EDITORIALS

Cinematic Discussion: The Superman We Don't Know We Need

by
June 7, 2010

Superman

I'm not a fan of Superman. I never have been. Sure, he's an icon. He's iconic. The go-to superhero when debating what power you'd rather possess. Idolized by kids the world over to adults of all creeds to the likes of Jerry Seinfeld (and I must agree, there's no reason why the yellow sun of our solar system wouldn't give Kal-El a superhuman comedic ability).

But, for me, he's always been boring. He's a little too good. He's a lot too powerful. And, at this point in time, he's simply stale. Recently, we've learned that David Goyer and the Nolan Brothers are preparing to unleash The Man of Steel on the world yet again at the end of 2012. They have a story. Something, no doubt, that we've never seen before. One that will "address Superman in a modern context" (via /Film).

Well, I have my own ideas regarding a Superman for our contemporary. But first, it's crucial to at least hold a tenuous grasp on the Superman of the past.

The Last Son of Krypton is just that, an orphan of another world ravaged and destroyed. As an infant, Kal-El was sent to Earth by his parents moments before his home planet Krypton's destruction. When Kal-El's spacecraft lands in rural Kansas, a humble couple scoop him from his other-worldly crib and dub him Clark Kent. From that point forward, imbued with strong moral values and a certain salt-of-the-earth charm, he's raised as one of us: a human. Except for the small fact that the yellow sun of our solar system awards him superhuman abilities. Invulnerability. Super-strength and super-speed. Freeze breath. Super-hearing. Laser eyes, super-sight, and X-ray vision. Flight. So Clark Kent decides to use his powers for good, to protect and defend and make better the race who adopted him. Donning that classic red, yellow, and blue costume, "the big blue Boy Scout" from that point forward vows to fight for truth, justice, and the American way!

(Oh, and his biggest weakness is green pieces of his homeworld called Kryptonite, which causes Superman any number of detriments from losing his powers, fatally weakening him, and, most of all, reminding him of his long dead homeworld.)

For an era of more clearly apparent unrest during both World War II and the Cold War, Superman makes sense. He's morally unflinching. He's there to protect us at any cost, by any means, as righteously as possible. He'll show the Axis what for! He'll kick the Red Menace away from these capitalist shores from whence it came! He's a constant, a beacon of good, and the personification of American hope and idealism.

And that's precisely why he's boring. Idealism just doesn't ring true anymore. There's no clear enemy; there are many and they are everywhere. There are so many more shades of grey now than there ever have been that I'm surprised we can see color at all. And those rural, wholesome values don't mean as much as they used to (not that they shouldn't, 'cause they should). They just don't.

So, in our contemporary, where does Superman fit in? For what and for why would Superman exist? Well, let's talk about how first.

And let's be clear, though this may not be the Superman movie you want, perhaps it's the Superman movie we need.

Ditch the orphan infant introduction. The childhood on the farm. The bible-belt morals and his ties to Earth from his earliest memories. Instead, Kal-El comes to Earth as a man. An ambassador of Krypton. His life, family, and all he knows is on his homeworld. He's an alien. Let's treat him like one. Though, when he crashes on Earth in his spacecraft — in Kansas, naturally, helped to safety from the wreckage of his ship by, who else, the Kents — it's not as a mere visitor from another world. It's no accident. He's come with a plea for help.

Kal-El's arrival would mark the first contact with an intelligent, sentient extra-terrestrial in human history. And as humans are of the unknown, we'd be mistrusting. Afraid. The very discovery would shake us to our core. Kal-El, unknowingly of course, would both unite us and fracture us greater than ever before.

Upon inquiry, we'd learn Kal-El is here to ask our help, instead of the other way around. For he's been sent as a last ditch effort to save his race. Sent on a hope and prayer to rally someone, anyone behind him in order to combat the destruction of Krypton. What Kal-El finds on Earth, however, is no help at all. Humans are without the mastery of inter-galactic space travel. Our technology is not as advanced. And we're just as weak as Kryptonians, weaker even.

But the more time Kal-El soaks up the sun's yellow rays, the more he begins to feel... different. The more he realizes he doesn't have to answer to us humans. His planet, his species, his life is dying out there. We're of no help; in fact, we're a hindrance. Intolerant. Scared. Uncivilized. Morally weak. Krypton may be at the very brink of its doom, but at least its doom is being wrought by an outside hand. Not from within, like this place, Earth. Kal-El pities us. He should.

And now, somehow, he can do extraordinary things. Things that both we humans and himself can't understand. Not yet. While the headlines of The Daily Planet are riddled with fear of his power, Kal-El is infected by hope. Hope for his home.

So he leaves. This superman who came so quickly is gone just as fast.

In space, Kal-El can hear his homeworld crumble. Krypton's screams at the hands of this outside doombringer. Some race of warmongers. But the farther Kal-El travels away from our yellow sun, the closer he gets to Krypton, the less he can hear. The less he can see. The weaker he becomes.

The power he has to make a difference is leaving him. The power to enact revenge, to seek justice... is no power at all near Krypton. Does he continue onward, risking his own death and being completely powerless when he meets the destroyers of his world, or does he turn back and live all-powerful on a world he cares nothing for? He's alone no matter what.

Against all that feels right, Kal-El turns back. To Earth.

Brooding, alone in a fortress of solitude, Kal-El is a man without a home. Without direction or purpose. Resentful of his newly adopted planet. Just when Earth needs him most.

A young, intrepid reporter, Lois Lane, sees something in him. Beyond his pain and resentment, through to the good inside. Just as Kal-El has given up on us and Earth has given up on him, taking him into custody — he's a menace, after all, a weapon — Lois Lane refuses to give up. And that's never been more important than right now. For the same harbingers of cosmic death are heading for Earth next. And just as much as we now need this superman, Lois Lane must find a way to make it clear that he needs us. He needs Earth. And he has the means to fight for it, protect it, save it.

Kal-El, though at first driven by revenge, begins to slowly see the good in us. Understand our fear a bit better and quell it by personifying strength. Not just in power, but in morality, too. The industrial-military complex run by the fear-driven, conniving, power-hungry Lex Luthor begins to be taken over by the kind, gentle, loving Kent couple who pulled him from his spacecraft upon his first arrival. Kal-El sees he can show us the possibility of good and honor his homeworld's values. His parents' memories, if only to aliens who he's just now learning to love instead of pity.

And when the destroyer of Krypton is on the brink of destroying yet another planet — ours — Kal-El accepts the mantle of Superman and fights for all of us the world over. For hope and freedom, life and liberty, truth and moral righteousness. Justice supplants revenge.

And when we look upward from then on, when a spec of something flecks the sky... it's probably just a bird. Then again, it could very well be a plane. But maybe, just maybe, it might be Superman.

Yes, this is not the Superman you know. But like J. J. Abrams did for Star Trek, perhaps a Superman with a bit more emotional depth, one that is able to wield the moral dilemmas much more often than physical threats, and an origin that treats The Man of Steel with a contemporary seriousness I think we all expect is precisely what we need. And don't worry, in the sequel you can have your Superman vs. Lex Luthor. You can explore the oppressive commitment of being Superman all the time. It's there where we can have Clark Kent. It's there where we can explore his further assimilation into humanity foiled by his need to hold on to Krypton.

