Superman: The Man of Steel

King Kong! Star Trek! The Lord of the Rings! Hellraiser! Star Wars! The Marvel Cinematic Universe! The Universal Monsters! Freddy and Jason! The Dead Trilogy! The DC Cinematic Universe! Battlestar Galactica! Hammer Films! Gorgo! The range of Western Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy Movies and Television programs span the scope of the imagination; this is the forum to discuss them!

"Come get some..."

Moderator: Controllers

Re: Mark Millar & Matthew Vaughn’s Superman

Postby mr.negativity » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:47 am

mr.negativity wrote: /film Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008:
Mark Millar Plans for New Superman Trilogy
Peter Sciretta wrote:In an interview with G4, comic book writer Mark Millar (Wanted) revealed his plans for a new trilogy of Superman films, which he would like to be shot back-to-back.

“A director approached me about three months ago,” Millar said. “and he said ‘look, [Bryan Singer’s] The Man Of Steel might not be happening. If that doesn’t happen, it has been spoken about the possibility of me coming in, would you like to write it?’ And I was like Yeah.”


Yeah, we have already heard this before, but here is where the juicy details come in:

“I’ve had this plan for like 10 years for a big three-picture Superman thing, like a big Lord of the Rings epic, starting over from scratch again with a seven-hour Superman story. And hopefully release them one year after another,” continued Millar. “If it works out, we’ll have to start shooting next summer.”


Wow, big plans, but even Millar admits that nothing is firm yet, and while this is a “long shot”, the director in question is “a big deal” and he apparently said that he won’t do it unless Millar writes it. But would Warner Bros put up the cash to shoot three Superman films back-to-back, especially considering the box office disappointment of Superman Returns? Millar has previously revealed that his Superman would be “Superman for the 21st Century, keeping everything we adore, but starting from scratch and making the kids love it as much as the 30-somethings.”


/film Monday, October 22nd, 2007:
Mark Millar to Pitch Superman Sequel


SCREEN RANT MAY 31, 2019:
Matthew Vaughn’s Man of Steel 2 Borrowed Scrapped Superman Trilogy Story
HANNAH SHAW-WILLIAMS – wrote:Speaking to Polygon during the press tour for Elton John biopic Rocketman, which he produced, Vaughn offered some details about his and Millar's original proposed Superman trilogy, and said that he would have borrowed some of those ideas for Man of Steel 2. Described as an uplifting and hopeful approach to the character, the planned trilogy would have changed Superman's origin story to have him grow up on Krypton instead of Earth. The first film would have been set mostly on Krypton and focused on Superman's father, Jor-El, as he tried to prevent the ultimate destruction of the planet (though the destruction would eventually have happened). Superman would have only later gotten to know Earth, and would have found his loyalty torn between the two planets.

Of course, it would have been difficult to incorporate some elements of Vaughn and Millar's trilogy into Man of Steel 2, since Krypton was destroyed in Man of Steel and Superman was sent to Earth as a baby, in keeping with classic canon. However, there are plenty of ways in which Vaughn could have made a sequel about Superman being torn between his family on Earth and the people of Krypton - for example, by revealing that the Kryptonian city of Argo survived the planet's destruction, as it did in the comics.

After the backlash to both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, Warner Bros. has shifted its focus from Superman to other DC characters. Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Suicide Squad all have sequels on the way, and Batman is getting a soft reboot in Matt Reeves' The Batman, with Robert Pattinson now confirmed to be taking over the role from Ben Affleck. When we'll actually get to see Superman again - in Man of Steel 2 or otherwise - remains to be seen.


Polygon May 30, 2019:
Matthew Vaughn explains what his Man of Steel 2 may have looked like

/film:
Matthew Vaughn ‘Superman’ Trilogy Would Have Been a ‘Massive, Uplifting, Hopeful Thing’ That Could’ve Inspired ‘Man of Steel 2’
User avatar
mr.negativity
Meltdown Godzilla
 
Posts: 8491
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:27 am
Location: The Negative Zone

Re: Superman: Project Silica

Postby mr.negativity » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:51 pm

VARIETY, NOVEMBER 4, 2019:
Why Microsoft and Warner Bros. Archived the Original ‘Superman’ Movie on a Futuristic Glass Disc (EXCLUSIVE)
Janko Rottgers wrote:Microsoft has teamed up with Warner Bros. to store a copy of the 1978 movie “Superman” on a small glass disc about the size of a coaster. The collaboration, which will be officially unveiled at Microsoft’s Ignite 2019 conference in Orlando, Florida Monday, is a first test case for a new storage technology that could eventually help safeguard Hollywood’s movies and TV shows, as well as many other forms of data, for centuries to come.

“Glass has a very, very long lifetime,” said Microsoft Research principal researcher Ant Rowstron in a recent conversation with Variety. “Thousands of years.”
Image

The piece of silica glass storing the 1978 “Superman” movie, measuring 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm x 2 mm. The glass contains 75.6 GB of data plus error redundancy codes.

Microsoft began to investigate glass as a storage medium in 2016 in partnership with the University of Southampton Optoelectonics Research Centre. The goal of these efforts, dubbed “Project Silica,” is to find a new storage medium optimized for what industry insiders like to call cold data — the type of data you likely won’t need to access for months, years, or even decades. It’s data that doesn’t need to sit on a server, ready to be used 24/7, but that is kept in a vault, away from anything that could corrupt it.

Turns out that Warner Bros. has quite a bit of this kind of cold data. Founded in the 1920s, the studio has been safekeeping original celluloid film reels, audio from 1940s radio shows and much more, for decades. Think classics like “Casablanca,” “The Wizard of Oz” or “Looney Tunes” cartoons.

Warner Bros. stores film in cold storage vaults, where temperature and humidity are tightly controlled and air sniffers look for signs of chemical decomposition that could signal problems

“Our mission is to preserve those original assets in perpetuity,” said Brad Collar, who is leading these efforts at Warner Bros. as the studio’s senior vice president of global archives and media engineering. And while the studio is deeply invested in these classics, it also keeps adding an ever-increasing number of modern assets to its archives, ranging from digitally-shot films and television episodes to newer forms of entertainment, including video games.

To date, the Warner Bros. archive contains some 20 million assets, with tens of thousands of new items being added every year. Each of them is being stored in multiple locations, explained Collar. “We want to have more than one copy.”

And to this date, Warner Bros. is storing every single movie and TV show on film, even if they’re being shot digitally. For archival purposes, the studio splits a film into its CYMK color components, resulting in three distinct copies that are then written on black-and-white film. The results are being stored away in a cold vault, which is kept between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hollywood studios have been storing films like this for decades, explained Collar. “This process is tried and true.” And it works: When Warner Bros. recently decided to reissue “The Wizard of Oz” in 4K, employees just had to go back into the studio’s vault, retrieve those 3 color-isolated copies, digitize each, and reassemble them to the color master copy. “It is an evolved process,” said Collar.

However, the process doesn’t work for all kinds of assets. Video games, for instance, need to be stored digitally. Light field video captures, holograms, or whatever else the future may hold for next-generation entertainment, will likely also require different solutions. And with recent visual improvements like 4K and HDR, there is an ever-increasing need for petabytes of storage, said Warner Bros. chief technology officer Vicky Colf. “It’s the quality of the content that we are dealing with.”

The studio has been researching novel storage solutions for some time. When Collar first heard about Microsoft’s Project Silica, he was instantly intrigued. After all, the idea to store media on glass sounded awfully familiar: Collar had stumbled across old audio recordings in Warner’s archives a while back, which were being stored on glass discs slightly larger than regular vinyl records.

His team had to first find special players to access the recordings, but was then able to digitize them, unlocking a “Superman” radio play from the 1940s. So when the Warner started talking to Microsoft about collaborating on Project Silica, it was immediately clear that “Superman” was the right film to store on glass. Said Collar: “It’s a beautiful full circle.”

Warner Bros. has been storing all of its films and TV shows, even those shot in digital formats, on 35mm film.

But Microsoft’s approach is based on very different technology than what was used by 1940s-era archivists. Project Silica relies on lasers similar to those used for Lasik eye surgeries to burn small geometrical shapes, also known as voxels, into the glass. “We can encode multiple bits in each voxel,” explained Rowstron. And unlike traditional optical media like CDs or DVDs, Project Silica actually encodes data in multiple layers. Microsoft used 74 such layers to capture “Superman” in glass, but has since advanced the technology to add many more layers.

Once data is stored this way, it can be accessed by shining light through the glass disc, and capturing it with microscope-like readers. In fact, in Project Silica’s early days, the company simply bought off-the-shelf microscopes for this process, which also benefits from machine learning to make sense of the captured light.

The process of storing and accessing data with Project Silica is still in early stages, but it works: After burning the copy of “Superman,” Collar’s team checked to make sure the data was not corrupted. “We did a bit-by-bit check,” he said. The result: The movie was there, safe for future generations. “We have that glass now here in our vaults,” he said.

Microsoft also did extensive tests to make sure that Project Silica storage media didn’t easily damage. “We baked it in very, very hot ovens,” said Rowstron. His team submerged the glass in boiling water, microwaved it, and even scratched it with steel wool — all without any damage to the stored data. Sure, it is breakable if you try hard enough, admitted Rowstron. “If you take a hammer to it, you can smash glass.” But absent of such brute force, the medium promises to be very, very safe, he argued: “I feel very confident in it.”

And while Microsoft partnered with Warner Bros. for this first proof-of-concept, the use cases for Project Silica may ultimately extend far beyond Hollywood. Other known examples for cold data include medical data and banking information, explained Rowstron, adding that many other applications may not even be known yet.

To illustrate the potential, Rowstron referenced the way consumers used to treat photos taken on their phones. A few years ago, before cloud storage became ubiquitous, a consumer may have taken a burst of photos of one motive, and then deleted all but one of those pictures. Fast forward a few years, and machine learning algorithms have gotten really good at combining these burst photo sequences, and turning them into better-looking composite images. “There is a lot of value to keep data around,” Rowstron said.

This also explains why Microsoft is interested in storage solutions like Project Silica to begin with. The company’s own Azure cloud business already safekeeps vast amounts of data for its customers, including both “hot,” frequently accessed data, as well as “cold” data. For some of its long-term storage needs, Azure still uses tape, which frequently has to be checked, and even re-copied, to maintain data integrity. Glass could one day be a more secure solution to safekeep data for the company and its customers.

Warner Bros. isn’t expected to replace its existing archival strategy entirely with glass any time soon, said Colf. “It’s just another arrow in our quiver,” she said. “We hope that film is an option for us for many years to come.”

There is also still a lot of work to be done before Project Silica can become a real product. Read- and write-operations need to be unified in a single device, and the amount of data stored on one piece of glass needs to increase. Microsoft isn’t revealing how much it has been able to squeeze onto the latest generations of the medium, but it is apparently not in the terabyte range just yet. Still, Rowstron is confident that Project Silica will lead to a break-through in storage technology. “I believe the future is glass,” he said.
User avatar
mr.negativity
Meltdown Godzilla
 
Posts: 8491
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:27 am
Location: The Negative Zone

Re: Superman: The Man of Steel

Postby XvGojira » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:38 pm

The first step into creating a those crystal memory storage like in the first Superman movie. Honestly a crystal is way cooler than a usb thumb drive.
User avatar
XvGojira
Burning Godzilla
 
Posts: 4035
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 2:29 am
Location: Grand Rapids

