Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Superman will never be Cool

I don’t claim to be any sort of comic book fangirl; however, I do have a pretty decent knowledge having grown up watching Saturday morning cartoons, hanging out with geeks in high school and dating a huge nerd for over two years. So this morning when I checked out Entertainment Weekly online, I noticed that Jeff Jensen had written a very interesting essay on how to make the new Superman franchise relevant. While I enjoyed the essay (and the discussions going on in the comments section), I would disagree with Jensen completely, citing the fact that the whole reboot is pointless. Here are some reasons why I feel another Superman movie is a very bad idea:

1. Superman is always going to look like an idiot. There is no getting around it. This is not a good look for anyone (not even Henry Cavill):

2. Superman is just too perfect. All of the (successful) franchise reboots of late have centered on the fact that these “superheroes” have a lot of personal shit to deal with (see: Spiderman, Iron Man and especially, Batman). Superman is no fun because he has no humanly faults (admittedly, he is not human). He’s a giant blue boy scout with all of the power in the world and yet we’re supposed to sympathize and relate with him? No.

3. The franchise doesn’t have a great track record. The 1978 movie, while loved by many, is still pretty fucking terrible – the plot involves Lex Luthor trying to sink California and Superman flying in the opposite direction of the Earth in order to turn back time by changing the planet’s rotation…two through four weren’t much better…I won’t even touch the awful Singer adaptation.

4. He doesn’t fit into contemporary society. Superman was conceived during the 1930s as a fantastical response to the very real problems of that era. While these problems are still relevant, I can’t see Superman handling these matters in a way that wouldn’t cause loud guffaws from the viewing audience. Can you just imagine what Superman would have done given last week’s horrific events? Freeze the tsunami with his super-breath? Use his super-strength to drill into the earth’s crust and physically stop the tectonic plates from crashing into one another? It’s a nice idea, but it would never happen. Superman just doesn’t belong in the 21st century.

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