Saturday, December 22, 2012

Superman's Origin & My Thoughts on the "Man of Steel" movie trailer

Well, Have you seen it yet? If not, you need to check this out. Man of Steel Trailer Link.

Ok now that you've seen it, What new? Whats different? What have we seen before? And what do I like? For those that know me, you know I'm a pretty hard core Superman fan. In many ways, Superman is family to me. So its important to me that they portray Superman Right! I don't want a remake of Christopher Reeve in tights or Geoff Johns origin story brought verbatim to the screen. But there are some story beats I need to have hit. I mean, 2013 is the 75th Anniversary of the creation of Superman. He deserves this!!!  The success of Nolan's film Batman comes from the fact that he veered away from Tim Burton's Batman. It was his own voice and film style, but her barrowed a lot from Frank Miller's Batman Year One. Now I liked Superman Returns. But it tried to recall a time when "Supeman the Movie" was the only superhero flick. It was an incredible movie, but since then we've had Dark Knight, X-men First Class, Watchmen, Captain America, Amazing Spider-man, The Avengers, and Jonah Hex. (kidding). But the bar has been set and Man of Steel needs to raise it not crawl underneath it. And like the Dark Knight barrowed heavily from the comics, Man of Steel looks like its stealing some things from its comic counter part. Here are a couple of the Man of Steel's Comic origins that I feel have some items worth stealing.
1. Man of Steel, Written and Drawn by John Byrne
The first origin for Superman I ever read. It was unique for its time. Ma and Pa Kent were still alive. Superman was a football star in high school and more vulnerable than any other incarnations. He wasn't friends with Batman. His suit was home made by his mom!!! This was DC's attempt to make Superman more "marvel-ized" This Post-Crisis Superman will always hold a special place for me. There is a lot of Father and Son moments as well as Superman realizing he is a man of 2 worlds. In many ways this is my favorite origin.

2. Superman Odyssey, Written by Chuck Dixon and Drawn by Graham Nolan. I can't recall a lot about  this one. But it reminded me a lot of Bruce Wayne's journey across the world to discover who he was. To train, to learn, to become the hero he eventually would be. Its a story that shows Clark's true character.   Its and ok story, but I really love the "walking the earth" aspect.

3. Superman for All Seasons, By Jeph Loeb and Drawn by Tim Sale. Once again, pairing the team that does origins so well. This story focuses on Superman's humanity. Its not about his powers, its his heart. Its where he comes from and those around him. Small town Clark in big Metropolis. Visually stunning and a super quick read. A great Superman and Clark story, but not the greatest origin tale. I highly recommend this if you want a good Superman read and a tale of "who he is at his core and heart", but not so much an origin tale of his coming from Krypton.

4. Superman, Birthright, by Mark Waid and Francis Yu. This is an Excellent Origin Story and "Heart" of Superman story. This story covers a broader scope of Superman's origin. From Krypton's demise and the Kents finding baby Kal-el. To befriending a young, arogant Lex Luthor and then the pubic's discovery of this Alien hero who lives among them! I love this origin. It hits all the beats. The anger Pa Kent has at his son choosing to be a hero, to the public's fear of the this alien hero. This is one of the best origins for Superman!

5. Superman Secret Origin. By Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Johns does what here does best... taking a little bit of everything and mixing them into one perfect mesh. Geoff took elements of the Silverage and Post Crisis Superman and movie elements and blended them all into one great story!!! The Legion is there, Ma and Pa Kent are there, Lex is there! This beats all the other origins combined. Its fresh and yet pays homage to what came before. Gray Frank illustrates Superman better than most any other artist! I love this origin. A little bit of every generation's Superman! A must Read!!!!

6. Superman Earth One, by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis. A darker version of Superman. A less human feeling. More Alien! A little colder. Yet I liked it. I feel the heart his there. Elements are different. Tracie and I have discussed this one a lot and I've told her, I like this Superman, even if its not My Superman. Her fear (and I agree with them) If people keep making "non My versions" somethign may stick and the Superman we grew up with and loved... will disappear. I enjoy this Superman, but its not the Iconic Americana hero who puts others before his self.

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