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Allegory Comics
12-12-2009, 11:07 PM
Is anyone else reading Superman comics right now? If so, what are your thoughts?

I am really turned off by what they've been doing these past 3 years or so. They keep saying something BIG is right around the corner, and then it fizzles. The next "big" thing I guess is "War of the Supermen," which will continue the stories that started in "Last Son" (in 2006), "Codename: Patriot", "World of New Krypton," "World Without Superman," "World Against Superman," and I'm sure about half a dozen others I'm forgetting.

It just seems like they're doing too much, which would be fine if any of it were any good. Instead they're telling stories about "Project 7734" -- what 3rd grader came up with that? Why not just call it "Operation 5318008"?

I'm REALLY pissed off that Superman isn't even appearing in his own titles right now. Instead we get lame substitutes like Mon-El, Flamebird, Nightwing, Supergirl, and Guardian. And what's with Mon-El's new costume? It looks terrible. I tried to give them a chance, but they're just so boring and tired. I enjoy them as supporting cast, but they can't carry a title. Certainly not for as long as they have been (about a year now. I think).

The entire New Krypton arc, and his absence from his own books, might have been a good story if it weren't soooooo long. I lost interest after WONK #4.

Plus, I got a kick out of Gary Frank drawing Chris Reeve as Superman for a while, but now it's a little old. All his young boys look the same, with that same dopey-Chris-Reeve look on their face. And his adult Clark looks exactly like Reeve in the old movies, which would be great if this were 1984. He could'a kept the inspiration and added a 21st century makeover. Instead it's the same haircut, the same suit, and the same glasses.

Seriously, there is NO redeeming value to what's going on in the books now. I've been reading Superman since 1992, and I am his biggest defender here on DW ... and this is the first time I've ever thought about walking away. I keep hoping it gets better, or that it pays off, but "War of the Supermen" looks like more of the same. I thought maybe SECRET ORIGIN would be a fresh start, but it's just kind of wedged in there. And even that isn't Geoff Johns' best work.

If I did leave the books, I'd have plenty of company. Sales of the books have dropped about 40% in one year. They have gone down EVERY MONTH since Nov. 2008 -- from about 55,000 then to only about 30,000 now.

Is anyone out there enjoying them? If so, please, tell me why!

Why can't DC get its shit together and give this character the treatment he deserves?

Paul Sanderson
12-13-2009, 05:23 AM
Until recently, I was reading Superman on/off since the late 70s, and seriously since 1986. Superman has gone off the rails in recent years, but then so have most other mainstream comics. Its a reflection of the times and of the people running the show/s these days. Sad but true.

Biofungus
12-13-2009, 06:19 AM
In next years big DC event, Superman divorces Lois, after realizing his feelings for Bruce are more than just that of "respect"...

punkpenciler
12-13-2009, 09:11 AM
i don't think that's beyond them

Ian Ascher
12-13-2009, 04:17 PM
Like all things, it will come and go in waves.

When Superman was relanched in 1985 after Crisis I loved it. Eventualy I lost intrest in the direction it was going and didn't pick it back up until the hype around his death. I read the books leading up to the death of Superman and stuck with the books through his return. Once he was back I lost intrest again.

Back and forth, over and again.

Every few years something gets me to look at Superman and I read it for a while until I loose intrest. Most recently it was Geoff Johns and Richard Donner on Action and Busiek on Superman. When they brought back Kandor and all the Kryptonians, I lost intrest.

The same holds true for Batman, and many other books with me.

Allegory Comics
12-13-2009, 04:31 PM
When they brought back Kandor and all the Kryptonians, I lost intrest.
That could have been a great story, but they ruined it by stretching it out, crossing over with too many titles, watering it down with useless characters, and poor writing.

That seems to be DC's problem right now. They have three concurrent big events happening with Superman, Batman and Green Lantern, and it's impossible to follow them all. I'm struggling just to keep up with Superman alone. All this noise about government conspiracies, magical dimensions, war between earth and New Krypton, Flamebird and Nightwing searching for Nadira and Az-Rel, Supergirl vs. Reactron, Morgan Edge's alien smear campaign, Mon-El/Jon Kent on the Science Police ... it's WAY too much, and none of it is very interesting. It's just watering down the main story and dragging it out until readers lose interest.

Ian Ascher
12-13-2009, 07:56 PM
With me, it was bringing all the Kryptonians back.

I didn't mind Superman finding one or two more here or there, scattered about the universe but to bring back over 100,000 of them just seemed like it was lazy. The bottled city of Kandor should have stayed bottled... and in the Silver Age.

