I’m sure somewhere there’s a line forming for tonight’s 10 o’clock premiere of Superman Returns (at select theaters, naturally). For the less eager among you, I’ll wade through some of the media coverage …
Bad adaptations are no match for Superman
MTV.com finally wraps up its “Fanboy Dilemma” series with a little hand-wringing: “What if the movie stinks?” Don’t worry,
Consider that right now, there are four different versions of Superman in popular culture: The comic book Superman, the Kal-El of Superman Returns, the young Clark Kent of Smallville and the animated hero of the new Brainiac Attacks direct-to-DVD movie and the recently canceled Justice League Unlimited. All of those Supermen differ from each other — and, in fact, DC publishes more than one version of Superman, further complicating the matter. So why isn’t anyone confused? It’s because Superman is so ingrained in our collective consciousness that everyone already has a slightly different idea of who Superman is — and they’re all right.
… All these different takes on the Superman story can coexist because the character has become so iconic. The nutshell is solid and perfect: The sole survivor of an advanced alien civilization, raised in bucolic small-town America with ironclad values, decides to use his incredible powers to help mankind (rather than rule it) while masquerading as a powerless Everyman. It’s a story endlessly adaptable to changing times.
‘Yes, let’s talk about Lois. Let’s talk about sex.’
Yes, let’s talk about Lois. Let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about the most famous romantic triangle in comic book history. …
Superman’s romantic triangle resonates. Clark loves Lois, who loves Superman, who wants Lois to love him as Clark. This is the true origin of Superman. Superman’s creator Jerry Siegel once told the New York Times that back in high school, “I had crushes on several attractive girls who either didn’t know I existed or didn’t care I existed.” But what if he could do super things? he wondered. Wouldn’t they like him then? Superman was thus borne out of sexual frustration. He was borne out of adolescent fantasy.
This fantasy has meaning even into adulthood. Clark Kent is everyman not because he’s meek and mild but because every man feels he’s super in some way. I’m super-smart with numbers. I’m super-nice to animals. I have this superness inside me. Why doesn’t anyone see it? You could even make the metaphor explicitly sexual: When I take off my clothes, I’m super. When I take off my clothes, I make her fly. No one else can make her fly.
Many, many more links: