I saw " Man Of Steel " at a midnight show last night/this ayem .

  Briefly , I have sort of a liking for super-hero stuff that follows a litle bit more a " real ' science fiction approach - While , admittedly , basically still sticking to the structure of fights and conflict in the story .

  MOS rather fulfilled that .

  It explored how the Superman concept might've been set up , the whole Krypotn thing , and how it might work out down on Earth , pretty well .

  Well , i thought so .

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Jeff of Earth-J said:

I'm sure that's why they do it, but I'm not convinced it's necessary.

Were audiences "confused" by the Max Fleisher cartoons? The Filmation cartoons?

(Nice you have you back, BTW!)

Thanks!

It's a good point about the Fleisher cartoons. Although, I think the shrinkage of the comic reading audience is due in part to the increasingly convoluted nature and impenetrability of accumulated continuity. It's possible that could carry over to film as well.

Maybe a tv series would work better as an ongoing narrative. But then again, even something like "Fringe," which I thought was brilliant, started to lose me as it got further away from its "origin" story.



Commando Cody said:


Lose all of the Marlon Brando parts and the losing his superpowers by having sex. 35 years later and I still don't understand how he got his powers back.

Actually, IIRC he uses some sort of red sun energy bath to depower so that he can essentially "have sex" and then later goes through a reversal of the process so that he can save the world.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Cogent analysis, Figs.

 

Thanks. I meant to say I loved your whistle-stop reference-O-rama on page 1. In case you haven't read it yet, Mark Waid gives his insider's pocket version of the Byrne storyline you discuss in his post on MoS.

 

Moore has cast a heck of a long shadow hasn't he? Neck-snapping was how Marvelman finally ended Johnny Bates' life too.  Hadn't really thought of that.

 

I was thinking about his Twlight of the Superheroes this morning.  In it, our Superman in the future is disappointed in his own son for the morally dubious shortcuts he takes.  It occurred to me that the pre-Flashpoint Kal-El(s) would be similarly disappointed in our current crop of Supermen.

 

The guy in the Injustice - Gods Amongst Us series has already crossed the line, it seems...

After seeing Man of Steel I'm, to be honest, more disappointed in the back and forth storytelling than him killing Zod. They make it pretty clear that Clark is a good guy so you know he didn't kill Zod selfishly and without guilt.

Everyone who likes a Superman-doesn't-kill just has to get over it. That's so 1970's. ;)

I plan to watch Superman ll The Richard Donner Cut this weekend. I saw it in the theatre on original release, and didn't like it in large part due to the " give up powers to bed, Lois" bit, which seemed very selfish and un-Superman-like.  In that scene didn't Lara tell Kal-El, " if you give up your powers you can never re-gain them"?  Guess I will find out with the re-watch.

Mark Stanislawski said:

After seeing Man of Steel I'm, to be honest, more disappointed in the back and forth storytelling than him killing Zod. They make it pretty clear that Clark is a good guy so you know he didn't kill Zod selfishly and without guilt.

Everyone who likes a Superman-doesn't-kill just has to get over it. That's so 1970's. ;)

Ah, Mark, that's not it ... well, that's not only it....

Yes, I object to the bad scriptwriting that had Superman killing. But my bigger objection is the notion that he HAD to, that there was NO other way. That the character, and his scriptwriters, aren't smart enough -- intelligent enough -- clever enough -- creative enough -- inventive enough -- to find another way.

That's my real objection, that it reduces Superman to being just a musclebound dope in a circus costume. Somebody worthy of the name "Superman" should be more than that. 

 Somebody worthy of the name "Superman" should be more than that. 

Yes, exactly my reaction. The movie ultimately made me feel embarrassed for the scriptwriter. That's what he thinks Superman should be and that's how he resolves problems? How sad. 

-- MSA

I think it’s understandable that there are many readers who feel that the “no killing” stipulation is a defining and essential characteristic of the character.  And I understand people not being able to accept a version that does kill.

In the case of this particular movie, I think the creators were intentionally trying to move away from that characteristic and basically create a new version of the character for film.  From what I have read, it was generally believed by the movie studio that they just couldn’t make any money with this character if they didn’t alter him significantly.  I guess there’s no way to know if that is really true but what is true is that the franchise was in danger of becoming irrelevant; especially in the face of Marvel’s recent string of successes.

In the case of “Man of Steel,”  I don’t think the writers had trouble thinking of a way out of the situation that didn’t involve killing.  I think they decided beforehand that this movie would include such a scene specifically for the purpose of redefining the character.  Again, I can totally understand if some fans think this was a bad decision.  But in my view, once the decision was made, they should have put more thought into the execution.  They should have made an effort to depict a situation where there was virtually no choice but to kill Zod.  Maybe even had him kill a few civilians and be in the process of killing some more rather than just having a heat beam slowly creeping towards some people who seemed unable to move out of the way.

I agree with you on that, and that would be my criticism. Given that they decided to show how kick-ass Superman was by having him kill the big-bad, they didn't do a good job of making that his only alternative. If you're going to change the character's essential make-up, it should be done convincingly.

OTOH, I don't remember seeing Batman, Iron Man, Captain America or Thor kill the bad guy in the final scene, so that doesn't seem to be an essential part of a super-hero's character development.

-- MSA

Detective 445 said:

In the case of “Man of Steel,”  I don’t think the writers had trouble thinking of a way out of the situation that didn’t involve killing.  I think they decided beforehand that this movie would include such a scene specifically for the purpose of redefining the character.  Again, I can totally understand if some fans think this was a bad decision.  But in my view, once the decision was made, they should have put more thought into the execution.  They should have made an effort to depict a situation where there was virtually no choice but to kill Zod.  Maybe even had him kill a few civilians and be in the process of killing some more rather than just having a heat beam slowly creeping towards some people who seemed unable to move out of the way.

There you go, Detective 445. I very likely would not have liked seeing a movie Superman kill, but I simply am not persuaded by what I saw -- and what I know of Superman and his powers and capabilities -- that the situation presented in that movie was one of no choice but do what he did. The execution of the scene needed to be a WHOLE lot better. 

I read Mark Waid’s comments from the review linked above. I like that Waid celebrates the parts of the movie lifted from the part of the mythos he contributed in his own Birthright series rather than bemoaning the fact that he didn’t receive proper credit or compensation.

Here are some more thoughts on…

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE: I did like this movie when I first saw it. It was when I tried to re-watch it as an adult that I couldn’t finish it. The Lex Luthor bits were too campy and they made Clark Kent into a clown. “Mild mannered” does not mean “idiot.”

SUPERMAN II: Superman/Clark slept with Lois after he depowered himself, but by the end of the movie time had been reversed so that event never happened.

SUPERMAN RETURNS: I remember our discussion of this movie when it was new. When I put forth the opinion that Bryan Singer wanted to dispense with the origin and get on with telling his own story, I was “reminded” that Superman I & II were integral parts of the continuity to “explain” how Lois got pregnant. First of all, I think I have a pretty good idea of how that works in the first place; second, as I pointed out above, it couldn’t have happened as it was depicted in Superman II, anyway.

Singer’s did manage to tell his own story, but by the end it varied too far from the central mythos to be sustaining. Ultimately, it suffered from being too wishy-washy, attempting to distance itself from III/IV while embracing only certain aspects of I/II. One thing you can say about Man of Steel, it isn’t wishy-washy.

MAN OF STEEL: John Byrne convinced me that his Superman needed to execute the Phantom Zone criminals. Alan Moore convinced me that Miracleman (or “Marvelman” if you prefer) needed to snap Johnny neck. But Zack Snyder failed to convince me that Zod nneded to be “sanctioned”… and it shouldn’t have been all that much more difficult. He was nine tenths of the way there already. But that scene with the family was thoroughly unconvincing.

Incidentally, I took an informal poll of ten co-workers today, five or whom saw the movie, and five did not. None of them were comic book fans. None of them cared one whit that Superman snapped Zod’s neck. Take it for what it’s worth.

I like that Waid celebrates the parts of the movie lifted from the part of the mythos he contributed in his own Birthright series rather than bemoaning the fact that he didn’t receive proper credit or compensation.

I think he understands the terms of his contracts. He knew when he did that he was contributing to an icon that he didn't own in any way but has always loved. The wandering scenes definitely looked to have been taken from his story. It's great that he can accept the lack of credit. Some movies might've given him some.

None of them cared one whit that Superman snapped Zod’s neck. Take it for what it’s worth.

I'm not sure what it's worth, especially among five so disinterested they didn't see it. That's like asking me if Megan Fox was right for the Transformers movies. Most people have an image of Superman, so it might depend on how old they were and how they saw the character beforehand.

The only reason to make Superman instead of Strong Guy is because people are familiar with the character, and that association brings them into the theater. So it's a matter of whether this Superman lived up to those expectations, whatever they were.

I'm happy that it did so well that they're working on the sequel, with the hopes that it will be a better movie. I'd rather they were making Superman movies than putting him back on the shelf again, because DC could really, really use a decent superhero movie franchise. I just feel bad for them that their view of the ultimate super-hero is so pedestrian.

-- MSA

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