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Hitting does not solve everything
January 3, 2014 3:31 PM   Subscribe


 
Supplementary: Chris Sims explaining why Man of Steel is a terrible Superman movie.

DC's constant chasing of the next audience has a real tendency to leave their current audience out in the cold. Not to mention their absolute refusal to believe that any girl or woman anywhere might actually like a comic book that wasn't openly hostile to them....

DC just really needs to get their stuff together.
posted by IAmUnaware at 3:41 PM on January 3 [7 favorites]


Man Of Steel: Cultural Learnings of Superman for Make Benefit Glorious Corporation of DC.
posted by fatbird at 3:44 PM on January 3 [10 favorites]


I must say that Zach Snyder's Man of Steel was pretty much exactly what I expected out of Zach Snyder's Man of Steel. You hire a hammer and everything gets turned into a nail.
posted by Justinian at 3:53 PM on January 3 [9 favorites]


Really, if you think you've got something profound to say about suffering and the human condition, don't try to do it with a superhero movie. It's the wrong audience. Marvel knows that.
posted by pipeski at 3:53 PM on January 3


Really, if you think you've got something profound to say about suffering and the human condition, don't try to do it with a superhero movie story.

Take that, Homer.
posted by yoink at 3:55 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Superman is a Thor loser.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:55 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


DC's constant chasing of the next audience has a real tendency to leave their current audience out in the cold.

It would help if they weren't so fucking afraid of anything but a Superman or Batman movie. Man of Steel could have been a perfectly decent movie with any of a dozen other DC heroes that the public hasn't heard of yet, but DC won't take the risk after Jonah Hex and Green Lantern. Marvel, on the other hand, just moves to a different idea when one dies. Daredevil sucked? Fuck it, let's go Hulk. Punisher doesn't work? Fine, we'll Fantastic Four up this bitch. Ghost Rider fell victim to Nic Cage being Nic Cage? Okay, let's give Robert Downey Jr. a shot at Iron Man.
posted by Etrigan at 3:57 PM on January 3 [11 favorites]


Thor 2 is a ball, and worth seeing for the little comedic touches alone (the moment with the coat hook stands out).

I'm more of a Snyder apologist than most people, but man... Man of Steel is terrible. My least pleasant film-going experience since the last Transformers, another film that displays a bizarre disconnect between tone and material.
posted by brundlefly at 3:58 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


Thor 2 is a ball

Except for the fact that (tiny spoiler) Charing Cross is in no universe three stops away from Greenwich. TUBE NERD RAGE
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:08 PM on January 3 [5 favorites]


Thor 2 is a ball, and worth seeing for the little comedic touches alone (the moment with the coat hook stands out).

HOW ARE YOU GETTING RECEPTION HERE?
posted by The Whelk at 4:08 PM on January 3 [5 favorites]


"Why are there so many shoes? "


Ah crap I gotta see it again.
posted by The Whelk at 4:09 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Leaving aside what's better or worse, it's interesting that the Marvel movies seem to be moving into the cultural space that DC vacated when they decided their stories must be Serious Stories About Seriousness. Thor hanging Mjölnir on the coat rack is charming in a way that you wouldn't see in the Nolan/Snyderverse but would have fit right in with the Christopher Reeve films. The Thor stand of films being the most steeped in this is probably why I'm more fond of Thor 2 than Iron Man 3, despite the late being a better film and the former being kind of a mess in parts.
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Charing Cross is in no universe three stops away from Greenwich

Think of it as another example of the multiple disjunctions in space-time which are take place throughout the fight sequence.
posted by yoink at 4:10 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Thor 2 coasts by charm half the time but it is a lot of charm.
posted by The Whelk at 4:11 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


From IAmUnaware's link (emphasis mine):
In the movie, he just yells for a second and then flies off to the next scene, where he’s all smiles and setups for the last big laugh line of the film. Zod’s death at Superman’s hands is shown as necessary and inevitable, just like all the other Kryptonians who died when Superman crashed their ship, or Jor-El and Lois turned the rocket that brought him to Earth into a giant bomb. I think it’s meant to create a black hole that sucks the bad guys back into the Phantom Zone (the movie’s not all that clear on its pseudoscience), but regardless, I think that might be the best summary this movie could ask for: the rocket that saved his life as a baby is turned into a bomb. There’s your “It Stands For Hope,” kids. A weaponized cradle. Violence and death and murder are an integral part of how Superman solves Man of Steel‘s problems.
Well put.
posted by brundlefly at 4:11 PM on January 3 [4 favorites]


Thor 2 coasts by charm half the time but it is a lot of charm.

It has charm like Man of Steel has skulls!
posted by Artw at 4:13 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


Thor was always Marvel's answer to Superman, of course - just as Daredevil was their version of Batman.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:15 PM on January 3


I think Shannon is great, which is why it was so painful that the movie wasted him with this awful General Junta entity who bore no resemblance to the cool, self-assured Zod we had before. When Terrence Stamp says, "Rise before Zod. Now, kneel before Zod," it is done with a casual sense that he ought to be quite naturally recognized as a leader. He is Zod. He does not have to be particularly angry when stating his place because arguing about the issue is like quibbling with gravity. You belong at Zod's feet. Shannon could have done it with his own peculiar intensity but there was nothing to do in that script on which would allow him to hang a decent performance.

This chilly new Superman appears to be doing the entire thing for a lark. I have an unsettling sense that at any moment, Kent/Kal-el might decide to just hang up the cape and decide to go live in a polar region or get a remote Amazonian tribe to worship him or become the world's most feared television repairman ("He can fix just about anything, but never ... ever bring up the cape thing. That black grease spot on the concrete floor? That's the last three guys who brought it up.") He does not feel like this flying Boy Scout who is interested in, above all else, doing the right thing. Rather, he would be more at home in that Giger museum. The new Superman is an excellent model for The Plutonian.

Launch that nonsense into space like so many flying dildos.
posted by adipocere at 4:16 PM on January 3 [8 favorites]


would have fit right in with the Christopher Reeve films.

I'm always a little puzzled at the credit those films get. They're really pretty dreadful, even though Reeve was born to play the role and shines through the schlock surrounding him. There's no way you could find anything as understatedly witty and throwaway as the Mjolnir coat-rack thing in the Reeve Superman films. If their writers were writing Thor 2 the hammer would break the coat rack, fall on the floor with a big comic BOOIIINNNNGGG sound and cause somebody, somehow, to end up with a pie on their face.
posted by yoink at 4:19 PM on January 3 [10 favorites]


The Christopher Reeve films coast by on his charm but it is a lot of charm.
posted by straight at 4:20 PM on January 3 [6 favorites]


Thor was always Marvel's answer to Superman, of course - just as Daredevil was their version of Batman.

Thor-El

Actually, let us never speak of Thor-El again.
posted by Artw at 4:21 PM on January 3 [4 favorites]


There was nothing wrong with the Christopher Reeves films that couldn't have been solved by dropping Margot Kidder into a cement mixer.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:21 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


That Superman does not drop Margot Kidder into a cement mixer is how we establish he can't read minds during that fucking awful song-poem thing. Still, it is a lot of charm.
posted by Artw at 4:23 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Ha! I was just reciting "Can you read my mind?" to myself and fuming, all these years later. On the other hand, Gene Hackman.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:27 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


I've said it before and I'll say it again, in a good Superman story someone can say "Oh Superman! You've saved my life again!" and ttotally sell it.

I mean "How's space?" "Space is good." Is perfect by that metric
posted by The Whelk at 4:28 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


On the other hand, Gene Hackman

Gene Hackman is a great actor, but the writers have a vision of Lex Luthor that is straight out of the 60s TV Batman. He's a cartoon villain of the cheesiest possible kind. You measure a hero by their antagonists, and he makes Superman look like a putz.

Still...yes...it is a lot of charm.
posted by yoink at 4:32 PM on January 3


Things I like about the Reeve movies: Christopher Reeve. John Williams's Superman theme. The sense of wonder. Zod. Some of the dialogue:

Clark Kent: Excuse me, Mr. White. I was wondering if, if, uh, perhaps you could arrange for half my salary to be sent to this address on a weekly basis.
Lois Lane: Your bookie, right?
Clark Kent: My what?
Lois Lane: Don't tell me: he sends a check every week to his sweet, grey-haired old mother.
Clark Kent: Actually, she's silver-haired.
posted by martinrebas at 4:33 PM on January 3 [6 favorites]


Superman:TAS Luthor is best Luthor.
posted by Artw at 4:34 PM on January 3 [11 favorites]


Idris Elba is best Luther.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:36 PM on January 3 [18 favorites]


Supplementary: Chris Sims explaining why Man of Steel is a terrible Superman movie.

A little while ago, Chris Sims wrote a really great series of articles on the differences between DC and Marvel. I linked to them here.

It's interesting that Sims argued that Supermanesque characters don't work in the Marvel Universe, but in doing so he completely ignored Thor. I guess he didn't mention Thor because Thor doesn't seem like a Supermanesque character... but why not?
posted by painquale at 4:37 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


My theory now is they need to make Superman movies into more mystery stories.

Yes, he's super-strong and can punch any criminal and they can't do anything to stop him. But Superman isn't omniscient. Forget Kryptonite, his weakness is not knowing who to punch.

They do this a lot in the silver age comics and in both the George Reeves and Dean Cain TV series. Something weird is going on, and he spends three quarters of the episode/issue figuring out what is going on / who should he punch. Then in the climax he figures out what he has to do and he does it and nobody can stop him, because he's Superman.


In Man of Steel, they get fixated on giving him emotional turmoil and someone who punches back just as hard. But they don't give him any mystery to solve; Zod just shows up and demands that Superman come punch him.
posted by RobotHero at 4:41 PM on January 3 [35 favorites]


I guess he didn't mention Thor because Thor doesn't seem like a Supermanesque character... but why not?

Too Kirbyish - he's always going to be smacking cosmic horrors with a hammer or quaffing ale in the halls of Asgard, not admiring apple pie and so on...
posted by Artw at 4:42 PM on January 3


Superman:TAS Luthor is best Luthor.

The DCAU and the animated films DC's done since are just so amazing in general that it's ludicrous that DC/Warner isn't tapping that talent for their feature films. They've just been somewhat silently amazing on the animated front for the better part of two decades now, better than the movies, better than almost all of the comics - not having their animated talent drive the movies, or at least give the scripts a good once-over, is crazy.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:42 PM on January 3 [13 favorites]


yeah but henry cavill in tights you guys
posted by elizardbits at 4:43 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


"Superman! I demand you throw me into a number of curiously specific chain stires!"
posted by The Whelk at 4:43 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Why is it OK for fictional alien do-gooder No. 1 to kill people and not the other guy?

Because Thor is a viking. His very idea of heaven is to kill his enemies, watch them resurrect, get them drunk then kill them again tomorrow.

Thor doesn't seem like a Supermanesque character... but why not?

Unlike Thor, Superman is a paragon. His heroism is as much as anything an attempt to inspire others. That's why a grimdark Superman movie can't succeed. A universe with Superman in it wouldn't stay grimdark for long. Too much hope.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:43 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


I really kinda enjoyed Man of Steel, in that in that world discovering that we share the universe with godlike superbeings that look like us is a terrifying, catastrophic thing.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:45 PM on January 3


I guess he didn't mention Thor because Thor doesn't seem like a Supermanesque character... but why not?

In terms of the comic-book universes (not really relevant to this discussion about the movies), Superman fills a very different role in the DC universe than Thor does in the Marvel one.

In part this is differences in character and circumstances. Superman is this widely admired and trusted figure. If he were publicly friends with Spider-Man or the X-Men, that would put a huge dent in the anti-mutant hysteria and destroy JJJ's anti-Spider-Man crusade.

The other difference is in powers. Superman's speed and super-senses make him a much more omnipresent and God-like figure. Every big DC story needs a reason that Superman doesn't just show up and save the day in a way that isn't true for Thor. Even if you characterize Thor as being as strong as Superman, he can't / doesn't do the kinds of things Superman does.

This all became clear when Marvel tried to introduce the Sentry. There was a bit in the Sentry comic that made it clear that he was constantly aware of and solving every important problem around the world. If you believe that story, then every other Marvel comic you read is, at most, the 2nd most world-threatening thing going on at that moment.
posted by straight at 4:52 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Thor is also fundamentally more alien than Superman. He was raised in Asgard, but Superman had Jonathan and Martha Kent. And Thor is much, much older.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:58 PM on January 3


Thor is ancient, but has no real moral authority here. Superman is the original Mary Sue.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:00 PM on January 3


elizardbits: "yeah but henry cavill in tights you guys"

I keep saying bad things about Man of Steel and my wife keeps saying, "but did you see him when he took his shirt off?".
posted by octothorpe at 5:00 PM on January 3


I really hope it sets the trend for 2014 and onwards wherein NO MORE CHESTS ARE UNNECESSARILY WAXED.
posted by elizardbits at 5:03 PM on January 3 [7 favorites]


Why does Superman need a good bod, anyway? 350 pound, beer-gut Superman could still kill every living soul on Earth.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:03 PM on January 3 [4 favorites]


BECAUSE I PAYED FOR A TICKET NOW LET ME MASTURBATE IN PEACE, HENDERSON.


And further clarification of my point, having a mystery is a way for Superman to not know what's the Right Thing To Do, but not in the emotionally tortured way that annoys people that Superman Wouldn't Do That.

Nick and Nora Charles and Perry Mason and Matlock have all proven mysteries are fun, not grimdark.


I realize partly why the TV series kept relying on mystery was because it's cheaper than the spectacle of destroying half a city, but not destroying half a city also helps with being light-hearted.
posted by RobotHero at 5:06 PM on January 3 [4 favorites]


Well, there's the John Bryne "everything is telekinesis" theory...
posted by Artw at 5:06 PM on January 3


Even with the tactile telekinesis helping the lifting, he still grunts and puts his back into it when he lifts things - he's just doing progressive overload on an absolutely massive scale when he's out saving the world, bro lifts.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:08 PM on January 3


Thor doesn't seem like a Supermanesque character... but why not?

Unlike Thor, Superman is a paragon. His heroism is as much as anything an attempt to inspire others.


But the other Supermanesque characters that Sims considers, like the Sentry, are not paragons either. Why consider The Sentry and not Thor? If being a paragon is what makes a character Supermanesque, then Captain America is Marvel's Superman. I think being Supermanesque has more to do with his powers and godlike status, as straight implies.
posted by painquale at 5:08 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


NO MORE CHESTS ARE UNNECESSARILY WAXED.

*spies jar labeled NECESSARY WAX*
posted by The Whelk at 5:09 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Captain America is the closest thing Marvel has to Superman. It's the morals, there are a few dozen dudes with Superman power levels in the DC universe that aren't Supermanesque too.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:10 PM on January 3 [10 favorites]


I haven't seen Man of Steel. Does it have a scene where the lead actor's bearded, Grecian body, covered in naught but a tight t-shirt and mud, pulses and throbs with raw muscular energy in the rain as he attempts to pull a hammer from the ground? And then he finishes with the kind of desperate roar that penetrates to the heart of the most buried bad-boy fantasies? Because there was some witchcraft going on when they composed that scene and if Man of Steel had any of it I will rectify my avoidance of it immediately.
posted by schroedinger at 5:15 PM on January 3 [17 favorites]


"Hitting does not solve everything"

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Back in the days of CRTs hitting them hard used to be a good way to re-calibrate the electron beam into proper synchronization.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:16 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Well, there are a lot of ways to be Supermanesque. You can be Supermanesque by virtue of your moral character, or Supermanesque by virtue of your power set. When Sims asked "Would a Supermanesque character work in the Marvel Universe?" and responded in the negative, he wasn't asking whether the MU could support a virtuous superhero. He was asking about the power set and godliness. But then: why not consider Thor?

Straight posited that it was because you need super speed and super senses to be Supermanesque. That could be. The Flash often seems like he's even more of a godlike force in the DC universe than Superman (see Kingdom Come, for example).
posted by painquale at 5:17 PM on January 3


it's ludicrous that DC/Warner isn't tapping that talent for their feature films.

Yeah, this. Batman: The Animated Series was especially good, although it didn't really grab my attention until I caught an episode where they quoted Santayana not once but twice.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:20 PM on January 3


Back in the days of CRTs hitting them hard used to be a good way to re-calibrate the electron beam into proper synchronization.

So you're adding some weight to the Superman-as-TV-repairman story outlined above? Maybe he'd be hired to give Jumbotrons a wallop when they go on the blink?
posted by yoink at 5:27 PM on January 3


Good article. Oh, Man of Steel was terrible. And just like with the Nolan Batman, what irked me the most was the anviliciousness of "this is going to be grim!dark, so ALL THE COLORS MUST BE BLEAK AND MUTED." They were so visually unappealing that way (Cavill's body notwithstanding). If either of them had a smidge of subtlety to them, they'd learn that you can have grim themes that don't necessarily have to be reflected in the landscape and your costumes, dammit.
posted by TwoStride at 5:29 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


"Hitting does not solve everything" is of course a Loki line...
posted by Artw at 5:30 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Captain America is closer to Superman as far as attitude and psychology, but he's fundamentally more heroic in the sense that the moral center of the Marvel universe is (theoretically) limited to only being at the pinnacle of the human condition.

Meanwhile, Thor is contrasted by three factors. The first is that he's usually forced into conflict on a cosmic scale- his rogues gallery includes a few gods (Loki, Hel), the Marvel Devil (Mephisto), and other threats to the universe.
The second difference is that Thor is the guardian of the Nine Worlds. He's not earth's protector- Earth just happens to be a part of his beat. In that regards, Thor is closer to the Green Lantern.
The third difference is that Thor is a god/has a god complex and is not shy about it. Humility is never a part of his psychology.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 5:34 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Christopher Reeve was basically all I ever liked about Superman. The character was always such a Mary-Sue.

On the minus side for Marvel, I feel like the new Spider-Man is a jerkwad and I don't want to see the second one. Bring back Toby Maguire. :P
posted by Foosnark at 5:35 PM on January 3


"Hitting does not solve everything" is of course a Loki line...

And is followed by the presumed silent thought, "Sometimes, one must use treachery."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:36 PM on January 3 [5 favorites]


Right on, Artw. It saddens me that Hiddleston isn't going to be in the next few Marvel films since I think he out-acted everyone in both Thor films and The Avengers, but I suppose he's like a fine wine and is best appreciated in moderation.
posted by longdaysjourney at 5:38 PM on January 3


Maybe Loki can figure out his greasy hair problem while he's away.
posted by TwoStride at 5:40 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


The Batman: Brave and the Bold crew are the only people I would trust script-unread to write a Justice League movie that stands up to The Avengers.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:40 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


On the minus side for Marvel, I feel like the new Spider-Man is a jerkwad and I don't want to see the second one.

