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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Lokimaru's Avatar
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    Default Is Superman typecast?

    When people think of Superman they think of the big blue Boy Scout but to me That's selling him short and pigeon holing him into an easily digestible role where he only has to show up, say a few platitudes and everyone feels safe again. Superman seems to just exist now to maintain the status quo rather then actually challenge the system. Can Superman speak out about Intolerance, Inequality or Sexism? Can Superman protest something without a backlash? Can Superman even have a bad day without people freaking out and saying #notmySuperman? Must he just be a boy scout?

  2. #2
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Well, I like Superman as the "big blue boy scout," so I'm a tad biased .

    But Superman wouldn't be the only Superhero who's typecast into a specific mold or character, like how Batman is most often thought of as the grim Dark Knight more then anything else even if he can be portrayed outside of that.

  3. #3
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    He's typecasted by what people want from him and financially support. Like any other, his products subsist on what's trending and unsubstantiated probing with different appeals can just give you #notmySuperman comments, as they are. People may just ask, "why am I reading this in Superman?" if you give them something off of an unsolicited path.

    Basically, for something like Superman but different people would just go for something different.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    Depends what audience your talking about. I think there have been plenty of interesting Superman takes in the last 20 years that fans have appreciated. Broader audiences (movie and cartoon audiences) are more attached to the boy scout image, but there is more malleability in the comics. Could Rebirth be a little more adventurous on its take? Sure, but that's what Doomsday Clock is for. Morrison's Action run had him challenging the Status Quo. American Alien had new layers.Years back you had Superman renouncing his Citizenship. Earth One caused a stir. Just before that you had Superman the communist in Red Son and before that, Superman the jaded loner going through a mid-life crisis and coming out of it in Kingdom Come. Not everyone is going to love it all the time, but he hasn't been pigeonholed in the comics. Maybe in main continuity, but in that sense, who hasn't to some extent?

  5. #5
    Spectacular Member Blue22's Avatar
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    That was actually my problem with Superman for years, and why I didn't start reading his books until Rebirth. I didn't really find his whole "Boy Scout/Perfect Hero/Shining Beacon of Hope" deal wasn't very interesting. The same way I never really found Batman's shtick all that interesting. Neither of them are very fun characters to read on their own. But their supporting cast is AMAZING. I love the Batfamily. I love Lois, Conner, and Jon. So I can handle reading about the Patriarchs of these families I as long as I get to see the family, themselves.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Soubhagya's Avatar
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    I prefer the classical Superman myself. However, i am open to different takes. When i don't like something i simply put it out of my mind. I hardly discuss or read or watch something which i don't like. And as long as i don't say that you are not a 'true' Superman fan because our tastes don't match, its fine. That line of thinking is arrogant and as fans we shall try to guard against it. One man's food is another man's poison. This applies to any work of art.

    Superman is not unique in this aspect. Just look at Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. After The Last Jedi its easy to find something like #NotmyLuke or #JakeSkywalker and so on. Its the case with anything which is really successful. One shall always experiment. Without that, characters loose their relevance. Batman would not be an absolute monster now without the experimentation which was done with him. At the same time there is a commercial aspect too. You make such pieces of art to earn money. To get more fans. And to satisfy existing fans. Its difficult to find that sweet spot.

    But this group of #Notmysomething will always be there. Their presence actually indicates that the property is broadly speaking successful. Success or failure, they will be there, painting narratives to support their viewpoint. They tend to be quite loud and amidst the noise a different picture can emerge which could contradict the reality. With this even a billion dollar film can be looked as a disappointment. So, this group shall be heard. One can't ignore a group of fans which is passionate enough to speak. But they shall not be taken most seriously. They are a small group compared to the entire audience.
    Last edited by Soubhagya; 01-10-2018 at 08:02 PM.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Well, I like Superman as the "big blue boy scout," so I'm a tad biased .

    But Superman wouldn't be the only Superhero who's typecast into a specific mold or character, like how Batman is most often thought of as the grim Dark Knight more then anything else even if he can be portrayed outside of that.
    It's the core of his character. It's literally WHO he is.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokimaru View Post
    When people think of Superman they think of the big blue Boy Scout but to me That's selling him short and pigeon holing him into an easily digestible role where he only has to show up, say a few platitudes and everyone feels safe again. Superman seems to just exist now to maintain the status quo rather then actually challenge the system. Can Superman speak out about Intolerance, Inequality or Sexism? Can Superman protest something without a backlash? Can Superman even have a bad day without people freaking out and saying #notmySuperman? Must he just be a boy scout?
    Simple answer: You can't avoid the "NotMy" crowd because they will always be there. But that has nothing to do with whether or not lots of people also love something. People are often more prone to be vocal about what they don't like.

    I remember back when they did Superman Blue or even the beginning of Post-Crisis and lots of people protested. Stand-up comedians even made fun of Superman Blue. "That's not the Superman I remember." But as a DC editor said, that's exactly the problem. The superman they remember. In other words, most people saying that haven't read a Superman comic for years or decades and that's exactly the problem: it's a shakeup, a publicity stunt to be sure, but it gets people reading the character again.

    To hear people talk, especially us guys, you'd think "Smallville" was a c**p show that nobody liked instead of the most successful Superman television series ever at ten seasons.

    But it doesn't always work. Superman Returns didn't work so well or the current Superman movies compared to
    expectations.

    But that doesn'r mean it can't work though I think you can only take it so far.
    Superman was a beacon to the world. He didnít just save people, he made them see the best part of themselves.

  9. #9
    Legendary Member daBronzeBomma's Avatar
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    I'd say he's been typecast. At least a lot more so than Batman.

    Look at THE BATMAN and then THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD and then BEWARE THE BATMAN. Those are three very different cartoons with the same main character.

    Writers love to tackle Batman's versatility.

    Superman, not so much.

    But that's entirely on the writers' lack of imagination.

  10. #10
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Ehhhh that to me is like omitting the difference between JLU Superman and the Legion cartoon Superboy, or Dean Cain and Henry Cavill. I haven't seen Beware but it looks interesting as I was into The Batman (2004) and it looks a little similar from the trailer.

    But I also agree with Frontier and others that "boy scout" really works for me. I'm not sure I ever had to struggle against it because I find Superman very fun like 90% of the time.

  11. #11
    Mighty Member
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    I find the idea of Superman being "typecast" as inaccurate as saying a broom is typecast when people don't use it as a snow shovel or a mop. Superman needs to be reasonable consistent or else why not create a new character.

  12. #12
    Mighty Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokimaru View Post
    When people think of Superman they think of the big blue Boy Scout but to me That's selling him short and pigeon holing him into an easily digestible role where he only has to show up, say a few platitudes and everyone feels safe again. Superman seems to just exist now to maintain the status quo rather then actually challenge the system. Can Superman speak out about Intolerance, Inequality or Sexism? Can Superman protest something without a backlash? Can Superman even have a bad day without people freaking out and saying #notmySuperman? Must he just be a boy scout?
    I'd say he must do all those things. He has to challenge the system. He has to speak out against intolerance, sexism, inequality. He's a depression era character with strong social democrat roots. That's his core, that's his roots, not his ability to smile while wearing a cape.

    Of course, apparently we've gotta be careful about how Superman does it. In Dawn of Justice, Clark goes way out of his way to confront social inequality, to confront violation of civil liberties of the economically disenfranchised, and that's awesome! But he ran into a rock-solid wall of systemic apathy, and that's totally believable. The problem was that the apathy shook him so much, along with other things that also shook him, but undercut the social inequality aspects, which were largely cut from the theatrical cut.

    He's got to be able to care, very strongly, but he's also go to be able to actually help and make a difference. And he has to be determined no matter what, to fight the never-ending battle, not doubt himself.

    Is it unfair? Maybe. But I think it kind of makes sense to want Superman of all people to be indomitable.
    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  13. #13
    Death becomes you Osiris-Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokimaru View Post
    When people think of Superman they think of the big blue Boy Scout but to me That's selling him short and pigeon holing him into an easily digestible role where he only has to show up, say a few platitudes and everyone feels safe again. Superman seems to just exist now to maintain the status quo rather then actually challenge the system. Can Superman speak out about Intolerance, Inequality or Sexism? Can Superman protest something without a backlash? Can Superman even have a bad day without people freaking out and saying #notmySuperman? Must he just be a boy scout?
    I do know from my experience with the Supergirl TV show that whenever the show speaks out against intolerance, inequality, or sexism the conservatives raise holy hell about the show being too political.
    Being taken over by the feminists. They want a superhero show, not politics rammed down their throats. I'd imagine Superman might suffer the same fate, though he might get more of a pass because he is a man.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Francisco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osiris-Rex View Post
    I do know from my experience with the Supergirl TV show that whenever the show speaks out against intolerance, inequality, or sexism the conservatives raise holy hell about the show being too political.
    Being taken over by the feminists. They want a superhero show, not politics rammed down their throats. I'd imagine Superman might suffer the same fate, though he might get more of a pass because he is a man.
    The Supergirl tv show has a lot of heart but lacks subtlety.. IMO. It's one of the probles of been part of the CW.
    And Superman might get more of a pass because he is "the original" character instead of a spin-off.
    Last edited by Francisco; 01-11-2018 at 10:34 AM.
    "By force of will he turns his gaze upon the seething horror bellow us on the hillside.
    Yes, he feels the icy touch of fear, but he is not cowed. He is Superman!"

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    What has killed me throughout the years is when a lot of creators go out of their way to say things like, "People think Superman is too perfect, but out version of Superman has a lot of flaws." So it's like people think that people think that Superman is too perfect, but there really aren't that many modern or modern-ish stories to back it up. It's as though there are stories written to counter a notion of Superman that doesn't really exist, or at least hasn't existed in a long time.

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