- Entertainment and Media
Superman - Trashing a Once Great Hero
The current Superman series reflects the paucity and mental incapability of the writers to retain the integrity and soul of the original hero. The current writers have turned Superman into a kind of Forrest Gump, walking (not running) across the nation for no known reason. Superman has lost the ability to fly. He has lost his costume and has to wear Levis -- so that we can "identify" with him. I've never seen a character so trashed in my entire existence.
And all of this is being done to sell a few more comics. If I were a billionaire, I would buy out these hack writers and place them on the island founded on "Lost." We do not need their "talents." This is not innovation. This is not creativity. This is not making an old icon relevant to a modern age. If anything, this represents a desperate move by DC to hire no-talent writers who have no emotional investment in a character that has existed since 1938.
I have no doubt that Superman will weather these hacks. He is immortal and will shrug off their ridiculous and derogatory depictions. Given time, Superman will return minus all the detritus that the current crop of writers at DC have used to besmirch his image. I am absolutely confident in this result because the symbol of Superman is much, much greater than the temporary brain hemorrhages of no-talent writers who -- for a period -- are given reign over the activities of the man of steel.
There are a multitude of ways to make Superman relevant to the early 21st Century without reducing him to the status of a lost, wandering hobo. If I were the executive editor at DC I would form a contest among children (under high school age) to come up with ideas where they would like to see Superman evolve and travel. The cumulative effort would reveal more inspiration than those who are on staff and earning an unwarranted salary.
The problem is that children are no longer reading Superman -- they can't afford to. Starting sometime in the eighties, comic books switched from being a media to be enjoyed by children and turned into a realm for adults. Some comic historian will ultimately realize that this was the death of comic books as had been known since the late thirties. Writing comics for an adult audience is an entirely different matter -- necessarily more complex and changeable.
After the "death" of Superman, adults who are still reading DC comics (or other brands) can and should expect ANYTHING. Because only one thing is clear now -- and that is the number of comics that can be sold in any given month.
The publishers, the writers, the artists, have no integrity left. It is all left to a matter of dollars and cents. With the price of comics hundreds of percent higher than the 1960s, the publishers clearly care NOTHING about their subject matter. They will construct their stories in such a way that adults keep buying their "crap." Like newspapers and magazines, the cost of production has skyrocketed, but even so it doesn't justify prostituting beloved heroes just to keep a failing industry alive.
For those who say that these changes are a good thing -- that it is a way of keeping a character relevant, I reply -- you are stupendously and absurdly wrong. If Superman could survive in his original form from 1938 until somewhere in the 90s, I do not buy that reducing him to a watered-down tramp has anything to do with character management or making him relevant to the times.
If Superman could go fifty years with his cape and red trunks, it's not relevancy that is an issue -- it's about creating a sensationalistic change that stirs reluctant buyers to dish out their hard-earned bucks.
And if you like the change, well, don't get too used to it. It won't last. Now that Superman has become as nebulous as a gas cloud, you can expect any number of ludicrous alterations -- again -- just for the sake of creating an EXCITING change.
Put Superman back into the imaginations of children and young teens. Let them explore where Superman should go, who he should confront, what powers he should hold. Leaving such criteria up to the jaded adults has been a disaster.