I guess I don’t see Superman as a lonely character. I think he’s the opposite of Batman. Batman sees himself as a loner. Then, surrounds himself with a butler and proteges to do his job. In contrast, Superman tends to work alone because he has well adjusted, stable, adult relationships with both family and friends as Clark. Of course, I kind of lean toward the Post-Crisis idea where he’s the kid from Smallville first and the Kryptonian second.
I wonder if Supergirl is a mistake since she also alleviates Supermans loneliness.
Yeah, you gotta keep them separate, but when they do get together it’s fun. You have to make them like your cousin in Canada you see once in a blue moon and it’s lovely when you do. She’s great on her own and, unlike Superman, she works well with a family around her I think.
That’s them doing it wrong
Superman and Batman have everything in common. That was another huge post-Crisis mistake. They’re both orphans for starters.
Clark is like a genius improv. Maggie described it really well when she said that Superman is the world’s greatest actor and Clark such a perfect construct that even the world’s greatest reporter (Lois Lane) doesn’t notice and she knows both men well. THAT’S interesting.
Superman is so damn easy to write and so damn interesting. When I eventually get to do this I’m really going to give it everything and have myself one great big ball. I’ve been chatting to both the DC and Marvel guys quietly for a little while now and will probably do both over the next 2-3 years, but definitely starting ONE of these special projects inside the next 7 months.
That’s kind of the vibe I got from the Flash-Supergirl TV crossover and it was just really sweet to watch. Hopefully they manage to keep that up when they inevitably meet again.
I prefer Superman as a sole survivor. It starts to water everything down when he has a cousin, a dog, a cat, a horse and thousands/millions of tiny versions of himself.
That being said, I do like the idea of Kon-El Superboy, the new Jonathan Kent and Kara from DK2/III. They’re not wholly Kryptonian so it makes their split between worlds even more interesting.
I don’t think you can consider even Silver Age Superman a complete orphan. Ma and Pa Kent were at least there to raise him. Even in that era, he’s a bridge between worlds as far as ideals too. I mean it’s “Truth, Justice and the American Way” not “Truth, Justice and the Kryptonian Way”.
You don’t like Superdogs? Ronnie, what kind of monster are you?
Although in one respect I agree with you. I do like that stuff in it’s original Silver age context. And Kurt Busiek did the greatest ever Krypto story in his run.
They died when he was in High School and that was ideal. Then he made his way to the big city. The big thing is that he should never come back to Smallville. That part of the journey is done on his hero path and they took the Kryptonian baby and made him someone who understood the world. They have him Clark Kent or at least the means to creating Clark Kent.
They’re a huge part of his back-story, but they have to go so he can be an adult. It’s critical for what he is.
PS I don’t think you want a linear continuity. I think the stories should be like fairy tales. DC works best that way. When he’s young he has Superdog and all that. Supergirl has a cat and a magic horse. He sees his incredible cousin now and then, he used to date a mermaid, etc. But we don’t need it all laid out. That’s applying Marvel to DC lore. DC is fairytales and Marvel works best as an ongoing soap.
I think one of DC’s big mistakes has been diluting their characters with different versions of the same thing. A litany of Flashes, Green Lanterns, Superthings, Bat people. Marvel have mostly avoided this, when they’ve let it creep in I don’t think it’s always been a good idea (like having a dozen Spider characters, or all these different Captain America’s). I get why they want to expand the brand, but I just think it rarely pays off and it takes away what’s special about each character.
Agreed. GL works well as part of a corp and I liked what Waid did on Flash with that group of speedsters around him, but the focus on the ongoing books should always be to focus on the title character I reckon.
PS I really like Batgirl though. She’s a grand, powerful brand in her own right. I think she works as her own thing and loved the way they did her in the Batgirl show. Batman’s got too many people around him now. Batman and Robin plus Batgirl appearing occasionally is plenty.
I love dogs. I just think the superpets thing was so gimmicky. I know there are tons of people who are nostalgic about it but it really just doesn’t work for me.
One thing I really do like about a lot of the older Superman stories is their standalone nature. I think the done-in-one comic is a lost artform. I love storylines and written-for-trade kind of stuff but I think there is room for much more especially in the periodical comic market.
