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  1. #46
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    I guess it'd be between him and Superman in the Bronze Age for the most complex long running version. But Golden Age Superman was the most dynamic and inspiring imo, when that guy said he was going to do something he did it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    On a slightly unrelated note, I've had this theory about Superman and the early vigilantism that I've wanted to share for a while now.

    Does anyone feel that the reason Golden Age Superman started out as a vigilante was because he didn't have the Kents around to temper him and keep him in check?

    I just have a hard time believing that a Clark Kent who had his aged parents back home whom he frequently visited to talk to about his work as Superman would go about demolishing slums or threatening to throw corrupt politicians down from flagpoles. I have a hard time believing that Pa Kent would be okay with his son threatening elected officials and being wanted by the police for some pretty violent and destructive actions.

    The Kents strike me as the kind of people who would want their son to 'do good' but not necessarily go on a rampage against the system.

    What got me thinking about this is that the early New 52 Superman is a kind of throwback to the Golden Age and...surprise, surprise, the Kents are dead in this version too!

    I'm remembering the STAS pilot episode (well, Part 2 or 3 of it anyway) where Martha talks about how Clark isn't like "that nut in Gotham City". Golden Age Superman was is every bit as violent and ruthless, if not more, as "that nut in Gotham City" (definitely more so than the original Kane/Finger Batman even).
    In the Golden Age the Kents dying wasn't really a source of sorrow for Superman. It hurt but it was also treated much more like a natural part of life, they were old and passed away from unspecified reasons. Typical storytelling signaling that he was a man now and was off to make his own decisions in the world. He was just upset at the way the powerful treated the weak and it made him mad. He also happen to be able to throw a pickup truck like a golf ball. He was passionate about injustice and spent most of his waking hours trying to combat it. It might be simple but I think of any Superman it's probably the most reasonable and relateable of any Superman; he was the rage of the working class.

    I think what you said about the Kent's is a good example of why they have to die though. When he's an adult he now has to make his own choices, he can't be going to them to figure things out or look for guidance. If the Kent's living is ultimately to be a tool to enforce the status quo then they've done their son and probably the world a great disservice robbing it of what once was one of its greatest champions for a better tomorrow. Frankly the villains have drank pretty deeply under modern Superman the idea that a more mellow Superman is going to create a safer world seems unfounded give the Golden Age guy nabbed Hitler.

    But lastly I think if you read a majority of modern stuff you might feel that Superman's job is to be nice, smile, wave a kids, and pet dogs. But in reality Superman's job as a character was to do right by the people who were not powerful enough to stand up for themselves. If people are asking for help and Superman tells them to just accept it unless the world is about to end then he's failing as Superman. Old Superman is pretty much a relic in the sense that he does have a lot of pent up frustration that he lets out on crooks and villains but it's never for himself but on the behalf of the weak and disenfranchised. The current day successor to Golden Age Superman is probably current day Batman but the rage is all self centered and much like Golden Age Superman started what we consider the general idea of what a superhero is moder day Batman has altered that into a more self absorbed and self centered version.

    But also I never get the "nut from Gotham" thing since Batman still has to work with the cops too. The Golden Age guys Superman, Batman, Wondy, etc were figures sitting outside the law fighting for what they believed in. The modern day guys are all basically either cogs in the larger DCU machine.
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  2. #47
    Mighty Member Johnny Thunders!'s Avatar
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    I guess when I think of Kingdom Come, All Star Superman, Superman Secret Identity, there is a whole lot of complicated soul searching going on with the Superman character. I was trying to think when Superman started to examine his own idea as a concept on the page, and it might just be during the Golden Age. Superman is always commenting on its own character.

  3. #48
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Even now that part remains the same.Superman being treated this "all good figure" has always been bogus to me.

    Didn't i say vibe? If i didn't i meant, steal from the rich vibe. Furthermore, i don't believe clark is above that as well. You can disagree. I haven't seen anything to disagree with him.i didn't much see him "empower" anybody. That would require clark himself to be in a position above than the people he helps. He trained people in the things he is good at and actually listened to people as one of them. He solved problems with his limited mental capacity and reckless jumping in head first into action.
    "All good" is something that scenes like the one with Earth Two Superman vehemently deny. The operation in shades of grey in that story leads to that earth being called corrupt. It's the "evil is when good does nothing" applied to a rigid belief in punishment for the guilty.

    I guess the vibe is what's deceptive. The good ol boy scout vibe, if it's really there, leads people to forgetting that this Superman made some of the hardest choices and had to dig deep to overcome his own fears regarding different subjects.

