Jul 23 2009

How I Would Reboot Superman

Superman is a waning superhero.

In the past year, his comics have consistently been outsold by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Flash, Green Lantern, Deadpool, and every A-list franchise.   (For example, his top-performing comic book in June 2009 placed #43 on the bestsellers list).

According to io9, even DC Comics acknowledged that the Superman movie franchise is struggling.  Superman’s latest film-outing grossed about $390 million on a production budget of $270 million.  That’s notably worse than 1996′s Batman Forever, let alone either of the two most recent Batman films.  Yes… even Joel Schumacher, the “director” that put nipples on the Batsuit, beat Superman.

Here’s how I would reboot Superman.

1.  Give him a real personality with some actual flaws. This does not mean that he has to be brooding.  (Please see Spiderman or Ironman– characters can be three-dimensional and fun!) For example, maybe he’s a bit overconfident or careless.  Even a small flaw would make him more likable and believable.

2.  Have him discover his alien ancestry as an adult or remove the alien origin altogether. Right now, there’s a ~30 year gap between his origin story (landing on Earth) and the events of the front-story.  In contrast, most successful superhero franchises place the origin story fairly late in the protagonist’s life, as part of the front story.  For example, Tony Stark built the Iron-Man suit as an adult, Peter Parker was bitten by the spider in his late teens, the X-Men mostly develop mutant powers in their late teens, etc.  Even Batman Begins focused on the second part of Batman’s origin: his ninja training with the Legion of Shadows as an adult rather than the murder of his parents as a child.  When the origin story is part of the front story, the pacing usually benefits. One of the advantages of this is that a story like Spiderman doesn’t have to describe what happens to the character when he’s an infant or six or whatever.  No one cares!  :)

3.  Revamp his powers so that he depends more on agility and skill than raw strength and speed. Strength and speed make for Hulk-like action sequences that are stale and monotonous.  Most top-selling superheroes rely on agility instead: Spiderman, Batman, Wolverine, etc.  Remember, no one loves Neo because he could punch hard enough to leave a crater in the concrete.  The action scenes in The Matrix were freakishly successful because the heroes did acrobatic stunts that were far more gripping than flying straight at the enemy.  Additionally, agile heroes are usually easier to threaten.  Overcoming threats helps makes a hero compelling.

4.  Lose the kryptonite. If the character weren’t overpowered to begin with, the kryptonite wouldn’t be necessary.  Kryptonite is terrible for several reasons.  First, a helpless Superman is even less interesting in battle than an invincible Superman.  Second, relying on kryptonite rather than reducing Superman’s powers entirely means that 99% of criminals can’t even conceivably threaten him.

5.  Recast everyone. Brandon Routh (Superman) and Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane) turned in particularly lifeless performances.  I’d especially recommend looking for a pair that’s fun and energetic.  This is a superhero movie, after all.  Also, it would help if the actors had the gravitas to play two award-winning journalists.  Kate Bosworth as a Pulitzer winner?  Please.

6.  If Superman is going to be 100% moraled, at least test his morals. Even Spiderman made mistakes– he let the robber run off, for example.  Superman’s morals are never tested and generally poorly-developed.  For example, why does someone so powerful empathize with humans?  Why does he care about human laws?  If he’s going to be so faithful to human legal systems– which are often quite flawed– then make sure there are consequences.  Test him!  If he just turns in Lex Luthor to the police, Lex will get off with the best lawyers and witness-killing assassins money can buy.  If Superman wants to beat Lex without giving up his law-abiding morals, he has to build a case that sticks.  To do so, he has to rely on more than just his superpowers.  That’s more impressive than just beating his way to the end of the story.

7.  NO LEX LUTHOR. Apparently the writers missed the memo that this is a superhero movie.  Sure, he’s got megalomania, rugged good looks, and premature male balding going on, but he isn’t any more qualified to be a supervillain than I am. If using Lex is really necessary, at least give him superpowers and a more compelling motivation than greed.

61 responses so far

61 Responses to “How I Would Reboot Superman”

  1. JZon 23 Jul 2009 at 6:18 am

    Your reboot ideas remind me of the John Byrne Superman reboot back in the 80′s. It made him significantly less powerful, gave him a more aggressive personality and in some ways brought him back to Siegel and Shuster’s version of the character.

    Mind you, the Byrne Superman was still more powerful than the original, but not as much.

    Oddly enough, DC didn’t support Byrne’s vision after a while and slowly Superman’s edged closer to the Silver Age version.

  2. B. Macon 23 Jul 2009 at 7:58 am

    Yeah, another time they tried to give him a personality by splitting him into Red Superman and Blue Superman. It wasn’t particularly successful– too gimmicky, I suspect– but at least they tried.

  3. Tomon 23 Jul 2009 at 8:23 am

    I disagree on the Lex Luthor front. The DCAU showed us that Luthor can be an excellent villain if played well. It depends on how you motivate him. I kinda got the impression in Superman The Animated Series that he was jealous of Superman for being superhuman without trying much, and how he got the support of the people instantly. Plus, Clancy Brown did an awesome job voicing him. When he moved on to Justice League there was the storyline with him dying of Kryptonite poisoning- talk about irony. Then of course he became an evil politician, then he merged with Brainiac, then he killed Gorilla Grodd.

    Another reason I disagree with seven is if he’s not up against Luthor, then who will he fight? Superman doesn’t exactly have the wide, varied rogues gallery Batman or Spider-Man has. There just aren’t many decent villains in Metropolis.

  4. J.M.on 23 Jul 2009 at 9:11 am

    I haven’t watched much of Smallville, but one of the review sites I read regularly reviews them, so I’ve managed to follow the series by osmosis. One thing I like about the Luthor-Clarke dynamic is that they start as friends, and slowly become enemies thanks largely to Luthor Sr. leading Luthor Jr. to see aliens as a threat to humanity. It gives Luthor some layers as a character, but still allows him to be eeeeevil when necessary in order to protect humanity from the perceived alien threat.

  5. B. Macon 23 Jul 2009 at 10:12 am

    “Another reason I disagree with seven is if he’s not up against Luthor, then who will he fight? There just aren’t many decent villains in Metropolis.” Make a new villain. It’s the least bad option. If Superman is really so desperate for villains that there is no alternative to LL, I doubt that there is long-term potential for Superman movies.

    I suppose they could try a Superman/Batman teamup option, because Batman’s villains are so much better-developed and stylish, but I don’t think it would be productive. For one thing, it doesn’t address the problem that Superman is overpowered and has terrible action scenes. Nor does it address the problem that Superman’s villains are, as a whole, worse than what pretty much any top #10 superhero has to face*.

    Brainiac is weird, has nonhuman motives, and isn’t very stylish. “KILL ALL HUMANS!” types are rarely compelling.

    Superman’s alien adversaries (Darkseid, etc) typically have one-dimensional motivations. “I want to conquer the galaxy” is possibly even cheesier than “I want to take over the world.”

    My ranking of the 10 top-performing superheroes at the moment are…
    #1-3: Spiderman, Batman and Wolverine/X-Men in no particular order.
    #4: Ironman, even though his comic books don’t sell particularly well.
    #5: Fantastic Four.
    #6: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I kid you not. She has a comic book in the top #10 almost every month, which is pretty impressive when you consider that she doesn’t have crazy name recognition, legacy popularity or the promotional strength of a huge publisher. (Her comics are published by Dark Horse).
    #7: Green Lantern. In the past year, his comic books have been selling pretty well. For most of 2009, even his secondary book (Green Lantern Corps) outsold Superman’s books.
    #8: Hulk. Yeah, umm, he only made the list because his second movie improved considerably on a disastrous first outing. Marvel is confident enough in him that they’ve even worked him into the Avengers movie (at some risk to Ironman, a valuable character). In contrast, Superman doesn’t even have a new movie in development, let alone a movie that might compromise Batman.
    #9: The Flash. In the past year, he has also solidly beaten Superman in comics sales. (I feel uneasy picking 3 DC heroes above Superman, but in terms of sales Superman is just not there).
    #10: Probably Deadpool. I don’t expect his movie will do as well as Superman, but I figure “probable failure” ranks higher than Superman’s indefinite suspension. Also, Deadpool’s comics outsell Superman’s.

  6. Tomon 23 Jul 2009 at 11:06 am

    Note: They’re making a Green Lantern movie… starring Ryan Reynolds. Yes, THAT Ryan Reynolds. As in, Deadpool-in-name-only Ryan Reynolds.

    And Buffy The Vampire Slayer? Wow, I did not expect that. I never watched the show mind you.

    And oh my god I hate Darkseid so much. Everything about Apokolips I just despite. The less said about it, the better.

    On that note the series finale of Superman The Animated series featured Darkseid and was quite good. But that’s in spite of, not because of.

  7. B. Macon 23 Jul 2009 at 11:48 am

    Green Lantern would be a hard movie to write. I assume that they’ll keep it Earth-centric, because it’s more relatable, but GL spends a lot of time away from Earth in the comics.

  8. Tomon 23 Jul 2009 at 11:56 am

    Funny, I first heard about it from this guy on DeviantArt called Matt Moylan, and that’s pretty much exactly what he said. See here:

    http://mattmoylan.deviantart.com/art/Lil-Formers-Green-Pool-130159786

  9. B. Macon 23 Jul 2009 at 12:06 pm

    It’s a tough call. In comic books, I think that staying close to Earth is all but an economic imperative. Fantastic Four, GL and Superman are the only superhero series that regularly take to space with any degree of success.

    But space operas do somewhat better as movies. (Star Wars, Alien, Star Trek, Chronicles of Riddick, Space Odyssey, etc).

    Personally, I’d recommend playing the first GL movie close to home and holding off on space-faring for any sequels. Also, I bet that a space-faring story would require a larger budget.

  10. Lavapulseon 23 Jul 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Superman is simply too perfect to be interesting– A more than typical Gary Sue. I agree with a lot of your ideas.

    Wouldn’t a lot of fans and anybody who knows anything about Superman notice a large gap if kryptonite was completely removed from the story? Maybe Kryptonite could have more of a weakening effect to Superman instead of completely draining his powers. However, since it seems highly unlikely that random villains would have a specific mineral from a far-off planet conveniently in their possession, they could have it so that kryptonite has a similar molecular structure to some common mineral or metal on Earth. Lead, possibly, since they could tie that in with his x-ray vision deficiency.

  11. B. Macon 23 Jul 2009 at 4:03 pm

    “Wouldn’t a lot of fans and anybody who knows anything about Superman notice a large gap if kryptonite was completely removed from the story?” According to Say it Backwards, that they temporarily got rid of kryptonite in the 1970s.

  12. Tomon 23 Jul 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I’m probably tempting fate by saying this but that may be the stupidest thing Superman has ever done. Eating a rock? Dude, you don’t know where that’s been!

    *awaits inevitable examples of Superman’s stupidity in response to my first sentence*

  13. ShardReaperon 23 Jul 2009 at 4:12 pm

    No, friend. Stupidest thing he’s ever done would probably be “Superman Returns”.

  14. Lighting Manon 23 Jul 2009 at 4:57 pm

    See, the proper thing to do since Tom already called the eventuality of others listing more stupid things, would be listing stupid things that Superman hasn’t done, such as;

  15. trekfanon 23 Jul 2009 at 6:10 pm

    This is pretty crazy, as I was just watching a documentary on Superman today (the DVD one that came out right before Superman Returns…I believe it’s called “The Amazing Story of Superman” or something close. Kevin Spacey was the narrator-Spacey Rules.)

    Anyways, I was reminded of all the ideas they had in trying to redo the Superman franchise before Superman Returns came out. I said to myself “These ideas aren’t that bad…” while everyone on the Superman Returns production staff bashed them in.

    You know, I have to agree. Superman has lost a lot of respect, and personally, I can’t say he ranks in the top 5 of my favorite heroes. He doesn’t really have any problems, he always does the right thing, and he never kills anyone. He’s not the “Man of Steel”; he’s the “Man That’s Still.”

    The character itself, as Bmac has pointed out in this great article, really has come to a standstill when compared to the other Big Superheroes.

    Spiderman has had Brand New Day (Mixed responses there, but as seeing I haven’t read it, I can only offer what I’ve heard), GL is going through the Blackest Night storyline, and Superman at the moment is…doing something.

    I mean, the DC characters as a whole, in terms of Cinema pieces, really have had a hard time competing with Marvel in this age. Batman and Superman (Batman during the Tim Burton Years and Superman during the Christopher Reeve years) pretty much had a stranglehold on this whole “Superhero Movie” business, but Marvel is now the top dog there, I feel.

    Between Marvel’s Spiderman/Xmen/Hulk/Ironman/ and the upcoming Avengers project, Marvel is doing pretty well.

    DC? Relying on Batman, seeing as Superman has fallen flat once more. Batman is vastly more interesting and exciting to the audience then Superman is.

  16. B. Macon 24 Jul 2009 at 10:08 am

    I feel like Marvel has a really strong grasp on what works in the new (post-Matrix) wave of superhero movies. The action has gotten much better and the writing is substantially deeper. Except for the Batman movies, DC has not gotten the message. Superman Returns would have been a fine superhero movie… in 1980.

    Marvel has produced a ton of movies, very few of which are awful. Between the X-Men series, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Hulk, Ghost Rider, and Punisher, only five strike me as irredeemably bad: Daredevil, Hulk 1, Wolverine and both Punisher movies. That’s only a failure rate of about 25%– pretty impressive.

    In contrast, the only post-Matrix DC movies that I find watchable are the two Batmans. I walked out of Superman Returns an hour in. Constantine, Catwoman and V for Vendetta felt clunky and poorly-written. I find it astonishing that Disney-Pixar has put out more excellent superhero movies in the last decade (Incredibles and possibly Bolt) than DC has (Dark Knight).

  17. Tomon 24 Jul 2009 at 10:32 am

    Are we really taking about pre-and post-Matrix? Did it really have that much of an effect on movie history?

    What’s your take on the Watchmen movie then? Technically that was DC.

    And would you really count Bolt as a superhero movie?

  18. B. Macon 24 Jul 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Yeah, I think The Matrix was the seminal moment. First, action sequences (particularly fight scenes) improved drastically almost immediately after the Matrix. I’d argue that the dominant superhero movie franchises of the pre-Matrix era were Batman and Superman because their powers could be shown with relatively crude special effects. After The Matrix, it was much easier to do a fight for a hero like Wolverine or Spiderman. I mean, compare Nightcrawler’s White House scene to any one of the battles in the mid-90s Batman movies. It’s not even close.

    I think that the success of TM also encouraged screenwriters to work harder to fit a plot into superhero action movies. Maybe characterization, too. I think it’s easy to knock on Keanu Reeves for his horribly wooden acting, but TM’s screenwriters did a pretty good job developing Neo’s character over time.

    Hmm. I think we agree that the current generation of superhero movies (beginning with Spiderman in 2001) is drastically better than what came before. What do you think caused the change?



    I figured someone would bring up The Watchmen. I left it out because it had serious problems but mainly they were different problems than the ones that had plagued pre-Matrix superhero movies. The Watchmen movie was freakishly slow, too long and had a cast that was too large. The graphic novels just weren’t well-suited to a cinematic adaptation. In contrast, the pre-Matrix films bungled heroes that are very movie-friendly. For example, Batman can be an interesting, deep and troubled-but-likable hero. But the Joel Schumacher films of the 1990s treated Batman as an excuse to do a cop film with a bigger costume budget. Since The Watchmen had improved on many of the original problems of superhero films, I left it out of a paragraph that was mainly about how little DC Comics had learned in the past decade. (Nor was it good enough to list as a counterexample alongside The Dark Knight).



    Yeah, I consider Bolt a superhero movie, albeit with substantial modifications for a PG audience. (Animal protagonists, for one thing). For example, Bolt has a dual identity– Bolt the actor and Bolt the loving pet. His two identities are even separated with a costume (the painted lightning bolt). That’s not as obvious as Bruce Wayne putting on a batsuit, but I’d say that he’s a lot closer to a conventional superhero than something like Buffy or Harry Dresden.

    Also, Bolt spent more time in superpowered action sequences than The Watchmen did. That’s sort of the main ingredient for a superhero movie, right?

  19. trekfanon 24 Jul 2009 at 4:24 pm

    @ B. Mac

    What changed superhero movies? A deeper question then what it seems on the outside. One can easily point to the Matrix (which I also agree had an effect upon the “superhero formula.”) as a changing force.

    However, I think one has to look at the downfall of superhero movies-Batman and Robin. That movie took the financially successful franchise of Batman and killed it. Batman Forever, Batman Returns, and Batman had all been good money makers. Hollywood saw the dreadful reaction to Batman and Robin and declared the superhero movie “dead.”

    Even though Batman and Robin made decent money, the plot was kid stuff, the characters were cut outs, and having Arnold Schwarzenegger play a mad scientist was less then a stroke of genius-possibly the Joker’s biggest joke of all was making Batman such a success and condemning the rest of the sequels to follow in his wake.

    And so superheroes had to take a back seat for awhile as Hollywood got over the hangover that was Batman and Robin.

    Looking to 1998, a year after the killing stroke, we see the following as the top grossing films of the year.

    1. Armageddon Touchstone $553,709,788
    2. Saving Private Ryan DreamWorks/Paramount $481,840,909
    3. Godzilla TriStar $379,014,294
    4. There’s Something About Mary Fox $369,884,651
    5. A Bug’s Life Disney/Pixar $363,398,565
    6. Deep Impact DreamWorks/Paramount $349,464,664
    7. Mulan Disney $304,320,254
    8. Dr. Dolittle Fox $294,456,605
    9. Shakespeare in Love Miramax/Universal $289,317,794
    10. Lethal Weapon 4 Warner Bros. $285,444,603

    These were big money makers, and many of them were quite fun to watch. Armageddon and Deep Impact were the disaster films of the day, and brought a big scale to the forefront of the movie industry. These weren’t the disaster films of old, where it was all cliche’, these had substance and big named actors to boot.

    What the Superhero movie took away from them: Basically, you don’t have to be Superman to save the world. This fact may have been apparent before, but seeing the average, everyman, face these life ending threats and win, reinforced the idea that you don’t have to wear a mask/cape to save the world.

    I think more then anything, this emphasized that the alter ego of the Superhero (Bruce Wayne/Peter Parker ect who is by design not supposed to exhibit super anything) couldn’t be forgotten about or simply given a few lines, a love scene. ect. This taught the superhero film to treat the superhero as 2 separate characters of near equal importance.

    Other Lessons from 1998: Godzilla showed that real cities are quite the stuff, with New York playing as big a role in the movie as the monster itself. If one was to replicate a fictional city, it couldn’t be big and laudy (as Gotham city had been in Batman and Robin) but needed to be based in reality; at least some of it anyway.

    Saving Private Ryan and Lethal Weapon 4 showed that relationships between characters shouldn’t be neglected for action or more drama, ect. What made us care about these characters was the fact they seemed real, that they felt like someone we could care for, so when they were put into danger we eagerly anticipated the conclusion-did they live or die?

    What Superhero Films learned in 1999: The Matrix was here, and it rocked the boat for superhero films. It was dark, complex, cool, fun, and full of action-it showed what a good superhero film could be and it paved the way for the ultimate money maker, sequels.

    That was the big lesson in 1999, was that sequels, done right, could be just as big as the success of the first films. Notably, Star War episode 1 (a prequel in it’s own right, but the same rules apply) further built upon the world established in the Star Wars universe. It brought in LOADS of money and the superhero movie looked at this and saw the light.

    Previous superhero film sequels never quite had the appeal of the first one. Superman II, Batman Returns, met with some serious criticism from the industry, yet were financial successes. This set the standard that “if it makes lots of money, why care about the plot?” for the superhero movie and thusly Superman III and IV were not nearly as good as the first two, and Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, took the franchise away from the darkness that is Batman and brought it closer to the 60s Adam West show (ZAP, WANG!).

    I think this taught the superhero film to maintain the effort of the first movie, and build on the story of the first one rather then treating them as “Stand alone” films with just a new number in them.

    Conclusion: I think this all culminated in Spider-man later on, which took these lessons and used them well.

    However, I believe (as we saw with X3 and Spiderman 3) that the superhero movie is indeed drifting away from these lessons, and trying far too hard to appeal to everyone. A good movie will make good money, but no movie will please everyone. It’s a losing battle. As we see with The Dark Knight, Batman stood true to his dark roots and brought forth a great tale. It didn’t make parents too happy to have their kids scared at some point, but the movie made the large fanbase happy, appealed to new fans, and made good money.

    *WHEW*

    yes, a large ramble. My opinions though. :)

  20. A. N. Onymouson 26 Jul 2009 at 6:07 am

    ‘Green Lantern would be a hard movie to write. I assume that they’ll keep it Earth-centric, because it’s more relatable,’

    Why, then, is one of the best selling films of all time set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, featuring aliens, robots, space ships and other such? My opinion based on what I’ve seen of science fiction and superhero fiction is that it’s not a place that the readers are drawn to, but instead the characters. Would we care if Star Wars took place on Earth or on the Death Star as long as the same characters of Luke, Leia, Han Solo and Darth Vader were all involved?

    For a more recent example, let’s look at the Disney/Pixar film Wall-E. It takes place in the far future, on a desolate version of Earth that has been dead for a very long time, and then moves to space and then suddenly takes place on a massive colony ship which is on the far side of the solar system. Is Wall-E suddenly hard to relate to because it’s not set on contemporary Earth, or is it one of the most popular and beloved films in recent memory due to its quite brilliant protagonist. And it manages to make a cockroach into one of the cutest characters of the film!

    And let’s have a look at one of the most easy-to-relate-to locations in recent film memory; the absolutely breathtaking scenery in ‘Twilight’. Except that I could only really relate to the hapless father with the awesome moustache and the attractive female vampire with the visions because everyone else was lacking in even the most basic of character depth. It was a terribly boring film. I could very well relate to the location easily enough; but the characterisations dragged the whole thing down.

    What you also seem to be missing in your massive Superman rant is that if you were to change Superman, you would probably be committing career suicide. For the past seventy-one years, people all over the world – not just in America – have grown up with Superman being *Superman*. Changing his powers, abilities and other such to just basically ape the Matrix would result in something that basically just *is not Superman*. You might as well just make a new character entirely. I’ll also note that a certain recent Will Smith film featuring a character with identical ‘base powers’ to Superman (minus the vision and breath-based powers) was basically a box office success. Because we could relate to Hancock regardless of the fact that he was basically invulnerable, with most reviewers stating that the film was dragged down when he *stopped* being invulnerable.

    Why could we relate to Hancock’s character? Point number 1 was fulfilled, and that was all that *needed* to be fulfilled; he needed to have his flaws, a bit of complex characterisation, and Will Smith’s often-underrated acting ability. And that’s all that was needed; all you need for Superman is a good actor (take, say, Mr. Christopher Reeve), a good look at the character’s duality and self-introspection, a damn good script, and maybe John Williams’ epic score.

    Go back and watch the first Superman film; it’s still a classic, and it’s still an epic.

  21. A. N. Onymouson 28 Jul 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Just a thought: if Lex Luthor isn’t qualified to be a supervillain, then why is Batman qualified to be a superhero?

  22. B. Macon 28 Jul 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Because he has freakish agility, which makes for interesting fights. Lex Luthor doesn’t even try to have actual fights with Superman. (No disrespect to Kryptonite, but a cringing Superman does not make for much edge-of-your-seat action).

  23. A. N. Onymouson 29 Jul 2009 at 3:32 am

    ‘Because he has freakish agility, which makes for interesting fights.’

    Except that most people agree that the most interesting portion of the newer Batman films was not the fights, but the mental battle between him and the Joker. Plus, I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but Batman’s actually not that agile in the films by the typical standards; he’s quick and strong by ordinary standards, but he mostly relies on misdirection and trickery.

    ‘Lex Luthor doesn’t even try to fight with Superman.’

    That’s because Lex Luthor is of the different type of villain; he’s most definitely *not* Superman’s Darth Vader. He’s the manipulative, scheming villain who is actually quite a few cuts above the Darth Vader figure. He makes the plans, and manipulates the facts, but is ultimately a good few steps ahead of Superman due to just plain being quite a bit smarter. He’s the exact sort of villain that someone like Superman needs; not a supervillain who’ll try to punch him through a wall, but a supervillain who’ll be so utterly elusive as to almost get away with his plans until Superman uses his brain instead of his brawn.

    Fight scenes do not make a good superhero movie. The Dark Knight was not even remotely memorable because of its fight scenes, but instead it was memorable due to the manipulations and scheming of Heath Ledger’s quite frankly awesome Joker. Even in the case of Magneto in X-Men; he wasn’t an interesting character because he could stab you with every metal object within a half-mile radius before you could blink. Instead, he was interesting because he was a charismatic and complex villain who schemed rather than fought; he was capable of kicking the heroes collective rears, but he didn’t *need* to.

    What relates the audience to the characters is not that the characters can get beaten up, but instead that the characters are at least somewhat vulnerable on a mental and emotional level. Look at Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen; he’s practically omnipotent, and yet one of the more sympathetic characters there.

  24. BrainStormeron 29 Jul 2009 at 4:35 am

    If there is a new superman, I’d make his story as follows:

    - First of all, he is sent to Earth as an exile as a punishment for a crime he didn’t commit. So he is a grownup when he is on earth with no superpowers. (So Kryptonians have powers on Krypton but not on Earth).

    - He doesn’t give a damn about human lives, but he has to save them to be pardoned and return to his planet. He doesn’t care about saving everyone. He just saves as he as he can without getting killed.

