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    Is Superman Boring?



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    Is Superman Boring?

    Post  cleireac on December 6th 2012, 10:32 pm

    Just ran across this article tonight, and I thought it would make for some interesting discussion here.

    Ben Avery, maybe this would be a great springboard for your crossover episode with the Sci-Fi Christian podcast.


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    Re: Is Superman Boring?

    Post  BenAvery on December 14th 2012, 12:47 pm

    Is Superman boring?


    (Although, according to this guy, Superman is stupid: )

    But self-promotion aside, I was talking with my buddy before The Hobbit and he said Superman is a Mary Sue. Because he's too perfect, in every way, with no weakness. Uh, no. To me, Superman represents the ideal, and I would echo Phil Jimenez's thoughts: people don't like to be reminded of their own shortcomings. But, a good Superman story is not one where he is just perfect, it's one where he has to struggle . . . tackling a moral problem and wanting to do what is right, struggling to keep his power in check, etc. Too often, he's not written that way.

    My other argument about Superman: I do not blame any one writer, nor is this meant to be an indictment of any one writer -- this is a broad cultural thing -- but it's hard to write a character who believes in right and wrong when as a culture we are afraid to label something right or wrong. Superman represents justice, but in our culture justice has lost meaning and power; Superman represents truth, but in our culture truth is relative; Superman represents good, but in our culture good is either a flexible standard or an inflexible and intolerant judgment. Our culture, which is becoming a post-Christian culture is also becoming a post-Superman one.


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    Re: Is Superman Boring?

    Post  Dunadwarf on April 22nd 2013, 6:00 pm

    I would agree with everything you said, BenAvery, but I would also add that Superman's opponents are also on a far larger scale than that of many other heroes, and his power level can still make him the David against many a Goliath, even if you're more prone to rooting for the underdog.
    I'll bet nearly all the DC fans who boo Superman (not the ones who don't like him, mind you, just the ones who actively dislike and insult him with words like 'boring', 'lame', 'outdated', etc.) are avid Batman fans, and of a certain type that I call a Batwanker. These fans don't just love Batman (who doesn't, really?), but they hold Batman up as the penultimate hero and, if they ever get creative control (like that wankiest of Batwankers, Frank Miller) they will inevitably have Batman either beat people he really has no business beating or that they would opt to be more like him (Act of God comes to mind).
    I think people instinctively want a hero to look up to, like Superman is meant to be. For a lot of post-modern and/or immature (a lot more 'and's there than 'or's) readers who won't acknowledge this fact, though, Batman ostensibly represents a hero they can pretend to be like without the hero-worship, despite the fact that they almost always overdo Batman's abilities and coolness to worshipful levels anyway.


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    Re: Is Superman Boring?

    Post  DNArington on April 23rd 2013, 12:09 am

    I think the best Superman stories are ones that pit Superman's morals against the villains morals (or lack thereof.) An easy example would be the animated movie Superman vs. The Elite. Superman and The Elite have the same goals in mind, but completely different ways to achieve that goal. The Elite believe that people can't change so they kill the enemies to cut out the problem, while Superman stops the enemies and turns them into the authorities, because he believes they can have a change of heart.

    The problem is, they are both wrong. Without Christ in your life you cannot change your heart.

    THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” - Romans 3:10-12

    But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man. - Matthew 15:18-20

    "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone" Mark 10:18

    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9

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    Re: Is Superman Boring?

    Post  Nathan James Norman on April 23rd 2013, 4:09 pm

    BenAvery wrote: Our culture, which is becoming a post-Christian culture is also becoming a post-Superman one.

    Wow! Just Wow! Spot on...


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    Re: Is Superman Boring?

    Post  Paeter on April 23rd 2013, 6:48 pm

    Yeah, I think the upcoming Superman movie will be very telling. I think we'll either see some of those inspiring moral values restored to the character and get a read on America based on their reaction, or we'll see them emphasize something else (which is my bet, given the strong "alienation/misunderstood" themes of the trailers), which will give a read on what Hollywood thinks are some of the most important values.

    We could also have our cake and eat it too (my preference) in a Superman movie in which Superman feels alienated and misunderstood (which geeks relate to, or those of us who throw ourselves pity parties) but DESPITE his mistreatment, DESPITE what he is "entitled" to, selflessly gives himself to others in all that he does. Wow. That's a moving portrait for me to just THINK about... but I'll try not to get my hopes up.

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