It's a well known enough problem. In fact, it's considered so well-known that the average reader will be able to get a good guess-timate of what I posted above even if a day comes when that image is eventually rendered inaccessible.
The following article covers the perceived problem more accurately and at length:
I'm presenting that here, however, because the first time I read an article like that was years prior. And in the interim between the article I first read, and the one given just now above, and the present, I've seen writers and movie makers creating works that seemed designed to respond to the presentation of that problem, which is more or less that Superman is uninteresting because he is static, lacking in human relate-ability for the average viewer, lacking in growth as a character, and compelling only when he is someone else.
At the same time, however, the big and small screens have been flooded with characters who, at first glance, present Superman-style characters who SHOULD be receiving the same objections as Superman before them ... and apparently are not.
What's your take on this?
If you're a Superman fan, do you disagree with the premise of the writer of the linked article? Or perhaps actually agree with the premise in general, but believe writers have found demonstrably effective ways to deal with those issues?
If you're the fan of another hero with similar specs as Superman, how do you feel your hero avoids similar disapproving condemnation while the Man of Steel himself gets it?
I for one enjoy Superman being the type of character that always wins, always does the right thing, and never has much of a challenge besides what new boundary he is going to inevitably break next. Whether that is Silver Age Superman/Reeve-Routh Superman, All-Star Superman, or Kingdom Come Superman, it doesn't matter to me.
There are plenty of characters in pop culture that face adversity and have to overcome it: from Batman to Captain America, Luke Skywalker to Aragorn, Neo to Indiana Jones, etc. I like that Superman (and usually the best stories associated with him) are about how he uses he almost unlimited powers to solve unique problems that only he can solve. Supes should be a character meant to have no limits that can easily best any situation thrown at him.
I understand that many find Supes "static, lacking in human relate-ability for the average viewer, lacking in growth as a character, and compelling only when he is someone else", but I enjoy him as the quintessential old-school do-gooder superhero. To me, its the biggest positive of his character, not a negative.
And I do enjoy when alternate takes on Supes are put on the page and screen (notably, Injustice Superman and Marvel Comics' Hyperion).
In context of what the author of that article wrote, I'm finding your response interesting, especially your inclusion of Kingdom Come Superman in your list, because Kingdom Come Superman definitely does NOT always win, in fact, KC lost nearly everyone and everything he held dear. This fact was actually used to both highlight and illustrate one of the author's points, even as it made and still makes for one of my favorite Superman moments ever:
My above showing of the Kingdom Come/Earth-22/fill-in-the-blank Superman from I-remember-not-where at this moment is re or pre- peated in All-Star Superman. The young lady is even given the name of "Trixie" if memory serves.
Apparently she needs a lot of saving. Despair runs rampant in her reality.
As said before, I like that scene, and I have in fact posted it before in a favorite/ best moments thread.
I was reminded of it here, however, because the author of the title link of this thread asserts that, among other problems, Superman in his reality can do nothing about teen suicides. In this case, though, he could and did, and his message of "Don't give up, you're NOT alone, you can help the world only if you keep fighting for Life" is one that could potentially save scores of others.
Here is the problem I see: a superhero always winning isn't unique to Superman. 90% of them always end up winning.
Superman doesn't even always "win". Or sometimes when he does he still suffers. He's seen a lot of friends die, and failed to save people in the past.
One other thing that irks me is when people complain Superman is too powerful and thus boring. It's not that Superman is boring over that, it's that you need a talented writer to be able to write him. The All Star Superman series had an incredibly powerful Superman..it was one of his best series ever.
I never tend to see the people who have problems with his power levels complaining about the power levels of Green Lanterns, Martian Manhunter, or the Flash. Who can all be just as broken(if not moreso).
Others will say he is too much of a goody two shoes, which I feel only really applies to Silver Age Superman.
__________________ "I know it's gonna work because it's impossible"-George Lucas
Last edited by Surtur on Jan 30th, 2017 at 05:43 PM
Superman is one of the most popular and famous heroes the world has ever seen. So he has extraordinary visibility. People know of him through often seen feats, those that don't ascribe ridiculous feats to him anyway because they've heard he has them -- Superman's reputation, in other words, gives power critics additional ammo.
No one would blink an eye over learning Superman did something retarded like the following, for instance:
1. We live in an era where dark seems to be in vogue.
Note that this is not necessarily unique to the current decade. People would be shocked to learn how murderous characters like Batman were back in the day, for instance. This is however, an era which seems to be unique in how many dark, Biblical angelic type beings seem to be at the forefront.
This is like something straight out of Revelation.
Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies, Apollo, Lord of Locusts, Apollyon, The Destroyer.
Anyone doubting author's intention here, by the way, should read what the characters themselves have to say about him.
No, Superman from virtually any era is going to be considered a Boy Scout when THIS is the mold his clones are cast in.
2. There is some proof that, after years of dark protagonists, vigilantes, and anti-heroes, people are actually welcoming a return to old fashioned superheroism. If they don't want it from Superman himself, they DO seem to want it from others who are rather like him:
I happened to come across the following today.
Thinking about it because we are in the era of Trump, since Superman is often an allegory for America.
Interestingly, Superman often becomes "villain" when America is acting like Sun never sets Britain, representing fascism or the like as opposed to freedom, or at the least unchecked sometimes aggressive power.
During such times, as in the recent Justice League prequel, Dawn of Justice, there is one man that typically rises up, and ...
Well, you know the rest. See what you think of the following article.