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  #561  
Old 02-07-2011, 09:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erroneous View Post
Superman is boring. Remaking or rebooting or whatever is a waste. They need to forget about the comic and former movies and tv shows and totally rewrite the whole story. Just keep the super strength and flying ability.
Couldn't disagree with you more.

Two things: Superman is not boring. I don't understand why people think he is. He is a very complex character.

Second, forget the comic books? What?
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  #562  
Old 02-08-2011, 12:30 AM
Was it JJ Abrams who at one point had a detailed concept for a completely revamped, reimagined Superman that the comic fans despised?
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  #563  
Old 02-08-2011, 12:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannywalker17 View Post
Was it JJ Abrams who at one point had a detailed concept for a completely revamped, reimagined Superman that the comic fans despised?
Yeah, that was him. It was a bad script. It wasn't even the changes so much as the writing just being pretty bad. If anyone is curious: http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/S...JAbrams%29.pdf
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  #564  
Old 02-08-2011, 04:29 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Soloist View Post
Couldn't disagree with you more.

Two things: Superman is not boring. I don't understand why people think he is. He is a very complex character.

Second, forget the comic books? What?
hence his handle.

that's a terrible idea...i mean..it's like making a harry potter movie without the books.
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  #565  
Old 02-08-2011, 09:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PR0J3KT M View Post
hence his handle.

that's a terrible idea...i mean..it's like making a harry potter movie without the books.
Exactly. It would be a horrible, horrible idea.
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  #566  
Old 02-08-2011, 09:04 AM
Just found an article saying how Lohan is meeting with the Superman people about a role in the movie, most likely Ursa.

I pray for everything that is good in this world, that this does not happen. If she were cast, then this movie would have little respect from me, if at all.

http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/02/08...uperman-movie/

I really hope this news is fake. Would be a disaster.
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  #567  
Old 02-08-2011, 09:11 AM
She's about to go back to jail, so I doubt she's gonna be landing any roles soon....
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  #568  
Old 02-08-2011, 09:50 AM
"Superman is such a complex character!"

- something said by people who have no idea what it means to be a complex character
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  #569  
Old 02-08-2011, 12:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
"Superman is such a complex character!"

- something said by people who have no idea what it means to be a complex character
And you do right?

Some of us who have been fans of Superman and know the comics and source material know he is a complex character.
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  #570  
Old 02-08-2011, 12:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
"Superman is such a complex character!"

- something said by people who have no idea what it means to be a complex character
Dutch, I usually got ya back, but Superman really is a pretty complex character. Unfortunately, most writers do not know how to utilize this element and he comes across as flat.

Last edited by Smiert Spionam; 02-08-2011 at 03:17 PM..
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  #571  
Old 02-08-2011, 02:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiert Spionam View Post
Dutch, I usually got ya back, but Superman really is a pretty complex character. Unfortunately, most writers do not know how to utilize this element and he comes across a flat.
Thank you for saying in two sentences what it would have taken me two pages to articulate. The biggest problem Superman has is the writing; a problem that goes back all the way to the first Superman movie. You all know how Hollywood is. I have a theory that every single person in the motion picture industry is a blind squirrel, you toss down a nut, and all the squirrles go crazy over it. So, what do they do? Whichever squirrel got the nut, all the other squirrles do exactly what that squirrel did, until someday, when a new squirrel comes along and tries something different.

The first Superman movie, despite not being a very faithful adaptation, was successful, very, very much so, to the point that, today, people cannot picture Superman as being otherwise. The same thing happened to Batman. The TV show was extremely successful and led a whole generation of people to figure that not only was that what Batman was all about, but that that was what comics, in general, was all about. The Schumacher Batman films re-inforced the camp stereotype, but, by that time, the horse had left the barn. It took Christopher Nolan coming along and throwing out every single thing that was camp about the character, and going back to the roots, to reinvogorate the franchise. I could see the same thing being true for Superman.

Those of you who read my posts regularly know that, of all Superheroes, Superman is the character I would most like to get my own hands on and make a movie about. I say this because the opportunity is there, there are so many parts of Superman that have been passed over because of the general lack of vision on the part of the people who have been in charge. There's so much potential, its sickening. My own Superman movie idea generated quite a bit of debate earlier in this thread. I got more than a few "that's the dumbest idea I've ever heard", which is fine. I also found out that there was more than a few people who could see what I saw from the character. I'll say it again, Superman's origin story (to take one aspect of the character) is Biblical in its scope. Done properly, you're talking about a film that has every single thing you could possibly want in a movie.
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  #572  
Old 02-08-2011, 05:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by soda View Post
Thank you for saying in two sentences what it would have taken me two pages to articulate. The biggest problem Superman has is the writing; a problem that goes back all the way to the first Superman movie. You all know how Hollywood is. I have a theory that every single person in the motion picture industry is a blind squirrel, you toss down a nut, and all the squirrles go crazy over it. So, what do they do? Whichever squirrel got the nut, all the other squirrles do exactly what that squirrel did, until someday, when a new squirrel comes along and tries something different.

The first Superman movie, despite not being a very faithful adaptation, was successful, very, very much so, to the point that, today, people cannot picture Superman as being otherwise. The same thing happened to Batman. The TV show was extremely successful and led a whole generation of people to figure that not only was that what Batman was all about, but that that was what comics, in general, was all about. The Schumacher Batman films re-inforced the camp stereotype, but, by that time, the horse had left the barn. It took Christopher Nolan coming along and throwing out every single thing that was camp about the character, and going back to the roots, to reinvogorate the franchise. I could see the same thing being true for Superman.

Those of you who read my posts regularly know that, of all Superheroes, Superman is the character I would most like to get my own hands on and make a movie about. I say this because the opportunity is there, there are so many parts of Superman that have been passed over because of the general lack of vision on the part of the people who have been in charge. There's so much potential, its sickening. My own Superman movie idea generated quite a bit of debate earlier in this thread. I got more than a few "that's the dumbest idea I've ever heard", which is fine. I also found out that there was more than a few people who could see what I saw from the character. I'll say it again, Superman's origin story (to take one aspect of the character) is Biblical in its scope. Done properly, you're talking about a film that has every single thing you could possibly want in a movie.
Nice post. Superman is complex. It's just so difficult to hear people say that Superman is boring.
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  #573  
Old 02-09-2011, 12:05 AM
I think ppl think superman is boring because there hasnt been a fresh take on superman.there are the classic,an then there is superman returns which to me was a sequel of the old films.(felt like it to me).I think they need to show how superman feels.as Clark he wants to fit in but he can't becaue he isn't like everyone else.and as superman he wants to stand for all the good things he sees in the human race,even tho humans themselves do things that go against his faith in the human race.I feel supermans story is epic.he's the last real pure hood guy that does t allow the evil in today's world taint his morals and beliefs.he is fighting the bad guys,but fighting society themselves.he's protecting humans who somepeople can argue don't deserve his protection.but he sees the great things humans are capable of such as morality,kindness etc.I think supermans story can be epic.a alien from a planet destroyed is takin in and showed great live and how to believe in doing the righ thing even when it's not being done by majority of people.Superman can be epic if dine right.
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  #574  
Old 02-09-2011, 12:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Soloist View Post
Nice post. Superman is complex. It's just so difficult to hear people say that Superman is boring.

