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  1. #1981
    Extraordinary Member Jackalope89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    Mxyzptlk is a stupid villain and needs to be quietly phased out. Ditto Lobo.
    Lobo isn't even necessarily a Superman villain. And isn't even always a villain at that (remember he was on the JLA).


    Anyway, the Bendis run on Superman has been an assassination (if not on purpose) on levels comparable to Ric in Nightwing. While Doomsday Clock had the best Superman story since Rebirth ended.

  2. #1982
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    And isn't even always a villain at that (remember he was on the JLA).
    I had a problem with that. Like I do with Harley there. Or other villains. JLA should not have mass murders as members. The heroes should not be okay with that. Lobo on Young Justice was even worse, though. Ghastly.

    Anyway, the Bendis run on Superman has been an assassination (if not on purpose) on levels comparable to Ric in Nightwing.
    Hated his characterization of Lois (Clark too, in regards to Jon and Jor-El, but Lois worse) and quit reading a while ago, so can't comment on more recent writing.

  3. #1983
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    I like both Golden Age and early New 52 for the same reason.

    Byrne's middle of the road approach is just so bland. Needing to reign him in just belies a lack of imagination necessary for the character. if you need to depower him, go back to Golden Age levels, which is the only way to make it interesting. if he is otherwise still way to powerful for grounded weaponry and villains to pose a threat to him, but not otherwise doing anything particularly weird or exciting, what the hell is the point of this guy?
    I'd say just ramping up his power levels every time a writer gets bored is a far better example of a lack of imagination.

  4. #1984
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I'd say just ramping up his power levels every time a writer gets bored is a far better example of a lack of imagination.
    Beyond the silliness of the Silver Age, what is an example of this actually happening? I don't even know if boredom is a factor in those.

    Because usually there are imaginative challenges that go along with it. And any cerebral threats or moral challenges work just as well if not better when he's at peak power level. Maggin understood this and that's why he's one of the best Superman writers.
    Last edited by SiegePerilous02; 12-31-2019 at 06:31 PM.

  5. #1985
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    I like both Golden Age and early New 52 for the same reason.

    Byrne's middle of the road approach is just so bland. Needing to reign him in just belies a lack of imagination necessary for the character. if you need to depower him, go back to Golden Age levels, which is the only way to make it interesting. if he is otherwise still way to powerful for grounded weaponry and villains to pose a threat to him, but not otherwise doing anything particularly weird or exciting, what the hell is the point of this guy?
    Same here, but my problem with Byrne run is not the power... I don't mind that... it's the dismissal of Krypton. I'm fascinated at Krypton as this sci-fi utopia so to see it depicted as dead and sterile... and then Superman quickly dismisses it as meaningless because his home is on earth... I find it unbelievable that he has absolutely no interest or at least curiosity. As someone who loves lore, that... kinda hurt.

  6. #1986
    Spectacular Member oldschoolfan's Avatar
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    Two issues in, does anybody think The Legion of Super Heroes is still viable as an ongoing comic?

    I still have my doubts.

    That Ultra Boy soliloquy in issue two went on for way too long, my feeling about it.
    I am committed to the idea that any work of art should be judged on its own merit, not on the behavior or beliefs of its author.

  7. #1987
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I'd say just ramping up his power levels every time a writer gets bored is a far better example of a lack of imagination.
    Dude, most characters in these action or shonenen esque type setting does that. It helps to feel that character is getting somewhere goku, all might, luffy, naruto, deku..etc.What fun is a character who doesn't break his own limits? When you go to the gym, you are going to lift more weights than the day before or change the difficulty of the exercise . Not to get stuck in a mundane routine.

  8. #1988
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Dude, most characters in these action or shonenen esque type setting does that. It helps to feel that character is getting somewhere goku, all might, luffy, naruto, deku..etc.What fun is a character who doesn't break his own limits? When you go to the gym, you are going to lift more weights than the day before or change the difficulty of the exercise . Not to get stuck in a mundane routine.
    And none of those characters struggle in popularity due to their powers, especially Goku. So there is no reason to put limits on Superman when his enemies are even more varied and complex.

  9. #1989
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    Mxyzptlk is a stupid villain and needs to be quietly phased out. Ditto Lobo.
    I prefer Vyndykx myself. Superman vs. the Devil stories are pretty good, and one of his big foes being a 5-D imp businessman out to corrupt Superman honestly is pretty cool. But I do think Mxy could be a great villain if he were actually used better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue22 View Post
    I've never thought the red trunks were as big a deal as fans have made them out to be. I can take 'em or leave 'em but I will say that I think his costume looks better without them.
    Same. I don’t consider them essential.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    To be honest while it's going back on 40 years of pop culture, I'd actually like to write villain Zod out. I think they just try way too hard to make him a big deal. The Zone itself is pretty difficult to maintain as a live villain storage... I like the idea of phantoms but having equals to Superman put back in the toy box at the end of a story is out of date.
    Zod’s problem is that he’s got an interesting hook in that he used to be an interesting character but they don’t actually show us that guy and instead just rehash Stamp’s Zod. Zod would work better if he was what your typical Evil Superman story ends up being about. If I were writing Zod I’d have him start off as the usual xenophobic jackboot he normally is, except once Superman and humanity beat him for the first time his attitude towards humanity changes. He acknowledges their virtues and instead of wanting to wipe them out, he now wants to take over and use them to build an empire with the aid of Kryptonian tech. He thinks we’ve got spirit but we’re on the same path of self-destruction that Krypton walked, and Zod needs to take over to “save us” and help us reach our full potential (under his rule of course). That could be interesting and relevant given our current status quo in the real world.

    And if we want that evil hammy Kryptonian just use Xau-Du. A Kryptonian mad scientist-ghost-mummy who wants to unleash super zombies and kill everyone can be entertaining as hell.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    I like both Golden Age and early New 52 for the same reason.

    Byrne's middle of the road approach is just so bland. Needing to reign him in just belies a lack of imagination necessary for the character. if you need to depower him, go back to Golden Age levels, which is the only way to make it interesting. if he is otherwise still way to powerful for grounded weaponry and villains to pose a threat to him, but not otherwise doing anything particularly weird or exciting, what the hell is the point of this guy?
    Yep basically my opinion I’ve reached. Want to make Superman “grounded, realistic, and human”? Set him around the Golden Age/early New 52 power levels. Make him need to eat and sleep, make him vulnerable to rockets or grenades, make him unable to fly and tell street level “realistic” kinds of adventures. Or go to our current set up where he’s a cosmic guy who can hold his breath indefinitely and fly in space and the street crime in Metropolis involves arms deals from Apokolips and alien drug dealing. But the Byrne method of trying to ride the fence between the two gives us a guy too strong for street crime but too weak for cosmic adventures and is too boring imo.

  10. #1990
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    But he was pretty equally involved in street crime and off planet. The only real challenges he had were other aliens and kryptonite, with magic a little less effective than pre crisis. The end of that run set up what is still Superman's biggest space saga 30 years later.

    I don't know how people feel about Peter David, but it's interesting that at the same time he was basically doing some of the same stuff with grey Hulk, and crazy that such a writer somehow never committed to Superman.

    As far as Zod goes, I haven't seen something like your idea yet. I'd rather they put all that into Quex because he even looked a bit like Stamp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I'd say just ramping up his power levels every time a writer gets bored is a far better example of a lack of imagination.
    It was kinda neat that at first editorial would hash out the plotholes of that nature with fans... but also a little telling. The later foundation was strong enough, or I guess Carlin and Cavalieri were good enough, to make the power creep as seamless as it could be with that many cooks in the kitchen. I haven't seen many superhero powers handled as well as the 13 year transition to sun dipping, for example.

    Not sure if anyone could have pulled off the nerf in story though. O'Neil's time to me was mostly kinda bad and nothing about the 2/3 thing worked. But for the sake of controversy I have to say that Superman vs Ali was the best idea in DC crossover/event history.
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  11. #1991
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Beyond the silliness of the Silver Age, what is an example of this actually happening?
    That's pretty much what they started doing post crisis.


    I don't even know if boredom is a factor in those.
    Well according to plenty of fans on this board, it was.

    Because usually there are imaginative challenges that go along with it. And any cerebral threats or moral challenges work just as well if not better when he's at peak power level. Maggin understood this and that's why he's one of the best Superman writers.
    It isn't like you need an exceptionally powerful or Silver Age-level Superman for these. Byrne had these in his run as well.

  12. #1992
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Dude, most characters in these action or shonenen esque type setting does that..
    Last I checked Superman isn't Goku. When you're talking about a character who is already ridiculously powerful ramping up his powers is the height of laziness.


    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    It helps to feel that character is getting somewhere
    "Getting somewhere" doesn't mean an increase in power levels.



    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    What fun is a character who doesn't break his own limits?
    Plenty if the writer knows what they are doing.

  13. #1993
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    That's pretty much what they started doing post crisis.


    Well according to plenty of fans on this board, it was.
    Where's the proof any of it was due to boredom?
    And comments on this board aren't really proof of anything either way. Each instance would have some YMMV aspects in its execution. For every fan that thinks it's due to a writer being lazy or bored, others think it works.


    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    It isn't like you need an exceptionally powerful or Silver Age-level Superman for these. Byrne had these in his run as well.
    Then it isn't like you need to depower him to do those stories in the first place. You may not need an exceptionally powerful Superman for those stories to work (though I'd argue that they carry more weight if he is), but you need him for other types of stories.

    This quote from Elliot S! Maggin from the Kryptnon Companion I think lays it out pretty well.

    “Julie and Denny's approach to Superman at the time was to 'de-power' him to make him less powerful than he'd grown to be in order to bring him down to a more human scale. I disagreed with that approach. I disagreed with it, and still do, down to the ground. Every time since that anyone's gotten the chance to redefine Superman […] the first thing they've though to do is 'de-power' him. I didn't and don't see the point. It's been my point of view that Superman stories are not about power. They're about moral and ethical choices. Each one asks the question: What does a good person do in a given situation if he's got all the power in the world? Writers and artists and editors- and producers and directors and actors for that matter- don't get to limit Superman's powers. Once you do that it's not the character you think you're dealing with any more. Every 'superhero' in every culture- Odin; John Henry and Paul Bunyan; Beowulf and Arthur- gets to decide the answer, in his own context, to that question. The success or failure of a storyteller's attempt to convey that is based on the degree to which the character gets illustrate that for himself. If you start by 'de-powering' such a character, then your mythology is flawed. You don't know which archetype it is you're really dealing with.

    "All the power in the world" doesn't really work if Superman is just another flying brick, maybe stronger than average but not too outside the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Last I checked Superman isn't Goku. When you're talking about a character who is already ridiculously powerful ramping up his powers is the height of laziness.
    Superman doesn't have to be exactly like Goku to be in the same wheelhouse. In terms of scale and tone, Superman's stories and mythos line up with Dragon Ball in a lot of ways, more than it does some other super hero stories. And any complaints that Toriyama is lazy or that Goku is too powerful and boring seem to be a vocal minority. It's a lucrative IP, so clearly it is doing something right.

  14. #1994
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Toriyama admits to being lazy. Granted, mangaka standards are different, but he's been in interviews where he doesn't even remember some characters or his own motivations for them besides hitting deadline. Superman may never escape those comparisons but it's a whole different market and I'm willing to say that DB/Z will never actually surpass Superman as an IP, so I'll never agree with the DC continuing flagship comic copying the retired Shueisha publishing flagship comic.

    Maggin is interesting as the one guy who is staunchly one sided, to the point where he didn't consider post crisis Superman the real character. But he said during that heyday anyway, Wein and Bates were the only other guys who wanted to write Superman. Bates and Swan were the two guys who did the most under Julie but neither cared about keeping the power level high. I think all of those guys and all of these people now are creative enough to not get boxed in writing a character who can "only" lift a pyramid or something. If Superman can't travel to prehistoric times to solve a riddle or can't whip up a giant sewing needle to mend a shattered bridge, surely they can figure out something else for him to do.
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  15. #1995
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Toriyama admits to being lazy. Granted, mangaka standards are different, but he's been in interviews where he doesn't even remember some characters or his own motivations for them besides hitting deadline. Superman may never escape those comparisons but it's a whole different market and I'm willing to say that DB/Z will never actually surpass Superman as an IP, so I'll never agree with the DC continuing flagship comic copying the retired Shueisha publishing flagship comic.
    Toriyama being self deprecating and criticizing his own work doesn't change the fact that his work is still popular to this day. And I'm not even a huge fan of DB/Z anymore (it ran out of gas after the Cell saga) but it is doing something right for the most part. It has definitely ended up as more of a "shut your brain off and have fun" type of story which I agree Superman should never be to the same degree. Or completely copy. But he's roughly in the same wheelhouse and be the American equivalent to appeal to that audience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Maggin is interesting as the one guy who is staunchly one sided, to the point where he didn't consider post crisis Superman the real character. But he said during that heyday anyway, Wein and Bates were the only other guys who wanted to write Superman. Bates and Swan were the two guys who did the most under Julie but neither cared about keeping the power level high. I think all of those guys and all of these people now are creative enough to not get boxed in writing a character who can "only" lift a pyramid or something. If Superman can't travel to prehistoric times to solve a riddle or can't whip up a giant sewing needle to mend a shattered bridge, surely they can figure out something else for him to do.
    Pulling that kind of stuff out of their ass isn't necessarily what we're talking about though. The Bronze age depended on that a little less and didn't feel the need to depower him down to Byrne level. STAS was based on the Byrne run for the most part and he struggled to hold up a plane, which is just pathetic.

    And yes, only Maggin and a handful of writers were interested in writing Superman at that time. But that doesn't always mean much forever, since popularity for certain characters and plot elements ebbs and flows. Marvel reigned supreme and they brought Byrne in to appeal to 80s Marvel fanboys who wanted things more grounded, and it worked at the time. But Bryne's revamps and stories had their own sell by dates and became just as dated: they have not aged as well as Moore's Bronze age stories, or Miller's Year One or even Perez's Wonder Woman (who straddled the line with being a sort of Vertigo book with Karen Berger editing). And (among other things) severing the simple ties to Supergirl and the Legion caused problems in the long run.

    And I don't think it's a coincidence that some of the best Superman writers are among the best of the business, and others like Gaiman, Hickman or Ewing (all of whom have more "out there" writing styles) could probably crush it.

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