Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Metropolis USA
    Posts
    4,220

    Default Does DC know how to write a single Superman anymore?

    With the New 52 Superman dead and his previous incarnation taking over for him, the first issue out of the gate looks better than anything they've put out in the last three years! Which begs the question, do the PTB at DC even know how to write for a single Superman anymore? Do they need him to be married in order to make him work? Is this an age thing? Are all the people working at DC a bunch of old married guys and are therefore unable to write for a single, young, Superman? Or has the age of comic readers gone up so much that writing for a younger generation is just pointless? There is an infamous quote from Dan Didio saying something along the lines of "we write comics for 45 year olds!" or something like that. In other words, they are middle aged guys writing for themselves. So is that why Nuperman failed? Because they didn't want to be writing for him in the first place? They wanted one closer to their own age?

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member adrikito's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Gotham City
    Posts
    6,877

    Default

    As I have seen now the things change.

    Eventually new and young fans stop entering the Superman comics and his comics again have problems(was that his problem before the post-flashpoint?), the old readers not always be here..and there are some old fans as Sacred Knight who have no interest in superdad and less in his marriage.

    with everything my respect.. I have no interest in the old superman and I do not care the age.. For example I prefer Deathstroke as an old man.

    1. This character delay my reading of superman in new 52 because I had no interest in him(after read old comics of cousins).. It took me a while to see both as something different characters.
    2. My superman had to disappear for his return.. Then I discovered that values more the character than his title... although it was nice to have elements of the world of superman with my character.
    3. I had interest in their relationship with wonderwoman because it was something new.. and both are different from ordinary people.. although I had accepted again his relationship with lois to avoid rebirth
    4. I'm interested in a free superman .. No marriage .. His friends and the world were his only commitment.

    SINGLE SUPERMAN? MAYBE EARTH 1.. Unfortunately .. These comics are very very slow.
    Last edited by adrikito; 06-17-2016 at 08:17 AM.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member manduck37's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,095

    Default

    Sure they know how to write a single Superman. Plenty of creative teams who are married have successfully written New 52 Superman. Actually, it was a mandate from on high that Superman be single and plenty of writers prefer to write him as a single guy, like Millar (since he came up in another thread). So any failures of the New 52 Superman certainly don't come from his relationship status, as DC preferred to write him that way. If anything, it seems like the fans prefer he be married to Lois, as DC went back to the married version when the single version didn't seem to make it.

    It's also worth pointing out that marriage isn't some old person thing. It's not like you retired from you job, head off to the old folks home and then think about marriage. Plenty of young people get married all the time. Marriage isn't some kind of mark of age or a signal beacon for the grim reaper. People in the 20's or even at 18 or 19 get married too. In rare cases, even younger. Falling in love isn't something only old people do. So I have no idea why there is this huge bias in the comic community against marriage. It makes no sense. It doesn't limit the story in any way. It can add to the supporting cast with the spouse's family, mutual friends, possibly children and all sorts of people. Remember when Superman was only interested in Lois and they weren't dating yet? She would get into trouble. He would save her. She would uncover stories and he would battle aliens and robots. All that good stuff. Remember what happened when they got married? She would get into trouble. He would save her. She would uncover stories and he would battle aliens and robots. All that good stuff. Hey, wait a minute. It's like them being married didn't impact the fun of the comic at all and yet they were allowed to progress like actual characters! When Superman slipped on his wedding band, he didn't suddenly have white hair and a walker. He didn't just retire from being a superhero because he's married.

    Superman has been single far longer than he's been married, in all the years he's been around. So having a younger, single Superman isn't actually anything new. It's not a bold new direction for the character. It's a regression to his status quo for the majority of his existence. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say they are going with the married version of him to actually try something new. Plus in the films and other media, he was either married to or pursuing Lois Lane. So it could be a synergy thing. Who knows?

    When I was a kid, seeing Superman in a relationship or even married never turned me away from his books. Kids don't care if a hero is married. They want to see the hero do cool things and fight bad guys. It seems like only the older fans are concerned if he's married. As a kid, Superman getting married just made sense. It's one of the things adults do and Superman is an adult. It didn't keep me from enjoying his stories. He still lifted impossibly heaving things and saved the world from cosmic threats. That was cool. Married superheroes don't keep kids away from comics. Bad stories keep kids away from comics. They aren't mutually exclusive, but they are automatically the same either. If Superman married Wonder Woman (which he was planning on doing, by the way) it wouldn't have kept me away from Superman books either.

  4. #4
    Incredible Member suemorphplus209's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Someplace where there's many, many, trees...
    Posts
    850

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    With the New 52 Superman dead and his previous incarnation taking over for him, the first issue out of the gate looks better than anything they've put out in the last three years! Which begs the question, do the PTB at DC even know how to write for a single Superman anymore? Do they need him to be married in order to make him work? Is this an age thing? Are all the people working at DC a bunch of old married guys and are therefore unable to write for a single, young, Superman? Or has the age of comic readers gone up so much that writing for a younger generation is just pointless? There is an infamous quote from Dan Didio saying something along the lines of "we write comics for 45 year olds!" or something like that. In other words, they are middle aged guys writing for themselves. So is that why Nuperman failed? Because they didn't want to be writing for him in the first place? They wanted one closer to their own age?
    Well for New 52, they drove a prolonged stupid story for him, similar to the stupid, boring stories, IMHO that were WONK and Grounded, and others before that which occurred. That's what really hurt Superman, not so much his relationship status. As for the rest, well, I do prefer him to be in the age range of 20s-30s, regardless of the relationship status, and I do want him to be the star of the work. I feel like he's something which should be timeless and multigenerational.
    Last edited by suemorphplus209; 06-17-2016 at 09:43 AM.

  5. #5
    Never Giving Up! GreenLanternRanger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Don't Know Anymore
    Posts
    3,117

    Default

    I'm sure DC could write Superman anyway they wanted him, but as said, kids don't care if a superhero is single or married, and really we shouldn't either. What matters is getting good stories from characters we like. And so far Superdad has done that.
    There's a Time For Peace, and Then There's a Time To Punch Nazi Scumbags in the Face!!

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    16,797

    Default

    They don't know how to write any Superman anymore, outside a few select writers, whom outside of Morrison have no creative freedoms anyway so its rather moot. That's why for about 20 years now the best Superman tales have come in out-of-continuity projects. More freedom there.

    Anyway, I don't think the age of the staff and that most are married has really anything to do with it. In fact I'm still of the opinion most have no desire whatsoever to do much with the concept of a married Superman. What they want is Jon, not the marriage. The marriage just comes as a package deal. I mean, two issues in Lois has done a whole lot of nothing and had virtually no interaction with her husband at all. I don't anticipate that changing to any real great degree. She will probably end up the odd woman out, in favor of the Clark and Jon dynamic. That's where the attention will lay. She'll be there, just not that important in the scheme of things. IOW exactly her role prior to Flashpoint. Main thing though, this is about one character and one character only, and that character is not Clark Kent/Superman or Lois Lane. Its the pet kid.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 06-17-2016 at 12:01 PM.
    "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

    "“Your boos mean nothing, I’ve seen what makes you cheer!”

  7. #7
    Incredible Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    829

    Default

    He wasn't exactly single 3/4ths of the New 52 either. They sent him into a relationship with Wonder Woman.

    There are really only a handful of Superman stories where he isn't emotionally attached primarily to one person, outside of the mid-60s through the late 70s. I think a perfectly single person is a hard thing to write even if a married person or a relationship can be hard to integrate with an action story focus.

    Part of it is that there are relatively few contenders that people would accept Superman with. I think single Peter Parker after One More Day was generally handled better than New 52 Superman in terms of relationships but even he tended to have fairly steady girlfriends. One thing to keep in mind is that they didn't want Superman married but they used rather contrived means to keep Lois off the table.

    You're left with a handful of approaches:

    Superman and Lois are together (married or not). Even S&S wanted to move to this fairly quickly but were shot down by DC. See: Man of Steel/Dawn of Justice.

    Superman wants Lois, Lois doesn't seem to want Superman in one or both identities. Superman looks like a creep from a gender politics perspective. It brings up uncomfortable memories for a lot of women if you handle this imperfectly. See: Superman Returns, parts of The New 52.

    Lois wants Superman, Superman doesn't want Lois. Superman looks like a dick or Lois looks pathetic. See: Vast stretches of pre-Crisis.

    They're with other people. Cheap soap opera.

    The job/secret gets in the way. Only sustainable for so long particularly if Lois eventually amasses so many accomplishments that she starts to seem super-human.

    Lois dies. Depressing.

    Any of these can work in very episodic storytelling like miniseries or self-contained TV episode style stories where the status quo resets at the end of the stry and where callbacks to other stories are rare. In fact, the classic love triangle is a great approach if you have lots of short, pop-y standalone one shot stories. Everything except the relationship doesn't market very easily either in comic shops or to the binge watch, post-Lost culture where there is no beginning or end but just one long story with turning points but no ending.

    There are two other alternatives:

    They feel nothing for one another and have no special connection. But you're dead inside if you can accept this.