The problem is a cinematic one. Superman is a God. He was created in a DC AGE of Gods that include Wonder Woman - a film they still cant seem to crack. How the hell can a story teller create dramatic tension when dealing with a character that is, essentially, unkillable?

Bryan Singer knew this, and thats exactly why Superman Returns was so melodramatic. It's why I've screamed for years for Superman to drop a number of his powers - including x-ray, heat vision, super hearing, ice breath - and lessen his others, less invincibility, less speed, less strength.

But these are all action-oriented. The other reason people see him as boring is his "truth, justice and the American way" spiel. God, how boring. Batman stands for the same things, but he isnt rescuing kittens from trees.

Superman isnt allowed to have problems. He's supposed to be Apple Pie 24/7. But then there's Clark... bumbling, odd, never gets the girl. But he's got it pretty sweet too - big time job at the world's largest paper, total hottie that he knows secretly wants him, nice apartment, and, oh yeah, a fucking ice fortress cuz he's fucking Superman.

Yawn.

Imagine, if you will, A Clark Kent that ACTUALLY doesnt know what he's doing with the ladies - and not just faking it. Imagine one that can't keep a job because he spends so much time saving the world. Imagine that he lives in a shitty studio apartment in a Metropolis project. Now, imagine him putting th cape on and actually being HURT by bullets. Not killed, mind you, but afraid enough to actually attempt to avoid them. Punch him and he bleeds. The bad guys are faster than he is, stronger than he is, and - especially in the case of Lex - smarter than he is. But it's his ironclad will - and not his ironclad genetic structure - that allows him to persevere against insurmountable odds.

Now, let me ask you, doesnt THAT sound like a more "complex" character?

I get that Superman is a stranger on the planet he calls home, but the "fish out of water" story just doesnt matter BECAUSE HE'S FUCKING SUPERMAN. Sad that Lois wont marry you? Fly into the local titty bar and fuck everyone in there in under a minute. Its just SO HARD to feel sorry for Clark because at the end of the day, HE'S STILL FUCKING SUPERMAN.

So his mother and father died. To quote my good friend Carmine Falcone, "he's never tasted desperate." Clark has been taken care of with the best parents a person can ask for from the moment he landed on this rock. And it only got sweeter from there.

It's not hard to see why people find him so boring. Basically, he has it all. Life is rarely difficult.

You wanna know the very BEST part of Superman Returns??? Clark is in the hospital, near death - and his own mother can't visit him because it would give away his identity. HEARTBREAKING. But it's heartbreaking for HER, not for Clark. Certainly not for Superman.

He's got a lot of problems, narratively speaking. But they can be fixed with the right script, and from the sounds of things, this Snyder one has real promise, namely that it takes place with a younger Clark Kent, in the space between "Smallville" and the Daily Planet, in his more formative years. But I guess we'll see.
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  #575  
Old 02-09-2011, 02:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjohnson View Post
Imagine, if you will, A Clark Kent that ACTUALLY doesnt know what he's doing with the ladies - and not just faking it. Imagine one that can't keep a job because he spends so much time saving the world. Imagine that he lives in a shitty studio apartment in a Metropolis project. Now, imagine him putting th cape on and actually being HURT by bullets. Not killed, mind you, but afraid enough to actually attempt to avoid them. Punch him and he bleeds. The bad guys are faster than he is, stronger than he is, and - especially in the case of Lex - smarter than he is. But it's his ironclad will - and not his ironclad genetic structure - that allows him to persevere against insurmountable odds.

Now, let me ask you, doesnt THAT sound like a more "complex" character?
Actually, that sounds exactly like Peter Parker.
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  #576  
Old 02-09-2011, 03:05 AM
Im not with the having bullets hurt him thing.or the taking away his powers.Giving him a limit to his seemingly unlimited power would be cool.

I dont think the story of superman has been layed out right.I mean Clark doesnt have to be wealthy.His family own a farm.Ok...so.Who farms anymore.Maybe have them have the means to survive but not wealthy.Cuz thats where clark learns his morals.The fact he was raised with average financial back up to parents that are just the average citizens with an unaverage foster kid.lol

He could kill every villain if he wanted.Rob banks and do it so fast they wouldnt even notice who did it.lol.He could take over a country.maybe even earth.He can show he's superman and get all the ladies he wants.Why doesnt he do it??Hell, i know he has to question if he's doing the right thing protecting humans when sometimes it may seem like the worst threat to humans are humans ourselves.He can live like a god on earth but he doesnt.I believe the character of superman is a character built on faith.Clarks parents had faith he would have a good upbringing on earth cuz they saw something in us humans.Superman has faith in the GOOD us humans can accomplish despite the wrong doings we commit.So he defends us.Not cuz we deserve it,just because he believes we have potential to do great things.

And superman should be unable to get chicks.I think clark should come off as boring to the ladies.When he becomes clark he has to feel like "damn im superman but i cant tell them..but damn when im clarke im just a run of the mill guy who cant get a chick to save my life" He is suppose to be boring to the ladies cuz he is from a lil town where he grew up on a frickin farm and hes in the city where chicks want the high rollers who let the money show and he isnt that.lois is suppose to see him as her sidekick who always is some where else when she needs him.lol.Well until she finds out who he is.

I say the first villain should be Brainiac and another villian with braniac being a computer with no body until later.Luthor should be in the background somehow pulling strings to make things happen the way he wants to but not actually getting involved.If this is a real reboot and they start with superman first coming to earth and then getting to metropolis then i can see them using Zod.im not against them using Zod as long as he is fresh with a new take on the character that isnt like the old superman films.The phantom Zone should be involved of course and the people inside beside Zod.

Getting ahead of myself but i think the second film should definetly have darkseid as the main villian.With his minions.

A third (im saying this cuz i know how films tend to always try for the trilogy) should then be doomsday.

idk about the characters of supergirl or superboy.Should they be in the films?Let me know what you guys think cuz im unsure which way to lean.And who could play them?I really wanna hear what you guys think cuz i really have no idea how they can be put in and etc.
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  #577  
Old 02-09-2011, 05:46 AM
adamjohnson, just admit that you don't really like Superman. If you honestly think that you make a character more interesting by taking away most of his powers, I really don't know what to say to you. This rationalization that because you find it hard to sympathize with him is what makes him boring, frankly, blows my mind. Are you unable to sympathize with rich people too?
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  #578  
Old 02-09-2011, 09:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiert Spionam View Post
adamjohnson, just admit that you don't really like Superman. If you honestly think that you make a character more interesting by taking away most of his powers, I really don't know what to say to you. This rationalization that because you find it hard to sympathize with him is what makes him boring, frankly, blows my mind. Are you unable to sympathize with rich people too?
I agree 100%. Taking his powers away would be a horrible idea.

It's just that no one has been able to tell both sides of Superman correctly. If Snyder is able to tell the story of Clark Kent and the story of Superman correctly and in an easy way in this new movie, then I think alot more people will see why he is a great character and complex.
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  #579  
Old 02-09-2011, 09:57 AM
It's about dramatic tension. How can it exist with a character that is invincible?

