Man Of Steel

Comics used to be thought of as less than.  Eventually, partly because of the gradual shift in movie making capabilities and an aging populace (among other things), comics became graphic novels.  For better or worse, storylines entered into an amorphous area and became less cut and dry; less black and white over the years.

The lone hold out, the one character that everybody knows and who never compromised his values of “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” was Superman.  To a point anyway.

Nearly sixty years after his inception he became passe.  Writers in the early nineties eventually wrote the script of his death and carried on from there, recreating Superman for a new generation.  The frustration of fans, speaking for myself here, is that they simply didn’t know what to do with a character that is all good, all the time. They had no basis themselves to project the sort of inherent values that Superman represented.  The graphic novels became movies and the movies became a mirror of society but though the writers have had control the entire time, weaving narratives and creating messes to clean along the way, Superman was alien in more ways than we’re familiar with.

Each war, each step, decade after decade he fought with the winners.  Later, much later, he became a symbol of hope right around the time that hope became a slogan signaling a certain cause.  He was depicted less as a muscle and more of an alien.  The writers even did a one off story about his Kryptonian ship crash landing in another country and Superman of course adopted those other values.  More recently, he became a citizen of the world (whatever that means). His powers started to wane and now his son has taken up the mantle of Superman as of late.

Enter the latest earth shattering story angle.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in your own ‘Fortress of Solitude’ you probably know the newest angle.  It really shouldn’t seem that strange or be a shock except that the writer who has penned this script seems to have forgotten that Superman, in whatever iteration of the character, has always fought for and stood up for the downtrodden under one simple umbrella; Truth, Justice, and the American Way.  To divvy up this role seems a bit odd considering that unification was the stated goal from the inception of the greatest superhero ever.  Why stop now?  How can he continue saving the world when this or that is at the forefront?

It’s been said this was done disingenuously as just a way to sell copies of a new story.  If we are being honest, let’s hope that it’s not the case.  You would actually want the only capable hero who’s conquered almost every imaginable foe to address this issue head on and with a giant leap in the right direction.  Though again, at the outset it looks as if they’ve got it all wrong.

If Superman is the manifestation of people’s hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow then Mr. Kent must be an outward projection of fumbling, bumbling, mumbling writers.

Just a thought.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *