I have made my dislike of “evil Superman” stories clear: I am not a fan. It’s usually done by somebody who doesn’t get the character, is too cynical to believe someone with Superman’s powers wouldn’t kill and turn evil despite how many heroes are practically at Superman’s level in the DC and other universes with nobody complaining about how Captain Shazam isn’t evil, or characters like Marvel’s Guardian despite his changing sides depending who is on the Shi’Ar throne at any given moment. Nope, it’s just Superman they can’t believe, the “boy scout” who is kind, compassionate, and loves humanity.

Sucker, you better HOPE anyone with that level of power is more like Superman than Homelander. That’s how the fantasy works!

That’s not to say that you can’t tell a story that looks at someone with Superman’s powers and make an interesting story about someone without Clark’s morality, but you need that morality and Clark Kent/Superman himself as the template to base your hero on, especially if you ARE going with the moral superhero route. As proof I bring you the following video by Overly Sarcastic Productions, a channel I don’t usually follow but have seen videos for. I was pointed to this by a recent article by Caroline Furlong, so thanks for pointing out a new addition to my Defending Superman playlist over on my YouTube channel. Since I’m trying to get my schedule under control this admittedly long video (with some rather uneven swear censoring) is just what I needed.

Personally I’m not a fan of Alan Moore’s Superman tales, not because I disagree with the host. He totally understands Superman as a character. I just think he gets Superman’s world. I’ve only seen the Justice League Unlimited adaptation of “For The Man Who Has Everything”, though I do know the original comic story also had Jason Todd’s Robin and I kind of wish the adaptation used then current DCAU Robin Tim Drake with Jason Todd’s backstory but not his personality. It’s just sad to see him in that situation but I actually like the story, at least as adapted. However, Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow, while understanding Superman as a character puts him in a situation that I don’t want to see Superman in, kills off a number of his friends, and kind of ruins Mr. Mxyzptlk as a character. Who is Moore to say if a fifth-dimension imp wouldn’t just be interested in causing mischief? Consider how dangerous some of the things he does is he doesn’t need to be pure evil.

I have seen Superman Vs. The Elite and outside of the bulkier body on Superman I think it’s a fantastic adaptation, really want to read the original comic (this is the same Joe Kelly who gave Space Ghost a grimdark origin story?), and highly recommend it to Superman critics. I also would have added DC Comic Presents #50, one of my favorite Clark Kent tales. However, I doubt the hosts read it and it probably hasn’t had enough readers go over it like I have.

On the other hand I’m surprised they didn’t mention All-Star Superman, which also had a great adaptation, though I have read the first issue of that one. I do know some stories were trimmed out of the movie, and they used that bulkier Superman design again, which just looks terrible on Clark Kent especially, while Frank Quitely’s art on that books is so amazing I’d be surprised if they could have replicated it in animation so at least I understand why they didn’t. I mean, I have problems with the New 52 Justice League movie War but the animation on that is incredible. It’s just burdened by the New 52.

All-Star Superman is Kal-El’s last days on Earth. Lex Luthor succeeds in coming up with a way to kill Superman, and as he slowly dies his only thoughts are on making the world better before he leave it, even managing to reform Lex Luthor in the process. It’s a great story that doesn’t have to break Superman’s worldbuilding to make a great last days of Superman story and shows that even as he approaches the final show of mortality he is still the same man he always was, dying as he lived and bringing inspiration to others. It’s a great story and totally needs to be on that list.

Superman is still and will always be my favorite superhero, and seeing what DC Comics and Warner Brothers have done to him in recent years just makes me sad. I fear a day will come, especially as nobody is making a Superman show for kids outside of that race-swapped thing they announced and thankfully never followed up on. I am always happy to add videos and article defending Superman done right, which is why I have that playlist I linked to earlier. Superman has all that power and only thinks of helping others. That’s what makes him awesome.


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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