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Random thoughts on Superman

So I saw Superman Returns this weekend. It sucked.

After 35 years, I've finally come to the conclusion that the character of Superman in fundamentally boring. He has none of the brooding vengeance of Bruce Wayne or the teenage angst of Peter Parker. He's a non-interesting galactic boy scout and a compulsive do-gooder, whom I could not bring myself to care about at the end of the film when he was lying in a hospital bed fighting for his life. Sorry, I'm a cold-hearted bastard, but I just can't relate to the guy. And Lois Lane is whiny and annoying.

Here's something else that always pissed me off about Superman: World's Finest. It was a monthly Superman-Batman team-up that I read as a kid. Even back in those days I realized what a preposterously lopsided match this was.

One half of the duo could uproot mountains and hurl them into outer space. The other half was a billionaire with some cool toys and a bad-ass car. You can just imagine some of the absurdly contrived hoops the writers jumped through to set up unlikely premises in which Batman could pull his own weight instead of just being in the way.

Here's another ridiculous team-up: Green Lantern and Green Arrow. They both wore green, but the former had almost god-like powers ("Hey, I think I'll create a world!") and the latter... was good at archery.

This is a problem that plagued much of the D.C. universe, as was abundantly apparent in the old Justice League of America series. On the same team you had Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman, and we were led to believe they were on a par with third-stringers such as... Hawkman.

Hawkman's powers? He could fly. Big deal. Hell, everybody and their freakin' uncles could fly in that universe. You probably had trouble applying for a home mortgage if you couldn't fly. Oh, and he also owned a bunch of cool, medieval weapons. Woo-hoo.

Then there was Black Canary, whose super power seemed to be her ability to wear fishnet stockings, and Atom, who's "power" was that he was very tiny. You get the idea....


I've never been a big fan of superman, but if they want americas involvement with superman than they will not be getting my money!

You know, I suspect that my deep love of fishnets is because of Black Canary.

She had some sort of sonic scream, by the way.

I have never forgiven Marvel for first, killing off Ned Leeds as the Hobgoblin but then for Wolverine's pissy comments about his being 'an amateur'.

Then, Marvel recreated history and made it seem as if Leeds was just one of an assembly-line of Hobbies.

That frosted my pumpkin, I can tell you!

(Sorry, not totally germane to the Superman topic but a sore spot with me for many years!)

This new Superman is about to get trounced by Johnny Depp's new 'Pirate' flick which will bury it in the box office.

Barry, I agree, the movie sucked. Like Spider-Man, this movie had all of the ingredients that should have made it a winner for me, but I was just bored.

It was great that Singer went to the trouble to tie it in visually and musically with the originals, right down to the style of the opening credits. Unfortunately, this hampers the film, because Routh is no Reeve, and Spacey is no Hackman. They're just robotic copies of them.

Originally I felt the comic geeks were overreacting, but after seeing the film I agree: Superman would never abandon Earth, especially for such a selfish reason. The tragic events of this movie are all his fault. Even worse, he x-ray stalks Lois and climbs into childrens' bedrooms late at night. (I'm not serious about the latter, but I am about the former. Isn't a right to privacy part of "the American way?")

There were just some downright dumb things in there, too. That ridiculous gatling gun, and the bit with the fax machine. And note to Bryan Singer: yes, we get it already, HE'S JESUS. No need to brain us over the head with it in such a ham-handed Wachowskian manner.

It did answer the question of what James Marsden was doing last year instead of X-Men 3. And unlike Cyclops, his character in this film was actually likeable.

Still, I want my eight bucks back.

Then there was Black Canary, whose super power seemed to be her ability to wear fishnet stockings...

I don't know about you, Gaylord, but where I come from that super power is not sneered at. ;-)

So Rog, you mean that whole Christ figure narrative wasn't too subtle for you? You were able to pick up on that? ;-)

Yeah, I think one reason I liked "Batman Begins" so much was that it jettisoned all those Tim Burton films and started fresh. I thought this film might have benefitted from the same approach.

And Tami, I think you're right about Black Canary. Wow, what a memory you have. ;-)

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