    The guy wouldn't bow to greed of a rich person and refuse to see the cry of a needy and helpless poor. That would be injustice . He was the working class champion .The guy is one of the heroes that emerged from depression. He became a viglante because he can't handle such structural injustices. It's funny you mentioned luffy, i just read a chapter of one piece. where luffy remembers a girl who gets sick of hunger because he sees some guys( who exploit their country) waste food a valuable resource. What would superman do in that instance? For me, he would walk straight up and deck them.Another instance, suppose some poor little girl got sick with some unholy disease. Lex is the only one who has the equipment needed to cure her.He refuses to give it up. I would say clark would be punching through walls to get the equipment,. Furthermore, on his way out he would slug lex as well just for a laugh.
    That doesn't even fit Superman in regards to opposing Lex in the earliest of stories though. If Superman was so hard up, he wouldn't just take from Lex but more likely make it himself.

    The OP example I was hoping to recall there is more like his promise to Momo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Well like Robanker said, a big chunk of this discussion is really about the complexity of writing moreso than the complexity of character. But yeah, Moore came in at the end and really made the most of that Bronze Age version. However, just because Moore was ahead of the talent curve doesn't mean he was working with anything that wasn't already there; his Superman wasn't a new creation, he wasn't even really making new insights that hadn't been made by others, Moore was just better at it.

    But a character arc is not character complexity.
    Agreed, I was calling Moore an outlier. Not because things didn't exist before he got there but because certain points don't stand as well made without him.

    But I'm not so sure you can write a more complex story without making the main character more complex. While we're at it, I guess we should define what complexity means to us. To me, it's the fact that you have to take more into account when regarding a story to get the best out of it. You can ignore the vengeance of Lex and the general villainy Bates instilled in him if you go into Maggin's stories up to the end of the era. You can ignore Kryptonite Nevermore and Who Took the Super, because despite being significant arcs they stopped mattering when they concluded. You can handpick because so much material was done in one, that you didn't have difficulty following if you ignored very much. To me that's not really complex. The storytelling from like 82-86 is deeper in that certain way, but then we're only talking four years. Although I think the early to mid seventies runs deserve to be regarded as master class comics.

    And Bates and Maggin stating that these were essentially two different people....doesn't that imply that this guy is a more complex person than other versions where one identity or the other is just a mask?


    I dunno man. A major point of post-Crisis is that he *isn't* two people. Superman was the job. It was the reverse of the early Silver Age stuff when Clark was just a disguise.
    Yeah, it would be more complex than if we were talking about a Superman where one identity is a mask but that's not the mainline post crisis. I always still see the "Superman is what I can do" quote brought up when it doesn't come from any comic. Superman gave up being Clark in Exile and explained later that he couldn't give up Superman when it became a problem with Lois. When he gave up the life of Clark Kent during his bouts with Conduit?





    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    On a slightly unrelated note, I've had this theory about Superman and the early vigilantism that I've wanted to share for a while now.

    Does anyone feel that the reason Golden Age Superman started out as a vigilante was because he didn't have the Kents around to temper him and keep him in check?
    I think it's something interesting and worth exploring more at the least. We're so used to seeing him adopted and ultimately becoming the same guy.

    just have a hard time believing that a Clark Kent who had his aged parents back home whom he frequently visited to talk to about his work as Superman would go about demolishing slums or threatening to throw corrupt politicians down from flagpoles. I have a hard time believing that Pa Kent would be okay with his son threatening elected officials and being wanted by the police for some pretty violent and destructive actions.
    All of that sort of stuff did happen with pa alive too, though. It just didn't make up of such a large chunk of the available content as they also had to fit in cosmic level superhero stories and other stuff. Each Superman has those kinda stories but at much different concentration levels.
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  4. #49
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post

    So, is it justfied?is superman complex?if so,how?what makes superman's world complex now? I would like to get another perspective. Because I just don't see any complexity in the character or the world that the story claims it has.


    Pre-crisis had single issues stories. Bad guy does Bad... Superman Stops him. Bad guy goes to jail. Heroes win, villains lose. Simple. FUN!!! More enjoyable for ME... but still a more simplistic world.

    Post Crisis had a loser like Toyman murder Cat Grant's son. Bad guys like Luthor thrived and Superman was generally powerless to actually GET him in Jail.

    It made for 'deeper more character driven studies' and what not... but I can definitely see why E2 Superman was ticked off about THAT world.

  5. #50
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    "All good" is something that scenes like the one with Earth Two Superman vehemently deny. The operation in shades of grey in that story leads to that earth being called corrupt. It's the "evil is when good does nothing" applied to a rigid belief in punishment for the guilty.

    I guess the vibe is what's deceptive. The good ol boy scout vibe, if it's really there, leads people to forgetting that this Superman made some of the hardest choices and had to dig deep to overcome his own fears regarding different subjects.



    That doesn't even fit Superman in regards to opposing Lex in the earliest of stories though. If Superman was so hard up, he wouldn't just take from Lex but more likely make it himself.