Re: Superman: The Man of Steel

Postby Dai » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:20 am

Aren't these just like the glass masters used to press optical discs? I presume the new technology is more about reading the data from the glass version.
User avatar
Dai
Heisei Godzilla
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:07 pm
Location: UK

Re: “Superman No More”

Postby mr.negativity » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:24 pm

COLLIDER, NOVEMBER 19, 2019:
Henry Cavill Insists He Hasn’t Given Up Playing Superman; Admits ‘Justice League’ “Didn’t Work”
ADAM CHITWOOD wrote:Henry Cavill is in a bit of an odd position. He’s the current public face of Superman, having played the Man of Steel in three feature films for Warner Bros. to varying degrees of success. He’s the actor in the role of one of the most iconic superheroes in history. But he’s also the lead of Netflix’s ambitious new fantasy series The Witcher, a Game of Thrones-esque gamble that the streaming service hopes will be immensely popular for years to come, necessitating a significant time commitment from Cavill. And then he’s also sneakily a tremendous supporting and comedic actor, showcasing scene-stealing turns in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. He’s almost too good at too many things.

In September 2018, THR reported that Cavill was “parting ways” with Warner Bros. and the character of Superman. Both the studio and Cavill declined to say anything substantial about the report, and an official announcement replacing Cavill has yet to happen. Now, speaking with Men’s Health, Cavill says he hasn’t given up on the role just yet, and feels there’s more story to tell:

“The cape is in the closet,” Cavill says. “It’s still mine… I’ve not given up the role. There’s a lot I have to give for Superman yet. A lot of storytelling to do. A lot of real, true depths to the honesty of the character I want to get into. I want to reflect the comic books. That’s important to me. There’s a lot of justice to be done for Superman. The status is: You’ll see.”



Justice is a curious word there, given that it does feel like Cavill’s turn as Superman wasn’t afforded the best opportunity to shine. He made his debut as the character in the 2013 reboot Man of Steel, but after that film failed to capture the rapturous box office Warner Bros. was anticipating, they teamed Superman up with Batman (and Wonder Woman) for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice instead of forging ahead with a proper Man of Steel sequel. Then, looking to fast-forward to Avengers-style success, Cavill’s next turn as the superhero was in Justice League, a film plagued with production problems that was completely restructured during reshoots helmed by a completely different director, with the studio taking ultimate control of the final cut.

Speaking with Men’s Health, Cavill offered a candid assessment of the three DC films he’s starred in thus far:

Man of Steel? “A great starting point. If I were to go back, I don’t think I’d change anything.” Batman v Superman? “Very much a Batman movie. And I think that realm of darkness is great for a Batman movie.” Justice League? “It didn’t work.”


Reading between the lines here, it sounds like Cavill also wasn’t too thrilled that his second outing as Superman was somewhat overshadowed by Batman. No disrespect to Ben Affleck, whose take on the Caped Crusader was genuinely compelling, but we barely got to know Superman in Man of Steel, and then in his second film he has to share half the screentime with a Batman reboot and significant set-up for Justice League.

The bottom line here is Cavill never got a Man of Steel 2, and he deserves a shot at it. I think even if Warner Bros. wants to soft-reboot the character, they can keep Cavill and use Man of Steel 2 to do it. The sequel has been in development ever since Man of Steel was released, with directors like Matthew Vaughn and Christopher McQuarrie pitching their takes, but Warner Bros. has thus far yet to bite.

The future of DC is unclear at the moment. Joker’s success likely means more R-rated one-offs in the future, and Justice League was a wash, but Jason Momoa is returning for an Aquaman sequel, Gal Gadot is back in Wonder Woman 1984, and Ezra Miller is trying his darndest to get The Flash movie off the ground. So why not finally give Cavill a shot? The guy has certainly put in the time and has had every opportunity to badmouth Warner Bros. over the past year, but didn’t. He clearly wants to get back in the saddle and do right by Superman. So give him a great writer, great director, and let him at it.