Allegory Comics
12-13-2009, 08:14 PM
Superman certainly should be the "Last Son of Krypton" (relatively speaking) and I'm sure he will be once again when this story ends. I just thought that would have happened by now. In the meantime, I think it could have been an interesting story before returning to the status quo.

"Could have been."

ponyrl
12-13-2009, 09:08 PM
where's galactus when you need a useless planet destroyed.

Paul Sanderson
12-13-2009, 10:05 PM
That could have been a great story, but they ruined it by stretching it out, crossing over with too many titles, watering it down with useless characters, and poor writing.

That seems to be DC's problem right now. They have three concurrent big events happening with Superman, Batman and Green Lantern, and it's impossible to follow them all. I'm struggling just to keep up with Superman alone. All this noise about government conspiracies, magical dimensions, war between earth and New Krypton, Flamebird and Nightwing searching for Nadira and Az-Rel, Supergirl vs. Reactron, Morgan Edge's alien smear campaign, Mon-El/Jon Kent on the Science Police ... it's WAY too much, and none of it is very interesting. It's just watering down the main story and dragging it out until readers lose interest.

Agreed. Too many events too often running too long.

Moonrider
12-13-2009, 10:48 PM
Every few years something gets me to look at Superman and I read it for a while until I loose intrest. Most recently it was Geoff Johns and Richard Donner on Action and Busiek on Superman. When they brought back Kandor and all the Kryptonians, I lost intrest.

Yep, I left reading Superman right after Busiek and Johns. James Robinson's stories are less interesting, IMO. Mon-El has potential, but his character is a bit dull.

Eugene Selassie
12-14-2009, 02:01 PM
I am in the minority, but I was loving the Superman stuff.

Since Johns started on Action, it has been nearly flawless.

Busiek/Pacheco started strong and kinda fizzled toward the end. Robinson, IMHO has not been producing as solid work as he did back on Starman/Cable/Leave it to Chance.

World of New Krypton...started off decent enough, but it is really meandering.

I am fine with the Kandorians being around and the building tensions...it is taking a classic Silver Age concept and ACTUALLY MOVING IT FORWARD...something I admire the writers for doing...

The problem is, it shouldn't have been stretched out so long, namely Clark being off Earth...AND IF THEY WERE SERIOUSLY GOING TO DO THAT, HE NEEDS TO BE ABSENT FROM EARTH IN ALL OF THE IN-CONTINUITY DC LINE.

Paul Sanderson
12-14-2009, 05:47 PM
I am in the minority, but I was loving the Superman stuff.

Since Johns started on Action, it has been nearly flawless.

Busiek/Pacheco started strong and kinda fizzled toward the end. Robinson, IMHO has not been producing as solid work as he did back on Starman/Cable/Leave it to Chance.

World of New Krypton...started off decent enough, but it is really meandering.

I am fine with the Kandorians being around and the building tensions...it is taking a classic Silver Age concept and ACTUALLY MOVING IT FORWARD...something I admire the writers for doing...

The problem is, it shouldn't have been stretched out so long, namely Clark being off Earth...AND IF THEY WERE SERIOUSLY GOING TO DO THAT, HE NEEDS TO BE ABSENT FROM EARTH IN ALL OF THE IN-CONTINUITY DC LINE.

They've really screwed everything up by bringing in all these new Kryptonians. Last Son of Krypton indeed :rolleyes:

Allegory Comics
12-14-2009, 06:17 PM
They've really screwed everything up by bringing in all these new Kryptonians. Last Son of Krypton indeed :rolleyes:
Well, Frank ... stories -- especially those running as long as Superman has -- occassionally have to shake up the status quo to take the character into place he/she have never been before and create real conflict. Usually it's only temporary, and I suspect this is too.

As I've said already, I don't mind this as a temporary shake-up. But it's getting a little too comfortable. I might even have enjoyed the stay if it were written better.

You may think this was a bad idea from the beginning, and maybe it was, but you can't expect writers never to shake up the natural order of things.

