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  1. #1
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    Default DCAU Superman Problems

    I grew up in the 90's, so in many ways, the DCAU Superman was the version of Superman for me. Full disclosure: I have only really read JLA, some of Loeb's run on Superman/Batman, Byrne's Man of Steel, All-Star, FAS, and some random issues of Action here and there. I constantly hear people say that the DCAU Superman didn't really act like Superman. Dwayne McDuffie even mentioned that the Superman he was writing in JLA had a different personality than the one he worked with on JLU.

    So how exactly was he different? Who is DCAU Superman compared to the Superman in comics? What did the creative team "miss" about his character?

  2. #2
    evil maybe, genius no stk's Avatar
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    The only problem I have with the DCAU Superman is that the series ended. It was a great version of the character. Just about pitch-perfect as far as I'm concerned. Great origin, well-handled supporting cast, great writing, nice implementation of the Fourth World, and they even managed to work around the editorial edict of the day and give us a real Supergirl.

    I kind of like the Superman Animated Series even more than Batman: TAS.

    The people who complain about the DCAU Superman tend to be ones hung up on one comics version over other comic versions. Usually, they want him to be stronger or not lose fights or something. Yawn. I think the cartoon handled his personality and power levels quite well. And he's quite authentic to the comics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stk View Post
    The only problem I have with the DCAU Superman is that the series ended. It was a great version of the character. Just about pitch-perfect as far as I'm concerned. Great origin, well-handled supporting cast, great writing, nice implementation of the Fourth World, and they even managed to work around the editorial edict of the day and give us a real Supergirl.

    I kind of like the Superman Animated Series even more than Batman: TAS.

    The people who complain about the DCAU Superman tend to be ones hung up on one comics version over other comic versions. Usually, they want him to be stronger or not lose fights or something. Yawn. I think the cartoon handled his personality and power levels quite well. And he's quite authentic to the comics.
    I never found myself wanting him to be stronger, either. One thing I never understood, though, was why people referred to him as a "boy scout." His assertiveness seemed to border aggressiveness, at times. Lex even manipulated that aggression to make him look like a fool in an episode of JLU. A majority of episodes did not deal with him being incredibly nice to people or anything, lol.

  4. #4
    evil maybe, genius no stk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrwayne View Post
    One thing I never understood, though, was why people referred to him as a "boy scout."
    It's kind of a lazy, fall-back description that's been used for many decades now, regardless of its varying accuracy.

  5. #5
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    I'm kind of mixed on the DCAU Superman, but Superman TAS was pretty good for what it was. The Byrne reboot done right.

  6. #6
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    DCAU Superman is awesome; I actually prefer the JL/JLU/Newbern Superman, but the S:TAS Supes was great too. When I was watching S:TAS, I hadn't yet gotten back into comics, so I had no comparison issues regarding power levels or abilities. In fact, the only thing I hated was Superman wearing a Spacesuit.
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  7. #7
    Paladin Kurosawa's Avatar
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    He was badly underpowered..I used to call him Kinda Powerful Man.
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  8. #8
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    I loved it.

    There were some complaints about him being underpowered, but I had no problem with that. It was a good cartoon that stayed true to the idea of Superman.
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    I remember people believing Diana to be respected better in the strength department and people were upset about that.

  10. #10
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    So Superman usually has problems keeping his anger in check like he did in Justice League against Cadmus or in STAS against Darkseid? I wouldn't have expected that based on his reputation. When I was a kid and I first saw World's Finest (the episode where BTAS and STAS crossed over) I remember thinking that they were both jerks; Batman was just a bigger one. As I grew up, that became one of my favorite things about Bats, but I'd always wondered if that was in character for Superman or not.

    I also didn't find Superman to be very understanding in either show. Very authoritative, but never understanding. This is also a trait I would not have thought he had based on his reputation (and based on a few pages of All-Star Superman).

    Are both of these traits accurate to his comic depiction, or are these things that have varied over time?
    Last edited by mrwayne; 12-14-2012 at 09:48 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Darth Joker's Avatar
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    It's true that DCAU Superman is pretty assertive and aggressive, when you stop to think about it. Maybe that's part of the reason why I liked him a lot - He was fittingly a man of quick and decisive action. He's perhaps the closest Superman has come to being a badass character.

    I remember one episode of Justice League, where Superman was clearly planning to kill Darkseid. And it wasn't just a "heat of battle" sort of thing, Superman made it plainly clear to Darkseid (before they started fighting) that he had every intention of killing him. Batman even ended up intervening, and boomtubing him and Superman away to prevent Superman from killing Darkseid.

    It's true that DCAU Superman was rather underpowered compared to most versions of the character, but I didn't mind so much since other major DCAU characters were similarly powered down (The Flash, for example, only achieved speedforce powers once in the DCAU, IIRC). Superman still felt like the overall "top dog" to me.


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  12. #12
    evil maybe, genius no stk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Joker View Post
    It's true that DCAU Superman is pretty assertive and aggressive, when you stop to think about it. Maybe that's part of the reason why I liked him a lot - He was fittingly a man of quick and decisive action. He's perhaps the closest Superman has come to being a badass character.
    Geez, check out the Golden Age character and the Fleischer cartoons. That guy was all about whooping ass.

    And Golden Age Superman used to interrogate people in life-threatening ways that would make modern-day Batman squeamish.

  13. #13
    Senior Member misslane38's Avatar
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    I don't think any Superman should all about whooping ass, at least not unless he had other options available to him. A hotheaded hero who will sooner resort to violence than pursuing peaceful alternatives is not very super, if you ask me.

  14. #14
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    The only problems I had were in the first season of Justice League. He was really underpowered there. But by season 2 they powered him back up.

    But STAS gave us a powerful, but not too powerful, well rounded character with a balance between Clark and Superman. And it used Braniac smartly to get around the problem of Kryptonians being super advanced and super powerful and yet being too stupid for all but one to get off the planet before it blew up.
    Last edited by sunofdarkchild; 12-15-2012 at 09:42 AM.

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    Man... my last post was very poorly written. In the OP, I mentioned that Dwayne McDuffie said that he felt like he was writing two different Supermans(men?) between his episodes of JL/U and his brief run on JLA. What traits were distinguishably different enough to elicit that remark?

    http://www.comicsbulletin.com/interv...ue-of-america/

    ^ This is the interview I'm referencing. Ctrl+F (or Apple+F): type "personality" if you don't want to read the entire thing. Most of it is irrelevant.
    Last edited by mrwayne; 12-15-2012 at 12:30 PM.

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