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My DC: Superman September 15, 2011

Posted by vorpalkeith in Uncategorized.
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Much has been made of the new Superman in the relaunched Action Comics. I don’t totally hate it. There are actually a few things that I would take for my own version, and some things that would have to go.

For example, I like the idea of a Superman that is less powerful. It gives him a challenge and makes for better storytelling.

That said, the cocky thug version of Superman just won’t do. I know they were trying to channel Golden Age stick-it-to-the-man, but Superman needs to be a symbol of apple pie ideals of a man trying to be the best person he can be.

The sort of man who loves Thanksgiving dinners with his folks in Smallville. The sort of man who, as he said in Superman for All Seasons, would always think, “I could have done more.”

One of the things that worried me about the relaunch of Action was the size of Superman’s supporting cast. It seems to have been reduced down to Perry White, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen. That won’t do. Brooding loners rarely make for compelling worlds (unless you’re Batman).

His supporting cast should be huge! Ma and Pa Kent should be alive. He should have Perry, and Lois, and Jimmy, and Cat Grant, and Pete Ross, and Lana Lang and a million other Daily Planet employees (although I will admit I dug how Morrison had him working for a rival paper). In addition, new characters should be added into his world like they did with Spider-Man’s cast in Brand New Day. Draw from the other Superman media as they did in the past for characters that have become staples. Chloe Sullivan from Smallville proved popular enough that she should be a real part of the entire Superman world from now on (a feisty blogger, perhaps). Pastor Linquist back in Smallville from Superman For All Seasons could serve as a source of wisdom for Clark Kent. This is just spit balling ideas. My point is supporting cast!

Obviously Superman can fly.
He’s strong, able to fling cards and rend steal with his hands.
He can take a bullet without flinching, but he can still be hurt. A howitzer blast to the face would surely knock him for a loop though.  Enough of them?  Dead man.
He can hear really good (NOT, however, across the entire span of the globe).
Heat vision.
X-Ray vision (except through lead).
No polar breath, that’s just silly.
He has powerful lungs but he still needs to breathe eventually.  He still needs to eat, and drink, and sleep.  He cannot survive in the furthest depths of space unassisted.
His hair is NOT as strong as he is. You can cut it with scissors. Let’s be serious.

Clothes make the man.
No Kryptonian armor. The costume he would hear is the classic costume that is so deeply embedded in our collective unconscious. It would have been made by his mother for him. The S-crest was a symbol that was inside the rocket they found him in as a baby . . . the Kryptonian word for hope.

One final thought . . . Superman truly needs to be the last son of Krypton. Having all of these other Kryptonians who someone managed to survive dilutes him.



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