Excepting Byrne's mistake, Krypton has always been depicted as morally and ethically superior to Earth. I mean, it is a world without war, poverty and has a united society that takes care of everyone. How much more morally superior can you get?
Doomed Planet. Desperate Scientists. Last Hope. Kindly Couple.
You are watering him down a little I think.
Last edited by kylesgirl; 01-16-2013 at 07:52 PM.
I think the internet does not lend itself well to synthesis, it for some reason sets things up as you vs. me, so I appreciate the shared perspective.
I absolutely agree the Kents make the difference when considering Superman's deep respect for humanity, but I think that there is a tendency to dismiss the influence of the El family. Bar El and Lilo were soldiers, and they lacked the perspective of Superman as a son of a scientist who's very nature is to observe, so once again I do believe they had the physical potential to share Superman's vision, but they did not have his scientist's eye. Just like New 52 Superman goes on a journey to find perfection, they had to as well. Eventually they share his vision but absolutely not solely due to genetics.
I never give sole credit to the Kents because that neglects the tremendous influence of the El family. On the other hand in regards to superior Kryptonian gentetics, and also in regards to the flower of New Krypton. Because of superman's complete vision, his ability to perceive beyond human capacity, when he looks at a farmer like Jonathan, he sees the Superman realized. A perspective that humans are often unable to see within themselves.
I think because it is a complete rip off of Thunderbolt Ross from the Incredible Hulk.
No War, No Poverty, a United Society... That sounds pretty utopian to me. As to why would they have criminals, because those are individual aberrations. Those are flaws of the individual, not the society, the society's solution was relatively humane, and arguably morally superior to Earth, but the flawed individual was still a problem in their perfect society. I do agree that the flaw of hubris was suffered by many Kryptonians, a hubris not shared by the Els though and of course humility was carefully cultivated by the Kents.
How amazingly rich is Superman as a character that these type of discussions take place?
Last edited by Coyote2010; 01-16-2013 at 08:47 PM.
Other relevant quotes:
“[W]henever Lois encounters power, it has corrupted its wielder. The government, corporations, the military (poor Gen. Lane), they’re abusing their power. Until she meets the most powerful being on Earth. And he’s incorruptible. Superman’s therefore the most attractive man she’s ever met. Someone she can believe in, who fights her same fight with flights and tights.” — Dean Trippe, “Lois Lane Girl Reporter” Pitch
"To me, the core of that attraction is that she is a better reporter than he is. Think about being Superman for a second. The Olympic record for weightlifting is 1,038 lbs., but you could lift more than that as a child. The record for the 100 meter dash is 9.58 seconds, but you can travel over 51 miles in that time. Going to Vegas? You don’t need your X-Ray vision to win at Blackjack, because you can just count the cards while holding down a conversation about nuclear physics. Without really trying, you are better at just about everything than anyone else in the world. However, (as Mark Waid once pointed out in a podcast with Marv Wolfman) none of that really translates to your chosen profession. Typing really fast does not help your prose. Being able to lift a tank does not help you convince a source to go on record. It is as near to competing straight up with normal people as Superman would ever be capable of. Even then, it comes easily enough to him that you get a pretty lofty perch at a great paper very early in your career. It is just in this one context, there is someone better than you are: Lois Lane. As mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, you reach up for the first time in your life and she rejects you. To me, it is an inversion of the Luthor story. Luthor sees someone above him and feels hate. Superman sees someone above him and feels love." — Dean Hacker, comment on “Giving Lois Lane A Second Look, For The First Time” by Kelly Thompson (CBR: She Has No Head!)*
*2,277 notes on Tumblr for this quote, by the way.
Last edited by misslane38; 01-16-2013 at 09:38 PM.
That takes me back to Snyder's comments about Lois, though. She can serve as a north star to him because she is someone he's become familiar with who affirms his hope in human potential. If she falters, as she has recently in Lobdell's atrocious butchering of her character, it shakes him up quite a bit. Alternatively, Lois sees in Superman the same thing he sees in her: the promise of what humanity could achieve. It's why she admires Superman and supports him so much. Her faith in him and his faith in her--that they believe in each other despite their differences and despite the occasional letdown--is why I, and I believe many others, find their relationship so compelling.
Using qualifiers like "pretty utopian" and "flaw[s]...in their perfect society" negates the utopian claim. A utopia is not something that allows for exceptions. The Els themselves may not have been arrogant, but who's to say that their attitude wasn't a product of their upbringing? It would explain why they were different from their peers. Since, Kal-El did not benefit from their parenting and guidance, it's not automatically assured that he would carry within him those same virtues.No War, No Poverty, a United Society... That sounds pretty utopian to me. As to why would they have criminals, because those are individual aberrations. Those are flaws of the individual, not the society, the society's solution was relatively humane, and arguably morally superior to Earth, but the flawed individual was still a problem in their perfect society. I do agree that the flaw of hubris was suffered by many Kryptonians, a hubris not shared by the Els though and of course humility was carefully cultivated by the Kents.
Very amazing! In fact, I know we may have disagreements on this issue, but I really enjoy hearing and learning from your perspective. It's fascinating and challenging, so thank you.How amazingly rich is Superman as a character that these type of discussions take place?
Thanks ! So my take on the El's, post crisis, Nu 52, I would argue that the formative years with the Kents, that childhood and adolescence are indeed especially crucial to Kal's sense of self.
With Pre Crisis though, you are talking about a creature of pure boundless power, emotion, intellect, and perception. You are also talking about a being that as an adoloscent, could push himself forward and backward through time. A being with complete and total memory, intellectual and emotional. Dr. Manhattan is based on Superman, and as a child, Kal could endlessly relive his time on Krypton, which by the Silver age, could be from the ages of 2 to 4 .The concept of past and memory are much less rigid to a being of that scope of perception. His memory of the Els, the parents who named him, nursed him, gave him his life long best friend, those aren't distant. To a being that conquers time, those memories, no those events, are as accessible as a room next door.
Throw away the word Utopian, and let's use near perfect society as an operable term. Lets define that as the establisment of a state that is far advanced morally, politically, and socially to a degree that no other culture could ever aspire too in time or space. Near Perfect? Perhaps this society acknowledges that evil, a universal truth, exists, and that a near perfect society must have a humane response. Perhaps the Kryptonians acknowledged that Good and Evil are inevitabilities. Ying and Yang?
So, why did they ignore Jor-El, I think Hubris, I think Science was a religion and Jor Els work was seen as heretical and contradicted by competing contemporary scientific theories/beliefs.
As to Thunderbolt Lane, to a certain fan, DC lost it's way when it adopted many Marvel tropes for Superman. To me it made Superman less epic poetry and more Soap Opera, and I'm with Warren Ellis on that one.
And likewise Ms. Lane.
Last edited by Coyote2010; 01-16-2013 at 10:36 PM.
Well I do not believe she can be a better reporter than he is. I believe writers have Superman often uses the reporter id in the past to allow him to be Superman and writers have failed to give his efforts to his job any real credence. Lois goes after big stories. She goes after corruption and big villains sure and Superman stories etc. I would like to see Clark do the opposite and not try to make his name via sensation and always big headline news. That is what Lobdell hopefully will show. It's a great thing to see Clark break away from the Daily Planet and not just be there to play some hamfisted rival to Lois, when he probably never even tried his best. Clark being able to type fast should have zero do to with his ability to put his thoughts into words. The heart it might have to move people via words has nothing to do with being super.
This is a perfect example of people who never wrote a Superman story...and wait did the podcasters not say they don't usually buy Superman...coming to give opinions on a subject is ironic.
Superman that we are going to read now is not this guy from preflashpoint and I hope to god we never go back to that. I hope Man Of Steel, the movie, puts that crap to bed as well and shows a Clark who took up the call because of his desire to. Just because Lois shows she trusts him by taking his hand is no way a vindication that she is the reason why he becomes a hero. She gives him the exposure. She breaks the story. She sells him to the public. If there is romantic entanglement involved...it does equal to bias on her part. It usually has been that way from the moment he meets her and last I checked he did not look an ogre. Any woman would react the way Lois would to him so that is not anything special.
DC trying not to have her go gaga over him initially is actually an attempt to give her some credibility but I think it's clear we know she is taken by him. And this constant rejection of Clark is old and cliched and if it were done nowadays to female heroes we'd hate it. Clark by himself deserves credit and merit and much as Superman. The Superman myth is outdated in many ways.
Last edited by kylesgirl; 01-17-2013 at 05:21 AM.
It's also telling that, in their second draft of the character (the one we know being third), Superman didn't come from another planet but from the future.
Last edited by Auguste Dupin; 01-17-2013 at 11:04 AM.
"I'm going to paraphrase Nietzsche, when you judge a work, the work judges you."
I keep thinking about the idea of the imperfect perfect society and I think I have to call Krypton a society perfected. Society by definition has flaws, but a perfect society has a response. If you assume that the term society by necessity allows or at least anticipates corruption at some level. Even the Good Lord put a Serpent in Eden.
So, in a sense, Superman is an inspirationnal figure because he shows us what we could become, when our evolutionnary journey is complete.
I must admit that, in many ways, I find the Golden Age lore to be much better thought and much cooler than the one we have in modern days, at least when it comes to Superman.
"I'm going to paraphrase Nietzsche, when you judge a work, the work judges you."