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  1. #631
    Fantastic Member The Frog Bros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    This is totally on brand Manchester Black. He’s always been this scumbag “punk” who hides behind a thin veneer of rebel attitude in order to justify lashing out in the most petty of ways. In the comics even moreso than the movie, which made him more of a sympathetic character. What’s changed is how Clark responds to him. This is a much more grizzled and world-weary Clark who is willing to engage with Black on an honest level of “maybe you had a point about my methods not being adequate to handle the world’s problems”. Prior to this he would’ve just beat Black to a pulp lol.
    I guess Morrison was on point when they said that this version of Black was basically Johnny Rotten


    Quote Originally Posted by Green Goblin of Sector 2814 View Post
    That's one of the reasons why it doesn't sound real. Do you know anyone who is so blunt and rude like that in real life? Most of us, even if we hate the person we're talking to, at least try to sound somewhat cordial because that is basic human behavior. And honestly, this is an issue that I find prevalent in a lot of Morrison's writing. Most of the dialogue is overly stilted or just unnecessarily blunt to the point where it doesn't feel like human beings are actually saying it. Therefore, a lot of the time with Morrison, it feels like I'm reading about two robots trying to mimic a conversation as opposed to two human beings actually having one.

    But that's not the real issue I'm talking about. What I find egregious is the way in which Morrison boils down Superman to a trope that fits the story as opposed to portraying him as a real person. And Morrison does the same with Black as a matter of fact.

    What context do we have for this sudden shift in Superman's personality? I think all of us who read Superman comics know Superman as a benevolent and humble person who truly doesn't believe that it's "his place" to steer humanity in the "right direction." As such, at least the MAIN universe's Superman isn't the type of person to go down this authoritarian and ruthless bent, where [SPOILER ALERT] he's seemingly okay with poisoning someone who he tricked into trusting him.

    Also, the conversation between Black and Superman just plays out as this very basic clash of ideals, with Black representing the anti-establishment, borderline anarchist side and Superman being the stand-in for "order and obedience" and seems to be willing to do "whatever it takes" to preserve that. However, again, I think most of us know that you can't boil Superman down to that basic trope because everything we've seen from his character would make us think that he isn't that.

    In fact, the very first time he met Manchester Black, it was Black who was espousing the ideals of doing everything possible to maintain order, including killing supervillains, something that Superman was decidedly against. And even then, Superman is a multi-faceted person with complex motivations. He's not a caricature, which is what Morrison makes him into here. Here, Morrison boils Superman down to a base trope to fit the type of story they want to tell and explore a theme they think needs to be explored, even if it's a decidedly stark departure from everything we've seen of Superman's character development.

    In other words, it seems that Morrison looks at Superman as a collection of ideals, rather than as an actual human person.
    I actually like how off-brand Clark is here, particularly picturing the Clark from Morrison’s AC run in this context. He’s old, grizzled, he failed (and admits as such), and he’s now a different person. I can also see how some would want to view this story as out of continuity, Elseworld, etc.

    So the bigger question is, if Black is Johnny Rotten, then who’s Sid Vicious
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  2. #632
    Extraordinary Member Hizashi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Morrison has never cared about “realism”, and you’re ignoring a lot of the context of why Clark is like this. He’s old and tired, weaker than he’s ever been, scared that his legacy will be one of failure. He’s blunt and direct because he doesn’t care about social niceties anymore, he’s also speaking to Manchester Black who doesn’t respect those either. He’s trying to get through to Manchester here and being direct as possible to try to crack Black’s cynical exterior.

    He didn’t poison him it’s just water lol:


    He’s just a freaking drama queen throwing up because he’s mad Supes didn’t give him alcohol haha.

    Indeed Black is a shallow person. That was exactly how he was characterized under Kelly and under Tomasi. For all his “punk” attitude, all he can think to do is murder people rather than tackle issues on a deeper more systemic level. In that regard Morrison is writing him in-character. And Supes was the “order and obedience” guy in the “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, And American Way?” story, but I don’t see him as that here. He’s the “status quo” guy, the Action Comics social crusader who mellowed out and focused on supervillains, confident that humanity could solve their problems on their own, which is how Morrison wrote him in JLA. His shift in characterization is caused by him looking around and going “damn humanity really hasn’t gotten their **** together the way I hoped”. So now he’s asking himself how can he make a difference in a different way. A similar story I think would be looking at what Hickman did with the X-Men. After getting genocided so many times, they’ve finally decided to shake things up and stand up for themselves.

