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Selkie

What does Superman represent to you?

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OH MY FREAKIN' NON-EXISTENT GOD! You have gotta be kidding me!!!

Who wrote that?!?! I MUST have it, NOW!

 

Christian, I had the same reaction until a little Googling revealed that it was written by Chuck Austen, and Teddy Kristiansen only started with issue 7 of a 12 issue maxiseries. Click here for the sordid details. I'm not sure even the prospect of Teddy Kristiansen's art is enough to get me to read a Chuck Austen comic.

 

Shawn, thanks for the heads-up. What were the other two German cinema-inspired comics? I love the idea.

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eeewww....Chuck Austen?! eeewwww!

How the hell could they get Austen to write a book based on "Metropolis"?!

I was thinking John Ostrander might have written that.....shame.

Yeah, now I'm wondering what other series DC had set in German 1930s movies. Odd deicision on the part of DC....but if they'd actually got decent writers for it, it could have hit with the more discerning readers.

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Selkie! Where are you?! I've got good news! I was looking around online to read a review of this series, to see how Austen could possibly write this, and how badly he messed it all up; and I came across this:

"Elseworlds: Superman's Metropolis (Prestige Format, One-shot) written by Randy Lofficier with art by Ted McKeever. Think the Batman movie was groundbreaking and dark? Well, how about Superman reinvisioned around the B&W movie Metropolis from German filmmaker Fritz Lang."

Unless Amazon has the wrong item info, it sounds like the Austen project is something else entirely. We have hope again!

 

UPDATE:Nope, Amazon has the right info.

The other two books in the series were "Batman:Nosferatu" and "Wonder Woman:Blue Islands"

 

Here's the review I found online:

Roy Thomas has a fondness for adapting classic tales to comic book form. He's done it with H.G. Wells' "War of The Worlds," the German opera "Ring of the Nieblung," and a couple of Michael Moorcock's "Elric" novels (done for First Comics in the late 1980's). Thomas is even rumored to be working on an adaptation of "The Island of Dr. Moreau" which will feature the JLA.

 

"Superman's Metropolis" is an adaptation of Fritz Lang's classic "Metropolis," a film originally released in 1927. Lang's film, his wife Thea van Harbou also contributed to its creation, has since been remade quite a few times since then. Thomas' adaptation is more or less faithful to the original material. Obviously, some aspects of the original storyline needed to be altered slightly to create a better fit with the Superman mythos.

 

The book itself is a prestige format, Elseworlds one shot set in a cold, mechanical future controlled by evil industrialists. Society is divided into two classes - a privileged elite and an impoverished underclass. No middle class exists. While the elite frolic and play in gardens of pleasure, the underclass toils deep underground to keep the machines of Metropolis in perfect working condition. Overseeing the workers' activities, and the city as a whole, is the Master of Metropolis, Jon Kent. Jon Kent's title may be "master," but he's really a puppet of the evil, deformed scientist Lutor - the true master of Metropolis.

 

Jon Kent's teenage son Clarc lives a life of luxury, content to frolic with beautiful maidens and puzzle over "why it is [he] can sometimes see through pillars and walls." Clarc's complacency is shattered when the leader of a worker's rebellion movement, a woman named Lois, shows Clarc how the underclass lives.

 

Confronting his father, Clarc is told that the workers do have a place in the brave new world Jon Kent is building; Their place is the stygian depths of the city. Allying himself with Olson, his father's former secretary who now toils as a simple laborer, Clarc builds sympathy for the workers' plight.

 

 

At a rally held by Lois, Clarc learns that a savior will one day rise up to serve as a mediator between the two social classes. As Thomas eloquently writes: "Between the brain that plans and the hands that build, there must be a mediator - a Superman!" The savior will wear a metal sigil (shaped like Superman's traditional "S" shield), and Olson, who saw a similar sigil among Jon Kent's papers, wonders if a connection exists between Clarc and the prophesized savior.

 

He and Clarc go about uncovering Clarc's true heritage, a task made more pressing by Lutor's abduction of Lois and a plot to eradicate the working class - forever. Lutor plans for an army of robots and machines to serve as the new laborers of Metropolis. After all, robots have no feelings, never make mistakes, and will never revolt.

 

From that point on, the story progresses to the inevitable confrontation between Clarc and Lutor. And quite frankly, anyone having read a Superman story before can easily predict the story's ending.

 

The story's predictability is it's greatest flaw, but the drawing factor with most Elseworlds stories is how familiar characters are used in unfamiliar and unusual ways. And to Thomas's credit, he seamlessly blends the Superman supporting cast with the characters from the original movie.

 

For those familiar with the movie, Freder Frederson's role is played by Clarc, Maria becomes Lois Lane, Jon Frederson becomes Jon Kent, Hel Frederson becomes Martha Kent, and Rotwang becomes Lutor. It's almost as if the Superman supporting cast were born to play those roles. (As an aside, I wonder if Fritz Lang's last name provided the inspiration for of Lana Lang's last name?) Other characters, such as Dan Turpin, Metallo, and Perry White also have bit roles in the story that sharp eyed readers will enjoy.

 

One weird detail involves the character's names. No, I haven't been making typos. Thomas chose to slightly alter the names. Hence, we have "Lutor" instead of Luthor, "Clarc" instead of Clark, and so on. It's a bit annoying at first, but I suppose it adds a bit more of an Elseworlds flavor to the book..

 

The book's overall feel is significantly aided by the painted artwork of Ted McKeever. The gritty and moody artwork creates a grim feel and backdrop for the story. McKeever succeeds admirably in depicting a future world where the industrial revolution went horribly, horribly wrong. Some readers, however, may not enjoy the stylized art. To some it may seem unfinished or lacking polish, but that effect is probably intentional.

 

McKeever's art is essential to the final climactic scene where Clarc confronts Lutor. The reader needs to pay extra careful attention to the art to understand why the battle turns out the way it does. I was a bit confused and needed to re-read the scene a few times, but part of the blame for the confusion rests with Thomas. He needed to more clearly define what constitutes Kryptonite in the story (Hint: it's not what you think).

 

Overall, I'd give "Superman's Metropolis" eight out of ten stars. The story, although a tad predictable, is engrossing, and the art successfully captures the feel of the original movie (gears and clocks abound!).

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Christian, did you read "Superman: Metropolis"? It was one of a trilogy of comics based on 30's German cinema. "Metropolis" was Superman set in Fritz Lang's Metropolis with great art by Teddy Kristenson.

I'm glad to say I have read and own this. Good stuff. Something like a melding of Bruce Wayne and Superman's origin story with Lang's Metropolis. This definitely isn't your standard Superman story!

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Josh-I kept saying Krypton! Was there a different original name for his home planet, because Krypton is what it's called now

Sorry Christian, I really am a space case (to where it constantly affects my life) and am not always as careful a reader as I'd like to be. The planet is I recall now was always called Krypton. Charlie, thanks for the confirmation.

 

 

Nice juxtaposing of the political climate of the 1970s-on with the change in the idealization of Krypton from reality to nightmare.

But, it still wasn't conflict ridden, as the people had all accepted the "status quo". It was a "1984" dystopian reality, without a rebel in the midst. There was no disease and no poverty, there were also no emotions left (which makes conflict hard), and the work was all done with slaves (who had accepted their fate).

Thanks for that, Christian. (I never read enough post-'60s Superman to spot that.)

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Guest spiderlegs

Superman represents to me the misplaced innocence based on "golden age" naivete. (sp?) That age was no more innocent than any preceeding it, yet people tend to look back on it through idealized blinders and Superman epitomizes that "colorized" singular, myopic view of the age of WWII, prohibition, gangster free-for-alls, concentration camps and Japanese interment camps. Or maybe I'm just overly cynical. Either one...

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Of course, both Supes and Bats were not created in a vacuum. There were a lot of interesting characters running around in the pre-comic book pulps of the 1930s, of which The Shadow and Doc Savage would be the most recognizable but not the only ones.

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Of course, both Supes and Bats were not created in a vacuum. There were a lot of interesting characters running around in the pre-comic book pulps of the 1930s, of which The Shadow and Doc Savage would be the most recognizable but not the only ones.

 

Ì´ve one Shadow Trade and it confused me to read. The first story was brilliant but it was an standalone story. The ongoing parts I didn´t like very much! It´s always the same: If it´s good it somehow has to end and not to reanimation of an series will just go one time maybe two times but they should leave some things burried. And they should not make it endless just one storyarc sold well. That´s in many things the best. Let it stay! Remember the good and dont´make the good to ordinary rubbish when there´s no concept anymore!

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Superman represents to me the misplaced innocence based on "golden age" naivete. (sp?) That age was no more innocent than any preceeding it, yet people tend to look back on it through idealized blinders and Superman epitomizes that "colorized" singular, myopic view of the age of WWII, prohibition, gangster free-for-alls, concentration camps and Japanese interment camps.

And segregation, yes.

 

 

Wolfram, count me as another STHer who really likes your Superman story concept.

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Thanks for the correction Christian. I sometimes mix Ted McKeever with Teddy Kristenson. Plus I had to guess, as I could not find the damn thing until right now. It was definetly something out of the norm, and very good.

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Superman represents, to me, the lack of sense to not wear your underwear on the outside of your, erm, tights.

 

Yeah.

 

Beyond that...what else could there possibly be?

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Shawn, thanks again for the recommendation, and Christian, for restoring my hope that my house can remain free of Chuck Austen comics. 8-)

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Even when I was a very small kid, never liked comics that had Super superheros in them. When you had someone like Supes, or Cpt Marvel, Wonder-woman ( I mean, she is a demi-god , what can ever really stop her? ) Same goes for Thor, and the very worst to me was Hulk. You just knew he would green up, and smash anything on offer. So what was the point?. It was all just a way for the writers to exercise themselves, because the end of a Superhero comic, was he saved the day. Regardless of anything that happened in the cmic. Every single week.