For a second there I thought you meant Doc Ock and Miles Morales...
posted by Artw at 5:41 PM on January 3


Doc Ock: Stone cold jerkwad
posted by jason_steakums at 5:43 PM on January 3 [4 favorites]


I AM GROOT.
posted by vrakatar at 5:50 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


I keep saying bad things about Man of Steel and my wife keeps saying, "but did you see him when he took his shirt off?".

Did you see him when his shirt was on and you were looking at his face? Dude just looks creepy, like he was designed by someone who heard what handsome was secondhand.

You know who I woulda wanted to see playing Superman? You're gonna hate me for it, but ... honestly, this guy. He looks the part, he's charming and funny in a way that Clark Kent really needs to be, and oh right he already did it already. Superman Returns screwed up a lot of things, but they didn't screw up the casting - everybody was great in their roles.
posted by kafziel at 5:51 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Routh got a poisoned chalice being Superman for that movie.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:53 PM on January 3


I liked Man of Steel. There...I said it.
posted by chisel at 6:02 PM on January 3


You know, that's just it. When I watched Man Of Steel I was constantly thinking "this is pretty meh, but it would make a passable movie about... um... um... *blank*". Yes, The Plutonian, pre-meltdown, daddy issues galore and all.
posted by Iosephus at 6:05 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Last summer when Man Of Steel came out, I took a stab at what I'd do if I were in charge of making a Superman film that was relevant to 2013.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:06 PM on January 3


Mew-mew!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:14 PM on January 3 [5 favorites]


I'd like to think that I'm the best Luthor.
posted by Alexander J. Luthor at 6:16 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Captain America is the closest thing Marvel has to Superman.

Captain America is the moral paragon half of Superman. Marvel's closest analogue to the other half is, arguably, Doctor Strange.
posted by straight at 6:28 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Christopher Reeve was basically all I ever liked about Superman. The character was always such a Mary-Sue.

He can be written that way. (And maybe there's even a germ of something worthwhile in the impulse to create Mary Sue characters.) But what I find (potentially) interesting about Superman is that most adventure stories are about a character who is physically overmatched. The tension is "How will the hero overcome his limitations to defeat this superior enemy?" But with Superman, you have the potential for stories about how a powerful man deals with an enemy who is weaker than he is.

(This is also one of the things I find interesting about many of Gene Wolfe's protagonists.)

And there's also something potentially interesting and refreshing about a character who isn't tortured, backed reluctantly into heroism by circumstance, morally half-formed. With Superman the drama is not whether he's going to choose to do the right thing. With him, the question is, How do you do that?
posted by straight at 6:43 PM on January 3 [5 favorites]


Paul Slade: "Thor was always Marvel's answer to Superman, of course - just as Daredevil was their version of Batman."

I thought that Ironman was Marvel's Batman. Rich playboy industrialist fights evil with an armored suit and lots of gadgets.
posted by octothorpe at 7:26 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


it's ludicrous that DC/Warner isn't tapping that talent for their feature films

The only sort of good part of Green Lantern (the middle training sequence) was ripped straight out of a DC Animated GL movie from about a year or two before the live action movie came out. But I used to watch the DC animated movies regularly and now they're doing all the grimdark stuff like the comics. I started to watch Flashpoint and turned it off and have sworn off any of their new stuff.

I like Arrow and I liked the setup for the Flash in Arrow, but I didn't see TDKR or Man of Steel and have no plans to.
posted by immlass at 7:36 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Iron Man is Marvel's Batman, Captain America is Marvel's Superman and Thor is Marvel's Wonder Woman.
posted by straight at 7:52 PM on January 3 [10 favorites]


Both Thor and WW have amazing hair.
posted by The Whelk at 8:33 PM on January 3 [5 favorites]


So, Zdarsky writes this, which potentially burns bridges with DC, and Steve Niles in his rundown of publishers' submission rules told prospective writers a few weeks ago to try literally everywhere else before DC. Plus some of the noisy departures. Is it really that bad at DC for everyone who isn't Scott Snyder/Geoff Johns famous?
posted by middleclasstool at 9:03 PM on January 3


I'd like to see another go-around of Amalgam comics with different pairings. In the previous iteration, Superman was matched with Captain America (Super Soldier), but Batman was matched with Wolverine (Dark Claw) and Nick Fury (Bruce Wayne Agent of SHIELD), and Wonder Woman was merged with Storm (Amazon). Thor was merged with Orion (Thorion), and the Asgardians were merged with Kirby's New Gods to make the New Asgods (e.g. Highfather Odin), which makes perfect sense.
posted by painquale at 9:06 PM on January 3


The Flash often seems like he's even more of a godlike force in the DC universe than Superman (see Kingdom Come, for example).

