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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlad93 View Post
    Somewhere along the line I think I phrased it wrong. But yeah it wasn't the fact that he punch a cop but the fact that he was playing into Binghamton's hands. That's why he felt shame.



    Yeah I completely agree. I thought it was quite clever and pretty ambitious. It's cool and imaginative update to the golden age idea of Superman in a post Scott Pilgrim and post indie comics boom world.
    For me, beyond the aesthetic (also important), the reason why Pak's (and Morrison's, who he follows) Superman stories are succeeding are very much because they Begin in these sorts of Golden Age crusader beats but then very quickly, conspiratorially first, then rapidly, become Silver Age sci-fi allegories. The morality play stays the same, but it evolves from Golden Age crusading and journalism and standing up for the little guy into you know ... space battles. Shadow monsters. Shrink rays. A.I. running rampant. Time travel. Higher dimensions.

    That's literally all I ever want out of Superman. For the stories to start out with him dealing with some real street level common man stuff, then for shit to get WEIRD. I don't mind a little holistic viewpoint either, where both concepts modulate back and forth, the way All-Star Superman was steeped in the weirdness but always took time to do a couple street level angles. (or as "grounded" as Superman gets, like Luthor in Stryker's Island or something). The common man in these stories, or the street level villains, are very often being influenced by crazy cosmic forces that they don't understand. And that goes way back, although I honestly can't think of a better example than Kirby's Intergang.
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  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by K. Jones View Post
    For me, beyond the aesthetic (also important), the reason why Pak's (and Morrison's, who he follows) Superman stories are succeeding are very much because they Begin in these sorts of Golden Age crusader beats but then very quickly, conspiratorially first, then rapidly, become Silver Age sci-fi allegories. The morality play stays the same, but it evolves from Golden Age crusading and journalism and standing up for the little guy into you know ... space battles. Shadow monsters. Shrink rays. A.I. running rampant. Time travel. Higher dimensions.

    That's literally all I ever want out of Superman. For the stories to start out with him dealing with some real street level common man stuff, then for shit to get WEIRD.
    This site really needs to invest in a "up vote" or "like" function because this sh!t right here would have me mashing it! I couldn't agree more! I've really just been stumbling around this whole time trying to articulate this very thought. Pak has hit his stride here if you ask me. The idea of giving corruption, bigotry, and mindless conformity a face and form that Superman can now punch and we can fear. Those ideas are scary and they might as well be monsters that we all (as Superman points out) have to stand up to. We all have to be Superman.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlad93 View Post
    This site really needs to invest in a "up vote" or "like" function because this sh!t right here would have me mashing it! I couldn't agree more! I've really just been stumbling around this whole time trying to articulate this very thought. Pak has hit his stride here if you ask me. The idea of giving corruption, bigotry, and mindless conformity a face and form that Superman can now punch and we can fear. Those ideas are scary and they might as well be monsters that we all (as Superman points out) have to stand up to. We all have to be Superman.
    Superman should't need a face and form to punch, though -- or at least it feels reductive if he does. Superman can and should be willing to stand with the downtrodden against the complicated, the formless, the controversial. Needing to render complex problems into a form Superman can deal with narrows a character and concept that should need to be narrowed. And while I'm generally fond the idea of ground-level stories giving way to cosmic wackiness, and appreciate the holistic approach, there are times in which it feels like paying homage for the sake of it, rather than being willing to invest in the truly contemporary. In most stories, that's a joy. Here we had a build up to something different that gave way to the familiar.

    I don't think this is a bad story line, and even in my disappointment, there's nuance to the story and levels in which it continues to address systematic problems while still rending both sides, police and protesters, as real people, which they are. But I can't help but feel the whole thing still feels a bit toothless, and I don't think it takes anything away from Pak and Kuder's finely crafted superhero comics to call it out as such.

    This is ... fine. But it was almost great.
    Last edited by Cipher; 08-31-2015 at 04:07 PM.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
    Superman should't need a face and form to punch, though -- or at least it feels reductive if he does. Superman can and should be willing to stand with the downtrodden against the complicated, the formless, the controversial. Needing to render complex problems into a form Superman can deal with narrows a character and concept that should need to be narrowed. And while I'm generally fond the idea of ground-level stories giving way to cosmic wackiness, and appreciate the holistic approach, there are times in which it feels like paying homage for the sake of it, rather than being willing to invest in the truly contemporary. In most stories, that's a joy. Here we had a build up to something different that gave way to the familiar.

    I don't think this is a bad story line, and even in my disappointment, there's nuance to the story and levels in which it continues to address systematic problems while still rending both sides, police and protesters, as real people, which they are. But I can't help but feel the whole thing still feels a bit toothless, and I don't think it takes anything away from Pak and Kuder's finely crafted superhero comics to call it out as such.

    This is ... fine. But it was almost great.
    I feel where you're coming from, and I myself really do appreciate and enjoy Superman stories that go up against issue in a more naked and true to life manner. But I don't think simply because a story fully reflects real life, that it make it a great story. I not saying that the story couldn't have been better (or even worse) I'm just saying that the realistic "string" that a photo realistic story makes us feel doesn't automatically make it a great story.

    So what it seems we come to eventually is a taste issue, and the fact that the story didn't go the way you'd envisioned in your head once you made the links to real life. I don't think this makes the story at had inherently less at all. It just means that it just circumvented your expectations and now half of you is judging it for what it's not rather than what it is, ya know. And please don't get me wrong I'm not saying you dislike this story or hate it (I read what you said).

    I'd argue that the build up was so you'd feel what real life touchstones to look at while you read. Issue 42 can be read almost like a cheat sheet.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlad93 View Post
    So what it seems we come to eventually is a taste issue, and the fact that the story didn't go the way you'd envisioned in your head once you made the links to real life. I don't think this makes the story at had inherently less at all. It just means that it just circumvented your expectations and now half of you is judging it for what it's not rather than what it is, ya know. And please don't get me wrong I'm not saying you dislike this story or hate it (I read what you said).
    Fair enough. The only caveat I want to add is that I don't think this is a case of the story simply not taking the direction I wanted, but it not matching the direction set up or hinted at by the ending of #42 (and if you recall, that issue got buzz outside the normal comics sphere). Perhaps in collected form the disconnect will be less obvious, playing as one fluid scene, but with a month to pause on and discuss the implications of #42, the reveal at the beginning of #43 has a hard time not feeling like it's shying away. That's the reality of serialized fiction. Don't write a check you can't cash, or expect the impact of the story to be affected if you do.

    But I don't think simply because a story fully reflects real life, that it make it a great story.
    Oh, I don't think so either. But I feel it would've been on the right track -- at least nearer than where we ended up, which can at most be a solid Superman story. We're so close to a Superman with relevant edge, something I feel should be built into the character but has been missing for decades, that I'm eager to see anything fully commit.
    Last edited by Cipher; 08-31-2015 at 05:48 PM.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
    Fair enough. The only caveat I want to add is that I don't think this is a case of the story simply not taking the direction I wanted, but it not matching the direction set up or hinted at by the ending of #42 (and if you recall, that issue got buzz outside the normal comics sphere). Perhaps in collected form the disconnect will be less obvious, playing as one fluid scene, but with a month to pause on and discuss the implications of #42, the reveal at the beginning of #43 has a hard time not feeling like it's shying away. That's the reality of serialized fiction. Don't write a check you can't cash, or expect the impact of the story to be affected if you do.
    We juxtaposed the shadow monster against the police readying to steamroll Clark's block. Then an issue before that we learn that the mystery voice in the jerk cop's ear is linked to the shadow creature in some way. I maintain that Pak both built to this and allowed issue 42 to stand on it's own and yet link everything together thematically. It's not like he blindsided us with the shadow creatures. When they weren't shown they were being talk about as some of the trouble Clark brings with him. I maintain that Pak used issue 42 to bring us up for air so we could know where all the allegory was coming from. Then he dipped us back into the realm of the dreaming.

    I never saw it as false advertising.


    Oh, I don't think so either. But I feel it would've been on the right track -- at least nearer than where we ended up,
    But that can just be attributed to taste. Someone could just as easily think that refining this approach or a whole other approach is the road to a great story and maybe a more contemporary take, and they'd be equally as valid.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
    Superman should't need a face and form to punch, though -- or at least it feels reductive if he does. Superman can and should be willing to stand with the downtrodden against the complicated, the formless, the controversial. Needing to render complex problems into a form Superman can deal with narrows a character and concept that should need to be narrowed. And while I'm generally fond the idea of ground-level stories giving way to cosmic wackiness, and appreciate the holistic approach, there are times in which it feels like paying homage for the sake of it, rather than being willing to invest in the truly contemporary. In most stories, that's a joy. Here we had a build up to something different that gave way to the familiar.

    I don't think this is a bad story line, and even in my disappointment, there's nuance to the story and levels in which it continues to address systematic problems while still rending both sides, police and protesters, as real people, which they are. But I can't help but feel the whole thing still feels a bit toothless, and I don't think it takes anything away from Pak and Kuder's finely crafted superhero comics to call it out as such.

    This is ... fine. But it was almost great.
    This is essentially how I feel about the arc as well. The whole idea of DCYou was to do something different. Having Superman tackle an issue that affects us in the real world would have done that. It certainly would have been more authentic to the Golden Age feel of the story. Superman's creators had him deal with real world issues that they couldn't do anything about. We had that opportunity here, yet it feels wasted. Instead of giving Superman a dramatic problem that he can't solve with violence, we're simply presented with another monster to punch out. Making the corruption more literal than abstract really detracted from the story for me. It was an opportunity to do some solid character work and make Superman relevant. Instead we get more of a "monster of the month". It left a bad taste in my mouth. My assessment of the entire "Truth" story line, in all the books, essentially boils down to wasted opportunity. It was disappointing for me to see Action fall into that category.

    Granted, there is absolutely nothing wrong "monster of the month" style stories or just crazy superhero adventures. They're a lot of fun. In this case, we just got so close to something truly unique and special that I think the arc was squandered a bit.

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