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Old 2006-06-22, 06:55 PM   #1
Sir Auros
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Thumbs up Superman/Batman

I received this collector's set for my birthday and read the included paperback. The plot was kind of iffy, but the characterization was spectacular and really improved my opinion of Superman. See, my experiences with him have been limited to The Dark Knight Returns, The Dark Knight Strikes Back, and Kingdom Come, so I wasn't really a big fan.

I'm not going to go out and buy some Superbooks, but I will look for the other tpbs of this series.
 
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Old 2006-06-22, 07:10 PM   #2
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See, I've never understood how someone can go, "I've never really like (whoever), I've never really read any comics about him/her though..."

In truth, I've nevr found a long standing character that didn't have at least one or two stories about them that didn't make me go, "Wow, this character kicks ass!" If you know what to look for and give him a chance you'll find that Superman has moments where he's at least as cool as Batman.

Alan Moore wrote a story about Superman in an Annual that gave me new respect for the character. The Superman cartoon done by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini is awesome. The Man of Steel mini done by John Byrne is great stuff. Actually a whole hell of a lot of the Superman stuff done by Byrne is good reading.

You just have to give him a chance.
 
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Old 2006-06-22, 08:56 PM   #3
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Superman played a major part in all three of those books I mentioned before, so it's not like I had never read anything with him or that I hadn't given him a chance. This series shows a different side to the Batman & Superman relationship and I'm interested in him in that context. It's not as if I wrote him off because I didn't read any of his solo stories, it's that I found him so repugnant in the other books that I wasn't interested.
 
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Old 2006-06-22, 09:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Auros
Superman played a major part in all three of those books I mentioned before, so it's not like I had never read anything with him or that I hadn't given him a chance. This series shows a different side to the Batman & Superman relationship and I'm interested in him in that context. It's not as if I wrote him off because I didn't read any of his solo stories, it's that I found him so repugnant in the other books that I wasn't interested.
Well in all three of those stories you aren't really reading Superman, what you're reading is an alternate reality Superman from the future who's not really at all like the Superman you'd read in the books I mentioned.
 
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Old 2006-06-22, 09:21 PM   #5
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I maintain that it's hardly fair to say I've dismissed him without reading about him. Batman stayed in character in those books, so I thought it was a safe assumption to think they had done the same for Superman.
 
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Old 2006-06-22, 09:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Auros
I maintain that it's hardly fair to say I've dismissed him without reading about him. Batman stayed in character in those books, so I thought it was a safe assumption to think they had done the same for Superman.
I don't buy that. Maybe in Kingdom Come but not in either Dark Knight story. Superman as a pawn of the establishment, an unthinking tool to be used for government interests. I don't think anyone believes that that's how the character's written in his own titles.

There's certainly truths about Superman's failings in any of the stories but that's what Miller was writing about when it came to Superman, his failings. It's not fair to judge him on those two stories alone.

It's fair to say you dismissed Superman without reading about him. You hadn't read a comic book about Superman up until the Superman/Batman tpb. Kingdom Come and the two Dark Knight stories are not about Superman. Or at the very least, not about the modern day Superman.

Again, I don't think it's fair to be completely dismissive of any long standing character in comics no matter if you've read a few unfavorable stories about them. I'm apt to read any story that's good. Chances are you're going to find a few good stories about any character that's been around for 40+ years.
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 01:39 AM   #7
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Ok, the point you're missing is that from the Superman in the TDK stories, I formed my first opinion of him as a character. Actually, strike that, my first opinion of Superman as a character was when he was killed when I was in 5th grade. My thoughts back then were that it was pretty weak that this invincible character was killed by someone other than Lex Luthor, but hey, that was just from skimming around in a couple of my friend's comics.

The basis for my more recent thoughts on Superman were the TDK books, both of which kept the Batman character spot on even though they were alternate reality stories. Given that Miller stayed true to Batman, I assumed he stayed true to Superman as well. Additionally, yes, they were Batman stories, but Superman was easily a few steps behind Batman as far as story importance. He had his own bits of narration and a subplot even.

Finally, at the time that I was reading the TDK stories, it was soon after Lex Luthor had been elected president, and there was a Batman or DC arc (really small one or else a single issue) involving Batman being pissy with Superman for blindly kowtowing to Luthor's authority as president. IIRC, that's also where Batman got that kryptonite ring.

Anyway, I think I gave him a fair enough shot because I thought Miller was a trustworthy writer and I did have that impression from the Batman book about Superman and President Luthor. If you want to lump me in with the same people who would talk out of their asses or form opinions without ever reading a character, that's cool. I disagree and think I've been fair enough.
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 03:35 AM   #8
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Well, my impression of Superman in DKR was that he was being used as a plot device to kind of demonstrate the folly of just blindly accepting what the government tells you is right. Which I suppose was a social commentary on the state of the country during the Reagen era. Of course there's some truth to the way Miller wrote that Superman but it's not the real character.

I'm not saying you're talking out of your ass about characters you don't know about. I said you dismissed him offhand without really looking for a story that you might enjoy him more in.