VARIETY, NOVEMBER 26, 2019:
DC Films Plots Future With Superman, Green Lantern and R-Rated Movies (EXCLUSIVE)
BRENT LANG and JUSTIN KROLL wrote:DC Films may have achieved more consistency when it comes to reviews and box office performance, but there are still hurdles to overcome. Namely, the company and its parent studio, Warner Bros., have yet to figure out what to do with iconic characters Superman and Batman.

The studio has less clarity on what to do with Superman, a character who has now been rebooted two different times in the last 13 years, once with Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns”) and later with Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel”) without landing on a winning strategy. Superman has also appeared frequently on television, in shows such as “Lois and Clark” and “Smallville,” which has led to some fears at Warners that the market could be over-saturated with hot takes on all things Clark Kent.

To help find a way to make Superman relevant to modern audiences, studio brass has been polling lots of high-profile talent. There have been discussions with J.J. Abrams, whose company Bad Robot recently signed a massive first-look deal with the studio, and there was a meeting with Michael B. Jordan earlier this year with the “Creed” star pitching Warners on a vision for the character. However, Jordan isn’t ready to commit to taking on the project since filming doesn’t seem likely to happen for several years and he has a full dance card of projects. Insiders think that a new Superman film is unlikely to hit screens before 2023, given that there’s no script and no director attached.
User avatar
mr.negativity
Meltdown Godzilla
 
Posts: 8491
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:27 am
Location: The Negative Zone

Re: “Superman: Flyby”

Postby mr.negativity » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:32 pm

Superman Homepage, November 25, 2019:
J.J. Abrams Responds to Superman Movie Speculation
Two years ago we saw Superman return from the dead in the film “Justice League”. With poor box office takings, poor critical reviews, Ben Affleck’s retirement from the Batman role, and speculation that Warner Bros. were done with Henry Cavill’s version of Superman, speculation has been running wild about where things would go (if anywhere) for the Man of Steel on the big screen.

With J.J. Abrams having recently signed a massive production deal with Warner Bros., many have been speculating as to whether the filmmaker is next in line to take on a Superman film.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Abrams, who has a number of Superman toys among the collection in his Bad Robot production office, was asked if a Superman film was in his immediate future.

“We haven’t had those discussions yet,” Abrams says, not quite convincingly.

Long-time Superman fans will recall that Abrams once delivered a script for a Superman film titled “Superman: Flyby” back in 2002. With Brett Ratner hired as director, the film was eventually cancelled, reworked, with Bryan Singer coming on board to film “Superman Returns” instead.


Screen Rant:
Superman Actor Henry Cavill Still Wants A Proper Man Of Steel Sequel
User avatar
mr.negativity
Meltdown Godzilla
 
Posts: 8491
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:27 am
Location: The Negative Zone

Re: Superman: The Man of Steel

Postby mr.negativity » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:44 am

FORBES, Oct 31, 2015:
Grant Morrison Talks Superman's Politics, 'Arkham Asylum' Movie, And More
Mark Hughes wrote:You’ve delivered some of the greatest modern comic stories for Batman, for Superman, and for so many character. When the New 52 kicked off at DC, what you did in Action Comics blew so many people’s minds, had you known before that you wanted to go back and delve into the history and mythology in that way? We saw you do that with Batman so effectively, so was Superman’s history something you were waiting to really sink your teeth into in a similar way?

Pretty much. I mean, I’d done the All Star Superman bit with Frank Quietly, which was a big kind of 12 issue statement about how we felt about the character. And it was a much more mythic and kind of widescreen, large scale symbolic story. It’s kind of allegorical drama of a man’s death and how he would deal with it, but using Superman as the man.

[So] I’d done that story, which was kind of Superman at the end of his life with this incredible advance in superpowers — you know, he was three times stronger, three times smarter, three times faster… I thought I’d love to go back to Superman’s early years and maybe look at what he was like when he first arrived in Metropolis, when he had power levels that were more like the early comics… when he could lift a car and he could survive bullets, but if you shot him with a shell, it would hurt him.

