Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Astonishing Member Soubhagya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    3,525

    Default Superman stories as morality play?

    I found a short interview with Elliot S! Maggin. Its nice to hear his opinions on his experience as a fan and a writer of Superman. Some of his opinions can be seen as controversial. Most modern fans think Clark Kent to be the real guy. What really intrigued me is his idea that Superman stories aren't typical action adventure stories. But plays on morality and ethics. Can someone explain this to me a bit more? I haven't read most of his work. Its kind of refreshing to see someone point that many writers approach writing Superman by depowering him.

    Here's the short interview.

    Last edited by Soubhagya; 06-09-2020 at 10:02 AM.

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    5,598

    Default

    He is right. Modern interpretation where superman is something clark does is nonsense. Superman is the real deal. He was the focus of the original strips and comics by siegel and shuster. People just want exceptionalism or mundane. They are both extremes and doesn't fit superman . The guy needs to help because it's a choice, not an obligation. "With great power does come great responsibility". Responsibility is taken by choice. When it becomes an obligation life becomes tiresome.But, that doesn’t mean the choice doesn't occur.As said, superman is lead identity. Both kal el and clark should be support identities.

    As for morality plays,Just picture perfect kid as superman in this cartoon. You will realise how it's a morality play.
    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a men's character, give him power".
    This is what maggin means. While i can agree with that aspect existing for the character. I do believe, one punch man does it better and in a more entertaining way. Especially, now a days. Ofcourse, superman can't be the most powerful of his verse anymore. So, that aspect of the character is very watered down. I disagree with superman not being about action and adventure . Humour, entertainment, presentation.. Etc are aspects needed to get a person's attention and helps in an effective manner to transmit ideas. Superman comics need to be entertaining, in order for morality plays to be understood.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 06-09-2020 at 10:28 AM.

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    6,059

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Soubhagya View Post
    I found a short interview with Elliot S! Maggin. Its nice to hear his opinions on his experience as a fan and a writer of Superman. Some of his opinions can be seen as controversial. Most modern fans think Clark Kent to be the real guy. What really intrigued me is his idea that Superman stories aren't typical action adventure stories. But plays on morality and ethics. Can someone explain this to me a bit more? I haven't read most of his work. Its kind of refreshing to see someone point that many writers approach writing Superman by depowering him.

    Here's the short interview.

    He’s the one who wrote Must There Be A Superman? one of the defining Bronze Age stories, that still impacts the character. Fundamentally Elliot’s thought is that the best Superman stories aren’t about Superman punching, but about Superman struggling with what is the right way to go about using his vast power. When you have the ability to do anything, what should you do?

  4. #4
    Mighty Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,963

    Default

    There's room for both and more imo. I like watching Superman get his hands dirty and throw down with people. But I do feel like we in this fanbase talk about the doing too much/not doing enough debate more than most even amongst characters with similar or exceeding power levels. I don't see this kind of discussion come up amongst Doctor Strange, Doctor Fate, Shazam, etc. I guess because Superman always had that line about him changing the world in his origin, most origin stories are about people returning balance after something horrible happens to them but Superman's origin story has him say what's considered normal on Earth is incorrect and must be changed.

    I think what really pushes the Superman vs Clark Kent thing so hard is that it's a question of what is real vs what is fake. Superman at the end of the day is the character at his physical and mental peak with as little lies between him and the world, Clark Kent is the character working harder to convince people that he's just a regular person with nothing unusual about him than pushing himself to meet deadlines and word counts. This dichotomy is something no version of Superman can elude whether it be Chris Reeve, George Reeves, Pre-Crisis, or Post-Crisis because Superman's abilities give him a natural advantage against the rest of society. Under these conditions the most you can do to make Clark seem real is by making him more like Superman which is what the radio show and the George Reeves show did. I think what modern writers have done to try and push it further is by making it seem as if deep down Supes would rather be doing something else but is bound to being Superman out of obligation rather than determination. I think the real you is the best version of you and back in the day that used to be Superman.
    Rules are for lesser men, Charlie - Grand Pa Joe ~ Willy Wonka & Chocolate Factory

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    6,059

    Default

    Yeah I don’t agree with people who say that “all” Superman stories should just be about exploring morality, or that the best Superman stories don’t feature punching. The best stories balance thoughtfulness with action. Too much of one and he comes across as lethargic. Too much of the other and he can come across as a meathead.

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    5,598

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Yeah I don’t agree with people who say that “all” Superman stories should just be about exploring morality, or that the best Superman stories don’t feature punching. The best stories balance thoughtfulness with action. Too much of one and he comes across as lethargic. Too much of the other and he can come across as a meathead.
    Exploration Morality itself should be entertaining and done in an effective manner. Otherwise, people won't buy what you are selling.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •