How would Superman actually appeal to a modern audience?

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Posted by Frozen (12662 posts) - - Show Bio

Let's face it. Superman isn't really seen as cool, yet other characters like Batman are. But, why is this? I'd wager my entire life-savings that The Dark Knight Returns helped to some extent and then The Dark Knight trilogy boosted Batman's popularity. But, what can be done to Superman to make him cool?

Maybe make him grittier?

KC Superman proved to be a grittier portrayal of the character, he still wore his underwear on the outside yet it was still a serious story. This version of Superman had been shaped by the events of destruction and chaos. Kingdom Come proved to be a popular story and was instantly regarded as a classic, some regard it as the greatest Superman story ever.

Make him hold back less?

Superman is constantly holding back. It's a fact, maybe too much as times. So, why not loosen his morals? I feel that his morals heavily restrict his character, we get that he was raised on Earth but he needs to let go a bit more. When holding back, he struggles, but when he lets go we see a true warrior. Maybe this will appeal to a younger audience?

Superman actually didn't win this fight, but physically he was creaming Darkseid. We need to see more of this.

Take away some of his powers?

Some of my friends, who have no knowledge on Comics whatsoever complain that Superman has too many powers. There is no point arguing with them, but if it really will help, maybe his power-set should be altered to something similar of Captain Marvel. That'd atleast make things simpler, one could argue that Superman doesn't use his powers but sometimes there is just no point.

These are just a few methods. I'm sure their are plenty more, but this is just my opinion. Be sure to mention others:

#1 Posted by KingofMadCows (345 posts) - - Show Bio

I think there is a lot of potential for interesting Superman stories, especially ones that deconstruct common superhero/sci-fi tropes.

In fact, the basic premise of Superman Returns had the potential to create a really interesting story. Superman leaves or disappears for a certain number of years and comes back to discover what the world has been able to achieve in his absence. They could have really explored both the positives and negatives of Superman and his absence. What if the world still managed to defeat all those super villains in Superman's absence that while at a great cost, ended up making humanity stronger? Many people perished in the battle against the likes of Atomic Skull, Intergang, Cyborg Superman, Brainiac, etc., but human civilization as a whole was made stronger in the struggle.

The technology used by those super villains were captured and reverse engineered, leading to amazing scientific breakthroughs. More effective deterrents were created to combat such threats that also led to stronger infrastructure, more efficient emergency services, and better defenses against natural disasters. A greater sense of solidarity was born out of the desire for mutual defense against such global threats as different nations and different cultures had to learn to work together to protect the earth.

Humanity as a whole may have become harsher and less forgiving but it is also stronger, wiser, more advanced, and more mature. And it wouldn't be about humanity needing or not needing Superman but more of how Superman has to deal with humanity on a different level.

#2 Posted by SmashBrawler (5599 posts) - - Show Bio

I've never considered Kingdom Come the best Superman story ever. The best Elseworlds ever? Yes, but not the best Superman story.

See, I've never been a fan of the "change character a lot so he's cooler" formula, because that feels like a writer is afraid that he won't be able to make people interested on the character alone, they have to "make him cooler". That's why All-Star Superman is my favorite Superman story ever; Morrison didn't have to radically change Superman to make him an appealing character, because he already was, and Morrison knew it.

I'm sure some of these changes will appeal to the casual fan, but the reason I've always liked Superman is because of the character he already is, not because of some short lived gritty reboot.

#3 Posted by Frozen (12662 posts) - - Show Bio

@SmashBrawler: Many people have considered Kingdom Come as one of the best.

#4 Posted by SmashBrawler (5599 posts) - - Show Bio

@Frozen said:

@SmashBrawler: Many people have considered Kingdom Come as one of the best.

I'm sure they have, and I'm not saying it's not. I'm saying it's not the best one for me.

#5 Posted by Immortal777 (7241 posts) - - Show Bio

@SmashBrawler said:

I've never considered Kingdom Come the best Superman story ever. The best Elseworlds ever? Yes, but not the best Superman story.

See, I've never been a fan of the "change character a lot so he's cooler" formula, because that feels like a writer is afraid that he won't be able to make people interested on the character alone, they have to "make him cooler". That's why All-Star Superman is my favorite Superman story ever; Morrison didn't have to radically change Superman to make him an appealing character, because he already was, and Morrison knew it.

I'm sure some of these changes will appeal to the casual fan, but the reason I've always liked Superman is because of the character he already is, not because of some short lived gritty reboot.

I agree with this

#6 Posted by Supes1903 (137 posts) - - Show Bio

My one gripe is that you mention loosening his morals and have him unleash more power. The thing is, one thing remains true for almost every version of Superman... if he doesn't hold back, he could quite literally break the planet. So if we went down the road of Superman letting a little more power fly, the stories would have to encompass leaving his battle grounds in ruins and possibly making certain areas unlivable for a certain extent of time. This alone would breed distrust and dislike for him among humanity which would go against his very being.

