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  1. #46
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    This. It's the lack of consistency and consideration that's really doing damage. And just when something is hitting it's stride (Rebirth - story-wise, if not sales) we turn a big corner out of the blue. These things need more time to solidify.
    Why? Why is consistency necessary for a character to be popular? The important aspects of Superman have been very consistent for decades. He's the last son from a doomed planet sent to Earth who was raised by kindly farmers to use his fantastic powers to fight for truth, and justice. He works as a mild-mannered reporter at the Daily Planet with Lois Lane, the world's greatest reporter, and his pal, photographer Jimmy Olsen.

    You can tell interesting stories with or without Superboy, the Kents or using any version of Krypton. Those elements are less important that characters, story and theme.

    The important elements to Superman have always been consistent. The quality of the stories, however, has not. That's the big problem.

  2. #47
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    The day when DC will fully convert to OGNs maybe they will follow the "choose your past" Superman, but it's not something particulary new - I mean, they have been creating standalone stories with a loose continuity since the 1980s. In Mike Kennedy's Infinite City, which was published in 2006, there is a completely different take on Jor El.

    I don't think that this approach would necessarily solve some of the main Superman-related problems. It would solve some of them, maybe (with a shorter story there is less risk of course-correcting) but all in all you always have to make the character relatable and interesting. If I think of Superman-centered OGNs or miniseries which have been released in the latest 20 years I don't think that the average quality is really that higher in comparison to the regular series. You have excellent things like All-Star and For All Seasons, but also Superman Earth One. The same impression of a dated and paternalistic character is not absent at all in OGNs, in general. If you are hoping for a series of OGNs of averagely high quality I wouldn't hold my breath.

    I also don't necessarily think that the end of the regular series should be something we should hope for. I agree that quality is abysmal and we will get fewer and fewer of them in the future, but there are things in regular series which you can't do in an OGN, and vice versa.
    I think you could try this approach with the monthly books and it could work. I mean, at this point, what do they have to lose?

  3. #48
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I'm saying take the "whatever is best for the story" approach of the one-shots and elseworlds books and apply it to the monthly books to see if it works longform.
    Maybe. I think it would go the way of "Adventures Of Superman," honestly. It might also exacerbate the "readers buy for the writer/artist" thing since the books' stories don't continue in any consistent way. Some would sell a lot, others not at all.

    That said, I do think that having "A" book that did this would be neat - using a title like "Superman Family" where we check in on various parts of the multiverse for an arc before switching. But I don't "feel it" on the main books, so much. Especially when he shares a universe with other characters who don't do that. Like, which Superman is going to be in JL? When Batman visits Superman in Batman's universe, how do tie-ins keep consistent? That kinda thing.
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  4. #49
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    Why? Why is consistency necessary for a character to be popular? The important aspects of Superman have been very consistent for decades. He's the last son from a doomed planet sent to Earth who was raised by kindly farmers to use his fantastic powers to fight for truth, and justice. He works as a mild-mannered reporter at the Daily Planet with Lois Lane, the world's greatest reporter, and his pal, photographer Jimmy Olsen.

    You can tell interesting stories with or without Superboy, the Kents or using any version of Krypton. Those elements are less important that characters, story and theme.

    The important elements to Superman have always been consistent. The quality of the stories, however, has not. That's the big problem.
    Because it's hard to establish much beyond the basics, doing that. Superman stops and starts every two years (or less) lately and it just feels disjointed.

    Unless you're telling baseline stories that don't get too specific - that'd be the only way I see that working. It's hard to know where a character is going or be "with them" when their backstory and circumstances are always shifting.
    Hear my new CD "Love The World Away", available on iTunes, Google Music, Spotify, Shazam, and Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01N5XYV..._waESybX1C0RXK via @amazon
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  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I think you could try this approach with the monthly books and it could work. I mean, at this point, what do they have to lose?
    You mean the 'choose your past' approach in the regular series?
    I have said it before - it wouldn't work. It would be a comic book with no structure focused on a character with no background. IMHO they would simply lose the few readers they have now. I'd say that a lot of problems with current Superman were born exactly because they adopted the "readers can decide which past we are using now" approach.

    A real improvement would be if they followed an approach similar to Image, with a strong auteur feeling both on regular and limited series. The day when regular series will disappear altogether, if Image still exists and it has a management similar to the current one, they will probably continue creating excellent OGNs. But DC is not Image and will probably never be.
    Last edited by Myskin; 07-01-2020 at 02:11 AM.
    Educational town, Rolemodel city and Moralofthestory land are the places where good comics go to die.

    DC writers and editors looked up and shouted "Save us!"
    And Alan Moore looked down and whispered "No."

  6. #51
    Astonishing Member Korath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotchj View Post
    I don't like the truths superman!! I Hated the whole plot!! I threw all the comics from that arc away!! I hate it when they powered superman down, trying to make him another Batman! Superman can be powerful and still help the common man!! Superman doesn't need to be every ones punching bag! Some think the only way to relate to superman is to power him down!! I don't agree!! I think the boyscout superman is very relatable!!
    His power are not a problem. His boyscout mentally is horrible however. So far I only love the New 52 Superman and like the Bendis Superman and Earth One Superman. I can't stand any other ones and I particularly loath the All-Star Superman one, for instance. And the "boyscout" is very much a reason why I hate most of those interpretations.

  7. #52
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    By the way, what sounds even weirder is that superhero comic books are apparently the only type of entertainment for which seriality has become a burden.
    Seriality is everywhere. People LOVE to get committed to series. We have TV series, popular comic book series (I am thinking of Image now, but don't get me started on mangas), animated series, trilogies of movies and book series. Does anyone really think that MCU would have been so successful if they had had a standalone movie of Iron man and - a couple of years later - a completely different take on the character with an altered past?
    The problem with Superman in the latest decades is that the stories have been terrible, the character is awfully dated and they don't know how to relaunch it. It's never been because regular series are inherently a problem.
    Educational town, Rolemodel city and Moralofthestory land are the places where good comics go to die.

    DC writers and editors looked up and shouted "Save us!"
    And Alan Moore looked down and whispered "No."

  8. #53
    Astonishing Member Korath's Avatar
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    I think it's a bit unfair to compare serializations which will necessarily end (even long running manga will come to an end and are the vision of one or two artists devoted to it from the start - plus their helps) with super hero comic books. An excellent analogy was made by a French You Tube cinema critic, Marvel/DC Comics are basically one never ending sentence, without a final point, where words and syntax and any rules of grammar can be amended and is in fact being amended as we speak with this bit and that bit being changed to better fit the current editorial/artistic take on the characters.

    And that's a problem because it means that there is nothing to aspire to. What is the future of Superman ? Apparently, the same thing he did for decades now, more pointless adventures which will change nothing and more of the exact same relationships, if possible in the most perfect way possible for his private life otherwise readers are unhappy.

    Luffy's goal is to become the Pirate King. Goku wants to be the Strongest. Shin aims to become a Great Heavenly General. Caped Baldy just want to met someone he can't beat with just one punch and have an all out battle with him/her.

    What does Superman want ?

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korath View Post
    I think it's a bit unfair to compare serializations which will necessarily end (even long running manga will come to an end and are the vision of one or two artists devoted to it from the start - plus their helps) with super hero comic books.
    I'd say that if we had a 100-issue Superman series with real world building Image style, and after that a reboot/restyle/different take many people would appreciate it (I am not saying that it will happen anytime soon). It would probably be the best possible compromise between regular series and limited series. They are basically already doing it, with the character rebooted every 3-4 years. The only difference is that his stories now never have a proper development/ending.
    Educational town, Rolemodel city and Moralofthestory land are the places where good comics go to die.

    DC writers and editors looked up and shouted "Save us!"
    And Alan Moore looked down and whispered "No."

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    You mean the 'choose your past' approach in the regular series?
    I have said it before - it wouldn't work. It would be a comic book with no structure focused on a character with no background. IMHO they would simply lose the few readers they have now. I'd say that a lot of problems with current Superman were born exactly because they adopted the "readers can decide which past we are using now" approach.

    A real improvement would be if they followed an approach similar to Image, with a strong auteur feeling both on regular and limited series. The day when regular series will disappear altogether, if Image still exists and it has a management similar to the current one, they will probably continue creating excellent OGNs. But DC is not Image and will probably never be.
    I think you’re misunderstanding what I am proposing. I don't think they need to radically change the status quo every few months, but rather find a great creative team that has an interesting direction, then let them run with that without having to worry about how it jibes with the previous run. Whenever that take has run its course after a year or two (or more if it's particularly successful), bring in a new team with their own fresh take on Superman.

    Each new incarnation can build upon what was previously established, but is not beholden to stick with anything either.

    I think the vast majority of readers are interested in good stories, not how everything fits together nicely in terms of continuity.

    Within a storyarc, you need continuity, yes. The pillars that make up the characters lives should remain constant, but the exact details are far less important than the quality of the stories being told.

  11. #56
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korath View Post
    I think it's a bit unfair to compare serializations which will necessarily end (even long running manga will come to an end and are the vision of one or two artists devoted to it from the start - plus their helps) with super hero comic books. An excellent analogy was made by a French You Tube cinema critic, Marvel/DC Comics are basically one never ending sentence, without a final point, where words and syntax and any rules of grammar can be amended and is in fact being amended as we speak with this bit and that bit being changed to better fit the current editorial/artistic take on the characters.

    And that's a problem because it means that there is nothing to aspire to. What is the future of Superman ? Apparently, the same thing he did for decades now, more pointless adventures which will change nothing and more of the exact same relationships, if possible in the most perfect way possible for his private life otherwise readers are unhappy.

    Luffy's goal is to become the Pirate King. Goku wants to be the Strongest. Shin aims to become a Great Heavenly General. Caped Baldy just want to met someone he can't beat with just one punch and have an all out battle with him/her.

    What does Superman want ?
    He wants the world to not need a Superman anymore; a better tomorrow.

  12. #57
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    Because it's hard to establish much beyond the basics, doing that. Superman stops and starts every two years (or less) lately and it just feels disjointed.

    Unless you're telling baseline stories that don't get too specific - that'd be the only way I see that working. It's hard to know where a character is going or be "with them" when their backstory and circumstances are always shifting.
    I am not saying there should be radical shifts in the status quo each time a new creative team jumps on board. The basics are generally always the same, but give creators more wiggle room to play with different flavors and elements that might not necessarily jibe with whatever was done with the previous incarnation. Nothing too major, just the details.

    Major stuff like the Kents being alive or dead is not something that should be flip-flopped over and over again though. They were dead for decades, then alive for a couple decades, then dead again for a decade. Let's give 'em another decade of being alive again before hitting that button again. Like I said, if someone really wants a dead Pa Kent to be a factor in their Superman, he could still remember that Pa died in one of his previous incarnations.

    Krypton is far easier to deal with since they aren’t all that different from each other except for their look. The only real outlier is Byrne's Krypton, and even that can be used if any creator wanted to. Just explain that Jor-El and Lara went through a Goth stage in their youth and got really into Cyberpunk

    Also, this doesn't necessitate retelling the origin over and over either, just any clarifications that are necessary for whatever current stories are being told. If the exact nature of Krypton's demise isn't relevant to the story, it doesn't need to be brought up.

    All editorial has to do is establish clear benchmarks that they'd like creators to stick with while also being flexible if there's a good story reason for changing something big.

    Superman can still exist in the larger DCU and remain consistent with whatever is happening in his monthly books, but everyone needs to be clear on what their gamelan is, which is what killed Morrison's New 52 revamp. They had no plan.

  13. #58
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robanker View Post
    He wants the world to not need a Superman anymore; a better tomorrow.
    That's not a goal. That's just a wish. There is a difference.

  14. #59
    Mighty Member Ra-El's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korath View Post
    I think it's a bit unfair to compare serializations which will necessarily end (even long running manga will come to an end and are the vision of one or two artists devoted to it from the start - plus their helps) with super hero comic books. An excellent analogy was made by a French You Tube cinema critic, Marvel/DC Comics are basically one never ending sentence, without a final point, where words and syntax and any rules of grammar can be amended and is in fact being amended as we speak with this bit and that bit being changed to better fit the current editorial/artistic take on the characters.

    And that's a problem because it means that there is nothing to aspire to. What is the future of Superman ? Apparently, the same thing he did for decades now, more pointless adventures which will change nothing and more of the exact same relationships, if possible in the most perfect way possible for his private life otherwise readers are unhappy.

    Luffy's goal is to become the Pirate King. Goku wants to be the Strongest. Shin aims to become a Great Heavenly General. Caped Baldy just want to met someone he can't beat with just one punch and have an all out battle with him/her.

    What does Superman want ?
    Honestly, with the exception of One Punch Man, those goals are kind of lame, I wouldn't want Superman to have a similar goal. If we're talking anime here, Ed and Alphonse wanting to get their bodies back is a goal I can respect. Kiritsugu wanting to make a better world is good goal. In Kiritsugu case, it's pretty much what Superman want, just the method they choose to employ is different.

  15. #60
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    You can build a really nice house, architecturally rad- but without a solid foundation it isn't going to last.

    Superman doesn't need a concrete continuity but he needs some kind of aesthetically interesting and narratively compelling foundation to build all those different stories off of. If it's all just "Choose your own adventure", fine but it's not going to truly resonate. There needs to be some footing in 2020 for him, something to go off of for modern audiences. A sense of place and a world to occupy.

    He needs that redefining run, and that's a run that is going to upset a swath of the fanbase- but it needs to happen to bring the character forward.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 07-01-2020 at 10:09 AM.

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