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  1. #61
    Spectacular Member jimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    The first half of that fight is actually VERY well done. It's choreographed well and very dramatic. It doesn't fit Superman wanting Bruce's help very well, but setting that aside it's very good. Once Superman gets his powers back half-way through, it's frankly an insult to both characters' intelligence - just moreso Superman's. Superman isn't just a normal person; the fact that he doesn't fly head-first into walls by accident when he uses super-speed means his brain can keep up. So when Batman fires the gun the second time, Superman seemingly not even trying to dodge is sheer stupidity.

    Even from a cinematic expectation standpoint, Superman *should* have put up a better fight, mainly because the movie is called "Batman v Superman" not "Batgod beats up Superwimp" - such a one-sided fight doesn't do that any favors, either.


    I know all of this seems a bit off-topic, so I'll bring it back around with this: Superman shouldn't just stroll into any scenario and waltz away with victory in every scenario ever......... but power fantasy is a BIG component in Superman's draw as a character. Not the only, but it's a big part. So only feeding that in tiny amounts or in always compromised ways really doesn't help Superman at all. SR, MoS, and BvS have all (imo) failed to properly draw on this, albeit in vastly different ways. Some see this and think it means that people don't like a non-perfect or learning Superman.. but that's not it. If the balance is properly struck, the falls he takes will mean more as well.

    Honestly, Superman's been the "whipping boy" for enough years - until the company REALLY tries to understand and appreciate the character.. no version of the ip will have lasting success, and WB will do what it's been doing for decades - blaming the character. It's a shame, but they keep proving me right every time. I'm honestly shocked Rebirth/Reborn has turned out as well as it has and I'm enjoying it. Imo, it's largely in spite of the company, not because of them.
    Super Whipping Boy - Ain't that the truth, I'll never understand how an individual with ultra superior reflexes, who should have the brain power and processing speed to match, let things like this happen. The writers just dismiss who Superman really is (They don't let Superman be Superman), while seemingly looking to handicap him) so, they can play out this (or any) little scenario they might have cooked up.

  2. #62
    Astonishing Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I thought the whole point of Superman was that he was a good man trying to help as best as he can. And I'd argue attempts to up his powers to Silver Age levels haven't been anymore successful either.
    That is the point of every superhero. As JAK laid out, escapist fantasy is a major component of Superman's success. Just making him a good guy who tries hard...yeah that is very important, but it doesn't even come close to scratching the surface of what he represents as a character and a symbol or vehicle for fantastic stories. Such a mindset compartmentalizes him instead of embracing the whole.

    Attempts to raise his power levels back up have hardly been consistent and don't last long until he's treated as a whipping boy again. Or is met with resistance from other fandoms.

  3. #63
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I thought the whole point of Superman was that he was a good man trying to help as best as he can. And I'd argue attempts to up his powers to Silver Age levels haven't been anymore successful either.
    That first part is always present. The second part, his great power, is nice but Bates and Morrison both had no problem compromising it. For a while he was typecasted as the most powerful ever and it made it tough to give him a broad scope of stories. Then he was the most powerful on Earth, but there were things beyond power to deal with, which I liked. The first arc of Action was what I guess is his weakest ever, but it was great.

  4. #64
    Spectacular Member jimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    That is the point of every superhero. As JAK laid out, escapist fantasy is a major component of Superman's success. Just making him a good guy who tries hard...yeah that is very important, but it doesn't even come close to scratching the surface of what he represents as a character and a symbol or vehicle for fantastic stories. Such a mindset compartmentalizes him instead of embracing the whole.

    Attempts to raise his power levels back up have hardly been consistent and don't last long until he's treated as a whipping boy again. Or is met with resistance from other fandoms.
    Superman, as a universal figure - I believe his power should be at the Silver Age level as outer space is so vast and unexplored who better to explore it than Superman, but it is the Prowess of Superman's being that is really the most important but, in consistent means and Power flux a major bone of contention and thorn in side of DC and Superman - which speaks the to companies sloppy and overall lack of liner continuity concerning the character.

    It is almost like Superman is a victim of his own -super potential- one, that is not fully developed nor, effectively realized. When this happens, he (Superman) comes off as the "whipping boy" to support the writers narrative or, other character(s) development in the story!

  5. #65
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    That first part is always present. The second part, his great power, is nice but Bates and Morrison both had no problem compromising it. For a while he was typecasted as the most powerful ever and it made it tough to give him a broad scope of stories. Then he was the most powerful on Earth, but there were things beyond power to deal with, which I liked. The first arc of Action was what I guess is his weakest ever, but it was great.
    Yep - it's great because, while Superman's power levels aren't huge, the power fantasy aspect is VERY well represented. That's why it reads so well.

    We've had at least two decades of "real" type superhero stories, if not more. And the success of Flash, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman should tell folks that, unless the character types call for it, doing that carte blanche to every hero is no longer a "safe" way to a popular iteration. We're finally out of that era, and I couldn't be happier about it.

    I've said this before, but... if I want to watch a screen for 2 hours and walk away pissed off, I'll turn on a 24-hr news channel. lol
    Last edited by JAK; 01-16-2018 at 01:47 AM.
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  6. #66
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    A power fantasy, by definition, is less about character and has no room for flaws or weaknesses. The idea there are things beyond power could work but is rarely if ever relevant and never dealt with, especially when it comes to Luthor.

    The Wonder Woman movie took place in World War 1, arguably the darkest period in human history, and the Flash uses a darker origin based on a retcon in the 2000s. Not the best examples I'd say.

  7. #67
    Astonishing Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    A power fantasy, by definition, is less about character and has no room for flaws or weaknesses. The idea there are things beyond power could work but is rarely if ever relevant and never dealt with, especially when it comes to Luthor.
    Nobody is claiming they want JUST a power fantasy, just that it's an important part of the package, and Superman's power fantasy trappings are unique in their own way. The power fantasy is seeing the most powerful hero on Earth win the day, but that doesn't mean he cannot be challenged in the process, doesn't have weaknesses, or has everything easy. The man went through a large portion of his life believing he was an outsider, and in one iteration lost his adopted parents at a young age and had to grow up fast. Sure he can fly and shoot laser beams and is the strongest man on Earth, but there is a whole collection of psychopaths in the Phantom Zone who can do all those things and they obviously outnumber him; all his innate power doesn't mean squat when confronted with Mxy; and then there are the social justice problems he cannot solve with just his fists. To say the power fantasy aspect needs to be compromised so he can be challenged more and be more relateable has, frankly, always kind of been nonsense, because there was already plenty of nuance and challenges there. And it doesn't seem like anybody, most fans and casuals alike, really want it anyway.

    I'm not sure what you mean about Luthor...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    The Wonder Woman movie took place in World War 1, arguably the darkest period in human history
    The movie was serious when it was appropriate, thank God, but it was overall lighter in tone than MoS. The movie was challenging Diana to hold on to her inner light when confronted with such atrocities, and yes she went through some turmoil (Steve dying being the big one), but she still decisively won the day and held onto her heroism. There is no gray area there, it wasn't necessary to make her not be a power fantasy (to women in particular) to get a point across. And lo and behold, she's getting at least one sequel that will continue her character arc and is not likely to be hijacked by guest stars the way Superman's was.

  8. #68
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    I didn't find MoS to be particularly dark until all of that destruction in act 3, and the film's attempts to lighten to mood just missed the mark. Otherwise, it's only dark in the sense that it lacks lightheartedness that WW had. WW had some jokes early (more than MoS) and its leads actually had on-screen chemistry.

  9. #69
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    A power fantasy, by definition, is less about character and has no room for flaws or weaknesses. The idea there are things beyond power could work but is rarely if ever relevant and never dealt with, especially when it comes to Luthor.

    The Wonder Woman movie took place in World War 1, arguably the darkest period in human history, and the Flash uses a darker origin based on a retcon in the 2000s. Not the best examples I'd say.
    I've said several times that power fantasy is ONE aspect that's necessary. And even then, that's not true. Power of the mind can be used for such a purpose and the nature of it's use (assuming it's done well) has everything to do with character. Showing the how of Superman saving people (think the plane rescue scene in Superman Returns) shows trial and error and Superman's approach to the situation as well as ultimate triumph. We're there with him in the action, we feel what happens, and we delight in his victory. Superman Returns didn't have enough like that, but that scene was very good for it. Same with Superman's first flight in MoS. That has a power fantasy aspect, but it definitely is character-driven in it's execution. So that definition is wrong.

    As for WW and Flash, there's nothing wrong with those examples: The setting for WW IS dark, and used as a contrast for the character herself (what we were told we'd get in MoS but didn't really). If she wasn't in the movie then I'd agree. But hers is the main (though not only) perspective we see, and she inspires those around her. Flash may have come from Arrow, and I do enjoy Arrow... but Flash quickly took over in popularity and has (overall) been a MUCH brighter show. Again, we're not saying no darker spots can exist - people keep saying that even though it's been refuted repeatedly - but the balance is richer and fuller, and certainly more vibrant. The season(s) where Flash went a bit more dark/serious got enough flak that they felt it necessary to say that the show would be returning to it's lighter roots. Supergirl also took a hit when it did the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Nobody is claiming they want JUST a power fantasy, just that it's an important part of the package, and Superman's power fantasy trappings are unique in their own way. The power fantasy is seeing the most powerful hero on Earth win the day, but that doesn't mean he cannot be challenged in the process, doesn't have weaknesses, or has everything easy. The man went through a large portion of his life believing he was an outsider, and in one iteration lost his adopted parents at a young age and had to grow up fast. Sure he can fly and shoot laser beams and is the strongest man on Earth, but there is a whole collection of psychopaths in the Phantom Zone who can do all those things and they obviously outnumber him; all his innate power doesn't mean squat when confronted with Mxy; and then there are the social justice problems he cannot solve with just his fists. To say the power fantasy aspect needs to be compromised so he can be challenged more and be more relateable has, frankly, always kind of been nonsense, because there was already plenty of nuance and challenges there. And it doesn't seem like anybody, most fans and casuals alike, really want it anyway.

    I'm not sure what you mean about Luthor...?



    The movie was serious when it was appropriate, thank God, but it was overall lighter in tone than MoS. The movie was challenging Diana to hold on to her inner light when confronted with such atrocities, and yes she went through some turmoil (Steve dying being the big one), but she still decisively won the day and held onto her heroism. There is no gray area there, it wasn't necessary to make her not be a power fantasy (to women in particular) to get a point across. And lo and behold, she's getting at least one sequel that will continue her character arc and is not likely to be hijacked by guest stars the way Superman's was.
    Yes to all. I was going to go individually by point on this but had the same response to each so I'll just say it once: well said. The lighter makes the darker more vibrant, and vice-versa. While everyone is different and we each vary in what we like and how we process, I really do think this has been the main problem for the DCEU as an IP thus far, besides WW.
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  10. #70
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    I didn't find MoS to be particularly dark until all of that destruction in act 3, and the film's attempts to lighten to mood just missed the mark. Otherwise, it's only dark in the sense that it lacks lightheartedness that WW had. WW had some jokes early (more than MoS) and its leads actually had on-screen chemistry.
    The first 2/3rds of MoS isn't so much dark as it's heavy - they're going for a dramatic, mythic feeling. I completely understand the thinking behind it, but the 3rd act's destruction is so repetitive (because it's not the fact that this would happen that bothered me as much as it's being shown the same thing repeatedly that slammed it into my head to the point of desensitization) that it's a bit much. Some skilled editing could have helped that a lot, even if it meant that some of the ILM budget would have been wasted.
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  11. #71
    Mighty Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
    Super Whipping Boy - Ain't that the truth, I'll never understand how an individual with ultra superior reflexes, who should have the brain power and processing speed to match, let things like this happen. The writers just dismiss who Superman really is (They don't let Superman be Superman), while seemingly looking to handicap him) so, they can play out this (or any) little scenario they might have cooked up.
    Because editorial fiat requires characters who are normal humans to have at least a chance of beating him. (AKA Batgod) Here's a semi-Batgod moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsMro4fp-G8

    I mean there are a lot of DC characters with super reflexes. Any of them ought to be able to wipe the floor with a normal human whose only abilities are martial arts. Like Batman vs Johnny Quick.... he had to use sonic waves to distract him.

  12. #72
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    edited post.
    Last edited by Agent Z; 01-17-2018 at 07:30 AM.

  13. #73
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    edited post.
    Last edited by Agent Z; 01-17-2018 at 07:29 AM.

  14. #74
    Astonishing Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    If power fantasy, by definition, is void of challenges, maybe that is just the flat out wrong term to be using. Nobody here, on any side of the fence, has claimed they don't want Superman to be challenged. The level of challenges and how interesting they are is what varies from fan to fan.

    I believe Grant Morrison once said that the Disney Hercules movie was the best Superman movie ever made, and he's not wrong. Nobody can say Herc wasn't challenged in that story, it's just that the challenges were crazy epic and he overcame them because that's what the story was about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Iíll agree on paper this should be a challenge but in execution it rarely seems to be the case. Mxy and Zod are clearly a result of having to up the threat level to match insane power and their frequent defeats only serve to diminish their threat level. Zod canít seem to stay alive long enough to be a danger and Mxyís means of being defeated are just comical and not always in a good way.
    Upping the threat level to match his power is precisely what they should be doing. Seeing batshit crazy things is one of the things people sign up for with Superman (not JUST that he's a nice guy who tries his best, which sounds as generic as it can get and the exact same as ever other superhero). Villains being defeated does not render their threat level meaningless, because being defeated is what every supervillain eventually does. If we judge their defeats against them, no villain from either company is a legitimate threat any longer. In-universe, the hero believes they are a challenge and has no way of breaking the fourth wall and knowing they will never permanently lose, and that's all that matters. Zod may be dead a lot, but he's also alive currently as far as I know, and there are several other villains in the Phantom Zone that don't just go away when Zod is killed. Faora and the rest are still chilling in the PZ even in the DCEU. As for Mxy, Superman defeats him in silly ways precisely because Mxy is toying with him and doesn't take any of his reality warping antics seriously. It's all a game to him, and Superman defeats him by playing by the rules Mxy himself created, and can never permanently get rid of him. For all his might, Superman still doesn't measure up to Mxy, but it is his status as the world's mightiest hero that makes Myx interested in the first place. And Moore showed us what happens when Mxy stops screwing around, and it's terrifying, forcing Earth-1 Superman to finally take a life.

    It's all about scale. Each superhero faces challenges and overcomes the odds, but that doesn't mean the challenges shouldn't be catered to the specific corner they reside in. Spider-Man is challenged by (relatively) low level costumed super criminals but it works wonderfully and is inspiring for the level he is at. Superman battles 5th dimensional imps, alien tyrants, living suns, gods and natural disasters. He's a single man overcoming great odds on a different scale, but one that we can relate to at the core. It's all relative, and homogenizing everything just makes it all so boring. If I want grounded things, there are plenty of other sources of entertainment for it. Let Superman be Superman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I meant how itís less that Supermanís power doesnít mean anything but rather that he refuses to use it at all to stop Luthor who is less of a threat against him and gets by more on Superman treating him with kid gloves.
    Lex has been nearly killing him with black holes and lightning since they were just teenagers. In-universe, Superman regards Luthor as a threat, and he clearly is because who else has the balls to continually go up against Superman with just intellect and nearly win on several occasions? The challenge with Lex is also more than just physical: there is good in him, and the inability for Lex to learn his lessons and learn humility is an endless source of frustration for Clark.

    As for taking off the kid gloves, if by that you mean he finally just crushes Lex's head like a grape or lobotomizes him with heat vision, I'm afraid that's an unrealistic expectation to have and you're setting yourself up for disappointment with it, and it's not the franchises fault it's not going to deliver by doing something so permanent to a lucrative character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    The story was also about Diana learning not to view things in a black and white way and seeing the danger of putting people on pedestals and demonising them.
    Yeah but she still won the day with love, and didn't collapse sobbing into her love interests arms while doing it. She learned not to demonize people and not put them on pedestals, but that's not something the Superman franchise is known for all the time either, or what people are asking for. I've seen the "it's easy to be Saint in paradise" complaint about Superman before, but he's never actually been in a paradise. He still lives in a world that produces the likes of Lex and other super villains, where his father dies of natural casues and he is helpless to stop it, and a world that made Felicity Regan think she had to end her life before he talked her down. If it's easy for him to reach out to her...well, it kind of should be. I wouldn't be thrilled with a Superman who feels like that's a chore.

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