 

:icon_rolleyes:

 

I used to read 2000 AD, and while Judge Dredd always got his man, which is in the same fashion I suppose, it just seemed more realistic than Supes ever could seem, cause YOU CAN"T BEAT HIM. And a lot of the better stories ( in 2000 AD ), at least tried to have a set of rules, and stick with them.

 

I remember once, somehow some hippy dropout type person, got given magical powers. And SprMan is allergic to magic. ;) So when the man said "Please" SM had to obey.

 

So, instead of following that line of logic to its ultimate conclusion, they basically just cheated. And had SM trick the guy, basically.

 

And the whole thing was always a jip to me, so basically when i later read someone saying Superman is a fascist, I said to myself, " No, he is a CHEAT, that's what he is."

 

This of course, was the comics of my teenage years, 1970s-80s. I am aware things changed. I still don't have time for supermen, what could they say to us?. BATMAN, however . . . :p

 

My favorite comics as a lad, were Tarzan, and they used to have a Robin Hood serial in one of our newspapers. And there was prince Valiant, but for some stupid reason, they never ran the comic in its actual sequence. And Flash Gorden too !. Just normal men, that lived up to the challanges life threw at them.

 

I much prefered the European comics, to the American Supermen comics.

 

Have I said too much?.

:unsure:

 

My feeling about the Big Blue Boyscout, is , we don't have anything to say to one another. If he exceeds me by that much, he can't be the same creature in his head as I am. So I may as well care about an earthquake, or a sun.

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Superman doesn't mean shit to me. I always liked Spiderman better because there was Peter Parker. And Parker had victories but there were also times when he stumbled and fell. I guess my point is that the human angle of a great costumed hero leads to better character driven storytelling and shit. I dunno, tho, never read much Superman. Always loved the movies.

 

Now Alan Moore's Superman tales "For the Man Who Has Everything" and " Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" are excellent stories.

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Ok, how to begin....

 

The only Superman comics I've read have been the very first issues of Action Comics and Superman from the '30s-40's, a lot of late 50's Silver Age stuff, the three Affable Alan Moore Supes stories, the whole Death of Superman whathaveyou, some JLA stuff, the excellent Hitman issue, the Power of Hope, and the Elseworlds stuff like Red Son and Kingdom Come. I watched the Fleischer cartoons when I was about 4 or 5 and have loved them ever since. Oh and of course the Chris Reeve movies.

 

With that as my Superman background, I present this opinion: To me Superman represents and almost indescribable mix of awe, comfort, mystery, struggle, and wonder. He is the one that everyone looks up to, literally and figuratively. You know that if he is doing his best, everything will turn out ok. He cannot be stopped, because of his powers but more importantly because of his sheer willpower and determination to help people. He can be kind of oblivious to things sometimes, but that seems to be part of his Clark Kent persona. He has genuine care and concern for all the people of the Earth, and if he could, he would help every single one of them. I mean come on, look at this guy:

 

reeve.jpg

fleischer_superman.jpg

Action242.jpg

CP1286-Mythology-Superman.jpg

 

 

For me, this says it all:

superman.jpg

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Hell with pants on the outside

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Hell with pants on the outside

 

 

What the fuck, Mick? Do you mean underpants on the outside? Oh no, that guy has his pants on the outside! What a weirdo!!

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Hell with pants on the outside

 

 

What the fuck, Mick? Do you mean underpants on the outside? Oh no, that guy has his pants on the outside! What a weirdo!!

Mick, just so as you know, you've exceeded your idotic quota for the month. :huh:

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Actually, I thought it was his new exclamation.

"Mick, we sold out of Daredevil comics this week."

"Hell with pants on the outside!"

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Homosexuality and dual nature.

Fear and acceptance.

Power and responsibility.

 

Think about it.

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On the one hand, hes a slimy unbearable yay-sayer.

On the other hand hes the ultimate hero.

I dont hate him but i also dont care so much about him, though i got interested in him the last months.

 

My sister doesnt like Supes because hes an alien, and therefore mostly without human problems (Except the Lois-thing naturally), has a job, money, some friends, and his parents, who are maybe not wabbling in money, but have a little something.

Hes almost unbeatable, the only thing what brings him down is Kryptonite, but we know that wont happen permanently.

And she thinks hes cliched and overdone, too existant.

But were both not really in the business so our opinions arent worth a rats ass.

 

And lets leave us Mick alone, allright?

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We will never leave Mick alone! He craves our attention!

 

The thing is, Superman doesn't need money or a house. He's invincible. He could live outside and never be bothered by the elements. He could sleep in the sky, if he wanted.

He has a damn Fortress of his own up at the North Pole, like freaking Santa Clause!

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