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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Unfortunately, Birthright was also the start of the never-ending reboot of Superman's origin that has never really stopped. In the 18 years since Birthright ended (and it ended 18 years after MOS...go figure!) we've had Secret Origins, the New 52, and whatever the current post-Reborn version is (that I guess is mostly Secret Origins?) which has also flip-flopped a bit on elements such as whether the Kent's are alive or dead and whether Clark knew the LOSH.
    I have often said that the only way for DC to get out of this mess would be a year-long Superman maxiseries (similar to 52) which would retell everything about the character from the origin to current days, finally establishing what's canon and what isn't (the length would be more or less the same as Byrne's original run on Supes). It's not that there isn't material which can't be revamped by the way - it is actually surprising that no one ever proposed an updated version of the first encounter between Lex and Superman from the Golden Age, when Lex was a mastermind and a warmonger flying around in a steampunk-style airship.
    Of course, it will never happen, firstly because DC isn't interested in doing it, and secondly because even if they did it they would be way more interested in putting as much effort as they can in trying to find a way to reconcile every possible version of stories from the Golden Age or the Silver Age instead of telling their own story, with its own identity. Say what you will about the Triangle Era, but at least - while Simonson and Jurgens were still on board - they tried to tell what they had in mind, instead of banking of nostalgia.
    Educational town, Rolemodel city and Moralofthestory land are the places where good comics go to die.

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  2. #47
    Golux Kurt Busiek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    The story I had in mind was a two-page back-up of Luthor's origin with some variations on the classic theme (Lex son of two Metropolis socialites, moves to Smallville to live with his aunt Lena). The artist was Andy Clarke and yes - it appeared in Countdown to Final Crisis 34 - not in 52 as I originally thought. I think that it would pave the way for a Luthor mini whose title was supposed to be Luthor: Strange Visitor. Love your work, by the way.
    I remember the LUTHOR: STRANGE VISITOR thing now! Yeah, it was that, rather than the big origin thing. I don't remember if that was a mini-series or a one-shot, but either way, DC couldn't manage to approve anything.

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  3. #48
    Golux Kurt Busiek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    I'm curious, what were you guys told about this? Were you told this was to be his new origin? Did everyone just sit down and hash out how it was going to work? Did management just come in and say one day "This is his new origin and you have to work around it"?
    I think I consulted on it, at least -- "Aunt Lena" sounds like something I'd have contributed -- but I don't remember the details any more.

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  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Byrne’s origin is steeped in the Cold War, it’s not timeless compared to what Batman had in Year One.
    I've always thought this. Out of the big three, the only reboot that was praised by the entire fanbase of the character at the time was Batman's. And I also think it left the biggest impact both in continuity (modern stories still reference it) and to the general public as a whole since most adaptations look to the story as an inspiration.

    As for BR, itself, it's really the only Superman origin story since CRISIS that I've actually cared the least bit for.
    Keep in mind that you have about as much chance of changing my mind as I do of changing yours.

  5. #50
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    Great topic. In my opinion? Mark Waid being a mercurial, whiny dude who tried to mash not only silver age elements with the post-crisis continuity and pretend like he was doing us some favor, but the Smallville tv show elements especially really soured me. If it was just his own thing like an Ultimate title I wouldn't have minded so much, but he jammed so much Smallville crap in there- to the point of them drawing the characters to look like the actors- that it came off as a tad bit hypocritical. I also did not like the art and Yu's weird long sideburns on Clark, it looked so wrong. It also came out at a weird time when DC wouldn't commit, but Waid was at his arguable weirdest with the whole debacle on Fantastic Four at the time where he had the hissy fit and quit rather than implement Jemas's changes, and acted less than gracious about it even when fandom was on his side. I never exactly thought Waid was Alan Moore or Grant Morrison in terms of writer stardom, so the fact that he got this whole long maxi-series sold on the fact that it was MARK WAID'S Superman rubbed me the wrong way. I think most people didn't really care or the see the hook/ reason for it to exist, and the sales were less than what DC intended. A more solid premise other than "Waid gets to tell his dream origin story that isn't really in continuity," with a better artist, would have helped. But that thing just seemed ENDLESS when it was coming out, the art just turning me off more than the writing by the end. I did like the final scene with Jor-el and Lara though.

