Friday, June 23, 2006

Superman / Batman compared to All Star Superman: The similaritys and differences.

Ryan Says:

So originally I sat down to comment on both of these articles of yours and then it slowly dawned on me that actually they're kind of linked, not just through inclusion of the man in red and blue.

I read Superman/Batman for 8 issues total, the best thing that came out of it in those issues? The Robin and Superboy team up and saying that it wasn't fantastic, it had Superman and Robin fighting in battle suits, enough said. It gave us a better look into the new Toyman (how many of these guys are hanging around now, it must be a least three), I think this incarnation has only been brought up again in Sam Loeb's 1 issue. Then I read the first issue with Supergirl, and then I dropped it like a rock, missing all of these subsequent issues you've been talking about. Though I have scanned through a copy every now and then, just to see what was happening.

But here's where it gets interesting, I'm sat here with my all star #4, and reading it, it is clearly a silver age homage, no getting away from that, it takes these old concepts and then just makes them readable. From reading this we know that this comes from Morrison's writing rather than the reintroduction of the idea, because as you said Loeb did it in Superman/Batman, and it just wasn't any good.

'Along the way, Jeph Loeb reintroduced another un-missed silver age facet of Superman lore: multiple colour Kryptonite with there own effects on Supes. great.'

All Star Superman
'It's fantastic fun isn't it? I mean, really? There are just tons of ideas, and its all filled with a sense of wonder and freshness that hasn't been seen in comics since, well, the silver age when it was all new and fresh'

-For anyone who's yet to read ASS#4, the issue was based around Superman being exposed to black kryptonite which made him all evil and junk.

So in your opinion is the concept of multicoloured Kryptonite just plain bad, or does it rely on the writer?
Are silver age concepts to far out to ever be used seriously now?

I'm thinking at the moment that it relies on the book, the all star line is a ramped up action film in every way, it's a line where you can get away with these concepts, just look at 'All Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder'- and that's a mouth full.
But then again wasn't that what Superman/Batman was originally meant to be? It should never have been in continuity, which would have helped it no end.

I think that Superman/Batman has been the inferior predecessor to All Star Superman, it had all the concepts, these big ideas, but when tied into continuity and an arced story structure it fell flat on its face. Jeph should have written an Elseworlds tale and left it at that.
All Star Superman manages to soar with these silver age ideas, and I think a large part of this comes through the format of the book. It's almost the fell format again really (well slightly), you can read any issue and get a complete story out of it, but there are elements we learn in each issue which build towards the end of the story. So as wacky as any of these issues are, the pay off comes in the book you buy, not in a 6 issue arc, and I think it's that which makes the All Star Superman the comic it is.

Other notes
I might take a look at Superman/Batman #27 next time I'm in.
I can't remember which colour eyes were which Luther
Looking at one of those covers it really dawns that Turner can't draw feet.

As for any thing that I noticed in this weeks comics I bought, after only reading a couple the big thing that stuck out again was 52, not in a good way. Well if you're really anal anyway.
Start Rant
In the last few issues the 52 letterers have been working their socks off, and as have the writers, giving little newspaper clippings significance with real text. But with this issue we are again back to the 'hg hjg jhvbiuag oiuywe ihirug iugqu' text below the headline. It probably doesn't bother anyone else, but I think that if the 52 writers (or shadow writers) are working on a website full of new articles each week, they could at least write some main body text for a newspaper featured in the actual comic.
End Rant

Sid Says:

"So in your opinion is the concept of multicoloured Kryptonite just plain bad, or does it rely on the writer?
Are silver age concepts to far out to ever be used seriously now?"

Excellent question, and straight away on your first post you have nailed an inconsistency in my text. Way to make me look shit.

Well, a big fat "no prize" goes to you for answering the query yourself. The thing that makes the quirky nature of AS Superman work is the freedom that comes with a non-continuity title. It has a wonderful way of taking all the really shit silver age concepts which didn't work well in the basis of a shared universe, and making them work.
In one self contained issue Grant Morrison has proven that multi-colored Kryptonite can be used to good effect, much like Mark Waid proved with synthetic red (or crimson) Kryptonite way back in JLA.
Grant Morrisons approach to the sillyness of the silver age Supes is miles apart from the Jeph Loeb approach, because Morrison's knows its being silly, wearing its campness on its sleeve for the entire world to see. A far juxtaposition from the riddled with in jokes, Bat-mite / Bizarro action / adventure romp which is Superman / Batman, which is supposed to be set in the DC universe. Are we really believing these are the same characters who've been put through the emotional ringer in Infinite Crisis? You absolutely nailed it when you said that Supes / Bats should have been out of continuity, but wasn't the whole point of (both) Crises to stop multiple world and dimension hopping stories?
Good comparison with AS Superman to Fell, they are very similar but at the same time completely different.

Onto your other points:

"Looking at one of those covers it really dawns that Turner can't draw feet." - You could have omited the word "feet" and had just as accurate a sentence.

52 Newspaper text - You know, I am just so impressed with the quality of 52 I can live without reams of prose, if only to speed up my reading time. It looks like the 52 series is going to be broken into kind of mini-story arcs liek 24, each interlacing and leading into the next issue. Textbook "How to Write the DC way" - Denny O Neil would be proud (the big racist).

And now my rant, also about textual inaccuracies. Does anyone else think its odd - or at least a tiny bit convenient - that a race as advanced as the Kryptonians used the same base concept of a 26 letter structured alphabet? Wow, how geeky a question was that?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very geeky.

Joe Fridays announced reprints of many CW tie-ins, inc. She-Hulk 8. I want in. :)