How Would YOU Do Superman?

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How Would YOU Do Superman?

Post  Apologist Puncher on Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:41 pm

Not sure if people really care enough for this, but I'm curios: How would YOU do Superman if you were given carte blanche to do whatever you feel?

What would his personality be? What would his costume look like? What villains would you use, and how would they differ from the originals? Is Clark Kent a Reeve-knockoff, or more in line with Byrne's? What's Lois look like? Mad scientist Lex, CEO Lex, or something different?

I'm curious to see if anyone has a "perfect" Superman swimming around in their noggin.

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Re: How Would YOU Do Superman?

Post  thecolorsblend on Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:41 pm

Right here. I'll post bits and pieces. I think that's easier.

Style- A Pre-Crisis science-fantasy (that includes the occasional Imaginary Story)
Tone- All-ages along the lines of a Pixar film

Krypton- A sci-fi world of tomorrow. Kinda sorta like Coruscant from Star Wars.
Jor-El- I've always loved that green suited, red caped, sun-chested man of action Jor-El. He'd be back.

Superboy- He's back. Loud and proud.
Smallville- The town where Norman Rockwell got all his ideas. It would also be a suburb of Metropolis again. No more of that Kansas stuff.

I'd set up that after the deaths of the Kents, Superboy was somewhat mentored by a member of the Justice Society of America. Anybody, really. Ted Grant or Carter Hall would be my first choices. It's important that the JSA have a stake in Superman. I'd also want Superboy to meet and have at least occasional adventures with the Legion of Superheroes. It's part of Superman's myth that he has ties to the JSA and to the Legion. Those need to be emphasized when possible.

Clark Portrayal- Clark is half of a whole. He's not the shlub that Chris Reeve played but he's not the George Reeves hardass either. He's just a soft-spoken, mild-mannered nice guy. But he's not a parody or a buffoon or anything.
Superman Portrayal- Superman is half of a whole. If there's one thing I hate, it's Superman being self-deprecating so when he wears The Suit (the oh-riginal; accept no substitutes. There's nothing "wrong" with The Suit), he's all business. Superman is the ultimate alpha male. When he talks, people listen.

Superman needs Clark because Clark can do the dirty work that Superman can't. Clark can write exposes and news stories. Clark can change hearts and minds. Clark needs Superman because Superman can do the big, theatrical, spectacular stuff. This guy's whole life revolves around helping people every way he can. Neither identity is expendable. Superman needs Clark and Clark needs Superman.

The one major change I've toyed with over the years is eliminating Lois as Superman's true love. In spite of Smallville, I think the idea has some juice to it. I like the idea of Clark having a lifelong confidante. You could play Lois the way Lana was played for years as someone who pined for Clark (or Superman or both). Shit, they can even date a few times. But ultimately, sooner or later, Lois loses out to Lana. Smallville damaged the Clark/Lana thing in ways I never thought were possible but I'm still convinced that the core idea is a good one.

Another major change is I'd go back to the mad scientist version of Lex. You can make him a bazillionaire if you want but I want the renegade scientist version of Lex back already. I'm sick of the corporate one.

The usual applies with Lex. He lost his hair in a lab accident. I'd twist it a few different ways though. First, the lab accident completely destroyed Lex's budding career. His reputation is smithereens. He went from being a contender for all sorts of awards and recognition to being a cautionary tale that parents tell their children.

And he knows that Clark failed to save him. Clark, mind you, not Superboy. This version of Lex is a genius. He'd realize Clark is different. And when Clark becomes Superboy, Lex sees that as Clark achieving the recognition that escaped from Lex. He views Superboy as Clark's dream come true... which means Superboy must be destroyed. He doesn't want to reveal that Clark and Superboy are one and the same. I think he'd view that as cheating. Instead, what he wants to do is psychologically conquer Superboy. He wants him to live the rest of his days as mild-mannered, soft-spoken Clark. Lex equates that with defeating Superboy. Lex has been shamed into silence and out of public life. He wants no less for Superboy and views the prospect of Clark giving up the Superboy identity as the worst punishment that could ever be inflicted on someone. And Lex knows that from bitter experience.

My plan would be to continue publishing two (and only two) Superman comics each month.

Action Comics would be where all of Superboy's adventures are published. And this is page one shit here. The first issue starts on Krypton. The second issue picks up when Clark and Lex become friends in junior high or high school. No miniseries or limited storyline fuckery going on here. We will play out the core mythos in fucking real time in this book. However long it takes, this will be the definitive story. The Pre-Crisis era was filled with flashbacks to stories that never actually saw print (Lex and Superboy becoming enemies, Pete Ross discovering the secret, etc). It's just part of the legend but the story was never told as such. Well fuck that. This series will show everything.

Superman (the monthly title) is, duh, where all of Superman's adventures take place. Oh, and I'd restore the original fucking numbering. None of this New 52 restart shit. Use the original numbering.

I may post more later but this is part of my concept. What would you do, Puncher?

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Re: How Would YOU Do Superman?

Post  Apologist Puncher on Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:46 pm

I need a little time to "put my thoughts together". But I'll post my ideas and question you on some of yours.

Stay tuned....

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Re: How Would YOU Do Superman?

Post  thecolorsblend on Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:00 pm

Apologist Puncher wrote:I need a little time to "put my thoughts together". But I'll post my ideas and question you on some of yours.

Stay tuned....
I look forward to it.

Separately, I've come to a whole new appreciation of Superman, partly thanks to MOS. I'm on the record from way back questioning realism within superhero stuff but while MOS didn't defeat many of my arguments, it did bring up characterization possibilities that are most easily achieved in a realist setting. I don't think it'll ever be my preferred vehicle for Superman stories but you can do a lot with characterization within a realistic universe. I still think though that the losses inherent to realism outnumber the gains.

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Re: How Would YOU Do Superman?

Post  Apologist Puncher on Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:24 pm

For me, I WOULD do Superman set in a "realistic" world. Our world, where this being with superhuman abilities just shows up one day. I would explore peoples reactions, the fear and suspicion someone like that would truly garner. But it WOULDN'T be the focus. Just part of the whole.

The costume would look the same as it had for 50+ years. Just not a light blue, darker like McGuinness' Superman. Big "S" shield. 'MOS' length cape. And he would be RIPPED, just not a Hulk level ripped. I hate that rationale that "Superman can't lift weights so he should look like Joe The Plumber". Eff that. Superman should look like an alpha male, someone people aspire to resemble.

Clark would be how he was portrayed in 'Birthright'. Just a guy people would forget is in the room until he said something. Not TRYING to avoid people, just blends into the scenery. Except when he's around the Kents. Then he can be himself, not Superman nor Metropolis Clark. And yes, both Kents are alive. I really dug him having his parents in the Byrne run, as well as in 'Lois & Clark'. I don't think Superman should be spurred to become who he becomes because of tragedy. That's Batman. Superman should want to help people because THAT'S what he was raised to do. Be a good person.

Lex Luthor will also be like his 'Birthright' depiction. Businessman, but a mad scientist in secret. His public face is all smiles and philanthropy. Private Lex is driven, a genius, but MAJOR anger-management issues. Combining 'TAS' and Byrne's run, Superman stops a ploy by Lex, becomes the "It" guy in Metropolis, and Lex HATES HIM for it. Mercy definitely needs to be there, and she needs to be a badass. Someone who wouldn't even back down from Superman, because maybe, just maybe, she has some super-strength of her own.

Lois is the Lois we all know. Not much I'd change about her. But I think starting off with her crushing on CLARK, then when Superman shows up, she's infatuated with HIM too. Not a fan of Lois always blowing off Clark and being smitten with Supes only.

The villains would be a bit more "realistic", but definitely beyond the norm. I loved Byrne's Metallo. But instead of making him a boxer blacklisted for being sadistic and actually killing an opponent, I'd make him an MMA fighter. Same backstory though. Gets in an accident, unnamed scientist takes his unconscious body and turns him into Metallo. Metallo kills said scientist, who created him to fight the "alien menace" Superman, and decides HE wants to be top-dog in Metropolis.

I'd do Livewire exactly how 'TAS' did her. Feminist shock-jock who hates Superman for what she perceives he represents. Superman isn't fast enough to save her during her "accident", and even though she railed against him, blames him for not protecting her.

I could go on and on about the villains, but that would be a LOT to type. Feel free to ask how I would do certain ones, and I'll see what I can come up with.

One thing I think Superman NEEDS to do though, is deal with real life crime. Things WE might face. Gang warfare. Drive-by's. Carjackers. Robbery. Burglary. Even drunk driving. I think most Superman writers think these things are "beneath" the character, but I think it's necessary to connect with regular every day people. How many people have to worry about Titano pulling a building down on top of them on a daily basis? And how many have to worry about being mugged?

That's what I've got for now. I'll be back to discuss things.

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Re: How Would YOU Do Superman?

Post  thecolorsblend on Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:21 pm

I like your ideas. Based on that, I can see why MOS worked for you. I loved it too but that was in spite of some things rather than because of them.

The one quibble I'd throw in is that Clark losing the Kents is generally what made him truly grow up. That's when Superboy becomes Superman. The implicit (and at times explicit) lessons for him are that the one enemy he can't defeat is death and, besides that, for as powerful as he is, even he has limits. The Kents passing serves a different purpose for Superman the Waynes did for Batman. I see your point, of course, I'm just trying to give the other side.

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Re: How Would YOU Do Superman?

Post  thecolorsblend on Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:28 am

Oh, something else. How have you been enjoying the Superman- Earth One series?

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Re: How Would YOU Do Superman?

Post  Apologist Puncher on Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:16 pm

thecolorsblend wrote:Oh, something else. How have you been enjoying the Superman- Earth One series?
I like it for what it is, but it's far from perfect. My least favorite part is them demasculating Supermans physique to look more like Joe Average 20-Something.

Just another symptom of the pussification of the American Male taking place these days.

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Re: How Would YOU Do Superman?

Post  Apologist Puncher on Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:20 pm

thecolorsblend wrote:The one quibble I'd throw in is that Clark losing the Kents is generally what made him truly grow up. That's when Superboy becomes Superman. The implicit (and at times explicit) lessons for him are that the one enemy he can't defeat is death and, besides that, for as powerful as he is, even he has limits. The Kents passing serves a different purpose for Superman the Waynes did for Batman. I see your point, of course, I'm just trying to give the other side.
I don't think that's a lesson he has to learn at the beginning, and actually is a great storyline to delve into LATER in his life. Like I said, the Byrne reboot and "L&C" used the Kent's to great effect, and I'd stick with it myself.

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Re: How Would YOU Do Superman?

Post  Apologist Puncher on Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:22 pm

Oh, and another thing I'd do is create villains of my own. Not just rely on the same rogues gallery over and over and over again.

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