    The OP example I was hoping to recall there is more like his promise to Momo.
    Well, batman works with a black and white morality too. Doesn't mean batman is the white knight.As you said, Clark's criticism in the story is "evil wins. When good men do nothing". He doesn't say what the other clark should do nor How to go about. All, i can say is that the goldenage guy is more flexible, even as idealist. The other guy is beholden to his image.There might be reason for the image. I just don't see it. It's another form of power,accumulated in one place. Anyway, I don't particularly hold the story, in high regards, that's just me. Fare enough the man was of convictions. But, he was alot more flexible in practicality.

    Vibe's are created by the tone, writing and feelings of person after reading a particular book. It doesn't just come up from thin air. He killed a person. Pretty hard choice. But, not something a cop or soldier or anyone defending a life had to make. It doesn't mean, he deserves a medal for it.why?these things aren't given to every person who had to make the choice. Yet, superman is hailed the dream, the ideal.. Etc. I just don't see it. Furthermore, it's the way he is written to acts and say. That causes people to call him that. He is just decent dude no matter how you slice it. Especially, if you compare him to an alcoholic, a drug addict,a guy with issues,a genius celebrity who struggling guilt and tunnel vision... Etc. That isn't a knock on the character. But, when his decency is touted as ideal. He becomes a boyscout or saint or messiah.

    Him slugging luthor?he has slugged luthor.The guy got power stone. Anyways, i was just adding to swashbuckling style of the dude. The guy was being a jerk, not helping dieing girl. Superman seeing this slugs and goes on his merry way. As for him Making it, that depends on whether he can. Equipments require material, building tool and knowledge about how to go about it. Two men of equal intelligence may not be guarantined to come up with an idea, regarding a subject. I give importance to competence in characterisation. Superman would accomplish his goals.if its at all in the realm of possibility.

    He promises because people ask him,too.He does it as an equal, never as a superior. He makes pact with leader of the kozuki clan and the samurais. Goldenage guy did the same. He beat up a bodg builder one time for looting. So, he makes a pact with his underlings to train them. He trains them in flexing muscles and pumping it up.

    See, at the end of the day a more down to earth and flexible superman is what i like and prefer in portrayal. It doesn't matter if it's postcrisis or not. I like superman for all seasons just fine. Because there is this humilty from the guy. Even if he isn't the swashbuckling hero 1930's.I want superman to be written to be a guy i can go talk to. Goldenage guy even with all the antics and high adventure would turn around make faces for a baby,fail at scaring a bunch of juvenile delinquents.. Etc. The dude was scary. He embraced it. But, there were things that he didn't want to bite. Superman is absolutely a gun . But, a gun can be a life saver. It has. Not that i am advocating for the widespread use of arms. There is only one superman.
    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Pre-crisis had single issues stories. Bad guy does Bad... Superman Stops him. Bad guy goes to jail. Heroes win, villains lose. Simple. FUN!!! More enjoyable for ME... but still a more simplistic world.

    Post Crisis had a loser like Toyman murder Cat Grant's son. Bad guys like Luthor thrived and Superman was generally powerless to actually GET him in Jail.

    It made for 'deeper more character driven studies' and what not... but I can definitely see why E2 Superman was ticked off about THAT world.
    I fail, to see how that is more complex? It just has murder. As for getting lex jailed,That's just priority isse. What is your priority? A competent superman or lex.It doesn't mean complexity.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 05-14-2020 at 12:35 AM.

  6. #51
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Well, batman works with a black and white morality too. Doesn't mean batman is the white knight.As you said, Clark's criticism in the story is "evil wins. When good men do nothing". He doesn't say what the other clark should do nor How to go about.
    Actually the whole story shows him being put in the same spots but doing things differently. Like killing Doomsday instead of dragging the fight out, and forming a darker, more proactive League with Batman that banishes criminals to the Phantom Zone.

    This is where, much as I don't like the Earth Two A or B type of idea, I have to bring it up because it's pretty far from the intention of showing the actual golden age version. That guy could deal with murderers without being extreme.


    All, i can say is that the goldenage guy is more flexible, even as idealist. The other guy is beholden to his image.There might be reason for the image. I just don't see it. It's another form of power,accumulated in one place. Anyway, I don't particularly hold the story, in high regards, that's just me. Fare enough the man was of convictions. But, he was alot more flexible in practicality.

    Vibe's are created by the tone, writing and feelings of person after reading a particular book. It doesn't just come up from thin air. He killed a person. Pretty hard choice. But, not something a cop or soldier or anyone defending a life had to make. It doesn't mean, he deserves a medal for it.why?these things aren't given to every person who had to make the choice. Yet, superman is hailed the dream, the ideal.. Etc. I just don't see it. Furthermore, it's the way he is written to acts and say. That causes people to call him that. He is just decent dude no matter how you slice it. Especially, if you compare him to an alcoholic, a drug addict,a guy with issues,a genius celebrity who struggling guilt and tunnel vision... Etc. That isn't a knock on the character. But, when his decency is touted as ideal. He becomes a boyscout or saint or messiah.
    Superman isn't more heroic than people who make the same choices, or who end up having to make those decisions but choose a different way. But with great power comes not only great responsibility but great visibility. Superman hears Polynesian cries for help from the middle of a corn field, has to sift through world problems from big city noise pollution to save people in real time, and responds to galactic catastrophes as he can. It's not about desiring his own image but realizing he's seen by the highest number of viewers possible and acknowledging the task of making the best of it.