Also, regarding tuning back the number of powers he has is a hard one. Mainly because just about all of his powers can be explained or grouped into said powers. For example, I don't regard Heat Vision/X-Ray Vision/Microscopic Vision, Super Hearing, Super Breath as separate power sets. Those should rightfully be grouped into a super sensory category because they're basically just amplified human abilities.

#7 Posted by AtPhantom (14521 posts) - - Show Bio

There's nothing wrong with Superman.

#8 Posted by Frozen (12662 posts) - - Show Bio

@AtPhantom said:

There's nothing wrong with Superman.

I never said there was. But he does not appeal to a modern audience anymore, not the way he did in the 70s/80s.

#9 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio
  • Make him gritty- No. He's my favorite because he's capable of moving on from bad things and not being broody 24/7. He's a beacon of hope. Maybe making the world around him gritty would work, but you can't change the character's personality to something it isn't and shouldn't be.
  • Make him hold back less- The "World of Cardboard" speech sums up why he's gotta hold back, and that works well enough for me.
  • Take away some of his powers- While I can do without powers like super-breath, that won't make him more interesting. People get bored of Superman because he's "too powerful." Maybe the reason that it is is because his villains are only minor annoyances to him. Sure, you have Lex, Brainiac, and Zod, but Bizarro, Livewire, Toyman, and a whole slew of others need a power upgrade in a big bad way. Give him more magic-based villains to fight. Bring him to other worlds to fight in areas with different types of solar radiation. He's not the one who should change in that department, his villains are.
#10 Posted by Jayfournines (4024 posts) - - Show Bio

The reason I believe he doesn't appeal to modern audiences is mainly the fact that MANY people do not read comic books and merely get their facts through hearsay and what we see in movies. Let us be frank, to a young fan, the old Chris Reeves movies would suck ass because they are hokey and ridiculous by modern standards (and the Routh one was terrible), whereas the Batman properties have always enjoyed a steady element of success mainly because the adventures of a ninja in a bat suit are easier to pull off than those of a guy with a myriad of powers.

Superman is usually called overpowered, ridiculous and with terrible stories, but nothing could be further from the truth, most people that say that have never actually read a Superman comic book, or their tastes are different; Superman is not an active hero like Batman, he is a protector, as such, his stories tend to feature this aspect of him saving people are defending rather than attacking.

The latest batch of DC animated movies have proven, at least to me, that Superman can be cool as hell if written right, I mean, have you guys seen Superman vs The Elite? that's freakin awesome! One of the best portrayals of the character that I have seen in many years. Again, the only thing that's required is to give the character a chance; IMO one of the best aspects of Clark are his uncompromising morals, that's what makes him cool to me, his never say die attitude.

Also, something that irks me is people saying you can't relate to Superman as you can to Batman....and...really? you can relate to a super genius, with vast martial art abilities, who's a billionaire and a handsome ninja? I could relate easier to a guy who works a normal job, who has a normal wife, a regular family life and who does good merely because he's that kind of person....sure he's got insane powers, but that comes secondary to the character.

Anyway, Superman does not suck.

#11 Posted by chalkshark (1187 posts) - - Show Bio

Fan Favorite Writer+Fan Favorite Artist=Mass Appeal to Fan Base. That equation would hold true for any character, even a completely brand new one. There's a reason why DC reserved their best artists for the Watchman prequels. It was the only way they could guarantee sales on such polarizing titles. If Neal Gaiman and Alex Ross teamed up on a monthly Superman title, it would be DC's top seller. It would probably be the industry's top seller. The character can only ever be as good as it's creative team.

#12 Posted by AtPhantom (14521 posts) - - Show Bio

@Frozen said:

I never said there was. But he does not appeal to a modern audience anymore, not the way he did in the 70s/80s.

I disagree with that too. Modern audiences like him fine. Superman Returns outperformed Batman Begins a few years ago despite the latter being universally considered a superior movie. Honestly I find all these talks about Superman being unappealing just puzzling. His books are being read. His changes are being noticed. His movie is greatly anticipated. The only time Superman is uninteresting is when the story itself is uninteresting.

More than that, the changes you propose are basically standard issue when people think about changing Superman to make him "more appealing", but all these changes go against the core of everything Superman is. You can't do those things and still call the end result Superman.

#13 Posted by UltimateSMfan (1397 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jayfournines said:

The reason I believe he doesn't appeal to modern audiences is mainly the fact that MANY people do not read comic books and merely get their facts through hearsay and what we see in movies. Let us be frank, to a young fan, the old Chris Reeves movies would suck ass because they are hokey and ridiculous by modern standards (and the Routh one was terrible), whereas the Batman properties have always enjoyed a steady element of success mainly because the adventures of a ninja in a bat suit are easier to pull off than those of a guy with a myriad of powers.

Superman is usually called overpowered, ridiculous and with terrible stories, but nothing could be further from the truth, most people that say that have never actually read a Superman comic book, or their tastes are different; Superman is not an active hero like Batman, he is a protector, as such, his stories tend to feature this aspect of him saving people are defending rather than attacking.

The latest batch of DC animated movies have proven, at least to me, that Superman can be cool as hell if written right, I mean, have you guys seen Superman vs The Elite? that's freakin awesome! One of the best portrayals of the character that I have seen in many years. Again, the only thing that's required is to give the character a chance; IMO one of the best aspects of Clark are his uncompromising morals, that's what makes him cool to me, his never say die attitude.

Also, something that irks me is people saying you can't relate to Superman as you can to Batman....and...really? you can relate to a super genius, with vast martial art abilities, who's a billionaire and a handsome ninja? I could relate easier to a guy who works a normal job, who has a normal wife, a regular family life and who does good merely because he's that kind of person....sure he's got insane powers, but that comes secondary to the character.

Anyway, Superman does not suck.

This this a thousand times this!!!! non relatable?? haha this character is the most relatable,he's not superman 24/7, clark kent the most human guy around as stated above...normal job,normal wife(well not anymore but still) regular family, only unlike our dreamworld,its all real for him, he can take of his glasses n become a partial god,who doesn't want that?!?! superman,not appealing to modern audiences,phewy, non comic book readers shldnt be allowed to say anything on the matter,if they do, shove birthright in their face,if that doesnt appeal to them i srsly have NO idea what will. Oh and Superman vs the elite was insanely awesome!! i forced my folks to watch it n they loved it n are now off my back as to why im so obsessed with comics,superman mainly.

#14 Posted by DarthShap (875 posts) - - Show Bio

If you do not like Superman as he is, that is your problem. I do not see why he should change. You want Batman? Go read Batman! You want badass Superman? Go read a Sentry comic book or an Apollo story!

#15 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

"Gritty" isn't Superman. It's Apollo from Authority/Stormwatch.

If you don't "get" or like Superman, you haven't read the right books. I know it's easy to write him off as old fashioned and boring, but that's not necessarily true.

There are some shining examples of great Superman stories like All Star Superman and Superman for All Seasons that just nail it. When done right, Superman is inspiring.

#16 Edited by Frozen (12662 posts) - - Show Bio

@AtPhantom said:

@Frozen said:

I never said there was. But he does not appeal to a modern audience anymore, not the way he did in the 70s/80s.

I disagree with that too. Modern audiences like him fine. Superman Returns outperformed Batman Begins a few years ago despite the latter being universally considered a superior movie. Honestly I find all these talks about Superman being unappealing just puzzling. His books are being read. His changes are being noticed. His movie is greatly anticipated. The only time Superman is uninteresting is when the story itself is uninteresting.

More than that, the changes you propose are basically standard issue when people think about changing Superman to make him "more appealing", but all these changes go against the core of everything Superman is. You can't do those things and still call the end result Superman.

Superman Returns was a mess of a movie. But from what I recall, the promotion and advertising for Superman Returns was much better. There hadn't been a Superman movie for 19 years until Superman Returns. I agree that Superman is a great character, but I was just brainstorming a few changes that could be made, in my opinion that is. Man of Steel should be good however, I hope that turns out good. I'm not saying for the changes to be made or anything of the sort, they are just a few suggestions. I felt the The Dark Knight Returns did a similar thing, if you read the story, it seems like the complete opposite of what Batman is. Batman was now more violent, gritty and basically the Clint Eastwood type, everything that you don't expect Batman to be, yet the story is regarded as a classic.

Just my two cents.

#17 Posted by Lvenger (19084 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jayfournines said:

The reason I believe he doesn't appeal to modern audiences is mainly the fact that MANY people do not read comic books and merely get their facts through hearsay and what we see in movies. Let us be frank, to a young fan, the old Chris Reeves movies would suck ass because they are hokey and ridiculous by modern standards (and the Routh one was terrible), whereas the Batman properties have always enjoyed a steady element of success mainly because the adventures of a ninja in a bat suit are easier to pull off than those of a guy with a myriad of powers.

Superman is usually called overpowered, ridiculous and with terrible stories, but nothing could be further from the truth, most people that say that have never actually read a Superman comic book, or their tastes are different; Superman is not an active hero like Batman, he is a protector, as such, his stories tend to feature this aspect of him saving people are defending rather than attacking.

The latest batch of DC animated movies have proven, at least to me, that Superman can be cool as hell if written right, I mean, have you guys seen Superman vs The Elite? that's freakin awesome! One of the best portrayals of the character that I have seen in many years. Again, the only thing that's required is to give the character a chance; IMO one of the best aspects of Clark are his uncompromising morals, that's what makes him cool to me, his never say die attitude.

Also, something that irks me is people saying you can't relate to Superman as you can to Batman....and...really? you can relate to a super genius, with vast martial art abilities, who's a billionaire and a handsome ninja? I could relate easier to a guy who works a normal job, who has a normal wife, a regular family life and who does good merely because he's that kind of person....sure he's got insane powers, but that comes secondary to the character.

Anyway, Superman does not suck.

Completely and utterly this. Comments like this and others from other true Superman fans demonstrate why Superman doesn't need to be totally reworked. Superman doesn't need to be gritty as that would detract from his character. He holds back to stop himself hurting others and to be honest, he needs more threats that can truly tax him without removing his powers. Superman is just fine as he is. If more people knew about the Superman we comic fans read about, he would be a more endearing character to modern audiences. Maybe the Man of Steel can do that.

#18 Posted by Frozen (12662 posts) - - Show Bio

@DarthShap: @Crash_Recovery: I'm not saying Superman should be changed. I just think that a few changes could be made, I'm just suggesting. That is all.

#19 Posted by Frozen (12662 posts) - - Show Bio

@Crash_Recovery said:

"Gritty" isn't Superman. It's Apollo from Authority/Stormwatch.

If you don't "get" or like Superman, you haven't read the right books. I know it's easy to write him off as old fashioned and boring, but that's not necessarily true.

There are some shining examples of great Superman stories like All Star Superman and Superman for All Seasons that just nail it. When done right, Superman is inspiring.

I didn't like All Star Superman, I just felt let-down by it. But Superman for all Seasons was a classic.

#20 Posted by Jayfournines (4024 posts) - - Show Bio

Actually my favorite Superman story is from the "Grounded" storyline (granted, not one of his best arcs), I forget the issue number, but the plot centers on a little boy who is being beaten regularly by his father, and it gets to the point where the dad beats the crap outta the kid and locks him in the basement. As it turns out, Superman was walking by, and when the boy screams his name, Clark's superhearing picks up the cry...so he goes to investigate and rescues the boy.

Now, the thing that did it for me was that Superman had recently been in a battle, so his face was bruised...and when the little boy sees this he asks "does your dad hit you too?" And then we see the abusive father finding an angry Superman inside his home and stopping the situation. To me, this kind of story is what truly defines Clark as a character, it doesn't center on his super powers, no flying, no invulnerability...but on the kind of good hearted human that he actually is (I know, he's kryptonian, but that's not the point)

#21 Edited by evilvegeta74 (4523 posts) - - Show Bio

Make him more violent and let him face violent foes, not the guys who walk around talking about how smart they are. Doomsday in amovie sounds like a huge payoff to meat the box office! Without the change, he's just the same hero different suit, and a waste in potential.

#22 Posted by Lvenger (19084 posts) - - Show Bio

@evilvegeta74 said:

Make him more violent and let him face violent foes, not the guys who walk around talking about how smart they are. Doomsday in amovie sounds like a huge payoff to meat the box office!

No that's not how Superman should behave at all. And a Doomsday slug fest would be overlooked in the box office compared to films with more story and depth behind them. He shouldn't face Lex anytime soon but Brainiac, Metallo and Mongul deserve a place on the big screen as Superman antagonists.

#23 Posted by ltbrd (561 posts) - - Show Bio

@Frozen: The problem DC is having with Superman is because they are too interested in answering your very question. Superman's popularity is not about him being cool. In all honesty, most people that grew up in the 50's and 60's with Superman (by the way, the 70's and 80's were actually declining years for the Man of Steel rather than being popular ones) would not say they loved Superman because he was cool. They would say they loved Superman because he was good, an example to follow, and his stories were immensely fun to read. He could do all these amazing things and his stories took him all over the planet, universe, and time. Reading a Superman comic allowed children this amazing fantasy world to become absorbed in. That's what made the character popular.

What began hurting Superman is that the mood of the public changed from wanting these amazing adventure stories to something more gritty and down to earth. This is why characters like Wolverine and Punisher became so popular because they represented a darker, more violent character that complimented well with the steady rise of action movies and stars like Arnold and Stallone. Through Frank Miller's re-imagining Batman embraced these concepts and his popularity took off because of it.

So for the public Batman became cool.

But Superman should never go the route of Batman and such characters. You bring up Kingdom Come and I can understand why but you also have to remember 3 things. 1) Kingdom Come was a stand-alone series, not a recurring one. 2) Throughout the story Superman is actually not a dark character. Yeah he wears a darker tone of blue and black instead of yellow....so what. His tone isn't dark. He doesn't advocate undo violence. In fact, he's brought back into the world because dark, gritty, uber violent, and every other type of anti-hero cliche is what drove the world to the brink anyways. Yes, he's a bit disillusioned by what's happened to the world, but the entire time he's trying to bring things back to the way they used to be rather than what the rest of the world wants him to do. But you'll say "he put people in prison". Very true. However naive his intentions, you can't just call the Kingdom Come Superman a dark character because he built a prison. He sent people to prison all the time in normal comics or imprisoned them in the phantom zone. No real difference. The only difference with this version of Superman is he was ignoring the underlying problems of the world and newer metahumans and humans because he was blinded by the ideals of the past. So he didn't see the harm or danger in what he was doing. 3) Kingdom Come was not a Superman only story. Yes, he was a central character, but Wonder Woman, Batman, and many of the other older heroes were just as important to how that story unfolded as Superman was.

At this point I think there is a bit of an uncertainty in what readers actually want. On one hand they are used to dark and gritty through the continued heavy influence on action movies coming out but also the drastic rise in gore style horror films (which, as a side note, I absolutely hate. Saw and its predecessors have completely ruined the horror genre and either need to be wiped from our collective memories or placed in their own film category so more traditional horror films can be made and made well). At the same time, people are doing so well these days and are looking for inspiration and something fun to distract them. Look at how many sports, life, or other inspirational films have come out in the last decade alone. There were never as many of these types of films in the 80's and 90's because of the consumer high at the time. So most audiences today are really stuck in the middle of which direction they want their entertainment to go.

Unfortunately, DC sees the popularity of Batman and thinks that they have the modern reader figured out. "People like Batman. Let's give them more Batman-like flavors". Makes sense right? Wrong. Readers like Batman because the characterization works for Batman. But that doesn't mean it works for everyone. In one way or another, even if a person has never read a comic book, nearly everyone on the planet knows who Superman is. Like Mickey Mouse, Superman is everywhere. At some basic level, everyone knows Superman and what Superman is about. They know he's good, the moral inspiration, the ideal that people should aspire to. Its what they expect of Superman.

Then they pick up a modern Superman comic and they see him being angry, moody, introspective, aggressive, cocky, looking to fight.........and every other depiction that is not Superman. Its not what they know of the character and so they stop reading the comic because it flies against what they were expecting.

Yet DC can't seem to figure this out. They can't seem to figure out that people don't want cool when it comes to Superman.......they already have Batman for that......they want fun. They want adventure. They want fantasy and imagination and impossible feats and an example. That's what made Superman great and its what can make him great again if DC is willing to let go off their Batman fixation.

Powers: I kind of agree with what you're saying because this is the other area that caused Superman to fall out of popularity. They made him too powerful and his stories stop being fun adventures because there was nothing that could challenge or push him anymore. John Byrne tried to fix this with the Man of Steel reboot, but while that aspect worked well bringing in the more gritty elements counter-acted any positive the powers change had made.

I don't think Superman needs to lose any powers. When you look at the character in full, at least all of his powers are connected to his physical body in some way. He doesn't have any psychokinetic abilities, no shapeshifting, no time travel, teleportation, matter shaping, or anything like that. The vision and flight are a little stretch but only a bit. The fact they are restricted by the need for solar energy makes it all good. So the variety of powers doesn't concern me. Its that variety that makes him SUPERman as much as his characterization. Its just their levels that need to be tweaked. Really, John Byrne and Bruce Timm (from the DC Animated Universe side of the house) have it right. Keep all of Superman's powers intact but reduce them to the point that he would still struggle or have the possibility of death without the need for excessive kryptonite exposure. Yeah he might only be able to bench press a 747 jetliner instead of move the moon, only run up to a few hundred miles an hour vice a few thousand plus, or get knocked down by high yield missiles, but his immense versatility and ability to use many of his powers at the same time or in quick succession would still place him in the very, very, very top tier of powerful beings. Plus it would reduce the need to use kryptonite, magic, or get him out of yellow sun environments solely so his opponents have a chance.

DC seems to be doing this in the new 52 as we see him struggle in both titles a bit but its still a bit early in the new version to know what exact limitations they've given the character and whether they'll stick to them.

Rogues: Despite what many people think, Superman has a great collection of villains that challenge him in a variety of ways and with a variety of power levels (from normal humans like Lex who can get at him through planning and misdirection or Intergang through numbers and shadow operations, to those that can challenge him physically like Metallo and others). He could probably use a few more in the upper power level area but what I really think Superman needs is longer story arcs to let these villains shine and make them a credible threat to the Man of Steel. Too often writers use the villain for a single issue, maybe up to 2 or 3 at the most. Its very rare that a villain gets a long story arc for just that particular adventure (say, unlike the recently revealed Court of Owls which ran for the first 11 issues of the new 52 as well as in every Bat family related title for one or two issues apiece). So story pacing for Superman feels more like the villain of the month than a really dedicated arc to challenge Superman. If we had an 8 issue arc with a more deadly and sinister Toyman (like the one depicted in Superman TAS) or where Superman is gone from Earth for 5 issues or so to deal with a threat in space then his villains I think would get more respect and be seen as greater threats because its taking longer than 20 pages to actually deal with them and overcome the latest challenge they pose. Some do need a bit of tweaking but overall they are still great, iconic villains and just need more time than more powers or re-work.

