Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22
  1. #1
    Fantastic Member Last Son's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    390

    Default Bridging the conflicting versions of Superman's history.

    I've made a few posts about this, but rather than hijacking other people's topics, I figured I'd make one myself to share some of my ideas on how to fix a few conflicts and continuity errors caused by all the reboots.

    I'm not sure how many people would agree with it, but I thought the best way to go about it is to designate the conflicting interpretations of some characters as new characters. Like post crisis Lex isn't the same person as Earth 1 Lex, but rather his father. So Earth 1 Lex(let's say he's Alexander) can keep most of his original history and then post crisis Lex(maybe he could be Lionel while his father is an immigrant named Alexei if you wanted to include the golden age Lex as a third separate Luthor character) can keep his Unauthorized Biography backstory and take part in all of the post crisis stories he had. And you could even do stories that cover the tension between father and son or even have them team up for different schemes. Businessman Lex brings the business sense and his Machiavellian mind while scientist Lex brings the purely scientific know-how.

    With the silver/bronze age style Lex around, he can be the one that introduces the world to Matrix, the protoplasmic lifeform who at some point takes on the Supergirl mantle when the original, Kara Zor-El, goes missing, retires, etc.

    I also thought that some other Kents could stand in as the post crisis Kents, maybe Clark's adoptive uncle could be Eben and his aunt would be Sarah. Or, it could be the reverse. Maybe Eben and Sarah were Clark's grandparents and they could fill the role of the elderly Kents who died when Clark was a teenager which had an impact on him in some way, while the more youthful Jonathan and Martha live into Clark's adulthood.

    The post crisis Brainiac could instead simply go by his given name, Vril Dox, or his assumed identity Milton Fine, and still have a connection to the classic pre-crisis Brainiac who was his adoptive father. Maybe OG Brainiac is even the one who gives Dox his android body once Milton's body fails.
    Last edited by Last Son; 06-03-2017 at 03:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    2,564

    Default

    I've been saying for a while now that different functions of characters, mostly villains, should be split up into actual different characters.

    For example, what functions does Lex serve? Obviously we can split them up. We don't need them all to be Luthor either. Forget differentiating Alexei, Alexis and two separate Alexanders- that just gets messy! The purely evil Mad Scientist can be the Ultra-Humanite, who cries out for a return, being Superman's first forgotten nemesis. Then the cruel and corrupt mogul/kingpin can be Morgan Edge, easy as pie. And so on and so forth.

    However, while I think this is a good tool to expand Superman's rogue's gallery, I don't think it's a good idea to use it for everything. For example, if you're trying to satisfy a group who wants the Kents alive and a group who wants them dead, you're not going to satisfy the latter group by killing off Eben and Sarah and leaving Jonny and Martha alive, because what the latter group really wants is for Clark not to be able to ask them for help as a grown man. There's aspects of that to the character-name thing too in fact- a big fan of Kingpin Lex won't be wholly satisfied by the creation of Kingpin Edge. Your version has the advantage of keeping all as close as possible- but the massive disadvantage of cheapening the characters if the Luthor trying to redeem himself as a super-hero in the books currently is really the fifth Lex Luthor that Superman's ever contended with. And I'd argue that even your version can't be implemented with that few changes. For example, if we've got generations of Luthors running around, do we have multiple Lois Lanes and Jimmy Olsens too? Nah!

    Also, your plan has the disadvantage of not bringing back Ultra. I mean come on, DC, what's taking so long?
    Last edited by Adekis; 06-03-2017 at 04:59 PM.
    WHEN YOU DON'T VOTE, IT ISN'T REBELLION, IT'S SURRENDER!

    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  3. #3
    Fantastic Member Last Son's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    390

    Default

    The idea might be controversial, but calling the CEO Lex "Lionel" instead would remove some of that messiness, or really, it doesn't have to be Lionel, just an example. I mean, the original character had no first name, he was just Luthor, so any first name is almost equally valid.

    As for the deal with people not wanting Clark to have living relatives, it makes no sense to me. The only reason I ever wanted Jonathan and Martha to die when he was a teenager was because that's the way it was for around 45 years and I'm not a fan of tossing long-lived concepts aside like that.

    And I don't think it would cheapen anything to have multiple Luthor villains. There's two, maybe three at most. Having a Luthor that represents the golden age version isn't absolutely necessary, the idea was more of an Easter egg than anything since he would be dead by the time Clark debuts as Superman. So really, all you would have is Lex Sr.(or Lionel) and Lex Jr. And to further distinguish the two, scientist Lex is relatively slim, close to Clark's age and bald, while the elder Luthor is middle aged, stocky and with thinning hair, as he appeared in Byrne's Man of Steel series.

  4. #4
    THE MARK OF MY DIGNITY Superlad93's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    9,279

    Default

    I'm more in favor of finding tricky little ways to incorporate things without it literally needing to happen to Clark. Like how Morrison did his Batman in Last Rites. I remember Morrison even incorporated highly contradictory history by changing the context or vehicle in witch they happen. For example, he had Alfred write a number of novels that chronicled alternate paths for Bruce or imaginary stories.

    You could do something similar for Clark. He could have a number of personal novels that he's written that are actually imaginary stories from the past. Or maybe he finds an alien device that shows him possible paths that his life could have taken. Like suppose Jor-El's star drive didn't quite workout and it ended up getting Kal to Earth in the 40s? Maybe have it so Clark has a slightly unhealthy addiction to the device, and he realizes that it's been manipulating his anxiety, and making him dependent on it's virtual world. Eventually he beats it though.

    Or maybe some of his contradictory adventures are super dreams? I remember hearing that a lot of Silver age stories were made because a lot of the editors and writers were trying to articulate their fears, anxieties, dreams, and so on. So maybe Superman has a whole year of super dreams, and he has to go back to them each night to tackle a case that only his super subconscious has any hope of getting to the bottom of? Have Dream from the Endless team up with him at the end.

    And there's always just crunching the timeline as needed. In reality, I'm in favor of a combination of ideas.
    "Mark my words! This drill will open a hole in the universe. And that hole will become a path for those that follow after us. The dreams of those who have fallen. The hopes of those who will follow. Those two sets of dreams weave together into a double helix, drilling a path towards tomorrow. THAT's Tengen Toppa! THAT'S Gurren Lagann! MY DRILL IS THE DRILL THAT CREATES THE HEAVENS!"

    - The Digger

    We walk on the path to Secher Nbiw. Though hard fought, we walk the Golden Path.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    2,564

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Last Son View Post
    The idea might be controversial, but calling the CEO Lex "Lionel" instead would remove some of that messiness, or really, it doesn't have to be Lionel, just an example. I mean, the original character had no first name, he was just Luthor, so any first name is almost equally valid.

    As for the deal with people not wanting Clark to have living relatives, it makes no sense to me. The only reason I ever wanted Jonathan and Martha to die when he was a teenager was because that's the way it was for around 45 years and I'm not a fan of tossing long-lived concepts aside like that.

    And I don't think it would cheapen anything to have multiple Luthor villains. There's two, maybe three at most. Having a Luthor that represents the golden age version isn't absolutely necessary, the idea was more of an Easter egg than anything since he would be dead by the time Clark debuts as Superman. So really, all you would have is Lex Sr.(or Lionel) and Lex Jr. And to further distinguish the two, scientist Lex is relatively slim, close to Clark's age and bald, while the elder Luthor is middle aged, stocky and with thinning hair, as he appeared in Byrne's Man of Steel series.
    Lionel's existence changes the nature of Lex's career as a criminal because it changes the person he needs to surpass and defy from Superman to another version of himself. Actually, same can be said with a Lex Luthor, senior. Not a big fan. Personally, I prefer Lex's more mundane father, Jules Luthor, for whom Lex has a totally different kind of enmity.

    I wouldn't be opposed to using Lionel Luthor by replacing him with a paper-thin doppelganger who isn't related to Lex. For example, "Lionel Laird", an aristocratic Scottish name meaning "landowner" or "lord". It'd allow him to tap into Lex's mojo more than Morgan Edge would, I suppose.

    Regarding the Kents, if they're around its just too easy to have Clark rely on their advice instead of himself or his friends and peers, that's the only reason I don't like them around. The only reason to kill them is so they're gone, not because it's somehow important for Clark to experience a death in the family as a teenager. I have to admit though, I don't see the appeal of "Kingpin Lex" any more than you see the appeal of dead Kents. Even the rich genius Lex gets cooler once he becomes his own clone and starts helping Superman by being ruthless in ways Kal won't.

    Regarding "golden age Luthor" though, if we're doing it your way, I could imagine Iron Munro fighting him, haha! But that's another version of changing the name I suppose. I don't like making Golden Age Superman into Iron Munro because I like Superman to be Golden Age Superman in his own past, a la Grant Morrison.

    See, you always have to pick sides. You always have to prioritize one element over another. You can't have Lex Sr. and Jules and Lionel. You can't have both Superboy and Young Superman and Traveling the World. Even changing the character to fulfill different functions like I suggested, you have to pick which function you like most, and probably that one gets to be Lex, gets to be Clark, gets to be Lois.
    WHEN YOU DON'T VOTE, IT ISN'T REBELLION, IT'S SURRENDER!

    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Metropolis USA
    Posts
    5,273

    Default

    I don't think there's really any way to do it, honestly. I think there are just too many conflicting versions and they don't all get along. Of course I'm all for simplifying Superman as much as possible so maybe this isn't something I'd be in favor of. The best version I've ever seen that tried to bridge the gap between the various versions was Smallville. Something that doesn't try to necessarily force all the stories into canon so much as it tries to get the spirit of the different eras into one. I've always found it a shame that DC never tried to do the same with the comics. That way you're not stuck asking "is this story canon?" so much as everyone gets a little bit of something they want. Of course Smallville took liberties that the comics really couldn't. Like having Metropolis be in Kansas.
    WAKANDA FOREVER! Chadwick Boseman 1976-2020 BLM

  7. #7
    Fantastic Member Last Son's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    390

    Default

    I wouldn't see a businessman Luthor as a different version of Lex or even someone he has to surpass. Apples and oranges. But if there had to be some kind of rivalry, it would be interesting to see some sort of battle of the Luthors, CEO vs. scientist, one is absolutely ruthless and kills anyone who gets in his way and the other has a distaste for killing(except for trying to kill Superman). I just think there's so many differences between Byrne/Wolfman's Lex and the pre-crisis Lex that they can easily be depicted as two different characters, other than both seeing themselves as the epitome of human achievement and having a jealousy of Superman.

  8. #8
    Fantastic Member Last Son's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    390

    Default

    I guess part of what motivated this idea is that people take for granted that the Byrne/Wolfman Lex and all business-oriented Lexes are the definitive. Every time someone talks about Lex, they talk about how he sees Metropolis as his city and how he pretends to be a philanthropist to the public eye and hides his crimes. It's as if the character didn't exist before 1986. And I feel like there's a lot of "this character has to be this specific way" with a lot of characters who were reinterpreted in the 80s and 90s. But when you really think about it, post crisis Lex is VERY different from what came before, enough in my mind that he can be a separate character from the golden and silver age versions. And the idea of there being a senior Lex and a junior Lex is by no means a new idea, so why not use it in main canon?

  9. #9
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    8,023

    Default

    I'm not a fan of trying to tie all the history and contradictions like that. Personally I believe continuity should be a more loose and vague interpretation in general. The gold or silver or bronze age no longer being the history of the stories going on now doesn't detract anyone's interest or enjoyment of them.

  10. #10
    Fantastic Member Last Son's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    390

    Default

    I dunno. I'm of the belief that there probably shouldn't have been any major universe-rebooting events and DC should have taken different steps to modernize their characters without contradicting decades of stories in the process. Marvel's had their own versions of reboots but they execute them differently, without crisis-type events. If there needed to be a character like the post crisis Lex to fit with the times, why couldn't they have just created a new character? So many details were so different from what came before he practically was new character, other than being bald and Superman's arch nemesis.

    I know not every contradiction can be reconciled but in instances where they can be reconciled, I don't get the resistance to it. Why are people so protective of CEO Lex? In my version, he still gets to exist but because he has to share the stage with a purely pre-crisis Lex, people don't like it.
    Last edited by Last Son; 07-06-2018 at 08:11 PM.

  11. #11
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    8,023

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Last Son View Post
    I dunno. I'm of the belief that there probably shouldn't have been any major universe-rebooting events and DC should have taken different steps to modernize their characters without contradicting decades of stories in the process. Marvel's had their own versions of reboots but they differently, without crisis-type events. If there needed to be a character like the post crisis Lex to fit with the times, why couldn't they have just created a new character? So many details were so different from what came before he practically was new character, other than being bald and Superman's arch nemesis.

    I know not every contradiction can be reconciled but in instances where they can be reconciled, I don't get the resistance to it. Why are people so protective of CEO Lex? In my version, he still gets to exist but because he has to share the stage with a purely pre-crisis Lex, people don't like it.
    I prefer scientist and CEO Lex to be the same Lex. DCAU Lex started with business and got more science-y over time. Birthright Lex was both. That's how I like Lex. And the occasional big reboot lets you redo the stories like origins and deaths in new and different ways. Wiping the slate comes with different opportunities. I enjoy the possibilities there. Reconciliation isn't a bad thing, but it doesn't pique my interest.

  12. #12
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    1,543

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Last Son View Post
    I've made a few posts about this, but rather than hijacking other people's topics, I figured I'd make one myself to share some of my ideas on how to fix a few conflicts and continuity errors caused by all the reboots.
    Honestly, I'vwe gotten tired of all the continuity. The rigorous attempts to make continuity, and reboot every few years, has just gotten in the way of writing good stories.

    If tomorrow morning, if they just decided to quietly, without pronouncements, just decided to restart without superkids, and complications, and just focus on telling good stories, I'd be very pleased.

    As average comics reader might follow a title for 5 years, tops. So why make yourself crazy trying to dovetail good stories with continuity from 30 years ago. I would keep like a floating window of no more than 3 years.

  13. #13
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    1,543

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    I'm not a fan of trying to tie all the history and contradictions like that. Personally I believe continuity should be a more loose and vague interpretation in general. The gold or silver or bronze age no longer being the history of the stories going on now doesn't detract anyone's interest or enjoyment of them.


    Aman - Bruther

  14. #14
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    6,989

    Default

    I like the idea of trying to tie various incarnations together into a neat bow, particularly with this version that incorporates so many versions of him.

    I am all for including more Luthor family drama into the mythos. Lionel, in the early seasons, was such a magnificent bastard. I would love to more of him in the comics beyond the drunk loser he's been relegated to in the comics so far.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    2,160

    Default

    I've seen a few "Elseworldish" fan-fic ideas that tried to give a single history for Superman based off the conflicting histories.

    A Wold-Newton site had a whole Luthor family that tied in several variant takes on the villain (original red-headed Luthor, bald mad-scientist Lex Luthor, businessman Alexander Luthor, Smallville Lex) along with Ultra-humanite and Brainiac. It also managed to combine Superman in the comics with the Reeve movies and Smallville. Slightly off-the-subject but there explanation of Bizarro and how it ties in with real-life George Reeves is either hilarious or grotesque depending on your sense of humor.


    There also was another story dealing with the 1938 Superman which had an interesting way of then adding the Silver-Age Superboy and his cousin Kara/Supergirl. Either this one or a similar one managed to work-in the various names of Clark Kent's foster-parents (John/Eben/Jonathan and Mary/Sarah/Martha) so that all of them had a part in the story as Superman's parent.

Posting Permissions

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