clark or jon. Conner is great. But i only like the young justice version. Rebirth was fantastic for me. Now, i realise that i loved this version of rebirth superman because he was a dad to jon. Now, with Bendis's taking that away. I have began to realise i am simply bored with him.
    I think morrison's superman is very much the best take for superman this decade for me. I liked American alien. But landis himself wasn't like his superman.
    Nah there's nothing superior about "classic" Superman. Ask yourself how many people want to be an assertive man of action and how many people want to be a naive farmboy at heart. Pretty much no one wants to be Post-Crisis Superman but everyone is still trying to chase the laurels of Pre-Crisis Superman.

    The danger with a character like Superman is that you can slowly begin to miss the point and for the most part the modern day folks basically have. Much of the discussion around Superman these days is shipping and being a farmer, the guy who fights for the little guy only lives on in those of us that read about that sort of thing. People react negatively to things like 30' 40's Supes because they aren't use to a guy that spends more time on the move helping people than he spends running his mouth. They want a Jesus character to give them a relaxing sermon rather than the modern day Hercules Superman is suppose to be. Hoechlin's big claim to fame is getting decked by his cousin and meekly accepting it like the whipped dog that he is and people praise him for it because that's where they want him to stay in the dirt where he won't be a problem for them.

    Superman's fanbase needs wisen up and start fighting to keep a hold of the things the Pre-Crisis writers built into the character because the other characters are more than happy to relieve the character of them.
    Last edited by Kuwagaton; 09-23-2019 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Off topic
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  13. #13
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Everyone knows the REAL Superman is the Injustice Superman! In all seriousness, though, I think there are certain rules that a version of Superman must adhere to. No killing. Does things for the right reasons. Etc. While there are certain versions I like and versions I don't like (or at least certain elements of certain versions I don't like), as long as he adheres to those basic concepts, he's still Superman. I'm not going to hold the GA version to modern standards. They were still working the bugs out back then. Spider-Man started out trying to get paid. Now he's one of the most ethical superheroes there is. If their argument is that the New 52 wasn't the real Superman, I would ask in what way was he different than modern day Supes? His later adventures were pretty much just standard Superman. Personality wise, I would say there really wasn't that much difference. He grew into the role.
    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 have an extreme point of view in that I think the only authentic version of some comic book characters is what the original creators produced. There are some cases where a character only came together through the group efforts of many different people--someone like Jimmy Olsen or most of the Legion of Super-Heroes for example--but Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Plastic Man, we know who created them and it wasn't a big group of people, it was one or two people. So what those people created is the authentic character.

    I reject the argument that these characters are malleable and therefore anyone can add to them or change them and they are still the true character. To me that was a self-serving argument from the publishers that was used to undermine the creative rights of people they didn't want to recognize and pay royalties to.

    Now, creators are free to develop and change their own concept. Peanuts developed over the life of Charles Schulz--and everything he created is equally authentic. Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan starts out as a much more grounded character in TARZAN OF THE APES than what he becomes as ERB introduces more fantastical realms for the Apeman to visit. There are some Sherlock Holmes stories that are better than others--but as long as Arthur Conan Doyle wrote them, all his stories are the real deal.

    So if you look at the Siegel and Shuster Superman, you have about ten years worth of stories. One might want to split hairs and say that only the first two years of Superman is the character that they really meant to create--and as other writers and artists came on board and the editor had more control, that authenticity was diminished--but no author has complete autonomy over his work, there are always changes for editors and publishers. So for me everything from 1938 to 1947 is the original and authentic Superman. And then, given that Jerry Siegel returned to Superman a decade later, that work has some claim to authenticity, as well.

    Bill Finger and Bob Kane had Batman for about twenty-five years, during which time there were a lot of changes. But I think all of that is the authentic Batman. The authentic Wonder Woman died with William Moulton Marston. And the authentic Plastic Man died with Jack Cole.

    Now "classic" is different. I think of everything DC did before Crisis as the classic DC. And the classic Superman is probably best represented in the 1960s. But I wouldn't say that classic Superman is entirely the authentic Superman--too many other creators have changed him and added to him by then.
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    When the green dark forest was too silent to be real.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    Everyone knows the REAL Superman is the Injustice Superman! In all seriousness, though, I think there are certain rules that a version of Superman must adhere to. No killing. Does things for the right reasons. Etc. While there are certain versions I like and versions I don't like (or at least certain elements of certain versions I don't like), as long as he adheres to those basic concepts, he's still Superman. I'm not going to hold the GA version to modern standards. They were still working the bugs out back then. Spider-Man started out trying to get paid. Now he's one of the most ethical superheroes there is. If their argument is that the New 52 wasn't the real Superman, I would ask in what way was he different than modern day Supes? His later adventures were pretty much just standard Superman. Personality wise, I would say there really wasn't that much difference. He grew into the role.
    Ah yes! The no kill rule. Breaking it, is the charge levied against man of steel movie. But didn't the byrne superman do it as well?it is one of the main influences for zack's movie. so by your logic that guy fails to the make cut. And golden age had some moments as well where we could believe the antagonist is dead. But, ofcourse it was retconned. If remember currectly it was by the creators themselves so. I guess it sticks.

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