Monday, August 04, 2008
Best Something I Was Thinking About
Here's something I was thinking the other day.
Superman is known for being Super, and Super at it's ultimate extension means, you know, he can fly super fast, he's super strong, he's super invulnerable to harm...basically he can do anything and nothing can hurt him. This is the definition of Superman, and it's a great idea for an ultimate protector of the Earth, but a bad idea for storytelling. Where's the conflict and worry when your hero cannot be foiled? So the premise to any modern Superman tale is that some element must be introduced to create a vulnerability in Superman...a weakness is created or his powers are somehow reduced or a new villain appears more super than he...essentially, something happens to make Superman not Super anymore, and from there you've got a story. Superman either has to be able to achieve victory from his diminished capacity or find a way to return to his full-power and unstoppable state (or discover the weakness of the villain more powerful than he). SO, basically, there are no stories where Superman is Super, therefore, there are no Superman stories.
Put me back in college and give me a little more logic and poststructural training and I'll say this even better.
Related This post at Criminal Records details succinctly what I was trying to say about the Dark Knight when I shared my thoughts on the film...that it's an excellent movie but set in a world hostile to the Batman of comicbooks (which, to me, would be Batman) and all his allies and enemies.
And Another Thing What if Superman wasn't Clark Kent but Don Draper? Now that would be an alter ego. Or, actually, maybe Don Draper would make a better Bruce Wayne? OR if you were going to give Don Draper an alter-ego, what would it be? This guy does not count.
Posted by Brigham at 12:39 PM