As for the OP's friend's opinions about Superman, he is out of his mind if he thinks Superman would have any desire to do the terrible things that he himself would...and he needs to take a long look at himself if that is what he wants in the world. But the guy is probably a stupid kid and stupid kids think and say stupid things.
Doomed Planet. Desperate Scientists. Last Hope. Kindly Couple.
Unless otherwise stated by the narrative itself, the best default position to take with any fictional character (not just Superman) is that the most important things s/he does is featured "on camera". You assess characters by what you actually see them doing. Vague hypotheticals over what the characters could conceivably be doing off-camera shouldn't even factor into it except in extreme circumstances, or the narrative explicitly referring to important off-screen actions.
As for the sex thing... I'll just say that while almost everybody likes sex and wants it sometimes/often, it's not an overriding concern for most people. Well, generally not for people in their 30s and older, and Superman is traditionally portrayed as a man in his 30s.
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I'm not even decrying the guy's character (or rather, lack thereof), but rather his lack of imagination and ambition. A guy gets the powers of a god, and the first and only thing that comes to his mind is... raping women? We're not talking having the Invisible Man or Flash's powers here, but frickin' Superman's. I mean, kids these days...
I'm not really a comic book reader and know Superman mostly from the animated Justice League and Superman Returns. Returns made me like Superman because it portrayed Superman as someone who is self-conscious about who he is, where he belongs and what he wants. This Superman is someone who is torn that the woman he loves doesn't love him back and honestly has no reason to. I thought it was wonderfully (or awfully) ironic that this being who can do pretty much anything can still lose the woman he loves to another man. It's really interesting. He feels alone. He doesn't really belong and the only person he has ever felt a true connection with has turned her back on him. It's sad really. It was wonderful to me seeing a Superman who was so ambivalent. He was extremely relatable and a nice change from all of these cocky jerk heroes/antiheroes. He also used his powers for personal reasons. He spied on his love. I mean that seems completely relatable. I mean how many of us wouldn't use powers to our advantage in things so personal to us?
But that's just my preference to Superman. In a lot of media he isn't portrayed like that and is almost a boy scout. Or if not that then just preachy and unwavering in his morals. It's just not my taste, if not unrealistic. And that's why he may seem boring or stale to some. The Justice League for example didn't do a good job at that. He's portrayed as this ideal who does no wrong. As this unattainable, never moral-compromising angel. That shouldn't be Superman imo.
I want a Superman who is just a regular guy (with powers) who tries to do the right thing and should struggle to do the right thing at times. And not just big things but small moral dilemmas too. He shouldn't be a male Mother Teresa. He should at times think to and use his powers for personal gain, either professional or personal. I mean it makes sense. He is only "human" after all right? Wouldn't we do it?
In future JL I imagine a scene where Darkseid would be trying to convince him that they are superior to other beings because they are physically stronger. I think Superman should seriously consider that. Think through whether or not he is superior. Show doubt. Show hesitance. He should reason with himself. If he rejects the idea he should reason why and vice versa. We shoudn't have a Superman who immediately responds with some pre-made "No you are wrong; we are all equal" thing. Because THAT is lame. That suggests that Superman has everything thought out and shows absolutely no character development at all. That's something that I feel Timm's DCAU Superman would do.
To conclude, introduce conflict and you have a relatable Superman. Having him to cool stuff like Iron Man wouldn't hurt also.
Last edited by Charlie512; 04-07-2013 at 09:22 PM.
To me, Darkseid even having a chance of convincing Superman he's inherently superior because he's stronger is unrealistic. And he doesn't - especially in his old age - need to really think it out point for point, the fact Darkseid is saying it should be enough. The fact is sounds bad and messed up, should be enough. That might doesn't make right. Superman doesn't have to think that one through any more than any of us need to think it through in detail.
People are easily willing to suspend their disbelief to accept out of this world origins and nature of Superheroes. We see it with every superhero out there.
However, people don't like unrealistic characterization, which is never struggling with moral dilemmas. Or having personal desires and needs. Or having personal flaws that anyone with superpowers would have. Such as a bit of selfishness.
Oh, yeah I should have been more clear. I was talking about a potential scene in the JL movie. One where Superman wouldn't be so old.
And we aren't aliens with god-like powers living amongst puny humans. Are we?
This is basically what is hopefully going to happen with Superman. I found a good post that describes what I'm mostly talking about.
Last edited by Charlie512; 04-08-2013 at 10:17 AM.
Superman has struggled with moral dilemmas. More often than not. But in terms of how Superman sees humanity, much less the universe at large, Grant Morrison touched on that subject. In "All Star Superman" #12, Lex's plan to destroy Superman involves him replicating Superman's powers right down to the last bit, through a serum that last twenty four hours. But there's an unexpected side effect that he hadn't counted on. He starts to see things as Superman does.
This is why Superman cannot really see himself as superior. He knows that his abilities put him ahead of most people, but short of rewiring his personality as the Eradicator did in "Day Of The Krypton Man", it's impossible for Clark to see himself as something more than anyone else.
And that would be only first day.
"I'm going to paraphrase Nietzsche, when you judge a work, the work judges you."
Like Superman? In a pig's eye. Last I checked, the last time Superman was in the headlines it didn't involve scandals or altar boys!
That's why so many young fans have a jaundiced or cynical view toward superheroes like Superman and Captain Marvel, because so many of our real life "heroes" have not just feet of clay but feet in quicksand! Religion is seen as "quaint" by far too many people and not a transforming experience in their lives while as Yogi Berra once said, "A hero ain't nothin' but a sandwich!"
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