    In general I just could not understand the utter fetish Dc writers had for that Smallville show... some of them were positively fanatical about it and inserting as much of it into the comics as they could. I never really found it too faithful, the writing laughably bad and hokey, and those actors were for the most part about as far from the character they were playing as humanly possible. "Michael Rosenbaum is the best Lex" was practically a message board meme... he looked, sounded and acted nothing like Luthor, he was basically just playing Harry Osborn. I think most people began and ended at him being bald.

  6. #51
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil1 View Post
    In general I just could not understand the utter fetish Dc writers had for that Smallville show...
    Superman was culturally relevant with a new audience for the first time since the 80's (early 90's if you count Lois & Clark) as Smallville was a big hit outside of his usual domain of the comic book niche and children's cartoons. DC hoped it would pull in a new audience of comic book readers so you can't blame them for trying to incorporate parts back into the comics.
    Theorising that it could travel within its own timeline, DC stepped into the Crisis accelerator and vanished. DC awoke to find itself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not its own, and driven by editorial to change history *for the better* *to be more cohesive* *Silver Age nostalgia* *for the sake of it*. And so DC finds itself leaping from Crisis to Crisis, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that the next leap will be to a perfect DC Universe…

  7. #52
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post
    Superman was culturally relevant with a new audience for the first time since the 80's (early 90's if you count Lois & Clark) as Smallville was a big hit outside of his usual domain of the comic book niche and children's cartoons. DC hoped it would pull in a new audience of comic book readers so you can't blame them for trying to incorporate parts back into the comics.
    Yeah. This. I don't think it was an altogether bad idea to freshen up the origin a bit and bring a little bit of the Smallville audience over to the comics. It was just the way that it was done, which was DiDio tossing it willy nilly into the existing continuity without any crisis like story tied to explaining the changes and ultimately not committing to it and then saying "they both count" before wiping it all away again within three years for a vague non origin following Infinite Crisis.

    I was recently thumbing through my OUR WORLDS AT WAR omnibus recently and it occurred to me that the ending where imperiex and Brainiac are sent back in time to cause the big bang could have easily been used to explain the retooled origin for Superman. Yes the story happened in 2001 and the Birthright series didn't show up until 2003, but it would have been an easy way to explain any changes. It was right there to be used and no one bothered to do it. Would have made more sense then the non-explanation where Superman "fell" into the Birthright continuity in Superman vol.2. #200.

    In any case, Smallville even with its foibles , managed to be more consistent and entertaining than most of the Superman comics DC was publishing between 2004-2011. At least for me anyway.
    Last edited by manofsteel1979; 01-20-2022 at 05:09 AM.
    When it comes to comics,one person's "fan-service" is another persons personal cannon. So by definition it's ALL fan service. Aren't we ALL fans?
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  8. #53
    Extraordinary Member HsssH's Avatar
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    Do we really need a crisis every time writers want to change or update origin? That sounds like it is just creating another set of problems.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post
    Superman was culturally relevant with a new audience for the first time since the 80's (early 90's if you count Lois & Clark) as Smallville was a big hit outside of his usual domain of the comic book niche and children's cartoons. DC hoped it would pull in a new audience of comic book readers so you can't blame them for trying to incorporate parts back into the comics.
    This is true. I think the creator who rubbed me the wrong way about it, mores than Waid, was actually Alex Ross... he LOVED Smallville to an almost fanatical degree. Yet here he is refusing to work for DC anymore because of the New 52 with the collars, and that's been gone for 6 years. The impression I mainly got, and perhaps the point I was making, was that if something brought the Silver Age back into modern Superman, Waid and Alex (and then Johns) were all for it. But Smallville was even less faithful to the Silver Age than the mainline DCU comics, it was more of a riff on the Spider-Man movie so they were just kidding themselves... they hate the modern DC movies passionately yet not only loved this show, it kept making its way into their work. And Birthright was basically Smallville transplanted into the comics, as silly and hypocritical as that idea may be.

  10. #55
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    I can't speak for whatever went on behind the scenes that may or may not have impacted Waid's story. And I'm not gonna comment on how Birthright got smashed into the main continuity despite not making any sense.

    For me, the first half of Birthright is probably the best origin Clark has. It covers a lot of his methodology and characterization and provides motivation and reasoning behind a lot of the formation of Superman.

    But it all falls apart in the second half; the big debut battle being against a imaginary army of Kryptonian invaders is just.....what the crap kind of threat is that? And once the costume is on, I feel like everything clever Waid was doing got set aside for something that was a rather generic and bland version of Superman, without the unique angles that Waid had worked into the first half of the story.
    "We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

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  11. #56
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    I don't know what actually happened around the series, I can only speak for the series itself and in that regard, I will only say this:

    Waid's Luthor is probably one of the worst interpretations of the character ever.

  12. #57
    Ultimate Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HsssH View Post
    Do we really need a crisis every time writers want to change or update origin? That sounds like it is just creating another set of problems.
    The insistence of DC Fandom that we need a big event to change continuity or to update origins is indeed part of the problem DC faces.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rakzo View Post
    I don't know what actually happened around the series, I can only speak for the series itself and in that regard, I will only say this:

    Waid's Luthor is probably one of the worst interpretations of the character ever.
    This is fascinating to me, mind saying why? I think Waid’s Lex is great personally.
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  13. #58
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HsssH View Post
    Do we really need a crisis every time writers want to change or update origin? That sounds like it is just creating another set of problems.
    It depends on how the origin is updated. If you're changing major events that render entire past plotlines impossible, then you need some kind of something to justify that in-story. "Reborn," for instance, isn't a "Crisis" per se, but it shows why his history changed.

    Part of the fun of the Post-Crisis & Triangle Eras was that you could see things happening and know what the reference is because you know the history. DC just took a blowtorch to it because their management lacks a brain.

    If they'd been smart, Birthright would have been an "Ultimate" style continuity. As it is, it's fine in parts, but just one of the giant pile of origins from that era of Superman.
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  14. #59
    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HsssH View Post
    Do we really need a crisis every time writers want to change or update origin? That sounds like it is just creating another set of problems.
    In this particular case, I would say yes. This wasn't a case of adding to what was already there, this was a case of outright replacing it with something completely different. There needed to be some sort of reconciliation between what was already there and it was replacing it.
    #RestoretheDonnerverse

  15. #60
    Extraordinary Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    Okay so I'm going crazy, I knew that Johns had Luthor in Smallville too, I never knew of Secret Files and I remember 52 with it's differences and just thought it was artistic license.

    It's kinda crazy that even before the constant rebooting DC continually changed Superman's origins without any clear direction, it truly is a choose your own adventure style reading and choose your own head canon

    Thanks for info, very informative. This thread is bringing back some old memories during this time.
    2003 is NOT the first use of the idea Clark met Lex as teens. This was an aspect of the old Superfriends origin of Lex Luthor. Lex was POed at Superman(well SuperBOY) because Lex's hair was lost permanently in a lab accident.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOsYaQ775BM
    And that was from 1978. Yeah as a teen I was like "hunh?" I had no idea if it was from a comic book or not. Still don't know, because this was made before I was born and IF inspired by a comic book it's one I've never read.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thor-Ul View Post
    Since Superboy #271 (1947). Birthright just put it back in continuity, because Smallville made it work beyond the basic feud.
    Or it's that. Part of why I scratched my head at the Superfriends version is that... DCAU was on air as new release and didn't do that.

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