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  1. #76
    Astonishing Member Dispenser Of Truth's Avatar
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    Well. I certainly wasn't expecting an official DC title a few months ago where Superman, exposed as an immigrant, is told by a police officer that he isn't a 'real' member of the community like them good old boys who are so tired of being mistrusted and not worshiped like this damn lying outsider masquerading as normal, just because they use their power to keep the oppressed down and force them back in line the very moment no one's paying attention or there to defend them, and that they're going to force a confrontation illegally just to prove once and for all that they're unstoppable. No tricks, no mind control, no 'few bad seeds'. I was going to try and come up with a worst-case scenario for how simultaneously watered-down and mind bogglingly insensitive this could have been, but then I realized one of us just needs to email JMS and ask him how he would have done it.

    I don't know that this is my favorite of Pak's stuff thus far, but it's certainly the most important, and the Superman story of everything in the New 52 thus far other than some of Morrison's stuff most likely to be remembered as a crucial work. And that it's a Superman story it's taking place in is all the more important, not just because of the immigrant angle, but because it's Metropolis that Pak and Kuder are doing a story about systemic police brutality in. Gotham, sure things are awful there, because everything's awful there. But when it's a problem in the City of Tomorrow, there's no writing it off. And the whole "I can't fight, but I can stand with them" landed just on the right side of meta given the context.

    In any case, if there's any justice, this (more specifically the actual moment in the book, through I couldn't find that) will wind up an iconic image on par with, if not holding the flag aloft or breaking the Kryptonite chains, at least "Try again, Doc!" and "It tickles!"
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  2. #77
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    I want to keep this down-to-earth status for a few more issues (well, the shadow demons notwithstanding), but heaven help me if I wouldn't geek out if Superman is helped out of a jam by Baka riding on the back of Krypto.
    "They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son." - Jor-El

    "Now why don't we step up here and everybody get stepped up, and let's get some stepped up personal space up in this place." - Phillip Jacobs

  3. #78
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    Finally! I have escaped from the Phantom Zone!! I'm Free!!!!!

    So...what shall I do first? Take over a small podunk town, deface Mount Rushmore , and then challenge the son of my jailer to a fight in Metropolis.......or just Post about ACTION COMICS #42? Hmm.

    Anyhow....I have to say this is certainly one of the more memorable Superman issues in ages, and certainly one of the most memorable of the New 52/DC You era. Now, I won't and can't go as far as this being "OMG! THIS IS THE GREATEST SUPERMAN STORY EVAH!" or "This is the best Superman issue since Maggin!" or even as far as "The best Superman issue of the current era"...but it is still powerful stuff. Pak and Kuder are one heck of a team, a team I wish had been put on the character years ago and I hope stays for a long while yet.

    Although, I was a little surprised to see "Justice" on the cover. I wonder if the rest of the covers for this month will use that on the cover. If so, I guess that shoots down my theory the next cycle of this year long mega arc Post September will be called "JUSTICE".
    Last edited by manofsteel1979; 07-02-2015 at 04:59 AM.

  4. #79
    Mighty Member manduck37's Avatar
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    One of the things necessary to stay relevant, for any superhero, is a way to address the problems that the people of the day face. We certainly saw this with Golden Age Superman and now it seems we're seeing it again. This was a solid issue that actually showed us how Superman is still relevant and dealing with the issues of the day. I remember thinking that the Nu52 was a good opportunity to really play up the social crusader angle they were going for with Superman and now it seems they've finally come back around to it. Seeing Superman dealing with police looking to start a fight, the protests of the people in Kentville and the escalation was certainly a little shocking for a Superman book, but exactly what Superman needs.

    Now, if only they could keep playing with these themes when Superman is all powered up to his cosmic levels. I'd love to see a Darkseid or Mongul story arc where Superman has to deal with the issues of the oppressed slaves on the respective worlds of two intergalactic tyrants in addition to any invasion aspects of a story. So I really hope they keep this social crusader attitude and sensibility moving forward.

