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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    He does stand for something concrete: Altruism. His every act of heroism and compassion inspires more and more people to do likewise. He can certainly express his opinions and point of view, but I think he understands the value of remaining a neutral party, so he chooses his words carefully as most rational public figures do.
    But what's the line between being careful and being cowardly? What's more important, doing the right thing or just doing popular things just so he won't offend anyone? Doing the right thing should be hard, not easy. Altruism does not mean much if you do not back it up with real ideas and actions, its just a greeting card saying then.

    Superman is an immigrant, I think a story about immigration could be interesting, but it requires some guts to write it .
    Last edited by The Overlord; 07-13-2018 at 10:00 AM.

  2. #32
    Mighty Member WhipWhirlwind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord View Post
    But what's the line between being careful and being cowardly? What's more important, doing the right thing or just doing popular things just so he won't offend anyone? Doing the right thing should be hard, not easy. Altruism does not mean much if you do not back it up with real ideas and actions, its just a greeting card saying then.

    Superman is an immigrant, I think a story about immigration could be interesting,[B] but it requires some guts to write it .
    I would absolutely love a well thought out immigration story with Superman, but we're not going to see one with the current administration.

    DC Comics isn't going head to head with the president and the odds of publishing that kind of story without some kind of confrontation is....low, for me personally. The NFL learned the hard way that once a punching bag always a punching bag, and DC isn't likely going to take that chance.

  3. #33
    Mighty Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Anyone who "wants to make the world a better place" is an agent of change.

    Whether their efforts pay off or not may be another matter, but Superman is not, and has never been, an agent of the status quo.
    You're gotdamn right.
    "You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me."

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord View Post
    But what's the line between being careful and being cowardly? What's more important, doing the right thing or just doing popular things just so he won't offend anyone? Doing the right thing should be hard, not easy. Altruism does not mean much if you do not back it up with real ideas and actions, its just a greeting card saying then.

    Superman is an immigrant, I think a story about immigration could be interesting, but it requires some guts to write it .
    Quote Originally Posted by WhipWhirlwind View Post
    I would absolutely love a well thought out immigration story with Superman, but we're not going to see one with the current administration.

    DC Comics isn't going head to head with the president and the odds of publishing that kind of story without some kind of confrontation is....low, for me personally. The NFL learned the hard way that once a punching bag always a punching bag, and DC isn't likely going to take that chance.
    First, the NFL comparison is specious. I deeply doubt anything comics does has nearly the reach or impact of the NFL protests. We fans might like to believe our beloved hobby has that kind of socio-cultural significance, but until writers/pencillers start getting 8-figure contracts, it just ain't so. That's said, you're probably right about DC/Warners' interest in drawing FOX/Breitbart fire, but it's not a certainty.

    It does make for an interesting story problem. Yes, he is an immigrant, but how much changes does he impose?

    I suppose that I view Superman's restraint far more amazing than his powers. He could suppress any symptom he desires, but sees his role to lead and inspire more than to change things himself (Siegle and Schuster's Superman [the one that I prefer] saw it differently, but that's not who Superman has been for a looooong time). IMO, Superman (as he's existed since the mid-1940s) would recognize that making meaningful change to the immigrant tragedy relies on making other people see the problem for what it is rather than imposing a solution from above. To him (IMO), imposing his solution would be the easy thing, the hard is actually finding a way to get his hands around the real problem, which is humanity's view of the suffering of others, and how much charity one soul owes another.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord View Post
    But what's the line between being careful and being cowardly? What's more important, doing the right thing or just doing popular things just so he won't offend anyone? Doing the right thing should be hard, not easy. Altruism does not mean much if you do not back it up with real ideas and actions, its just a greeting card saying then.

    Superman is an immigrant, I think a story about immigration could be interesting, but it requires some guts to write it .
    Well, to a certain extent, Superman has to 'not offend anyone'. DC is ultimately a business. Superman is an entertainment product. And left-leaning liberals and progressives aren't the only customers.

    From an in-universe perspective though, what exactly is the 'right thing' for Superman to do? Sure, there are some obvious ones - saving people in jeopardy, saving humanity from alien invasions and super-villain attacks and what-not...saving cats stuck in trees!

    But when it comes to real-world contentious issues...what is the 'right thing'?

    Take for instance, gun control. Should Superman be collecting all the guns in America (and the world, for that matter) and tossing them into the sun? What gives him the right to do that? And will that really solve the problem of violence, given that guns aren't the only way to kill people, and eventually someone will start making new ones? Not to mention, it is kinda hypocritical, from a certain POV, for a guy who's a walking WMD (and who's son and closest associates are also walking WMD's) to have a problem if the average citizen too decides to arm himself or herself.

    Or national security, for instance. Is Superman an expert on geo-politics and national security issues? And can he oppose certain national security measures because there is popular liberal opposition to them, given that his whole stated mission is protecting the lives and liberty of people?

    Having said that, there are still ways for Superman to be a 'political' figure of sorts, without delving too much into real-world political issues. A key area, IMO, is the relationship between the authorities and superheroes. Does Superman believe that the heroes need to be accountable to some kind of governmental oversight? Or does he believe, as MCU Captain America does, that the "safest hands are our own?" What kind of role does Superman play as an advocate of the wider superhero community? And given that he's someone who's supposed to uphold the 'American Way' (i.e. civil rights and due process) how does he respond to allegations that his and other superheroes vigilante actions may violate some of those principles?

    I'm in favor of Superman being an independent figure who's respectful towards the authorities without deferring to them, who's prepared to save people from immediate threats, and who may wonder what his place in the world is with regards to larger issues faced by humanity. But I don't want a Superman who serves as a political activist for one side or the other. Frankly, Superman, as a person and as a character, is too big for that.

  6. #36
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Superman's "American Way" would likely be New Deal politics and workers' rights. That's where he was born out of. Sure there's ugly wartime nationalism in there , but all the superheroes were waving the flag in 1942.

    It's not a question of right or wrong, that's for the reader to decide, Superman is a man of action and an enemy of oppression in all forms. He's the breaker of chains, the great equalizer. No amount of wealth or bullying can win him over.

    Played to a logical narrative conclusion, yeah he's going to change the entire world. He's going to toss tyrants out of their ivory towers, he's going to end wars. The world is going to look more like Star Trek. The trick to writing an ongoing narrative that needs to remain close to our own reality, would be to walk a line between progress and stasis.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 07-14-2018 at 05:18 AM.
    Follow your inner moonlight, do not hide the madness. -Ginsberg

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Gordon View Post
    Superman's "American Way" would likely be New Deal politics and workers' rights. That's where he was born out of. Sure there's ugly wartime nationalism in there , but all the superheroes were waving the flag in 1942.

    It's not a question of right or wrong, that's for the reader to decide, Superman is a man of action and an enemy of oppression in all forms. He's the breaker of chains, the great equalizer. No amount of wealth or bullying can win him over.

    Played to a logical narrative conclusion, yeah he's going to change the entire world. He's going to toss tyrants out of their ivory towers, he's going to end wars. The world is going to look more like Star Trek. The trick to writing an ongoing narrative that needs to remain close to our own reality, would be to walk a line between progress and stasis.
    Thing is, Roddenberry's Star Trek-civilization can't be imposed. It has to grow from within the people, or it's just waiting for the first setback for those who feel constrained to revolt.

    I agree with you that 1938-(around) 1942 Superman absolutely would've (and did) impose solutions. That was before writers ballooned his powers to a point where his story was going to end pretty quick unless they changed his focus.

    Superman, as he's existed for vast majority of his run, addresses emergencies, but tries to avoid impinging on human agency. He's willing to show us a path, but he leaves us free to walk it of our own accord.

  8. #38
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    While many people praise the social justice that Superman forces on the community in the early ACTION COMICS issues--and rightly so for their sheer energy--it also seems pretty obvious that Superman is naive to think that his simple solutions are going to work and the fat cats in the world are just going to roll over and let him build this perfect utopia for the common man.

    We don't see any lasting change in the city or the rest of the world. And I would have liked to see Siegel and Shuster go more in depth about that--showing how, despite his efforts, everything Superman does is undone by devious people in positions of power.

    I suppose, in a round about way, they do indicate that's what's happening in the background. The Ultra-Humanite emerges out of those stories--and he's never really defeated. Superman can never overcome Ultra's machinations because the mastermind always adapts to the changing order and comes up with a different scheme.

    And immediately after Delores Winters (Ultra) fades away, another menace emerges--Luthor, who is manipulating yet another war for Superman to solve. But we know the war in Europe didn't end and we know that Luthor goes on to create more mayhem in the world. Superman is impotent to stop these great disasters from being visited on humanity by the evil forces in society.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    While many people praise the social justice that Superman forces on the community in the early ACTION COMICS issues--and rightly so for their sheer energy--it also seems pretty obvious that Superman is naive to think that his simple solutions are going to work and the fat cats in the world are just going to roll over and let him build this perfect utopia for the common man.

    We don't see any lasting change in the city or the rest of the world. And I would have liked to see Siegel and Shuster go more in depth about that--showing how, despite his efforts, everything Superman does is undone by devious people in positions of power.

    I suppose, in a round about way, they do indicate that's what's happening in the background. The Ultra-Humanite emerges out of those stories--and he's never really defeated. Superman can never overcome Ultra's machinations because the mastermind always adapts to the changing order and comes up with a different scheme.

    And immediately after Delores Winters (Ultra) fades away, another menace emerges--Luthor, who is manipulating yet another war for Superman to solve. But we know the war in Europe didn't end and we know that Luthor goes on to create more mayhem in the world. Superman is impotent to stop these great disasters from being visited on humanity by the evil forces in society.
    Naturally he's naive. Those that make positive, unselfish impacts on the world usually are. Although other points of view would call them "optimistic."

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Gordon View Post
    Superman's "American Way" would likely be New Deal politics and workers' rights.
    "The American Way" was added to "Truth and Justice" in 1952 for The Adventures of Superman TV show (the 1940s radio program didn't include it). By the 1950s, all the radicalism had been squeezed out of Superman.

    So the New Deal Superman was more about individuals than anybody's definition of patriotism. Until Pearl Harbor, when (as you point out) everybody was patriotic.

  11. #41
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    I would love to see a Gaiman written Superman as savior of humanity creating a perfect Miracleman society, but that's only a temporary status quo. Same as when Metropolis became the City of Tomorrow when B2K upgraded it with future tech for a few years. The DCU is not as real world-bound as Marvel, but it can't ever become too removed from the injustices of our real world, in which there is no Superman to save us all.

    Superman exists here in the same world as us and he inspires us in the same way he does in the comics. We see him do great impossible things to save people and it inspires us to do great and small things to save people or at least help them.

    Superman is an example to the world. To join him in the light.

  12. #42
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord View Post
    Should Superman be an agent of change or a maintainer of the status quo? Superman saving the Earth from Brainiac would get support from everyone, but should Superman get involved in local or political issues?
    My heart says "Agent of Change" but my brain says "Something between the two extremes".

    In our era, I don't think he can be a defender of the status quo, a guy who just goes around stopping bank robberies and giving speeches about civic duty. But if you take it too far the other way, or, no matter what you do, if you get into real life politics, you're going to have a huge portion of people who feel Superman wouldn't do that and that the writers are just using him to push their personal politics.

    When Christopher Reeve did his nuclear disarmament movie, Tom Mankiewicz, who was one of the writers of the first two Superman movies, told him he thought it was a mistake, that you should never do a story where Superman gets involved in real life political issues. However, I'm wondering if it has now reached the point where not getting involved in real life issues itself would be an issue for readers.
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

  13. #43
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Overlord View Post
    But what's the line between being careful and being cowardly? What's more important, doing the right thing or just doing popular things just so he won't offend anyone? Doing the right thing should be hard, not easy. Altruism does not mean much if you do not back it up with real ideas and actions, its just a greeting card saying then.

    Superman is an immigrant, I think a story about immigration could be interesting, but it requires some guts to write it .
    That's the problem right there.

    "Oh that Superman. He won't take a solid stand on anything because he might lose half his fan base."

    "Oh that Superman. Another celebrity sticking his nose into politics. They should just stick to singing, acting, flying, whatever it is they are good at. I thought he was smart but he disagrees with my opinion on X. He's a lib-tard/ conserva-tard".

    It's a hard choice in the real world. What happens when Superman is asked to speak to or about certain organizations? Or just asked his opinion on specific issues?

    Does history [without the convenient "He already knows the future" and it's the Legion] remember him as an inspiration or as, "Of course he was inspiring because you can always believe his opinions were the same as yours. That's because he never took a stand on almost anything."
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

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