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#1 Edited by Bezza (3719 posts) - - Show Bio

Since I've been on Comic Vine I've noticed several things. The main thing is that Batman appears to be by far the most popular character, but also that Superman is generally seen as un-cool. The top 10 DC characters poll saw very few people place him as number one. The MOS Film has tried to take superman in a new direction and upset many superman fans. It initially did well at the Box Office but seems likely to fall well short of Iron Man 3 and The Avengers. The lack of a decent film prior to MOS for a generation also means a lot of younger comic book fans are growing up as Iron Man fans, or Hulk, Wolverine, Spiderman fans. Then we have big blockbuster films such as Transformers and Pacific Rim featuring massive robots and huge tech being so popular. So this is a genuine question from a long standing Superman fan, "has he had his day?" Is the largely analogue Superman, a character created 75 years ago in a different type of society, just too outdated now and "un-cool"? The grittier darker, more realistic Batman seems to fit better with a more pessimistic 21st century society than the optimistic, moral and almost god like Superman who went down well in the post WW2 era of discovery. I see most kids my way wearing Iron Man T shirts and older guys with stuff sporting the big "S". Iron Man is modern and tech based, so kids love him. So is Superman in danger of losing his number 1 perch in the superhero universe, or do you think after a few more MOS films he will still be popular in say a decade time?

#2 Edited by joshmightbe (24937 posts) - - Show Bio

He's still one of DCs top sellers and a movie doesn't need to make a billion dollars to be a success

#3 Edited by Wolverine08 (43554 posts) - - Show Bio

Yup, Supes is in danger of losing his top spot. He has the unlucky problem of not being marketed as well as other heroes in this era, and his happy and optimistic persona isn't really catching to the people of today (me included). The public seems to gravitate towards tortured, dark heroes like Batman, Hulk, Wolverine, etc.

#4 Edited by JediXMan (30884 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman, without the marketing, is still the most well known comic book superhero.

So... no.

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#5 Edited by Night Thrasher (3698 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman is going to last forever. Whether people hate him or not. The fact is he's the Yankees of comics.

#6 Posted by organikz (3 posts) - - Show Bio

As more mature comic book readers, maybe we tend to stray away from Superman because of his unrealistic powers -- but think about the sense of awe and wonder Superman instilled in you as a kid. For many people, Superman was their introduction to comic books and he's still arguably the most widely recognized one in the entire world. That still has to count for something. Comic books aren't always about what's grim and gritty and realistic but about escapism, witnessing the unbelievable and unfathomable, and having fun. Not fair to say he's had his day yet.

#7 Edited by joshmightbe (24937 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm actually starting to hate the whole dark and gritty thing because everything is going dark and gritty, we need Superman in comics as that beacon of hope and optimism now more than ever if you ask me because if I see one more anti-hero going all Punisher on a villain that is actually less awful than him I think I'll puke and this is coming from an actual Punisher fan.

#8 Posted by Wolverine08 (43554 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe: But should everything be hopeful and optimistic? I think we need an even mixture of dark/gritty and hopeful/optimistic even though I prefer dark.

#9 Posted by batmannflash (6224 posts) - - Show Bio

He is the most well known hero in comics ever. He will be for a loooong time. Doesnt matter when other characters are more liked than Superman, he'll always be the most well known. You can't change that. His name is passed through generation. Yes, he is not as appealing to general public anymore but he will sell a lot and will be near, if not, at the top.

#10 Edited by Immortal777 (7671 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman has been and will continue to be the most well known and popular superhero.

#11 Posted by joshmightbe (24937 posts) - - Show Bio

@organikz said:

As more mature comic book readers, maybe we tend to stray away from Superman because of his unrealistic powers -- but think about the sense of awe and wonder Superman instilled in you as a kid. For many people, Superman was their introduction to comic books and he's still arguably the most widely recognized one in the entire world. That still has to count for something. Comic books aren't always about what's grim and gritty and realistic but about escapism, witnessing the unbelievable and unfathomable, and having fun. Not fair to say he's had his day yet.

I hate when people bring up the unrealistic powers argument against Superman, it just shows a base lack of imagination, especially considering how unrealistic most of the "Realistic" heroes are, If Batman we're realistic his excersize routine alone would make him to damn tired to actually fight crime not to mention he'd be pretty much crippled with arthritis and probably severely brain damaged if he did manage to do the things he does due to the thousands of injuries he's sustained so not only would he not be a genius, he probably wouldn't be able to tie his shoes on his own.

#12 Posted by joshmightbe (24937 posts) - - Show Bio

@wolverine08: I would prefer a well balanced mix because if everything is the same then everything starts to suck

#13 Posted by Strongarm (5857 posts) - - Show Bio

In the words of Grant Morrison [Flex Mentallo]

"Only a bitter little adolescent boy could confuse realism with pessimism."

#14 Edited by SmashBrawler (5942 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman said:

Superman, without the marketing, is still the most well known comic book superhero.

So... no.

Pretty much. Superman didn't have single live-action movie for almost 20 years (and his two last movies at that time were crap) yet he still was as present as ever.

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#15 Posted by joshmightbe (24937 posts) - - Show Bio

@smashbrawler: During that 20 year absence he did have one of DC's best animated series tho, sure Batman TAS was better but that was better than damn near everything else on TV at the time regardless of genre so its not really a fair comparison.

#16 Posted by jumpstart55 (2279 posts) - - Show Bio

Has Superman had his day?

Off course not, Superman is an enduring American Icon whose legacy will last countless generations from now.

Man of Steel will only add to Superman's legacy.

And of course Iron Man 3 is going to most likely out perform Man of steel, it is an origin movie after all, and those kind of films always have a modest Success at the box office, i.e, Iron man(2008), Batman Begins, to name a few. Even if Man Of Steel doesn't pass the billion dollar benchmark this year around, i guarantee you Man Of Steel 2 will most definitely.

#17 Edited by SmashBrawler (5942 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe: True, and he also had Smallville. Still, I don't think he's doing half as bad as the OP is suggesting.

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#18 Posted by joshmightbe (24937 posts) - - Show Bio

@smashbrawler: I'm fairly certain the Superman name recognition alone was keeping Smallville on the air for season 6 through 8 considering how awful those years were.

#19 Posted by SmashBrawler (5942 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe: Yeah, but by that time Superman Returns had already come out so they don't really count :P

I think Superman has proved that he's more than just a superhero by now, he's a timeless pop culture icon. You can't say the same thing about Iron Man, for example.

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#20 Edited by Strider92 (16721 posts) - - Show Bio

Popularity is a subjective thing. However characters like Superman, Batman and Spider-man have reached Icon status. They are at point that even people who don't read or even like comics have heard of them and seen them on a reasonably regular basis and appear in media that may not even normally concern them. Their level of popularity may rise and fall with the flavor of the month (ie: characters like Iron Man etc....) but in the long-term all of these 3 will outlast nearly any other comic character compared to them.

#21 Posted by joshmightbe (24937 posts) - - Show Bio

@strider92: Superman is so famous that his supporting cast has become more famous than entire legions of super heroes. Jimmy Olsen is IMO one of the least interesting characters in comic history and yet due to his association with Superman he's more well known than most Marvel characters combined, there are probably people in third world countries that have never seen a comic that know who Perry White is because of Superman whether people admit it or not that means Superman is on a totally different level of fame than pretty much every Super hero aside from Batman, Superman's fame can now be compared with mythological characters such as Hercules and Achilles as far as I'm concerned.

#22 Posted by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman cashed in all his chips with the Death of Superman storyline and all of comics hasn't really recovered since. Consider this nsfw recap if you're not familiar with that storyline:

#23 Edited by Strider92 (16721 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe: Before Comicvine id never heard of Jimmy Olsen where as i'd heard of Wolverine, Batman etc.... Perry White is not a character i've encountered either. She one Supermans love interests? The only one I know is Lois Lane.

#24 Posted by Eternal19 (2076 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman comics are selling pretty well right now. The movie had mixed reviews by critics, but it still made a whole lot of money. So, ill say no. Superman is going to be around for a long time

#25 Posted by GodTriggerHulk (1998 posts) - - Show Bio

He's certainly not as big as he once was.

#26 Posted by _Black (2302 posts) - - Show Bio

You kinda said it yourself: he's been around for 75 years. He's not going anywhere.

#27 Posted by joshmightbe (24937 posts) - - Show Bio

@strider92: Perry White is the editor of the Daily Planet, he's been in most Superman comics prior to the new 52, he's been in every live action and animated Superman TV series, and every single Superman movie.

#28 Edited by JulieDC (1004 posts) - - Show Bio

I do think it is a challenge to make him relevant to the 21st century without compromising his core values. I feel like he is an acquired taste, you have to have a certain amount of curiosity and appreciation for what makes his character what he is in order to enjoy his stories. Too easily he is accused of being overpowered or boring but those are people that tend to have poor understanding of or an unwillingness to get to know Superman.

#29 Posted by hart7668 (2294 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman is not only a legendary comic book figure, he's a national symbol. Superman is as American as George Washington. I agree in saying Superman is now a figure of mythology - American myth, but a myth nonetheless.

#30 Posted by i_like_swords (15729 posts) - - Show Bio

Short answer.. no. He's the OG and he'll likely always remain that way.

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#31 Posted by joshmightbe (24937 posts) - - Show Bio

@hart7668: I'm willing to bet that if humanity is still around in a thousand years Superman will be part of some college course of 20 and 21st century Mythology.

#32 Posted by Lvenger (20667 posts) - - Show Bio

He's been around for the last 75 years and endured that just fine. Why would this be up for debate when he's reached an iconic status amongst fictional characters rivalled by the likes of Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse or Harry Potter.

#33 Posted by Black_Claw (3007 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman has been and always will be an Icon. Hell, his symbol is the second most recognizable symbol in the world after the cross and that's saying something. He'll be fine.

#34 Posted by Strider92 (16721 posts) - - Show Bio

@lvenger: I agree with the others but Harry Potter is on Icon status? O.O News to me.

#35 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio

Iron Man 3 is coming off the coattails of The Avengers, plus didn't have any competition for 3 weeks. MOS is coming off Superman Return. Plus its a reboot.

#36 Posted by Wolverine08 (43554 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not a Superman fan, but I would like to him succeed, and if DC wants that to happen I think they need to adapt him to this day and age. Most young people getting into comics today aren't looking for a happy optimistic guy, which is why is why guys like Wolverine, Batman, etc. are improving in popularity while Superman is still an icon, he isn't popular.

#37 Posted by Lvenger (20667 posts) - - Show Bio

@strider92: Millions of kids and adults around the world know his name. And the films have certainly helped too. He's certainly close to iconic status.

#38 Posted by batmannflash (6224 posts) - - Show Bio

@wolverine08: I like the dark and gritty heroes (Wolverine, Batman) but the biggest reason I like Superman is because of his great ability to instill hope on Earth and become a public icon who inspires the citizens. I like him because he is the happy, optimistic guy (like Barry Allen). Nowadays, people are trying to make Superman dark and gritty, which I don't like. I think people will always check out Superman comic books because he is extremely famous. As long as the story is good, they'll keep reading and keep Superman alive.

#39 Posted by JLDoom (2310 posts) - - Show Bio

@wolverine08: I like the dark and gritty heroes (Wolverine, Batman) but the biggest reason I like Superman is because of his great ability to instill hope on Earth and become a public icon who inspires the citizens. I like him because he is the happy, optimistic guy (like Barry Allen). Nowadays, people are trying to make Superman dark and gritty, which I don't like. I think people will always check out Superman comic books because he is extremely famous. As long as the story is good, they'll keep reading and keep Superman alive.

I wholeheartedly agree. I don't think changing Superman is the right thing to do.

#40 Posted by Wolverine08 (43554 posts) - - Show Bio

@batmannflash:

I don't Supes should be dark and gritty (Leave that to Batman, Wolverine, etc.) but I think DC has to make a conscientious effort to show that Superman isn't a corny, happy guy. They need to show that he is a symbol of hope and happiness, he's still a serious guy.

#41 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio

When darkness is dominant, that's where Superman shines the brightest.

#42 Posted by JLDoom (2310 posts) - - Show Bio

@wolverine08: But Superman isn't a corny, happy guy, he's been on plenty of good, serious stories. No offense, but I recommend reading some Superman comics because that's kind of an shallow view of the character. It's like saying all Batman stories are about him solving a crime using a Bat-something or that all of Wolverine's stories are about him slashing bad guys and nothing else.

#43 Edited by Wolverine08 (43554 posts) - - Show Bio

@jldoom:

I don't think Superman is a corny, happy guy. That is the stereotype the public has bought into, and DC has to make a conscientious effort to dispel that (false) streotype.

#44 Posted by JLDoom (2310 posts) - - Show Bio

@wolverine08: That's a 30-year old stereotype, I think anyone who gets fooled by it seriously needs to inform themselves on the character. Also, I don't know what conscious effort do you mean, they've already done tons of serious stories with him. Man of Steel wasn't a family-friendly whimsical story either.

#45 Edited by BaneStrokeLoboGrundyBatArrow (1394 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman may never have his day. But who cares I like him

#46 Posted by CODYSF (2053 posts) - - Show Bio

@jumpstart55:

Yup Man Of Steel 2 will break records and Man Of Steel did a great job for origen and broke records for not being a sequel.

#47 Posted by Lvenger (20667 posts) - - Show Bio

@wolverine08: What's So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way, Must There be a Superman, For The Man Who has Everything, I can list more serious stories with Superman in that show he's not a shallow boy scout but a pricipled symbol of virtue for humanity to aspire to above the darkness and grittiness of many comic book characters today.

#48 Posted by Wolverine08 (43554 posts) - - Show Bio

@jldoom:

Man of Steel had a serious story, and there was backlash against it because it didn't fit people's idea of Superman being a whimsical guy. That shows that people still need to be informed that Supes is a serious character.

#49 Posted by Wolverine08 (43554 posts) - - Show Bio

@lvenger:

I didn't say there is anything funny or non serious about Superman.

#50 Posted by SandMan_ (4528 posts) - - Show Bio

@wolverine08: its true of what you say....but who is to blame for that perception?