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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris24601 View Post
    I think the pass is pure Game of Thrones cred. Momoa played badass Khal Drogo and thus all of the residual badassery is passed to Aquaman.

    Unlike Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman where the character has greater stature in public consciousness than the actor who plays them Momoa is actually a bigger name in pop culture than Aquaman and so Aquaman is elevated by association. He gets a pass on race/appearance because no one is joking about how he's the guy who "talks to fish" precisely because of the actor playing him.
    I won't argue with the notion that Momoa gets a pass just based on cred as an action hero. The irony there is that Momoa, while proud and vocal about his Hawaiian heritage (born in Honolulu, all that jazz), also has Irish and German and Native American roots and grew up in Iowa. Which gives him a way more "Superman" life experience, certainly, than Henry "definitely neither Jewish, nor American" Cavill. But moving onto my original point, looking at Arthur Curry's classic depiction as a very blonde, very blue-eyed, very pasty man, surname Curry (Celtic), coming from his father, but with a more exotic "from the oceans" mother, Momoa is actually pretty spot on casting ethnically, it's just his dark hair and tan that make the difference.

    Tangentially, Ben Affleck, kind of perfectly cast from a pure "on-paper" standpoint as Bruce Wayne.

    Anyways.

    I like Momoa a lot. I think his relative normalcy is actually where the real appeal in Aquaman is going to be, because before he's a Superhero and an Atlantean King, Aquaman is just a blue collar, small-town Mainer.
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  2. #77
    Astonishing Member FishyZombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francisco View Post
    I wonder if instead of making Clark a Kansas farmboy they should have made him a New Yorker? Perhaps he should have been just an orphan from Brooklyn/Queens/The Bronx/ who grew up to become The Superman, while posing as mild mannered ace reporter for the Daily Planet Clark Kent.
    Reminds me of something Mark Waid said that I take issue with. So anyone who doesn't grow up in a city, is going to grow up to be ignorant or a bigot? Plus like 97 percent of all heroes grew up in a city. Why take away qualities that distinguish him from the pack? Especially considering he moves to a city when he's a young man. So, it's not like he doesn't get the city experience.
    Last edited by FishyZombie; 06-26-2017 at 10:23 PM.

  3. #78
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    In the beginning, there was no reason to think that Clark was brought up on a farm or a small town. It seems like he's newly come to Metropolis (or Cleveland) from another place, but the little we see of his childhood suggests that was a town or city and not on a farm. It's only later, as the Superboy series develops, that young Clark's location moves further and further away from Metropolis to another town that is named Smallville.

    It's interesting that the Superman feature hardly has much to do with the Superboy stories. So there's a period where the Superboy feature is developing these concepts all on its own and then they are imported into the official Superman story. If the concept of Superman as Superboy had never been introduced, I wonder how much of that back story would have developed.

  4. #79
    Astonishing Member FishyZombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    In the beginning, there was no reason to think that Clark was brought up on a farm or a small town. It seems like he's newly come to Metropolis (or Cleveland) from another place, but the little we see of his childhood suggests that was a town or city and not on a farm. It's only later, as the Superboy series develops, that young Clark's location moves further and further away from Metropolis to another town that is named Smallville.

    It's interesting that the Superman feature hardly has much to do with the Superboy stories. So there's a period where the Superboy feature is developing these concepts all on its own and then they are imported into the official Superman story. If the concept of Superman as Superboy had never been introduced, I wonder how much of that back story would have developed.
    I think the idea is that if he lives in a high populated city, it's harder to write how he'd discover/learn how to control his powers without getting discovered. A kryptonian's powers are a lot more flashier than the likes of Spider-man, Daredevil or even Flash. Like you do a flashback of him learning heatvision, if he lives on a secluded farm, kid Clark might accidentally burn a bunch of crops and nobody sees him. If he's in a city, him discovering his powers chances are he'll be seen shooting lasers out of his eyes by someone, and he'd be lucky if he doesn't chop a skyscrapper in half or something. Flight would be trickier too. Hell even if he was discovered you could go the american alien route and say that the town knew about "Clark the kid alien" but they keep it to themselves. Can't do that with an entire city. So to me it's makes more sense for him to grow up somewhere less populated. Trade off is that it might not be as diverse as a real life small town in Kansas. But Smallville is fictional, it can be as diverse as the writers want it to be.

  5. #80
    Mighty Member manduck37's Avatar
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    I always thought that Superman's Caucasian ethnicity tied into some aspects of his Jewish roots and the secret identity. It ties a bit into the discrimination that Jewish immigrants faced. Many Jewish people often changed their names to hide their Jewish background so they could get work. Just look at Stan Lee, for example. So the idea that Clark's real name is this exotic name (with Hebrew ties) yet he assumes a more Christian sounding name to blend in actually fits the experience of many Jewish immigrants. He looks like everyone else and isn't a minority, so he blends in pretty easily. Yet he's actually hiding a heritage that could get him in trouble with the public or the government. It adds a layer to the idea that Clark needs a secret identity, as it ties into a cultural phenomenon that his creators may have experienced.

    Now, I do really like the idea of having a Superman of a different ethnicity out there. Which is why I like things like the multiverse or even expansions of the Superman idea like New Super-Man. I've been saying for years that if they put out a Calvin Ellis Superman book, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. It's such a shame that he's had so little exposure. He's such a great character that it feels like a waste to have him just floating out there with no one using him.

  6. #81
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    I know that Muhammad Ali is the "Black Superman" and I know that "Sunshine Superman" is supposed to have existed on Earth-D, but I have a vague memory from the 1970s of seeing a Black Superman in underground or ground level comix, which Sunshine Superman might have been referencing, that wasn't sanctioned by DC.

    Can anyone clear up my confusion?

  7. #82
    Astonishing Member Francisco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishyZombie View Post
    Reminds me of something Mark Waid said that I take issue with. So anyone who doesn't grow up in a city, is going to grow up to be ignorant or a bigot? Plus like 97 percent of all heroes grew up in a city. Why take away qualities that distinguish him from the pack? Especially considering he moves to a city when he's a young man. So, it's not like he doesn't get the city experience.
    I didn't mean it like that. It was more like what if Clark was actually adopted and raised by New York jews instead of Kansas methodists farmers?

    And about hiding the powers, remember that the original powerset was: superhuman strength, bulletproof skin, superhuman agility and speed, able to leap tall buildings. Back alleys and abandoned warehouses would be the perfect place for little Clark to discover his powers away from spying eyes. I agree that the big city setting would work a lot better for Golden Age Superman than for silver and/or modern age Superman.
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  8. #83
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    I imagine that the Kents that we glmpse in the early Siegel and Shuster stories were based on their parents. So a Cleveland Jewish couple (Lithuanian immigrants) and a Toronto Jewish couple (Dutch and Ukrainian immigrants), raising a Jewish Canadian-American boy. Write what you know.

  9. #84
    Pretty Little Liar. Troian's Avatar
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    He is an alien who happens to look Anglo-American. More specifically, he would probably be called the "North Atlantid" phenotype. His ethnicity/race/whatever is Kryptonian. I can see what you're saying though, but physically and in origins he is not human. If he appears "African America " to us, he would not be "African American" unless you change his origins and made him human and having ancestry from that continent.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeathBlue View Post
    Superman - Kal El - Clark Kent, is white, why can't it be left at that...
    He is an alien so technically all this skin color stuff that normally applies to humans wouldn't really apply to him. Js. :P

  10. #85
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    Even among Earth humans, all this skin colour stuff is not based in racial categories (which is really just science-y BS that people came up with so they could divide humans into fake categories). The Caucasoid group in this racial scheme includes South Asians, Arabs and Hispanics. The people of Melanesia, who have Denisovan DNA (just like Europeans and Asians have Neanderthal DNA), express blonde hair in a quarter of the population--which, knowing our Mendel from high school science, means that they have blonde-hair as a recessive trait even though they're dark skinned--seems to be a trait inherited from the distant Denisovan ancestors.

    So it's not unthinkable that humans on Krypton have a mixture of observable traits in the colour of their skin, hair and eyes or the shapes of their noses, ears or eyes. As well as hidden traits, like the ability to metabolize milk in adult humans. And there's no reason it has to be exactly the same as it's happened in Earth history. Our DNA is almost completely the same in all Earth humans, yet slight variation accounts for these superficial differences.

    In the 1930s and 1940s, it made financial sense to base all the heroes on the dominant white population in North America, but as our society becomes more diverse and inclusive, it makes less sense to do that. So there's no compelling reason why Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and Diana Prince have to be 100% light skinned, blue-eyed milk-drinking people. Especially as comics books have a strong appeal to the disenfranchised and marginalized in society. Comic books have a lot of fans in these communities who want to see themselves relfected in their heroes.

  11. #86
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Even among Earth humans, all this skin colour stuff is not based in racial categories (which is really just science-y BS that people came up with so they could divide humans into fake categories). The Caucasoid group in this racial scheme includes South Asians, Arabs and Hispanics. The people of Melanesia, who have Denisovan DNA (just like Europeans and Asians have Neanderthal DNA), express blonde hair in a quarter of the population--which, knowing our Mendel from high school science, means that they have blonde-hair as a recessive trait even though they're dark skinned--seems to be a trait inherited from the distant Denisovan ancestors.

    So it's not unthinkable that humans on Krypton have a mixture of observable traits in the colour of their skin, hair and eyes or the shapes of their noses, ears or eyes. As well as hidden traits, like the ability to metabolize milk in adult humans. And there's no reason it has to be exactly the same as it's happened in Earth history. Our DNA is almost completely the same in all Earth humans, yet slight variation accounts for these superficial differences.

    In the 1930s and 1940s, it made financial sense to base all the heroes on the dominant white population in North America, but as our society becomes more diverse and inclusive, it makes less sense to do that. So there's no compelling reason why Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and Diana Prince have to be 100% light skinned, blue-eyed milk-drinking people. Especially as comics books have a strong appeal to the disenfranchised and marginalized in society. Comic books have a lot of fans in these communities who want to see themselves relfected in their heroes.
    Entirely correct, but you're leaving out the historic precedent.

    For 80 years, Superman has been a white skinned, dark haired man. That's what he looks like. And people aren't going to easily accept a change to that. I mean, just look at all the hysteria that the haircut in the 90's caused. And that was just a little longer hair in the back (fashionable at the time!)!

    So I think making a radical change to his skin tone is out of the question. And even here, in the micro-ism of our community, we've got people of color saying they dont need or want Superman changed to reflect them. His visual has been the same for ages and changing that just to appeal to diversity is, in their minds, pandering.

    I think the best we can do is a more subtle shift; more "non-white" facial structure/s, a more tanned skin tone that isn't lily Irish white but isn't so dark it completely changes what he looks like.

    I wouldn't rant and rave if DC changed Clark's ethnicity. I honestly dont care about skin color (maybe that's just my white privilege but isn't race-blind basically the goal?). But I dont think it would be accepted by the masses. Even if we, as a society, got past all these stupid race hangups, Superman has looked a certain way for generations. People aren't going to want to see that changed just so DC can point to it and claim to be progressive.
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  12. #87
    Knows some stuff thefiresky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf.B View Post
    For me, I think showing Kal growing up in rural poverty adds to his sense of morality. It's all about nurture over nature, Kal doesn't kick off his career with an innate moral compass born of his Kryptonian heritage, that comes from the loss he's endured and I think there needs to be more there to define this core character trait and psychological need to right wrongs. Growing up in poverty of any kind will cast a shroud on you, and for some that shroud is the need to see that it doesn't happen to others, with an ideology that sometimes extends beyond such a cause.

    Now it can be argued that a white Clark Kent can experience the same kind of poverty, if we look at the historics of the USA's agricultural economy over the past century, there have been some very good decades and some very bad ones. If you cast Supes as an orphan in a period like the Great Depression then whether he was white or black, he was going to grow up with little to eat. But if you put him as the adopted child of a black family in a time when white farmers were doing well, that becomes a whole other story, one that I would argue enriches Superman's personal ideology and backstory.
    Why does superman need to have grown up in poverty? I get the aspects that you're saying, and I agree that there are traits within superheroes that this benefits from, but not all. Ultimately I feel like you're describing a different superhero all together. Superman's lineage is a small town country boy with stereotypes like 'getting his hands dirty' 'working 5-9' 'never taking the easy road' etc. Basically thing's that his 'good ol' Pa' taught him while 'stacking bails of hay' and 'tending to the crops'. The idea here is that he is a hard worker, non-materialistic. I'm obviously not saying that you can't find these traits in individuals who are in poverty stricken areas, but back in the 1930's and 1940's, the easiest place to find those qualities and stereotypes were farm hands, mechanics and other hands-on jobs in America.

    You also say that the idea of having Superman coming from poverty "enriches Superman's personal ideology and backstory". I would venture to play devil's advocate and ask why the son of "white farmers doing well" can't provide ideology or an enriching backstory? Overall I think that it's difficult for people to relate to different upbringings. Most people feel that their personal upbringing (whether poor or rich) has instilled them with better morals than the person next to them because they are either "blessed by opportunities others didn't have" or "had to work hard for they have". I think Superman sits comfortably in the middle of those two viewpoints. Honestly we all want Superheroes to be just like us from looks to morals. Back in the day when superheroes were just the name behind the stories they were teaching, they could have been drawn like anyone (given perspective time tables in America - let's be honest). But now that these characters have been around so long, they have history, continuity and lineage that follows them. I don't really agree that any of their physical traits or backstories need to be rendered to tell a different story. Also Superman doesn't have to encompass stories of poverty or struggle, that's what I read characters like Dardevil, Spider-Man, Luke Cage and Black Widow for - that tragic hard struggling backstory.

    Just my opinion. Hope no offense was taken. Also btw, Superman makes dirt money annually lol. That dude has spent years "not having enough money to take Lois out on a date" etc.
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  13. #88
    Astonishing Member Tuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    So there's no compelling reason why Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and Diana Prince have to be 100% light skinned, blue-eyed milk-drinking people.
    Generally, sure, but Bruce could really only be bi-racial unless the Wayne fortune is no longer old money.

  14. #89
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thefiresky View Post
    Why does superman need to have grown up in poverty? I get the aspects that you're saying, and I agree that there are traits within superheroes that this benefits from, but not all. Ultimately I feel like you're describing a different superhero all together. Superman's lineage is a small town country boy with stereotypes like 'getting his hands dirty' 'working 5-9' 'never taking the easy road' etc. Basically thing's that his 'good ol' Pa' taught him while 'stacking bails of hay' and 'tending to the crops'. The idea here is that he is a hard worker, non-materialistic. I'm obviously not saying that you can't find these traits in individuals who are in poverty stricken areas, but back in the 1930's and 1940's, the easiest place to find those qualities and stereotypes were farm hands, mechanics and other hands-on jobs in America.

    You also say that the idea of having Superman coming from poverty "enriches Superman's personal ideology and backstory". I would venture to play devil's advocate and ask why the son of "white farmers doing well" can't provide ideology or an enriching backstory? Overall I think that it's difficult for people to relate to different upbringings. Most people feel that their personal upbringing (whether poor or rich) has instilled them with better morals than the person next to them because they are either "blessed by opportunities others didn't have" or "had to work hard for they have". I think Superman sits comfortably in the middle of those two viewpoints. Honestly we all want Superheroes to be just like us from looks to morals. Back in the day when superheroes were just the name behind the stories they were teaching, they could have been drawn like anyone (given perspective time tables in America - let's be honest). But now that these characters have been around so long, they have history, continuity and lineage that follows them. I don't really agree that any of their physical traits or backstories need to be rendered to tell a different story. Also Superman doesn't have to encompass stories of poverty or struggle, that's what I read characters like Dardevil, Spider-Man, Luke Cage and Black Widow for - that tragic hard struggling backstory.

    Just my opinion. Hope no offense was taken. Also btw, Superman makes dirt money annually lol. That dude has spent years "not having enough money to take Lois out on a date" etc.
    The reason why Clark has to come from a poor background is so he can rise above it and get out of poverty. This is an integral part of the classic American Dream that Superman represents.

    Clark's a self-made man who came up from humble, poverty stricken roots to build a solid, comfortable middle-class life for himself and (depending on the version) achieved success and (award winning) renown in his chosen field.

    If he comes from a wealthy or middle-class family, there's no mountain for him to climb. If he comes from poverty and remains there, he hasn't achieved this particular aspect of the Dream.

    As for the bolded part, I dont agree with that. I dont need my heroes to look or act like me. I adore Superman and I dont agree with several of his ethics (including the no-kill code). I like Ollie Queen and dont agree with all of his politics (he's far too left for this left-leaning moderate). I adore Icon and I dont agree with his Republican politics and Im not black. I love Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and I dont share their monarchy-based politics (and Im not a woman or a blonde either). I like Batman (most of the time) and Im not rich. I love Ms. Marvel and I am neither a teen, a girl, or a Muslim. I like variety in my life, and having my own views thrown back at me is boring as hell.

    Just my opinion, and also no offense meant (just as no offense was taken)
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  15. #90
    Knows some stuff thefiresky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    The reason why Clark has to come from a poor background is so he can rise above it and get out of poverty. This is an integral part of the classic American Dream that Superman represents.

    Clark's a self-made man who came up from humble, poverty stricken roots to build a solid, comfortable middle-class life for himself and (depending on the version) achieved success and (award winning) renown in his chosen field.

    If he comes from a wealthy or middle-class family, there's no mountain for him to climb. If he comes from poverty and remains there, he hasn't achieved this particular aspect of the Dream.

    As for the bolded part, I dont agree with that. I dont need my heroes to look or act like me. I adore Superman and I dont agree with several of his ethics (including the no-kill code). I like Ollie Queen and dont agree with all of his politics (he's far too left for this left-leaning moderate). I adore Icon and I dont agree with his Republican politics and Im not black. I love Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and I dont share their monarchy-based politics (and Im not a woman or a blonde either). I like Batman (most of the time) and Im not rich. I love Ms. Marvel and I am neither a teen, a girl, or a Muslim. I like variety in my life, and having my own views thrown back at me is boring as hell.

    Just my opinion, and also no offense meant (just as no offense was taken)
    I think you're missing my premise. My post was in response to the OP who is saying that Superman DOES NOT come from poverty and that he SHOULD. And Superman should also be simultaneously BLACK and POOR so that his back story and ideologies can be 'enriched'. I (like you) believe he already has an 'American Dream' type upbringing.

    Also, my quote "Honestly we all want Superheroes to be just like us from looks to morals" that you disagree with, is more of a subliminal pattern of thinking. People who often vow for change in these characters feel a lacking sense of relate-ability. That is merely what I meant.

    Ultimately this post was for the original thread topic.
    Last edited by thefiresky; 06-30-2017 at 03:18 PM.
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