Final: When you combine those two aspects together.......bring back the fun and sense of adventure and fantasy to Superman titles by taking out the grit and moodiness from the character as well as reducing his power level to a more manageable level (again I go back to Bruce Timm and Superman TAS as a good example of this concept) in order to give Superman challenges to overcome, and thus showing him doing so in order to give that inspiration of persevering through adversity, I think that other half of modern audiences connected to inspirational stories and the desire to just forget about the reality of life and enjoy something simple and pure would be achieved and we'd see Superman's popularity begin to rise again.

#24 Edited by Dernman (14899 posts) - - Show Bio
@Lvenger said:

@evilvegeta74 said:

Make him more violent and let him face violent foes, not the guys who walk around talking about how smart they are. Doomsday in amovie sounds like a huge payoff to meat the box office!

No that's not how Superman should behave at all. And a Doomsday slug fest would be overlooked in the box office compared to films with more story and depth behind them. He shouldn't face Lex anytime soon but Brainiac, Metallo and Mongul deserve a place on the big screen as Superman antagonists.

Actually I think Doomsday might be good if it was the end of a series of movies. He could die at the end and the epilogue can be about how the world is dealing leaving ir open ended.
#25 Posted by ReVamp (22865 posts) - - Show Bio

I personally don't got much love for Supes, but Nightwing/Flamebird, Supergirl and Superboy all appeal to me greatly as characters.

#26 Posted by Jayfournines (4024 posts) - - Show Bio

....Someone mentioned up there that Mongul should be in a Superman movie, I COMPLETELY agree. How awesome would it be to see Superman fighting against the slaving hordes of war world and getting into a slugfest with Mongul sr?

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

@Jayfournines said:

The reason I believe he doesn't appeal to modern audiences is mainly the fact that MANY people do not read comic books and merely get their facts through hearsay and what we see in movies. Let us be frank, to a young fan, the old Chris Reeves movies would suck ass because they are hokey and ridiculous by modern standards (and the Routh one was terrible), whereas the Batman properties have always enjoyed a steady element of success mainly because the adventures of a ninja in a bat suit are easier to pull off than those of a guy with a myriad of powers.

Superman is usually called overpowered, ridiculous and with terrible stories, but nothing could be further from the truth, most people that say that have never actually read a Superman comic book, or their tastes are different; Superman is not an active hero like Batman, he is a protector, as such, his stories tend to feature this aspect of him saving people are defending rather than attacking.

The latest batch of DC animated movies have proven, at least to me, that Superman can be cool as hell if written right, I mean, have you guys seen Superman vs The Elite? that's freakin awesome! One of the best portrayals of the character that I have seen in many years. Again, the only thing that's required is to give the character a chance; IMO one of the best aspects of Clark are his uncompromising morals, that's what makes him cool to me, his never say die attitude.

Also, something that irks me is people saying you can't relate to Superman as you can to Batman....and...really? you can relate to a super genius, with vast martial art abilities, who's a billionaire and a handsome ninja? I could relate easier to a guy who works a normal job, who has a normal wife, a regular family life and who does good merely because he's that kind of person....sure he's got insane powers, but that comes secondary to the character.

Anyway, Superman does not suck.

I agree with this 100%

#28 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (6574 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with OP everything he says. Superman is jsut too bland and boring for me to read any of his books.

Online
#29 Posted by Deranged Midget (17599 posts) - - Show Bio

@AtPhantom said:

There's nothing wrong with Superman.

@Gambit1024 said:

  • Make him gritty- No. He's my favorite because he's capable of moving on from bad things and not being broody 24/7. He's a beacon of hope. Maybe making the world around him gritty would work, but you can't change the character's personality to something it isn't and shouldn't be.
  • Make him hold back less- The "World of Cardboard" speech sums up why he's gotta hold back, and that works well enough for me.
  • Take away some of his powers- While I can do without powers like super-breath, that won't make him more interesting. People get bored of Superman because he's "too powerful." Maybe the reason that it is is because his villains are only minor annoyances to him. Sure, you have Lex, Brainiac, and Zod, but Bizarro, Livewire, Toyman, and a whole slew of others need a power upgrade in a big bad way. Give him more magic-based villains to fight. Bring him to other worlds to fight in areas with different types of solar radiation. He's not the one who should change in that department, his villains are.
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#30 Posted by Eternal19 (2076 posts) - - Show Bio

@MadeinBangladesh said:

I agree with OP everything he says. Superman is jsut too bland and boring for me to read any of his books.

Read action comics

#31 Edited by Squalleon (4497 posts) - - Show Bio

@Frozen: I will have to diasgree with you in every posible way!

Superman is a good natured stronghold who fights for truth and Justice.He is a beacon of hope as some said before.

What you suggesting is pretty much make him like batman.By making him grittier and weaker we take back everything that makes the hero who he is,you make him just another superhero,while superman is supposed to be THE SUPERHERO.Superman appeals to the modern reader the problem is that 21st century's best advertisment is the cinema.Make a good movie out of him and everything changes.Also under a good writer who understands Superman,no one will complain about the character ex. Geoff Johns Action comics, the powers and personality of superman didn't affect the awesomeness of the character,on the other hand we have the grittier and more alienated Superman of Brian Azzarello in for tommorow.Azzarello is a good writer but he doesn't understand the Mythology behind superman.

P.S. The best portrayal of superman is probably All Star Superman.

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#32 Posted by Cap10nate (2208 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a sad day when you have to make a character a worse person in order to make them appealing to audiences.

#33 Edited by Squalleon (4497 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cap10nate said:

It's a sad day when you have to make a character a worse person in order to make them appealing to audiences.

i dont know why but i LOLed at this.

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#34 Posted by AtPhantom (14521 posts) - - Show Bio

@Frozen said:

Superman Returns was a mess of a movie. But from what I recall, the promotion and advertising for Superman Returns was much better. There hadn't been a Superman movie for 19 years until Superman Returns. I agree that Superman is a great character, but I was just brainstorming a few changes that could be made, in my opinion that is. Man of Steel should be good however, I hope that turns out good. I'm not saying for the changes to be made or anything of the sort, they are just a few suggestions. I felt the The Dark Knight Returns did a similar thing, if you read the story, it seems like the complete opposite of what Batman is. Batman was now more violent, gritty and basically the Clint Eastwood type, everything that you don't expect Batman to be, yet the story is regarded as a classic.

Just my two cents.

Now that's not true. Batman (campy sixties aside) always leaned towards a noir, grim attitude. TDKR was simply playing it up to an extreme. This is precisely the opposite of what Superman is. Also, The point in TDKR, as it is in Kingdom Come, is that there is a reason why Batman acted like that. Both stories accepted that these were not normal Batman and Superman, but Batman and Superman warped by the world and events in order to play out an endgame, which is basically what both stories were. They were the endings to their mythoses; They were never intended to be the normal state of affairs.

What you're proposing then, is basically what the industry did in the late eighties and nineties. You're attributing TDKR's success not to the tight story, powerful message and excellent characterization, but simply to the grit and violence of it. There's a reason why that didn't work out for the industry, and why of all the characters, Superman resisted that period the most.

#35 Posted by Frozen (12662 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squalleon said:

@Frozen: I will have to diasgree with you in every posible way!

Superman is a good natured stronghold who fights for truth and Justice.He is a beacon of hope as some said before.

What you suggesting is pretty much make him like batman.By making him grittier and weaker we take back everything that makes the hero who he is,you make him just another superhero,while superman is supposed to be THE SUPERHERO.Superman appeals to the modern reader the problem is that 21st century's best advertisment is the cinema.Make a good movie out of him and everything changes.Also under a good writer who understands Superman,no one will complain about the character ex. Geoff Johns Action comics, the powers and personality of superman didn't affect the awesomeness of the character,on the other hand we have the grittier and more alienated Superman of Brian Azzarello in for tommorow.Azzarello is a good writer but he doesn't understand the Mythology behind superman.

P.S. The best portrayal of superman is probably All Star Superman.

I've already said that it was a suggestion. That is all.

#36 Edited by quirky_anecdotes (344 posts) - - Show Bio

My Opinion The problem is that when superman came out very few people had or would ever think about aliens. To them a guy who could shoot lasers out of his eyes was the pinnacle of strange but in modern times we've got a lot of human characters who can do many of superman's powers. Superman's been parodied so much while not really going any fundamental changes himself that it's kind of hard to separate him from the back. Everything that made the character original in the 30s has become so overused by the rest of the comic book industry. He is somewhat of a walking Superhero cliche really.

I kind of don't know how you fix superman in that regard without fundamentally changing him because of the fact that what fundamentally makes him him is so overused and played out.

Also another problem pointed out to be by someone here is his rogue's gallery. While Lex Luthor is great he's not quite as interesting (at least to me) as say The Joker or Venom and to my previous point even Luthor's shtick of the evil businessman is rather trite in modern times.

Of course that's just my opinion and we all have our own.

I will note that I did enjoy Superman vs The Elite but that was mostly because of Manchester Black who was an amazing character.

#37 Edited by btmt (222 posts) - - Show Bio

Well I beg to differ but Superman has always been a perfect SuperHero, Superman doesn't need any change, and I completely disagree about taking away his powers Superman is supposed to be most powerful Superhero and it always has to be this way.

What everyone need is the good innovative stories and good writers for Superman comic books or movies, and Scott Lobdell have also answered everyone's question about why they thinks him boring and Why Superman is still most awesome superhero.

And It has been long time(6 years) after last Superman movie(Superman Returns) released, believe me when the Next superman movie "Man Of Steel" will come Superman is going to rock the modern superhero world and Don't ever forget that small kids still loves Superman, when I have asked any kid almost 7 out of 10 kids likes (or knows/ or wants to be) only Superman.

#38 Posted by Squalleon (4497 posts) - - Show Bio

@Frozen: I know,i just point out what i believe about this method.I didn't say that you were wrong neither i judged you, i just said that i don't agree and i wouldn't like to see this in the character.

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#39 Posted by syoungkeezy (81 posts) - - Show Bio

i dont get all these people saying sayin superman shouldn't be changed i think that they need to rework his whole multimedia image and take it back to golden age like the did with action comics, supes was the first badass who used to put people in their place then they made him a sissy, if you want to appeal to modern audiences, he has to be taken back to who he was not just in action comics but across the whole superman mythos, we live in a cynical time where the truth is always exposed and people now understand that those who run things dont give a crap about truth and justice, and superman should reflect that a man with all those powers in a corrupt world he should be in the gray where sometimes he loses do to political reason and then some times he gets one over the system

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

Too many powers? Not really...

#41 Posted by Inverno (13155 posts) - - Show Bio

Make him fight more powerful enemies.

Have different ways for him to use his powers. He is so overpowered, there is infinite possibilities we could do with his powers.

#42 Posted by darth_brendroid (1717 posts) - - Show Bio

You make him appeal to a modern audience by understanding the nature of Superman and presenting it in a grounded, real way that's still entertaining. You show Clark Kent doing investigation and being a reporter and then using Superman to serve out justice because it's the right thing and nobody else can do it. You present his villains as twisted mirrors that reflect elements of Superman amplified to their darkest levels and construct a narrative about this ying-yang dichotomy (Superman vs Lex Luthor, Superman vs Zod, Superman vs Brainiac). You never forget that Superman is not dark and you play and have fun with the fact that he isn't Batman and can never be Batman - he's a different character with different adventures. He works in a world with a bright sun shining down warmly. He saves the day with a smile and you present him as being a benevolent, humble and incredibly powerful figure working in the best interests of the people who can't help themselves because they're the ones who need help the most.

#43 Posted by GunGunW (996 posts) - - Show Bio

@AtPhantom said:

There's nothing wrong with Superman.

#44 Edited by War07 (135 posts) - - Show Bio

Make him go outside earth make him explore universe doing battle against cosmic beings and gods that have threaten the universe and also gain new powers.I just want him to be more powerful like the All Star Superman!!!!

#45 Posted by Jack Donaghy (974 posts) - - Show Bio

Here's the thing with Superman from a general public standpoint, you can't make him too gritty or it's not Superman anymore but on the other hand most of them will complain about him being too much of a goody two shoes if you don't. It's a double edge sword, and you can take away some of his powers or make him a little weaker but the whole appeal of the character (to most people) is that he's this insanely powerful alien, I'm not sure what can be done to make him easier to relate to because lets face it a lot of non comic fans already have their minds set when it comes to certain characters and it'll be almost impossible to change that after a character has been a certain way for so many years.

#46 Posted by daredevilfan777 (29 posts) - - Show Bio

The fact that he has no tighty reds over his pants does a whole lot of good.

#47 Posted by Knightsofdarkness2 (1478 posts) - - Show Bio

Probably because some of his old comics are cheesy and he's a bit over powered and he doesn't have many villains that are stronger than him which makes him seem even more overpowered.

#48 Posted by Saint_Wildcard (9991 posts) - - Show Bio

I made my little cousin a Superman by making him watch MoS. Raising him right.

#49 Posted by Zelos797 (597 posts) - - Show Bio

I think getting a good writer will help. Nothing wrong with the big guy himself.

#50 Posted by Bezza (3454 posts) - - Show Bio

..Unchained was a good start in the right direction, the main villain is Wraith who is more powerful than superman himself..shame its been so delayed....Action Comics was interesting, Superman had to use his brains to work out how to beat Ghost Soldier.....but yes I understand where the OP is coming from. Many of my friends say Superman is simply boring, too powerful, only challenged by kryptonite and not enough personality. They prefer more "relatable" characters like Wolverine, Batman and Spiderman.

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