Friday, June 23, 2006

Here's Hoping The Man Of Steel Rocks

Although I suspect many would guess this about me, I confess that I get geeked up over comic books as much as I do movies. At a small birthday party held for me in May, I actually jumped off the couch with excitement when my mother-in-law handed me a gift bag containing The Encyclopedia of Comics. The 400-plus pages made for days of fun reading and nostalgia.

Despite my affection for comics (super-hero comics in particular) I never really liked Superman. Kal-El was too much of a boy scout for me, and always had too much power for the writers to use effectively. C'mon, ...If a hero can easily change the rotation of a planet, or throw objects through space and into the Sun...Well, that's just too damn silly for even a geek like me to get excited about.

I like angst-ridden anti-heroes. Give me a hero with a guilt complex, or a character struggling to overcome some emotional distress. Let me get to know a hero who broods over a decision, or who actually kills a super-villain once in a while in order to serve the greater good. Superman would never behave in such a way. And that's a shame. It keeps me from connecting with him like I do with Batman or Wolverine. Or even Spider-Man.

In order to modernize the Man of Steel, Superman writers have more recently married him off to Lois Lane, and even let Clark Kent grow a pony-tail. It was a nice try at humanizing the nearly god-like icon, but not good enough.

I'll see the movie, just because...Well, that's what I do. I know it will do huge box office, and that the effects will be super. I'm sure it will spawn a sequel or three, and sell lots of lunchboxes. I just hope the story is great. It's just that I worry it won't be.


Off Route 75 said...

The book adaptation of it was pretty good. At one point he drinking brews with Jimmy Olsen.

Not Christopher Reeves "Man of Steel."

Plus, Kevin Spacey should be an excellent Luthor.

jedi jawa said...

I agree with you on liking a hero with flaws. I was a fan of Batman as The Dark Knight and loved how much the last movie ran true to Frank Miller's vision in "Batman: Year One".

As for Superman, when this project first started it was supposed to be Nicolas Cage who played Superman as a geeky alien who did good deeds to fit in. Well, that got scraped a long time ago but I saw a story on yesterday that there is some sort of buzz going around that this Superman is depicted as possibly being gay. The video clip of the story didn't really get to the bottom of where this allegation comes from but said that the studio is trying to counter it as soon as possible. Do you guys know why somebody would speculate about that based upon what you know about the film and its source material?

Kelly said...

Let me know how it is...I'll catch it on DVD AT HOME!

The Film Geek said...

Jedi: From ABC News:

The new film about the Man of Steel, "Superman Returns" — which comes out, er, on June 28 — is being advertised on Logo, the gay and lesbian cable TV channel. Now, the gay magazine, The Advocate, is asking "How Gay Is Superman?"

The Advocate is not claiming that Superman is gay. It's making a larger point — that like many gays and lesbians, Superman has a secret life. In the closet or phone booth, as the case may be, Superman has another identity that he doesn't share with anyone.

Nonetheless, Warner Bros. executives — perhaps afraid questions about the Man of Steel's sexual orientation may marginalize the film — have pushed back on The Advocate's query and the Internet buzz it has created.

jedi jawa said...

Oh yeah, brain fart. I guess the CNN story did mention that. If I had been paying more attention I may have remembered it. I suppose that nothing would suprise me after seeing the way that the movies have manhandled some of the other comic book heroes. It will be interesting to see how Kevin Spacey makes Lex his own after Gene Hackman's performance in the old movies. I haven't watched either of the last two Superman tv shows so I don't really have any other conceptions of the characters except the old show and the movies.

Off Route 75 said...

I think Spacey will play him more "evil," whereas Hackman played him almost simply "funny with a big streak of bad." That's not to say I didn't like Hackman's portrayal, because I loved it!

However, I think Spacey's Luthor will be a different creature altogether. I think you'll see a Luthor with his "eyes narrowed" and evil at the core. God, I love Kevin Spacey. Kaizer Souze for life!

Anonymous said...

No way Superman is gay. Brandon R. is from Iowa and the Film Geek himself can attest there are no gay people in Iowa :)

Off Route 75 said...

That was awesome.

The Film Geek said...

Hey Anonymous, stop by more often! Yep, my time in Iowa taught me much. Made some great life-long friends...some of 'em gay. Learned to hate corn, though!

Anonymous said...

Arggggh always about the corn!

Ian C. said...

TFG, I also wrote about Superman Returns on Friday, and wish I'd read your entry first so I could've linked to it. You bring up a great point as to why Superman wasn't a very compelling comic book character - at least until the late 1980s, when he was "de-powered" a bit.

The question that this new movie should answer is whether or not Superman matters any more. Or do we prefer our superheroes with a dose of angst, a la Spider-Man and Batman? It appears, however, that Bryan Singer's Superman will be plenty angsty. Good thinking.

Look forward to your review!

The Film Geek said...

Thanks Ian. By the way, I realy loved the countdown clock on Fried Rice Thoughts. It's way cool.

I DO like the idea that Lois has moved on with her life since Clark disappeared and the angst this plotline will give to the story. I also think the lean physical features of Routh will let the audience believe this Superman is more of a regular guy than a...well, a Superman. So, I REALLY do hope to like the flick, and am eager to see it.

Ian C. said...

Oh, I forgot: My two years in Iowa made me hate fried pork tenderloin sandwiches. You could get those everywhere - even at Burger King. Ugh. I needed more hot dog joints.