Superman's powers have been weakened over time for this very reason. He used to be able to move planets, now he struggles to lift continents. Im only continuing the trend.
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  #580  
Old 02-09-2011, 02:58 PM
I just think it's hard for writers to come up with a good balance for the guy. I don't want Supes to be able to move planets but I don't want him to wince when he gets shot buy a 12 gauge either. One of the many reasons I love the animated series from the 90s is because Supes can get hurt a bit more easily. He's still damn near invincible, but shit seems to knock him back a few steps and wind him easier in the cartoon.
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  #581  
Old 02-09-2011, 03:27 PM
Superman isn't invincible. All you need is a little kryptonite and he's in big trouble.
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  #582  
Old 02-09-2011, 03:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemovies View Post
Superman isn't invincible. All you need is a little kryptonite and he's in big trouble.
Which is the problem.

Is there going to be a Superman film WITHOUT kryptonite? Any "plan" to defeat Superman is automatically going to require Kryptonite to defeat him.

I mean, geez, if Superman wasn't borderline retarded he would spend a few weeks finding a destroying all the kryptonite on the planet.
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  #583  
Old 02-09-2011, 04:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by poopontheshoes7 View Post
I just think it's hard for writers to come up with a good balance for the guy. I don't want Supes to be able to move planets but I don't want him to wince when he gets shot buy a 12 gauge either. One of the many reasons I love the animated series from the 90s is because Supes can get hurt a bit more easily. He's still damn near invincible, but shit seems to knock him back a few steps and wind him easier in the cartoon.

You've just cited a reason why I have a love/hate relationship with the animated series. I seriously saw an episode where Supes got shot with a slew of normal bullets and he groans in pain. They toned down his powers so much (even more than Byrne did in his reboot of the Man of Steel) that he wasn't even fun some of the time.

Superman is fine the way he is, he just has to be adapted correctly. That said, I'm a huge fan of the Donner films and Superman Returns and feel that he was portrayed honestly in those films. Tone down the extent of some of those powers (like turning back time) and you have a perfect adaptation of Superman.
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  #584  
Old 02-09-2011, 05:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiert Spionam View Post
Dutch, I usually got ya back, but Superman really is a pretty complex character. Unfortunately, most writers do not know how to utilize this element and he comes across as flat.
Smiert, with all due respect, of which there is plenty, I still disagree with this clarification: I'm coming from the perspective of someone who hasn't read and doesn't care to ever read the comics. In various incarnations in the comic books under the right writer he may be a great character. I speak of the character Superman as seen on film. Never on film, and I've seen them all, has he ever been anything but boring and boring with a side of boring. And being steered by the manchild spawn of Satan that is Zach Snyder, I have no reason to believe this outing will be any different, except he will also be insufferable and move in slow motion.
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  #585  
Old 02-09-2011, 05:50 PM
They should start making a new story about Superman's son instead of doing Superman all the time. That would be more interesting.
Maybe stripping off half his power cause he is a half-breed. Then he will need to have some kind of armor/costume or gadgets to assist him (get the help from Bruce Wayne, maybe?).
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  #586  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
Smiert, with all due respect, of which there is plenty, I still disagree with this clarification: I'm coming from the perspective of someone who hasn't read and doesn't care to ever read the comics. In various incarnations in the comic books under the right writer he may be a great character. I speak of the character Superman as seen on film. Never on film, and I've seen them all, has he ever been anything but boring and boring with a side of boring. And being steered by the manchild spawn of Satan that is Zach Snyder, I have no reason to believe this outing will be any different, except he will also be insufferable and move in slow motion.
So, then, something that you have never read:



Widely considered the best modern Superman comic, by just about everyone. Grant Morrison is hit or miss, for me, but all star superman is a huge hit. Frank Quietly is one of the best artists in the biz. This book was the perfect blend of an iconic hero with a few new tweeks. It shows the potential, and the story-telling upside, of Superman, and why generations of fans want this to be done right.
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  #587  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:25 PM
So are those clouds or just the smoke from all the reefer Supes has been puffing on?
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  #588  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:37 PM
Well, it sounds like someone was high when they wrote it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Star_Superman
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  #589  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjohnson View Post
The problem is a cinematic one. Superman is a God. He was created in a DC AGE of Gods that include Wonder Woman - a film they still cant seem to crack. How the hell can a story teller create dramatic tension when dealing with a character that is, essentially, unkillable?

Bryan Singer knew this, and thats exactly why Superman Returns was so melodramatic. It's why I've screamed for years for Superman to drop a number of his powers - including x-ray, heat vision, super hearing, ice breath - and lessen his others, less invincibility, less speed, less strength.

But these are all action-oriented. The other reason people see him as boring is his "truth, justice and the American way" spiel. God, how boring. Batman stands for the same things, but he isnt rescuing kittens from trees.

Superman isnt allowed to have problems. He's supposed to be Apple Pie 24/7. But then there's Clark... bumbling, odd, never gets the girl. But he's got it pretty sweet too - big time job at the world's largest paper, total hottie that he knows secretly wants him, nice apartment, and, oh yeah, a fucking ice fortress cuz he's fucking Superman.

Yawn.

Imagine, if you will, A Clark Kent that ACTUALLY doesnt know what he's doing with the ladies - and not just faking it. Imagine one that can't keep a job because he spends so much time saving the world. Imagine that he lives in a shitty studio apartment in a Metropolis project. Now, imagine him putting th cape on and actually being HURT by bullets. Not killed, mind you, but afraid enough to actually attempt to avoid them. Punch him and he bleeds. The bad guys are faster than he is, stronger than he is, and - especially in the case of Lex - smarter than he is. But it's his ironclad will - and not his ironclad genetic structure - that allows him to persevere against insurmountable odds.

Now, let me ask you, doesnt THAT sound like a more "complex" character?

I get that Superman is a stranger on the planet he calls home, but the "fish out of water" story just doesnt matter BECAUSE HE'S FUCKING SUPERMAN. Sad that Lois wont marry you? Fly into the local titty bar and fuck everyone in there in under a minute. Its just SO HARD to feel sorry for Clark because at the end of the day, HE'S STILL FUCKING SUPERMAN.

So his mother and father died. To quote my good friend Carmine Falcone, "he's never tasted desperate." Clark has been taken care of with the best parents a person can ask for from the moment he landed on this rock. And it only got sweeter from there.

It's not hard to see why people find him so boring. Basically, he has it all. Life is rarely difficult.

You wanna know the very BEST part of Superman Returns??? Clark is in the hospital, near death - and his own mother can't visit him because it would give away his identity. HEARTBREAKING. But it's heartbreaking for HER, not for Clark. Certainly not for Superman.

He's got a lot of problems, narratively speaking. But they can be fixed with the right script, and from the sounds of things, this Snyder one has real promise, namely that it takes place with a younger Clark Kent, in the space between "Smallville" and the Daily Planet, in his more formative years. But I guess we'll see.
You know what's funny? That in the first sentence of your post, you mention Wonder Woman, the cautionary tale for anyone and everyone in the comics biz who would seek to depower a superhero. Take the way-back machine about forty years, to the late 1960s. Wonder Woman was seen as too powerful, so Denny O'neil decided that she would give up her powers and take a job in man's world, and that she would take karate lessons at night to fight crime.

You want to know who protested the LOUDEST over that change? Women's groups, who said that they had taken away the only powerful woman in comics. Fans also reacted badly, and, a few months later, with a terse apology, Wonder Woman was Wonder Woman again. More recently, JMS decided to radiacally change Wonder Woman, in his run on the book. The community was about evenly split over the change, and it caught some fire in the national media. Shortly after he started, JMS stopped writing Wonder Woman to "focus" on writing Superman: earth one.

That's the tradeoff you make when you take on an icon. To my mind, the only sucessfull "new direction" for a character in a film was Batman, and that was because Nolan went back to basics. The realizism was a new angle, as far as films go, but it made sense for a super-hero who doesn't have powers. Also, as far as Superman goes, there are any number of alternatives to a strict depowering, there's:



Which is again, one of the best modern Superman stories, written by Geoff Johns, with art by Pete Wood. In it, Superman is, for awhile, completely depowered, because during the events of Infinite Crisis, Kal-el and Kal-L drove Superboy Prime through a red sun and thus, lost their powers. It took Superman a full year to recover his abilities. There's also:



Which is also considered a classic, in it Superman "loses" his powers, in that, because of gold K, he fights his last battle. He and Lois retire (Superman taking up the job of a mechanic) and live happily ever after. It was a story that was considered to be a buttress (an ending) for the silver age character, before the Byrness reboot.

There are of course, other examples, such as the famous episode of JLU:



In which Superman is under mind control (happens a lot) and is having a dream where he's back on Krypton as a normal man. Krypton is still intact, and he has a wife and a family.

The point is that, if you want a depowered character, there are ways to do it that go beyond just powering someone down. Heck, you could even say that his lack of powers come from being under the influence of Starro, something that's been done more than once.

All of that, though, doesn't address what I think is the fundamental thing about Superman that's untapped: his mythology. How many villians have you seen on the big screen? Two: Luthor and Zod (Nuclear man doesn't count). Compare that with the number of Spidey villians or the number of Batman villians. Superman has a huge rogues gallery, some of which are interesting villians. There's doomsday, who everyone seems to want, but, for my money, the man with the most potential is this guy:



Over the years, Darkseid has evolved into a Justice League villian, because, as they said in Marvel comics when they formed the Avengers, there are some problems that no one hero could handle alone. Darkseid is one of those problems, if Superman seems like a God, Darkseid really IS a God. Immortal, utterly evil, with an entire planet of super-powered (translation: just as strong as Superman is) henchmen to do his bidding. The fight scene between Superman and Big Barda, when she was still loyal to Darkseid, would be incredible. And she's just one of Darkseid's minions.

I guess my point is that there are things that could be done about the power level, without actually reducing it per se. I do think that's not the way to go, as I would love to make a Superman Darkseid movie, where Superman can punch as hard as he wants to, not having to hold back, because Darkseid can take it. In my own superman movie idea, the last days of Krypton, Darkseid would play the role of King Herrod in that particular drama, and its one I could see him playing easily.
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  #590  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjohnson View Post
Well, it sounds like someone was high when they wrote it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Star_Superman
That's the thing about Morrison, all of his stuff reads like he was high when he wrote it. Morrison is one of the most incredibly intelligent people you will find, in any business, and he has an encyclopediatriac recall of all of the golden age and silver age stories. He's a self-proclaimed "idea rat" who will incorporate the best of what's come before into his work. Where Morrison struggles the most is when he's writing an event comic, something that has be mainstream (Final Crisis was awful). When he shines is when his publisher tells him "this is its own little world, do whatever the hell you want" All-star Superman is that book, there's no continuity (so its an elseworld, I guess) and Morrison is allowed to do whatever he wants, and he does. The return of Superwoman, Lois Lane (from the Silver Age), and Superman taking a TV job (also silver age) are but two examples. The book is a ton of fun to read.
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  #591  
Old 02-09-2011, 08:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by soda View Post
You know what's funny? That in the first sentence of your post, you mention Wonder Woman, the cautionary tale for anyone and everyone in the comics biz who would seek to depower a superhero. Take the way-back machine about forty years, to the late 1960s. Wonder Woman was seen as too powerful, so Denny O'neil decided that she would give up her powers and take a job in man's world, and that she would take karate lessons at night to fight crime.

You want to know who protested the LOUDEST over that change? Women's groups, who said that they had taken away the only powerful woman in comics. Fans also reacted badly, and, a few months later, with a terse apology, Wonder Woman was Wonder Woman again. More recently, JMS decided to radiacally change Wonder Woman, in his run on the book. The community was about evenly split over the change, and it caught some fire in the national media. Shortly after he started, JMS stopped writing Wonder Woman to "focus" on writing Superman: earth one.

That's the tradeoff you make when you take on an icon. To my mind, the only sucessfull "new direction" for a character in a film was Batman, and that was because Nolan went back to basics. The realizism was a new angle, as far as films go, but it made sense for a super-hero who doesn't have powers. Also, as far as Superman goes, there are any number of alternatives to a strict depowering, there's:



Which is again, one of the best modern Superman stories, written by Geoff Johns, with art by Pete Wood. In it, Superman is, for awhile, completely depowered, because during the events of Infinite Crisis, Kal-el and Kal-L drove Superboy Prime through a red sun and thus, lost their powers. It took Superman a full year to recover his abilities. There's also:



Which is also considered a classic, in it Superman "loses" his powers, in that, because of gold K, he fights his last battle. He and Lois retire (Superman taking up the job of a mechanic) and live happily ever after. It was a story that was considered to be a buttress (an ending) for the silver age character, before the Byrness reboot.

There are of course, other examples, such as the famous episode of JLU:



In which Superman is under mind control (happens a lot) and is having a dream where he's back on Krypton as a normal man. Krypton is still intact, and he has a wife and a family.

The point is that, if you want a depowered character, there are ways to do it that go beyond just powering someone down. Heck, you could even say that his lack of powers come from being under the influence of Starro, something that's been done more than once.

All of that, though, doesn't address what I think is the fundamental thing about Superman that's untapped: his mythology. How many villians have you seen on the big screen? Two: Luthor and Zod (Nuclear man doesn't count). Compare that with the number of Spidey villians or the number of Batman villians. Superman has a huge rogues gallery, some of which are interesting villians. There's doomsday, who everyone seems to want, but, for my money, the man with the most potential is this guy:



Over the years, Darkseid has evolved into a Justice League villian, because, as they said in Marvel comics when they formed the Avengers, there are some problems that no one hero could handle alone. Darkseid is one of those problems, if Superman seems like a God, Darkseid really IS a God. Immortal, utterly evil, with an entire planet of super-powered (translation: just as strong as Superman is) henchmen to do his bidding. The fight scene between Superman and Big Barda, when she was still loyal to Darkseid, would be incredible. And she's just one of Darkseid's minions.

I guess my point is that there are things that could be done about the power level, without actually reducing it per se. I do think that's not the way to go, as I would love to make a Superman Darkseid movie, where Superman can punch as hard as he wants to, not having to hold back, because Darkseid can take it. In my own superman movie idea, the last days of Krypton, Darkseid would play the role of King Herrod in that particular drama, and its one I could see him playing easily.
Eyeroll. You would spend 200 million to put ANY of those ideas on the big screen?

Yeah. Neither would any producer in the business.

I never said to de-power Superman completely. But t a certain point in his history, Superman was the BEST at literally EVERYTHING. Fastest, strongest, toughest, heat-est vision, etc. At a certain they said, well if he's the fastest, why do we need the Flash? So they made the Flash just a biiiiiiit faster. He has literally every power, and theres no reason for it.

They now call him the Man of Steel. Fine. His skin is like steel, he's super strong and he can fly. How do we explain the heat vision. And if he has heat vision, why does he ALSO have ice breath?

There's no method to this madness. He just has every power because they wanted to create a superhero to end all superheroes. Few villains can match him blow for blow, and that's just a flat out problem.

Lex is actually a great villain, because he's the yin to Clark's yang, brains vs brawn - but no one has done him justice on the screen. Right now, Nolan's Joker is twice the intellect Lex has been. Lex's last master plan was to get rich on real estate that was, by all accounts, completely uninhabitable. Smart move. I dont think I've ever seen Lex in a movie actually outsmart someone. His greatest ploy was tricking Superman into not realizing a lead box was a trap - which speaks more to Superman's ABSURD stupidity than anything else. It's ridiculous that they can't get him right.

It's dumbfounding the amount of talent they have thrown at Superman - both on screen and off - and still havent gotten it right. That, to me, seems indicative of a larger problem with the character itself.

Biggest of all, what is Superman's GOAL? Batman has one - to clean up Gotham. Perhaps at first, it was to avenge his parents, to turn fear on those that prey on the fearful. But he eventually became much more focused, and now literally every move he makes is toward that singular goal.

What is Superman's goal? Is it to save Metropolis? Not really, since he saves people pretty much everywhere. Is it to save Lois and win her heart? Awfully selfish.

Because his power is so great, Superman's goal in each film becomes save EVERYONE. It's far too broad a goal, narratively speaking, to captivate an audience. Every film becomes a disaster movie because that's the only objective worthy of his great power. And it MUST stop if Superman is ever to be a compelling character.

If Superman were permanently stripped of his powers, I highly doubt he would be able to pull himself together and still fight crime the way Batman does. He just very simply doesnt have the fortitude to do so. That's probably his biggest problem of all. He's never overcame anything in his life.
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  #592  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by soda View Post
So, then, something that you have never read:



Widely considered the best modern Superman comic, by just about everyone. Grant Morrison is hit or miss, for me, but all star superman is a huge hit. Frank Quietly is one of the best artists in the biz. This book was the perfect blend of an iconic hero with a few new tweeks. It shows the potential, and the story-telling upside, of Superman, and why generations of fans want this to be done right.
Well put soda, this is the only Superman comic I genuinely love. Granted i haven't read a lot.
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  #593  
Old 02-10-2011, 12:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by misbehave View Post
They should start making a new story about Superman's son instead of doing Superman all the time. That would be more interesting.
Maybe stripping off half his power cause he is a half-breed. Then he will need to have some kind of armor/costume or gadgets to assist him (get the help from Bruce Wayne, maybe?).
This is, quite possibly, the worst idea I've ever heard. I'm sorry, don't take it in a dick-ish manner (although, how can you not?), but that just sounds horrible. This isn't a knock towards you, but that idea is just asinine.
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  #594  
Old 02-10-2011, 12:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by soda View Post
So, then, something that you have never read:



Widely considered the best modern Superman comic, by just about everyone. Grant Morrison is hit or miss, for me, but all star superman is a huge hit. Frank Quietly is one of the best artists in the biz. This book was the perfect blend of an iconic hero with a few new tweeks. It shows the potential, and the story-telling upside, of Superman, and why generations of fans want this to be done right.
Y'know, I was going to bring up All-Star Superman, as I consider that one of the best stories to date regarding Supes (can't say the same for the Goddamned Batman). I think I might give it a re-read just to get me even more excited for the upcoming All-Star Superman movie.
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  #595  
Old 02-10-2011, 02:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjohnson View Post
Biggest of all, what is Superman's GOAL? Batman has one - to clean up Gotham. Perhaps at first, it was to avenge his parents, to turn fear on those that prey on the fearful. But he eventually became much more focused, and now literally every move he makes is toward that singular goal.

What is Superman's goal? Is it to save Metropolis? Not really, since he saves people pretty much everywhere. Is it to save Lois and win her heart? Awfully selfish.

Because his power is so great, Superman's goal in each film becomes save EVERYONE. It's far too broad a goal, narratively speaking, to captivate an audience. Every film becomes a disaster movie because that's the only objective worthy of his great power. And it MUST stop if Superman is ever to be a compelling character.
I have a problem with this part. I agreed pretty much with the rest of your post, but this last part leads me to want to bring up a few points. I think it's a little more complicated if you're going to compare Bruce Wayne to Superman as far as their goals are concerned. Bruce Wayne set a goal to clean up Gotham, but he couldn't do it as Bruce Wayne - so he becomes Batman to complete his goal. Superman, or Kal-El, already has powers greater than any human when he lands on Earth, which was completely beyond his control (his biological parents sent him there). I think the circumstances are a little different for Superman as far as what "goals" he needs, if any. I don't know jack about the comics, but in Donner's Superman: The Movie, Superman "appears" for the first time (in public) out of necessity to help Lois after the helicopter incident. In the extended version, with added scenes, after that incident and the others where he helps others and catches bad guys, he's back in the Fortress of Solitude talking to Jor-El saying how he enjoyed doing what he did.

I don't think Superman needs a goal; he needs a worthy villain that will test him in his quest for "truth, justice, and the American way" (and who knows whether or not they'll include that last part).

Last edited by bigred760; 02-10-2011 at 02:33 AM..
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  #596  
Old 02-10-2011, 02:52 AM
I gotta say I strongly agree with adamjohnson on the difficulty of adapting the Superman character to the screen and why he makes for an extremely problematic if not impossible protagonist.

Good movies, particularly traditional, mainstream movies like any Superman movie would have to be, are almost uniformly about characters with flaws struggling to overcome difficult obstacles that seem at some point insurmountable in pursuit of a goal. As aj said, that's how you create tension - you make it increasingly difficult for your character to get out of a bad situation and get what they want, in turn making us worry about them.

Superman has no flaws and Clark Kent only pretends to, and we know he's pretending. He's basically invincible and can do anything with little effort. He has only one weakness and so the only thing that poses a problem for him - kryptonite - becomes automatically a monotonous, singular, predictable device. There's only so many ways you can get him to be around kryptonite and most of them make him seem dumb.

The methods utilized for getting around that so far mentioned - mind control and mid-story changes to the rules - may work fine in the more fantastical world of the comics which demand a greater suspension of disbelief and have much more time to introduce and explain things, but I think will come across as implausible plot devices in a film. I'll take the word of you fellas that All Star Superman is a great comic, genuinely if you all dig it so much it must be a triumph of the medium, but the plot description reads like a series of bizarre and ridiculous events reliant upon the sudden emergence of disconnected and soon forgotten elements more than a coherent, focused story necessary for a movie.

This passage for instance:

Quote:
Superman is able to calm her down and reveals that his secret was that he has been preparing her birthday present: superpowers for 24 hours. Now as a Superwoman, she and Superman stop a monster attack in Metropolis just as Samson and Atlas arrive. Flirting with Lois, and showing a newspaper that reads "Superman Dead, by Clark Kent", Samson is revealed to be the one who stole jewels from an Ultra-Sphinx. Kidnapping Lois; the Sphinx demands an answer to the question: What happens when the unstoppable force meets the immovable object? and Superman answers: They surrender, Lois is saved. Superman then defeats Atlas and Samson in a double arm-wrestling match for Lois' company. Superman and Lois then go from the ocean depths to the moon and kiss before her powers fade and she falls asleep. Superman flies her home without being able to ask his question.

For his ...For A Day column series, Jimmy Olsen is allowed to "run" P.R.O.J.E.C.T., but the day gets hectic when Superman gets exposed to black kryptonite and becomes evil. In order to save Superman, Jimmy exposes himself to a life-threatening chemical to become a monster called Doomsday. Because evil-Superman becomes weaker the more he commits evil acts, Jimmy uses that to stop and save Superman and himself. As a thank you, P.R.O.J.E.C.T. writes a message from Jimmy on the moon to his girlfriend: Lucy Lane.

Meanwhile, Lex Luthor is found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death. Clark Kent meets Lex Luthor for an exclusive interview at Stryker's Island. As a result of his proximity to Superman, Parasite begins to absorb Superman's power and manages to free himself and causes havoc in the prison. Clark stops him while not revealing his secret identity. Lex Luthor discloses his respect for Clark as a journalist. He then reveals a tunnel from his cell for Clark to escape with the help of Nasthalthia, his delinquent niece from his sister Lena (originally from a 1970 Adventure Comics story[8]). Luthor states that he has no desire to escape himself so long as he defeats Superman by causing his death. He reveals to Clark that Superman is dying, with the hope that it will be published in the Daily Planet.

In the past, Clark goes out as Young Superman with his dog Krypto and encounters a monster called a Chronovore. Three strangers arrive and reveal themselves to be: Kal Kent, the Superman from 853,500 AD, the Unknown Superman of 4500 AD, and Klyzyzk Klzntplkz, the Superman of the 5th Dimension. As the monster is defeated, the Unknown Superman meets with Pa Kent and tells him that his son will be fine. Then, Pa Kent suffers a fatal heart attack, something Young Superman was warned about, ignored, and now has failed to prevent. During the funeral, the Unknown Superman reveals himself to be actually the Superman of the present. Before he leaves to his own time, he meets Superman-Prime (from DC One Million, also by Grant Morrison) along with two other descendants of the Superman Dynasty and he gives him an indestructible flower from New Krypton. In the present, Superman places the flower on his father's grave.
Would NEVER work in a movie. Think about how much constant exposition that would require to even begin to make sense to an audience that knows only the basics of Superman, think about how many leaps in believability it demands, think about how random it would all seem to the casual viewer with all these new people and villains popping up out of nowhere all the time.

So we're stuck with more "traditional" storylines and there's not a whole lot left to dramatically explore there.

I'm someone who loves the first Superman movie, it is still my favorite superhero flick, but as much as I enjoy it, it is fundamentally flawed in innumerable, critical ways and would get a lot more flak today. I'm not just talking Lex as comic relief rather than a genuine threat or a cheesy song, I mean things like for the all important climax it relies on the sudden, not at all established development that if things don't go Superman's way in the end, he can just spin around the Earth real fast, turn back time and fix everything (which I guess he can use whenever he wants). That doesn't work at all and undermines any sense of real stakes, consequences or drama (and that had Mario The friggin' Godfather Puzo working on the story). No problem is really a problem for him, no obstacle an obstacle. This is because he can do anything and everything.

Again, I feel like I'm just repeating adam here, but the goal problem is huge. What Superman wants is too diffuse, too non-specific, too grand, to really work as a tangible goal we can be invested in. He wants to save the whole damn planet all of the time from any harm. And when he doesn't, when he say gives up his powers to be with Lois, he is being incredibly selfish and must revert as soon as the next catastrophe or baddie comes along (which it must pretty soon - audiences aren't there for a love story) or we'll think he's a dick. He can simply do too much for us to connect with him, for him to have real conflicts.

In terms of complexity...he may be involved in complex dilemmas occasionally, he may have a complicated backstory, but his traditional, famous, recognized character is purely altruistic all of the time. He'll always do the right thing and we know it. That's very simplistic and one-dimensional. Lois Lane, a human character who has the potential to be more relatable and sympathetic, there's a lot more you can work with here, but I think it's kind of hard to get over the fact that (unlike Batman or Spider-Man's love interest since they wear masks) if Superman puts on glasses and parts his hair like a dork this seemingly intelligent person can't recognize that the guy with the exact same face, voice, and size is the same superhero she spends so much time with. That's become something of a joke, but it's just one more in a long line of unexplained stretches in plausibility the audience is asked to accept at face value.

I took a graduate screenwriting course on Adaptation last semester and the first class was called "The Superman Problem," covering all the many attempts and iterations he's gone through to get to the silver screen and the huge story problems encountered each and every time. He's about as classic an example as they come of a movie protagonist who simply doesn't work. So many talented writers and directors have tried to give their take on the material and no one has been able to come up with anything good despite being given untold oodles of cash and creative freedom. That's not bad luck, it's evidence that he's not a workable hero in a modern movie.

The seemingly insurmountable problem is that the classic Superman character is too damn perfect and powerful, a relic of a bygone era that appreciated more simplistic Purely Good Guys like Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne, when a literal Ubermensch who could save the world without breaking a sweat was actually what they demanded. We now demand more complexity and flaws and relatability, even from our superheroes. But if you change those things that don't make him work, his practical invincibility and endless list of incredible powers, audiences, at the very least the fanbase of comic book fans and purists, will be alienated and reject him because "that's not the Superman I know." If you try to please the fanbase by going with one of the modern comic storylines that update the mythology and characters in a way that works within their own created universe, general audiences will be alienated and reject him because "that's not the Superman I know."

Giving the franchise to Zack Snyder strikes me as studios accepting that Superman is not a dramatically dynamic character who can be the center of a good story, but he can be put in lots of gnarly and fantastic whiz-bang action scenes people will pay to see opening weekend because he's a well-known IP and action was what Returns lacked. Making a genuinely good Superman film that would return a profit is, if not outright unachievable, an incredibly difficult task.

Potentially important caveat: I have not read a Superman comic in at least 15 years and am not familiar with all the ins and outs of the mythology as it has evolved or new villains as they've been introduced. What I know about Superman is roughly what the average pop culture savvy American audience member would and what I'm addressing is that popular, common conception of Superman.

Last edited by QUENTIN; 03-28-2011 at 01:49 AM..
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  #597  
Old 02-10-2011, 03:48 AM
I think the solution is very simple for me. Superman should lose for once in the middle of a film. I'm not talking about losing a fight, but he should fail to save many people at some point. Imagine him being too busy fighting a villain to notice something big happening in Metropolis... Imagine if you will, something like 9/11 happening in Superman's backyard and he fails to save lives. I think that would add real weight to his world and show that no matter how powerful he is, he isn't perfect. He makes mistakes. And that is something the films never touch upon.

Another solution is to simply choose better villains. If people are tired of Superman being too powerful it's because they've never seen him be afraid of a villain. I'm with Soda on Darkseid being a great choice. He's strong enough that you can create two films revolving around him as the villain. He is the ruler of another planet. And he's more powerful than Superman. The size of a film involving Darkseid would be epic. The guy's planet looks like the death star dipped in lava with craters of fire shooting all over the place. People would salivate seeing Superman on a planet like that...

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  #598  
Old 02-10-2011, 11:08 AM
What an utterly amazing post! You're a mod, but I think this is the first time I've read one of your posts. This kind of discussion is what I live for, kudos to you for thinking things out so thoroughly. Few thoughts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
I gotta say I strongly agree with adamjohnson on the difficulty of adapting the Superman character to the screen and why he makes for an extremely problematic if not impossible protagonist.

Good movies, particularly traditional, mainstream movies like any Superman movie would have to be, are almost uniformly about characters with flaws struggling to overcome difficult obstacles that seem at some point insurmountable in pursuit of a goal. As aj said, that's how you create tension - you make it increasingly difficult for your character to get out of a bad situation and get what they want, in turn making us worry about them.
You, by your own admission, haven't read comics in the last fifteen years, so, again, my idea would be superman vs Darkseid. The thing about Darkseid that separates him from every other potential Superman villian?

This:



and this:



Not to mention:



and, of course,



Along with Desaid, Kalibak, thunderbar, and all the others. When you get Darkseid, you aren't just getting ONE supervillian, you're getting an entire army of supervillians, each nearly as powerful as Superman is, and, get this. Superman's powers come from the yellow sun, and in the dimension that Apocalyse is in, (you need a boom tube to get there from earth, there's no other way) there is no yellow sun. Its not a story telling stretch at all to figure that, in that dimension, Superman's wounds WOULDN'T heal nearly as quickly as they do on earth. In that dimension, Superman would be very killable.

As to what would bring him to apocalypse, there are many ways to introduce the story, based upon what kind of Superman story you want to tell. Lost in the issues about powerlevel and what not is the fact that Superman is a very plyable character, you can use him in a variety of settings and to drive a variety of plots. There's the rescueing Supergirl plot:



There's the helping Highfather preserve the truce plot, there's the tip from Orion that Darkseid is planning on invading the earth plot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
Superman has no flaws and Clark Kent only pretends to, and we know he's pretending. He's basically invincible and can do anything with little effort. He has only one weakness and so the only thing that poses a problem for him - kryptonite - becomes automatically a monotonous, singular, predictable device. There's only so many ways you can get him to be around kryptonite and most of them make him seem dumb.
Not to pick nits, but technically, Superman's weakness is red solar radiation, that's why Captain Atom matches up well with supes, despite no green K. That's also the reason why Superman loses his powers when he's driven through a red sun. Oh, and magic, he's also very vulnerable to magic, but that's not happening, right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
The methods utilized for getting around that so far mentioned - mind control and mid-story changes to the rules - may work fine in the more fantastical world of the comics which demand a greater suspension of disbelief and have much more time to introduce and explain things, but I think will come across as implausible plot devices in a film. I'll take the word of you fellas that All Star Superman is a great comic, genuinely if you all dig it so much it must be a triumph of the medium, but the plot description reads like a series of bizarre and ridiculous events reliant upon the sudden emergence of disconnected and soon forgotten elements more than a coherent, focused story necessary for a movie.
What makes all-star superman great, as a comic fan, is that it takes the really weird stuff that happened in the silver age, and makes it modern. The silver age was a different time, you had Batman and the bat-ice sled, and the jokermobile. In that time, the Superwoman, Lois Lane, story fit right in, and what Morrison is doing is taking that old concept and bringing it to a modern audience. I forget what issue of Infinite Crisis it is, but when Green Arrow pulls out that Phantom Zone arrow (a classic silver age relic), I geeked out. For guys like me, that's what its all about, and Morrison is very good at that kind of writing. Its not enough, however, to simply play around with silver age concepts, a lot of them were dumb then and are dumb now, the trick (the art, if you will) is to take those concepts and show them to us in a new and cool way, one which delivers on the promise of what the original concept was, but with a modern twist.

I agree that stuff like Superwoman and a lot of what Morrison did with all star superman is probably unteneable for a mainstream audience. Its a little too "inside jokey", and something of an understanding of how comics work, as a medium, is required. The entrance fee is, therefore, probably too high, but as a direct to DVD animated film? It does well. My point wasn't that per se, so much as it was that All-star is a title that works, its a bit different from what we're used to seeing with the modern Superman, but it illustrates the range and flexibility of the character. IMHO, the big problem is that Superman movies are being made by people who don't understand the dynamics of the comics. I'm hoping Nolan, as producer, can do something about that, where is the David Goyer for this project?

Quote:
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
I'm someone who loves the first Superman movie, it is still my favorite superhero flick, but as much as I enjoy it, it is fundamentally flawed in innumerable, critical ways and would get a lot more flak today. I'm not just talking Lex as comic relief rather than a genuine threat or a cheesy song, I mean things like for the all important climax it relies on the sudden, not at all established development that if things don't go Superman's way in the end, he can just spin around the Earth real fast, turn back time and fix everything (which I guess he can use whenever he wants). That doesn't work at all and undermines any sense of real stakes, consequences or drama (and that had Mario The friggin' Godfather Puzo working on the story). No problem is really a problem for him, no obstacle an obstacle. This is because he can do anything and everything.
I had my own issues with the original Superman. I, for one, don't like the Norman Rockwell era dustbowl farmer interpretation of the Kents. I like the way Smallville does that much better, younger and more modern. Other thing is that I think everyone, myself included, rolled their eyes at the turning back time thing. Its been the butt of countless jokes since it was first shown, and no legit writer, who did any research into the thing would have resolved the plot that way. It was a throwaway situation, you had the missles going towards opposite shores, and a potential consequence, but, I agree with you, if you can turn back time, why bother? I would definitely think that this one superpower we can all agree should be done away with. I've read comics a long time, and I cannot recall a single time, in the comics, where he does that, and this is a guy who hangs out with Rip Hunter, a man who calls himself "time master".

However, that doesn't alter the fact that the villian is grossly mis-represented. There is no tension, because there is no real villian to the Superman movie, Lex is someone who you know, one way or another, Superman will beat, he won't lose to a goofball. I think that's the reason why so many fans want to see Doomsday, they want to see Superman lose. However, I would counter that, as a storytelling possibility, Darkseid is much more interesting. What does Superman fight for? What does he protect? Why does he fight? Those are questions that Darkseid can exploit, in a way that Doomsday just hasn't been able to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
He wants to save the whole damn planet all of the time from any harm.
It was Lex Luthor who once said that all you get from that is a Messiah Complex. Why do crooks pull jobs in Metropolis when they know they'll get caught? Because Batman will beat the sh*t out of you, Green Arrow will hurt you, the flash will just round you up and drop you off at jail faster than you can blink, Superman will catch you too, but at least he isn't a jerk about it. The central tension of Superman is just that, that he wants to save everyone, and he thinks he should be able to and that when he doesn't, he's the one who failed. He internalizes a lot, he puts a lot on his own shoulders.

Reading a JMS story recently, I was struck by that. A guy is dying of cancer, and its the kind of thing that, with Superman's heat vision, and x-ray vision, would take him five seconds to find and destroy. The man's family puts in a phone call to the planet, and talks to all the people who know Superman, Lois, Jimmy, everyone, trying to get Superman to save this man's life. Problem? Superman is off in outer space, fighting a galactic battle for the lives of billions of people and entire worlds. The man dies, and when Superman returns to earth, the man's wife finds Superman and blames him for her husband's death.

Any other character in comics, and the response would have been "yeah, lady, whatever, saver of the entire planet more times than you can count here, if not for me, Darkseid would have made slaves of all of you, or Brainiac would have copied and destroyed you all, a thousand times over." Not Superman, he internalizes one man's death, the earth is his to protect, and he really does believe he can save everyone, even when everyone tells him he can't. Superman does not accept that even one person has to die unnecessarily, that is what he fights for, what he believes in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QUENTIN View Post
In terms of complexity...he may be involved in complex dilemmas occasionally, he may have a complicated backstory, but his traditional, famous, recognized character is purely altruistic all of the time. He's always do the right thing and we know it. That's very simplistic and one-dimensional. Lois Lane, a human character who has the potential to be more relatable and sympathetic, there's a lot more you can work with here I think it's kind of hard to get over the fact that (unlike Batman or Spider-Man's love interest since they wear masks) if Superman puts on glasses and parts his hair like a dork this seemingly intelligent person can't recognize that the guy with the exact same face, voice, and size is the same superhero she spends so much time with. That's become something of a joke, but it's just one more in a long line of unexplained stretches in plausibility the audience is asked to accept at face value.
Two things:

-Everyone, for ages, always said that about the comics, "how can lois not know that its Superman standing right next to her, its so obvious!" Then, Superman the movie came out, and people stopped asking that question. Reeve really did seem like two different people, Clark Kent was one person, and Superman was someone completely different. Don't look at the physical presence, look at the way Reeve acts, his performance is what sold the duel identity for a whole generation of fans.

More explicitly, if you were in the DCU, and you worked at the planet, would you be able to figure it out? I know I wouldn't, and I don't consider myself an idiot. Its easy for us, with our persepective, and the fact that we know the secret, to think of the characters as dumb, but its not true. One time, in a story a while back, lex Luthor wants to figure out Superman's identity, so he hires the smartest people on the planet to run the numbers to tell him who Superman is, the scientist comes back and says that there's only one person it can be, Clark Kent. Lex is furious, and he tells the scientist to run his numbers again, the scientist says it will only turn up Clark. Lex utterly doesn't believe it, and kicks the scientist out. The point? In lex's mind, someone like Superman would NEVER be average, no matter what he was doing. He would never be an average joe, he would never have a regular job. Superman's biggest disguise isn't the glasses, or the hair, or the posture, his biggest disguise is "there is no way that could be Superman, who writes those articles and brings me coffee every morning, how could it be?"

Put another way, think of it like this, it would be like finding out that Angelina Jolie is the gal that rides next to you on the subway to work each morning. All she'd need is a pair of dark glasses, a coat, a little make-up, and nobody would know. How could they? That freakin' Angelina Jolie, a gal with more money than she knows what to do with, would ride the subway? Would you be able to figure that out?

-second thing, my movie idea is the explore the backstory, which I think is very complicated. If I had my way, the entire first movie would be about Superman as an infant, the last survivor of a dying world, and his parents struggle to save Krypton from destruction, and their ultimate decision to do what they could to save their son, to give another world a chance. If you want a Superman story where the characters can fail, how about the one in which they actually do? Jor-el puts his life on the line to save his home, and despite his best effots, it doesn't happen, and the planet explodes.


Final thoughts on the rest of your post. I think the single biggest thing to do to make a good Superman movie is to understand the comics. I think the Reeve Superman films did their own thing, and the Singer Superman tried to stay true to that. What we've seen on the big screen really isn't what Superman is all about. Like I said, there is no comic in which Lex Luthor is a goof-ball real estate swindler. We've also seen only two of his rogues, Zod and Luthor, and Luthor was done horribly. Luthor is the character that I can't really see a good angle for, so why not skip it? As for Zod, love the character, and would definitely use him (he's mandatory, if you're doing a backstory) and I don't think its a coincidence that Superman 2 had more potential than the first one, Zod, Ursa and Non are three, Superman is one, he has to outsmart them because he knows he can't take three of them in a fistfight.

The other thing to do is to look at the other incarnations of the man of steel, look at the animated series, look at the tv shows. There is a wealth of material out there, there is a wealth of people who have tried different things. Take this one, as just one example:

http://blog.newsarama.com/2011/02/08...s-online-stir/

Its a video that a disney animator made, and its gone pretty viral, a lot of people seem to like it (read the comments posted to it). That's just one possibility, there are tons out there. The problem that I have with the donner verse is that its one man's interpretation, and that it was good for its time. Singer trying to plug into that was a huge mistake, the donner-verse had its moment, let it go. Find out what has worked before, in the comics, on TV, in the animated stuff, in the animated movies, and borrow. Christopher Nolan did that for Batman, and it seems to have worked for him.

Last edited by soda; 02-10-2011 at 11:18 AM..
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  #599  
Old 02-10-2011, 11:44 AM
I'm not sure you really get it, Soda, it's as simple as that.
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  #600  
Old 02-10-2011, 11:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjohnson View Post
I'm not sure you really get it, Soda, it's as simple as that.
Funny, I was just saying the same thing about you.

No offense, obviously...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
Smiert, with all due respect, of which there is plenty, I still disagree with this clarification: I'm coming from the perspective of someone who hasn't read and doesn't care to ever read the comics. In various incarnations in the comic books under the right writer he may be a great character. I speak of the character Superman as seen on film. Never on film, and I've seen them all, has he ever been anything but boring and boring with a side of boring. And being steered by the manchild spawn of Satan that is Zach Snyder, I have no reason to believe this outing will be any different, except he will also be insufferable and move in slow motion.
I completely get your complaints and understand your apprehension to this new film, which I now share. But that's basically what me soda are saying: the reasons why the Superman films are mostly boring is because they bare little resemblance to the Superman of the comics. The sooner they stick closer to the source material, the sooner we get an awesome film, its pretty much as simple as that.

Last edited by Smiert Spionam; 02-10-2011 at 11:55 AM..
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