And I thought that was an interesting idea, the notion that his powers had increased over time, so let’s go back and look at him in the very early days when he was a social crusader when he was just a strong man and better than everyone, a kind of Paul Bunyan folk hero rather than a myth. That was the impetus for it. That’s what we tried to explore when we got into Action Comics, a much more grounded street-level Superman who was much more on our side — less of an icon and more of a person.

You mentioned the kind of social aspect of Superman. I’ve always thought it was important to his creation that he was rooted in the democratic and socially progressive ideas of Jewish culture and politics at the time.

Absolutely. That can never be forgotten. Superman is the creation of two young boys from Cleveland who were the sons of immigrants themselves — young Jewish boys, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. So he was very much an immigrant hero, he came from another planet to America. And you’re talking about a time in the [Great] Depression when there were a lot of people who had just recently arrived in America and they were trying to adapt to conditions, and they were having trouble financially, they were having trouble politically and socially. People were in ghettos, in huge cities bigger than anything they’d seen before. I think out of that came this myth — who’s strong enough, who’s fast enough to operate in a city like New York? Which became Metropolis obviously.

But they created this Superman character who to me was the ultimate immigrant figure who stood for their own dreams and hopes. Not only was he the kind of strong man these spindly boys aspired to be, he also stood against the injustices that I think they’d obviously seen in their lives. So the early Superman was up against corrupt union bosses, government officials, and mayors. Everyone in power seemed to be quite corrupt in Superman stories, and he was the one shining light who was up against that. I very much think he was designed as a Depression-era Superman.

Also, in the early stories he fights Robots a lot. And this was a time when mechanization was putting people out of jobs. You see the same thing in Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times movie from a little bit earlier, with the idea that mechanization and robots are going to put us all out of work and everyone’s going to end up on Skid Row. So you see Superman in those early years constantly smashing machines and smashing robots, and kind of being this figure of triumphant humanity and personality against the overwhelming approach of the machines.


What’s your opinion of the new cinematic DCU? In particular, we see the approach with the previous film — and now more so with the new film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — addressing the social issues surrounding the arrival of Superman, including reflecting real-life xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments in the U.S. these days. And then there’s the idea of America as a beacon of hope that can use its power for good, but also this fear so many people have of the danger from potential abuse of that vast power.

I think you’re finding the Superman that’s developing now is interesting again, because he seems to be quite against society in a lot of ways.

For a long time, Superman was seen as quite boring because he was a “Boy Scout” and he stood for kind of American rightwing values rather than the leftwing values he’d been created with. And for a long time, he was seen as sort of a policeman figure, or a father figure, this patriarchal idea.

Now what we’re seeing is a Superman who slightly embodies the alien a little bit more, who stands for counter-culture or what remains of the opposition — because there’s not a lot of opposition in the world that we now live in, to the monoculture; now everyone’s under surveillance, everything’s under control, they know what we’re doing and they’re watching our emails. So strangely enough, Superman has oddly mutated again into this kind of progressive figure who’s fighting our battles on behalf of us with his incredible strength.



CNN, December 5, 2019:
Move over, Joker - it's time for the OG Superman
Noah Berlatsky wrote:(CNN)Superman was the first superhero ever created, and is still perhaps the best-known. But he isn't thought of as an especially relevant or timely character these days. He can outrun a speeding bullet, turn back time and come back from the dead. The one thing he can't do, apparently, is anchor a hit film in the contemporary superhero era.

The time has come for a superhero film steeped in social and political realism, with a hard-hitting, class-conscious hero ready to fight for the little guy.
No, I'm not talking about the populist blockbuster "Joker," released earlier this year. I'm talking about Superman -- the original Superman. Superman as initially conceived in the 1930s was successful in part because he spoke so directly to the social tensions and problems of his day -- tensions and problems that aren't so different from our own: gender inequality, corporate corruption and greed, racism and vulnerability to state power.

"Joker" and "Watchmen" have been praised for the innovative ways in which they use superhero narratives to confront oligarchy and white supremacy. But Superman invented the superhero genre by doing the same thing eight decades ago.
Christopher Reeve's 1978 "Superman" was a critical and commercial blockbuster, but DC Films and parent studio Warner Bros. has struggled to replicate that success in the 21st century.

The melancholy sequel "Superman Returns" (2006), the downbeat reboot "Man of Steel" (2013) and the light-hearted team film "Justice League" (2017) all underperformed, and the studio reportedly has no idea what to do with the character next. Though there are tentative plans for a new attempt in 2023, the project currently has no director or star attached to it.

DC Films' seeming confusion is understandable.

Superman is best known as a pure-hearted Boy Scout with near-infinite power. In a superhero landscape that has mostly forsworn the sweetly campy tone of yore, that doesn't leave a lot of room for believable internal or external conflict. (Warner Bros., as part of Warner Media, is a sister company to CNN).
Yet the character first unleashed by on the world by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938 was almost unrecognizable from the on-screen demigod we've grown used to over the past 40 years. The original Superman could bend steel bars and was impervious to bullets. But he couldn't push planets around. He didn't even fly. He got around Metropolis by jumping really high.

Superman's first-ever 13-page story in Action Comics #1 had nary a super villain in sight. Instead, Superman rescued an innocent woman about to be executed and stopped an incident of domestic violence.

In Superman #1 from June 1939, the hero puts an end to the ill dealings of a corrupt munitions manufacturer. In another story from the same issue, Superman investigates a coal-mine collapse, and discovers that the owner has been negligent. Superman traps the boss in the mine so he can see the conditions the miners face and (tearfully) repent his greedy refusal to do proper maintenance. Our hero is a super safety inspector.

Books such as Rabbi Simcha Weinstein's "Up, Up, and Oy Vey" have made a lot of Siegel and Shuster's Jewish roots, arguing that the Man of Steel was inspired by Jewish legends about constructing a superstrong golem of clay to protect the community. Those parallels are tenuous at best, but early Superman's politics resonated (and still do) with the views of many liberal Jewish voters. Roosevelt's New Deal appealed to many working-class Jews in the 1930s. In an America still struggling with the aftermath of the Depression, Superman fought against profiteers and capitalists on behalf of workers.

He also fought Nazis, most prominently in a two-page story in Look magazine. Siegel and Shuster had their hero capture Hitler and his then-ally Stalin and deposit them at the League of Nations to be tried for war crimes. After the war ended, the popular Superman radio show ran a storyline in which Superman investigated and defeated the resurgent KKK, some 75 years before HBO's "Watchmen" series had its own heroes battle the Klan.

In the 1950s, Congress investigated the possible negative influence of comics on children, and the industry self-censored, backing away from controversial content. Superman shed his political convictions, and most of his stories centered on frankly silly plots, often involving bizarre transformations (in one memorable story Superman grew a third eye in the back of his head and started wearing silly hats to disguise it).

Writers started penning more straightforward adventure stories again in the 1960s, but the character never recaptured his early radical charge. Instead, he came to stand for truth, justice and a blandly righteous American way.

In recent years, stories like "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" (2016) Superman's status is (literally) an alien immigrant, who inspires nativist fears and backlash. That's not a theme Siegel and Shuster developed much, but it's certainly a reasonable and relevant approach to the character.

As DC Films tries to figure out what to do with the hero, though, it is worth looking at those early stories, in which Superman uses his not yet all-encompassing power to directly confront the villainous indifference and corruption of rapacious wealthy capitalists and racist thugs.

If DC Films wants a relevant Superman, all they need to do is go back to the first one.
User avatar
mr.negativity
Meltdown Godzilla
 
Posts: 8491
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:27 am
Location: The Negative Zone

Previous

Return to Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy Films and Television

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests