Why All Star Superman Should Be Canon

#1 Edited by bloggerboy (475 posts) - - Show Bio

DC Comics has struggled with the character of Superman lately. Before the New 52 DC prolonged New Krypton (which I loved) and people didn't seem to like it. They had Superman's citizenship revoked and Grounded the character. It's tough to write Superman, it's tough to make him relatable or *gasp* realistic (something seen as a necessity for the character).

My question is this: why does Superman need to be realistic? I don't watch Doctor Who to see David Tennant or Matt Smith struggle living and interacting with humans in a realistic way. Even if Superman was raised as a human among humans he still took the mantle of Superman. He still has an ice castle. He has a gun that leads into an incorporeal alien space prison. Superman has a ring that takes him into the future, a future where he has a museum dedicated to him.

But at the same time this character is expected to act like a human with everyday problems and dilemmas. I often see how Clark Kent is written like Peter Parker light. I get that the New 52 is building up to the "real" Superman but it just isn't for me. To me Superman just isn't written like a badass. And by badass I mean in his own category. Make the reader feel like Superman is needed instead of stories where the writer is clearly advocating against it in favor of some oh so mighty moral dilemma. If you're not Alan Moore, don't try to write Watchmen. Write something new. Instead of blood and guts maybe try something with actual heart in it.

The solution is simple: write Superman like Grant Morrison did in All Star Superman.

Sound simple enough? Well to be honest it's not, not in this day and age when stories are expected to be grim and gritty. Yet All Star Superman has been pretty much the most profound reading experience that a superhero comic book has given me. And it delivered a Superman who does what he knows best: a sincere beacon of hope and optimism but with enough (pseudo)science and logic to backing it up.

So let Superman cure cancer, let Superman create life, let Superman have a pet sun-eater and the wreck of the Titanic in his Fortress of Solitude. Make the reader go "woah!"

#2 Posted by w0nd (2028 posts) - - Show Bio

I honestly think they are working up to all that, but there's just so much WHOA about him and they are starting from scratch sadly it will take a while. Just like his fortress of solitude I believe was an abandoned warehouse at first, then he took over Brainiac's ship THEN he got his ice crystal palace one.

#3 Posted by UltimateSMfan (1168 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice Post! Agreed.

#4 Posted by Eternal19 (2074 posts) - - Show Bio

DC just keeps trying to appeal to those who have this misconception that superman is this One dimensional boyscout who has no problems for them to "relate" to. Though I honestly feel that no superhero is relatable.

#5 Edited by LaserLambert (635 posts) - - Show Bio

isn't this kinda what Lobdell is trying/failing to do?

#6 Edited by bloggerboy (475 posts) - - Show Bio

@eternal19: Agreed. And in general it's even worse when the characters act like a-holes and the reader is supposed to symphatize with them. You know, because humans are JERKS!

#7 Posted by SmashBrawler (4745 posts) - - Show Bio

Originally it was supposed to be (sort of) canon. Ever heard of Superman 2000?

#8 Posted by bloggerboy (475 posts) - - Show Bio

@smashbrawler: This is the first I've heard of it. Read some of it but I already think that's absolutely the way to go with the character.

#9 Posted by Deranged Midget (17598 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd actually prefer Birthright to be canon rather than All-Star. I felt that Waid connected the audience more to Clark than Morrison did in All-Star.

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#10 Posted by SmashBrawler (4745 posts) - - Show Bio

@bloggerboy: Yeah, it's like The New 52 reboot! Except better. And even thought I'm not sure I like the idea of separating Clark and Lois, the way they would have done it sounded great. True heroic sacrifice, not like that OMD crap.

#11 Posted by Z3RO180 (5943 posts) - - Show Bio

@bloggerboy: well done dude this thread was a great read and you are right about this subject.

#12 Posted by ssejllenrad (12780 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd actually prefer Birthright to be canon rather than All-Star. I felt that Waid connected the audience more to Clark than Morrison did in All-Star.

This!

#13 Posted by theTimeStreamer (2841 posts) - - Show Bio

no. i dont like all star. at all.

#14 Posted by Nerx (15088 posts) - - Show Bio

#15 Posted by Teerack (4549 posts) - - Show Bio

I would only find all star super man interesting if it ended properly with Superman dying.

#16 Posted by bloggerboy (475 posts) - - Show Bio
#17 Posted by Nerx (15088 posts) - - Show Bio
#18 Posted by bloggerboy (475 posts) - - Show Bio

@smashbrawler: I think Clark and Lois can either be together or not, whatever gives us good stories. The whole Superman-Wonder Woman thing has promise especially now that the Trinity War is almost upon us.

#19 Posted by fodigg (6094 posts) - - Show Bio

All Star Superman is my favorite Superman story and in my opinion should be embraced as the iconic text from which the character is based in other media. It embraces all the cheesy sci-fi wackiness of the character and sells it. And the supporting cast is great in it. Jimmy Olsen especially.

I get that making it dark and gritty is the done thing now--especially with Snyder at the helm--but you can still do a dark and gritty version of All Star Superman and make it good.

#20 Posted by bloggerboy (475 posts) - - Show Bio
@fodigg said:

All Star Superman is my favorite Superman story and in my opinion should be embraced as the iconic text from which the character is based in other media. It embraces all the cheesy sci-fi wackiness of the character and sells it. And the supporting cast is great in it. Jimmy Olsen especially.

I absolutely agree. The story made all those Silver Age-esque things that are usually taken as childish and immature and made it fresh and relevant again.

The supporting cast was indeed great. Seemed like every voice, be it Cat Grant, Steven Lombard or Jimmy Olsen...it sounded good and fitting for the characters.

#21 Edited by Captain13 (3027 posts) - - Show Bio

@ssejllenrad said:

@deranged_midget said:

I'd actually prefer Birthright to be canon rather than All-Star. I felt that Waid connected the audience more to Clark than Morrison did in All-Star.

This!

AGREED

Allstar may be one of the best Superman stories ever but I don't want it in continuity. Superman is just too god-like. Birthright, on the otherhand... That said, I think Allstar is required reading for every Superman adaptation.

#22 Edited by bloggerboy (475 posts) - - Show Bio

@captain13 said:

@ssejllenrad said:

@deranged_midget said:

I'd actually prefer Birthright to be canon rather than All-Star. I felt that Waid connected the audience more to Clark than Morrison did in All-Star.

This!

AGREED

Superman is just too god-like.

This is kinda ironic when the story starts with Superman hearing he's about to die. As the story progresses we see him get weaker and weaker and unable to find a cure for himself. Superman has a near death experience and arguably dies when he flies to the sun. At least the sacrifice is great enough that the world won't be seeing him in some time.

Now I know along the way Superman gets invulnerable to kryptonite but he's still affected by black kryptonite and needs Jimmy Olsen of all people to stop him. Then there's the whole episode in the Bizarro world where Superman is powerless, the kryptonian astronauts that give a can of whoop ass to Supes etc. etc.

I love Birthright but that's an origin story. It's about Superman at the beginning of his career. Now you can argue that All Star is Superman at his pinnacle, at his end but I still find that version more interesting than the one from the beginning.

#23 Posted by soldierofel (73 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree, all star superman is one of my favorite superman stories. But at this time DC want all there comics to be either gritty or realistic, probably beacause of Nolan's Batman trilogy's success. It's a shame they've got to take a character that people love and turn him into something he isn't. But if that's what sells than you can't really argue can you.

#24 Posted by Deranged Midget (17598 posts) - - Show Bio

@bloggerboy: I am in no way bashing on All-Star, it's a marvellous Superman story and is entirely worthy of the praise. But the reason why I honestly believe Birthright is the more "interesting" story is due to the world not being accepting of a being like Superman. It plays well into the modern world. Superman needs to prove that he isn't a threat, that he only means to protect the world and thus has to put himself in their shoes, to judge himself before judging others.

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