Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Untold Tales

Thanks to the internet, it's possible to acquire and read scripts for films that will never be shot, plots for novels that will never be written, and ideas for comics that will never be drawn. This is both good and bad, I suppose.

For one thing, it's often funny, as we have seen with the recent revelation of the Nick Cage/Tim Burton Superman Lives movie that never was.

For another, it's often tragic, as with the Superman 2000 proposal by Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Mark Millar, and Tom Peyer. This Superman, by these writers, would likely have been magnificent. Alas, we'll never know if they could have pulled it off together. Actually, we have clues, as all of these writers have worked with Superman since then. Waid's Birthright was powerful. Millar's Red Son is one of the best-selling superman collections to this day (and one that every comic shop owner has pointed to as a constant favorite of customers), and Morrison's All Star Superman has been called "perfect" by a great many writers and reviewers.

So Superman 2000 didn't happen, but you can read about it. And lots of people like to write about it.

And I'm sure some people have incorporated this into their own idea of who Superman is, the residual image formed from all of their exposure to stories about him.

Monday, November 9, 2009

And I thought Nick Cage was unusual...

Ok, so this brief exchange on the Baby Backpack part of Yahoo Answers includes statements by two people that they're naming their babies after Superman in some way. Clark. Kal Alexander.

I had no idea.

Here's a story about clutch-hitting in baseball, which concludes with the odd comment that a hitter notorious for not being good under pressure wears a superman t-shirt under his uniform every game.

Also, Florida Gators' Tim Tebow Is Actually Human and Not Superman, reads the headline for a column in the Bleacher Report.

A Different Opinion
Then there's this cynical assessment of Superman, made in 1988 upon the 50th anniversary of the character. It's by Gary Groth, and that name alone will dictate how a great many people would respond to the essay. It's notable for its glossing over of mythology in general and Greek Mythology in particular, especially in its assessment of what it would take to be a successor to those myths. Here's a summation: My only interest in Superman, marginal at that, stems from his continuing presence as a symbol of banality and infantilism in the history of the American comic book.

I should start keeping track of all the superhero museum exhibits that crop up these days. Here's one.

Fiction, and Costumes Then there's this...story? Anecdote? Joke? I'm not sure what to call it. It's obviously fictional--what with the superpowers and whatnot, but it's hard to tell what the genre is. It's from, Israeli news in English, but it's about a Palestinian Superman meeting a fellow countryman in a bar over whiskey. There's a reference to the drunk superman joke in it.

in the related category of people dressing up like superman for various reasons, this guy is doing so and walking thousands of miles to raise money for homeless veterans. Apparently, from the newsstory, dressing like Superman and running down the highway is something that makes people call the police.

And speaking of dressing up, this Halloween was the first during which I've seen Superman costumes with a six-pack built into them. The Philadelphia Inquirer did a story on this. It's not just Superman. It's Superman with over-the-top muscles and a cinched waist. It's not just Superman, either. I think it was Susan Bordeau who wrote a famous article a while back about the male body becoming as objectified as the female body. That trend isn't going away.

Now this is comedy. A boy pretends to be Superman, climbs to a barn roof. And..."The goat did not survive the experience." It's a column from the Clarksville Online, the voice of Clarksville, Tennessee, by Sue Freeman Culverhouse.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another Origin

In the early 70's, there was yet another retelling of the origin. This one by Carmine Infantino and Curt Swan...The Bronze Age of Blogs kindly posts the whole thing.