    They do have feelings but have wronged one another badly enough or screwed up in their attempts at one another badly enough that they can't be together. But this really rules out most other takes without some majorly dishonest tactics on the writer's part. See: finale of How I Met Your Mother reactions.

  8. #8
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    8,413

    Default

    I don't get this misconception that some people have about "writing for younger people". People under 30 won't have their collective heads explode if they have to read about someone who's married and has a kid. We're not all out here thinking "ewww that's old". Give us some more credit please. I'm in my very early 20's and I know that life and fun don't magically end when you turn 30, get married, and have a kid. Not all of my heroes that I read about have to snapchat their win against a villain for me to pay attention. I don't NEED all of that be engaged with a story. Honestly when people assume stuff like that is when I feel a comic, movie, or show is out of touch with me.

    When I told my non comic reading friends the rundown of this new direction they were basically like "oh cool so they're married and have a kid? Wonder what that's gonna be like?" The vast majority of people already assume Superman is in a long term relationship with Lois. That's especially true in the last decade or so.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    829

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Superlad93 View Post
    I don't get this misconception that some people have about "writing for younger people". People under 30 won't have their collective heads explode if they have to read about someone who's married and has a kid. We're not all out here thinking "ewww that's old". Give us some more credit please. I'm in my very early 20's and I know that life and fun don't magically end when you turn 30, get married, and have a kid. Not all of my heroes that I read about have to snapchat their win against a villain for me to pay attention. I don't NEED all of that be engaged with a story. Honestly when people assume stuff like that is when I feel a comic, movie, or show is out of touch with me.

    When I told my non comic reading friends the rundown of this new direction they were basically like "oh cool so they're married and have a kid? Wonder what that's gonna be like?" The vast majority of people already assume Superman is in a long term relationship with Lois. That's especially true in the last decade or so.
    I think it's based on the same dated stereotypes as The Big Bang Theory. They imagine young people to not just be single but maybe misanthropic, disdainful of seeing other people happy or in relationships.

    For my money, the 90s could be too cute with Lois and Clark's relationship. Clark with a ponytail saying, "Hey, babe. What's up?" The two finishing each other's sentences.

    But by around 1997, writers found their groove of how to write the relationship until about 2004 or so when everybody started going out of their way to avoid writing it. Past the honeymoon phase, you had a Lois who was again identifiably Lois and a Clark who was identifiably Clark.

    I liked the Smallville nickname too. Although I think the backlash from some fans against that seemed to hinge on some fans seeing it as demeaning or a joke at the size of Superman's man parts or something. I just took it as a sign of familiarity that had the nice distinction of not being one of those easily dated pet names like Babe, Honey, Sweetie, dear, etc.

  10. #10
    Amazing Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    64

    Default

    DC has really struggled with Superman for a while now obviously.

  11. #11
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    8,413

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Gerard View Post
    I think it's based on the same dated stereotypes as The Big Bang Theory. They imagine young people to not just be single but maybe misanthropic, disdainful of seeing other people happy or in relationships.
    Yeah it's this sort of stereotyping and shortsighted thinking that does more to alienate younger fans. We know when it's actually an old guy behind the writing thinking "this just has to be what the kids are saying these days". Sometimes it's just comical to see these guys thinking they're reaching younger people writing this way.


    But by around 1997, writers found their groove of how to write the relationship until about 2004 or so when everybody started going out of their way to avoid writing it. Past the honeymoon phase
    See this is where the trick is. Most writers come at this with the thought of "how do give issues to these people" or "how do you make it so both come away likable". In my honest opinion, Lois is the key to this. I was reading Time and Time again a few weeks ago, and I remember being so engaged in how Lois was feeling throughout the whole thing. She's a character that has so concretely been established as being human and flawed (see Superman the Movie for the iconography of this concept). And the best part is that she makes this god feel like he's just a guy sometimes. I think playing with that is key. As Grant Morrison would say "a few sharp words from Lois Lane and you've just taken down Superman"

    What people seem to forget is that Superman was at his most popular when he was his most human. It was the Silver age. They were all just stories about strange idiosyncratic stories about Superman. His heart was always on his sleeve. You deal with the marriage the same way you did with him in the silver age: small human emotions stretched out over a super heroic canvas.

    For a modernized look at this take a look at American Alien issue #7. The whole issue actually just boils down to Clark's unsure relationship with Lois (she leaves him in bed alone every time they spend the night) being resolved. It's paralleled by Clark fighting an alien who explains to him that he's alone in the universe. The true conflict isn't the (fantastic) fight but Clark's insecurities.

    Superman in a relationship can be down right amazing.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •