Superman and his alter ego, Clark Kent

Image via Wikipedia

OK, we all knew that the rumors of ending the Supermarriage were going to be true. I even stated as much in my Flashpoint theories, for which I am two out of three. (Actually, if Dick had become Robin instead of resuming his role as Nightwing I would have been surprised, despite the article. I did call Barbara as Batgirl, though.) As I’ve noted in the past, they’ve been trying to undo that for the past 11 years. Now, as my compatriot Snell tweeted,

Although Linkara would unknowingly counter with

The issue in question comes from this article at Newsarama in which DC’s head fool Dan Didio tries to defend the rebooted Superman. But if you think this is another marriage rant you haven’t read the article. To quote Dark Helmet from Spaceballs “it’s not what you think, it’s actually much worse”.

“We’ve made Superman such an iconic figure over the years that we’ve lost some of the character and the ability to tell stories with that character,” said Dan DiDio, co-publisher at DC. “There’s so much continuity that’s been built on this character. We really wanted to get a Superman that is more accessible to the audience.”

You’ve lost some of the character and the ability to tell stories with that character? Seriously? I haven’t even completed my test comic, I have low self-esteem, and even I think I could write a better comic that what you guys are coming out with. Too iconic? That’s what you’re going with? I could come right off this stupid “Grounded” arc and easily get Superman back on track. There’s too much more stupid here to get into, because they’re version of “accessible” involves taking the worst aspects of Smallville and the Silver Age and tossing out the two GOOD thing I think Byrne did with Superman.

“We wanted to get back to some of the grass roots of the character,” DiDio said.

“And the best way to do that is to really go back to the early days of the character, where you see him in his formative years, learning his powers, and learning how people react to him, as we’ll be examining in Action Comics. But also, we want to re-examine his relationships, because we think there’s a lot of fertile ground about him and the people he deals with.”

We saw that story. It was called Smallville, back when it was still worth watching. And unless we’re doing the Clark Kent Superboy (and this would be Superboy done right) what’s the point? The first story takes place before coming to Metropolis, and then we shoot five years later (which just causes enough continuity errors for its own article–and makes the backsliding timeline even more messed up than we originally imagined) and is he still learning his powers?

The “relationships” part of Superman’s story will be examined in Superman by George Pérez, which will take place in the present day of the DC Universe. Clark Kent will have a new status quo at the Daily Planet and will be a bachelor.

Lois Lane will have a new boyfriend, which is quite a change from the current situation, where Clark and Lois are married in the DC Universe.

Why am I imagining it’s everybody’s least favorite sport reporter. Or maybe Notintheface was right about the Superman Returns ripping off in his tweet after all and it turns out to be whatshisname. (Still haven’t seen the movie.) They give the usual nonsense about how the marriage “from a story conflict point of view…makes for a less dramatic story. I think a lot of writers can agree that one of the most dynamic periods of Superman’s history was that period where there was a love triangle between Clark Kent, Superman and Lois Lane. There’s a lot of tension and interest you create in the characters by having that kind of dynamic.” I do not agree, but why bring up the old triangle (which made Lois look like the dumbest person in Metropolis–top reporter supposedly in love with this guy and even she can’t tell them apart–is Clark that good an actor?) when you follow it up with this?

But Lee said the new Superman will not be just revisiting the same old love triangle. “We’re introducing other elements into it,” he said. “Through that, we’re really updating who the character is and making Superman a character that you think you know, but maybe not. We have some surprises up our sleeves. And I think Grant has some incredible ideas about not only what he wants to do with Superman but Clark Kent, and really updating the whole mythology so that people can relate to it on a more personal level.”

Once again we can’t “relate” to a married superhero. Why not? What was so impersonal about Superman? Heck, I found him better to relate to in the past few years…granted, in the 80 page giant specials more than the regular title…than I did in the entire Silver Age when he would spout all kinds of data about Kryptonian history and culture. Oh, speaking of that…

“We wanted to have that sense of isolation that might come with being an alien among men,” DiDio said. “The two choices that were made, with both his parents being dead and not being married, isolated Clark a little bit more, so that he really had to do more exploration about mankind. There wasn’t that one strong human tether that he was bonding with and learning through.”

Oh, where do I start? Perhaps with burning every copy of Five For Fighting’s Superman song? Sure there is some of that WHEN HE’S GROWING UP, but he’s an adult now and I would think he learned to compensate somewhat. Will those elements remain? Sure, how could it not, especially since DC has to be more real world based. You know, like Marvel instead of DC. (Which is why I prefer(ed) DC over Marvel. Now I feel like they’re becoming the comic version of the pigs from Animal Farm–I can’t tell them apart.) But that has NEVER defined who Superman is. And as I stated, I never understood why Silver and Golden Age Superman was so obsessed with every minute detail of Krypton and would constantly go on and on about someplace HE HAD NEVER REALLY KNOWN…yes, I know about the whole “super memory” nonsense, let’s not go there. So is that making a comeback too? Will Superman start saying oaths to Rao again?

“That’s one of the things we’re trying to explore much more,” DiDio said. “We’ve told so many great stories over the years where Superman has embraced his human side and built stories around that side of the characterization. Now we’re flipping it around a little bit and really embracing his alien side, so we can understand what it’s like to be a man from another world, living amongst men, but not feeling like you’re a part of it, but belonging to them all.”

Again, this should be a part of Superman now and then BUT NOT A DRIVING DETAIL! Again, Clark Kent was raised on Earth from a baby, he grew up with no knowledge of Krypton for many years, and it should be his years with the Kents that make him who he is!

You know what two things Byrne and the guys who came after him got right in the Superman reboot? Keeping Martha and John alive and making Clark a citizen of Earth, or more specifically the US rather than focusing on his Kryptonian heritage as had been done prior to the reboot. We came to know the Kents through the Superboy stories and having them in the now Superboyless new DC Universe was a benefit. We also saw it in Lois & Clark and Superman: The Animated Series. See, I think heroes NEED a non-superhero confidant to remind them that despite their powers and abilities they still ARE mortal men and women, that they’re still human. It’s that humanity that allows us to relate to these otherwise larger than life characters.

Now they’re taking that away to give us an alien, isolated, and in some reports “brooding” Superman. How am I supposed to relate to that? What part of that speaks to the character we’ve come to know and love? Instead of iconic they’re going to make it harder to restore the character to his former glory. Supergirl is getting a similar treatment. Maybe the theory about the Shuster/Siegel lawsuits affecting this version I saw in one forum has some merit.

I’m not done with this. Tomorrow I want to get more into this “too iconic” thing.

I added that last one in myself. Great perspective on Lois and her connection to the Man of Steel.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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