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  1. #1996
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Moore and Miller only wrote a handful of stories though. Man of Steel isn't as good as Year One, but Byrne only used that as a prologue and by the end of his run was writing all three titles while drawing two. At this point while Miller's Batman catalog still isn't huge, he's written arguably more bad Batman comics than good. They brought in Perez a little later to basically take over as the new Byrne and I'm pretty sorry it didn't work out, because I do think he's a better writer if a little less quirky.

    The "best Superman writers" thing is tricky. Strong modern storytellers and best folks of the late 80s... generally I don't think their Superman is really above their best work. They're not the "best Superman writers" because of Superman, they're the "best" because of who they are as creators. It ends up being a pretty bare comparison.

    And there is a pretty big misconception about STAS. It was largely based on Byrne, but the assumption that the power levels were the same and is incorrect. Those power levels are really the golden age levels just with consistent flight. Byrne's second issue of Action has him lift a mass that he describes as, "only a couple of thousands of tons." That comment wouldn't go anywhere near the cartoon.
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  2. #1997
    Fantastic Member Last Son's Avatar
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    Yeah, his Superman was pretty freakishly strong, but just about anything is going to pale in comparison to pushing planets. And it also helps that he sort of gave Superman TTK which should make him even more capable of crazy strength feats, if anything.

  3. #1998
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Moore and Miller only wrote a handful of stories though. Man of Steel isn't as good as Year One, but Byrne only used that as a prologue and by the end of his run was writing all three titles while drawing two. At this point while Miller's Batman catalog still isn't huge, he's written arguably more bad Batman comics than good. They brought in Perez a little later to basically take over as the new Byrne and I'm pretty sorry it didn't work out, because I do think he's a better writer if a little less quirky.
    Quality over quantity though. It doesn't matter if Byrne wrote more when his work doesn't hold up when compared to Year One, which is a more self contained evergreen book and is just constructed better on a craft level. Year One vs even just the MOS mini, the former is respected more for its craft and what it did for its character. Miller wrote more bad comics later, but that doesn't change the fact that TDKR and Year One are classics. TDSA and All Star can't ruin those. Similarly, Moore only wrote three stories but they've aged better as well even now.

    Basically, Byrne was an 80s Marvel creator and brought Superman more in line with 80s Marvel soap opera storytelling. Which was an understandable and smart movie at the time considering how hot that stuff was, but the issue is that whole style has aged pretty badly. it's very much of its time even compared to other stuff of the period like Watchmen, V for Vendetta, TDKR, the Sandman and other early Vertigo stuff. Not that the Bronze age or Silver age stuff is any less dated in their own ways mind you.

    Wait, when was Perez brought on to Superman in the 80s?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    The "best Superman writers" thing is tricky. Strong modern storytellers and best folks of the late 80s... generally I don't think their Superman is really above their best work. They're not the "best Superman writers" because of Superman, they're the "best" because of who they are as creators. It ends up being a pretty bare comparison.
    That's basically what I'm saying though. Good writers who suit the character don't feel the need to change him and they often succeed in not making him boring. It's not because of Superman, it's because they are great writers. So I think that means that ones that do tone him down or make weird creative decisions are just not well suited for the character to begin with, or are just average/lousy creators in general.

    Byrne just wrote him as a boring dude to me. And not just in terms of power level either (that's actually towards the bottom of the list of complaints).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    And there is a pretty big misconception about STAS. It was largely based on Byrne, but the assumption that the power levels were the same and is incorrect. Those power levels are really the golden age levels just with consistent flight. Byrne's second issue of Action has him lift a mass that he describes as, "only a couple of thousands of tons." That comment wouldn't go anywhere near the cartoon.
    Fair enough. Though I do remember that issue of Action (was it the one with Metallo?) providing an explanation for Supes extending some kind of field around the heavy masses he lifted. Which struck me as kind of pointless and pretty perfect distillation of the problems I have with his Superman run.

  4. #1999
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Quality over quantity though. It doesn't matter if Byrne wrote more when his work doesn't hold up when compared to Year One, which is a more self contained evergreen book and is just constructed better on a craft level. Year One vs even just the MOS mini, the former is respected more for its craft and what it did for its character. Miller wrote more bad comics later, but that doesn't change the fact that TDKR and Year One are classics. TDSA and All Star can't ruin those. Similarly, Moore only wrote three stories but they've aged better as well even now.
    Ideally you have both but... quantity is more objective and we are talking about a business. Byrne's first story vastly outsold Year One and his runs pulled ahead of the post crisis Batman. For a company with a monthly publishing schedule, there isn't really a way for Miller or Moore's customer reviews to compare to something like that. Although we are comparing some of the most influential comics in the franchise history and there's no winning or losing in that sense. I just don't see how the aging really does more than work on an individual satisfaction level.

    Wait, when was Perez brought on to Superman in the 80s?
    Yea, Exile was supposed to set up a new direction where Ordway focused on Clark, Stern did the most superhero oriented comic, and Perez focused Action around Kal-El. The idea was lost as they played musical chairs (by the time Perez brought all this up he was drawing Action with 643 and writing Adventures at 457) and he eventually got lost in the shuffle.



    That's basically what I'm saying though. Good writers who suit the character don't feel the need to change him and they often succeed in not making him boring. It's not because of Superman, it's because they are great writers. So I think that means that ones that do tone him down or make weird creative decisions are just not well suited for the character to begin with, or are just average/lousy creators in general.
    I think most writers capable of doing well in general can play ball, but whether they do or not ends up being a different story. These days it doesn't seem obligatory. Morrison doesn't drop into continuity, he does his own thing. Waid and Johns are major writers who are professed fans, but their Superman comics centered around "their" version. All Star is so far ahead that I don't see anyone agreeing, but specifically for Superman I put Loeb and Millar ahead of Morrison for their adaptability.


    Fair enough. Though I do remember that issue of Action (was it the one with Metallo?) providing an explanation for Supes extending some kind of field around the heavy masses he lifted. Which struck me as kind of pointless and pretty perfect distillation of the problems I have with his Superman run.
    The bio electric aura... I think Byrne would have gone with something like that because he just likes pseudoscience, but it's not unprecedented. He just put that in place of explaining that say, Superman has the proportionate ability of an ant due to gravity, or that Superman had a special chemical spray that made his costume invulnerable.
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  5. #2000
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Ideally you have both but... quantity is more objective and we are talking about a business. Byrne's first story vastly outsold Year One and his runs pulled ahead of the post crisis Batman. For a company with a monthly publishing schedule, there isn't really a way for Miller or Moore's customer reviews to compare to something like that. Although we are comparing some of the most influential comics in the franchise history and there's no winning or losing in that sense. I just don't see how the aging really does more than work on an individual satisfaction level.
    But lots of comics of questionable quality sell by the boatload, which is objectively very good for the business but not necessarily good for story telling or the characters. Like look at some of the 90s X-Books, they are some of the dumbest comics you will ever read but they sold like hotcakes for a while for various reasons. Though I wouldn't put Byrne's comics on their level obviously.

    Yes Byrne's story outsold Year One at the time, but does Year One have more legs? MOS obviously has a lot of staying power but it doesn't seem to consistently stay in print as much as Year One. And Miller's revamp both with YO and TDKR benefited Batman in the long run, as he's overtaken Superman as the company's most popular character. Which may have been inevitable in some ways, but I don't think Superman's reboot being anachronistic in comparison and appealing to dated trends, in addition to making the character more boring, helped in the slightest.



    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Yea, Exile was supposed to set up a new direction where Ordway focused on Clark, Stern did the most superhero oriented comic, and Perez focused Action around Kal-El. The idea was lost as they played musical chairs (by the time Perez brought all this up he was drawing Action with 643 and writing Adventures at 457) and he eventually got lost in the shuffle.
    Interesting! Wish he managed to get the job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    I think most writers capable of doing well in general can play ball, but whether they do or not ends up being a different story. These days it doesn't seem obligatory. Morrison doesn't drop into continuity, he does his own thing. Waid and Johns are major writers who are professed fans, but their Superman comics centered around "their" version. All Star is so far ahead that I don't see anyone agreeing, but specifically for Superman I put Loeb and Millar ahead of Morrison for their adaptability.
    Playing ball and adapting to editorial or other writers' takes isn't necessarily a good thing though.
    Loeb for example has never really impressed me. I think his era is one of the absolute nadirs of the franchise.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    The bio electric aura... I think Byrne would have gone with something like that because he just likes pseudoscience, but it's not unprecedented. He just put that in place of explaining that say, Superman has the proportionate ability of an ant due to gravity, or that Superman had a special chemical spray that made his costume invulnerable.
    I don't think any of those explanations are really needed though. They're not any less dumb than just embracing the silliness of the sun alien who flies and does impossible things.

  6. #2001
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Not sure if this is controversial or not...

    -- Superman should not a perfect character. He can be flawed (i.e. a little too naive, a little too sensitive) and he should be seen primarily as a human and not an alien. He's humble but he's also a little smug. He's super-strong but also vulnerable.

    -- Superman also has serious issues with identity, and part of the reason he spends time being different people is that psychologically it's how he compartmentalizes and maintains a work/life balance. Superman isn't Superman or Kal-El, or Clark Kent, but a mix of both and someone entirely else.

    -- Lex Luthor is overexposed and overused, and while him being Supes' Arch-Enemy cannot really be reversed (unfortunately) he should definitely be downplayed and benched for a few years while other Superman rogues get a chance to shine.

    -- Bizarro and the Bizarro Universe is the most untapped part of the Silver Age mythos and the one that brought in today as-is, would still work and provide interesting stuff.

    -- Likewise, Mr. Mxyzsptlk is Superman's true arch-nemesis and he should be upgraded/developed/updated into a more contemporary character. Someone like say Gaunter O'Dimm from Witcher 3, The Outsider from the Dishonored games.

    -- Brainiac is awesome, and smarter than Luthor.

    -- People should consider importing rogues to Superman. Poison Ivy could be a more effective Superman villain than a Batman villain.

  7. #2002
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    Amen on Lex Luthor's overexposure. At this point we have had Luthor absurdly join the League and become a Superman sidekick in his own right. Now in the recent Snyder League books he all but pops a squat on Vandal Savage before casually killing him. He and Bats have been professionally fanwanked so hard at this point you can hear their eyes rolling into the back of their heads even you're orbiting Pluto. Enough already.

  8. #2003
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Not sure if this is controversial or not...

    -- Superman should not a perfect character. He can be flawed (i.e. a little too naive, a little too sensitive) and he should be seen primarily as a human and not an alien. He's humble but he's also a little smug. He's super-strong but also vulnerable.

    -- Superman also has serious issues with identity, and part of the reason he spends time being different people is that psychologically it's how he compartmentalizes and maintains a work/life balance. Superman isn't Superman or Kal-El, or Clark Kent, but a mix of both and someone entirely else.

    -- Lex Luthor is overexposed and overused, and while him being Supes' Arch-Enemy cannot really be reversed (unfortunately) he should definitely be downplayed and benched for a few years while other Superman rogues get a chance to shine.

    -- Bizarro and the Bizarro Universe is the most untapped part of the Silver Age mythos and the one that brought in today as-is, would still work and provide interesting stuff.

    -- Likewise, Mr. Mxyzsptlk is Superman's true arch-nemesis and he should be upgraded/developed/updated into a more contemporary character. Someone like say Gaunter O'Dimm from Witcher 3, The Outsider from the Dishonored games.

    -- Brainiac is awesome, and smarter than Luthor.

    -- People should consider importing rogues to Superman. Poison Ivy could be a more effective Superman villain than a Batman villain.
    1. Agreed. I like my early Superman to be a little cocky and even arrogant. He’s spent his whole life hiding and now he gets to show off what he can do. I also think he should have his crises of faith when appropriate.
    2. Tentatively agree but I do think Clark Kent is the most “true” identity of his because it’s what he grew up being called and forms the core of the Superman identity, but all three identities are part of his “true” self
    3. God yes. I love Lex, he’s my favorite villain, but he badly needs to be benched for a while after all this “Apex Lex” story is over. Let him rest and give some love to the other Rogues
    4. Agreed, Yang showed over in Terrifics that Bizarro can be a credible threat and so did Tomasi in his last Superman arc
    5. If you were to merge Mxy and Vyn together I think that could give you something like that. I agree that Mxy needs to either be treated as a more serious threat
    6. Way I’ve always seen it is that Brainiac knows more than Lex ever will but he’s creatively sterile while Lex is an inventor and trailblazer.
    7. Scarecrow is the Bat Rogue I’d love to see go head to head with Superman. Fear vs. Hope

  9. #2004
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    I like a pretty villainous Luthor but I have a problem with it translating into an enormous threat level. I guess I see him more like Loki than the Joker. If he's that much more of a villain as opposed to a villainous supporting character you sort of get forced to do the fugitive thing and that can get one note.

    And even if we all know Brainiac is #2 as a villain, he should never be treated like Luthor's #2. I get that Batman or Flash writers find success putting villains under another, but Superman villains don't need to get stifled in a goon squad



    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post

    Yes Byrne's story outsold Year One at the time, but does Year One have more legs? MOS obviously has a lot of staying power but it doesn't seem to consistently stay in print as much as Year One. And Miller's revamp both with YO and TDKR benefited Batman in the long run, as he's overtaken Superman as the company's most popular character. Which may have been inevitable in some ways, but I don't think Superman's reboot being anachronistic in comparison and appealing to dated trends, in addition to making the character more boring, helped in the slightest.
    Superman has had to battle against criticisms of being boring for longer than that. I can't just point to length run and that brief success, sure, as even Liefeld's X Force did huge numbers within the MoS/DoS years and I will say I think that YO is better in every way. But those measures of success just point to the large number of people who cared about and embraced the material, with some of the pre crisis letter hacks coming back to say they were won over and such.


    Playing ball and adapting to editorial or other writers' takes isn't necessarily a good thing though.
    Loeb for example has never really impressed me. I think his era is one of the absolute nadirs of the franchise.
    I don't know how but Tim Sale brings out something else in Loeb. For his regular comics I think every other arc of Superman Batman was bad but that's about the same as his regular Marvel stuff with higher highs otherwise.

    It's weird that from what I've seen of creator comments and industry feedback Berganza was apparently a more effective editor around the time Loeb did Superman, but that could have been better lines of communication before things got ugly. I can honestly imagine New 52 Superman would have been something like what the X titles are now if it was more of a committee than Morrison killing it in his own corner.


    I don't think any of those explanations are really needed though. They're not any less dumb than just embracing the silliness of the sun alien who flies and does impossible things.
    I don't think a throwaway suggestion for the nature of his indestructible costume or power source takes away from the silliness though. Iirc all the other explanations for those things came from Siegel and Byrne's idea was just an easy way to explain why things don't break in his hands or why he doesn't reproduce his fabric.

    Plus I think its extension in Superboy, TTK, makes for the coolest "single power" gimmick. Turning him into a regular Kryptonian or giving him that red energy signature are big mistakes imo.
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  10. #2005
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Solar battery thing is overused and boring. I rather have clark with muscles from effort, than hot air.



  11. #2006
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Just been rereading "Superman Blue" in trade and you know what? It's good. It's really good. And Ceritak and Metallo are way cooler than Doomsday ever was back during Death, as far as big downtown fights that almost kill him go. So I guess that's my controversial opinion: after all this time, it turns out Superman Blue was a really cool and good arc in the first place.



    I get why people wouldn't like it at the time but the writing is good and the enemies he fights are really cool. I like Ceritak and I think the Bottle City stuff is... almost as cool as the Silver Age, and also I like how the supporting cast at the Planet and even WGBS gets so much time in the spotlight, which you never see anymore these days!
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  12. #2007
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    Just been rereading "Superman Blue" in trade and you know what? It's good. It's really good. And Ceritak and Metallo are way cooler than Doomsday ever was back during Death, as far as big downtown fights that almost kill him go. So I guess that's my controversial opinion: after all this time, it turns out Superman Blue was a really cool and good arc in the first place.

    I get why people wouldn't like it at the time but the writing is good and the enemies he fights are really cool. I like Ceritak and I think the Bottle City stuff is... almost as cool as the Silver Age, and also I like how the supporting cast at the Planet and even WGBS gets so much time in the spotlight, which you never see anymore these days!
    I enjoyed the arc at the time, since I never expected it to last (and it didn't). And I thought the Clark-centric stuff was good; him trying to figure out his new powers, the villains, it was all pretty solid stuff, though an obvious (if relatively small) step down in quality from the height of the triangle era. And Morrison was able to deal with the electric powers without missing a step and gave us some truly impressive feats in JLA.

    What killed it for me was the additional supporting characters that got brought in. We had a pretty substantial and well developed supporting cast in the Planet and the other citizens of Metropolis, but then we get that Rush Limbaugh stand-in, his daughter, the blue horned guy from Kandor who wore Clark's classic suit (Scorn?) and I forget who else. It began to pull focus away from Clark himself. And that didn't sit right with me.
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  13. #2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Solar battery thing is overused and boring. I rather have clark with muscles from effort, than hot air.


    I always assumed that Clark got his muscles from effort. He spent most of his early life working on a farm and playing football depending on the continuity/story.

  14. #2009
    Boisterously Confused
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    Fleischer created a few of my favorite Superman stories, which probably contribute to me liking the YJ Toon Superboy's powers more than anything put in a comic since the early 1940s.

  15. #2010
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    I always assumed that Clark got his muscles from effort. He spent most of his early life working on a farm and playing football depending on the continuity/story.
    But originally, he was superstrong even as infant, as seen his very first appearance. I don't like football thing, and I do like powers immediately, despite some issues it brings up (mostly because I like the Kents knowing what they were signing up for when they adopted him). He did exercise to stay trim in the old days, though. That's when we first saw his Secret Citadel.

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