    Not sure how many examples are needed of him or the story explicitly saying he's not a Messiah. It's something that comes up for all sorts of reasons but the character really can stand without all that.

    Him slugging luthor?he has slugged luthor.
    I was referring to your suggestion of slugging Luthor for kicks or waiting for Luthor to come up with something just to swipe it for the greater good. Superman can be a gun, but to say he is a gun I think just reduces him to his might. A gun can't save Larry Trent from suicide. Being a gun doesn't explain why he'll put on the costume and go out in public as Superman even when you take his powers away (another problem I have with saying Superman is just something he can do).


    I fail, to see how that is more complex? It just has murder. As for getting lex jailed,That's just priority isse. What is your priority? A competent superman or lex.It doesn't mean complexity.
    Not speaking for the other poster but the Toyman story that Jurgens starts with the death of Adam and follows with the rehabilitation at the end of his run in 1999 makes "stopping the bad guy" the less important aspect. That would be a good indication of story complexity if not character complexity.
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  7. #52
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Agreed, I was calling Moore an outlier. Not because things didn't exist before he got there but because certain points don't stand as well made without him.
    Definitely true, though the same can be said of any writer in any era.

    But I'm not so sure you can write a more complex story without making the main character more complex.
    You can. Just as an off-the-cuff example, look at Millar's Huck. Fairly complex story (by comic standards) of a small town dealing with its own little miracle, and the people who try to take advantage of that. Yet Huck isn't a complex guy at all. Hell he's downright simple. Simple people dealing with complex situations is a pretty common thing in writing.

    While we're at it, I guess we should define what complexity means to us.
    That's a good point.

    For me, what defines character complexity (and I dunno if I'm gonna be able to phrase this right) is the character's motivations and the traits and inner stresses they put themselves under. Is there innate conflict and/or hypocrisy in their opinions vs how they operate in the world, do they have goals that are somehow at odds with each other, struggles with particular kinds of stress points? Stuff like that.

    Basically; how many moving parts are there? What goes through a character's head as they go through any particular action? A simple character can still be highly intelligent and well defined, but their motivations are straight forward and easy to understand at a glance, even if they have a hundred different doctorates. A complex character can be a complete moron, but there's more stuff happening in their head that you need to unpack and understand in order to see why they act the way they do.

    To use some examples, has anyone read the Wheel of Time? Mat Cauthon is not a terribly complex character. He has a few contradictions in him and plenty of odd quirks but, generally, what you see is what you get; his motivations are straight forward and so are his actions. He's a well developed character and he has a full and rich character arc, but he's not a complex character. Rand al'Thor on the other hand, is extremely complex; his motivations are at odds with each other and are often not what they appear to be. What he says, what he believes, and what he does are often all different things. You have to dig deep into Rand's mind to understand why he does what he does.
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  8. #53
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Actually the whole story shows him being put in the same spots but doing things differently. Like killing Doomsday instead of dragging the fight out, and forming a darker, more proactive League with Batman that banishes criminals to the Phantom Zone.

    This is where, much as I don't like the Earth Two A or B type of idea, I have to bring it up because it's pretty far from the intention of showing the actual golden age version. That guy could deal with murderers without being extreme.




    Superman isn't more heroic than people who make the same choices, or who end up having to make those decisions but choose a different way. But with great power comes not only great responsibility but great visibility. Superman hears Polynesian cries for help from the middle of a corn field, has to sift through world problems from big city noise pollution to save people in real time, and responds to galactic catastrophes as he can. It's not about desiring his own image but realizing he's seen by the highest number of viewers possible and acknowledging the task of making the best of it.

    Not sure how many examples are needed of him or the story explicitly saying he's not a Messiah. It's something that comes up for all sorts of reasons but the character really can stand without all that.



