Friday, October 15, 2010
The Problem With Superman
It's not exactly unknown that I like Batman. Batman is awesome. Batman comics, movies, cartoons, whatever can be everything from campy fun, to serious looks into the flaws of humanity.
But what about other superheroes? Well of course, I like those too! Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Spider-Man, The X-Men, Wonder Woman, and so on and so forth, I like those too. They're pretty cool.
But there is one Superhero that everyone loves. Superman. The Superhero to end all Superheroes.
Of course I too, like Superman. He's Superman. Arguably, without him, there wouldn't even be a Superhero Genre. But there is one fatal flaw with Superman. He's too perfect.
Invincible, super strong, able to fly, able to melt things JUST BY LOOKING AT THEM.... Let's not kid ourselves here, Superman is basically a god.
Selin Fireheart wishes he were Superman.
The problem with Superman is that in order to have any sort of drama, you either need to have plots which
1. Exploit one of his two weaknesses, kryptonite or magic.
2. Deal with absurdly high stakes.
If you exploit his weaknesses EVERY SINGLE STORY, it gets repetitive. And redundant. And repetitive. And redundant. I mean seriously, I'm pretty sure enough kryptonite fell to earth to rebuild the planet krypton 3 times.
And dealing with absurdly high stakes can only work so often. You can't battle for the stake of the entire universe every other day, or it gets a bit... Ridiculous.
I mean, when you have Batman comics, you have a city, the city of Gotham, which is completely controlled by evil. No matter how much Batman does, he's still just one man. That's one of the greatest things about Batman. Is that he's just one man. The streets of Gotham are still incredibly dangerous, even with the equivalent of Ninja Chuck Norris running around in a bat suit every night.
But Metropolis is a safe place. A boring place.
And then there's his villains. There's Lex Luthor, who's awesome, and interesting. There's Brainiac who's cool. There's Darkseid who, if Superman is a god, is the devil. And then there's... Toyman?
I can't possibly take Toyman seriously. Sorry.
And no, Doomsday does not count. Doomsday is just a deus ex machina with arms and legs. The only thing Doomsday was created for, and has ever REALLY done, is kill Superman. Doomsday isn't a villain, he's a plot device.
Mr. Mxyzptlk? Eh, the only thing that gave him any creditablity is the "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" one shot comic, which, by the way, if you haven't read, you should.
Lex Luthor is a cool villain because he's basically an ordinary man fighting (and sometimes winning) against Superman, but that can only go so far, Brainiac can be cool depending on the story he's in... I guess Darkseid is the only villain that can be any real threat to Superman... He's pretty cool I guess. The only graphic novel I've read with him in it is "Superman: The Dark Side" which doesn't really count since it's an Elseworld about evil superman.
The problem with Superman becomes even more apparant in the first Superman movie right about when there are two missles and... Well...
So what really baffles me is that ANYONE thinks the "Superman Vs. Batman" movie that's been floating around hollywood for AGES is a good idea. I just... Why? Why would you do that?
Let me allow a video explain why this is the worst idea ever. *Caution strong language*
Worst. Idea. Ever.