Everyone should read this fantastic Slashdot comment about The Flash.
posted by ymgve at 9:12 PM on January 3 [9 favorites]


One of the best bits from Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again is Lex Luthor generating cheap power for the U.S. by putting Flash on a treadmill.
posted by fatbird at 9:28 PM on January 3


The original Thor was much more of a Superman analogue, his original "secret identity" of crippled Dr. Donald Blake who learned to love humanity despite his otherworldly origins, is a pretty clear Clark Kent parallel.
posted by benzenedream at 10:23 PM on January 3


So, Zdarsky writes this, which potentially burns bridges with DC

Probably burned already.
posted by Artw at 10:29 PM on January 3


schroedinger: I think that magic was called Kenneth Branagh.

(And a whole bit about how the two movies approached the character traits and arcs of their respective heroes, plus thematic thinking in one (worthiness and redemption) vs lack of thematic thinking in the other (no salvation, no hope, anvilicious parallels notwithstanding)).

Also, that Branagh directed the first Thor makes Iron Man's "Shakespeare in the Park" mockery to Thor in The Avengers approximately 46% funnier. Maybe even 47%; I have to check my math.
posted by seyirci at 10:36 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


How on earth did I forget about that.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:41 PM on January 3


I'd like to see another go-around of Amalgam comics with different pairings. In the previous iteration, Superman was matched with Captain America (Super Soldier), but Batman was matched with Wolverine (Dark Claw) and Nick Fury (Bruce Wayne Agent of SHIELD), and Wonder Woman was merged with Storm (Amazon). Thor was merged with Orion (Thorion), and the Asgardians were merged with Kirby's New Gods to make the New Asgods (e.g. Highfather Odin), which makes perfect sense.

Spider-Boy (Superboy/Spider-Man) was excellent.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:44 PM on January 3


straight - and Thor is Marvel's Wonder Woman.

I actually really like this; bra dudes are now recognized as an important demographic to pander to.

I also love the idea of Thor as a superhero because he's, well, Thor.
posted by porpoise at 11:23 PM on January 3 [6 favorites]


Superman is suffering, self-sacrificing, overly-perfect, weary. He's Jesus, right? So it's appropriate his counterpart in godhood, Thor, is old-school religion: delightfully old-fashioned, campy fun, throws cups of mead onto the ground.

In Christianity the question is: why does God let bad things happen? In DC-universe stories, you wonder why Superman isn't around when other characters are fighting world-ending evil. Having introduced a perfectly-good savior figure, his absence in some storylines makes no sense. That's why his parallel with godhood becomes problematic.

Thor may be a god, but you never have a crises of faith when he doesn't interfere. It's like, oh he's probably off being a bro somewhere. That guy! He's so fun! Glad to have him on our side, but he can be a little flaky.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:51 PM on January 3 [4 favorites]


I keep saying bad things about Man of Steel and my wife keeps saying, "but did you see him when he took his shirt off?".

Some of my friends, who admire the male form, were concerned that "even his six pack had a six pack" and it was too, too much. They did not like it at all once they saw the film (they seemed okay with the trailer).

I was just disgusted because I'd read about his training regime (from here, I think), including going without water, and I was all "these movies are setting up unrealistic expectations".

And then I was sad.
posted by Mezentian at 1:15 AM on January 4


Thor is fun, the way Superman should be; his cape is a bright, hopeful red and you want to hang out with him.

Hercules is WAY more fun to hang out with than Thor. Yeah, Thor *can* relax, but deep down, those Odin issues keep coming to a boil and then -- Mr. Frowny-Pants. But Herc? The Party Never Ends with that dude!
posted by mikelieman at 3:35 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Coming soon from Marvel Studios:
Hercules: Staring Seth Rogan as the Son of Zeus, and John Cho as Amadeus Cho.
posted by Mezentian at 4:07 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


You know who I woulda wanted to see playing Superman? You're gonna hate me for it, but ... honestly, this guy. He looks the part, he's charming and funny in a way that Clark Kent really needs to be, and oh right he already did it already. Superman Returns screwed up a lot of things, but they didn't screw up the casting - everybody was great in their roles.

Well, Kate Bosworth was a bit of a light weight, but otherwise the casting was incredibly spot on.

Looking at the comments above about the original Reeves Superman, it strikes me that Singer's film was not only a continuation of the Donner films from way back, but it was also a way to take some elements that worked in the original and take out all the outdated stuff (Lois' poetry, less-than-special effects, "Man, that is a bad outFIT!").

But circling back to kafziel's original comment, Routh was wonderful in the role. The first time he cracked a smile after arriving at the planet just so damn charming. My Superman-loving wife and I will both take that over a broody beefcake leveling buildings at will any day.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:48 AM on January 4


Yeah, Routh deserved a second shot at the role. If I had to pick a director for a good Superman movie, I suppose I'd go with Brad Bird, someone who clearly understands how to achieve a mix of suspense, action, and charm.

On the other hand, Zack Snyder seems like he could make an excellent film of, say, Zenith, as long as no one told him it was satirical. Alternatively, he's pitched almost exactly to do that perfectly faithful Mark Millar adaptation that has wisely never been made.
posted by kewb at 5:30 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Zack Snyder seems like he could make an excellent film of, say, Zenith,

No.
I love Snyder's movies (Man of Steel aside), but you go too far.
posted by Mezentian at 5:47 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


But Herc? The Party Never Ends with that dude!

Wait, which Herc? Cause traditional mythology Herc had the whole " be driven mad by Hera, kill wide and children" thing going on.
posted by The Whelk at 6:19 AM on January 4


Also the rumor that were getting a 40s era Peggy Carter, Agent Of Shield series are becoming more firm and Im pretty sure I was born for the sole purpose of writing a rollicking 40s era superhero adventure show sooooo
posted by The Whelk at 6:21 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Also the rumor that were getting a 40s era Peggy Carter, Agent Of Shield series are becoming more firm and Im pretty sure I was born for the sole purpose of writing a rollicking 40s era superhero adventure show sooooo

I'm already excited for this, but the question is: Will they be able to snag Natalie Dormer in between seasons of Game of Thrones and spots on Elementary to reprise her role as the saucy Pvt. Lorraine? Like, where they start off pissed at each other, yet learn the value of friendship and occasionally team up for secret agent crimefighting duo/drinking buddies goings-on?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:48 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


Wait, which Herc?

Marvel's Herc. You might remember him from such classic tales as the one where he gets is arse kicked by the the Wrecking Crew (who also torture Jarvis and Cap).... Which turns out to be one of the best Avengers stories ever. And then the Avengers (led by Captain Marvel?) take Herc back to Olympus and Zeus is a complete dick.

As Avengers stories go it is awesome.
posted by Mezentian at 7:22 AM on January 4


My theory now is they need to make Superman movies into more mystery stories.

I've always wanted Superman that focused on his work as a journalist. But then I liked those psychotherapy comics that EC put put when it couldn't do horror anymore.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:38 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Hercules just wants into everybodies pants.
posted by Artw at 9:13 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Zack Snyder and Mark Millar are such a match it's stunning that they haven't made a movie together yet.
posted by Artw at 9:15 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


DC's constant chasing of the next audience has a real tendency to leave their current audience out in the cold. Not to mention their absolute refusal to believe that any girl or woman anywhere might actually like a comic book that wasn't openly hostile to them....

Welcome to the DC-Marvel Echo Chamber. DC does something; Marvel does a superior forgery; DC copies what Marvel did better but only manages an inferior knock-off of the knock-off.
Marvel just has the better attitude while DC has this perpetual sulk peppered with a million do-overs. Forget it -- make up your mind and stick with it.

And yeah, DC does not show the love for the female market, making their parties a real drag. No wonder the DCU is so miserable!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:46 AM on January 4


Reading this I can't help thinking that the general trajectory on almost all of these things is, if not perfect, then notably better on the Marvel side of things are and wonder at the philosophical differences that drive that.
posted by Artw at 11:09 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Yeah Marvel seems to ave a coherent plan to go forward with it's Movieverse and DC is just grasping at straws.


I've always wanted Superman that focused on his work as a journalist.


Superman's real superpower is that he's got a stable, well-paying newspaper job.
posted by The Whelk at 11:20 AM on January 4 [8 favorites]


Also the rumor that were getting a 40s era Peggy Carter, Agent Of Shield series are becoming more firm

Cool; I hadn't heard about this. Namor and the android Human Torch would be great in this show, but unfortunately I think that Sony has the rights to Namor sewn up in their Fantastic Four package, and that might also complicate a Human Torch appearance.
posted by painquale at 12:02 PM on January 4


I want a Superman movie set during the 30s or 40s where he spends his time punching mobsters, corrupt politicians and the Klan.
posted by brundlefly at 12:17 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


The trouble with Superman is writers who make "the trouble with Superman" the focus of their Superman stories.
posted by Superfrankenstein at 2:08 PM on January 4


Guys. Remember the deleted scene in Thir where he goes back to the diner and replaces the cup he broke?

Total Clark Kent move.

( Movie Steve and Movie Thor should've had a scene where they are both equally confused by something about 21st Century Earth and have widely different ideas about what it is.)
posted by The Whelk at 2:14 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Robocop is Bleeding puts forward an excellent pitch for a Lois Lane centred Superman/Batman movie in this Metafilter thread right here. The final scene's particularly good.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:46 PM on January 4


Things I learned from this discussion: A Mary Sue is any character in any media that is in any way considered a role model, virtuous, or someone to emulate.
posted by mediocre at 3:51 PM on January 4


Guys. Remember the deleted scene in Thir where he goes back to the diner and replaces the cup he broke?

I almost don't want to go check whether this is real because I doubt it would be as great as the version you just put in my head.
posted by straight at 4:00 PM on January 4




Things I learned from this discussion: A Mary Sue is any character in any media that is in any way considered a role model, virtuous, or someone to emulate.

Superman is not a Mary Sue because he is "in any way considered a role model, virtuous, or someone to emulate." He is considered a Mary Sue because he is in every way considered a role model, virtuous, and someone to emulate. With godlike powers.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:57 PM on January 4


Hercules just wants into everybodies pants.

Nah, that's Starfox, wherever the hell he is these days.

Superman's real superpower is that he's got a stable, well-paying newspaper job.

Didn't he quit The Daily Planet/Galaxy Broadcasting to go solo as a blogger?
posted by Mezentian at 5:20 PM on January 4


Yeah Marvel seems to ave a coherent plan to go forward with it's Movieverse and DC is just grasping at straws.

Marvel grasped at straws for a decade before the Avenger Initiative reared its head. They were just willing to grasp at more straws (*cough*Elektra*cough*) until they found the right one to hang a new franchise on.
posted by Etrigan at 8:17 PM on January 4


Electra! The only movie where people can break THIER own necks via SHEER FORCE OF WILL
posted by The Whelk at 8:34 AM on January 5


They totally stole that from The Dark Knight Returns.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:58 AM on January 5


After hearing Brubaker talk about it on a podcast I totally want to watch the differently-awful cut of Daredevil.

Also it's not like the decent X-Men, Spider-Man and Blade movies weren't all within recent memory at that point.
posted by Artw at 10:12 AM on January 5


The differently-awful cut of Daredevil would be the director's cut?
Because I watched that, and I really dug it.
posted by Mezentian at 5:10 PM on January 5


Yup. TBH from what I was hearing it didn't sound that much better but did sound more interesting, if it's actually good then I probably *should* give it a shot.
posted by Artw at 5:12 PM on January 5


It still has a lot of the issues that plagued Daredevil, but the plot hung together in a way that makes it a solid film that entertained me for 90-odd minutes.

I decided to rewatch it after a decade to see if it really was as bad as I remembered (Elektra or Catwoman bad), and I was surprised when I didn't hate it. And then illumination came from the fact I had watched a different cut.
posted by Mezentian at 5:15 PM on January 5


and Thor is Marvel's Wonder Woman.

Occasionally rebellious heir to the monarch of a hidden realm where pre-Christian pagan mythology is true and has existed mostly unchanged up to our time (with a little bit of advanced technology that may just be magic). Much stronger than mere mortals. Wields an enchanted weapon, which is both a divine gift from the monarch and also a badge of worthiness that has occasionally been revoked and given to a rival. Often depicted whirling it around overhead and then throwing it. Wears red, blue, and white, with a few bits of metallic armor (with some yellow/gold in the original costume but just silver in the current version) and usually bare arms.

Some fans are there mostly for the eye candy.
posted by straight at 5:29 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Curiously, I just discovered that Wonder Woman is apparently the God of War over at DC.
posted by Mezentian at 5:33 PM on January 5




Also the rumor that were getting a 40s era Peggy Carter, Agent Of Shield series are becoming more firm

Writers Have Been Brought in for a Peggy Carter Series, and They’re Both Ladies
posted by homunculus at 3:23 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]




Meanwhile, the Wonder Woman show has been scrapped, and the SvsB/JLA movie has been pushed back a year.
posted by Mezentian at 12:13 AM on January 18


Oh dear. It appears that Chris Hemsworth is destined to die gloriously on February 22.
posted by homunculus at 8:33 PM on January 20


It's okay.
There is another.
posted by Mezentian at 4:06 AM on January 22






That sound you just heard in the distance is Tumblr's servers exploding.
posted by brundlefly at 11:41 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


That sound you just heard in the distance is Tumblr's servers ovaries exploding.
posted by Mezentian at 3:56 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]




Jesse Eisenberg is your new Lex Luthor in 'Batman vs. Superman'
There have been a lot of names bandied about, but this is one we weren't expecting: The Social Network's Jesse Eisenberg will play Lex Luthor in the upcoming sequel to Man of Steel.
wut
Deadline has the full press release from Warner Bros., which reveals that Eisenberg will play the iconic villain while none other than Jeremy Irons will be taking on the role of Bruce Wayne's trusty butler, Alfred.
WUT
posted by zombieflanders at 12:19 PM on January 31


After Man of Steel I had zero interest in the sequel, but their casting is intriguing.
posted by brundlefly at 1:30 PM on January 31


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