    While this may not have been the best issue of Action ever, it was certainly an important issue. This was the most powerful issue of Truth so far and I'm glad Pak and Kuder decided to tell this story. Plus, man that last page, just wow.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dispenser Of Truth View Post
    Well. I certainly wasn't expecting an official DC title a few months ago where Superman, exposed as an immigrant, is told by a police officer that he isn't a 'real' member of the community like them good old boys who are so tired of being mistrusted and not worshiped like this damn lying outsider masquerading as normal, just because they use their power to keep the oppressed down and force them back in line the very moment no one's paying attention or there to defend them, and that they're going to force a confrontation illegally just to prove once and for all that they're unstoppable. No tricks, no mind control, no 'few bad seeds'. I was going to try and come up with a worst-case scenario for how simultaneously watered-down and mind bogglingly insensitive this could have been, but then I realized one of us just needs to email JMS and ask him how he would have done it.

    I don't know that this is my favorite of Pak's stuff thus far, but it's certainly the most important, and the Superman story of everything in the New 52 thus far other than some of Morrison's stuff most likely to be remembered as a crucial work. And that it's a Superman story it's taking place in is all the more important, not just because of the immigrant angle, but because it's Metropolis that Pak and Kuder are doing a story about systemic police brutality in. Gotham, sure things are awful there, because everything's awful there. But when it's a problem in the City of Tomorrow, there's no writing it off. And the whole "I can't fight, but I can stand with them" landed just on the right side of meta given the context.

    In any case, if there's any justice, this (more specifically the actual moment in the book, through I couldn't find that) will wind up an iconic image on par with, if not holding the flag aloft or breaking the Kryptonite chains, at least "Try again, Doc!" and "It tickles!"
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  6. #81
    Mighty Member Ragdoll's Avatar
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    If we're discussing Superman as a metaphor for immigration, did anyone here read Brian K Vaughn's new series We Stand On Guard #1? A character gives a whole rant in it about how Superman was a metaphor for Canada. "See, America is like Metropolis, this whole wonderland that's mostly run by greedy b@#$%^&s like Lex Luthor. But we (Canada) are like the planet Krypton, this peaceful place that sends our most amazing people out into the universe, where they usually end up doing even more amazing stuff. It totally makes sense, right? Superman's a motherf$%^ing Canadian!" I was dying laughing, there's more to the rant but I can't be bothered to type an entire page out. Read the book, it's great, and from the writer of Saga.

  7. #82
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    I've noticed that in the people the disagree with this storyline the word 'edgy' gets thrown around a lot. Like this first commenter from scansdaily http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/5439938.html who calls the writing edgy. He of course can't back up his statements because he probably has no idea what he's talking about. Like I know scansdaily is notorious for having shit taste but but this is pretty bad.

    Then again this buzzword pops up like some kind of condiment for your article when you want to express your distaste without actually being able to articulate why you don't like it. Like in this article http://dccomicsnews.com/2015/07/02/r...ion-comics-42/

    I almost don’t know where to begin. Almost everything was awful. The mistiming of Action Comics and Superman is a huge editorial gaff. It’s almost comical. The portrayal of Clark seems way off. I get that this is a New Direction and sort of a soft reboot, but I had a hard time recognizing Superman in this issue. There were a few moments as he tries to convince the cops to back off, but not nearly enough to make me believe. His internal monologue is difficult to read. It just doesn’t ring true as Superman’s voice. The cops’ motivation was hard to understand as well. While I can imagine their frustration at feeling passed over by the public as the protectors of Metropolis in lieu of Superman, it’s such an alien concept to the Superman mythos, it just didn’t ring true. Maybe these guys are being mind controlled.
    Like what the hell is this guy on? The cops literally stepped out of the vehicle in MECH ARMOR, it's clear they weren't there to talk about anything. But you know what's hilarious about the whole thing is that Clark didn't even throw a single punch until the kid was in danger. This guys probably wants a Superman who just lets everything burn and pats himself on the back while cuddling up under Lois like some kind of mentally vacant clown; then he'll read true to Superman. Also anyone that thinks the idea that Superman wouldn't get a ton of flack from the public for being different is living on a bizarro Earth, we're blowing each other apart for looking different, having different religions, etc there is no way a guy from space was just going to get unanimous love. There is no proof for it in the history of man regardless of what he looks like.

    Like why do people want a Superman who's attitude towards life is "Your problems aren't my problems therefore I shouldn't have to deal with them". Why would anyone want a Superman like that, what good would he be.
    Last edited by The World; 07-02-2015 at 08:14 AM.
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  8. #83
    Reader of Stuff Hilden B. Lade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The World View Post
    I've noticed that in the people the disagree with this storyline the word 'edgy' gets thrown around a lot. Like this first commenter from scansdaily http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/5439938.html who calls the writing edgy. He of course can't back up his statements because he probably has no idea what he's talking about. Like I know scansdaily is notorious for having shit taste but but this is pretty bad.

    Like why do people want a Superman who's attitude towards life is "Your problems aren't my problems therefore I shouldn't have to deal with them". Why would anyone want a Superman like that, what good would he be.
    scansdaily upset about something? You don't say...

    I guess some people just don't want uncomfortable real world issues tackled in their capes & tights books.

  9. #84
    Fantastic Member MeloDet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HsssH View Post
    I probably should have expanded a bit in my first post. Anyway, Superman's parents are Americans, he was raised by them since he was a baby. He becomes aware of different culture only when he becomes Superman and finds fortress of solitude. Only select few people know of his heritage, Clark Kent is never persecuted by anyone. Clark Kent fits into society perfectly, only quirk being his clumsiness which is actually faked by Clark. Literally nobody asides of Clark himself and select few friends know that he is not your regular American.

    And I completely disagree with Clark Kent being his acceptable name. Bruce Wayne is a mask for Batman, Superman is a mask for Clark Kent.
    I think it's important to note that in Superlad's post he's discussing the original creators' intent, and that their Superman is very much the real person. Even if he weren't, the line about Clark Kent being his "safe name" doesn't mean that he isn't the real person, just that it's the anglicized name he uses to fit in.

    Regardless of which interpretation you prefer, it's pretty much undeniable that the immigrant aspect was an important part of Siegel & Schuster's vision. He originally had powers considerably earlier than he did in Byrne's version and I think he had at least a vague idea of his heritage as well. It was only with Byrne's version that the immigrant angle was down played (if not outright removed). This was of course because John Byrne, as an immigrant Englishman, knew all about the immigrant experience /s.

    I was born in England, and I am proud of my English heritage (I was also quite a lot older than Kal-El when I left “home,” so my connections would be stronger) but I grew up in Canada and I have lived for the last 25 years in the US, and I don’t ever, ever, feel like a “displaced Englishman.”
    Clark would be proud, too, of his Kryptonian heritage, but later portrayals of him have tried to shoehorn in too much of the pychobabble of adopted children longing for and seeking out their biological parents. Excuse my French, but to me, they fall under the heading of “ungrateful little shits.”
    Clark grew up as human, thinks as a human, reacts as a human. He lives and loves as a human. And that is what really defines him.

  10. #85
    Astonishing Member HsssH's Avatar
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    Good point, in this case I'm probably more pro-Byrne than S&S.

  11. #86
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    I liked seeing that cop get wrecked at the end. That made this whole issue worth it.

    Really good issue in terms of ideas and boldness, weak in the execution but that's to be expected with ACTION COMICS. Worth getting for damn sure, anyway.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 07-02-2015 at 05:58 PM.
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  12. #87
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HsssH View Post
    I never liked Superman as a metaphor on immigration since he was safely hidden behind his white skin and pair of glasses, we would get "I don't fit in" lines from time to time, but for me it always felt like self induced pity.
    But with his public identity being revealed its completely different game, people are hating him because he is alien, because he "causes" problems, because he makes police feel irrelevant (also touched in Morrison's issues where some construction worker asks how he is supposed to compete) and he lost 99% of his powers so people are not afraid to show their anger, which probably has slowly been building up since Superman appeared for the first time.
    In what way did Superman's identity need to be exposed in order for him to be hated and hunted as an alien?

  13. #88
    Spadassin Extraordinaire Auguste Dupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane View Post
    In what way did Superman's identity need to be exposed in order for him to be hated and hunted as an alien?
    In the way that he can't put his glasses back on, pretend he's not an alien, and have these issues not affecting him until the next Superman adventure where he likely won't have the down time for these issues to really impact him.
    You might argue that the scenes in this issue might have happened either way (although that would be ignoring that the whole Kentville situation exists because his identity has been revealed), but I don't see how you can argue that removing the ability to "pass" as a regular human being doesn't change anything when it comes to the way people who fear and hatet him act on their fear and hatred.
    Glasses Clark wouldn't have been attacked by the bullies from Alaska. He wouldn't have to defend himself from cyber neonazis. Without his identity, he can't escape from the way people feel about his "otherness" , in good or bad.
    Hold those chains, Clark Kent
    Bear the weight on your shoulders
    Stand firm. Take the pain.

  14. #89
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    Also, a metaphore doesn't have to be 100% accurate to work.
    Well, then, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I'm not okay with exploiting the experience of an ordinary, martyred, black man whose people in America have been enslaved and discriminated against for centuries as a result of institutionalized racism, fueled by hate for that which is perceived as inferior, to Superman. If the creators wanted to tell a story about the immigrant experience, then use events that correspond with the immigrant experience instead of appropriating the experiences of another population. I appreciated the overall message of the issue, but Pak's use (misuse) of a scene that was promoted as "ripped from the headlines" does not sit right with me.
    Last edited by misslane; 07-02-2015 at 10:36 AM.

  15. #90
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    In the way that he can't put his glasses back on, pretend he's not an alien, and have these issues not affecting him until the next Superman adventure where he likely won't have the down time for these issues to really impact him.
    You might argue that the scenes in this issue might have happened either way (although that would be ignoring that the whole Kentville situation exists because his identity has been revealed), but I don't see how you can argue that removing the ability to "pass" as a regular human being doesn't change anything when it comes to the way people who fear and hatet him act on their fear and hatred.
    Glasses Clark wouldn't have been attacked by the bullies from Alaska. He wouldn't have to defend himself from cyber neonazis. Without his identity, he can't escape from the way people feel about his "otherness" , in good or bad.
    Yes, but stories still could have and are told about Superman being the victim of anti-alien and anti-superhero sentiments when he has his secret identity in place, and people could have gathered in support of Superman in a place like Times Square if Clark's neighborhood wouldn't work without the ID reveal. Even the fact he has a glasses disguise is a way to tell the story of a person, like other immigrants, who feels he or she has to hide and assimilate by adopting the behaviors and attire of the new culture.

    The reason why removing Clark's ability to pass as white is irrelevant to the real life parallels in this issue is that passing as white is something that affects victims of racism more than victims of xenophobia. Clark is not hated any more now than when people knew him as Superman because his secret identity was revealed. He was an alien then and he's an alien now. His inability to escape hatred by passing as Clark leaves him vulnerable to xenophobia. People fear him because his is an unknown other. Racism is systemic oppression and prejudice as a result of one group perceiving themselves superior to another group.

    Superman is not a victim of racism in the same way that the people of Ferguson, Charleston, and Baltimore were victims of racism. Those people were attacked, in part, because the white people in society believed themselves to be superior to black people. They were attacked and oppressed for no reason. Clark as an outed alien is not being attacked or oppressed because he is perceived as inferior. He's being attacked because he's a superpowered alien who actually did deceive the public by writing unethical stories as a journalist and who did actually bring death and destruction to places and people associated with him. His experiences are not analogous to the black American experience. Superman isn't an all-purpose stand-in for any oppressed group by nature of his alien heritage (imagine him representing women who experience sexism, for instance).
    Last edited by misslane; 07-02-2015 at 11:02 AM.

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