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  1. #61
    Swordsman Supreme R0NIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MFitzH2O View Post
    We might be saying something very similar. Superman is the power not having to hide. Clark is the man not-enslaved by the power. You say he's Clark to hide the power; I think he's Clark when he comes home at night and when he's saving the world (the latter he's putting up that tough-man facade).

    I dunno: I am who I was raised as. Even if I change my name, I am still that person. Clark's humility is a personality trait, not a disguise, in the triangle-era (Which I'd call an extension of Byrne, wouldn't you?) His modesty is result of his upbringing, not trying to hide his powers. In a perfect world, he would be Clark, not Superman. (One Year Later he puts on a GL Ring and shines brightly as Clark not Superman. They make the point that he sees himself as Clark.)

    In the serials he became Clark to keep tabs on how to best help mankind, but in the serials he wasn't raised on Earth. He was in those first books, but, yes, Clark was an obvious fake mild-mannered coward and it wasn't really explained (as readership at the time didn't demand deep or really thoughtful stories of their funny-books). Not so much in the triangle era, though: Clark was meek but not mild, humble, again, modest, a man of family and of strong moral upbringing. I feel this is where Johns got Secret Origin right and Frank illustrated it well: Superman didn't stand 'tough', he slouched. He was shy. He was Clark. Clark grew into the persona, but the persona was an act.



    Which I do.



    I see what you're saying about Johns' silver-age obsession in Secret Origin. That was indulgent, yes.

    But what about the grand shout-out to the silver age stuff in Action? Not indulging nostalgia? What about the ease of comparison to Johns' Secret Origin? Not indulgence to modern-nostalgia? I honestly don't the the obvious line you're talking about. If it's heavily (not referencing) based upon previously-told stories without furthering those already-told stories, it seems like nostalgia-for-nostalgia's-sake. I assume you're saying Johns was nostalgia-just-'cause? I'd agree. But I'd argue that in this 'reboot' any nostalgia is indulgence: you're starting over; it's okay to ... Well, to start fresh. In that sense, Earth One was a much bigger success: it told a new story. It re-booted Superman. Morrison's growth-of-power concept is more appealing to me, but Straczynski's 'take it from the top' mentality was a stronger start-over.

    That stuff about the golden age? Nonsense. This very little golden-age Superman; that's just toting the line. This is based loosely on the idea that Superman's powers & abilities came on slowly over time and I greatly respect that concept. I do not, however, respect that line. It's not based on Golden Age Superman, it's based on Morrison's idea. Which is cool, just not what they were selling.



    Ah, c'mon. Morrison's just adding a little more 'murk' to an already murky pond. There's no 'fixing' it's just mashing even more together which a lot of the early oughts dug-up from the no-no pile created in '86. It's a reboot. It's either a clean slate or another mistake, but it's not a correction.
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by MFitzH2O View Post
    That's a very, very important point: Superman's declining sales over the years (events aside) would likely agree with you.



    Superman is for the poor and downtrodden. For the heroic at heart and for those who love Ma, Pa, and, yeah, apple pie.

    There. I said it. My 2c. Not for trends, not for today, but for an ideal. Humility alongside strength, truth and justice.

    I just don't feel this Superman 'modernizing' nor is it revitalizing; it's catering to trends and, worse, to fads. Most stories are. This, too, shall pass.
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    And paradoxally, nowadays, the reader seems to want even Clark to be perfect all the time, as the recent debates seem to indicate.
    Not that we want him to be perfect. We just don't want him to pretend to be a loser. Especially around those "closest" to him. He should be able to act like himself without an pretense of "meekness" or "clumsiness". Otherwise he's lying to those "closest" to him, and they don't really know him at all. That's why Bryne's Clark is my personal favorite. That was just him. Superman was the powers and the image. He wore bright color and posed and was the face of the ideas and morals he respresented. But no one wants to be in "action, leader, role model" role ALL the time. That's for Superman. Clark Kent's creation. Because he grew up as Clark Kent and would have no reason to suddenly not think of himself as Clark Kent. Superman was Clark Kent's core but with the powers, suit, lights, cameras, and action so to speak.
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  4. #64
    Inf‚me et fier de l'Ítre Auguste Dupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R0NIN View Post
    Not that we want him to be perfect. We just don't want him to pretend to be a loser. Especially around those "closest" to him. He should be able to act like himself without an pretense of "meekness" or "clumsiness". Otherwise he's lying to those "closest" to him, and they don't really know him at all. That's why Bryne's Clark is my personal favorite. That was just him. Superman was the powers and the image. He wore bright color and posed and was the face of the ideas and morals he respresented. But no one wants to be in "action, leader, role model" role ALL the time. That's for Superman. Clark Kent's creation. Because he grew up as Clark Kent and would have no reason to suddenly not think of himself as Clark Kent. Superman was Clark Kent's core but with the powers, suit, lights, cameras, and action so to speak.
    Always found Byrne's Clark to be much more unsuferrable than any of the incarnations where has "pretending to be a loser". Because if his "real" self is an unethical reporter who repetitively makes articles about himself ON HIS OWN (that's how he got his job, after all) and makes a career out of it (despite it being the worst thing to do when you're a reporter -I've seen people getting fired for that, and I'm only working there part-time), writes books featuring mary sue versions of himself and goes back to Ma and Pa everytime he has to make a tough decision..... well, his real self is weak minded, self absorbed, and has no concept of ethic whatsoever. And is just not that interesting (seriously, Byrne's Clark is just so bland, I never managed to care about what's going on in the parts featuring him).
    At least, the others versions are "pretending" to be a loser.....this Clark was genuinely one.
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    Always found Byrne's Clark to be much more unsuferrable than any of the incarnations where has "pretending to be a loser". Because if his "real" self is an unethical reporter who repetitively makes articles about himself ON HIS OWN (that's how he got his job, after all) and makes a career out of it (despite it being the worst thing to do when you're a reporter -I've seen people getting fired for that, and I'm only working there part-time), writes books featuring mary sue versions of himself and goes back to Ma and Pa everytime he has to make a tough decision..... well, his real self is weak minded, self absorbed, and has no concept of ethic whatsoever. And is just not that interesting (seriously, Byrne's Clark is just so bland, I never managed to care about what's going on in the parts featuring him).
    At least, the others versions are "pretending" to be a loser.....this Clark was genuinely one.
    All versions of Clark write newspaper articles about himself. And writing a report on a hurricane that you stopped is just as unethical. That's not a Bryne invention. He didn't go to Ma and Pa EVERY time, but since they were the only people that really knew about his dual identities from the start they are the people he's used to talking to about things. Everyone has someone they talk to about things. Even if it's just to get it off their chest or work it out for themselves as they talk about it.
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by R0NIN View Post
    All versions of Clark write newspaper articles about himself. And writing a report on a hurricane that you stopped is just as unethical. That's not a Bryne invention. He didn't go to Ma and Pa EVERY time, but since they were the only people that really knew about his dual identities from the start they are the people he's used to talking to about things. Everyone has someone they talk to about things. Even if it's just to get it off their chest or work it out for themselves as they talk about it.
    Yeah, but others versions were assigned to it (the Golden Age one, the Silver Age too since, well, the distinction between Golden Age and Silver Age isn't exactly clear, this new one), and to an extend I do understand why he can't really say "no can do, Perry. See, I'm Superman in disguise and that would be unethical." But he does other articles. In the Golden Age, you could see him almost begging Taylor to be assigned to specific subjects (like that mine incident), and I liked that because that meant he cared about his job. In Man of Steel, interviewing himself is how he gets his job, and that means it doesn't even bother him a bit to have been hired on the basis of an interview that is bogus from the very first line, after giving that very first interview to a "real" reporter. That's.....That's Superdickery, only done by Clark. And by the time we get to the first issue of Superman by Byrne, we are told that Clark became the big star of the Planet only on the basis of his Superman articles, with the implication that every.single.time. Superman did something, Clark made an article about it. In the Silver Age, the Superman beat was Lois' job, with Clark sometimes being replacing her.
    As for the Kent, well, I just think it was overused and the Kents were a too much of the "old fashion people that will give you some agrarian metaphore that will make you realize what to do", and I found that cheap and annoying.
    Plus, I don't know, if I had to define Byrne's Clark Kent characterization, I would be unable to do so (appart from the whole "self centered yuppie" that probably wasn't intended that way), just like that game where you have to define a character without talking about his job or his appearance. To me, the guy just feels he has no real personality, which is problematic when this is supposed to be the "real self". And I just felt that the fact he wasn't "mild mannered" in any way made it even more unbelievable to have Lois just not connecting the dots.
    "So, there's this guy, who kinda looks like Superman, who got an interview from Superman despite not being a journalist at the time, and who since had every single scoop about him since them for years. And he was an ex football star and is very muscular. Mmmmm. Definitively looks like I'm missing something important".
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  7. #67
    Don't do the Limbo sunofdarkchild's Avatar
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    One of the things I've hated about Batman over the years was how he had this huge supporting cast and he wouldn't talk to anyone.

    "I'm Batman and I'm going to make everyone's lives miserable because I'm a moody sob who doesn't know how to express himself like a person or how to have a conversation without hurting whoever I'm talking to, and I won't ever explain why I'm doing something because that would make people understand and trust me, and I can't have that because I'm dark."

    So I never minded when they went to the other extreme with Superman. And I never felt they actually went to an extreme. People still ask their parents for advice in their thirties, and Clark has all the more reason to go to them considering the stuff he has to deal with as Superman. It didn't seem like he was going to them for advice all that often, and some of the time he went it wasn't for advice, but just to think. Before the Eradicator story the farm substitued for the fortress.

    And did he write self-insertion stories? The only times I can remember the plots of his novels being explained there were no superpowered characters at all.

    The best Clark as a reporter story I've ever seen was this one from shortly after the marriage where the issue is framed as a feature piece by Clark about a family in Suicide Slums. He drew attention to the plight of the residents and got wealthy benefactors to move the specific family to a better neighborhood without mentioning Superman in his story.

    I see the point about it being unethical to write stories about himself. But that has been an accepted part of superhero ethics since the golden age. Clark was always writing stories about Superma without anyone complaining that it was unethical. And no one has ever complained that Peter Parker making money off of pictures of himself is unethical. It's a failing of the medium more than the Byrne Clark.

  8. #68
    Inf‚me et fier de l'Ítre Auguste Dupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunofdarkchild View Post
    One of the things I've hated about Batman over the years was how he had this huge supporting cast and he wouldn't talk to anyone.

    "I'm Batman and I'm going to make everyone's lives miserable because I'm a moody sob who doesn't know how to express himself like a person or how to have a conversation without hurting whoever I'm talking to, and I won't ever explain why I'm doing something because that would make people understand and trust me, and I can't have that because I'm dark."

    So I never minded when they went to the other extreme with Superman. And I never felt they actually went to an extreme. People still ask their parents for advice in their thirties, and Clark has all the more reason to go to them considering the stuff he has to deal with as Superman. It didn't seem like he was going to them for advice all that often, and some of the time he went it wasn't for advice, but just to think. Before the Eradicator story the farm substitued for the fortress.

    And did he write self-insertion stories? The only times I can remember the plots of his novels being explained there were no superpowered characters at all.

    The best Clark as a reporter story I've ever seen was this one from shortly after the marriage where the issue is framed as a feature piece by Clark about a family in Suicide Slums. He drew attention to the plight of the residents and got wealthy benefactors to move the specific family to a better neighborhood without mentioning Superman in his story.

    I see the point about it being unethical to write stories about himself. But that has been an accepted part of superhero ethics since the golden age. Clark was always writing stories about Superma without anyone complaining that it was unethical. And no one has ever complained that Peter Parker making money off of pictures of himself is unethical. It's a failing of the medium more than the Byrne Clark.
    I fail to see how it's the medium's falling to have Clark getting himself hired by writing an interview about himself. And I'm sorry, there is a difference between Silver Age Clark, who was doing a Superman story once in a while (most of them being covered by Lois, as a matter of fact) because he's asked to and can't really say "no" without people growing suspicious and building his entire career and becoming the star of the Daily Planet based entirely on writing about his own exploits. There's a very big one. Byrne's Clark (and I suppose I have to precise I'm talki,ng specifically about Byrne's Clark, although his successors kept some parts of his characterisation) was a self centered yuppie that didn't seem interested in anything but wooing the girl and being professionaly successful. Which made him very unlikable in my eyes.
    And wasn't "Under a Yellow Sun" a book based on a named differently Superman that was doing all the things he could not? Because that's the very definition of "Mary Sueism".
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  9. #69
    Senior Member misslane38's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    Byrne's Clark (and I suppose I have to precise I'm talki,ng specifically about Byrne's Clark, although his successors kept some parts of his characterisation) was a self centered yuppie that didn't seem interested in anything but wooing the girl and being professionaly successful.
    This assessment of Byrne's Clark/Superman is pretty far from the truth.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane38 View Post
    This assessment of Byrne's Clark/Superman is pretty far from the truth.
    I'm afraid it's not. Note that I'm only talking of Clark Kent. After all, Superman is the disguise (a disguise invented by his Pa after blaming him for using his powers to play football), therefore using his actions as Superman to explain that he is selfless would be akin to using the actions of Pre-Crisis Clark to affirm Superman is "mild mannered".
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  11. #71
    Senior Member misslane38's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    I'm afraid it's not. Note that I'm only talking of Clark Kent. After all, Superman is the disguise (a disguise invented by his Pa after blaming him for using his powers to play football), therefore using his actions as Superman to explain that he is selfless would be akin to using the actions of Pre-Crisis Clark to affirm Superman is "mild mannered".
    No, really. I've recently reread and cataloged most of the comics during that era and your statements about Clark are inaccurate. There's nothing selfish about doing a good job and wanting to find love, especially if you put those two things on hold whenever the world needs saving.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane38 View Post
    No, really. I've recently reread and cataloged most of the comics during that era and your statements about Clark are inaccurate. There's nothing selfish about doing a good job and wanting to find love, especially if you put those two things on hold whenever the world needs saving.
    Doing a good job at what? Writing about yourself, on such a basis that your entire celebrity and career is based on it?
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  13. #73
    It's Lexrules... GET HIM. Lexrules's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    Doing a good job at what? Writing about yourself, on such a basis that your entire celebrity and career is based on it?
    Well he did need to get his foot in the door. White wanted no part of him because he was only a small town reporter. Once he wrote that first articial to get his foot in the door he needed to keep it there and Superman sold papers. It's bush league but it got the job done and kept him his job. lol

  14. #74
    Elder Member Mat001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    Yeah, but others versions were assigned to it (the Golden Age one, the Silver Age too since, well, the distinction between Golden Age and Silver Age isn't exactly clear, this new one), and to an extend I do understand why he can't really say "no can do, Perry. See, I'm Superman in disguise and that would be unethical." But he does other articles. In the Golden Age, you could see him almost begging Taylor to be assigned to specific subjects (like that mine incident), and I liked that because that meant he cared about his job.
    The thing is that it has become understood that not every story that's covered by the news, is the result of an assignment. It is the result of news breaking and being there to get it. If something happens and a reporter or a photographer gets wind of it, they bust their ass to get it before their editor can tell them to. It's like in "Superman III", where Clark and Jimmy come across the chemical plant that's on fire. Jimmy quoted what Perry told him earlier about a good photographer is always prepared to cover a story. So he does his job and had his film not been melted, he would have gotten high praise from Perry. In Superman #1 by Perez, Clark gets a story because he was working another story and is in the right place at the right time when Superman is needed.

    In Man of Steel, interviewing himself is how he gets his job, and that means it doesn't even bother him a bit to have been hired on the basis of an interview that is bogus from the very first line, after giving that very first interview to a "real" reporter. That's.....That's Superdickery, only done by Clark.
    Except Perry told Clark that if he wanted a desk at the Planet, he needed to turn in a story so profound that he couldn't resist hiring him and making it front page. Clark chose to interview himself because he wanted this job and wanted to control how much information should be let out about himself. In "World Of Metropolis" #4, he gives Lois the exclusive about his being from Krypton and what it was like. He even comes up with an excuse for Lois to have it rather than Clark. Lois was the one who got the story about Titano in "Tears For Titano".

    And by the time we get to the first issue of Superman by Byrne, we are told that Clark became the big star of the Planet only on the basis of his Superman articles, with the implication that every.single.time. Superman did something, Clark made an article about it. In the Silver Age, the Superman beat was Lois' job, with Clark sometimes being replacing her.
    And it turned out that Clark didn't get all of the articles, because that wouldn't be fair. That was revealed during Byrne and Wolfman's tenure and continued on afterwards. Besides, Lois always getting the articles in the Pre-Crisis era looks like favoritism as well. After all, she didn't really earn those interviews. She got them because she knew that Superman had feelings for her.

    As for the Kent, well, I just think it was overused and the Kents were a too much of the "old fashion people that will give you some agrarian metaphore that will make you realize what to do", and I found that cheap and annoying.
    In the comics, they weren't used for advice all the time. Clark visited them because they were his family. Occasionally he asked for advice from them, because he had no one else to turn to. It was in other media where this became a reoccurring habit, but only because the actors were regulars on the show and not guest stars.

    Plus, I don't know, if I had to define Byrne's Clark Kent characterization, I would be unable to do so (appart from the whole "self centered yuppie" that probably wasn't intended that way), just like that game where you have to define a character without talking about his job or his appearance. To me, the guy just feels he has no real personality, which is problematic when this is supposed to be the "real self". And I just felt that the fact he wasn't "mild mannered" in any way made it even more unbelievable to have Lois just not connecting the dots.
    "So, there's this guy, who kinda looks like Superman, who got an interview from Superman despite not being a journalist at the time, and who since had every single scoop about him since them for years. And he was an ex football star and is very muscular. Mmmmm. Definitively looks like I'm missing something important".
    Clark was a journalist. He served on the college paper at Metropolis University. He just didn't start out at one paper and go to another like in Morrison's run. Clark covered his build by buying a weight set, so that it looked like he kept in shape. And he put all of his high school athletic pictures and awards on display to emphasize that.
    Last edited by Mat001; 12-09-2012 at 02:39 PM.

  15. #75
    Paladin Kurosawa's Avatar
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    The biggest failure of the Byrne/Post-Crisis Clark is that he was just Superman with glasses on. He lacked Clark's flaws and humanity, and his humility. That Superman was perfect with a perfect life and a perfect family and later on a perfect marriage to a perfect and loving wife..there was no soul, no pathos, no conflict. He had everything and lost nothing. Who the hell is ever going to feel for a character like that? I know there are a certain amount of blind followers that support anything DC does, but to the majority of people, that character was not interesting and that's why he was rejected for Batman, a character full of issues and conflict and soul.

    A lot of it came down to how people like Byrne inadvertently took the Hebrew out of Superman and made him very, very whitebread. Superman as a character came very much from the Jewish experience, not from design but from genetics. Until Byrne, the character was created, written and edited mostly by Jewish men. When they took the Jew out of Superman, the took the heart out of the character. And it's never completely returned.

    Pre-Crisis Superman was like the original Otis Redding version of (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay, the Post Crisis version was Michael Bolton's cover version.
    Last edited by Kurosawa; 12-10-2012 at 12:41 PM.
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