Paul Sanderson
12-14-2009, 08:40 PM
How about they just focus on solid, quality storytelling rather than short term gimmicks like this? What a novelty that would be :rolleyes:

Biofungus
12-14-2009, 09:39 PM
They've really screwed everything up by bringing in all these new Kryptonians. Last Son of Krypton indeed :rolleyes:
If they were all female kryptonians, they could have kept the "last son" angle... :whistlin:

RonaldMontgomery
12-14-2009, 10:27 PM
huh huh

he said "angle"

WilliamStormeSmith
12-15-2009, 11:05 AM
I think anyone bashing these stories is way off base. I think they are exactly what Superman comics needed. The fact Superman is in the Kryptonian military and training a young squad of Kryptonian is one of the most enjoyable ideas in some time. Nightwing and Flamebird are interesting in the fact they are such easy targets for Gen. Lane and his crew. It adds a great deal in showing how exceptional Supes is and how deadly his enemies are to the average Kryptonian. I also like the relationship between Nightwing and Lois, son and adopted mother. Zod's assasination was also a nice twist. I think Zod's death is building to something interesting. Mon-El has been the star as far as I'm concerned. James Robinson has shown why he is one of the best at taking and tweaking unsung characters.

I really haven't heard any arguments that make any sense to me off this board. If you think they are not well written, then you are obviously wrong. A better statement would be they are not written to your personal preference. And considering how much I'm enjoying these books it is obviously a good thing they aren't.

Eugene Selassie
12-15-2009, 11:46 AM
How about they just focus on solid, quality storytelling rather than short term gimmicks like this? What a novelty that would be :rolleyes:

Because comics wouldn't sell, the industry would collapse and our hobby would be done...

But you'd have your characters written just like they were in 1984....
:har:

Allegory Comics
12-15-2009, 12:29 PM
If you think they are not well written, then you are obviously wrong. A better statement would be they are not written to your personal preference. And considering how much I'm enjoying these books it is obviously a good thing they aren't.
Our opinion versus your opinion. That's all. You can't say we're "obviously wrong" anymore than I can say you are.

But if we look at FACTS ... it's a FACT that sales have dropped every month since Nov. 2008 and are down 40% from last year. That's a lot of people who seem to agree with us. If the books are so great right now, why are so many people dropping it?

Paul Sanderson
12-15-2009, 05:29 PM
Well, these new comics have brought Superman back to the way he was in 84, bringing back Kandor and everything else. And I don't like what they're doing to Superman right now, so you're not making a whole lot of sense, Eugene.

Agreed, Ryan. Superman isn't selling right now because it's become a steaming pile of dung and readers know it.

Moonrider
12-16-2009, 12:08 AM
I wouldn't go so far as calling it a steaming pile of dung, but adding new elements to the Superman mythos is always going to be a hit or miss because he's been in publication for such a long time.

For all we know, sales maybe down simply because everyone is more focused in following Blackest Night, which is more high profile than New Krypton.

Paul Sanderson
12-16-2009, 01:25 AM
I have nothing against adding new aspects to the mythos. But this isn't it. This is simply going back to what was before. It's lazy and poor writing, simple as that.

Allegory Comics
12-16-2009, 06:43 PM
I asked this question of Dan DiDio in the latest call for questions on his feature at Newsarama.

Go to http://www.newsarama.com/comics/091216-Dan-Didio-20-Questions.html#comments -- and see PAGE 5 for mine (or just view the posts in order of MOST RECOMMENDED).

I could use a little support over there, to make sure DiDio takes notice. Post a reply, or a new post, nudging him to answer the question ... and RECOMMEND my post.

Biofungus
12-16-2009, 07:12 PM
I recommended your question. I do have a question though (not related to Superman), just based on the questions there and their recommendation order: If there's so much love for Aquaman, how come whenever DC gives him a series fans stay away in droves?

MrGranger
12-17-2009, 09:39 AM
I recommended your question. I do have a question though (not related to Superman), just based on the questions there and their recommendation order: If there's so much love for Aquaman, how come whenever DC gives him a series fans stay away in droves?

Because everyone loves the idea of him. Cool character, stories that don't seem to shout "buy me!" There have been some great Aquaman stories...but really it's that orange and green guy from the Superfriends cartoon that I still hold dear in my heart.

PencilSketchAbuser
12-17-2009, 11:05 AM
The one and only Superman books I like and reads at the moment are Superman Secret Origins. I like how GJ drives the story, and as well as Gary Frank's artworks as well. Basically, anything tossed by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are always catch my money :)

Although I don't like Shane Davis' takes on Superman, I am looking forward to see what JMS has for Supes on Earth 1.

Rick!

Allegory Comics
12-17-2009, 12:43 PM
I recommended your question. I do have a question though (not related to Superman), just based on the questions there and their recommendation order: If there's so much love for Aquaman, how come whenever DC gives him a series fans stay away in droves?
Thanks. Now that Aquaman question has overtaken mine for most recommendations. I need more people to go there and keep hitting it to keep me at the top.

