|Bort - 2013-06-25 |
One thing I think he gets wrong. The deal with Superman isn't that he's exempt from pain, fear, and other negative emotions because of his powers; he still experiences all of them (even physical pain, on occasion). He just doesn't let them get in the way of doing the right thing. That's what makes Superman cool.
As for killing Zod, or whoever, it depends on whether the writers want to leave Superman with no other choice. So that's more a statement about who's writing than about the character.
I'd say he gets more than a few things wrong, but I agree with you too. Superman is really powerful, but he sacrifices what he can of himself for others, because he knows pain too. Hence John Kent's relevance, as his death always shows Supes that he has limits to what he can do, and what's important to do. It's strange how Landis understands some of the glaring flaws of the superhero film, but has such a hard time with the reading of modern superheroes (though Batman along with the majority of DC universe need better origin stories imo).
He nailed the Zod thing though, but I'm sure we can agree that the writing for the film was below sub par in the first place. What's so odd about the setup, is that it seems to borrow from the Earth One comic, which plays out almost the same as the film, but makes a whole lot more sense, as well as introduces some new and interesting additions to the Superman mythos. As much as it backpedaled away from Superman Returns, they tried so hard to throw Superman II at this, that they forgot to make a new film.
In its core concept, I'm fine with Batman's origin: young kid is orphaned and dedicates his life to prevent others from suffering. It's in the filling in the details that the origin can go astray (such as in the first Nolan film, where Bruce Wayne was about to shoot his parents' murderer -- Bruce Wayne had long ago figured out that killing was wrong, guy).
I agree with the idea that the core of the characters don't need much modification, but for as many times as we've seen these characters have their backgrounds fleshed out to be renewed, I've never seen anyone change them enough to be new. Working from the Batman angle, I've always thought he never really quite fit the DCverse in the first place, in a world where people can fly, why can't a billionaire figure out how to prevent crime? The Dark Knight Returns works really well, because Bruce Wayne gave up on all that; when he comes back, not only is he old, he has to learn how to fight a new generation of crime, and he's basically in a world without superheroes till the very end. Granted it's my bias talking, but I always thought that Batman would be better as part of the underclass, helping to fight corruption and the crime it causes, as opposed to fighting the criminally insane. A Batman more Tony Stark in talent and ingenuity, with parents who worked for a living, but weren't top earners due to the skewed world they live in. Throw some military science in, and you've got the familiarity of the films and comics, from grounds we haven't quite tread before, which lead to new stories. Granted this is a blurb and my thinking is always faulty, but I think if writers are going to approach old things in hopes of making them new, the core is all that matters, everything else needs to change.
Bruce Wayne does more than dress like a furry and kick muggers; he's a philanthropic giant. It just so happens that Gotham is also awash in the criminally insane, and they require a specialized solution.
There are entire dilapidated neighborhoods of of Gotham that Wayne Enterprises is trying to modernize, not so rich people can move in, but so that the locals won't be in such desperate straits. There are other neighborhoods so broken down that their electrical grid should be failing, except that Batman has been sneakily upgrading the electronics and siphoning power off of Wayne Enterprises (wink wink) and keeping the neighborhoods going. Dude operates on a variety of levels.
But Gotham being Gotham, you can't as much as propose to modernize some buildings without drawing the wrath of a secret society that has been calling the shots all along, and they start sending their assassins after you. At which point it's probably a good thing you're a trained ninja.
Hey! Using Scott Snyder is a low blow, that dude has only completed two arcs (intriguing as they were :p)!
In that regard, new 52 bats isn't all that bad, but it works because we don't know the architecture of this Batman yet, nor his Gotham (haven't read zero year yet but I'm sure it's enlightening), as well as there being an underclass vibe with the whole court of owls thing going on. I'm interested in seeing where it goes, but can still see it falling into a redundancy with the Batman mythos being relatively unchanged. I remember a few years back there was this alternate line of comics from a certain publisher, that had some really good stories in their pocket universe. Then Jeph Loeb took over for two storylines. Imagine the writer for Talon taking over for SS.
Snyder teaches at a few New York universities, and Tynion was one of his students. The two of them have co-authored a few things (including early "Talon" stories). So on the one hand I don't think Tynion is quite up to Snyder's level, I think he has had good formative experiences with someone who understands story structure, themes, pacing, exposition, and so on.
But Snyder didn't invent the notion of Bruce Wayne being all philanthropical. On BTAS there was at least one cartoon where we saw that Wayne Enterprises gives ex-cons a break and offers them a better alternative to crime. Even in crappy comics from 1980 or so, I recall the Wayne Foundation's philanthropy being mentioned in passing. So don't believe the Occupy Gotham crowd, Bruce Wayne does pretty well, even if he is a dissolute playboy.
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