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Location: Lancashire
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Member Since: Thu May 07, 2009
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Subj: Re: Do you think DOOMSDAY CLOCK will address Pre-Crisis Superman?
Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 08:27:57 am EDT (Viewed 136 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Do you think DOOMSDAY CLOCK will address Pre-Crisis Superman?
Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 06:19:22 pm EDT (Viewed 134 times)

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    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.

The need for change is definitely a driving force behind the nuclear option; however, with Superman, there was in no small part the desire to shed his weighty history and continuity. Superman not being Superboy, having no Kryptonian connections, no Krypto, no Supergirl, meant for a much, much easier lift. . .and most writers, editors, creators, etc. agreed that Superman was not an easy character to approach.

The trouble with the nuclear option? You can only do it once, which is while it was successful, it was a device that could not be used with efficacy more than once. QED the repeated attempts at trying to reboot Superman that could never equal what was done in 1986, just as Superman vs Doomsday was also a watershed and singular moment.

The big difference in Marvel's approach was that they didn't burn down the barn to build it up. Bruce Banner was in control of the Hulk, Jim Rhodes became Iron Man, Spider-Man changed his outfit, which was alive, unbeknownst to him. Beta Ray Bill showed he was also worthy, and Ragnarok brought the "death of Odin". None of these storylines closed off the history of the character. Instead of burning down the house, Marvel made additions which could be accessed, or not, in the future. Superman was placed on a path that could only lead to one outcome, and when change was needed once more, they couldn't execute it. They still cannot execute it.

Imagine a writer who is actually interested in Superman's Kryptonian heritage if only for the technology. The amount of stories that could be mined, and so easily. Instead, the Fortress of Solitude is a shinier version of the Batcave, and the advanced science of Krypton seems staid. There is no need to imagine of such advancements, because Superman has little connection to it. Adventures in space or other dimensions are limited, as Dc wants Superman to be grounded, even if he runs aground in doing so. Instead of compelling villains, we're given shock value situations with Jor-El, Superboy Prime, and Lex Luthor wanting to be a hero. Much was gained by the reboot, but even more was forgotten, and done so purposefully.

Again, change was needed, and change will be continually needed, but I do hope DC has learned its lesson with going nuclear after 2011. I would like to see DC tap writers for Superman who have BIG ideas, and no fear of the character. . .but also have an understanding of him as well. There is no need of desconstruction, or shock value. It goes to what Elliot S! Maggin has said about Superman: "You've all the power in the world. Now, what do you do with it?"

Those are all very good points, and I agree with them fully for the most part. We're at a curious point in Superman mythology where after various (discarded) revamps the character is straddling a line between the pre-1986 era and the post-1986 landscape; there is a good deal of circumstantial evidence that he could traverse into deep space again for example, but no writer/editor wants to admit to or develop that possibility. Instead he is limited to earth in the same way he was post-1986. There is a clear evidence of his ability to build complex technology (The Phantom Zone projector), but no writer or editor wants to develop this latent gift for scientific/engineering genius. Perhaps worst of all as you say is the Fortress of Solitude, once a second home, a visual marvel filled with wonders, now diminished to a shapeless ill-defined bolthole lost in the artic wastes. These three points are what help to seperate the Superman before 1986 from the one that came after, and yet despite a shift back to the traditional props of the Pre-Crisis none of them seem to be being fully embraced and exploited. It does feel an odd situation...

One thing that strikes me about the current "Jor-el survived" plot is that by having Jor the scientist about to tread the earth, and quite possibly be more powerful/able than Superman himself, there is unintentionally the return of the Pre-Crisis Superman. The scientist Superman. Or rather the ingenious Superman. The one who would use his powers in imaginative and novel ways, or fall back on his huge well of scientific know-how to help resolve a particular problem.
I have respect for both these era's of Supermen, but at this point in time I do share in your view that it is past time that these limitations placed on the character thirty years ago were confronted and a meeting point between the treatments found. To his credit Dan Jurgens seemed to acknowledge the problems in holding on to the 1986 treatment early in his current run on Action Comics, the final battle against Doomsday being a case in point, then there was the implied fact that General Zod and family actually flew to another distant world shortly after... and yet the character and his capabilities are doggedly still being adhered to in the very same way as the post-Crisis Man of Steel.

I do suspect the simple truth of the matter is that that is all writers today know however... no one knows how to write a Superman who is very clever, very able, and very much aware of out there.