My thoughts are a little bit scattered today.
I've had a couple of conversation that have stuck with me for a little while and I'm going to bounce around and touch on a few different topics as a result. As always, here's hoping that some of you will jump in and contribute to the discussion.
What's with all of the people who don't like this guy? First of all, he's the archetype for almost every iconic character who followed, and his comic is what paved the way for the industry to be born and to flourish. Assuming that you can get that through your thick heads, where does all of the loathing come from? Is it because he's so powerful? Most of the negative commentary that I hear focuses in some way on the fact that Kryptonite is his one big weakness (magic shold be listed there too, but most people don't think of that) and that the stories written for him can't be that interesting because he's...........well............SUPERMAN. As with so many things in the comic book world, it all comes down to writing though. A smart Superman writer exploits his weaknesses (and I don't mean the big K) and uses his emotions and human sentimentality against him. The entire point of a character of unparalleled physical power is that you draw them into situations in which the power doesn't solve their problems. If the stories you're reading don't do that, then the failing isn't in the character; it's in the writer.
As a final point on the contempt I hear thrown his way, the current storyline in Superman & Action Comics is actually very good. It has some of comic's best writers working on it, and it is very engaging. About a year ago Braniac was defeated and Superman rescued the bottled city of Kandor. Using some of Braniac's tech, he managed to return the city to its original size. Suddenly Earth had 100,000 Kryptonians on it, and the story became a clash of cultures as Earth's militaristic nature went into overdrive (and not without good reason) trapping Clark Kent in the middle. I think its been a good fun ride, and is worth a read for anyone who doesn't think good Superman stories happen.
I've taken more than a little bit of flack for my unmerciful abuse of Doc Oc in an earlier blog. I have listened to the objections and I have given them some thought. In retrospect......I am absolutely right and you are absolutely wrong. He sucks balls.
If it makes you feel any better, I hate Spider-Man as well. Peter Parker need to be punched in the face. Preferably by Batman.
Justice League of America #40
After getting geeked to see Robinson unleash his writing on JLA, I am here to confess that I didn't like this issue at all. It might be the Blackest Night tie-in that is hurting it, but I found it to be a mediocre book telling a story I couldn't care less about (not Blackest Night which is cool, but the backstory of Vibe & Steel.) Let's hope he gets some free reign and can back to what he does best after this.
Like the book that birthed it Incorruptible is Mark Waid's story of what happens to a world when the mightiest hero of them all breaks under the pressure of his job and becomes the world's greastest villain. In Incorruptible we see the world's foremost villain change sides. With his world rocked by the shock of Plutonian's insanity, readers are introduced to Max Damage - once the world's most notorious and most wanted, now perhaps the last best hope for defeating a mad god. This book poses questions relating to the challenge of changing everything you have ever stood for. How does a man who has only ever done things the wrong way, become a man who does everything the right way? What challenges does it pose, and can he handle it?
Read it. It's terrific.
Who Will Wield The Shield?
Did you know that Marvel published a battle for the shield between Steve Roger and Bucky Barnes before they published the end of Reborn, in which Steve Rogers returns to the Marvel Universe? It's my opinion that it is the EiC's job to make sure that kind of mess up doesn't happen. Worse still? They acknowledge it inside the book.....which means they knew they were messing up, and they did it anyways.
Somebody should be fired.
Read this: http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2007-07-24-fanboys_N.htm
It may be the stupidest article I've ever read on the subject of why some movies succeed and some don't. It wasn't a surprise to me when 300 scored big at the box office, and if it was a surprise to anyone in Hollywood then they shouldn't have a job. I often share this article with people because I find it staggering that an industry that can be so widely influenced by a particular sub-culture's feedback doesn't know how to properly tap in that subculture and exploit an ongoing relationship with it.
I would also really like somebody to explain to me the thought process behind changing 'dogma' regarding a property in its movie license. For instance, in the original Batman they changed the story so that it was The Joker who killed Bruce's parents. Why? It infuriated Batman fans, and non-fans didn't know any better anyways. Would it have ruined the movie for non-fans if they had stuck with the original story? Not at all. So what was gained, other than the potential alienation of fanboys? What was the upside?
I think too often Hollywood forgets that the only reason a property is big enough to merit being turned into a movie is because of its fans. Why then would you set out to alienate them? If they don't like the movie, who exactly is going to? And yes, I do understand that artistic license has to be allowed for the creative process to work. I get that not everything can be the same. But you don't mess with core canon. That's just stupid.
Alright, ranting over for tonight.
But if you're in the mood for discussions, let's start thinking about who is the greatest villain of all time. I want to blog about it, and I'd like to get some votes in before I do.