    - Eventually he learns that human lives have value too, same as his race and when the time of banishment is over. He asks his people from Krypton to return him his superpowers to be able to save all humans.

    - So they give him this suit to boost his powers on earth. It has an S, which stands for Sucker. But he just tells humans that it stands for Superman.

    - So he is on earth now, with superpowers that still have limits.

    - No kryptonite as a weakness.

  25. Garyon 29 Jul 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I often wonder if people would mind Lex as much in the films if he wore his power suits from the comics in the 80s.

    I personally liked both Hackman’s and Spacey’s portrayals

  26. A. N. Onymouson 29 Jul 2009 at 1:40 pm

    BrainStormer? The major problem with that is that as much as it might seem interesting on some level, that’s practically a different character entirely and you might as well just make someone new. The major draw of the recent Star Trek film (for instance) was how most (if not all) of the actors involved actually fully *nailed* the characterisations and were all very true to the feel of the original Star Trek whilst still bringing it into the modern day. Changed a bit from the original? Yes.

    But it was recognisable; it still felt like Star Trek.

  27. BrainStormeron 29 Jul 2009 at 1:47 pm

    That’s my point. An entirely new superman. I mean what is cool about having the same story over and over again.

  28. Lighting Manon 29 Jul 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Because that’s who Superman is? All you would be doing is taking and blatantly misusing his name, same for B. Mac’s suggestions. Kryptonite, Lex Luthor, and being a freaking Kryptonian, among other things are what make Superman what he is.

    What you suggested sounded like a bad magazine’s April Fool’s joke about Garth Ennis recreating Superman.

    Superman Returns failed because Superman Returns was a terrible movie that should never have been made and certainly shouldn’t have been set in the 1940′s with cellphones. Superman’s comic book isn’t selling as well as it could be because DC isn’t using him as much as they are Batman and the Green Lanterns. Of the 11 DC comic books that sold better in June then Superman’s, five were Batman related, four were Green Lantern and the last two consisted of a miniseries bringing back the most popular and the most highly regarded Flash, and the Justice Society which has no easily recognized reason for selling so well.

    DC has some of the most talented writers and artists working today, but they have the oversight and foresight of King Kong at the end of his eponymous work.

  29. A. N. Onymouson 29 Jul 2009 at 3:30 pm

    ‘What you suggested sounded like a bad magazine’s April Fool’s joke about Garth Ennis recreating Superman.’

    Except that even Garth Ennis himself actually likes Superman as a rare exception to his hatred of superheroes, and treated the character with complete and utter respect when he appeared in one of his comics.

    ‘the Justice Society which has no easily recognized reason for selling so well.’

    Ironically, last time I checked that one, Superman (or, rather, the version from Kingdom Come) was a primary supporting character.

  30. A. N. Onymouson 29 Jul 2009 at 3:32 pm

    ‘That’s my point. An entirely new superman. I mean what is cool about having the same story over and over again.’

    That entirely new Superman? It wouldn’t be Superman, and I would not watch it; the only possible ‘altered’ Superman that I’d watch is if the character started out at – say – Golden Age Superman level and slowly grew into his role and other powers. Sort of like Smallville, but with better writing.

  31. B. Macon 29 Jul 2009 at 6:48 pm

    “…but Batman’s actually not that agile in the films by the typical standards; he’s quick and strong by ordinary standards, but he mostly relies on misdirection and trickery.” He’s not that agile by the standards of The Matrix, but he’s far more agile than the typical action protagonist. He bursts out of windows, has fight scenes across skyscrapers, etc.

    ” ‘Lex Luthor doesn’t even try to fight with Superman.’ That’s because Lex Luthor is of the different type of villain; he’s most definitely *not* Superman’s Darth Vader.” Maybe that’s the problem. He’s a schemer that can’t actually fight with the protagonist. That’s a huge albatross that any superhero movie would be hard-pressed to survive.


    “Fight scenes do not make a good superhero movie.” I think they’re a very important component of a superhero movie’s success. They aren’t by themselves sufficient to guarantee quality, but they’re probably necessary. For example, even the Watchmen movie bent over backwards to insert superpowered action scenes. Not that it helped all that much, but I think it’s a sign that the Watchmen’s screenwriters agreed that a superhero movie cannot be good without action.

    Personally, I really liked the action in TDK. The Hong Kong brawl and the truck chase in Gotham felt lively. I also liked the quiet tension of the ferry scene, although it relied more on the potential for action than its delivery.

  32. B. Macon 29 Jul 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I think the power-suit would help. (Hey, it worked for Tony Stark).

    That would address the problem of Lex Luthor’s lack of superpowers. It wouldn’t address Lex’s lack of style, though. He doesn’t have any of the unsettling style or personality that made Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Magneto, Joker and maybe even Scarecrow so compelling. He’s more like a skinny and weaker version of Daredevil’s Kingpin.

  33. Lighting Manon 29 Jul 2009 at 9:51 pm

    The thing that I think is being really overlooked is quite simply the fact that Heath Ledger’s portrayal and the version of the Joker in The Dark Knight wasn’t so great because of how faithful the adaptation was to his comic book counterpart, which it generally wasn’t, not even to The Killing Joke version. He was nothing like the Joker had ever been before, quite frankly.

    He was great because The Dark Knight’s Joker was a misanthropic force of nature capable of destroying not only Batman, but Gotham and he managed to trick Batman into a scholar’s mate, not through sheer brilliance or intelligence, but luck and his ability to shame Lamont Cranston with his knowledge of the evil that lurks in the heart of men.

    It was as if The Joker grew up knowing that the American dream had come true, and he was living in it, to offer an allusion.

    The Joker in the Dark Knight wasn’t the Joker at all, but a legitimately evil Lex Luthor, and while that was fantastic and truly amazing for The Dark Knight, it’s the fact that Lex Luthor isn’t truly and completely evil that makes him such a viable character in the right hands. He doesn’t want to be evil, it’s something he fears but he knows is inevitable and in the end, at the end of the day, when he’s in the right hands, he isn’t trying to kill Superman or fight Superman, he’s trying to protect humanity from what Superman is. Superman is Kingdom Come, he is Armageddon, and it is that “lack of personality” that so many of you have lamented that compliments exactly how strong his personality truly is, because he is that and he acts the way he does, with morals as strong as he has to avoid becoming what he already is.

    These themes that some are calling for to be completely disregarded have followed all the way down the history of superheroes to modern day, constantly evolving and displaying themselves in new and unique ways, but staying essentially true to what they began as. It is Superman and those themes that are echoed in critically acclaimed comic books like Hellboy and Invincible, The Authority and even The Watchmen.

