Questions and answers, but mainly questions.

Superman Returns

The reason I like Superman more than any comic hero is precisely the reason many find him dull.  I have heard (or maybe read) it argued that his episodes are boring because nobody can beat him.  His abilities seem endless and there is little suspense because we never doubt he will win.  Some graphic novelists have attempted to remedy this by killing him off or turning him bad or making him meet his physical match while ignoring his moral superiority.  But I think they’ve missed it.  What makes Superman exciting isn’t a lot of dangerous suspense – but rather the deep literary suspense.  His abilities amplify everything about his story.  His relationships are as important as he is.  His secrets are as important as those they protect.  Unlike other heros, constantly running from fight to fight, Superman is a superhero with time on his hands.  In order for him to be interesting, we must see more than crimefighting.  We must know about his inner-struggle because it’s the part of him we identify with.

I have argued for a long time, despite the mocking of friends, family, and even my wife, that Superman’s story is rich with Christian symbolism.  Come June, 2003 there will be ample cause for discussion on this thanks to Bryan Singer’s (director of X-Men and X-Men 2) new movie – Superman Returns, which is currently in post-production. Though I wouldn’t call myself a fan (I’ve never even owned a comic), I do hold a deep appreciation for the icon (I have worn the underwear).  If you care to share in my excitement, I highly suggest you check out the most recent trailer.  If you want to share in my obsession, you should also check out bluetights.net.

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5 responses

  1. rich

    the problem i’ve always had with superman is the fact that his secret identity disguise is simply a pair of glasses — i can buy the notion that he’s an alien from another planet, that he has super strength, can fly, all that — but, damn, lois — it doesn’t take super powers to see that clark kent is really superman! i mean, don’t you sometimes want to reach inside one of the comic panels, shake her and say, “it’s the same guy! look! can’t you SEEEEE?!?!”

    December 12, 2005 at 10:09 pm

  2. fair ’nuff.

    December 12, 2005 at 10:16 pm

  3. danielle

    i’m excited to see this movie…mainly because i like when directors re-tell an older story.

    December 13, 2005 at 1:31 pm

  4. Rachel

    i’m excited about this too!!

    December 13, 2005 at 1:47 pm

  5. Celena

    I’m looking forward to it too. My real hesitation is wondering what they’re going to do with the Wonder Woman movie they’re making. She’s my hero.

    December 14, 2005 at 1:47 pm

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