I think I get your first point as I believe (I could be wrong, still trying to understand!) it is similar in my stance with The Hulk.
That makes a ton of sense; a lot of comic book characters have different versions of themselves. As I admitted my comic book reading days are way in the past and I don't remember much, and I would have been a child. But as an avid media lover and a reader, I definitely understand how following a writer would be crucial for some. Daddy explained it is very similar to how people (like Daddy) follow directors for movies.
So... I am not being petty or snide... is he like what the comic book world produced for people to literally emulate? Is that what you mean by the whole "household name"? Because I def did grow up with Spiderman and Superman (my father's favorites). I guess I can see how young children would always love the perfect human, if you will, who defeats the bad guys (child's POV - not belittling Superman or his fans here). I get it.
But even with that new perspective for me, I still can't take Superman seriously. I give him credit if he was horribly underrepped in comparison to the comics - I know that frustration very well. And I give the credit that he may have been created as the idealistic superhero, but... okay I guess the best thing I can think of to explain: I think of Metro Man from Megamind (Yes, I realize Metro Man was literally based off of Superman - but to me they are on the same level). This character that is comically involved in his city saving and oozes unrelenting love for the civilians [ excluding the ending of Megamind here]. I guess I just see him as a superhero for a child and it retains this childlike nature to me. I realize this is my personal perspective but he is still just kinda laughable to me.
I do appreciate learning about the written character. I do enjoy learning more about DCU and MCU
* Daddy just pointed out that people want the actual Hero's plight. That Superman is an outdated hero because he can't be trialed as easily and therefore he cannot triumph as much. Which is a night and day difference than the hero archetypes we have today. The clean cut doesn't transfer nor can it compare to the heroes we are pushing today. Think of Deadpool. You can decapitate him, blow him up, have him kill people and still be seen as a massive hero. Look at what Christopher Nolan did with the Dark Knight - he broke the mold for the Batman franchise and turned it into an Oscar winning masterpiece. Superman cannot be handled correctly for the more modern audience accustomed for a more gritty subject matter.
As far as I know, Superman was created as this hero of the people kind of guy when times were dire.
There was (& still is) plenty of exploration of social and political issues. The most well-known modern example probably being the bit from Morrison's All-Star Superman, in which he talks a teenage girl down from the ledge.
The point is that it's a world filled with super people and in that context, he's really just the tougher-than-most idealist who's looking out for everyone else. There are plenty of characters stronger or more durable than him - Plastic Man & Martian Manhunter have been League members as well. Superman's villains can generally go toe-to-toe with him, but the best stories are the ones where trading punches is reduced to a footnote in favor of the moral aspects & message.
Loeb & Sale's Kryptonite is a great example of the character's true weakness; despite all that power, he'll never be able to save everyone.
Metro Man was a kind of deconstruction of Superman, much like Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen.
And I mean, it's easy to see guys like Supes or Captain America as being insanely outdated, but the fact they're still selling comics suggests otherwise.
If you look at comics history at all, you'll see that the characters are in constant flux because they're tied to zeitgeist. Everyone knows the EXTREME 90's - the era of violent, gritty reimaginations of basically every cape out there.
It was a huge mess, in retrospect, but you can still see why it happened.
I feel I've inadvertently derailed the thread, so I'll leave it at that.
I am, however, always open to discussing comic book stuff, should you ever feel like it.
Late edit: I just want to stress that, while there definitely are characters that effortlessly obliterate all resistance, Superman's not one of them.
It's honestly really jarring that this idea is so wide-spread, because it's even more of a strawman than stuff like "The Flash is just a guy who runs fast."
Physical threats are basically always scaled up with the MC's powers, but that is in no way the alpha & omega of comic book drama.
Edited by Longlegs, 17 September 2018 - 05:10 AM.