I apologize for the delay to anyone who reads my reviews. Life gets in the way sometimes, but now that I have the time, I will try to be back with a vengeance as the con season starts unwinding.
I hope everyone who went to Dragon-Con or SacAnime had a wonderful time I now our staff did in every way.
In my time away I have read a lot of Superman comics. He is my all time favorite superhero. His complexity and power along with the honor of being the first true (red and) blue superhero are only a few reasons I can enjoy who he is and what he stands for.
The New 52 did much more than just an overhaul of his physical appearance of making his suit and powrs look cooler. They changed the very persona of Superman, from his having both of his parents die (not just Jonathan) to how brutish he becomes. In He’l on Earth, he makes it a point to Superboy that he is a man of action, yet it is clear that Superman does not see the consequences of his actions.
No longer is Superman the Big Blue Boy Scout. While that may sound like a good thing on paper, it really alienates the character. The flaw in telling a story like this is it makes Superman more dry than ever. Before, Superman has already had the somewhat unpopular streak of morality. He did not like shades of grey.
However, the New 52 has more than made him willing to make him morally ambiguous. In Action comics one over two years ago, Superman was willing to hold a guy over a ledge. Unlike Batman, this is completely out of character for him. In the years since, it as hoped he would return to what made his character so famous and yet so publicly received (which has always been a mixed review). Some believe him to be boring and overpowered The problem with DC and the direction they are taking Superman in the main continuity is that they are doing nothing to challenge this perception.
He completes feat of strength after feat of strength. In H’el on Earth alone, he bench pressed the Earth for seven days before dropping a single bead of sweat. Further, he wins the final battle by punching his opponent into the past. That is right, Superman punched someone through space and time. So not only is he the most powerful humanoid being in DC, he moonlights as a TARDIS. I would not be upset with DC if its mainstream was not so readily challenged though In both the Batman Beyond Universe and Smallville, both not in line with the main canon, Superman deals with loss and frustrations as a normal man.
In the Batman Beyond Universe, he has to get over the loss of Lois Lane to cancer, not to a thug or something within Superman’s control. It showed is human side excellently. What did the New 52 do when Lois ad a life threatening disease or mutation? He learns open heart surgery and performs a surgery he learned in 5 seconds, much like the Flash.
Smallville has always illustrated how no matter how powerful Superman is, he is no true god. He has limitations. He cannot change the course of every person. People will die. And beyond that, Superman always had to struggle with doing the right thing. It is never easy to make the right decision when the wrong one is so much easier. Showing how very human he can be is so crucial for a character like him when it is so easy to be lost in the myth, in the power. Being able to have Superman relate to not just his opponents, but to the reader, is crucial since he can either be seen as too perfect or too powerful.
However, in the New 52, Superman fights powerful opponent after powerful opponent. In Justice League, they led with Darksied, Mongul for the continuation of Batman and Superman, and H’el on Earth was all about an opponent stronger than Superman, smarter than Supergirl, and more deadly than Superboy. Where is the villain like Lex that can challenge Superman’s conscience or even the very ideals of his soul?
DC has spent too much time focusing on the power of (possibly) the world’s most powerful superhero. It is time they spent more time fleshing him out instead of just confirming the obvious.
There was a time when Superman would have said , “I’ll always be there. Always. It is not the power. Not the cape. It is about standing up for justice. For truth. As long as people like you are out there, I’ll be there…always.”
Where has that gone? Where is the superman who was the best of all men not just the best of the brawn? Where is his soul? Where is his mind? What has DC done to Superman?