Don't take the fun out of comics!

Ever since The Dark Knight became a smash hit in 2008 Hollywood has tripped over itself to reinvent the superhero genre as dark and gritty, angst ridden, and reality based-and it stinks!  What is good for Batman definitely isn't good for say...Superman.
I read a lot of talk now about "Is Superman relevant to today's audiences?" "Can't something be done to update his costume? How about his personality? Can't we make him a little more 'today' (read that as dark and gloomy and angst ridden)?
My answer to all of that is HELL NO! Superman stood for Truth, Justice, and the American way in 1945 and that's what he needs to stand for in 2011.  As for his costume-give me a break, man.  We're talking about a dude that flies, shoots laser beams from his eyes and can turn crooks into Popsicle sticks by breathing on them.  Considering all of that, I don't think that wearing red underwear on the outside is all of that outlandish of a deal.
Having said that, its not the costumes that make these characters who they are. It's not how fantastical the stories are or how angst ridden and reality based they can become that have allowed these heroes to endure for well over half a century.
The secret to the success of these characters is that they are symbols we can believe in, look up to, and be entertained by.  People want Superman to act like SUPERMAN because he's a character we can invest in-we see the better part of ourselves in him. Who wants a superman that acts like Edward Cullins? Superman don't sulk, dude!
What we need are comic book heroes who remain true to who they are, who inspire us and ENTERTAIN us!  Don't we get enough gritty realism in....REAL LIFE? Yes, I think we do!
So Hollywood, the next time you serve us up a heaping helping of super-heroness remember that along with bringing these characters to amazing life, giving them very human traits and struggles we can identify with-don't forget the fantasy element! Don't forget that even in our jaded, mature modern world we still like to be taken on a hell of a roller coaster ride.  Don't forget to feed our hunger for a hero who remains true to who and what he/she is and is still proud to defeat the bad guys wearing a completely inexplicable costume!

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1 comments: said...

I disagree with the Superman POV. If you watch or follow the TV Smallville that version of superman is down-to-Earth with a bit of an edgy dark-side. The newer 21st century of Superman in the works wear black, doesn't fly, rarely uses any powers other than super speed. He also depends on his allies, such as green arrow, martian manhunter, impulse (flash) and not to mention Lois Lane and Lex Luthor's sister, Tess. He is not afraid to bash some heads to save his friends, the planet or any innocent.

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