Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Too many Kryptonians!!!!

One of the worst Superman plots ever, in my opinion, is to have too many Kryptonians running around.
Now I should clarify and note that I mean full-size Kryptonians, as Kandor in a bottle works for me.
The old "Lois and Clark" series in the early 1990s was the first to try this as one of its episodes had dozens of people from Krypton rambling around. That was one of the worst shows of that entire series.
DC Comics is currently having its "Superman: World of New Krypton" miniseries approaching its 7th issue in a 12-part run. This series has 100,000 plus super-powered men and women flying around.
Next, the current "Smallville" has dozens of Kryptonians featured in with the return of Zod. Now, they initially lack their super-powers, though.
The whole base concept of Superman is that he is rare, almost one of a kind.
Dilute that and the "S" shield seems to mean little.
I'm not enjoying either the current "Smallville" or "World of New Krypton" much, because they have little spark or imagination. The sooner they end and a new plot takes over, the better for me.
"World of Krypton" also includes so many new weapons that can affect or kill super-powered beings that it is pitiful. To be consistent, DC would have to redefine Superman's invulnerability after this miniseries ends ...

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Superman reboot .... starting over

I recall being shocked back in the mid-1980s, when Superman was rebooted. His origin was redone. He was never a Superboy in the retelling and his powers didn't start until his late teens. He was also less powerful, less strong,less fast.
Perhaps the success of the "Smallville" TV series is a factor in this, but as of late September 2009, Superman is being redone again and he's back to being Superboy, as told in "Superman: Secret Origin," a six-part miniseries.
The Legion of Super-heores has been lame for more than 20 years with no Superboy, the group's inspiration and yet now the Man of Steel is back to 1,000 years in the future too.
If DC Comics wanted Superman to appeal more to pre-teenagers, you'd think they would have been wise enough to have never discarded Superboy, but they did.
A return to Superboy should especially excite younger audiences again.
Supermnan's costume also looks to have returned to its indestructible state again too in this reboot.
Other returns to the pre-1985 era in the latest reboot process:
--Lex Luthor grew up in Smallville.
--Lana Lang knew about Clark's powers early on.
--Clark's glasses are made of Kryptonian glass from his rocket ship.
--The Legion comes calling for Superboy.
I like this reboot so far and it is adding some new fresh twists too, like the Kryptonian glass keeping Superman's erratic heat vision in check.
You can also see the "Smallville" show's imprint in this reboot.
So, I say yes to the "new" Adventures of Superman and Superboy.

How Superman, a fictional character, has truly improved my life ...

Ok, Superman isn't real in the proper sense. But this fictional character has nevertheless affected my life and it has probably been for the better!
Here are some ways the Man of Steel has affected me:
1. A daring spirit?
I recall at age 8 or so, jumping off my grandfather's chicken coop roof wearing a red cape. Silly? Maybe, but leaping off a 15-foot-tall roof (fortunately onto grass) was no small feat for someone that age. Superman's legend promoted me to be more daring.
I eventually tried to climb my other grandfather's taller barns in Idaho (not jump off, but to conquer). I did have some accidents and the wind got knocked out of me once when I slide off such a barn roof.
2. Superman's legacy seemed to make me more positive.
As a first or second-grader, I recall having a recurring nightmare about being in the middle of a large field and a bear coming along to get me.I just stood there, waiting for the bear to reach me. No weapon, no escape. That was my first nightmare.
But as I hit my late teen years, I recall having that dream a few more times and the outcome was different then. After reading hundreds of Superman comics, I would simply fly off into the sky now to escape that bear.
I had other weird dreams too, not so much nightmares, but about uncomfortable situations or sometimes attacks. Bullets would bounce off me or I would fly away.
3. As it turned out, I became a real-life newspaper reporter. Perhaps a coincidence, but Clark Kent was surely one factor in that choice. (I can and do dress up as Clark Kent on some Halloweens, cause that's a doubly relevant character for me.) I have also written about Superman and comic books in my newspaper job for the past several decades.
4. My reading skills were off the chart by 7th grade. I recall being in a reading class and taking a test. When you read the short story, you were suppoed to go up front and get a comprehension test from the teacher. I recall sitting there for minutes and minutes, not wanting to be odd and be done far ahead of the rest of the class. I'd wait until I could see at least one other person on the last page .... I got 80 percent or higher on the comprehension test too. How does this relate to Superman? That's the bulk of what I read in elementary school -- comic books. I credit them for great reading skills.
5. A stress reducer. Today life can be hectic and stressful. One way I relax is to pick up one of the 10,000-plus comics and re-read it. 99 percent of my comics are Superman or Superman-related.
Sure Superman is a fantasy, but he's shaped my career, spurred my imagination and made my life better and those are REAL things.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

DC animated movie ideas/Superman live action idea

Following the release of the "Superman-Batman Public Enemies" animated movie this fall, DC Comics plans on releasing "Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths" next spring.
Following those, what I would like to see is DC produce "Secret Identity."
Remember the comic book miniseries on this a few years ago? It was one of the best comic books ever and would make a great animated movie!
Here are some other worthy ideas for animated productions:
-Superman Red Son.
-Another Elseworld tale: "Speeding Bullets," where Superman grows up in the Wayne family of Gotham City.
DC never seems to strictly follow what the comic book did and so there would always be surprise plot developments in these productions.
Also, DC Comics/Warner Brothers has now said it has NO current plans for a new Superman live action movie. So, apparently animation is all we get for some years to come ....
If DC ever does re-start Superman years down the road, it may be wise to re-boot it from square one. That baggage of Superman having a son in "Superman Returns" was just awful and needs to be completely eliminated!
Since most people have heard of Superman's origin, I'd do a quick re-tell in a future movie and then spend more time on him growing up on Earth.
My best idea for a movie conflict would be to have Brainiac threaten Earth. (Too much Lex Luthor in past movies.)
But a new movie having 20 minutes of Superman doing little rescues and saves -- before the big conflict -- would also be great.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ideas for Superman Elseworld tales

Every so often, DC Comics delves into an "Elseworld" tale, a kind of "could have happened" story ….
(They are the counterpart of Marvel's "What If?" sagas.
DC has done dozens such stories over the years and many are excellent.
But recently, DC has stopped doing these as often.
I say there are still lots of possible ideas for new Elseworld stories out there.
Here are my 6 of my ideas for Superman Elseworlds, for what they are worth:
-What if Superman had landed as a baby to Native Americans in the west, in the mid 1800s?
-What if Superbaby had landed in the ocean and been adopted by Aquaman's undersea dwellers?
-What if Superbaby had been a girl and she landed on Paradise Island? How would she co-exist with Wonder Woman?
-What if Superbaby had landed in rural Hawaii in the late 1920s, just finding his super powers when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941?
-What if superbaby had landed in the American west in the early 19th Century and had been strangely adopted by grizzly bears (who could not harm him anyway)? Kind of a Tarzan-like tale in America…..
-What if the traditional Superman had somehow switched universes and landed on Earth Prime and was the ONLY super-hero there? (Omitting Superboy Prime from this tale would be wise….)
Note" The Picture above is my favorite DC poster of Superman.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Smallville. Canada

I had to see it to believe it.
I took a trip during a recent summer to British Columbia and went out of my way to see Cloverdale BC Surrey -- the town that doubles as Smallville, Kansas for the TV show.
I went during a non-filming season (early June) and so there were Canadian flags hanging all over the street where the TV show's retail area is. (I'm sure those come down, or are replaced when filming is underway...)
It was a clean, vibrant little suburb of Vancouver town.
Still seems kine of weird that Smallville is in in Canada, but there it was!
Saw the coffee shop, theater and hardware store.
I had misplaced my directions to the "Kent Farm" and so I didn't see that.
I was amazed at the waterfalls and mountain area located just north of Vancouver. Supplies all kinds of other filming options. This was a really pristine, pretty area and other than all the Vancouver traffic, I'd love to go back someday and see more of Lynn Canyon and Grouse Mountain.
Also drove east to Hells Gate, and passed through Hope, where the first Rambo movie was filmed.
It appears the Vancouver area is a hotbed for filming TV shows and movies these days.
(The three photographs are of the theater in Cloverdale, used in past Smallville shootings; a city sign; and a look down the business district street.)