Tag Archives: Superman

Superman Stops Fighting for the American Way

Superman making his debut in Action Comics #1 ...

Image via Wikipedia

Via Comics Alliance, we find that Superman, the icon of “truth, justice, and the American way” for eighty years will be renouncing his American citizenship. The surprising and polarizing act makes sense in the context of the storyline, where Superman’s attempts to protect and support the protesters in Iran is interpreted as an act of war by the USA. Superman, realizing that he was naive for thinking his actions would not be interpreted that way on the world stage, promptly goes to the UN and renounces his American citizenship, pledging to fight the good fight on a global scale.

This is a move that is obviously going to attract very strong emotions. The comments on the article speak volumes:

“SUPERMAN ALWAYS HAS BEEN A GLOBAL IMAGE AND “AMERICAN ICON!” I still believe in truth, justice and the AMERICAN WAY!” The creators of Superman saw him as the ultimate imigrant! why is it that American is now associated with not fair yet the whole world calls on us to save them! I am a life long Superman fan..and if the story has him renounce his US citizenship, then it will be an insult to the patriotic image they created…..” – Iceman

“Key point: Superman didn’t renounce anything. He’s only a cartoon character. Action Comics has renounced their citizenship. Or at least signaled a change of values. Expect to see A LOT of shilling for leftist causes now. I wonder what they gain by selling out to propagandize for the Democrats, like the main stream media did. Maybe they’ll get a bailout from the taxpayers. Or when it comes time for opting out of Obamacare for their employees down in the printing room.

Yep. And once the comic book world has completely cashed in on the side of “global transformation”, I’m sure they’ll get some well-deserved extra rations and larger apartments in the workers paradise. Thanks for enlisting in the corporate propaganda army, Action Comics. Now lets get busy! Can Superman make it to Palestine next week? We hear the Israeli Army is picking on the Gaza Strip again and we need him to help Hamas leverage power!!!” – Jon

“Interesting concept, but terrible timing…..With the tragic comedy of our politicians and an absence of visible American heroes ( this does not include our valiant troops ), DC basically outsources Supe ! Is nothing sacred ?” – onc8

It’s interesting that almost all of the commenters take this in a completely real-world political context. I am not naive enough to not see the political drive going on in the writer’s minds, but at the same time, from the point of view of someone who actually reads these comics, and watches the cartoons, and Smallville, and the movies…wow, I’m a nerd. But regardless, the actions of Superman, and indeed, the entire ensemble of the Justice League, stopped being limited to America or the agendas of American exceptionalism and nationalism a really, really long time ago. The villains stopped being foreign armies, and many of them became members of our own governments. The Project Cadmus storylines…hell, the greatest villain of Superman history, Lex Luthor, was elected president of the US!

In addition to this, the affairs of these heroes reach far beyond our planet. The affairs of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, and Final Crisis (among many others) reach beyond our dimension to all possible realms of existence.

On the political side, it’s not exactly news-worthy to suggest that perhaps, just perhaps, America is not the moral leaders that they once were (or at least that the history books written by Americans say they were) and that if a superhero is truly to be “good” an objective, non-political sense, Superman can’t exactly align himself with the US anymore. We torture. We kidnap people and make them disappear. We lock people away with no evidence, no trial, and no means of review. In light of all of that, is it any surprise that the universal symbol of good, honor, and justice can no longer wrap himself in the US flag?

Maybe when we clean up our act he’ll come back. Thoughts?

5 Incredible Superhero Fan Videos You’ve Never Seen

One of the most exciting examples of new media is the video revolution. Thanks to cheap technology and social media sites like YouTube, it is possible for people to create and distribute shorts, movies, and even full series as compelling as anything on mainstream television or in the theaters. A lot of the people involved in the projects get recruited by agents and headhunters, but even for those that don’t get “discovered”, this is a great way for independent scriptwriters and other creatives to see their vision come to the screen.

There are some amazing talents at work in these videos, and because of how much information is out there, a lot of it gets lost in the shuffle. Everyone has seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog, but some comparable writing (with admittedly lower budgets) slips through the cracks. Most superhero films made by amateurs are just mashups of other movies, but these five are real winners, created (almost) wholly from scratch.

Enjoy!

Grayson

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQyfQ7RMOXs&w=480]

Batman is dead and Dick Grayson, the original Boy Wonder, is investigating his murder. With appearances by heroes and villains from all over the DC universe, including Green Lantern, Batgirl, and Superman, this trailer to a great comic book movie that never got made is a testimony to how far an idea, a little cash, and some serious costuming can go. This is some especially fine scripting because so much has to be conveyed with no real dialogue. As anyone who has tried to write a play or script can tell you, having to convey your story in images and motion is very difficult. Grayson is an amazing piece. It will never get made (Robin in a movie is a hard sell since the nineties), but we can hope. A few scenes in Grayson fall flat because they were poorly executed scenes (Commissioner Gordon for the intro was a risky choice, I would have gone for Alfred) but overall it works very well.

World’s Finest

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtXD2HR5jgw&w=480]

All you comic fans out there know exactly what that title means: Batman and Superman, together. And that is exactly what you get. This movie probably will get made; it’s just too good to pass up, and it will make a killing in the theater even if it is awful. Until then, this trailer is pretty damn good. There is a lot more dialogue in this one, and it’s important to note how the writers used characterization in dialogue to empasize and bring out the minor characters while allowing Batman and Superman to work off of their costumes and movements. Every moment Lois is in a scene she is talking, and they manage to throw in her nickname for Clark Kent (Smallville) without it seeming forced. While the scene choice and physical work is not as heavy as in Grayson, World’s Finest certainly makes up for it in dialogue and direction.

Green Lantern

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIyx09htG8U&w=480]

This one actually is getting made right now, but this video is not related to the movie. Here we have no dialogue at all and it was mostly done with 3D modeling and bits of footage from movies, so the creator had to imply his tale through his choice of images. We see that he deals with this by creating tensions and quickly switching from one establishing shot to another; anyone familiar with the Green Lantern comics and cartoons will be able to put together a possible plot just from the imagery of the Guardians of the Universe and Sinestro alone.

Son of Batman

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFScW8zvIM0&w=480]

This one is a little dark. OK, it’s a lot dark. The next one is funny, I promise. As far as the writing…you aren’t going to get much better; this scene is taken from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. For those who haven’t read the book (you should), it takes place in a dark, dystopian near future where Batman is old and tired, Superman is a tool of the government, and a gang of vigilante punks have taken up the cowl…in a fashion.

Batman Gets Pwned

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks8PZ8X6Yo8&w=480]

Told you the next one was funny. Respect the funny…writing funny is hard.

Suggestions

If you make videos or can recommend good videos, I want to see them. They don’t have to be about superheroes, but it helps!