    I was referring to your suggestion of slugging Luthor for kicks or waiting for Luthor to come up with something just to swipe it for the greater good. Superman can be a gun, but to say he is a gun I think just reduces him to his might. A gun can't save Larry Trent from suicide. Being a gun doesn't explain why he'll put on the costume and go out in public as Superman even when you take his powers away (another problem I have with saying Superman is just something he can do).
    If you are doing things differently, still ending with same results. Then you haven't changed your perspective. You just made surface level change to your methods. How could that guy(goldenage guy) deal with murders with out it being extreme? Sure, it won't be soap opera that comics have become (moore's criticism). It would just be more noir type of deal. Furthermore, if you are talking about Superman's code. Then sure, Goldenage guy might take life under certain circumstances or he might not( silverage guy was more adamant about the code. I haven't read anything about siegel or shuster's feelings regarding it)If he does, It might even have superman being chased around by the police( rightly so). Clark will just carry it on his back.it would be as simple as that. These things aren't complicated(not talking abou killing as a subject ) . People are just making a mountain out of a mole hill and calling it "complex" as far as i feel. Superhero comics and their idiotic slippery slop nonsense. Villains can't be taken off board. So they create these arguments. Fine, these superheroes? don't themselves kill or phantom zone. They can garner public support and push for the justice system to do something. But, nope! If they want that(soap opera) , go for it. But, don't treat readers like idiots and show this as "complex". It ain't it.

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    Him saying something doesn't mean anything. If the portrayal is as such. Even, doomsday clock is about the "north star" of dc. Furthermore, him fighting an armada and saving a girl doesn't have anything to do with what i am talking about. Having that many eyes watching you or cheering a champion would be welcomed by The man of might. It might even propel him to push harder for the sake of others. But there is a difference between that and "Hello citizens i am your great role model Follow me to the sun light" . As said, people like all star superman not because they love or find entertainment in a Savior. Only, because they love the man-kal el.

    I absolutely do think he would slug luthor. Furthermore, i haven't said anything that implies it is for "kicks". All i said was, it plays into the swash buckling nature. he punches the guy for refusing to help and denying it causing suffering to a child. Are you willing to say that if a gun had sentience. It wouldn't do those things under no circumstance.Because robots in laputa, astroboy, irongiant and superman would all disagree with you.

  9. #54
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Him saying something doesn't mean anything. If the portrayal is as such. Even, doomsday clock is about the "north star" of dc. Furthermore, him fighting an armada and saving a girl doesn't have anything to do with what i am talking about. Having that many eyes watching you or cheering a champion would be welcomed by The man of might. It might even propel him to push harder for the sake of others. But there is a difference between that and "Hello citizens i am your great role model Follow me to the sun light"
    Find me 5 Post-Crisis comics where he says this. Otherwise this is just hyperbole.
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  10. #55
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    Find me 5 Post-Crisis comics where he says this. Otherwise this is just hyperbole.
    That exact quote or him trying to play the example or saviour stuff?

  11. #56
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    My own personal opinion is that the world Superman inhibited got more complex Post-Crisis (even if that really got started in the Bronze Age with O’Neil’s brief run on the character), but that Superman himself ironically got more simple. The Post Crisis World was one where Superman had to initially work to get people to like him and he had to struggle with stuff like how to put away Luthor who he KNEW was a terrible person when he didn’t have any proof that Lex was behind any crimes? Pre-Crisis Superman could simply beat Lex or Brainiac up and hand them off to the cops. Post Crisis Superman had to actually try to find proof.

    Then there were the characterization changes. Clark was pretty much free of any neuroticisms or emotional hang ups beyond his secret identity woes. He was human no matter where he was born, he was an American, and he was well-liked and respected as both Clark Kent and Superman. There wasn’t really much in the way of internal hang ups initially, although to their credit, the Triangle Era did bring some of that back as did Loeb, Kelly, and Casey. However the Pre Crisis Superman while written for children, actually had some rather interesting complexities to him. Dude never felt comfortable with humanity yet never could fully connect with Kryptonians either. He was rather arrogant and proud back in the Pre Crisis era in a way that I think would surprise people who instead picture Supes as always being a humble farmboy. He played pranks and performed experiments and did all sorts of weird stuff. He always complained about how no one could comprehend how he felt, but he dumped Kara in an orphanage rather than let her be a part of his life. Plus he could bust some moves on the dance floor:

    This was the true start of Batman’s rivalry, he never had this level of swag Pre-Crisis, poor lad needed the Kryptonite just to compete.

    Now to be fair: The Golden Age and Silver Age Supermen are fairly simplistic morality wise. They are always in the right no matter how messed up what they’re doing is and anyone who hates them is either evil or mindcontrolled. It’s only really Bronze Age Superman who wrestles with his role and that’s where the whole “Must there be a Superman?” question starts to pop up, reaching its apex in stories by Moore, Cates, Baggin, and Elliot. But Post Crisis Superman, once he married Lois, basically his major internal conflicts had been resolved. His parents were alive and proud of him, the girl he pined for finally loved both sides, etc. Basically he had reached the end of his story and that’s where the problems set in, because DC didn’t want to give him a kid because dads aren’t cool, so he basically just settled into a rut.

    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    On a slightly unrelated note, I've had this theory about Superman and the early vigilantism that I've wanted to share for a while now.

    Does anyone feel that the reason Golden Age Superman started out as a vigilante was because he didn't have the Kents around to temper him and keep him in check?

    I just have a hard time believing that a Clark Kent who had his aged parents back home whom he frequently visited to talk to about his work as Superman would go about demolishing slums or threatening to throw corrupt politicians down from flagpoles. I have a hard time believing that Pa Kent would be okay with his son threatening elected officials and being wanted by the police for some pretty violent and destructive actions.

    The Kents strike me as the kind of people who would want their son to 'do good' but not necessarily go on a rampage against the system.

    What got me thinking about this is that the early New 52 Superman is a kind of throwback to the Golden Age and...surprise, surprise, the Kents are dead in this version too!

    I'm remembering the STAS pilot episode (well, Part 2 or 3 of it anyway) where Martha talks about how Clark isn't like "that nut in Gotham City". Golden Age Superman was is every bit as violent and ruthless, if not more, as "that nut in Gotham City" (definitely more so than the original Kane/Finger Batman even).
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Considering the time frame of the Golden Age, what makes you think the Kents would give a damn about protecting the system?
    Like Ascended points out, the Kents characterization really depends on who is writing them:

    New 52 Pa tells Clark to defend the downtrodden and oppressed. This is Golden Age Pa Kent remember.

    Now this is Doomsday Clock and is the 1950s Silver Age Pa Kent who I think is the closest in spirit to Byrne’s revamp (and of course Johns is writing this so it’s “his” Pa Kent too). This one tells him to uphold law and order.

    Some versions of the Kents would absolutely be horrified by Clark acting like that. Others might caution him about it but still quietly agree with him. A few might cheer him on. But Superman is never really motivated to be Superman because of the Kents deaths. I know Johns said New 52 Superman was more Alien because the Kents were dead but that was bull****, Clark was more “grounded” than he had been in decades. You only need to take a glance outside to see that there are plenty of people angry about our status quo, but unlike most Clark could actually DO something and so he did. Unlike the Golden Age take where it all works out because it was Siegel’s power fantasies however, Clark throwing his weight around that heavily scares the hell out of people, making them turn on him, and he decides to tone it down a notch. But he never gives up that struggle. Someone pointed this out to me and it’s stuck with me ever since: How does Clark beat Vyn, an evil businessman from another dimension who is out to profit from his image? By rallying the people to use their collective power to beat Vyn. That’s a very human approach, working together to solve problems that as individuals we can’t.

    It’s not like Post Crisis Superman never threatened elected officials. He did seriously consider murdering Lex when Lex was the President after all. Granted he never dangled businessmen over the edges but Post Crisis Superman still had some of that temper to him, and could get downright nasty when he wanted to. I know I rag on Post Crisis Supes a lot but it’s really just the John Byrne origin I utterly hate. The Post Crisis Supes did have some good aspects to him. I prefer that Clark think of himself as Clark and not Kal-El or Superman, even though I think “Clark is who I am, Superman is what I can do” is too simplistic.
    Last edited by Vordan; 05-14-2020 at 09:59 PM.

  12. #57
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Adding the Pa Kent death scenes here since CBR forums are having a meltdown for me:
    action-17-jonathan-kent-2.jpg

  13. #58
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    I don't see any complexity between superman and the world. Goldenage guy was a vigilante.He was treated as such and seen as such.Silverage guy had issues balancing himself longed for krypton.

    In byrne run itself he was this and treated like this. "go for it superdude"
    Also, @vordan i had putup a page where superman fails to scare couple of kids just in the prior page. There is more to those stories than power fantasies that workout. Sure, it had that effect. But, it wasn't just that.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 05-15-2020 at 01:49 AM.

  14. #59
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Superman is the greatest hero within the world of DC. If it comes down to yes or no I ask: shouldn't he be?

    Also, you have to love the "Luthor probe" given the current political scene in the US, over 30 years later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Definitely true, though the same can be said of any writer in any era.



    You can. Just as an off-the-cuff example, look at Millar's Huck. Fairly complex story (by comic standards) of a small town dealing with its own little miracle, and the people who try to take advantage of that. Yet Huck isn't a complex guy at all. Hell he's downright simple. Simple people dealing with complex situations is a pretty common thing in writing.



    That's a good point.

    For me, what defines character complexity (and I dunno if I'm gonna be able to phrase this right) is the character's motivations and the traits and inner stresses they put themselves under. Is there innate conflict and/or hypocrisy in their opinions vs how they operate in the world, do they have goals that are somehow at odds with each other, struggles with particular kinds of stress points? Stuff like that.

    Basically; how many moving parts are there? What goes through a character's head as they go through any particular action? A simple character can still be highly intelligent and well defined, but their motivations are straight forward and easy to understand at a glance, even if they have a hundred different doctorates. A complex character can be a complete moron, but there's more stuff happening in their head that you need to unpack and understand in order to see why they act the way they do.
    I like your explanations. I haven't read Huck but isn't it a story where Millar deliberately makes him simple as a contrast? With Man of Steel 2013 no less, according to the interviews.

    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    If you are doing things differently, still ending with same results. Then you haven't changed your perspective. You just made surface level change to your methods. How could that guy(goldenage guy) deal with murders with out it being extreme? Sure, it won't be soap opera that comics have become (moore's criticism). It would just be more noir type of deal. Furthermore, if you are talking about Superman's code. Then sure, Goldenage guy might take life under certain circumstances or he might not( silverage guy was more adamant about the code. I haven't read anything about siegel or shuster's feelings regarding it)If he does, It might even have superman being chased around by the police( rightly so). Clark will just carry it on his back.it would be as simple as that. These things aren't complicated(not talking abou killing as a subject ) . People are just making a mountain out of a mole hill and calling it "complex" as far as i feel. Superhero comics and their idiotic slippery slop nonsense. Villains can't be taken off board. So they create these arguments. Fine, these superheroes? don't themselves kill or phantom zone. They can garner public support and push for the justice system to do something. But, nope! If they want that(soap opera) , go for it. But, don't treat readers like idiots and show this as "complex". It ain't it.
    Superman's enemies weren't initially recurring for probably a good number of reasons. The easiest I can go with is that the genre of superhero comics largely didn't conventions yet. But then it's not like the Snake had legs (pun not intended). Lex had reoccurred starting from really early on and even at his most vile, Superman was completely fine with just handing him over to the same police who couldn't hold him last time.

    His relationship with lethal or permanent outcomes is much trickier than IC would have us think though. The casualty list from the first five years would be really high. Higher in those five years than maybe forty that follow. It's not really spelled out for us, but he didn't really have the obligation to just save people who put themselves and others in the line of destruction. It's not deliberate in that his greatest limit was the inability to be in two places at once and he occasionally would even get forced to let a villain escape so that someone wouldn't get harmed, as we saw to nearly the same extent in later stories. But in his first battles with Luthor he allows the guy to get away, then later allows himself to get chained to a death ray so that Lois isn't hurt.

    But by the time PZ came around, all that sort of punishment seemed out the window. The Superman from IC was used to ask questions that the golden age (and silver age) didn't really ask.

    As said, people like all star superman not because they love or find entertainment in a Savior. Only, because they love the man-kal el.
    ...if we're talking about stories that invoke the Messiah question, then All Star is at the top of the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Newsarama
    [Grant Morrison:] I suppose I see Superman more as pagan sci–fi. He’s a secular messiah, a science redeemer with tough guy muscles and a very direct and clear morality.

    NRAMA: Continuing the religious themes, in issue #10, you have Superman literally giving birth to himself, both philosophically and as a character – a nice little meta–moment showing how Superman inspires a world where he is only fiction. How did that idea come about?

    GM: It came from the challenge we’d set ourselves: as I said, issue #10 had been left as a blank space into which the single most coherent condensation of all our ideas about Superman were destined to fit.

    I wanted to do a “day in the life” story. So much of All Star had been about this threat to Superman himself, so we wanted to show him going about a typical day saving people and doing good.

    Then came the title “Neverending,” which comes from the opening announcement – “Faster than a speeding bullet!…” of the Superman radio show from 1940, and seemed to me to be as good a title for a Superman story as any I could think of. It seemed to distil everything about Superman’s battle and his legend into a single word. And the story structure itself was designed to loop endlessly, so it went well with that.

    On top of that went the idea of the Last Will and Testament of Superman. A dying god writing his will seemed like an interesting structure to use. Then came the idea to fit all of human history into that single 24 hours. And then to show the development of the Superman idea through human culture from the earliest Australian Aboriginal notions of super–beings ‘descended” from the sky, through the complex philosophical system of Hinduism, onto the Renaissance concept of the ideal man, via the refinements of Nietzche and finally, down to that smiling, hopeful Joe Shuster sketch; the final embodiment of humanity’s glorious, uplifting notion of the superman become reduced to a drawing, a story for kids, a worthless comic book.
    As you touched on the frustration people have with not following a finite type of story telling, I think it's also worth pointing out that it does touch on the neverending aspect in a meaningful and supportive way. Not that we don't get a beginning and end both presented with roughly every twenty year stretch.

    I absolutely do think he would slug luthor. Furthermore, i haven't said anything that implies it is for "kicks".
    Hmm, I'm going off what you said here

    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Furthermore, on his way out he would slug lex as well just for a laugh.
    But maybe I read that not as intended in the context you offered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    that’s where the whole “Must there be a Superman?” question starts to pop up, reaching its apex in stories by Moore, Cates, Baggin, and Elliot. But Post Crisis Superman, once he married Lois, basically his major internal conflicts had been resolved. His parents were alive and proud of him, the girl he pined for finally loved both sides, etc. Basically he had reached the end of his story and that’s where the problems set in, because DC didn’t want to give him a kid because dads aren’t cool, so he basically just settled into a rut.
    There was something of a creative rut, but it was caused more through trying to follow all the dramatic arcs that had already come. Turning electric and splitting in two, the taking over the world in back to back year long arcs, having to earn the trust of the people again only for Berganza and his group to immediately start off in a new direction. I don't think Superman had enough of a break to settle.

    The weird thing too is that Must There Be a Superman looked like it was supposed to have a specific follow up that never happened. I know you mean the general idea from the story, but still.
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  15. #60
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    I like your explanations. I haven't read Huck, though... but isn't it a story where Millar deliberately makes him simple as a contrast? With Man of Steel 2013 no less, according to the interviews.



    Superman's enemies weren't initially recurring for probably a good number of reasons. The easiest I can go with is that the genre of superhero comics largely didn't conventions yet. But then it's not like the Snake had legs (pun not intended). Lex had reoccurred starting from really early on and even at his most vile, Superman was completely fine with just handing him over to the same police who couldn't hold him last time.

    His relationship with lethal or permanent outcomes is much trickier than IC would have us think though. The casualty list from the first five years would be really high. Higher in those five years than maybe forty that follow. It's not really spelled out for us, but he didn't really have the obligation to just save people who put themselves and others in the line of destruction. It's not deliberate in that his greatest limit was the inability to be in two places at once and he occasionally would even get forced to let a villain escape so that someone wouldn't get harmed, as we saw to nearly the same extent in later stories. But in his first battles with Luthor he allows the guy to get away, then later allows himself to get chained to a death ray so that Lois isn't hurt.

    But by the time PZ came around, all that sort of punishment seemed out the window. The Superman from IC was used to ask questions that the golden age (and silver age) didn't really ask.



    ...if we're talking about stories that invoke the Messiah question, then All Star is at the top of the list.



    As you touched on the frustration people have with not following a finite type of story telling, I think it's also worth pointing out that it does touch on the neverending aspect in a meaningful and supportive way. Not that we don't get a beginning and end both presented with roughly every twenty year stretch.



    Hmm, I'm going off what you said here



    But maybe I read that not as intended in the context you offered.
    I have read huck a while, ago. I don't quite remember it. From what i remember the character had the same hukbleness i talked about.

    I prefered it that way. See, even lex as trouble maker existing for couple of arcs can be welcomed. It can flesh out the foe and add to the conflict.But, there should tolerance level for people and superman.Beyond that superman should find permanent solutions. As for the superman's bodycount from altercations (direct or indirect) . It might be pretty high. He did throw people around. I had trouble convincing, @jak that somebody might have had broken bones. It happens. But as i know it got retconned.

    What questions, did IC ask? The viability of a violent figure?Superman was always an ambiguous figure. The corrupt structure was the only justification for the blatant Vigilantism. His metropolis was as filthy as Gotham, maybe more so. See, infinite crisis didn't ask a question regarding the goldenage guy. It tried to prove that superman being violent would only work in that simplistic world because his violence was glossed over. When out of it, superman wouldn't hold up he would be a villain and his swash buckling style wouldn't be really enjoyable . That's pathetic reasoning. His world is the reason, goldenage superman existed.Even if you made the violence more apparent or grutesque like Snyder does for his movies(i am not a fan). The answer would clearly emerge the same for why superman is needed. It the same in one piece. Why is ethical moral anarchist vigilante or superman needed? On one side, there is the corrupt government and officials (same as goldenage). The otherside, there are misguided youths, vigilantes and blantant criminals being created.Superman as the middle figure was needed to deal with both.furthmore For me atleast, it only mademe ask,Why does postcrisis superman exist? What is he? He clearly doesn't consider himself a vigilante, yet he is. He isn't treated like one. Aside from the monsters, his metropolis is pretty nice. What does he bring to the table? He is just a dude who helps out. That's fine. Great even. But, then the ideal, symbol of hope,.. Etc are added to that,which is bogus and unearned.So we are back to nothing.

    Yeah! It does. But as said, without the man kal el who is on deaths door, worrying about his family(the world). Its wouldn't have been embraced.

    This would just be fluff,even condescending fluff at worst .

    Superman his struggles for truth and justice in corrupt world might not be. But, his villains and storye beats can end. Never ending is the battle for truth and justice. Not clark kent himself or his story. Japanese have the seasonal system for such franchises. I prefer that more. Even if clark kent is used again. It should be a different clark with a definitive beginning, middle and end. Not this exhaustive method where the story of particular type of clark kent continues, till it audiences get bored to death. Directions get monotonous. At the very, least show superman as a figure of change. End particular story line of villains and create new ones if need for conflict, with a different type of conflict.

    I did provide the context prior to the statement. Didn't i? If i didn't, i apologise. For laughs, was meant for us(readers) by the way. A bit off slapstick.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 05-15-2020 at 01:03 AM.

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