:har:

Paul Sanderson
12-17-2009, 05:19 PM
Because everyone loves the idea of him. Cool character, stories that don't seem to shout "buy me!" There have been some great Aquaman stories...but really it's that orange and green guy from the Superfriends cartoon that I still hold dear in my heart.

I agree. I'm not interested in the angry, one handed Aquaman. THat take just bored me to tears.

WilliamStormeSmith
12-18-2009, 01:38 AM
Once again I enjoyed Peter David's one handed Aquaman. But then again I've always been an Aquaman fan especially the old silver age stories by Nick Cardy. Plus Neal Adams did some of my favorite stuff in the 70's that really captured the darkness and depths of the ocean and made Arthur look tough as nails. Kurt Busiek did a nice reboot a few years ago. And I really enjoyed the run till they killed Arthur. It was just a series that I'd say was missing the "BIG SCENE" in every issue or the huge storyline hooks such as guest stars, cliffhangers, and crossovers something to truly bring in readers and keep the story moving in the DCU not just in the ocean.

I mean c'mon if you don't like what's going on with Superman then you don't like big changes from the status quo. And after Grant Morrison's All Star and Johns and Robinson's early success, I'm not sure the timing was right. I relate it to them placing the Red Hulk directly after World War Hulk. It was bad timing if I ever saw it. Once again I like this run because I kind of know it will end up back where we began. Hell I've been reading Superman comics as long as any this isn't any different than the last dozen storylines with Kandor.

My main problem is that "the writing is bad" criticism just will never fly with me. I mean how do we know Lex Luthor, Braniac, and the other villains are truly worth a shit if they can't truly kill a few kryptonians. This and the martyrdom of Zod, gives Zod an army of Kryptonians to manipulate. After all if Clark came back to life Zod can. The zod army played against the small group that is loyal to Kal-El seems like a fun idea. It may not be to you guys. Hey suits me fine, as to sales defining success you are correct. I feel though immediate popularity isn't as important as the test of time.

Allegory Comics
12-18-2009, 01:00 PM
My main problem is that "the writing is bad" criticism just will never fly with me. I mean how do we know Lex Luthor, Braniac, and the other villains are truly worth a shit if they can't truly kill a few kryptonians. This and the martyrdom of Zod, gives Zod an army of Kryptonians to manipulate. After all if Clark came back to life Zod can. The zod army played against the small group that is loyal to Kal-El seems like a fun idea.
You're talking about plot, and I'm talking about execution. The plot wasn't a bad idea (despite what Frank says), but it was poorly executed and watered down with too many sub-plots and characters that I don't care about, and they're stretching it out way too long. You're also talking mostly about New Krypton, but I'm talking mostly about SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS. I'm not a huge fan of what's going on in NK either, but it's much worse over in ACTION and SUPERMAN. Those titles are a mess, and partly because Superman isn't in them.

They could have told the same story (the same PLOT) inside his regular titles, without having to introduce a new title or replace him in his own books. If they had done that, and cut the length of this story in half, I might have enjoyed it more. As it is now, I think it may have been a good idea that went horribly wrong.
It may not be to you guys. Hey suits me fine, as to sales defining success you are correct. I feel though immediate popularity isn't as important as the test of time.
Seems I've heard that before somewhere, and I thought it was a lame deflection then, too. Public opinion may fluctuate, but when it takes a sharp nose dive, you've got a real problem and you need to re-evaluate your actions.

Paul Sanderson
12-18-2009, 09:50 PM
You're talking about plot, and I'm talking about execution. The plot wasn't a bad idea (despite what Frank says), but it was poorly executed and watered down with too many sub-plots and characters that I don't care about, and they're stretching it out way too long. You're also talking mostly about New Krypton, but I'm talking mostly about SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS. I'm not a huge fan of what's going on in NK either, but it's much worse over in ACTION and SUPERMAN. Those titles are a mess, and partly because Superman isn't in them.

They could have told the same story (the same PLOT) inside his regular titles, without having to introduce a new title or replace him in his own books. If they had done that, and cut the length of this story in half, I might have enjoyed it more. As it is now, I think it may have been a good idea that went horribly wrong.

Seems I've heard that before somewhere, and I thought it was a lame deflection then, too. Public opinion may fluctuate, but when it takes a sharp nose dive, you've got a real problem and you need to re-evaluate your actions.

Yes, the plot was a bad idea as well. Simply going back to what was was just plain lazy. I see nothing resembling quality in such a move. Bad idea badly executed.

Allegory Comics
12-18-2009, 10:12 PM
Just curious, Frank ... what do you think was the last really good Superman story?

Paul Sanderson
12-19-2009, 12:21 AM
I'd have to go back a few years for that. Nothing in recent times.

Moonrider
12-19-2009, 06:32 AM
If you can't even remember what it was, it's probably not that good either.

Oh, and... Just curious, while we know that Superman's sales are down 40% now, but is this the lowest sales number that Superman ever achieved in... say, a decade? Has it happened before? And when exactly did Superman's sales reached its peak?

Paul Sanderson
12-19-2009, 06:45 AM
I don't remember every single storyline or individual issue over the years, Moonie. I do have a life outside comics, you know. I have a wife and a family and work two jobs to maintain our lives. In amongst all that, comics don't rate as highly as they used to. But, just for you, I'll go through my collection and let you know what stories I liked.

Moonrider
12-19-2009, 09:15 AM
Not saying that you have to remember ALL of them, but I noticed when people in this forum talk about comic book stories they like, they can point to one story in particular that stays in their mind because they think it was so good it made a lasting impression. My point was, if it didn't make a lasting impression on your mind, even for the slightest plot point that you can remember, then it's easily forgettable, and mediocre at best.

Allegory Comics
12-19-2009, 11:15 AM
Several years ago, Lex discovered Clark's secret. He never acted on it though. Readers were just waiting for him to do something with it, and so was Clark. Finally they had a confrontation (Action #695, I think) when Lex told him he knew. It was a great moment of tension.

I liked that Lex knew. I thought it added depth to his character, because we all assume that if the secret got out, Clark's loved ones would be in danger. But Lex didn't want to do that. He simply wanted to let Clark know that he did know and he could use that against him if he ever decided to -- or not. The decision was his, and he had all the power and all the control. By not using it, he maintained that power and kept Clark on his toes. I also think he didn't use it because Lex wants to beat Superman at his own game, and he knows going after innocents would be cheating and Lex could never live with himself if he thought he didn't win without a loophole. It would make him feel inferior that he needed to sink so low to defeat Superman.

It could have been a great dynamic for the Clark and Lex, but quickly after that it was all changed. I've read every issue, and I still can't find when or how it was changed. Just one day, it was like none of that ever happened. Did they mindswipe Lex (I doubt it)? Did he forget it when he went insane? It just kind of went away, and I thought that was bad writing and a shame to have lost such a great potential.

ronin7
12-19-2009, 12:39 PM
Man, that is a great dynamic. Lex knowing Clark's secret.

As for the question when the last time Superman was memorable. I'd say when he died.

Eugene Selassie
12-19-2009, 01:19 PM
I think that's unfair.
I think since Last Son, Action Comics has been on point. Even the New Krypton crossover was very enjoyable. Most of my Marvel reading friends jumped on board...guys who HATE Superman, saying that this is the most action packed, emotionally charged run of ANY comic they've read in forever.

It wasn't until WoNK where things began to meander.

I still agree that they shouldn't have done a separate series.

WoNK should've been the main feature in the Superman and Action Comics.

Nightwing/Flamebird and Mon-El stories could've rotated as a backup in Superman.

Guardian and Captain Atom stories could've rotated as a backup in Action Comics.

Allegory Comics
12-19-2009, 02:33 PM
I think that's unfair.
I think since Last Son, Action Comics has been on point. Even the New Krypton crossover was very enjoyable. Most of my Marvel reading friends jumped on board...guys who HATE Superman, saying that this is the most action packed, emotionally charged run of ANY comic they've read in forever.

It wasn't until WoNK where things began to meander.
If that were true, then sales would have only been down on WoNK, and not so badly on ACTION or SUPERMAN, but they're down across the board. I think the underlying message here is that fans don't like the NK storyline (or at the very least, are bored with it having lasted a year now) and they aren't interested in buying Superman books that don't have Superman in them. I like Flamebird, Nightwing, Mon-El and Guardian ... but I only like them as supporting characters in Superman's books. They aren't interesting enough to carry their own books, as these sales demonstrate.
I still agree that they shouldn't have done a separate series.

WoNK should've been the main feature in the Superman and Action Comics.

Nightwing/Flamebird and Mon-El stories could've rotated as a backup in Superman.

Guardian and Captain Atom stories could've rotated as a backup in Action Comics.
That would have been much better.