Someone reading a few issues of Tom Defalco's run on FF might have very good reason to think the characters aren't worth reading about. They'd then miss out on some really good stories told by John Byrne though. Sure Defalco's run is as valid as any other but it's not fair to judge a character at it's worst.
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 03:41 AM   #9
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See, that's the point I'm getting at. You can't say someone is dismissing characters without reading about them just because what they're reading isn't the best material or doesn't portray them in the best light. I didn't like Superman very much until I read this. I'm still going to side more with Batman, but Superman seems less of a naive tool now.
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 03:47 AM   #10
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Ok.

What I can say though is that dismissing characters based off of a few stories that portray the character unfavorably is foolish.
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 03:48 AM   #11
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Why is it foolish to assume Frank Miller is a credible source?

EDIT - May not get back to this one for a while. More Cheers to watch.
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 03:59 AM   #12
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Ignoring the art, Supes' appearance in Hitman is worth a look:

http://www.shwiggie.com/hitman/hm-34/index.html

All of the stuff you've read previously (DKR/DKSB/KC) is Elseworlds, deliberately alt-universe versions of the characters... see if you can find something like Identity Crisis in TPB; it's somewhat dark, but it's a mainstream DC storyline with the JLA which gets a decent handle on Superman, IMO...

It wouldn't be unfair to say that Frank Miller dislikes Superman far, far more actively than I do. If he appears, it's primarily to glam up Batman.

Quote:
Batman stayed in character in those books
Mmm... not really. Dark Knight Returns was instrumental in starting that version of the character, which crossed over into the way the character was written in the main books during the late 80s and was bigged up in the 90s -- Miller was given the character to write for Year One. Essentially, if you've read Batman within recent memory, it's Miller's reinvention. For what he apparently wanted to do with the character, check out All-Star Batman & Robin.

To find the character as traditionally written you have to step over to series such as Grant Morrison's JLA, or read Silver Age stuff (which is what I did as a kid in '89; it was what was in the reprint title sold in newsagents at the time. DKR had only been out for three years at that point.)
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 04:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Auros
Why is it foolish to assume Frank Miller is a credible source?
Miller's Superman? Yes it is foolish to assume that's a credible source to judge Superman on. It's an alternate universe Batman story. It's not even fair to judge Batman solely on that for that reason. Though if it motivates you to seek out other Batman material that's a great thing.

Death of Superman was your intro to Supes? Really? Mine would have been the second Superman movie. Great movie.

I couldn't pin down the first story with Superman I ever read. Possibly Kingdom Come actually. That was one of the very first DC comics I ever purchased.
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 07:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hound
Death of Superman was your intro to Supes? Really? Mine would have been the second Superman movie. Great movie.
If we're nitpicking the origins of peoples' opinions on comic book heroes, then I guess I'll point out that admiring the character based on the movie = forming an opinion without reading the character's comics. Also, it seems like a cop-out to say one has to read the right stories to give the character a fair shot.

At the end of the day, I wasn't a Superman fan before because everything I had read with him had him acting like a tool, but this book makes me want to read everything else in this series and maybe try Superman for All Seasons since it's also by Loeb.

Denyer - I realize that the modern Batman (and the Miller version) is different from the pre-Crisis (1985) version, but I think the essence of the character is closer to Kane's concept than the carefree camp-factory of the Silver Age.

Aside from the irritation of (perhaps just perceived) nitpicking over my own damn opinions and how I formed them, it's really pissing me off that you two are pointing out the alternate reality of the TDK series and Kingdom Come like I don't know that they're non-canon. I realize this, but it's not as if we're talking Castle of the Bat here, we're talking about books that, to me at least (having not read a wide range of Batman comics from before I was born), fit in with my preconceived concepts about the characters as well as what I knew from reading about 2 years worth of ongoing Batman and DC at the time.

Regarding the preconceived concepts, can anyone be introduced to either of those characters in the comics medium first? Batman and Superman as so embedded in US pop culture that I find that scenario hard to believe. At this point, that brings up the idea that we really know what these guys are all about without ever having to read one of their comics. Sure, there may be some arcs that are well-written, but the characters aren't going to change too much since that would go against the #1 rule in comics - never change anything. Seriously, they ****ing brought back Jason Todd.

This brings me to the matter of the canon story I read in a Batbook, wherein I saw Superman behaving the same way I saw him portrayed in the TDK books. Therefore I do have a canonical reference to Superman acting as a tool, and coupling this with the comics rule #1, I can theorize that Superman is, in fact, not a character I like a lot even if he is one of the good guys. I win the thread.

Seriously though, this is the last amount of heavy thought I'm putting into this other than my comments on the other tpbs once I can locate them.
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 02:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Auros
it seems like a cop-out to say one has to read the right stories to give the character a fair shot.
It would be impossible to give The Authority a fair shot if you've only read Robbie Morrison issues.

All I'm saying is that red and blue Superman would be a fairer indicator of the character than stories in which he's deliberately hobbled and altered as a plot point.

Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Auros
I think the essence of the character is closer to Kane's concept than the carefree camp-factory of the Silver Age.
Talking more about the style than the years -- JLA's typically very Silver Age in any era. And stories from the seventies and the 80s (pre-Miller) aren't particularly camp, getting past the whole men-in-fetish-gear thing.

Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Auros
they're non-canon
They're just not the mainstream DC timeline -- both have definable canons as they have offshoot titles; DKR and particularly KC Bats is also the version of the character I prefer. It's a shame that doesn't come across more in the main title, and we get stuff like Blind Justice, Azrael, OMAC, etc. -- basically Batman making a string of huge mistakes and errors in judgment.

Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Auros
story I read in a Batbook, wherein I saw Superman behaving the same way I saw him portrayed in the TDK books.
Did you mention which series this was, or am I skimming?

Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Auros
coupling this with the comics rule #1
Only a rule if you ignore Sandman, Nextwave, Morrison JLA, She-Hulk, Ellis Excalibur, the 90s Bat-arc with Azrael and Bane, Animal Man, Cable/Deadpool, everything else that's broken a fourth wall, the Ages, series such as the Ultimates, etc. Stuff changes. Whole universes get scrapped or sidelined. Generally with a lot of geekish resistance, unless it features a large-breasted green woman in a purple leotard talking to them.
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 02:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
For what he apparently wanted to do with the character, check out All-Star Batman & Robin.
In that case he clearly wanted to reinvent the charecter as THEGODDAMNBATMAN... (Which should be Brends new rank).
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 05:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
[B]Did you mention which series this was, or am I skimming?
I'd have to dig through my Batman box, but it was pretty soon after Lex was elected president.

Quote:
Only a rule if you ignore Sandman, Nextwave, Morrison JLA, She-Hulk, Ellis Excalibur, the 90s Bat-arc with Azrael and Bane, Animal Man, Cable/Deadpool, everything else that's broken a fourth wall, the Ages, series such as the Ultimates, etc. Stuff changes. Whole universes get scrapped or sidelined. Generally with a lot of geekish resistance, unless it features a large-breasted green woman in a purple leotard talking to them.
But really, the core rule is that you're always going to go back to square one and that's the single most depressing thing about mainstream comics. I mean, look at the current Batman arc. Two-face is back...again. Also, isn't Ultimates kind of cheating on that since it's outside of the traditional Marvel Universe?
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 06:21 PM   #18
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I can probably name you a few dozen titles that have been changed into something much better, with the main ethos behind the series changing massively for the better... As well as those Denyer listed, there's things like X-Man (Counter-X is still amazing to read, the way Ellis just casually turns around three books is quite astounding), Peter David's X-Factor (which turned the concept behind the original team on its' head, as well as totally changing the line-up), Morrison's New X-Men (actually, much of the 1980s material is a quantum shift from the original concept, with a lot more grey - Magneto as a fully-rounded character being one example), David again on Captain Marvel (with an honourable mention for Nicieza's first series)... Miracleman is another that cranks it up - going from a 'simple' revisionist "Superman with reality" superhero comic to something much different.

I'm babbling on, aren't I?

To be honest, and I almost certainly haven't read the 'right' comics, I've always found Superman a bit too whitebread, so he's only really interesting when subverted. Mind, I prefer Batman when he's toyed with a little too. Actually, I prefer most older characters when they're being taken away from the original ideals... It's a tricky business, though, and for every hero examined/reinvented in a good way, there's been an absolute disaster. I tend to dislike back-to-basics comics on the whole (it's why I stopped reading X-Men when Claremont returned the most recent time... I spent the issues I did buy thinking they'd just reprinted some older issues by accident), with some honourable exceptions (Busiek's Avengers being one... it generally has to be very well done. It probably helped that the Avengers had generally been abused for the preceding 30-odd years and it was the first time the team had really been given justice aside from a few arcs... Mark Waid's Captain America worked too, because he understood the character and used him properly, so there was no need to make him AN EDGY KILLER OF TOWEL HEADS).

I'm still babbling.
 
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Old 2006-06-23, 08:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
AN EDGY KILLER OF TOWEL HEADS).

man am i glad that run is over... i mean brubaker has the cosmic cube, red skull, cross bones, bucky, and former soviet generals with no al quida to be seen anywhere.I love it.
 

. "Hawkeye's the best! Hawkeye's got the cutest eyes! Hawkeye's got some kinda butt! I swear, Ralph, ever since that blowhard joined up, all I hear is Hawkeye, Hawkeye, Hawk...."- Green Arrow, JLA/Avengers #3.
*sig (once again) generously made by Denyer*
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Old 2006-06-23, 08:32 PM   #20
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John Cassaday's art on the MK Captain America series was the only saving grace of that book but after #2 even that didn't help.


I would recommend Sir Auros that you might want to read
Superman: For Tommorrow by Brian Azzerallo (however you spell his last name) and Jim Lee if you want to read a Superman story where he's not acting as a tool.
 



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