Robot 6

Quote of the Day | Superman is ‘more relevant now than ever’

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“Everyone’s like, ‘He’s so powerful, I can’t relate to him.’ Are you kidding me? He’s the most relatable character ever. He grew up on a farm, he doesn’t have a lot of friends, feels isolated, he can’t tell everybody what his secrets are. He’s a great character. He feels overlooked — who hasn’t felt overlooked, or wanted to connect with people? All social media is, is people wanting to connect with other people. That’s all it is. Because people long to connect with other people. And Superman is the embodiment of that. He’s more relevant now than ever.”

Geoff Johns, discussing his approach to “a human Superman” in “The Men of Tomorrow” storyline

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29 Comments

One reason I’ve always found Superman comics very relatable is that my favorite ones frequently depict the internal monologue of the character. You get to see what it feels like to be Superman and how he encounters and solves problems.

I’ve occasionally thought about what a comic adaptation of the “Man of Steel” movie would be like if it was written in the style of John Byrne’s “Man of Steel” limited series. I think I’d probably like it. The main reason I hated that movie was that Superman was a silent cypher for most of it. If I read a comic that depicted the exact same events as “Man of Steel,” but where the reader was privy to Superman’s internal thought process, it would probably be excellent.

Film and television have their own version of thought bubbles: the standard device is to zoom in on a character’s face and play dialogue with a slight echo while the character’s lips aren’t moving. It’s rarely used nowadays, but I wish it was. In movies with a lot of dialogue it’s probably unnecessary, but in movies where the character is silent for long periods of time it would help stop them from becoming a cypher (unless they are meant to be a cypher, of course.

Johnny_Thunders

August 5, 2014 at 11:23 am

I agree with Johns. Superman is relevant.

But it’s a shame that DC’s executive team, including Geoff, seem thoroughly incapable to comprehend their own characters.

@Eric Lee

The response I like to give to the “overpowered” argument is that by that logic we should only write historical fiction, since modern day people and societies are overpowered compared to past ones.

I mean look at what fantastic powers I have compared to a Medieval peasant:
-Immunity to deadly diseases.
-Ability to purchase weapons that can kill dangerous animals easily.
-Ability to look at symbols on pieces of paper and convert them into words.
-Enhanced intelligence from a combination of modern education and adequate nutrition.
-Ability to communicate over vast distances.
-Ability to travel vast distances.

No modern person living in a first world country is relevant. We’re all too overpowered!

I will say that the current power level for Supes is a bit over-the-top. He can bench press the Earth? Repeatedly? By putting his power level that high it makes him almost unstoppable. Only Darkseid is a reasonable foe. It just seems they left nowhere to go with that.

I hear more “He’s so boring” than I do “He’s so powerful.”

Johnny_Thunders sums that up for me exactly. Superman is relatable, but no one at DC or Warners seems to want to make him that way.

He should be ‘relevant’, sure, but that would take a proper depiction of the character in some form, but alas DC is unable to make him, and basically most of their characters, relatable or have an unique voice.

Right now, Superman is more ‘Batman’ than ever.

They just need to stop making every character who isn’t Batman fit into Batman’s formula. It’s like they’re ashamed that they inherited a cast of brightly-colored and somewhat camp characters. They need to embrace it!

Don’t know about Superman being relevant or not, but I do know that DC is more irrelevant now than ever. Their comics have sucked buffalo balls for three full years and their movies can’t hold a candle to what Marvel has accomplished.

@Johnny Thunders – You are so right which is amuses me and makes me sad that Johns is the person writing him. I feel worse for JRJR. Finally gets to draw Superman and he’s nowhere to be seen.

Geoff is a guy full of good intentions. It’s a shame that his poor writing skills can’t catch up with his enthusiasm.

@Johnny thunders, @badthingus do you have a real problem with the superman title? Two issues in. I think Geoff is doing a great job! I also think Pak and soule have been doing a good job characterizing superman. What don’t you like about it?

I’ve never seen Superman/ Clark Kent as a loner type, brooding about how he has no friends. My idea of Superman is similar to the Christopher Reeve version – charming, confident, and above all empathetic to everyone around him. But also ready to open up a can of whup-ass when he needs to. Sure, he has his doubts, but mainly in regards to ‘is he doing enough? Can’t he save more people? Do more good?’

Superman needs to smile more – if you can fly, you wouldn’t stop smiling, no matter how bad things were getting.

This is the first time Geoff Johns has ever said anything smart. Bravo!

Superman/Clark would be more relatable to me if he were married to Lois Lane, and I’m not even married!

Flávio Martins

August 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm

In less than 15 minutes, this topic went full “anti-DC/anti-Geoff Johns” mode. (sigh) This quote by Grant Morrison becomes more relevant each day: “Comics were definitely happier, breezier and more confident in their own strengths before Hollywood and the Internet turned the business of writing superhero stories into the production of low budget storyboards or, worse, into conformist, fruitless attempts to impress or entertain a small group of people who appear to hate comics and their creators.”

@Flávio Martins

And, how are you helping, exactly? At the very least, everyone’s comment beside your and mine and that other guy’s are on topic.

@Flávio Martins

This is one of the problems with DC today: too much passive followers.
They can get away with almost anything.

P.S. an important detail in your discourse is that, unlike Johns, Grant Morrison is a good writer.

Can anyone tell me what Geoff has done WRONG with the superman title? So far I hear a lot of anger, but not much in the way of specifics. Everything Geoff has written for superman so far has been in line with this statement

Just N. Beebah

August 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I see why only 2% of the population signs up for military service & why the military is constantly needing to suck more service from the dwindling stock of folk they have….the rest of you pseudomen are fighting imaginary battles in your heads wearing nothing but multicolored long johns & one of your mom’s bathroom towels around your shoulders. Look, it’s time to grow up children. Put the comics away. Stop playing the video games. And, most importantly, step away from the action figures.
They’re for the kiddies.

@Just N. Beebah

Go buy a one-way ticket to the Gaza strip and leave us alone with our imaginary battles, “Mister Military Service”.

@Just N. Beebah
The difference is we know it’s fiction. Meanwhile, you’re fighting a bull5h1t war fueled by idiot politicians, because you’re a puppet, which must really piss you off. You’re an expendable resource in another man’s war. We’re just reading books. You come to an article about Superman and attack comic fans? Do you have any idea how much of a pu55y that makes you sound like? What do you do with your free time? Crochet? You know why there is only that 2%? Because only 2% of the population is stupid enough to work for the government, or join the military, and judging from your post, it’s pretty obvious why we the US military can’t win a war against a bunch of cave-dwelling dirt merchants…only the dumbest of the dumb seem to be enlisting.

Just in my own opinion, Spider-Man is a more relatable character than Superman. Spidey has all the qualities that were listed in the quote, but you swap out the farm for living with his aunt and going to high school. Superman is constantly looked at as a god and savior while Spider-Man is too often vilified, mostly from the Daily Bugle, but vilified none the less.

Relevant – yes

Relatable – not really (at least for me)

Growing up on a farm is so relatable in the 21st c

Did a lot of people grow up on farms and live isolated lives full of secrets? Doesn’t sound relatable to me as an individual, or the majority of people I know.

@Flávio Martins

Yeah fuck criticism! Who needs critics? All art should be supplied by the artist from high atop their ivory tower and the lowly consumers should just shut up and never respond with their thoughts and feelings. Art isn’t a dialogue! It’s a jeremiad!

I disagree with the argument that only Darkseid is a reasonable foe:

Doomsday came about as close as you can get to actually KILLING Superman. DC Comics and the world held an actual comic book FUNERAL for him in the early 90’s.

Lex Luthor beat the daylights out of him when Mister Mxyzptlk stripped him of his powers courtesy of a chunk of fake Red-K that he gave to Luthor in Superman #49. By the way, I might add that Superman is vulnerable to magic, making Mister Mxyzptlk particularly dangerous to Superman.

Metallo is another dangerous villain of Superman. What could be more dangerous to Superman than a robot with a Kryptonite powered heart?

The Cyborg Hank Henshaw is also a dangerous threat to Superman.

Mongul came quite close to killing Superman also.

The Parasite has also gone toe to toe with Superman as well.

Bizarro, Superman’s imperfect duplicate, despite being mentally deficient, possesses all of Superman’s powers and abilities, and is vulnerable only to Blue-K (harmless to Superman, and sometimes even beneficial, especially at reversing the effects of Red-K), and immune to Green-K, which is dangerous to all Kryptonians.

Lex Luthor probably remains still Superman’s most dangerous adversary.

There. I’ve named at least five villains at least, if not more dangerous to Superman than Darkseid.

Correction. I named SEVEN villains.

Flávio Martins is misunderstood. I agree with Grant Morrison’s statement, comics became a low budget storyboard for Hollywood. It seems many people are fascinated because many movies based in comics are blockbusters and forgot the value of comics as art itself. It’s a shame that today comics have a subservient role as mere assistant to cinema and TV productions.
The best “popcorn movies” made in Hollywood in the last 20 years are from Pixar. Pixar’s movies have great quality and originality and are based in creators’ vision instead Marvel cinematic universe that are based in producers’ vision. It isn’t a surprise that Hollywood is trying to follow Marvel’s model and not Pixar, because to follow Pixar’s model talent is essential.

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