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  1. #1
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Default Superman: the Bronze Age thread

    Shameless rip of a great, other thread.

    Was just reading the Gil Kane collection. "Behold Ultimate Man!" has to be the epitome of the era to me. Pitch perfect character of Superman and a supreme density of adventure. Feat after feat, including a few consecutively clever tweaks to a certain physics breaking trope. The dynamic design sense of Gil Kane extended to suit his plotting and vocabulary, and I really think he was his own best writer because of that.

    Ultimate Man was an enjoyable one off villain. It was a rather potent narrative about the priority of power without really being blatant or heavy handed. And it costarred a guy who evolved himself by ten million years and tapped into the mind of every human on earth as a warm up. I will say that the benefit of Superman being the greatest is that in his stories, you have no obligation to the other heroes and villains in regards to the primary conflict of the story. Way above them like that, he may as well be the only hero in his universe.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member Adekis's Avatar
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    I don't have the Gil Kane collection but I just reread Ultimate Man in single issue and damn is it fun. And Kane's art is truly phenomenal too! I wish he'd done Superman more regularly.

    You make an interesting point about Superman being so far above everyone else that they're almost incidental to his stories. On the one hand, I think that's not only cool but kind of necessary. On the other, I think it gives Wonder Woman especially a hard deal. The Green Lanterns were doing fine, Flash would come into his own with Waid either way, Batman and Robin were doing just fine at the time. On the whole, I think I prefer the Bronze Age kind of relationship between Superman and other super-heroes, where he's so far above them, but Wonder Woman being so far below Superman kind of bothers me.

    Also, Captain Marvel I suppose, which is why I love the Earth-S / Earth-1 relationship between Big Blue and Big Red- when he's got a world to himself, Cap can be his world's Superman instead of Superman's world's Captain Marvel, which is less than being Superman's world's Flash or Martian Manhunter, frankly.
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  3. #3
    Mighty Member Jokerz79's Avatar
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    I started reading comics around crisis but there were still plenty of Bronze Age comics around like in value packs when I was a kid at stores also my first exposure to Superman was the CR films, the later versions of Superfriends, and Ruby Spears' cartoon which was a bronze/post crisis hybrid given the new continuity was still being decided. So I have some questions with the talk of stories and continuity being dropped by New 52 and Rebirth right before crisis it was being hinted that Perry might be coming down with Alzheimer's Disease and it was obviously dropped post crisis. So do you agree with the drop or wish they had explored that at some point? Also if they had continued that story who would you'd like see replace Perry at the Daily Planet? Lois, Clark, or a another character?

  4. #4
    Superfan Through The Ages BBally's Avatar
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    The DC Bronze Age is criminally underrated, although it has been getting more appreciation as of late (mostly for titles like Batman, Swamp Thing and Jonah Hex), Superman's run however while still has a fanbase is sandwiched in between the Golden Age/Silver Age and the Post Crisis and beyond in terms of attention or recognition. The parts that people talk about regarding this era are Kryptonite Nevermore, Must There Be A Superman, Jack Kirby's Jimmy Olsen run, Alan Moore's stories and the Christopher Reeve films and that Clark Kent became a TV reporter and as of late Superman Vs Muhammad Ali, while also missing out on some great Superman stories especially Elliot S! Maggin's run beyond Must There Be A Superman.

    In my opinion, Bronze Age writers like Maggin proved that you don't need to depower Superman in order to make his stories interesting, Jimmy Olsen was growing up and becoming an adventurous reporter in his own right almost like DC's answer to Tintin, Lois while they over did it at times was a huge improvement over her Silver Age counterpart. We were getting some new supporting characters and I still stand by my stance that Pre-Crisis Morgan Edge was a better written character than Post Crisis Morgan Edge.

    The other spin off titles were also great along with Jimmy's and Lois' titles, Supergirl still had some good stories and was coming to her own, the Superboy adventurous are still fun to read and it gave us the best run on the Legion on Super Heroes in my opinion.

    We also got 2 of the best Superman stories ever written in the form of Maggin's novels, Last Son of Krypton and Miracle Monday.
    No matter how many reboots, new origins, reinterpretations or suit redesigns. In the end, he will always be SUPERMAN

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  5. #5
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post

    You make an interesting point about Superman being so far above everyone else that they're almost incidental to his stories. On the one hand, I think that's not only cool but kind of necessary. On the other, I think it gives Wonder Woman especially a hard deal. The Green Lanterns were doing fine, Flash would come into his own with Waid either way, Batman and Robin were doing just fine at the time. On the whole, I think I prefer the Bronze Age kind of relationship between Superman and other super-heroes, where he's so far above them, but Wonder Woman being so far below Superman kind of bothers me.

    Also, Captain Marvel I suppose, which is why I love the Earth-S / Earth-1 relationship between Big Blue and Big Red- when he's got a world to himself, Cap can be his world's Superman instead of Superman's world's Captain Marvel, which is less than being Superman's world's Flash or Martian Manhunter, frankly.
    I never knew a whole lot about pre crisis Diana, but I thought she looked like enough of a big shot when she popped up back then for cameos. Marvel, I still have to read his 70s stuff. Sure did like the Shazam stuff from Ordway and Convergence.

    Glad to hear you also enjoyed that story. It was one of those really neat specials from that era, like the annual drawn by freaking Alex Toth.

    I love that the one dude gets backhanded like an unruly child. Superman was so mighty that he didn't just save victims, he saved dangerous people from themselves and the universe from its own occurrences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jokerz79 View Post
    right before crisis it was being hinted that Perry might be coming down with Alzheimer's Disease and it was obviously dropped post crisis. So do you agree with the drop or wish they had explored that at some point? Also if they had continued that story who would you'd like see replace Perry at the Daily Planet? Lois, Clark, or a another character?
    I would have liked it. The later plots are a little fuzzy to me, like I vaguely remember Lois breaking away and the like.

    I guess I got close enough to that Perry idea when he had cancer to make me not miss it, but the 1985 ish stories handled things with sufficient grace pretty much every time. I'd like an interview on behind the scenes stuff from then.

    Quote Originally Posted by BBally View Post
    TWe were getting some new supporting characters and I still stand by my stance that Pre-Crisis Morgan Edge was a better written character than Post Crisis Morgan Edge.
    "Extra characters" like Edge and Air Wave I tend to essentially ignore. The spin off titles and more notable back ups were great though. Kal L, Kirby Jimmy, World of Krypton, Lois, DC comics Presents, and the Sekowsky era Supergirl were very fun.

    On the big stories, I think #416 is very well known. I liked #417 just as much if not more.

  6. #6
    Superfan Through The Ages BBally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    I never knew a whole lot about pre crisis Diana, but I thought she looked like enough of a big shot when she popped up back then for cameos. Marvel, I still have to read his 70s stuff. Sure did like the Shazam stuff from Ordway and Convergence.

    Glad to hear you also enjoyed that story. It was one of those really neat specials from that era, like the annual drawn by freaking Alex Toth.

    I love that the one dude gets backhanded like an unruly child. Superman was so mighty that he didn't just save victims, he saved dangerous people from themselves and the universe from its own occurrences.



    I would have liked it. The later plots are a little fuzzy to me, like I vaguely remember Lois breaking away and the like.

    I guess I got close enough to that Perry idea when he had cancer to make me not miss it, but the 1985 ish stories handled things with sufficient grace pretty much every time. I'd like an interview on behind the scenes stuff from then.


    "Extra characters" like Edge and Air Wave I tend to essentially ignore. The spin off titles and more notable back ups were great though. Kal L, Kirby Jimmy, World of Krypton, Lois, DC comics Presents, and the Sekowsky era Supergirl were very fun.

    On the big stories, I think #416 is very well known. I liked #417 just as much if not more.
    Come on, "My Son The Orphan" was a really good story for Morgan Edge, way better than any Post Crisis Edge story IMO.
    No matter how many reboots, new origins, reinterpretations or suit redesigns. In the end, he will always be SUPERMAN

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  7. #7
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    First "Bronze Age" comic I ever read and what got me into Superman in the first place (as a comics fan): The Loser and New Champion. A man volunteers for an experiment that gives him the abilities of anyone he fights. So he does what anyone with that ability would do: He picks a fight with Superman! It was my first introduction to the Fortress and Kandor!

    I also loved The Superman Story. A Bronze Age re-telling of Superman's origin with a more comprehensive backstory than the 1961 story it was based on. Perhaps the best of the era was Clark Kent Forever, Superman Never. Where Clark gives up being Superman for a time to see what life would be like as a "normal" person. His relationship with Lois grows to be more realistic. I'm sorry it didn't last. It was also a multi-issue story which was unusual for the time.

    And the Challenge of Terra Man. Where we learn that Kryptonians have a condition that disables them for several days and causes severe emotional problems. I know it gets a lot of flack but I also liked I Am Curious, Black. Despite the ham-fisted way it was handled, it was a halfway decent story. And, of course, Superman Takes a Wife where the Earth 2 Superman married Lois. He forgets he's Superman and allows his Clark Kent personality to grow. It was like the Superman Never story only it was allowed to be taken to it's logical conclusion.
    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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  8. #8
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokerz79 View Post
    I started reading comics around crisis but there were still plenty of Bronze Age comics around like in value packs when I was a kid at stores also my first exposure to Superman was the CR films, the later versions of Superfriends, and Ruby Spears' cartoon which was a bronze/post crisis hybrid given the new continuity was still being decided. So I have some questions with the talk of stories and continuity being dropped by New 52 and Rebirth right before crisis it was being hinted that Perry might be coming down with Alzheimer's Disease and it was obviously dropped post crisis. So do you agree with the drop or wish they had explored that at some point? Also if they had continued that story who would you'd like see replace Perry at the Daily Planet? Lois, Clark, or a another character?
    This is far and away my favorite version of Superman. Especially the Family Album segments. It's probably why I'm so hard on other versions of the character. It was my first real exposure to his "history", even if it wasn't accurate to the comics at the time. Sadly, it didn't age well. It was no TAS in terms of mature story telling. In many ways it was just as hokey as the Super Friends or most of the other cartons that came before it (the exception being the Fleischer cartoons, which still hold up surprisingly well).
    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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  9. #9
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    The story before The Loser and New Champion, in Action #451, is a favorite. I saw Seinfeld live last year and gave him a copy of that one.

    It's a similar story to The Starry Eyed Siren of Space, from Superman #243. That to me is the true start of the Bronze age. Dorfman should get some credit for his later years, but by rejecting the O'Neil finale, Bates and company set a standard for the next fifteen years of stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by BBally View Post
    Come on, "My Son The Orphan" was a really good story for Morgan Edge, way better than any Post Crisis Edge story IMO.
    It was cool but well, I'm biased towards the Intergang of my youth. Edge without them and pervy old vinnie doesn't do a huge amount for me.

    But I do like WGBS as much as I like the Planet, it's just that they intentionally tend to put more work into the classic status quo than they put into the newer.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member Johnny Thunders!'s Avatar
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    There are so many reasons I love Bronze Age Superman. The character is not learning to be Superman, he's just Superman. There are big huge Limited Edition issues and team ups. The oversized team ups with Spider-Man, vs. Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Ali... Wonder Woman vs Superman is a great WW2 story by Garcia Lopez. She's an equal! You could get these big poster sized comics with classic reprints. Terra Man is a great villain. I wish there was some will to return him as a real rogue. Great origin story!

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    The Bronze Age was also when Earth 2 really got fleshed out and became a universe on it's own merits instead of just "that other Earth". Power-Girl, All Star Squadron, Superman and Batman getting married off and starting families. Infinity Inc. All came out of that era. Does For The Man Who Has Everything qualify as a Bronze Age story? How far does it extend?
    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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  12. #12
    Mighty Member Jokerz79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    The Bronze Age was also when Earth 2 really got fleshed out and became a universe on it's own merits instead of just "that other Earth". Power-Girl, All Star Squadron, Superman and Batman getting married off and starting families. Infinity Inc. All came out of that era. Does For The Man Who Has Everything qualify as a Bronze Age story? How far does it extend?
    Yes that was before Crisis. The last story was Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Also yes Ruby Spears Superman is no TAS but it is a favorite of mine and I loved the Family Album too it I think my favorite episode is The Beast Beneath these Streets bought it and Galactic Guardians a few years ago on DVD and while not having deep stories it wasn't unmatchable either and enjoyed most of them.
    Last edited by Jokerz79; 08-01-2017 at 12:37 PM.

  13. #13
    The Fastest Post Alive! Buried Alien's Avatar
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    The Bronze Age interpretation of Superman is the one that is most familiar and appealing to me.

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  14. #14
    Incredible Member Mister BoMan's Avatar
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    I loved the Bronze Age Superman!
    Pull List: Superman, Action Comics, Batman,Titans, Flash, Nightwing, Green Arrow, Youngblood, Black Hammer

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  15. #15
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    The Bronze Age was also when Earth 2 really got fleshed out and became a universe on it's own merits instead of just "that other Earth". Power-Girl, All Star Squadron, Superman and Batman getting married off and starting families. Infinity Inc. All came out of that era. Does For The Man Who Has Everything qualify as a Bronze Age story? How far does it extend?
    Good point, the earth 2 Superman was prominent in a way we haven't seen another Superman enjoy out of their prime.

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