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  1. #166
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    There are several characters closer to Superman than Cap and it goes back to the power thing for many of them. Steve can get high on meth, get forced underground, get gunned down in the streets, etc. and always just fall back on a "lost story" about fighting Nazis for a breather. Modest power set is putting it lightly, he's basically Batman with a handful of batarangs and no belt including the fact that like Batman, he's pretty much a superhero who happens to have a real Identity instead of a superhero with a falsified identity or a genuine guy who is also a superhero. Cap's wealth of limits make him easier.
    I don't view Cap or Superman primarily as a set of powers, which is why I think the two characters hold similar positions in their respective universes.

  2. #167
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    I find this idea that superman is too good to be made a movie about, rather unbelievable.
    No one said that.

    I think it's easier to write stories about more flawed broken characters than well-adjusted ones driven primarily by altruism. It's one of the main reason that tragedies like dead parents get added to these characters. It's a crutch, yes, but it's kind of an effective one.

    I think Hollywood has struggled with Superman for so long because he's not so easy to find the right hook.

  3. #168
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    On a very high level, one problem with Superman can be summed up with why Van Damme movies are generally better received than Steven Seagal ones. Van Damme movies often pit him as some sort of underdog who has to overcome overwhelming odds and train his way to this level. It's pretty trite, but it's a formula that resonates with crowds well enough that they can make eight Rocky movies and a handful of Karate Kid movies. In contrast, the joke about Seagal movies is that he's essentially Superman. He shows up, and everyone who faces him is outclassed. Most of the fights are low tension (though I think it's dumb to assume the protagonist will ever lose at the end of the movie...) and overall the movies are less entertaining. The DCAU was fully aware of this issue, so they made Superman physically less like Superman, but I think that backfired.

    It's a tough middle ground for Superman to hit. He's gotta be tough enough, but someone's gotta challenge him somehow. Usually what writers do is either make Superman weaker or stupider, and many of us here can attest that doesn't work.

  4. #169
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Van Damme was also utterly shameless about his physicality and "French guy charm" so he was able to get by with some pretty bs martial arts where Seagal was rather credible lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I don't view Cap or Superman primarily as a set of powers, which is why I think the two characters hold similar positions in their respective universes.
    Cap is without question the leader of the Avengers even among peers and the greatest spokesman of heroes. As a creation of the government draped in the flag, he also has to answer many different questions than Superman. Growing up Cap was my favorite hero before Superman took over, and I have to say that aside from being known as "the guy who stands akimbo" there's a strong difference for every similarity.

    Many would jump for a "Superman Winter Soldier" but that involves so much set up and adjusting that it really wouldn't be the same anyway.
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  5. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I don't view Cap or Superman primarily as a set of powers, which is why I think the two characters hold similar positions in their respective universes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    No one said that.

    I think it's easier to write stories about more flawed broken characters than well-adjusted ones driven primarily by altruism. It's one of the main reason that tragedies like dead parents get added to these characters. It's a crutch, yes, but it's kind of an effective one.

    I think Hollywood has struggled with Superman for so long because he's not so easy to find the right hook.
    I think it’s only harder in that you need to have a sincere approach to him being altruistic, but not lose the conflict and emotional through-line and drama of the story... and too many people in Hollywood seem to have trouble doing that with Superman. And I do genuinely think it’s just some confusion about Superman, rather than a broader confusion about the formula: we’ve got three pretty good Captain America movie (who I would agree is personality and morality-wise is the closest equivalent to Superman), we’ve had two good Spider-Man movies (who isn’t that far from a Superboy characterization), and there’s other movies that manage to have earnest heroic character as their leads.

    I kind of think there’s just some blind spot where too many Hollywood guys still think of Superman as *just* the Christopher Reeves version - and either worship that version or want to run far away from it.
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  6. #171
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    No one said that.

    I think it's easier to write stories about more flawed broken characters than well-adjusted ones driven primarily by altruism. It's one of the main reason that tragedies like dead parents get added to these characters. It's a crutch, yes, but it's kind of an effective one.