But for this new era of Superman, something like the above is exactly what we need. A cosmic hero, treated as such. Superman is not a dark character, but that doesn't mean he can't be a serious one. He can be — and should be — a symbol, the same as he has been since 1938, but he doesn't have to be that right away. Let him prove himself to us, to himself. Let us see him struggle with just what he's willing to fight for. Who he is. What he is. Give him the ability and the agency to accept his responsibility after such power is thrust upon him, even if it takes him a while to know just how to use it.

That's the Superman I need, anyway. How about you?

Brandon Lee Tenney is a screenwriter and regular contributor. Follow him @Brotodeau

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  • Henry
    I am stunned by how good that treatment was. You need to register it with the Writer's Guild immediately. (btw. I hate Superman because he is all-powerful. There is no depth to the character and no real challenge for him. You have given me new hope in that guy. Cheers!)
  • really?
    so you're idea is to have him resent earth and eventually want to save it? Star Trek was different but it kept the core of what it was, the core of superman is that he has all that power yet it does not corrupt him because of how the Kents raised him. It has nothing to do with Bible-belt morals but with just being decent towards each other, like Star Trek to inspire hope and we all know that is what we need. Can he beat on someone, like Darkseid, Brainiac, Mongol, yes but at the base of what is Superman is how he was raised. over the years people have just simplified what he stood for, like the Adam West show simplified Batman. There are a few stories that have moved Superman into modern times, Superman: Birthright, Superman: Secret Origin, to name a few. Just thought i should throw that out, oh and besides Kryptonite being a weakness magic is another one along with the red son. ehh probably gonna get crap for this and what not.
  • Jon
    First of all this was very well written, very creative and interesting to read, and had this been an original Superhero or character I would totally be interested to see it. However as a Superman story I don't think it works. Yes, it removes all those complaints about Superman being too powerful, and too good which are completely valid, but they're exactly what make Superman, Superman. Superman's job is too be Super... All the time, without hesitation or question. He is the hero that is always supposed to win, the hero who is able to do anything not because of his powers, but because that's what he is supposed save the day at any cost. Superman shouldn't have to earn our love. Instead he should love us unconditionally and we should be thankful for it. Superman works because he's such an archtype and because he fits the definition of a superhero so well, and while I think ideas like this could be used to potentially bring a Superman film into a modern age, I think it would be much more challenging yet ultimately more rewarding to keep the traditional elements that define the character and make them work for a modern audience.
  • blester01
    I don't think the original origin story needs another re-treatment. It is perhaps the most humane introduction and very relatable to today's world: a family who can't have kids finds one who is not like them and overcomes the initial fear to raise it as their own. They don't raise him as a Kansas bible thumper, believing that he is better than others since he is a Christian; they raise him to be a good human being with universal morals. Although the Bush admin put the nail in the coffin on living an ideological life; the one thing the general public needs right now is a reintroduction into morals. Living in a free society doesn't mean you get to do whatever the hell you want; it means no one belief system is favored over any other. Superman is a symbol of tolerance- something this country needs to be reintroduced to again. Other then the origin, I like the concept.
  • germs
    I applaud your ability to come up with an alternate superman story, but I don't think the original concept has ever been done correctly (or good enough to warrant a complete overhaul). Your idea of having the destroyer of Krypton coming to destroy earth could still work though. Have Clark Kent be fairly young - not yet the Superman we've come to know. In fact, maybe he's just found out about his roots, but doesn't want to accept his role as protector of earth. Whatever they do I hope they drop the Jesus Christ connection.
  • DrMalo
    The core of the Superman mythos can't be modified. The real problem isn't the character. Post-Crisis Superman is what the movies need. Not the Pre-Crisis/Donner/Singer
  • Brian
    As far as story goes, I'm putting my faith in Goyer and the Nolan brothers to treat it right, and I think they will. MY question is: WHO is going to be Superman?
  • DPing
    From a site that generally hates the idea of reboots of old franchises comes... A reboot of an old franchise! I bet it's gonna be in 3D too. I think this article is way out of place. Slow news day I guess. Anyways...if you want to change things that much, don't call him Superman. Be original and create your own damn character. Cosmic Saviour Douche has a nice ring to it...
  • Craig
    Superman has always seemed pretty boring to me, too.
  • http://www.bleepinggeek.com Pete the Geek
    Or... maybe someone could do a Superman movie that was like the comics for a change? The only reason people think Superman is boring, or "too good" or "too idealistic" is because they either read him back in the 80s when comics were simpler, or they just don't get the core of the character. The childhood on the farm is important because Superman is Clark Kent. Despite what Tarantino said in Kill Bill, he's a Kansas farmboy first and foremost. He was raised human from near-birth, with human parents and a very human childhood. He only started discovering his powers as a teenager and that's when they broke the news to him that he was an alien. The rest of his life has been trying to figure out where he fits in the world as someone with extraordinary powers. He's messed up, he's made mistakes, he's handled things wrong. But his upbringing is what makes him the man he is - someone who always tries to be better. If they did a lighthearted fun superhero movie ala Iron Man, where the focus is on adventure instead of weepy narratives and "oh woe is me I'm an outsider and no one will ever understand me" plot devices, I think WB would have a viable franchise on their hands again. Or - even better - set the movie a few years down the road with a more experienced Superman doing battle against his first super-powered villain (instead of Lex and random thugs with kryptonite like they always seem to trot out for this kind of thing). Give him something to actually HIT for a change. Have some aerial battles. Show us what a man with super-strength and flight can REALLY do (and I don't mean stopping earthquakes or catching airplanes yawn). If they do it right, it can be a great movie. If they try to make it gritty or try to "reimagine the character for the big screen" it'll be another failure. There's nothing wrong with the character or the stories, there's something very wrong with the movies.
  • dac_fan
    hate it
  • THEIG
    I'll tell you the SUPERMAN We Need. You open on The Daily Planet. We dive deep into the struggles and politics of the modern corporate newspaper business and how its diminishing. Buy-outs are on the rise and lives, futures are at stake. Economics, business politics/intrigue. Then one reporter, Clark Kent takes off the glasses, rips off his shirt revealing that Red/Blue/Yellow - The End: So the legend begins... Ridley Scott presents... SUPERMAN!
  • Cinemassive
    Please stop trying to further your screenwriting career with bad movie treatment takes. You annoy and repel your audience.
  • THEIG
    My more serious reaction... A bold take on such a classic story. Respectable/Commendable... Superman is a difficult character for our post 9/11 world. That's all apart from the ALL-POWERFUL "Where's the stakes?" prospect... The College Humor animation comparing Batman to Superman, "Yeah while you gave that speech, I just solved all the crime in Gotham..." Where's the primal struggle? Perhaps the only way to go about it is a bold new take and I commend you for having the guts to put it out there in the world. But at what point does it cease to be Superman? Who is Superman? What makes Superman- Superman? Why is Earth his home if not any of the other civilizations Krypton was aware of? At what point with the changes and alt look to the character is he a new character and not Superman? I would be frustrated with remakes say... The Day the Earth Stood Still or even better The Manchurian Candidate because people would argue - "Oh, well, it's nothing like the original..." THEN WHY is it still called The Manchurian Candidate? If you're so far removed and independent why don't you live as your own entity? There are lots of tangents and discussions with that but lets not get distracted. I rant on to bring up the point/argument/thought at which juncture is this character still Superman and not an original comic creation? At what point is so much effort and time put in to revamping the character that you should really just call it a different/original character? (Devil's Advocate - the phrase not the movie...)
  • ha1rball
    I agree with most everyone commenting on here. Those are some great ideas but I personally don't think Superman's origin is lacking at all! In fact its one of if not the best origin in comics period! All he needs is an awesome movie. He has so many more struggles then you realize. He wasn't born being that good its a choice he makes every second of every minute every day! Hell he's more human then us humans. It's hard keeping that persona up. He has the biggest weakness of all the super heroes actually and that is that he cares too much! There is so much more you can do with his character then what's done before if you just explore what it actually takes to be Superman. There's no need to completely redo his origin, just explore his actual character with of course having him do all the badass stuff he can actually do. Superman is the Hulk of the DC universe, there is so much potential there but no one can seem to do it right. Both characters can be amazing if done right. Yes his powers are limit less but There are villains that rival his strength, His physical strength of course but not his inner strength, that goes unmatched! I know I'm rambling on now but think of this, he has the ultimate powers and yet he still chooses to do not just good with them but the very definition of good with them. surely just the struggles with that would make for some great character in a movie. How many of us can actually say we would do the same?? that mixed with some awesome Superman fights could be a great movie. just saying...
  • Rudy
    First off I wasn't repel by your writing that was really interesting what you wrote and I like it. My only thing is it reminds me of Smallville, minus the resenting part of Earth, the whole struggle to find who is and earning his powers and the mantle of Superman thats Smallville 101. I personally not a fan of Superman especially as I'm getting older, but I like what they did with him in Smallville yeah he has all this power and he is too good of a guy but he had to learn the hard way his actions has consequences and those are the the things superman fans of the old has never seen. Clark Kent really struggling. its more like Clark vs Superman. I know alot of people hate Smallville but honestly I rather watch Smallville then the Superman garbage movie of late...
  • Vet4Peace
    I agree that superman is a bit boring, but I think this would just be a completely different character. Instead of changing his origins completely, just make his dilemmas more complicated and the solutions less one dimensional. Show that good morality is not nearly as simple as it has been made out to be. America is definitely not always right in what it does, and while superman should be a character of good intentions, that is hardly ever enough. There are always negative repercussions accompanying difficult ethical decisions, and superman would be more believable if he had to deal with these as well.
  • Ammon
    What about actually going back to Superman's roots. I think a time-piece film where Superman fights off the Nazi's would be pretty cool. Give him some action and a purpose like he had back in the day. Superman has such a RICH history. Loads of good stories to tell. I for one am sick of "MODERNIZING" everything. They don't need it. We love them they way they are. Marvel is doing it right with Cap! I think that if they at least give Superman a modern villain, NOT LEX LUTHOR, the movie could be mediocre and the entire world would still stand up and cheer just to see The Man of Steel show us he has some balls. Personally I think you did a great write-up. However, if you changed the core elements of Superman you will completely piss off the entire fan-base. It would bomb so much worse than the last one. Just my two cents...
  • Jeff Bassett
    Wow, sounds like the crud Singer introduced, no longer for the American way, a stalker, had a child out of wedlock, flawed, yep that formula went over oh so well. No, if you want to rewrite the character, make a new one, don't trash a good one. People loved the Christopher Reeve personified character, despite the somewhat too simplified goofy script. What it lack was a basis of reality, a hard look that the newest Batman movie took on. Keep the "original boring" character, write a script that explores the modern concepts and issues that people take on on a magnified basis. You posted a great moralist flawed justification character, the type that causes the character justifications of "the real bad guys". Superman is not invincible and dealing with the grays of today is a challenging story to create, one that most writers today just do not have the skills to create. If you are looking for the visceral Superman story, don't change Superman's character; intelligently have him deal with a tough opponent that makes you understand the spectrum from the black and white through the grays. You want a good story, that is the challenge, most people have lost focus through complexities that leave them mentally overloaded and looking for answers. The original Superman character has the answers but those solutions that flow from principles that are rare to be seen in these times. They are principle that so many miss, values many wish they could see more of. Such as in the true character foundation that makes Superman so admired.
  • Docteur Baron (a.k.a Lazarus Leonis)
    Superman first off is not boring...he never was and never will. I've read all the amin stories and seen every adaptation made of him in every medium and the one thing shinning through is always...He's always there when we need him. Your treatment was very creative, obvious but challenging the concept of an Alien living in our modern world and wanting to help us because he can and would inspire us. The pitch you just gave, should be though for an original character or story. Not Superman. Superman is about 3 core things... 1-To fight for what is right 2-To save anyone & everyone, even from themselves. 3-To always have hope & faith in the best of people. If Superman could he would save Lex Luthor...just because no one would. As a comic book hero he is the father of the modern american superhero yes. But before him was the Phantom & The Shadow. Both men who go against the grain to fight for others or bring justice to the lawless. That concept of bringing law to the lawless is also a western concept still found in many modern movie heroes. (Jack Bauer, John McLean to name a few) But as a core comic character Superman is yes...too powerful. But is he really? Can he cure anything. Solve world problems or stop us from hating each other every day. Maybe, but then how would we benefit from him being a superhero. He is a hard character to write for, I completely agree, but boring...no. A movie made from his lore is simple. Take the best part of it. The home life of Clark Kent, the reason why he wants to help us. Then add Lex Luthor. The best humanity has to offer us in an age of science. let these two clash on a philosophical arena. Then bring in the nightmare we all fear. Aliens wanting nothing more to destroy us because, they can. Superman needs an Operatic story as J.J. Abrams STAR TREK, but he needs also heart only great story telling a movie can give us. My Superman story, I still want to see...Superman can & wants to save us....a sort of Messiah for a jaded 21rst century IPhone / Blackberry / Facebook / twitter society. My story...why should he save us. Why him and why not save us everyday of every second of our lives and not just when a crisis arises. Superman is a symbol of what good can do, but should a symbol save us all the time...
  • jjboldt
    Wow, we have put a lot of thought into this. That would be interesting to say the least. Not saying I am for it or against it. But an interesting idea for sure. I am probably more of a fan of Superman Returns than most. They can get rid of Kate Bosworth, but Kevin Spacey and Brandon Routh were good in my book. I wouldn't mind them being in the next one. On a light side-note, why is Bryan Singer having so much trouble getting movies going? He was going to do the next Superman movie, then there was Logan's Run and then the X-Men prequel. Interesting since his stuff always seems to be pretty decent.
  • http://www.insanityisrelative.com Andrea
    Wow. That was great! I hope we get something as good as that! (Not sure about the Kents taking over Luther's company though...)
  • Docteur Baron (a.k.a Lazarus Leonis)
    P.S.: read Grant Morrison's '' Superman: Birthright '' / '' Superman All star '' / '' Superman: Red Sun '' and '' A Superman for all seasons '' Some writers are lazy when it comes to the man of steel...some out do themselves and give us the Superman we need to read about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Superman_For_All_Seasons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Star_Superman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman:_Red_Son http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Superman:_Birthright http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Kal-El_(New_Earth)
  • Docteur Baron (a.k.a Lazarus Leonis)
    Sorry Superman: Birthright is not by Morrison...All Star is! ;)
  • Claudia
    While it is an interesting take on the character, it wouldn't be Superman, it wouldn't, so you might as well give him another name. I agree with almost all commenters here, the problem is not Superman as a character, but the way the character is treated and the story he is given. As an example on why Superman is great as he is and why should stay that way, go watch the sketches of It'sJustSomeRandomGuy regarding the character, I pretty much thought Superman was boring too, but I came around to like him again a couple of years ago, and these sketches had a lot to do with that: http://www.youtube.com/user/ItsJustSomeRandomGuy#g/u
  • LINKFX
    Nah Superman is popular for a reason, he is an ideal. A pillar of justice. I think they just need to bring in the more colorful villains...make it a true sci-fi epic and bring Justice League or Legion into the fold...or maybe Green Lantern? Something to keep it dynamic and spice things up. I would be pissed if this was another origin story, EVERYONE knows everything about Superman, show me Superman present day, not in the corn fields 'n' shit.
  • Kyser Sosai
    I don't get it... It's Brains against Braun. Lex vs Supes. Classic !!!! That's how you fight brute strength/powers. So you need a really well written Villian. Where's the villian??? ie Batman Begins and Batman (Burton). The villian Nuns and blind folks want to see die at the end. The story needs balance and the movie will be great. Doesn't everyone get it. We aren't afraid to really see evil anymore. The dirty side of humanity. Movie goers have pretty strong stomachs. Give me a GREAT Villian and Supes can have 10 kids and 4 Lois Kates... hell throw in Mary Jane Snaggletooth. I don't care as long as the hero has to fight and I mean FIGHT!!!! W/ everything to survive, save the planet and get the girl. That's all folks
  • JP
    I think that the problem studios are having with these films is finding a villain other than lex luthor without being too silly, like a bunch of Hulk vs. Abomination fight scenes. The thing is it doesn't have to be all that silly. Just treat it like an alien invasion or monster movie or something like that. Think of Independence Day...with Superman trying to protect earth. Or a big, strong, monster character something like Godzilla (well, something with a little more depth). Think Hollywood!!
  • ONE
    First off, Superman sucks. Who likes a hero that can't die unless he is hit with a green rock from his home planet that was destroyed and yet EVERY enemy seems to have? Second, that treatment (if you can call it that) sucks. Weak story/character arc...I love the Nolans, they are brilliant. It simply comes down to this: we need another Superman movie like we need another freaking Spiderman movie. The point---WE DONT! Stop with the remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels and make an original idea. Hollywood is going to the morons and suckers not the true artists that make great films.
  • Kyser Sosai
    @29 WHAT !!! Come on Superman does not suck. The Richard Donner films are classic. "True Artists" are getting more coverage then ever before. Popularity of Sundance and Cannes are the highest ever among the main stream. Hollywood has there place and it's making Popcorn Blockbusters. They just haven't been doing it well. THEY NEED GREAT VILLIANS !!!
  • r1000
    Good read... but sorry.. Just as superman is boring... LEX LUTHOR is even WORSE!!!!!! !@#$$%... He's got to be the worst so called enemies EVER!!!!.. I grew up reading plenty of comics, Marcel, DC, Image etc So I think I can comment on that.
  • JKshins
    Great writing but again does it stray too far? I think so.... obviously superman is too powerful to be challenged physically, but mentally? Hell no. You have to threaten the people that he cares about, have lex luthor decive superman into harming someone that he loves. Not the classic im holding lois lane hostage, but have lex in the back pulling strings leading superman into a situation that he cant win and actually make him lose. Then in the second movie do the unthinkable... Kill superman ya im talking about doomsday its an actual threat and you could show the world without superman after he has given his all defending it. The comic art of superman dieing in the street is too me the most iconic piece of superman art I have every seen. Its not that far fetched and You can bring back supes for a third movie if you wanted or leave it where it lays.
  • Michael
    The problem I think you were trying to address with your superman treatment was that, at his core, superman is not relatible. He's strong, fast, unbeatable, unkillable and seems to always win the day with a smile. Thats almost the exact opposite of what people are like. But that's is why people love him as a character Personally, superman bores me (he never seems to have any conflict he can't physically outdo), but I do understand why people like him. He stands out as an ideal, a goal that all people should reach for, a self-sufficant, powerful person who shapes his environment around him (in superman's case, quite literally).
  • Logan
    Instead, Kal-El comes to Earth as a man. An ambassador of Krypton. Pretty much sums up the fail that is this article
  • Gavin
    Here's what I like about our concept plot; if you have a complaint you best have a solution! and you did just that. although everyone will throw there own tidbits in about your plot at least you came up with an idea and you put it out there. I say work on it more in depth: create those emotional conflicts, leave some cliff hangers, death to lex luthor!( LMAO. ) and put a brain storming group together on a script and submit it to WB. you never know what could happen. but drive off that start trek concept of a situation that alters our new reality of the characters and run with it! Good luck P.S. doomsday was the best villain. the death of superman and new creation of him was the best story line ever.
  • adgfsfgd
    I give you an A+ for effort Brandon, but an overall F.
  • Quaked2023
    @ #34 Yeah I stopped reading at that point hahahahaha
  • Stephen
    This sounds like a pretty interesting idea for an Elseworlds comic book--a series DC puts out which reimagines their characters in new situations with different backstories, etc. (For instance, Superman: Red Son had Kal-El land in the Soviet Union and get raised to fight for Communism.) But as a movie, it sounds bad. This would change Superman far too much--he wouldn't be the same character we know and love. And while we can take that in graphic novels which we know are just playing around with the ideas and mythos of the character, movies have so far always tried to remain true to a character's roots, and I don't think messing with that is going to work right now, if ever. (I would like to see superhero movies become more original and less formulaic though, not just serving the fans.) But Superman is a great character--an archetype of the entire superhero genre, the central "good-guy" character who can always be counted on. Other heroes like Batman may make fun of him and call him the "big blue Boy Scout," but that's okay, because ultimately we need him more than ever. He believes in us, (whether Tarantino thinks so or not) and he offers us a hero and a comfort. "All-Star Superman" is the best modern comics take on him, and while it's zany sci-fi storyline would never work on film, the best moments in there hit at Superman's emotional core: When he gets to go back in time to be with his Pa one last time, when as a young man he flies desperately trying to save his father, crying "I can save you! I can save everybody!" And when he has to leave Lois suddenly, saying "Someone needs me" and lands next to a girl about to jump off a building, hugs her, and tells her, "You're stronger than you think you are." He has a serious emotional core, a genuinely righteous, sacrificial attitude that he doesn't find easy himself, but knows that he has to do it because he is a symbol, and we need him. This needs to come through in the movie. But also, he has to kick some serious butt against a real supervillain. Why have none of the movies tried Brainiac yet? It's not like sentient computers are hard to do.
  • Vish
  • Mike
    That was pretty well written piece and I could see it made into a movie but there was a superman series that was written not to long ago by Grant Morrison that is called All-Star Super man. That should be picked up as a movie because it is about superman coming to terms with his inevitable demise. Pick this comic series up and read it and you'll understand why it should be made into a movie.
  • http://www.nicksears.com Nick Sears
    Fantastic approach to his identity and how that applies to today. Well done!
  • MiKe M?
    Superman is gay
  • ImaginaryVisionary
    Interesting, but I think where this would fall short is it plays into the American idea that we are our own Gods, and that we only turn to the actual God when we can no longer handle things on our own....which isn't courage, it's cowardice. In your story America would represent cowardice, arrogance and ignorance. Superman would be the emo version of a Messiah who reluctantly saves us in order to save himself....which also reflects our self centered nature. Not a big comic fan, but that's the opposite of every true hero story in our culture. It's not a story we need, it's a story we'd love to bash because it represents the worst in us and we don't want to see it (think of every Iraq war film they've made so far!). With that in mind, we would need to see that in some respects, but it would need to be done with Superman being selfless from the start because the hero always needs to represent what we need to be....not what we already are. Think of the Dark Knight. In some ways your treatment parallels some of the Batman theme's, but Superman's character is centered on perfection. Batman's is centered on the lack of perfection. The lack of perfection is what made Batman a savior that 'we needed him to be' ....but that type of story centers on human darkness. Superman should center on the opposite. The strive for perfection. Not a savior we need him to be, but the type of savior we need to be. Batman doesn't strive for moral perfection, Superman does. The only reason Superman seems boring in our culture is because we live in a swirling world of novel sins. He has no place because we're more dazzled by this swirling diversion and we lack a moral center. Superman as a character needs to provide that. The origin story that you provided isn't all that bad, but Superman can't be emo and self centered for half the story and then only come around in the end because he realizes saving us is what he wants. That needs to be his calling from the beginning, the desire to serve a greater purpose above a self serving purpose. It's the essense of every super hero in some ways, but its essential to superman, and his perfection as "too powerful" is a reflection of that because only a person who is basically perfect in nature can be perfectly selfless (because they lack a weakness).
  • Regular Style Superman Hater
    Wow!!! I never thought a Superman story could ever be interesting, but you sir have proved me wrong. Sure, the story you speak of reminds me a little bit of Spider-man and a little bit of Hancock... But that's because it's exactly what Superman needs!! Unfortunately DC are such a useless corporation and they'll never take this onboard, so you should take it to Marvel and see what they think and see if they can come up with something for it. Maybe even a movie that mocks the Superman franchise by means of saying here is our Superman but done in a more worth reading and worth watching fashion. I personally don't care what people say Superman is suppose to be or suppose to stand for cos let's look at an analogy. Boxing versus Pro Wrestling. Which one is more realistic? Boxing. Which one more so stands for something? Boxing. But which one is more interesting and therefore more worthy of watching? Wrestling.
  • BradF
    I want the last 15 minutes of my life back
  • Black Dynamite
    As a Superman fan, we have seen Luther over, and over, and over, and over again. If I see Luther in another film as the primary enemy I will not go see the movie. What this guy has written was not bad at all, it gave a fresh perspective at what could be while enforcing Superman's connecting him to planet Earth and reinforcing his values. Everything we know about why Superman loves Earth is because of a woman... Lois Lane. To me that's stupid. The way he wrote it gives us a new reason why he fell in love with the planet. He's alien, but he was raised as a human, so revenge would certainly be in his mind. Having him come here as a man...I don't know about that, however, the rest was good. The bad guy(s) for Man of Steel should be Brainiac and close out the trilogy with Doomsday The directors should not throw in more than one bad guy as it will end up like Spiderman 3...ugh! Superman, needs more weaknesses, good save scenes and an EPIC battle scene that surpasses Edward Nortons Incredible Hulk: Hulk vs Abomination or Spiderman 2: Spiderman vs Doc Octopus. Those are the two best battle scenes to date. Bottom line, we don't wanna see Superman life a mountain, or safe a fallin chick all the time... we want to see Superman effed up, battered, bruised, clothes torn, and that curl punched outta place. As Brandon says, maybe that old Superman take was good then, but not now... make him real, he's too perfect. But don't turn him into a dead beat daddy like the Bryan Singer. Part of the problem with Superman films, sorry to say it is us, the fans. We gotta let them remake Superman or we will continuously get the same films. As an inspiring writer, I like your take Brandon. Keep doing yo thang.
  • FOOM
    My two penneth..... I am all for new angles with superhero stories but the one place no one should go is to screw around with origins! The origins of superheroes are the foundations upon which the whole lore is built and should be respected. As for superman....well, I agree with the consensus that he is too damn powerful. He is invulnerable to physical harm within the reach of our yellow sun..thus it grates on me whenever something hurts him (apart from kryptonite of course) because it directly contradicts the major premise upon which the character is built. I say put superman in the DC universe where magical heroes/villains exist since no superman movie has dealt properly with his susceptibility to magic..... let him use his brains as well as his brawn to defeate a foe he cannot directly harm and who can hurt him! I am not saying it will be easy and the argument that it would be difficult to make a magical theme gritty and realistic is strong..... but with modern CG and other techniques it could be done!
  • Nicc
    "What Ever Happened To the Man Of Tomorrow" Easily the best Superman story of all time, quite complicated, enough villains to make an easy trilogy out of the comics, and of course it's NOT, i repeat NOT a remake, or reboot... You also get what every real comic to movie hero needs...real crisis, real people in THEIR lives dying(Lana, and Jimmy), real heart wrenching plot...Everyone posting about Superman is basically saying the same thing: Superman is fine, we need to UP the game of the story, move past the same boring origins crap(that ironically no one can get right)and get on to something else. We need to UP the game of the Villains, real villains(and yes that includes LEX)...hit Superman with the League of Villains, Doomsday, Despero, Metallo, Darkseid, Brainiac, Mongul...ETC There is plenty of material to use to make a great Superman movie, a movie where the person watching can think to themselves: "Man Superman better be glad he has all those powers, because those guys are bringing it to him!" not "Man he's stopping a train or catching a plane again?" BUT at the same time, Superman needs loss, he needs to have his heart torn into pieces as well, to give him that fire for humanity...
  • Bill in Burlington
    Sounds great... just don't call it Superman.
  • Alec Baldwing
    Nah, forget this. The problem with Superman is that because he is so powerful the writers always have to come up with some lame story to pussify him and make him weak and vulnerable. And all the stories have been the same. Forget Lex Luthor, forget the typical Superman recipe. They need to make a movie with Superman (Brandon Routhe) and Batman (Christian Bale) vs The Legion of Doom. And it doesnt have to be one movie, it could be 2 or 3. Look at how Empire Strikes Back ended... perfect, like an unfinished book. Maybe at the end of the first or second they can start to bring in other team members like Wonder Woman (without the cheesy bikini costume) or the Flash, Green Lantern, Aqua Man, Captain Marvel (The whole Shazam thing would kick ass). But these characters and the story needs to be bad ass and dark. And we dont need origins! The only example I can think of is the Justice League cartoons where the JL from another universe have had enough and take matters in their own hands after Flash is killed. Those costumes look badass. Also, I like the story of Batman always having a piece of Kryptonite in his utility belt in case Supe ever went Rogue. But there needs to be hardcore battles. And unlike Michael Bays stupid movies, the battles dont have to be in a large populated city with a lot of people in the way!!! Forget it!! Its always the same after scenes like that, what about all the people that were hurt or killed? Suddenly we forget all about that. Come on, somebody please do something out of the box!!! Look up "Batman Dead End", thats what I am talking about.
  • Klinger
    I appreciate you trying, but that character's name is Batman. We've already seen it. I'd rather go for something that keeps Superman as he is. The thing that's never been mentioned in his movies is HOW powerful he is. #48 Nicc has it right. Superman has never been about the physical challenges. He's about the emotional. He's godlike in his strength and speed, yet just a boy when it comes to his heart. Break his heart and show him how little his strength actually means when it comes to being a man. Honestly, the only Superman I'd ever love to see is "Kingdom Come". That was the finest comic I've ever read and it would totally resonate with the world these days. You wouldn't have to introduce any of the characters. Everyone knows them and even if they don't, it wouldn't matter because comic heroes are so ingrained in Film culture right now that you would understand what/who they are.
  • Chucho
    You story seems to be The Day the Earth Stood Still... I agree with Superman has to be more serious, though. "Superman Returns" was awful, yes. It was a remake of the first Superman with Christopher Reed. Anyway, with the Nolan brothers in this one, I bet it will be a great movie. Maybe make Superman fight terrorism instead of bringing down stupid cats from a tree would be a good thing.
  • Dano
    They made this movie. Minus the cape. It's called "Hancock." The last Superman movie to be made promised all kinds of new wrinkles. Yet it was the same old, same old. Superman needs to be put on the shelf. Permanently.
  • LW
    ... wait a minute... you want Superman to be "emo"?
  • ha1rball
    How has everyone who is saying his only weakness is kryptonite forgotten that he is also weak by magic?!?! any magical attack hurts him as well.
  • Fox
    This is one of the stories id like to see, being the other of Chris Nolan and Goyer: http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=23521 “I want to start on Krypton, a thousand years ago, and end with Superman alone on Planet Earth, the last being left on the planet, as the yellow sun turns red and starts to supernova, and he loses his powers." (Mark Millar) If he managed to bring his vision to life, along with a cosmic saga with Darkseid as a major villain, and an alien invasion of Earth, the better. Please, no more real estate games as a plan to conquer the world, as we've seen with all Superman movies with Lex Luthor.
  • joaquin mojado
    I don't like the story that you have in mind. I think the upbringing in Kansas is what partially makes superman who he is and why he wants to save the planet and humanity from themselves. He fights a fight that I don't think he really believes he can win. His efforts and his battles serve as an example to what we should strive to be. The love for the world he has known most of his childhood is dying and he is on the verge of losing due to the actions of the inhabitants. He represent truth, justice and doing the right thing. I think now that superman stands on the marsh-lands of Louisiana and is crying wondering whether he should continue to fight for a civilization that is determine to destroy themselves.
  • Klinger
    #56 Joaquin Retarded. Crying on the banks of the LA Marsh-lands? ..because, you know, Superman is all about crying. He would just zip on over to the pipe, or hell, under the earth and plug the leak. You had to go with crying on the banks.... /sigh
  • The Kidd
    That was the stupidest idea I have ever heard. Superman cannot be made into someone else. His incredible power is what makes him great. Imagine the strength of character and all around goodness it takes for him to use such vast power for good. It could have so easily corrupted him if he did not have great adoptive parents and a moral foundation. He could have ruled as a all powerful tyrant. We do not have to drag our heroes down into the gutter. We need to know that poeple can do what is right and not rationalize and say that everone is really a scumbag. Superman does whats right because he knows it is right even though he does not have to play by the rules. we should all learn that lesson. There is not as much "gray" in the would as poeple would have you think. There is right and wrong, and people and superheroes can be truly good.
  • MHinDC
    I like your idea for a new SUPERMAN. However ..... I am simply tired of all the superhero movies. In the near future we will look back on the 2000's as a time when studios exhausted the superhero genre. I stopped going to superhero movies after SPIDERMAN 2. IMHO, they just aren't any good any more. Haven't even seen IRON MAN. Thought DARK KNIGHT was too dark. Tired of establishing their history .... introducing the villain .... the cheesy "girl" love story .... etc., etc. THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA .... boring. Stop making these films!!! Move on!!!!!
  • Hattori Hanzo
    Superman as we know him is a SUPER DORK and if he is to continue on, someone has to find a way to make him cool.
  • LW
    @59 "Those who only see genre never really see the movie" -A really wise dude
  • Welling4Superman
    Smallville's Tom Welling is this generations Superman! He's been building up to this as Clark Kent for 9 seasons and will finally become Superman in season 10. It doesn't make ANY sense to cast another actor for the role. Smallville's finale couldn't be timed any better to the reboot!
  • Oldren
    You're right, thats the hero we all need now. Your idea is marvelous, it's awesome, you should send that to warner brothers, i don´t know, whoever is in charge of the proyect. Great story
  • Pekpek
    There's no sense of excitement when he's fighting. You always just look out for the almighty kryptonite
  • hawk
    Way to piss on an American icon. Superman is enduring because it's good.
  • Bill
    All you need is a giant robot spider in the third act and you have yourself a winner.
  • http://daftbot.com Kent Lundblad
    I literally stopped reading the moment you talked about Superman coming here asking for our help. Superman is always relevant in a world filled with problems, even more so today than before. The issues of Superman and Action comics that came out after 9/11 prove that. You obviously have a bias to the character that shows you've never delved into what makes him interesting. You know the simple every day version of Superman that's hoisted upon kids in Saturday Morning Cartoons and the films from the 70s or the first few seasons of Smallville. If some one is going to be pitching Superman have it be some one who understands the character. Your ideas are borderline TERRIBLE and that movie sounds UNWATCHABLE.
  • Vish
    To insult or re-write something you need to know everything about it. You cannot just "I'M NOT A FAN, LOOK AT ME I CAN WRITE LIKE THIS BUT IT GOES LIKE THAT AND TURNS OUT TO BE LIKE BLUT BLOT BLAT BLOOT BLIT BLAP BLOK (that's how it sounds, reading this article)" Superman dates back to the late 1930's. The involvement, the psychological development behind the creation of this character is ageless and genius. Now we all know that everybody's up for "freedom of speech". An atheist, when attacking religious belief makes sure he knows in and out about that religion. I suggest you do the same sir. You don't seem to know what has been in the comic books that have come out till the present day or what's about to arrive. And comic books are my religion. They have taught me greater good than any religion I've ever been part of. Heroic deeds, fantastic examples, non-explicit metaphors, etc etc. If you thought what you actually have written was "epic" then you should have pitched it to DC or WB. I guess you didn't think this was good enough, which has lead you to post it on the internet. Free publishing. (nothing but restecp for firstshowing.net) Just pointing out that it's the internet. I'm a reader by the way, I fell asleep while reading yer post before I came to the 5th last paragraph.
  • Higher IQ than You
    Do not be discouraged Brandon, it's pretty clear not just from this page but from many other pages on this website that the vast majority of posters here are very well represented in the movie 'Idiocracy'. These fools are the ones who think 'Ow! My balls!' is the greatest show ever. It's quite well known America isn't ranked all that high when it comes to intelligence and you Brandon are an exception to the rule because you think "Guy that can kick ass, kicks ass" is too simple of a storyline. What you forget is that these dipshits are simple, so it suits them perfectly.
  • Elycia
    Awesome idea, well written, and I think that is the exact Superman we need!
  • FOOM
    #55 ha1rball see my post at #47 :-) #50 You are right...the JL unlimited episode with the alternative Earth "Justice Lords" was a fine piece of writing!
  • Sledge
    I think someone who openly states that they don't like Superman to begin with (as does the person who wrote the piece) has no right stating what a Superman movie 'should' be like to begin with, or what the Superman movie that "we need" should be, and as such anything else they have to say on the subject and the changes that 'must' be made should be basically ignored as a result. This person has every right to not be a Superman fan, but he has no right to demand changes to an iconic character just because it doesn't suit and serve his own personal tastes and views. And that's even before we get to the heart of the matter that the suggested ideas presented here as an alternate are lazy, cliche ridden and utterly generic. Creatively speaking it is always easier to change things in an adaptation, rather than to work hard to actually get them right and make those core ideas work across a different medium, and this is just another lazy example of that mode of thinking. The same old 'my new ideas are way better (and easier to write) than those that have endured for decades' hubris. As such, this kind of thing should not be encouraged, lest somebody stupid in a position of power actually latches on to that line of thinking.
  • AngrySmurf
    Any writer can arbitrarily change things to make their own job of writing easier, but only a really good writer can take something old, stay true to the core ideals and character, yet present those ideas in a way that still makes it feel fresh and exciting and relevant. Take a look at someone like Geoff Johns for instance, who is a master of doing exactly that. The fact that you don't think that can be done proves beyond a shadow of a doubt what kind of writer you are, and it is clearly not the 'really good' kind mentioned above. No, instead you seem to be just the latest in a long line of lazy revisionists. As such I hope nobody ever lets you withing a thousand miles of ever adapting any established character, as your lazy, half hearted and egotistical approach is exactly what is wrong with far too many adaptations.
  • Preacher
    A good enough writer can make anything work. A bad writer will force unnecessary change in order to cover the fact that he can't make anything work.
  • Oldren
    Superman needs a change to continue living in this era, like batman
  • Oldren
    if they continue to show Superman with the original idea, as Bryan Singer, another fiasco like Superman Returns is going to happen again.
  • Clover
    Anyone younger than 30 does not get it, and has no taste for the Man of Steel. And that is just sad.
  • harm
    Its sad that people base everything off of the Singer/Donner movies in their idea of Superman. There have been a lot of great reflections on the intricacies of the character so far. The problem is trying to rectify this absurd concept of POST 9/11 Film making. I know its a huge buzz word in cinema but its so over used that its become pointless. Like the matrix. I think adapting something like Superman Birthright with elements of greater passion would be a great way to start the new Superman off. Make him not quite the dumbass of Reeves character, make him passionate, someone Lois Lane could love without being a tool. And then in the 2nd movie give him Mongol or someother biggin to punch. but Doomsday should not arrive until the 4th movie. Seriously the idea without a functional series beforehand would seem rushed and lose its emotional resonance.
  • nate
    Superman is Christ like in character. You my friend are a loser that has far too much time on you hands? Who beat you up while wearing an S on their chest?
  • Norman
    When I was reading your proposal, I just thought "Wait, that's a lot like Hankcock". Maybe the last part about being a guys who wants to fight for justice is a little too known recently. The origin, as many others said, is ok. The problem is no the character or the writing but the viewers. Try to imagine a movie based about All Star Superman (I knew someone would name that comic). So, who wants to see that? I guess people that think supes is boring is the same one who wants him to be weak, to be a lot more vulnerable, that his enemies makes them fight in a huge scale battle or something, and that's not it. A great story about Superman is always something that makes him not believe in humanity, or himself. If maybe there was a chance that the movie was not called Superman, people would like it because they are resistant to the idea of the man of steel. Seriously.
  • Jeff Bassett
    The Superman character was designed around the Christ ideology, and the foundation as him having boy scout type characteristics comes from this. If you really don't have a clue on Superman's background, read "The Gospel According To The Worlds Greatest Superhero" by Stephan Skelton. You will then have a fundamental idea of what drives this character and who he is suppose to be. The character is a popular one, rewriting him would be a shame as you can just make up a new one rather than destroy an already existing good one. That has been the problem with the new franchises which step away from what makes him so popular. The issue has not been Superman but rather the story lines he has been placed in along with a lack of intelligent writing in recent films.
  • Bobby D.
    Like most have said, the problem isn't the character - Superman's an ideal personified, emblematic of the best in us, and all of that kind of thing. It's something that is, at it's core, timeless - what's needed is to place this character into a contemporary context, and allow that idealism to shine through. Because, it's one that applies in times of societal turmoil most especially - a beacon that rises above, and becomes an example for others to take note of, and follow.
  • David
    Its pretty bad when people who are wannabe writers, write treatments for scripts that are already in the process of being written. I hope you didn't get paid for that because just about everyone does it with their friends while waiting in line to see stereotypical 3-d movies.
  • deebo
    I'll go along with most people as far as Supes character. Its just like other have said its easier to bring Supes down so he could be morally currupt so that he can be liked and recieved and more entertaining, after all we drop morals when its convienant or the value of entertainment increases. Supes movies simply just need villian overhauls. They need to take a page from smallville and let Luther disappear for awhile so they can focus on other enemies as long as Supes fights humans he always gonna be boring. Maybe they need to sit down and watch some of these animated movies these are the fights people want to seee on the screen. I would love to see live action fights scenes in movies like the did in batman/superman public enemy or Supes and Doomsday, Superman took a beating in both movies even tho he found a way to win he was getting his lunch handed to him. Thats all Supes Movies need more action
  • http://www.theblogthattimeforgot.blogspot.com Al Harron
    The story sounds fascinating, but it's so markedly different from Superman that I think it would just be better making up your own film and hero, rather than using the Superman name. Frankly, if you're going to reinvent Superman, you should at least know something about the history of why he's succeeded for so long. Superman's been reinvented a few times in the past 20 years, but everyone keeps coming back to the original Big Blue Boy Scout. This is because he's timeless. Superman is only boring in the hands of a mediocre writer: in the hands of one who's skilled, he's fascinating precisely because of his alien and infallible nature conflicting with a human, fallible world. No, I think Superman works just fine for modern times - more than ever, in fact. The idea that there is no Big Evil to target just shows how vulnerable we all are, and how Superman would be a beacon of hope. The more terrible and insidious the evil, the more we need a Superman to look up to. Again, it's a good story idea you have, but it works more in a The Day The Earth Stood Still kind of way than a Superman one.
  • Jon
    FUCK YOU FOR WRITING THIS!!!! I really want to see this movie now, and it will probably never be made...son of a bitch!
  • Rob
    The movie needs to show Superman's incredible godlike powers and this incredible compassion and humanity. Superman Unleashed. I want scenes where superman's power is truly unleashed against a horrible villain and humanity is frightened by his awesome powers. Close-ups of glowing red eyes. Weird scenes of microscopic vision, X-ray vision, etc. I want scenes of Superman driven to the point of near-death where he has flashbacks to what he loves and is fighting for. I want scenes of Superman struggling to hold up entire buildings as they crumble around him, giving time for people to get out. I want a battle on the Moon or Mars or a trip to the surface of the Sun. I want Superman to fight Brainiac or Cyborg Superman or Metallo or Doomsday. I want tiny moments to Superman helping out children, the elderly, etc. Superman rules. I'm sorry that you don't get him. You need to dig deeper if you're a comics fan. There is no need to re-write him. As a kid I loved Spider-man, the X-Men. All the angst-ridden guys. I still do, but as I got older I dug into the SOURCE of Comics and really opened my eyes to the big guns. Superman. Batman. Marvel is cool and will always be cool and Batman has the edge as well, but Superman is...pure. He's the essence of comics. And regardless of if you are religious or not, you can't deny the religious connotations of the character. I guess that can turn some people off. But if it turns you off, you might have bigger questions you think about. Some people have mentioned great reads. I'd add to their list with the Supreme Story of the Year collection by Alan Moore. Moore took an Image comics bastardization of a Nihilistic Superman and wrote a collection that looks back on the entire catalog of Superman lore and gives it a fresh take. Check it out and keep an open mind. Superman is...
  • Olive
    Sounds like shit. Too much time spent creating shit...kinda like Star Wars Episode I. The whole point of Superman is his foundation in ideals. The same ideals we need today that never change regardless of the time we live in dumb ass. By the way, Batman is not that different. Remember the Joker's quote in Dark Knight, "you truly are incorruptible." #88 is right. You don't get it. Superman has nothing to prove since he arrived knowing already that Earth was pathetic and needed help. We don't have clear unrest today? Crawl out from your little comic cave. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't say we need a being such as Superman today who could potentially, stop a terrorist, a war, a flood, a gushing oil well, and some big mouth politicians.
  • Dominik
    Well, well...addressing this discussion with I DISLIKE superman proves your point without needing to brag about it. You know why I like superman(he isnt my favorite, that spot is reserved for rather unknown comic characters) simply BECAUSE of his IDEALS! We need these ideals more then ever, there is nothing worse then succumbing to the cyncism and hoplessness people seem to face in these days. Pretending it's cool it's even worse.. Times were much darker but it's easy to say that we live on the bring of destruction and people are getting too lazy to make a difference. Superman was created during one of the worst periods in human history and if you have bothered to look up the reason why siegel and schuster created the man of steel you wouldnt brag about why superman needs to be serious. there is nothing worse then an ultra conservative meathead with godlike powers... Still people pretend its the end of the world and nobody cares for each other anymore especially about these ideals of being GOOD. Sucks for you then. Superman might be clicheed, he might be naive, he might be too strong(again bad reserach here, there are beings far stronger in DC universe) but he stands for what is right and what every person should aspire to. To help each other in times of need. The ultimate good. This is coming from an alien that is more human then us. Superman has these powers because he is the only one who can wield them. In a world like ours we need superman.
  • http://www.richardsantos.com Rich
    Reboots, reimaginings, reinventions...this is precisely why I've moved on from most comics (and comic films in general) in general because some flavor-of-the-moment director or comic writer thinks they know everything about everything. Please take this as my humble opinion. Fans who want a dark, tortured Superman probably live in the comfortable suburbs bitchin' about how bad life is. I grew up in the barrios of New York. For fan buff, that would be equivalent to living in "District 9" only w/o the aliens. I saw some terrible things that most people have only seen in films. The so-called dark side of life is no fun, believe me. Growing up, Superman was a symbol of what was good and hopeful. Along with a wonderful, loving family by my side, the character of Superman inspired me in part to be a better person and to always take the high road when it comes to moral/ethical choices, no matter how hard that choice could be. Superman was a hero to look up to. I knew a man couldn't fly;I knew there were no aliens from planet Krypton to come and save our planet; all I learned was that one person could make a difference, as long as they tried their best. That's partially what the character inspired me to do. People want to see a more comtemporary Superman? Who exactly? What the hell does that mean when people ask for that, anyway? Maybe he should be reinvented into a tattooed, alcoholic womanizer like Jesse James to make him fit into the time? (I am being sarcastic, but I wonder how many people would actually think that idea would be great) This is just one mans opinion, but I am also tired how virtue has become "boring". I compare Superman's virtue & goodness to another great fantasy character; Aragorn of the "Lord of the Rings". He is as virtuous, as noble and decent as charatcers could get, and he is a proud, strong, humble warrior king who stands for something. Aragorn is a rich, vibrant character and not boring. It's a matter of perspective. What makes Superman boring? That he stands for something? That he doesn't shoot up dope? That he doesn't pick up whores? That he doesn't go around killing people just for fun of it because he can? I am exxagerating, but I hope you get me point. If people don't like Superman and find him boring, why do they bother to even care about his character's image or interpretations of it? Superman is an icon. Superman is a larger-than-life character and the only thing needed to make a great film is a larger-than-life villian (like Doomsday or Brianiac). I have no problem exploring the Superman/Clark Kent contrast and conflicts, but understand that has been a part of Superman lore, so it's nothing new. I am for exploring his emotions & character more, but for goodness sake, don't overdo it! Superman knows what his lot is in life. I don't think it would be wise to have him constantly tortured about how unlucky his life is that he is not human. On a related note, I love Batman because than who Batman is---a darker character. But Batman and Superman are different characters. Nolan did a fantastic job with Batman, but unless he can really dive into who Superman is at the core, he may not, I repeat MAY NOT be the person to do the job. Doesn't mean he can't pull it off. But Warner is only concerned w/ making tons of money went along w/ him because of "Dark Knight"'s success.
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