Quote:The questions is HOW they would have changed. I believe that if Byrne did his stories without his total reboot things would be different. It was Byrne's reboot of the origin/character that changed some FUNDAMENTAL THINGS BIG TIME!
Quote:But if that reboot didn't happen, I believe the character as we know him from Pre-Crisis would have remained more in tact; without all the "farmboy" and "clark is who I am" stuff becoming front and center; among several other things. Further, it could have prevented such a divided fanbase.
We aren't all that far apart on our view that something of the mythical nature of the character and canon was lost with the reboot in 1986, and I do feel some of that essence has begun to return within the last decade, possibly thanks to a return to the more traditional interpretation of Clark kent, which helps to restore the sharp dividing line between the two individual and distinct personas of Kent and Superman. But preferences aside I all the same accept and respect that in 1985 change and updating was needed, and not just for Superman - The Flash, and particularly Wonder Woman, were in a far far worse shape by that point in time.
But in all frankness John Byrne's contribution to the reboot was that HE was chosen, it could have been someone else, Alan Moore for one was a name in the running. It is also fairly well known that around the same time Cary Bates had submitted his own proposal for revamping the character and reducing his powerlevel, Marv Wolfman had undertaken his own attempt just two to three years earlier to modernise the character, and if his own word is to be believed even if John Byrne had not been ordered to do a complete restart of the character in the wake of the Crisis, he would still have completely revamped him from where he was set at the time:
Quote:JB, I can't find it anywhere but I believe you've told us before. Care to refresh our memory as to what your original in-continuity proposal for Superman was, before the reboot was proposed?
John Byrne 2014 - "It was fairly simple. A cataclysm occurs which sends Superman on a quest to set things right. In the end, it requires him to start over from square one."
Quote:John Byrne 2016 - "MAN OF STEEL was totally unnecessary. When I accepted the assignment, I expected to spend six months or a year doing stories that would guide Superman back to where I thought he should be. It was the Powers That Were at DC that insisted on a 'reboot'."
Reflect on those times (1985/6) and virtually no mainstream title or character at DC or Marvel was being treated the same way they had been just five-to-ten years ago - the zeitgeist was changing rapidly, getting darker and more sophisticated than the childrens audience comics traditionally aimed for. The Incredible Hulk had seen the demise of the classic childlike Hulk with issue 271 in 1982, The Mighty Thor had seen Walt Simonson arrive a year later, Iron Man went through a major shift that saw a radically new look emerge by issue #200, Daredevil had Frank Miller, The X-Men went from bright superhero costumes to a more streetlevel sensibility.
At DC the murder of the Reverse-Flash took The Flash into a direction no other comics character had experienced not on this scale. The classic Justice League was disbanded and replaced by a completely new line-up of largely younger characters based in Detroit. Green Lantern had been replaced by John Stewart. Alan Moore had arrived on Swamp Thing, and then the Crisis....
No. Considering all of the changes the superhero genre was going through and the shift in audience preferences DC was always going to have to do something quite radical by 1985. At the time Superman was in quite a reasonable position, I certainly still enjoyed the main titles (particularly when not weighed down with obvious fill-in material), but look to the terminal condition of Wonder Woman and The Flash at that time and much like Batman Superman was being drawn into a position where major major attention was going to have to be given to rethinking the books and characters, just as Julius Schwartz last did over a decade earlier a programme undertaken to get the audience to pay attention to these characters again. We saw a game effort from Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane in 1983 towards this end, but as with the Roy Thomas/Gene Colan Wonder Woman a more forceful commitment from DC was needed if that attempt was going to succeed and act as the catalyst for true change. Which is almost certainly why the nuclear option of Crisis on Infinite Earths was eventually dictated - to ensure a real change DID happen. And that this time it would have to be adapted to.
(But was Anyone talking about Superman by 1985...?)
The nearly all powerful Superman, with a defined moral code and compass though would seem to be the center the new DCU could really use in their rebirth!