The Evolution Of Superman

The Evolution Of Superman

Superman is one of the most conservative of comic book characters. If you compare it with other characters younger or the same age as Batman, him least of all was any radical change.

In 1938, he was actually the first superhero. In 1940-e years, in wartime, the idea of a superhero has receded into the background, because the characters were real soldiers. In the 1950s, the military theme has gone, and Superman, which was still a major star in the superhero genre had to compete with the comics of other genres — horror, detectives.

Unexpected help came in the 60s from American “conservatives”, the conservatives. They made the introduction of so-called comics code, in fact, imposed censorship, which has thrown the comic-horror, detective stories, love and other comics in the stone age, forbidden to portray the cute of criminals, firearms, drugs. But paradoxically, this allowed superhero comics to develop with virtually no competition, because their authors had many opportunities to show the struggle between good and evil without resorting to the forbidden realities.

However, Superman without competition left: in the 1960s came the superheroes of Marvel studios, and they were radically different. Stan Lee, Marvel writer who invented them all together with the artists, tried each of his superheroes to give some kind of flaw so they were imperfect.

Therefore, stories about spider-Man or Daredevil is much more interesting than stories about Superman, because these characters, unlike him, constantly dissatisfied with what they have, in principle, have any superpowers.

In the 70-ies was an attempt to give Superman a new life, for it took the writer Dennis O’neil, who in the late 60’s, by the way, wrote very high quality comics main rival Superman among superheroes — Batman. And O’neill quickly realized that the main problem with Superman is his all-destroying power. And he realized that the only way for the creators of the comic to reduce the strength of Superman.

The fact that at the time Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and their earliest followers, is not much thought about the future while writing the adventures of Superman, and has consistently raised the stakes. They do that in one issue Superman might just really jump high, and have to fly. Gradually this led to the fact that in the 60 years of Superman in the pages of the comic moved the continents moved, the planet, hear what they say on the other end of the Galaxy and so on.

It became clear that with him completely uninteresting to fight.

If in the very first comic book some thugs with pistols broke up, the farther away, the harder it was to come up with appropriate enemies to be against them really had to call himself Superman.

Infinitely to saturate the comics some limiters to his power, the same kryptonite, it was impossible. One, two times this trick would succeed, but no more. What’s left? To use against Superman’s magic or to put some very strong and scary villain? But this does not go far. And that’s Dennis O’neill was one of those who proposed to significantly reduce the power of Superman. However, not on a hand he played in the film by Christopher Reeve in the title role, released in 1978, ‘ Superman again spins the Earth to turn time backwards. The result was a contradiction: for moviegoers Superman remained all-powerful, and in the comics his power diligently save.

By 1986, DC realized that the overly complicated world of superheroes in their comics has been constantly parallel worlds, they lived in the doubles of key characters, and the reader is very confusing. The writers publishing house released the comic “Crisis on infinite earths” to simplify a range of characters, combining different universes and removed from the plots. Exactly this is a successful reboot of Superman, a comic book called “man of Steel” (“Man of Steel”).

The basic idea of “Man of Steel” — a superstrong, able to fly a person acts in the real world, with real streets and characters, walking the same streets as his readers, comes in the same shops and cafes. While his powers have understood the source of this radiation is the earth’s Sun. Therefore, the enemies of Superman try to extinguish our Sun, but if he flies to another galaxy, his power is dramatically reduced.

But more important innovation was to change the relationship of Superman with characters from other DC comics, the same Batman. If earlier they were in a sort of friendly terms, but now Batman is less and less trust in Superman, he considers it a time bomb, began to collect weapons that could potentially stop Superman.

And so the writers of DC more and more ability to roll back your character back to set him a realistic level powers. And in 1992 they managed to bring Superman to the maximum level of attention makes a comic strip called “the Death of Superman”, in which the protagonist is faced with flown to the ground by a monster named doomsday, which no one and nothing can stop it. The news that Superman died, came out on the front pages of the American press, so it went beyond the usual representations.

The writers of DC rather quickly revived Superman, but overall, the 1990s and 2000s has been the decline of the popularity of this character, because the writers seemed to have the inspiration. He tried to change appearance — has added long hair, the so-called mallet, dressed in black and blue power suit, but all that the public was not interested.