    I think Hollywood has struggled with Superman for so long because he's not so easy to find the right hook.
    Superman has had dead parents in many continuities.All the movies, have killed a parent of his. That' hasn't exactly caused some great uptake in the appeal of the character. Its irrelevant(death of parents) . The character itself comes of as a fake saint. That's a problem. People could easily equate the white knight superman to two face. Why? Superman doesn't feel tangibly genuine.

    People have no trouble watch creed or rocky? That's what superman's story is about. Isn't it? The story about a champion.

  7. #172
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    People have no trouble watch creed or rocky? That's what superman's story is about. Isn't it? The story about a champion.
    Heh, my third post about Rocky this week.

    Okay, Rocky is many different tales thrown into one movie series. Back in 1975 when Rocky was probably closer to an art flick than a blockbuster, he wasn't a champ. In the boxing world, he was virtually a nobody, just some local guy Apollo Creed's camp picked at the last minute to make sure his scheduled fight in Philadelphia happened and he got paid. There wasn't anything particularly special about Rocky the boxer, and even Mickey had abandoned him long ago because he thought he was a waste of talent. Mickey only was interested in training Rocky for the Creed fight so he could cash in on the biggest payday he'd ever see.

    Rocky is one of those likable underdogs through and through. He's not particularly bright, he's not smooth with Adrian, he works a gig he hates as a collector for shady gangster loan sharks (it really goes against his own moral code, but he has to pay the bills somehow), his boxing career was unremarkable, his trainer didn't believe in him, and the betting odds were so stacked against him and everyone thought Creed was going to pancake him. And even though today we think about Stallone, and Rocky, as a fitness junkie, back in 1975 he was not nearly as imposing, and Carl Weathers (Creed) physically is much more impressive in stature and physique.

    And just when you think Rocky's done, Mickey tells him to take the KO, Adrian's given up, Rocky gets back on his feet, tells his corner to cut his eye so he can see for one more round, and finishes the fight. As the fight concluded, there's Apollo's begrudging respect, "Ain't gonna be no rematch," and Rocky's quip, "Don't want one." One of the great subtle parts is near the end when the ring announcer reads the judges' decision and [SPOILER!] Rocky loses by split decision, but at that moment the music's already crescendoed and you don't even care because all he wanted to do was go the distance when nobody thought he had a chance.

    I really loved this movie, and I think it's cool that it won Best Picture. But for as much as I enjoyed this film, it's not a good blueprint for Superman. And I know, that's just one out of six Rocky movies, plus two more Creed movies, and Rocky's other five movies are pretty much a caricatured, superhero version of the first movie (no rematch, indeed...), but if you're going to make Superman something like a boxing champ then you need to look at Muhammad Ali.
    Last edited by DochaDocha; 06-05-2020 at 11:54 AM.

  8. #173
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Sure, he is an underdog and the story is about him becoming the champion. I don't see that as a problem. There is nothing that says superman can't be one.His intelligence is something that was added on later. Even with intelligence his added on trait of naivety really takes the sense of true optimism from the character .He is supposed to be just a strongman vigilante from space and champion of the oppressed. He is superman because people saw that in him. People (even his enemies) saw a champion in rocky. Well, they are the same in that regards. The guy had no idea whether the superman thing is gonna blow up in his face (many things he does gets blown up). He just jumps in recklessly . In those older stories, there were things that could seriously hurt the protagonist and he wasn't exactly doing things in unquestionable way(abusing his status as a reporter and using his power for violence) . He just had an inherent advantage like rocky himself with his south paw. There are a lot of moments like rocky talking to his turtle and rocky giving a girl advice only to be bad mouthed that just seems very much supermanish.Superman just needs to come of competent whatever he does.

    As for setting superman as the overdog. These hollywood guys have a tendency to go messianic figure nonsense(donner, singer and snyder) . Let's be honest,superman just doesn't work as well as something like one punch man does in my opinion as the overdog.So, going for the working class fighting champion/underdog for truth and justice is way more appealing than flying sun god overdog. I tend to see superman as more big shark at the start with small fishes and just them. Him having to scale up inorder to meet his more powerful foes(whales) and competition (cough! Cough! captain marvel) has always been his M.O.
    So, yeah! This can work
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 06-05-2020 at 12:53 PM.

  9. #174
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    I think the other movies have a version of Rocky who's more Superman-ish, especially Rocky IV (the Soviet crowd started rooting for him and he ended the Cold War!), though that pretty much came at the expense of the original interpretation of the character. As I remarked, they made Rocky more of a comic book superhero than a fleshed-out character in a dramatic film.

    On the other hand, I think the legend of Muhammad Ali's career is still a better template for Superman, for reasons pertaining both to his in-ring accomplishments as well as his social activism. Toward the end of the 20th century when there were a lot of retrospectives about the top athletes of the 1900s, Ali was a popular pick as #1 of them all. I think he's pretty cocky compared to most modern takes of Superman, the messiah-like character you don't like, but he had a fiery personality, strong conviction, and was the GOAT. And he KO'd Superman.

    So yeah, less Rocky, more Ali if you're making Superman.

  10. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Sure, he is an underdog and the story is about him becoming the champion. I don't see that as a problem. There is nothing that says superman can't be one.His intelligence is something that was added on later. Even with intelligence his added on trait of naivety really takes the sense of true optimism from the character .He is supposed to be just a strongman vigilante from space and champion of the oppressed. He is superman because people saw that in him. People (even his enemies) saw a champion in rocky. Well, they are the same in that regards. The guy had no idea whether the superman thing is gonna blow up in his face (many things he does gets blown up). He just jumps in recklessly . In those older stories, there were things that could seriously hurt the protagonist and he wasn't exactly doing things in unquestionable way(abusing his status as a reporter and using his power for violence) . He just had an inherent advantage like rocky himself with his south paw. There are a lot of moments like rocky talking to his turtle and rocky giving a girl advice only to be bad mouthed that just seems very much supermanish.Superman just needs to come of competent whatever he does.

    As for setting superman as the overdog. These hollywood guys have a tendency to go messianic figure nonsense(donner, singer and snyder) . Let's be honest,superman just doesn't work as well as something like one punch man does in my opinion as the overdog.So, going for the working class fighting champion/underdog for truth and justice is way more appealing than flying sun god overdog. I tend to see superman as more big shark at the start with small fishes and just them. Him having to scale up inorder to meet his more powerful foes(whales) and competition (cough! Cough! captain marvel) has always been his M.O.
    So, yeah! This can work
    One Punch Man ain't no overdog, hes a loser who just so happens to beat things that are less powerful than him, which is everything. Supermans problem is hes the underdog that does overdog things(but not being self aware about it like OPM). Really, Superman has to much sway on being the greatest thing in the whole dcu, the plot bends reality to make him a god in a narrative sense because of how its presented hes the most awe in inspiring force of good in a world made to be his cynical punching bag, it makes it alot more one sided.

  11. #176
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valentonis View Post
    You make it sound simple Vakanai, but a quality film and good video game don't just appear out of thin air. If WB hasn't been understanding the character for the past decade, what's gonna magically flip the switch and give them the ability to be able to do that now? That's what people are trying to get at with these discussions, trying to get at where exactly the misunderstandings come from, and how they can be rectified to give the character a better future.
    Sorry if it sounded simple - it isn't, getting a quality product out, especially larger media like movies and games, is hard. Getting that is hell of a complicated task for about any character, but especially if those in charge don't get what makes the character appealing. But this discussion and others like it aren't going to help - wherever the misunderstandings and misconceptions come from, the only way to rectify it is to get some new blood in charge who do understand the character's appeal. Which sadly is also not an easy task. Until we get better leadership behind the scenes who understands Superman and what we love about him, we won't get better movies and games, and without those his place in pop culture will only degenerate. It isn't simple, but there's also nothing more to it than that.

  12. #177
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    It might feel smart to simplify the problem. "All they need to do is figure out how to make a billion dollar movie." But I'm not so sure that's an easy fix to say the least. None of the people suggested to right the ship step up, none of the people out there scoring big on other properties are evidently trying to make Superman work.

    Understanding what it takes to produce quality effectively and develop a good game take more than sounding or even "being" smart. But all we can do is try defining them.
    I didn't simplify the problem - I may have come across as if I had, but it wasn't my intent. I meant only to define the problem. No, making a billion dollar movie isn't simple. It is not a simple problem. But it is the problem. Zeitgeist, optimism, eras, whatever else has been discussed, aren't the problem. The problem is Superman needs a widely popular movie and probably videogame. Which is as complex a problem as they come. But that is the problem. If we really want to discuss why Superman is having pop culture problems, we have to only discuss how can we get a good movie and/or game. Everything else isn't addressing the problem.

    Personally I have no clue to get either of those things - as has been said, that's not a simple problem. It is too hard for me to know the answer. But I at least recognize it as being the problem, which is a step in the right direction.

  13. #178

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    I think audiences in general see Supes as "Ol reliable" or "comfort food". They probably want to be challenged in their stories but not by Superman's. The comic book crowd is probably exempt from that description but you could change the groups around and get the same result.

    I think you could probably change his perception among-st but there's no five step process. You just gotta put something distinct out there and hope people respond to it.

    I agree with Vakanai- give him a good videogame or cartoon series or even a tv series that can capture your imagination and people would come.

  14. #179
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpideyCeo View Post
    One Punch Man ain't no overdog, hes a loser who just so happens to beat things that are less powerful than him, which is everything. Supermans problem is hes the underdog that does overdog things(but not being self aware about it like OPM). Really, Superman has to much sway on being the greatest thing in the whole dcu, the plot bends reality to make him a god in a narrative sense because of how its presented hes the most awe in inspiring force of good in a world made to be his cynical punching bag, it makes it alot more one sided.
    People would disagree with that assessment. Why?because one punch borrows a lot of themes the overdog superman is supposed to do. does it in a way that people feel entertained and the point gets accross. He is a loser. That's the fun part of it. Moreover, one punch man always does the right thing for no reason other than just fun, albeit being an asshole at times. Superman was a dick too(ofcourse superman being a dick is seen as out of character now).
    Note- I don't prescribe to notion of superman being a boyscout, saint or rolemodel.i tend to like a superman who is more rough around the edges.

    One punch man says "eff off" to a crowd complaining about collateral. The same needed a page of dialog in superman comics. The former drove the point home with humour. Later, couldn't achieve that being all serious.An overdog is supposed to wait for others to catch upto him while providing support to his peers.one punch man does that better. Saitama made drow the point home that the costume might be ridiculous. But, it's the hero inside that people should be looking for. Yet, people judge by outter appearances. Just look at how they got powers, no offence to comics industry. But, there isn't much need for a elaborate explanation such as sun being power source or bioelectric aura. One punch man does it with "100 pushups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats every single day". He made fun of both batman and superman,at the same time.

    I had saw a video of one punch man vs watchmen differences. It was kind of interesting. Watchmen sought to tear down the superhero. While, one punch man is simply poking fun with love and keeping the essence of these stories and heroes like superman intact. It just wants the industry to look at itself more closely as a fan. While watchman tries to show the how effed superheroes can be.There is an episode in recess that also does the same thing and also references superman(that universes version of the character senor fusion).i had said this before, superman being a controversial figure is in his dna. He is no fun when he becomes loved.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 06-06-2020 at 08:21 AM.

  15. #180
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    I didn't simplify the problem - I may have come across as if I had, but it wasn't my intent. I meant only to define the problem. No, making a billion dollar movie isn't simple. It is not a simple problem. But it is the problem. Zeitgeist, optimism, eras, whatever else has been discussed, aren't the problem. The problem is Superman needs a widely popular movie and probably videogame. Which is as complex a problem as they come. But that is the problem. If we really want to discuss why Superman is having pop culture problems, we have to only discuss how can we get a good movie and/or game. Everything else isn't addressing the problem.

    Personally I have no clue to get either of those things - as has been said, that's not a simple problem. It is too hard for me to know the answer. But I at least recognize it as being the problem, which is a step in the right direction.
    Spider-Man and Batman are the only characters with a real claim to being ahead of Superman, and that doesn't come from a game or movie. They have many popular games across different developers and several movies with big commercial impact. They have many toys of their gadgets and a greater presence in animation by far. The company lines cater to them with events and they'll cross over from Ninja Turtles to Obama.

    All I mean to say is that WB "getting it right" isn't more than just one step forward. Maybe they need to feel less pressure on that really.
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