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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    I'll readily confess that I've never read a good Lana Lang story, so I have no idea what standard of expectation I should hold for the character, but she just comes off as pathetic here -- the woman whose future and very identity was shattered by the high school boy she loved not requiting her affections. Maybe there's an attempt to draw a contrast here -- Lois as the progressive and independent city woman, and Lana as the hitch-your-life-to-a-MAN-and-raise-some-kids farm girl, but I'm not feeling it. I hate this Lana for the very same reasons I love this Lois -- no self respect, no life of her own; just a regretful and formerly love sick puppy dog. Lois could not be farther from any of these generic female romantic interest tropes, and that's ALL Lana Lang is in contrast. Am I being too harsh?
    No, you're not being too harsh. I can't stand Lana Lang in any incarnation. The fact that DC basically wasted a decade of issues of Lois Lane with terrible Lois vs. Lana retreads makes my teeth itch. Blah.
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cheat View Post
    I assume someone's already posted this, but discussion of all these issues is here:

    http://www.supermanhomepage.com/mult...crisis-podcast
    Wow. That's absolutely crazy. 148 videos and each of them are a minimum of one hour long. Some are two or three hours long. Who has the time to actually watch all of that?

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    Not dure if that sentence makes the story sound better for referencing past continuity or is a perfect example of why we needed a reboot.
    Thanks for the info.

    Yes. It's a bit odd to be making such an apparently obvious and yet clumsily executed issue-long reference to the very continuity that you're trying to annihilate. If you're going to do such a thing, at least make the story better somehow. And I still question why this needed to be part of the Man of Steel mini? Why not have it happen in Superman's present day? It's not exactly integral to his origin/development.


    Quote Originally Posted by thwhtGuardian View Post
    I've always liked the concept of Lex being a corporate fat cat, and I always give Bryne praise for that direction but I have to say that I usually found his execution of the concept to fall a little flat; personally I thought the idea was much better actualized by the Adventures of Superman cartoon and the comic that spun off of it but that may just be because that's where I was first exposed to that interpretation of Lex.
    Probably not, because I feel the same way, and yet I began with the Lois & Clark TV series. Seems to me, then, that a lot of people did it better than Byrne. I keep hoping his treatment of Lex will improve, though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    My main problem with Tycoon Lex is that after a certain point it undermines Superman. You wind up with three long-term scenarios.

    1)Lex never gets caught. He's too well insulated and his lawyers are just that good. Superman might stop his current plan this issue but overall Lex just moves on to the next plan. This was the situation up until Fall of Metropolis and possibly longer (depending on how you view the later clone defenses).

    2)Lex is caught and convicted, but enough people don't care or believe it. This is more similiar to the immediate Flashpoint take. Lex's crimes were recognized, but he had Presidential pardons and clone defenses. In the end it came off as if most people didn't think Lex was a saint, but most people weren't convinced he was a super-criminal.

    3)Lex finally shows his true colors. Basically you go back to Lex as a felon but with access to various LexCorp assets, equipment, and contacts. Never really explored.

    The first two options that they did explore pretty much made Superman look ineffective since no amount of Superman action or Clark/Lois reporting really made a dent in Lex's activities.
    Really though, isn't this the problem with any recurring villain? Batman's never going to defeat the Joker for good. At least a corporate tycoon makes for a more believable repeat antagonist.


    Quote Originally Posted by thwhtGuardian View Post
    I'm totally okay with that, I mean that's just realistic in life there are indeed some foes that just cannot be beaten. Personally as a villain for Superman that quality is important, we're talking about a hero that is just about unbeatable so it would stand to reason that his greatest foe would likewise be nearly untouchable only in the case of Lex Luthor that isn't because he's physically as powerful as Superman but because he's incredibly powerful in a very real world sense.

    If a guy who's faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive doesn't look ineffective from time to time things would get pretty boring really fast so I'm all for it.
    Well said.


    Quote Originally Posted by destro View Post
    Oh yeah, I think your points on this are completely valid as well. And I will be upfront about my dislike of Corporate Luthor in general. You know I think I would have liked it more if Luthor was still a mad scientist AND doing the corporate thing. I think completely removing that aspect from him was a mistake.

    I think that's one of my main complaints about the reboot. I don't mind many of the changes and Superman definitely needed a makeover. But some of the old stuff could have been kept. Too much was discarded. Byrne kind of threw out the baby with the bathwater in some cases. I know in some cases it was an editorial decision but a lot of it has to rest on Byrne's shoulders.
    To be fair, I've read VERY little pre-Crisis Superman, but I've dabbled in the Mort Weisenger era, and Wolfman's concept for Luthor feels a lot like the Luthor in the original Death of Superman storyline -- a master of public perception and of creating uncertainty in the minds of his opponents. The big difference between him and what Byrne is doing is that Byrne's Luthor isn't half as clever as a man in his position should be.

    And I agree that it would have been nice to have Luthor keep his scientist roots. I always loved his depiction in the 1990s animated series for just such a reason.


    One final thought about corporate Lex: One thing that always bothers me about the superhero genre is that it's entirely dated. We don't have brazen criminals on the streets mugging people, pulling elaborate bank heists, and glamorizing eccentric crime bosses the way they did back in the 1930s. Sure, these things still happen on a smaller scale, but the kinds of injustice that we face most often in our lives is entirely different now and rarely solved with a super powered punch to the face. The corporate Luthor concept attempts to address this -- to take the most iconic representative of that bygone era's idea of justice and pit him against an embodiment of modern injustice.
    Last edited by shaxper; 11-18-2012 at 05:59 PM.

  4. #64
    Elder Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post

    One final thought about corporate Lex: One thing that always bothers me about the superhero genre is that it's entirely dated. We don't have brazen criminals on the streets mugging people, pulling elaborate bank heists, and glamorizing eccentric crime bosses the way they did back in the 1930s. Sure, these things still happen on a smaller scale, but the kinds of injustice that we face most often in our lives is entirely different now and rarely solved with a super powered punch to the face. The corporate Luthor concept attempts to address this -- to take the most iconic representative of that bygone era's idea of justice and pit him against an embodiment of modern injustice.
    You know, in the 20 odd years I've spent reading comics I've spent a good amount of time thinking about the nature of heroes and crooks; from everything about why their costumes look the way they do to their ever changing time lines but I don't believe I've ever once thought about the relationship between what the face of crime looked like when these characters were created and what it looks like now.

    It's odd, I realized at a young age that Superman's costume with his trunks on the out side resembled old pictures of circus strong men but in all the years of admiring how glamorous the gangsters were in those old Bogart and Cagney films I never once drew a correlation between them and the likes of Luthor, the Joker, Two-face and the rest.

    Definitely something that bears more thinking on.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by thwhtGuardian View Post
    It's odd, I realized at a young age that Superman's costume with his trunks on the out side resembled old pictures of circus strong men but in all the years of admiring how glamorous the gangsters were in those old Bogart and Cagney films I never once drew a correlation between them and the likes of Luthor, the Joker, Two-face and the rest.
    To be fair, Luthor probably better embodied a twist on the West's optimism after watching the civilized world move from horses and buggies to cars, factories, and electric grids within the span of forty years, not to mention later post Hiroshima anxieties about scientific progress.

    Beyond that, yes, that's pretty much where my mind was. Thanks for following it there :)
    Last edited by shaxper; 11-18-2012 at 06:53 PM.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post

    One final thought about corporate Lex: One thing that always bothers me about the superhero genre is that it's entirely dated. We don't have brazen criminals on the streets mugging people, pulling elaborate bank heists, and glamorizing eccentric crime bosses the way they did back in the 1930s. Sure, these things still happen on a smaller scale, but the kinds of injustice that we face most often in our lives is entirely different now and rarely solved with a super powered punch to the face. The corporate Luthor concept attempts to address this -- to take the most iconic representative of that bygone era's idea of justice and pit him against an embodiment of modern injustice.
    I think it's partly because many comic book writers were ill equipped to deal with those sorts of ideas. It's a lot easier to write a story about an evil bank robber or a guy trying to take over the world than it is to write a story about Gordon Gecko. Marvel had Roxxon as their evil corporate entity though. Most heroes were still solidly within the system at this time and taking on a bad guy who is doing most of his villainy through legal means is not generally going to make for an exciting story. Not enough room to work in the hero punching stuff!

    You asked earlier if super fast thought processes were a new power. No, Superman was a super-genius and could think at super speed in his pre-crisis incarnation.
    Last edited by destro; 11-18-2012 at 07:30 PM.
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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post

    Continuity points:

    1. Superman has "super fast thought processes." Is this a new power?

    2. Lana Lang knows Superman's identity. Was this true in the pre-Crisis as well?
    .
    Well DC had their imaginary stories where Lana knew his ID and even married him. But those were imaginary stories. For the most part if you followed where DC tried to put a bit of continuity with Superman in the 70's/80's she never knew. In fact she was a reporter at WGBS beside Clark and never knew his secret ID.
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  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Really though, isn't this the problem with any recurring villain? Batman's never going to defeat the Joker for good. At least a corporate tycoon makes for a more believable repeat antagonist.
    The difference is two-fold. The Joker does wind up back in Arkham if not every time, then at least most of the time. It's not like Batman's battles with him are always stalemates where the Joker walks off at the end scot free.
    And the Joker is recognized by most of Gotham as a menace (people like Harley Quinn being the rare exception). Lex remains a hero to most of the DC world from 1986 until Flashpoint.


    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Originally Posted by thwhtGuardian

    I'm totally okay with that, I mean that's just realistic in life there are indeed some foes that just cannot be beaten. Personally as a villain for Superman that quality is important, we're talking about a hero that is just about unbeatable so it would stand to reason that his greatest foe would likewise be nearly untouchable only in the case of Lex Luthor that isn't because he's physically as powerful as Superman but because he's incredibly powerful in a very real world sense.

    If a guy who's faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive doesn't look ineffective from time to time things would get pretty boring really fast so I'm all for it.


    Well said.
    I guess that falls under different strokes. One of the things I like about this kind of fiction is the certainty that the bad guy will lose eventually. I'm not reading to see Donald Trump kill people and get away scot free just because that is a strong possibility if it ever really happened. And remember that Lex wasn't an occasional enemy- he was shown to be active almost every other issue. Superman can actually defeat Mongul or Eradicator in a single arc, but Lex at best is a stalemate for over a decade of constant confrontations?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    One final thought about corporate Lex: One thing that always bothers me about the superhero genre is that it's entirely dated. We don't have brazen criminals on the streets mugging people, pulling elaborate bank heists, and glamorizing eccentric crime bosses the way they did back in the 1930s. Sure, these things still happen on a smaller scale, but the kinds of injustice that we face most often in our lives is entirely different now and rarely solved with a super powered punch to the face. The corporate Luthor concept attempts to address this -- to take the most iconic representative of that bygone era's idea of justice and pit him against an embodiment of modern injustice.
    I agree it's dated, but I think the visceral thrill of the early stories was that the good guy won and the bad guy lost. For example, the Lone Ranger rides into town and takes down the crooked land baron made people feel safe- the evil could be defeated. The Lone Ranger rides into town to confront the evil mega-corp, ending with Luthor dead and Wison Fisk stepping into continue forcing the people off their land isn't quite so inspiring. Neither is the Lone Ranger being jailed for the murder of Lex. Or the Ranger discovering that the head of the corporation is really a nice guy and that he and his corporate employees are just trying to earn a living....

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    The difference is two-fold. The Joker does wind up back in Arkham if not every time, then at least most of the time. It's not like Batman's battles with him are always stalemates where the Joker walks off at the end scot free.
    But Batman's constant frustration with the Joker (and, in fact, with all of his villains) is that Arkham is a slap on the wrist. They always get out again. It's been fertile ground for him to constantly re-explore his no-kill policy, much as Superman is always left re-exploring his not-taking-the-law-into-his-own-hands policy.

    And the Joker is recognized by most of Gotham as a menace (people like Harley Quinn being the rare exception). Lex remains a hero to most of the DC world from 1986 until Flashpoint.
    True, but I like that twist. It's been tried with numerous other villains over the years, but it never really worked elsewhere. How many times have Batman villains passed themselves off as reformed, and convinced everyone but Batman of the fact, before he managed to expose them again?



    I guess that falls under different strokes. One of the things I like about this kind of fiction is the certainty that the bad guy will lose eventually. I'm not reading to see Donald Trump kill people and get away scot free just because that is a strong possibility if it ever really happened. And remember that Lex wasn't an occasional enemy- he was shown to be active almost every other issue. Superman can actually defeat Mongul or Eradicator in a single arc, but Lex at best is a stalemate for over a decade of constant confrontations?
    I don't think anyone's suggesting that all comics should take this approach, but I certainly found it refreshing because, in real life, the bad guys don't lose after an issue or two. True heroes stick it out in spite of the injustice of the matter, biding their time and remaining true to their convictions with the hope that one day justice will finally be on their side.


    I agree it's dated, but I think the visceral thrill of the early stories was that the good guy won and the bad guy lost. For example, the Lone Ranger rides into town and takes down the crooked land baron made people feel safe- the evil could be defeated. The Lone Ranger rides into town to confront the evil mega-corp, ending with Luthor dead and Wison Fisk stepping into continue forcing the people off their land isn't quite so inspiring. Neither is the Lone Ranger being jailed for the murder of Lex. Or the Ranger discovering that the head of the corporation is really a nice guy and that he and his corporate employees are just trying to earn a living....
    Again, I don't think ALL comics need to take the corporate Luthor approach. I enjoy a good punch in the face for justice any day, but pretty much ALL comics were taking the 1930s approach prior to this, and I appreciate a little diversity and novelty, as well as an approach that better mirrors the world I know and gives me hope that the kind of evil I know and live with can also be vanquished in the long run.
    Last edited by shaxper; 11-19-2012 at 02:35 PM.

  10. #70

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    Shaxper just like your Batman thread I'm loving this one too, I personally love Bryne's Superman run that I enjoyed how self contained his first year of stories were that they were just simply fun to read.

    If it's one bad note of Bryne's I dislike is the caveman jawline he gives Superman.

  11. #71
    Senior Member Brannon's Avatar
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    For me, Superman never looked better than when he was drawn by Byrne and inked by Karl Kesel.
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  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    But Batman's constant frustration with the Joker (and, in fact, with all of his villains) is that Arkham is a slap on the wrist. They always get out again. It's been fertile ground for him to constantly re-explore his no-kill policy, much as Superman is always left re-exploring his not-taking-the-law-into-his-own-hands policy.
    I don't mind Bruce re-examining his methods, but I hate to see him become too genre savy. The constant escapes from Arkham work best if you don't lampshade them by referring to their frequency. And creating villians where they simply don't get caught doesn't solve the issue, it simply makes the hero seem even less effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    True, but I like that twist. It's been tried with numerous other villains over the years, but it never really worked elsewhere. How many times have Batman villains passed themselves off as reformed, and convinced everyone but Batman of the fact, before he managed to expose them again?
    It's fun for a while, but after a certain point the hero is just banging his head against the wall.


    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    I don't think anyone's suggesting that all comics should take this approach, but I certainly found it refreshing because, in real life, the bad guys don't lose after an issue or two. True heroes stick it out in spite of the injustice of the matter, biding their time and remaining true to their convictions with the hope that one day justice will finally be on their side.
    In real life the bad guys sometimes don't lose- EVER. Part of why I enjoy superhero fiction is the fact the bad guys lose. It's cathartic to see justice done even in fiction as a counterpoint to seeing justice defeated or subverted so often in real life. And it's that payoff that I feel is missing where Lex is concerned for the past 25+ years.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Again, I don't think ALL comics need to take the corporate Luthor approach. I enjoy a good punch in the face for justice any day, but pretty much ALL comics were taking the 1930s approach prior to this, and I appreciate a little diversity and novelty, as well as an approach that better mirrors the world I know and gives me hope that the kind of evil I know and live with can also be vanquished in the long run.
    And my original comments were that a character like Lex for me only works if you see him lose in the long run.

    The problem is that he can't lose and still be the same Lex. They made part of his character the "teflon" effect that none of his villainy ever is connected to him. Either he never manages to get caught by Superman without an escape clause... or he needs to evolve once he's caught into a different type of villain, one who isn't publicly admired and trusted.

    DC went for the first option. Even when they seemed ready to give Lex some long overdue justice, the next creative team would find a way to reset him back to being the Wolfman/Byrne character again and all his misdeeds were back under the carpet. And after a decade or so, I personally was tired of waiting for justice to EVER come. It wasn't novel- it was Earth 3 where crime pays and the good guys losem (they just tossed Clark a few bones by letting him be an ineffective thorn in Lex's side).

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    And my original comments were that a character like Lex for me only works if you see him lose in the long run.

    The problem is that he can't lose and still be the same Lex. They made part of his character the "teflon" effect that none of his villainy ever is connected to him. Either he never manages to get caught by Superman without an escape clause... or he needs to evolve once he's caught into a different type of villain, one who isn't publicly admired and trusted.

    DC went for the first option. Even when they seemed ready to give Lex some long overdue justice, the next creative team would find a way to reset him back to being the Wolfman/Byrne character again and all his misdeeds were back under the carpet. And after a decade or so, I personally was tired of waiting for justice to EVER come. It wasn't novel- it was Earth 3 where crime pays and the good guys losem (they just tossed Clark a few bones by letting him be an ineffective thorn in Lex's side).

    I guess I just don't see the difference. The Pre-Crisis Lex never truly lost either, nor does any major super villain. You say the difference is that you shouldn't draw attention to the fact, but it certainly did look like post-Crisis Lex lost on occasion -- contracting cancer from the Kryptonite ring, for example, or even being taken to prison in this first post-Crisis appearance we're discussing. He gets out, but HE still views the moment as a loss and never forgives Superman for the insult as a result.

    Thus, I do think efforts were made to infrequently relieve the tension that came from Lex being a "Teflon" villain; The frustration was intentionally created (and was necessary in order to provide the world's most powerful superhero with a worthwhile nemesis), but it was also relieved when, on occasion, Lex took a tumble.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    I guess I just don't see the difference. The Pre-Crisis Lex never truly lost either, nor does any major super villain. You say the difference is that you shouldn't draw attention to the fact, but it certainly did look like post-Crisis Lex lost on occasion -- contracting cancer from the Kryptonite ring, for example, or even being taken to prison in this first post-Crisis appearance we're discussing. He gets out, but HE still views the moment as a loss and never forgives Superman for the insult as a result.

    Thus, I do think efforts were made to infrequently relieve the tension that came from Lex being a "Teflon" villain; The frustration was intentionally created (and was necessary in order to provide the world's most powerful superhero with a worthwhile nemesis), but it was also relieved when, on occasion, Lex took a tumble.
    I think part of my problem with post-crisis Luthor, and this kind of goes with the idea of him never losing...is that he is just always there. He is literally a presence in almost every other issue.

    While someone like say, Kingpin would be the major baddie in Daredevil or Spider-Man for awhile there would also be long periods where he was gone. With Lex, he is in your face almost constantly. Even the Joker in Batman goes away for awhile. So there is this constant reminder throughout the majority of his post crisis appearances that Superman is completely ineffectual against the most evil man in the city. The best Superman can do is foil a plot here and there. For me that makes for a weak Superman.
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    Quote Originally Posted by destro View Post
    I think part of my problem with post-crisis Luthor, and this kind of goes with the idea of him never losing...is that he is just always there. He is literally a presence in almost every other issue.

    While someone like say, Kingpin would be the major baddie in Daredevil or Spider-Man for awhile there would also be long periods where he was gone. With Lex, he is in your face almost constantly. Even the Joker in Batman goes away for awhile. So there is this constant reminder throughout the majority of his post crisis appearances that Superman is completely ineffectual against the most evil man in the city. The best Superman can do is foil a plot here and there. For me that makes for a weak Superman.

    When I started reading Superman as a kid, I came in just a few issues before Lex "died," so I have never read the span of issues you are describing. However, what you're saying certainly makes sense. Perhaps that's why I like the concept of corporate Lex while some of you who read all these issues back in the day do not.

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