"We Know this is a dope ass blog correct?"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Superman We Don't Know We Need by Brandon Lee Tenney

I'm not a fan of Superman. I never have been. Sure, he's an icon. He's iconic. The go-to superhero when debating what power you'd rather possess. Idolized by kids the world over to adults of all creeds to the likes of Jerry Seinfeld (and I must agree, there's no reason why the yellow sun of our solar system wouldn't give Kal-El a superhuman comedic ability).

But, for me, he's always been boring. He's a little too good. He's a lot too powerful. And, at this point in time, he's simply stale. Recently, we've learned that David Goyer and the Nolan Brothers are preparing to unleash The Man of Steel on the world yet again at the end of 2012. They have a story. Something, no doubt, that we've never seen before. One that will "address Superman in a modern context" (via /Film).

Well, I have my own ideas regarding a Superman for our contemporary. But first, it's crucial to at least hold a tenuous grasp on the Superman of the past.

The Last Son of Krypton is just that, an orphan of another world ravaged and destroyed. As an infant, Kal-El was sent to Earth by his parents moments before his home planet Krypton's destruction. When Kal-El's spacecraft lands in rural Kansas, a humble couple scoop him from his other-worldly crib and dub him Clark Kent. From that point forward, imbued with strong moral values and a certain salt-of-the-earth charm, he's raised as one of us: a human. Except for the small fact that the yellow sun of our solar system awards him superhuman abilities. Invulnerability. Super-strength and super-speed. Freeze breath. Super-hearing. Laser eyes, super-sight, and X-ray vision. Flight. So Clark Kent decides to use his powers for good, to protect and defend and make better the race who adopted him. Donning that classic red, yellow, and blue costume, "the big blue Boy Scout" from that point forward vows to fight for truth, justice, and the American way!

(Oh, and his biggest weakness is green pieces of his homeworld called Kryptonite, which causes Superman any number of detriments from losing his powers, fatally weakening him, and, most of all, reminding him of his long dead homeworld.)

For an era of more clearly apparent unrest during both World War II and the Cold War, Superman makes sense. He's morally unflinching. He's there to protect us at any cost, by any means, as righteously as possible. He'll show the Axis what for! He'll kick the Red Menace away from these capitalist shores from whence it came! He's a constant, a beacon of good, and the personification of American hope and idealism.

And that's precisely why he's boring. Idealism just doesn't ring true anymore. There's no clear enemy; there are many and they are everywhere. There are so many more shades of grey now than there ever have been that I'm surprised we can see color at all. And those rural, wholesome values don't mean as much as they used to (not that they shouldn't, ’cause they should). They just don't.

So, in our contemporary, where does Superman fit in? For what and for why would Superman exist? Well, let's talk about how first.

And let's be clear, though this may not be the Superman movie you want, perhaps it's the Superman movie we need.

Read more At FirstShowing.Net


Post a Comment