Exactly. I think that stuff works as a once off in the Silver Age, before continuity became a thing. Once you have to weave that stuff into a coherent narrative on a monthly basis, it is pretty hard to make the whimsy of Beppo the Supermonkey work alongside Doomsday. I think that sort of explains a lot of the problems DC get themselves into, trying to walk that tightrope.
I don’t want to suggest that Mark shouldn’t do this book (because it would be awesome), but I think that DC needs for Superman is someone who can take the reins and drive the monthly book in interesting directions for a couple of years, like Scott Snyder did on Batman or Dan Slott is continuing to do on Spider-Man.
DC I’m sure will have multiple Superman books. This book by Mark would probably be a Superman story, not a monthly book that has to tie in with entire DC line supporting the Rebirth storylines.
I’m not sure I agree with standalone comics. We don’t consume things these days like that. Standalone was a logistics thing as much as anything else - these days getting back issues is easy. And you can tell a much more satisfying story if you have the space to tell it over a longer range. I think this is one of those cases where the market has spoken and we’re nostalgic for something that has had it’s time pass by.
I think it’s really simple… you just have it happen in another book. For example, Action and Superman can run along and tell interweaving stories like we have with Batman and Detective, but a Supergirl title could have a completely different tone. Ditto Superboy set when Superman was a kid. What I mean is that a Supergirl book doesn’t need to be beholden to another title that month. I don’t meant done in one comics like 50 years ago. Snyder’s Batman is perfect, but I can equally read a Batgirl alongside it that has a different tone and I don’t need to read one to enjoy the other.
Regarding the topic of Superman and loneliness, I just saw this:
Why Being Lonely Is Crucial For Survival (There is a vdeo in the link that goes into a bit more detail.)
We all know it sucks to be lonely, but is it actually essential for our survival? Here’s more on why loneliness might be a good thing.
Neuroscientists at MIT recently conducted an intriguing study that suggests loneliness might be a good thing. Caltech grads will note that there’s probably a good joke in here regarding MIT neuroscientists, loneliness, and confirmation bias – but we’re trying to run a classy operation.
As Crystal Dilworth explores in today’s DNews report, scientists have long suspected that the feeling of loneliness serves a particular evolutionary purpose. Humans are social animals, and our survival as a species has historically depended on group cooperation. Loneliness, like hunger or pain, is a negative aversive cue designed to spur us into action.
The new study, published in the journal Cell, confirms those suspicions with some hard data concerning neurology – well, mouse neurology, but still.
Researchers identified a particular region in the mouse brain that responds to perceived isolation. When the mouse was put into a habitat with another mouse friend, a cluster of cells – let’s call them “loneliness neurons” – showed significant increase in activity.
By way of a technique called optogenetics, in which individual neurons can be activated or inhibited with light, the research team commenced to messing with the head of the poor, lonely mouse. Stimulation of the loneliness neurons prompted the mouse to spend more time with other mice, suggesting that loneliness causes the behavior of seeking out social interaction.
In follow-up experiments, the researchers tried to determine whether the feeling of loneliness itself was perceived by the mouse as a negative sensation. Indeed it was. Mice consistently took active measures to avoid areas where the loneliness neurons were activated.
The findings reinforce the evolutionary notion that, while loneliness doesn’t feel good in the short term, it’s a good thing in the long term. Millions of years of evolution have wired our brains to seek out social contact, which keeps us safer and healthier, species-wise.
Loneliness as an essential element of Superman is important not just because it’s been there forever, but because it’s the driving pathos of the entire mythology, I think. That’s why Superman is ‘hard to write’, in the post crisis era – because you don’t convincingly generate that pathos, and so you end up with a super powerful character who is really happy and has everything going for him. He becomes, at best, a vehicle to explore the struggle of others, at worst an action hero who punches and kicks.
That’s also why the better Silver Age Superman stories worked in spite of having a Superman who could do almost anything - they focused on this alienation and ‘otherness’ - and why the ‘make him less powerful’ complaint is inherently wrong headed. It presumes that he works best as an action character, when in fact he works best as an american fable.
You had this weird blend of Superman being able to do anything AND having it all in the 2000s and that eroded his appeal on both ends.
I definitely agree, although the Snyder/Batman example is hardly apt – Batman has been in consistently fine hands for well over a decade.
Ronnie! You did not just throw shade at Kandor, did you!?!?