    Black as a faux punk feels very much still present here. And Supes says that he’s not going to let Black run wild, which I’m taking to mean he’s still not going to let Black kill people. We’ll see though. I don’t see Clark as a caricature though, he’s feel caricature-esque if he recited the Pledge of Allegiance and told Black he needed to let Hope into his heart, which caused Black to fall to his feet in tears and say he’s always really wanted to be Superman’s son. And then everyone clapped as they went out to go beat down protestors in front of the WH or something that would be caricature to me. But here Clark is grizzled, old, and world-weary, but he’s not giving up just yet. He hasn’t decided to go full Justice Lord or Injustice which would be the REAL cliche at this point. Personally I feel like the dichotomy DC has usually given us, that Clark can either be a passive observer or a full blown fascist, is in itself dishonest and caricature-ish. This seems to be going for a third route.

    This is a fun discussion, just so you know GG, I’m not pressed you didn’t like this story, I just loved the first issue and am eager to talk about it. This is much more entertaining than the usual arguments we get around here. Sorry Moz isn’t doing it for ya, but I think this set up a very engaging and entertaining story to come.
    I agree with everything you've said, although I do have some trepidation about how far Morrison will take the "I have to fix things" angle. I think it's understandable to have some concerns about how the book will turn out, especially if there's gonna be some form of overlap with PKJ's Action Comics, but it's the first issue and we'll have to wait and see.
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  3. #633
    Ultimate Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Gotta praise the art too, Janin and Bellarie make one hell of a team. The Fortress looked cooler than it ever has honestly, except under Quitely. But this was my favorite shot:



    Supes face has me in tears, so tempted to make it my profile picture. He’s so baffled at what he’s witnessing it’s hilarious.
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  4. #634
    Extraordinary Member sifighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Gotta praise the art too, Janin and Bellarie make one hell of a team. The Fortress looked cooler than it ever has honestly, except under Quitely. But this was my favorite shot:



    Supes face has me in tears, so tempted to make it my profile picture. He’s so baffled at what he’s witnessing it’s hilarious.
    Yeah he’s just like, “I just gave you water, how are you vomiting so much?”
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  5. #635
    Ultimate Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sifighter View Post
    Yeah he’s just like, “I just gave you water, how are you vomiting so much?”
    One thing I didn’t really appreciate about Janin that I am now in this series is he’s quite good at depicting emotion in facial expressions and body language. Helps enliven the dialogue scenes when there isn’t a lot of action going on.
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  6. #636
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Hey!I would be vomiting too if someone gave water when i was expecting to get a kick out of it..

    seriously though,If you ask me the heavenly father and rebellious disobedient child subtext generally feeds into superman's paternalism.Combining that with stupid commentary about the industry.Black and the whole ac#775 was boring and mere moral posturing.Morrison used it in a humourous manner.If it was serious he would have lost me.right then and there.These guys doing honest conversations are boring as heck..Why?cause superman doesn't tackle squat at any level.Atleast,black is entertaining..
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 07-23-2021 at 11:30 PM.
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  7. #637
    Extraordinary Member Hizashi's Avatar
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    Didn't Morrison say this Superman is the dad who helps their drunk son out of a speeding ticket or something? Yeah, I don't like the paternalism bit, I think even with Superman around humanity should sink or swim on their own.
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  8. #638
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hizashi View Post
    Didn't Morrison say this Superman is the dad who helps their drunk son out of a speeding ticket or something? Yeah, I don't like the paternalism bit, I think even with Superman around humanity should sink or swim on their own.
    Oh! He does.Morrison might be the only one who can make me sit down and get through it.The dad routine..i mean.With morrison, clark is just that cool old man who did some cool shit(lifting quintillion and punching the corrupt).who goes through the same shit you do(having fun time with the dog or feeling depressed/anxious about life).

    i was commenting about the original issue "what's so funny about truth,justice and american way".Even though bullying back the bully is Clark's forte.It was just plain paternalistic and boring talk about the industry.How heroes should all be "supermen" and " batmen" or whatever jl silverage characters..

    Humanity should sink or swim on their own.That's true.But,he is us.He is a champion.I just don't care for savior figure.A champion i can handle.A champion i believe lacks the condescension.A champion is just a dude trying to do the right thing.I don't really look "up in the sky" for a savior in general.I am more into "able to leap tall buildings" champion.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 07-24-2021 at 06:32 AM.
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  9. #639
    Extraordinary Member Hizashi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Oh! He does.Morrison might be the only one who can make me sit down and get through it.The dad routine..i mean.With morrison, clark is just that cool old man who did some cool shit(lifting quintillion and punching the corrupt).who goes through the same shit you do(having fun time with the dog or feeling depressed/anxious about life).

    i was commenting about the original issue "what's so funny about truth,justice and american way".Even though bullying back the bully is Clark's forte.It was just plain paternalistic and boring talk about the industry.How heroes should all be "supermen" and " batmen" or whatever jl silverage characters..

    Humanity should sink or swim on their own.That's true.But,he is us.He is a champion.I just don't care for savior figure.A champion i can handle.A champion i believe lacks the condescension.A champion is just a dude trying to do the right thing.I don't really look "up in the sky" for a savior in general.I am more into "able to leap tall buildings" champion.
    I didn't get that paternalism from "What's So Funny...", I remember really liking that issue when I read it a few years ago. I'll have to reread it soon.

    For me, Superman has done enough when he prevents world-ending catastrophes (Champion), I don't need Superman to get us to Mars (Savior).
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  10. #640
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hizashi View Post
    I didn't get that paternalism from "What's So Funny...", I remember really liking that issue when I read it a few years ago. I'll have to reread it soon.

    For me, Superman has done enough when he prevents world-ending catastrophes (Champion), I don't need Superman to get us to Mars (Savior).
    World ending catastrophe that happens twice a week in dc realm that has no meaning or even stakes..sure.. That's just not much of a champion.Have you watched that disney movie hercules?climax has hercules finally being this champion when he saves a girl that he has a stake in.Superman doesn't need to get us to mars.True.Superman can however work with us to get to mars or wherever.

    If ironman can champion "peace" and privatise it.Superman can do whatever.DC world ain't our world..
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 07-24-2021 at 09:50 AM.
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  11. #641
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hizashi View Post
    I didn't get that paternalism from "What's So Funny...", I remember really liking that issue when I read it a few years ago. I'll have to reread it soon.

    For me, Superman has done enough when he prevents world-ending catastrophes (Champion), I don't need Superman to get us to Mars (Savior).
    "Paternalistic" not so much (maybe in the acknowledgement that he's old fashioned and there's a new generation who questions him but he's still right), but the biggest flaw is how dishonestly it presents any criticism of Superman. From his ideological enemies immediately devolving to planning genocide, to his answer to questions of how he's not addressing systematic problems being "well, I'll just stop specific incidents again and again and again and never worry about the deeper causes", it's just Superman vs an strawman (admittedly with a very cool fight in the end and a thoroughly unearned but still great finishing speech).

  12. #642
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Morrison has never cared about “realism”, and you’re ignoring a lot of the context of why Clark is like this. He’s old and tired, weaker than he’s ever been, scared that his legacy will be one of failure. He’s blunt and direct because he doesn’t care about social niceties anymore, he’s also speaking to Manchester Black who doesn’t respect those either. He’s trying to get through to Manchester here and being direct as possible to try to crack Black’s cynical exterior.
    But, again, that's not really a character that's interesting to read about and one that doesn't really reflect how people act in real life. We can say that Morrison doesn't care about realism, but a lot of Morrison's dialogue is straight-up bad writing. It doesn't feel like things people would actually say and is clearly just a hamfisted attempt to say "ooh, Manchester is a rebel and Superman isn't."

    And for that matter, why is this Superman old? Again, this may not be the main Earth, but...I'm pretty sure that current continuity doesn't place Superman as being around for 50+ years. So, why was Superman apparently BFFs with JFK and training astronauts during the moon landing? A lot of the context you're pointing at here is stuff that doesn't make sense in the larger DCU context.

    He didn’t poison him it’s just water lol:

    He’s just a freaking drama queen throwing up because he’s mad Supes didn’t give him alcohol haha.
    Well, all I can say is that when I see a page like that last one in this issue, I tend to think that something nefarious has happened and it straight up looks like Superman spiked Manchester's drink with something.

    BUT, even going off of what you're saying, that's...not funny. It's a very poorly executed and ridiculous moment and, if Morrison was trying to be humorous here, well they absolutely failed at that. Again, it goes back to the same issue that causes the dialogue problem.

    I don't know ANYONE who would act like that in real life. To have a good story, the characters have to actually act like people, even if they are supposedly in extraordinary circumstances. That's writing 101.

    Indeed Black is a shallow person. That was exactly how he was characterized under Kelly and under Tomasi. For all his “punk” attitude, all he can think to do is murder people rather than tackle issues on a deeper more systemic level. In that regard Morrison is writing him in-character.
    Gonna disagree with you here. A lot of the stories told by Kelly including Action 775 and afterwards show that Manchester is an antagonist with a lot deep seated issues and complex motivations. He's not shallow, even if Morrison wants to write him as such.

    And Supes was the “order and obedience” guy in the “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, And American Way?” story, but I don’t see him as that here.
    Again, going to disagree, especially since Superman literally tells off Manchester at the end of that issue, saying that he will continue to fight for his dream of a world that has dignity, honor, and justice. That's literally him saying that he wants to see a world where everyone has dignity and everyone is respected, which sadly does not exist. That includes the villains that Manchester was ready to kill in the name of seeking "justice".

    He’s the “status quo” guy, the Action Comics social crusader who mellowed out and focused on supervillains, confident that humanity could solve their problems on their own, which is how Morrison wrote him in JLA. His shift in characterization is caused by him looking around and going “damn humanity really hasn’t gotten their **** together the way I hoped”. So now he’s asking himself how can he make a difference in a different way. A similar story I think would be looking at what Hickman did with the X-Men. After getting genocided so many times, they’ve finally decided to shake things up and stand up for themselves.
    I just don't think Morrison truly grasps what Superman is all about in writing this. I'm not knocking Morrison wanting to write a Superman fighting for his ideals. That IS a part of the character. And we all fight for our ideals to a certain extent. However, what I am knocking Morrison for is that they seem to think that Superman doesn't care about anything else OTHER than being the "Man of Tomorrow" and thinks it's "his place" to shepard humanity into the next age.

    And I know that comic book heroes are larger-than-life people. But...they're still people. Superman is no exception to that. And at the heart of Superman's character is that he doesn't see himself as "special" or "better" than anyone.

    And indeed, most of the best Superman stories focus on the conflict between how the WORLD sees Superman and how Clark really is. He is rightfully an inspiration for people in the DC Universe, but he doesn't have all the answers and he experiences just as much doubt as the rest of us.

    That's where I think a story like Action 775 succeeded where this one fails. In 775, Superman grapples with real doubts and real concerns about his role as a hero and wonders if he can live up to the image of how the world sees him and if that image even has a place in modern society. We also see that he cares about things in his life OTHER than being Superman, like say, his wife. That internal struggle is what lays the foundation for his confrontation with The Elite.

    Here, however, we get the sense that Clark cares ONLY about being Superman. That mission that JFK gives him in the opening pages literally defines his whole personality.

    But here Clark is grizzled, old, and world-weary, but he’s not giving up just yet. He hasn’t decided to go full Justice Lord or Injustice which would be the REAL cliche at this point. Personally I feel like the dichotomy DC has usually given us, that Clark can either be a passive observer or a full blown fascist, is in itself dishonest and caricature-ish. This seems to be going for a third route.
    What I was literally just talking about sort of touches on this. Morrison's Superman is a caricature not because of his demeanor, but because he's overly defined by one SINGLE aspect of his personality. Everything else has been stripped away and made irrelevant to how this character moves forward through life. I mean, can you really tell me what things in his personal life that this Superman cares about? Is Lois even around? What about Jon? What about his friends?

    This is a fun discussion, just so you know GG, I’m not pressed you didn’t like this story, I just loved the first issue and am eager to talk about it. This is much more entertaining than the usual arguments we get around here. Sorry Moz isn’t doing it for ya, but I think this set up a very engaging and entertaining story to come.
    And I'm not mad that you like it, either. I just don't think Morrison is truly interested in writing a story about a Superman who has human wants, desires, and concerns, which is a shame since most of us read and watch stories because we WANT to see the protagonists express and struggle with their wants, desires, and concerns.
    Last edited by Green Goblin of Sector 2814; 07-24-2021 at 12:23 PM.

  13. #643
    Incredible Member witchboy's Avatar
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    I can't help but think that Morrison I believe is a big fan of the Silver Age Superman, who was friends with JFK. There's a strange story back then where JFK wears a Clark Kent mask iirc to help him hide his secret identity, as Superman entrusted that secret to him.
    That also makes me think how that Superman was more committed to being Superman beyond anything else. He didn't allow himself to have much of a personal life, said he couldn't marry, because of his responsibilities. Which seems to resonate with how Morrison is writing him here.

  14. #644
    Fantastic Member The Frog Bros's Avatar
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    Does anyone think that Clark's counterpoint to Black's invasion of privacy claim is Morrison indirectly saying that they're okay with Clark being outed and not having the SI?

    You think privacy is still a thing, Mr. Black? In my experience, people are more than keen to share every moment of their lives with an online audience. Privacy, really...?
    "There is nothing quite so perfect as the exact way in which comics combine the word and image." --Alan Moore
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  15. #645
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    To me its more just acknowledging a piece of the reality of today's society. I'd have a hard time believing Morrison prefers no secret identity. I mean I could be wrong, no one's asked them yet and they haven't said, and if they do like it fair enough. But I don't really see that line as much an indicator of anything one way or another.
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