  34. B. Macon 29 Jul 2009 at 11:04 pm

    “Because that’s who Superman is? All you would be doing is taking and blatantly misusing his name, same for B. Mac’s suggestions. Kryptonite, Lex Luthor, and being a freaking Kryptonian, among other things are what make Superman what he is.

    What you suggested sounded like a bad magazine’s April Fool’s joke about Garth Ennis recreating Superman.”

    A few comments.

    1) Please knock off the unfriendliness.

    2) It’s not unheard of for a character’s origin to change to fit the times. For example, Green Lantern’s source of power changed from a magical artifact to a sci-fi gadget. Less successfully, Wonder Woman lost her powers and became a kung fu fighter in the 1970s. A lot of DC’s biggest characters have gone through changes more drastic than what has been proposed here.

    3) If a superhero’s cast is really so limited that he cannot use a second villain without giving up what he is, then he is in trouble.

    4) “Kryptonite, Lex Luthor, and being a freaking Kryptonian, among other things are what make Superman what he is.” I don’t think that enough people like Superman the way he currently is. Otherwise, maybe he’d be slated for another film. Or maybe his comic books would regularly crack the top 20. In my eyes, it’s pretty clear that he’s not living up to his potential. That’s why I suggested a reboot.

  35. A. N. Onymouson 30 Jul 2009 at 12:06 am

    ‘It’s not unheard of for a character’s origin to change to fit the times. For example, Green Lantern’s source of power changed from a magical artifact to a sci-fi gadget.’

    Actually, not only is the second Green Lantern a different and separate series of characters who have similar powers from a separate-though-related source, they have actually worked on occasion with the original Golden Age Green Lantern. Replacing a character is a whole different ballgame than creating a new one of a similar theme or name; the comics actually had numerous people taking up the Superman mantle after the original’s death. Until the original got better.

    However, Superman is not broken goods. He’s in need of a bit of competent writing, not a complete revision based on what you seem to think is a popular factor.

  36. A. N. Onymouson 30 Jul 2009 at 12:22 am

    ‘I don’t think that enough people like Superman the way he currently is. Otherwise, maybe he’d be slated for another film.’

    Popularity is not equivalent to quality; if we were to go purely off of what was popular, Rob Liefeld would be a great writer and a great comic-books visionary of the 1990s instead of the talentless hack that we all know he really is. Personally, I’d be more interested in them taking the time and effort to make a good movie about Superman rather than aping what was popular at the time and making someone who was basically just *not* Superman.

    Will it be a niche film? No. Superman is an immediately recognisable element. The one and only thing I’d change about Superman is the costume, but that’s my personal opinion that underwear-on-the-outside is just plain silly.

  37. B. Macon 30 Jul 2009 at 1:58 am

    “Personally, I’d be more interested in them taking the time and effort to make a good movie about Superman rather than aping what was popular at the time and making someone who was basically just *not* Superman.”

    I am not sure that a good Superman movie could be made circa 2010. The obstacles are daunting. Namely, 1) his powers are extremely unconducive to interesting fight scenes and action sequences, 2) his personality (to put it mildly) is a bit boring and Mary Sue-ish and 3) his surrounding cast creates little drama and/or humor.

    I can think of two iterations of Superman that overcame these obstacles. Unfortunately, neither one seems all that applicable to a Superman action movie circa 2010.

    –Justice League Unlimited cut Superman out of about half of the episodes. In the episodes where he was present, he was usually just one of 3-7 members rather than the main focus of the episode. Mixing in other characters helped reduce the tediousness of the fights. It also freed the writers from using Superman’s side-cast, which is kind of mediocre.

    –Lois and Clark. This live-action TV show was more of a romantic-comedy sit-com than superhero action. It’s an interesting and very well-written adaptation of the source material. But I don’t think that DC/Warner Brothers would be brave enough to try a superhero movie that eschewed action.

  38. A. N. Onymouson 30 Jul 2009 at 2:25 am

    ‘I am not sure that a good Superman movie could be made. The obstacles are daunting.’

    In your subjective opinion.

    ‘Namely, 1) his powers are extremely unconducive to interesting fight scenes and action sequences,’

    In your subjective opinion. Hancock and Sky High both performed extremely well despite the heroes of both effectively having the same powers.

    ’2) his personality (to put it mildly) is a bit boring and Mary Sue-ish’

    In your subjective opinion. I find that he’s actually a refreshing change from all the angsty, whiny and anti-heroic protagonists of recent years.

    ‘and 3) his surrounding cast creates little drama and/or humor.’

    In your subjective opinion. The cast is as only as good as the writing. It’s not what you have; it’s always what you do with it.

    ‘I can think of two iterations of Superman that overcame these obstacles. Unfortunately, neither one seems all that applicable to a Superman movie.’

    I can think of precisely two iterations of Superman which overcame these obstacles (which are basically your opinion, not actual obstacles to decent writing) and was most certainly applicable to a Superman movie. Because it *was* a Superman movie; the first two of them, in fact.

    ‘–Justice League Unlimited cut Superman out of about half of the episodes. In the episodes where he was present, he was usually just one of 3-7 members rather than the main focus of the episode. Mixing in other characters helped reduce the tediousness of the fights. It also freed the writers from using Superman’s side-cast, which is kind of mediocre.’

    Because one of the most iconic and remembered fights from Justice League Unlimited wasn’t a fight between Superman and Captain Marvel was it? Oh *wait*; yes it was. It ranks up there with the Flash going all-out super speed on Brainiac Luthor and kicking his arse. Also, the fights are tedious in your opinion, not the opinions of other people; if your basic opinion on the tediousness of super-strength was true, most people would not have liked the recent Incredible Hulk movie.

    ‘–Lois and Clark. This live-action TV show was more of a romantic-comedy sit-com than superhero action. It’s an interesting and very well-written adaptation of the source material. But I don’t think that DC/Warner Brothers would be brave enough to try a superhero movie that eschewed action.’

    V for Vendetta. There were precisely two major fight scenes in that film, with the rest of it being machinations and plotting of V, and also the main struggles of Evey and how she eventually overcame her own limitations. The film was that influential that people actually wear Guy Fawkes masks to most major protests. Also the Dark Knight; most of the memory of that film comes from the performances of the Joker, Harvey Dent, Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne.

    The fight scenes were cool, but the majority of the Dark Knight was its dark and epic plot that sort of shoved action into the sidelines. Even in Jack Snyder’s Watchmen, the only reason that there was all that much in the way of action compared to the graphic novel was simply because Jack Snyder was involved. Incidentally, even my sixteen year old sister found that one of the most easy-to-relate to and sympathetic characters was Doctor Manhattan.

    And, needless to say, Doctor Manhattan is not only hard to challenge, but almost completely omnipotent.

  39. A. N. Onymouson 30 Jul 2009 at 2:26 am

    Mixed up plurality when mentioning the first two Superman films* sorry.

  40. A. N. Onymouson 30 Jul 2009 at 8:58 am

    Also, if you have to go by (relatively) recent popularity; Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman was the second best-selling DC comic in January 2006 (beaten by Infinite Crisis), showing that the character not only has selling power, but he has selling power even when he goes all-out classical Silver Age.

  41. Marissaon 30 Jul 2009 at 10:14 am

    A. N. Onymous:

    ‘In your subjective opinion.’

    In your subjective opinion.

    ‘In your subjective opinion. Hancock and Sky High both performed extremely well despite the heroes of both effectively having the same powers.’

    Hancock performed extremely well with those powers because a) his personality and obstacles were so far from the expected in a superhero movie, and b) there was a twist: the woman, and how his powers connected to her. If he’d been as straight-laced as Superman, the interesting personality spin that carried the first half of the movie would be gone. I, personally, think that the best part of the movie was when he started to lose his powers and had to persevere.

    Sky High was a kids’ movie. On top of that, the main character only had super strength for most of the movie (later flight as well), not the dozen or so powers Superman had. On top of that is the cast of very interesting supporting characters, from his best friend to his rival (if that’s what Warren Peace was). Plus, the super-strength protagonist was one of many important characters. He didn’t solve the problem all on his own, just put the final piece into place by saving the falling school, and he was young and absolutely terrified about it. That’s why I think Smallville works, to a degree. That’s when Clark’s younger, before he becomes flawless in every way.

    ‘In your subjective opinion. I find that he’s actually a refreshing change from all the angsty, whiny and anti-heroic protagonists of recent years.’

    I find that Spiderman’s often a refreshing change, when he’s being quippy and not emo. He’s got real personality. Superman’s not refreshing, in my subjective opinion. His only personality is ‘morals: perfect, attitude: perfect, personality: perfect’.

    ‘In your subjective opinion. The cast is as only as good as the writing. It’s not what you have; it’s always what you do with it.’

    I… can’t actually disagree with you there. However, by the looks of it, all the movies thus far have had very poor writing, so that takes away any opportunity to improve said cast.

    ‘Because one of the most iconic and remembered fights from Justice League Unlimited wasn’t a fight between Superman and Captain Marvel was it? Oh *wait*; yes it was. It ranks up there with the Flash going all-out super speed on Brainiac Luthor and kicking his arse. Also, the fights are tedious in your opinion, not the opinions of other people; if your basic opinion on the tediousness of super-strength was true, most people would not have liked the recent Incredible Hulk movie.’

    …What’s your point? There are memorable moments in every show, this one just happened to include Superman. And the fights are tedious in most people’s opinion. Unless you want a movie to sell to 80% teenaged boys, you have to write assuming people will find such fight scenes tedious. Unless, of course, you fix them. Add in new characters like the Justice League, make them unique. And for the record, the highest feedback I’ve gotten for the latest Hulk movie is ‘Eh, it was okay.’ That came after half a dozen variations of ‘That one sucked‘. Take that, as opposed to the hype over Spiderman or Iron Man or The Dark Knight.



    And as a side note, B. Mac, I’d add Smallville to that list. It has an interesting cast of characters, the action scenes are brief enough that they do fine, and Clark Kent is basically your average, conflicted teenager, aside from the powers. I mean, he’s got a hero streak, but it’s much more relatable than any other Superman I’ve come across.

  42. B. Macon 30 Jul 2009 at 11:44 am

    “I am not sure that a good Superman movie could be made. The obstacles are daunting.” In your subjective opinion.

    Umm, yeah. I had figured that writing I am not sure would imply that.

    Anyway, I find your tone kind of grating. I’ve already reminded you once that this is a friendly website where opinions can be traded freely and unheatedly.

  43. Lighting Manon 30 Jul 2009 at 1:13 pm

    “1) Please knock off the unfriendliness.”

    I apologize that it came off as unfriendly, I didn’t really intend it as such, perhaps it was my disdain for Garth Ennis coming through, coupled with the fact that his idea legitimately sounded to me as I described.

    “2) It’s not unheard of for a character’s origin to change to fit the times. For example, Green Lantern’s source of power changed from a magical artifact to a sci-fi gadget. Less successfully, Wonder Woman lost her powers and became a kung fu fighter in the 1970s. A lot of DC’s biggest characters have gone through changes more drastic than what has been proposed here.”

    Although you’ve already been corrected on the Green Lantern example, it is worth noting that, Wonder Woman regained her abilities within several years, and even then, and to this day, she is still a baby molded from clay. It was an unsuccessful and temporary change, in response to the fading popularity of superheroes, so they could mold her into a spy, the more popular genre.

    You already mentioned Superman Blue/Red but it bares mentioning again, since it was another attempt at rebooting Superman, albeit an in-story one. It was controversial and temporary because what he became, was ostensibly, not Superman.

    “3) If a superhero’s cast is really so limited that he cannot use a second villain without giving up what he is, then he is in trouble.”

    It isn’t that he couldn’t exist without Lex Luthor, it’s more that he shouldn’t. I took your original statement regarding Lex Luthor to mean that you meant he shouldn’t exist in your new continuity.

    Spider-Man needs the Green Goblin, he’s had a great deal of success fighting other supervillains, but he is defined and best opposed by Norman Osborne. After all, there hasn’t been 16 Doctor Octopi, nor he been resurrected more times then John McCain on a three week bender. The same situation exists for Superman, he has other villains, but none compare to Lex Luthor.

  44. Chevalieron 30 Jul 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Just a question, have you read any of Superman’s recent books, or are you just going off what you’ve learned from pop culture osmosis?

  45. B. Macon 30 Jul 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I haven’t read any of his books in the past two years. That’s why I focused on the character as he appears in the movie. (Also, I figured more people would be familiar with the movie than with his comic books).

  46. B. Macon 30 Jul 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Are there any recent comic books I should be on the lookout for?

  47. Chevalieron 30 Jul 2009 at 8:40 pm

    The World of New Krypton storyline has Superman on a planet filled with other superpowered Kryptonians, so instead of knocking him down they’ve elevated everyone else.

  48. B. Macon 30 Jul 2009 at 9:22 pm

    “I took your original statement regarding Lex Luthor to mean that you meant he shouldn’t exist in your new continuity.” I meant that I wouldn’t recommend using him in the next Superman movie (assuming there is another). He’s had a major role in each of the five most recent live-action Superman movies. Very, very few movie series rely that heavily on a given villain. The ones that do, like Star Wars (Darth Vader) and X-Men (Magneto), tend to focus on villains with 1) emotional depth and 2) the ability to challenge the heroes in combat. In the movies thus far, Lex Luthor has always lacked #2 and usually lacked #1.

  49. A. N. Onymouson 31 Jul 2009 at 3:00 am

    Are there any recent comic books I should be on the lookout for?

    There’s Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman and Alex Ross’ Justice; both of them feature a fully-powerful Superman and both of them are extremely well done. Alan Moore’s run on Supreme is also worth a look despite not actually starring Superman, but instead a character who acts as a Superman equivalent.

  50. Mr. Crowleyon 18 Apr 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Why was everyone yelling at darkseid at the top? I mean in recent years, yes, he sucks. But when Jack Kirby made his fourth world Darkseid wasnt a faceless villian he was a better Darth Vader basically. It was only when DC took Jack Kirby’s new gods away from him and made them generic heroes and villians did they lose the greatness.

  51. Nayanon 07 Oct 2012 at 1:14 am

    Let’s wait for the next superhero film ‘Man of steel’. It may insert some life to superman series. Since Zack snyder is the director, I am hoping for some refreshing changes. I think it will have darker tone.

  52. The Drifteron 07 Oct 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I would have put Toyman, Livewire or Parasite as the villain instead of General Zod

  53. Nayanon 07 Oct 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I miswrote my above post. In place of ‘next superhero film’, it should be ‘next superman film’. Casting looks good with Russell Crowe and Amy Adams. Dont know much about the main actor.

  54. Nayanon 08 Oct 2012 at 4:52 am

    @B. Mac.
    Whats your thought on ‘Man of steel’? How much hope do you have on this movie?

  55. B. McKenzieon 08 Oct 2012 at 7:40 am

    “What’s your thought on Man of Steel? How much hope do you have for this movie?” Here’s the recap.

    1) I’m pessimistic about WB/DC in general–besides movies directed by Nolan, their track record is pretty poor. WB’s non-Batman DC movies (Catwoman, Constantine, Superman Returns, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, Jonah Hex, and Green Lantern) have averaged 44% on Rotten Tomatoes since 2000 and 35% since 2007. In particular, WB/DC has really struggled when it comes to giving characters likable and memorable personalities–for example, Superman Returns’ Superman was sort of creepy and Green Lantern was an extremely unlikable man-child.

    2) I’m pessimistic about Superman in general. First, his personality is hard to make interesting in a movie. He has very little dramatic range between 100% heroic and 100% unlikable (e.g. being a deadbeat dad and spying on Lois Lane). In contrast, I really sympathized with characters like Spider-Man and Batman and Tony Stark even as they did objectionable things (e.g. letting the robber go–I can definitely relate to that decision, even though it wasn’t the purely heroic thing to do).

    2.1) Man of Steel’s trailer doesn’t suggest much in the way of an interesting personality. The voiceover (probably Pa Kent) says, “You’re not just anyone. One day you’re going to have to make a choice. You have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be. Whoever that man is, good character or bad, he’s going to change the world.” That all applies to pretty much every superhero story… generally, I’d recommend marketing a product on what makes it unique. For example, I thought Dark Knight’s trailer did a much better job setting up what was at stake and what the characters would have to do to succeed. (E.g. “I’ve seen what I would have to become to stop men like him” hints at an interesting internal moral conflict, which is more than we got from Man of Steel’s trailer). It also had more charm (e.g. “Rachel’s told me everything about you”/”I certainly hope not”).

    2.2) Iron Man’s trailer did more in 10 seconds than Man of Steel did in a minute and a half. “Mr. Stark, you’ve been called the Da Vinci of our time. What do you say to that?” “Absolutely ridiculous. I don’t paint.” “What do you say to your other nickname, the Merchant of Death?” “That’s not bad.” Again, we see some personality, some charm and some hint of an interesting conflict. The MoS missed all three completely.

    3) Superman’s side-cast is weak, especially his villains. Whereas Batman and Spider-Man each have at least five villains that could make an excellent action movie, none come to mind for Superman. In particular, Lex Luthor is one-dimensionally evil, is more comical than threatening, and his capabilities are such a mismatch for Superman’s that he doesn’t actually present a challenge for Superman. That said, I think General Zod is perhaps the most promising of an exceedingly disappointing lineup.

    3.1) Superman’s action sequences are very lackluster. I think this is mainly caused by his hard-to-challenge superpowers. For example, Nightcrawler used teleportation and the Secret Service to create an incredible White House scene. In contrast, if Superman had done the same scene, it would have been really boring because there is just no challenge for someone who moves that fast and is immune to bullets. I think heroes like Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine have fared substantially better at the movies in part because their capabilities are more limited. (As for Iron Man, I think he succeeds more on the basis on personality/charm/humor than the quality of his action).

  56. Nayanon 08 Oct 2012 at 8:15 am

    Superman has proved that ‘too much of anything is bad’. Too much power. A bullet to eye has no effect? Revesing the rotation of earth to turn back time? Oh please. What a foolish idea! Even if we assume that someone is able to reverse the rotation of earth, but how can time be turned back by that.

  57. Anonymouson 08 Oct 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I think Supes is pretty much screwed. If anyone tris to reboot him, there will be a lost fuss because he’s so iconic that any drastic changes that could make him interesting may not be taken well (like A. N. Onymous for example). But then people won’t really buy his titles or see his movies because they haven’t been good. He can’t move forward or afford to stand still.

    Unless someone comes along and can do wonders with him as is, I fear there’s really no hope.

  58. Dr. Vo Spaderon 13 Dec 2012 at 5:58 pm

    @B. Mac,

    Have you seen the new “Man of Steel” trailer? I think it looks promising. Snyder may have red this article for tips!

  59. Dr. Vo Spaderon 13 Dec 2012 at 5:59 pm

    P.S. – The antagonist appears to be General Zod, which is a fantastic choice.

  60. Nayanon 13 Dec 2012 at 8:08 pm

    The new trailer delivers a lot of promise. I feel that this film will be a lot better than the last one.

  61. B. McKenzieon 14 Dec 2012 at 12:25 am

    I have. I think it’s better than the first one–less generic–but my main concern is that it strikes me as sort of boring.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply