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  1. #1
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Default If you could change ONE thing about each Superman era....

    This can be an editorial, or creative change, but it needs to be somewhat plausible. No bringing people back to life or putting people on the books before their time

    Seigel & Shuster Era

    This one is easy. I would change the despicable treatment of the creators of Superman by National Comics to ensure they not only got a fair share of the profits of their creation, but remained the main guiding force behind the character. I have no idea whether that would have ended poorly for the character and would have resulted in Superman no longer being as large a figure in popular culture, but I would like to see what Superman would have become if Siegel & Shuster had been allowed to introduce Kryptonite (which they called K-Metal), and have Superman reveal his secret identity to Lois as early as 1940.

    The Weisinger Era

    While I think this was a particularly crazy, creative and weird period of Superman's history that produced some amazing classic elements that continue to this day, I have only heard horrible things about Mort Weisinger as a human being, so I would rather Julie Shwartz be given the reigns earlier to see what he might have accomplished with Superman with his stable of creators.

    The Shwartz Era

    Likewise, I would have liked to see what could have happened if Shwartz had left the books earlier, and handed the editorial reigns to one of his younger, hungrier proteges like Elliot S. Maggin, Len Wein or Marv Wolfman.

    The Byrne Era

    Creatively, I think John Byrne did wonderful work with Superman and brought a lot of new readers to the character that might otherwise have never been interested. However, I wouldn't have asked Byrne to reboot the entire mythology as DC editorial did. Byrne has been quite open about the fact that he would have been perfectly willing to take over Superman as he was, making changes to the status quo within his stories, much as was done with Batman, whose broad strokes history remained the same, but with specific retcons being made along the way to modernize the character. I think Byrne work on the character in retrospect often feels too much like a reaction against what the Pre-Crisis character was, rather than simply trying to tell the best Superman stories he could.

    The Triangle Era

    I think this era was largely successful, both creatively and commercially, but too much time was spent trying to make the character "cool" and "hip", which only had the result of making him look even less cool (I am looking at you Super-Mullet and 90s pony-tail). There was also too much focus on bringing back Pre-Crisis elements without fully bringing them back, which satisfied no one. Pick a lane. Lack of a singular creative vision here is extremely evident. It seems like neither DC editorial, nor the creative teams were on the same page, particularly once Loeb came on board.

    The Post-Infinite Crisis Era

    There was a clear direction at the start of this era. Johns & Busiek both seemed to be in agreement about what they wanted to accomplish, which was to stop the half-measures and equivocating and simply merge the Post-Crisis and Pre-Crisis elements of the Superman mythos into one cohesive whole, but they tripped right out of the starting gate when the Kuberts' family issues stalled the first story arc, and the new origin of Superman wasn't established until years later by Secret Origins, leading to pointless confusion. I would have Johns & Frank do the origin first, then allow the books to proceed from there. Without a strong foundation, its difficult for any revamp to succeed.

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Robotman's Avatar
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    Undo the fact that Jack Kirby’s Superman was redrawn during his time writing/drawing Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen.

    Erasing Kirby’s art. Unbelievable.

  3. #3
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robotman View Post
    Undo the fact that Jack Kirby’s Superman was redrawn during his time writing/drawing Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen.

    Erasing Kirby’s art. Unbelievable.
    Oooo. Good one.

    I would give Jack Kirby free reign on more Superman books, actually. Perhaps a more prominent role for Superman would have made the Fourth World more commercially successful

  4. #4
    Super Spy Carabas's Avatar
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    Seigel & Shuster Era: they never sold it. DC still doesn't own one bit of Superman. Which snowballs into a lot more creators hanging on to their creations.

    New 52 Era: didn't end.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
    - Gerhard Bronner

  5. #5
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    New 52: Never existed.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Korath's Avatar
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    The New 52 was acknowledged as a parallel Universe from the main Earth from the get go, with D.C. putting the main stories on hold for one or two years, while setting up all the changes, and then it would have run alongside the New Earth lines.

  7. #7
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    While I think this was a particularly crazy, creative and weird period of Superman's history that produced some amazing classic elements that continue to this day, I have only heard horrible things about Mort Weisinger as a human being, so I would rather Julie Shwartz be given the reigns earlier to see what he might have accomplished with Superman with his stable of creators.
    have you heard the accounts of Julie's behavior toward women?

    But with this era, I only wish that they pre empted the good treatment of women in comics. Lois, like Sue Storm at Marvel, was in a terribly misogynistic bubble until they swung too hard in the other direction by the early 70s. Ironically Lois appeared as a rather strong character in the years before the silver age, even if those bits are still dated by now.

    They probably could have taken a stronger early position to counter Marvel, because by the late 60s it seemed the damage had already been done even if sales may have still been there.


    The Triangle Era

    There was also too much focus on bringing back Pre-Crisis elements without fully bringing them back, which satisfied no one. Pick a lane. Lack of a singular creative vision here is extremely evident. It seems like neither DC editorial, nor the creative teams were on the same page, particularly once Loeb came on board.
    this seems like the opposite of what they went for, actually. what makes it seem to you like the creators weren't on the same page? Until Loeb, Kelly, and Berganza came on, the line ran entirely on creative communication under Carlin and Cavalieri, and the pre crisis to come back were predominantly just Kirby ideas with little to no alterations.

    The one thing they could have nailed down was the electric powers, and shortened the story arc. It was great to see the big kick off from the 60th anniversary, but that was too big a change to last a year.

    Including the comics after Loeb, Man of Steel for one thing went 134 between only two writers with occasional fill in issues.

    The Post-Infinite Crisis Era

    the new origin of Superman wasn't established until years later by Secret Origins, leading to pointless confusion. I would have Johns & Frank do the origin first, then allow the books to proceed from there. Without a strong foundation, its difficult for any revamp to succeed.
    I would have made Birthright the definitive origin and skipped any major retcon aside from the Legion, which was told perfectly fine during the course of that story, imo.

    And as for the New 52, I wouldn't have let Morrison or Perez do anything without the approval from one another. I have no idea how the creative musical chairs would have played out, but I'd have taken up for Jurgens, Giffen, and Diggle in their times.

  8. #8
    Last Son of Shaolin GreatKungLao's Avatar
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    DCEU era: Justice League was not sabotaged by studio and Whedon. Zack Snyder's cut recieved entire post production and is released in full 3 hours runtime without anything being cut or reshooted. Junkie XL is also was never replaced by Elfman.

  9. #9
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    Byrne era: it wasn't a full reboot. More of a Batman soft reboot that excised some of the really over the top elements ( I.e. keep Krypto, but perhaps not the legion of Superpets. Make sure Kal and Kara and the phantom Zoners are the only survivors of Krypton etc)

    Triangle era: less gimmick storylines after death and return of Supes. Maybe accomplished by some new creators being brought in after ACTION #700 to keep things fresher. I loved those creators, but looking back they were running on fumes for the most part after bringing the Lex storyline​ that had been building since Byrne to a head.

    Post infinite crisis: Kurt Busiek stayed for New Krypton, which didn't result in Supes being jettisoned from his own books in favor of Mon-El and Chris Kent.

    New 52: should have been Superman: Earth one, with Morrison's given full freedom.

    Rebirth era: that we didn't start off with the convoluted two Superman set up. The opening arc of Rebirth era should have been REBORN, clearing up that mess from the outset, then moving on.
    Last edited by manofsteel1979; 02-05-2018 at 05:46 AM.
    When it comes to comics,one person's "fan-service" is another persons personal cannon. So by definition it's ALL fan service. Aren't we ALL fans?
    SUPERMAN is the greatest fictional character ever created.

  10. #10
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    In other media:

    The 50's Adventures of Superman: bring in Lyle Talbot from the serials to occasionally play Lex Luthor. The one human baddie Supes had that could have easily been done on a TV budget then was never used, Which was a shame.


    The Reeve movies: Donner and Mank stayed and did Superman II, III and IV.

    Lois and Clark: we actually got a 5th season with a satisfactory conclusion.

    Superman Returns: not a bland remake of the Donner film.

    SMALLVILLE: 7 seasons instead of 10. Last season was about his first full year as Superman.

    DCEU: We got a second solo Superman sequel BEFORE BvS.
    Last edited by manofsteel1979; 02-05-2018 at 05:45 AM.
    When it comes to comics,one person's "fan-service" is another persons personal cannon. So by definition it's ALL fan service. Aren't we ALL fans?
    SUPERMAN is the greatest fictional character ever created.

  11. #11
    Super Spy Carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatKungLao View Post
    DCEU era: Justice League was not sabotaged by studio and Whedon. Zack Snyder's cut recieved entire post production and is released in full 3 hours runtime without anything being cut or reshooted. Junkie XL is also was never replaced by Elfman.
    It almost certainly would have performed worse.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
    - Gerhard Bronner

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member DragonPiece's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatKungLao View Post
    DCEU era: Justice League was not sabotaged by studio and Whedon. Zack Snyder's cut recieved entire post production and is released in full 3 hours runtime without anything being cut or reshooted. Junkie XL is also was never replaced by Elfman.
    Ya know, I'd hope for that too if it meant Snyder's daughter lived.

  13. #13
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    I like the idea of changing one thing. But I think some of the previous suggestions are about changing more than one thing and also a bit of social engineering that goes to the wider reality of the time.

    I'd rather impose a limit on myself to change one small thing about the comic books. And it can't be too major, because I realize that you have to take the bad with the good and too much change to eliminate some bad stuff would also take away all the comics I love. But it can't be too minor, because then it doesn't really change anything.

    In the Siegel & Shuster period, I would have them do at least one more story about Krypton. Maybe they would adapt the origin story from the daily strips, which was a much fuller and better telling of the story than what appeared in the early comics. If there's one thing I don't like about S&S, it's that they never made much out of Superman's origins on Krypton or got into the science fiction fantasy that this allows. It was left up to Mort Wesinger to do that much later--and Jerry Siegel as a writer for Weisinger.

    The Lost Decade is overlooked and part of the problem with that is not much has been reprinted. I would hope to fix that problem by having the Superman Annuals start earlier--let's say in 1955. Since the Annuals/80 Page Giants would reprint material that was 5 years old or older, that would mean that DC would be reprinting stuff from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Thus ensuring that there might be more files of these stories available for reprints of the reprints decades later. And thus I'd be able to read more stories from the Lost Decade. Ideally, if the Annuals wanted more material to reprint they would look to the Superman comic strip--just as the Batman Giants reprinted Batman Sundays in the 1960s.

    While it's admitted that Weisinger was a bad boss, I'm going to assume we don't have the power to completely change people and their personalities. This is about changing one thing in the comic books. And, where would you begin to change Mort and how would that change all those comics I love? No. Instead, Murray Boltinoff should introduce creative credits in SUPERBOY when he takes over that title in 1968. Other DC titles in 1968--like the Batman comics--started to follow the example of Marvel and show more creative credits, but it would take until 1970 for this to happen with most of the Superman titles. However, Weisinger was easing back on his duties in 1968 and E. Nelson Bridwell was doing a lot of the work--so if Murray started giving credit in SUPERBOY, then it would make it easier to soon follow that example in the other Superman titles.

    Readers actually seeing who was making the comics, might have given the writers and artists a stronger hand.

    There's not much about the actual stories that crossed Julie Schwartz's desk that I would want to change. However, with all the changes in the 1970s, they could have introduced more diversity in their cast of characters. There was some diversity--but mainly with minor characters. There has to be at least one major character, so let's stay Steve Lombard was introduced as African-American, in 1973. Nothing else about him would change--he would still be a former quarterback turned sports reporter who likes to bug Clark Kent and has an eye for the ladies. But he'd be black. A few other characters could be more diverse, too--Dr. Jenet Klyburn, for example, could have been Asian-American.

    Of course, the writers would still do a bad job of writing these characters. You can't change that without a lot of social engineering, but at least diversity would have an earlier and stronger start.

    In the Carlin era, let Superman be Superboy in his younger days. All the other Byrne changes could happen, but if Clark had been Superboy (even a less powerful and less active Superboy) that would let the Legion exist without a lot of changes to their timeline.

    Let Superman 2000 happen. I don't know if it really would have changed anything in the long run, but if Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, Tom Peyer & Mark Waid had been able to execute their pitch--we wouldn't have to keep talking about it.

    Rather than late 2009, begin SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN in early 2008--in time for the 70th anniversary. And let it be a 12 issue year-long maxi-series. This would allow Geoff Johns and other creative types to get their vision of Superman out there much earlier--post-Infinite Crisis--so they could capitalize on those ideas more fully before they get Flashpointed. It would also make it less likely that the WORLD OF KRYPTON maxi-series would happen and remove Superman from his own comics. With 12 issues to play with there would be more room to tell the Superman Story. And--as it would be near impossible for Geoff Johns and Gary Frank to do the whole 12 issues--the series would be a group effort from several DC creators.

    For example, I'd break up the 12 issue origin this way--Grant Morrison, 1 - 4, Krypton and Kal-El's arrival on Earth; Geoff Johns, 5 - 8, Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes; James Robinson, Clark Kent comes to Metropolis.
    The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium
    --that is, of any extension of ourselves--result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.

    --Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (McGraw-Hill, CANADA 1964)

  14. #14
    Last Son of Shaolin GreatKungLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonPiece View Post
    Ya know, I'd hope for that too if it meant Snyder's daughter lived.
    It sure is implied, just didn't felt comfortable to state it straight. That was really unfortunate event.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    I would probably not have done COIE. Everything they've done since then has been about trying to clean up the mess it created with continuity. Part of the problem was that there were so many rules regarding what they could and couldn't do with him back then. He wasn't allowed to mature and move on. We saw this back in the seventies when Elliot S. Maggin tried to move the Lois/Clark relationship forward and was forced to reset everything back to the status quo (which, I think, was one of the reasons he left the title). Plus, getting rid of Superboy created all kinds of problems with the Legion that still have't been fully cleaned up to this day (and that isn't even getting into problems with characters like Donna Troy). IMHO, COIE created more problems than it fixed.

    In terms of things like Krypto and what have you, all you would have had to do was ignore him. He didn't even make an appearance in Crisis so it's not like he was a huge part of the books at that point anyway. Kandor was already out of the picture. Supergirl was off doing her own thing. The books were already trying to move on in incremental ways anyway. Let the Superman/Lois relationship progress naturally like it did post-Crisis, let Lex "reform" and become a billionaire and everyone thinks he's gone straight except Superman who knows better. I think most of the serious changes that Byrne made could have worked with the pre-Crisis version minus bringing the Kents back (which could technically still be done because...comics). At the very least, I would have done COIE differently (Flash was pretty much on the verge of cancellation so having Wally take over wasn't a bad idea).

    I don't know if that would have worked but I would have at least lifted some of the restrictions on what they could do with Superman. Maybe give him some more grounded or down to Earth stories.
    Listen, lady! I am thirteen years old and driving a Bat-hog through the Amazon on a Tuesday morning! I am ALREADY winning!

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