So, I’ve finally gotten to the end of Superman Month/Month of Superman. As usual, it’s been fun going through these different stories. I might be doing it again next year, but I’m not sure yet. Since I went into why I liked Batman a couple of months ago, I might as well see what keeps bringing me back to the Man of Steel. It’s a question I’ve also thought about and I think I have an answer. Don’t worry, folks. It’s not his chiseled chin, the briefs, nor the powers that literally come out of nowhere. That’s right; I’m looking at you, gay pride beams that apparently make little versions of someone!
I don’t know where my fandom actually started. I was first introduced to Superman through the Donner movies and a couple of episodes of an old Superboy series from the 70’s. My first Superman comics (and possibly my first comics) were Superman #82 and The Adventures of Superman #505. I still have the AoS issue and actually repurchased the Superman issue in college. My fandom really began to grow with Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. It’s not the best interpretation of the character, but it had everything a fan would need. My fandom continued to grow through Superman: TAS, the Justice League cartoons, 10 seasons of Smallville, Superman Returns, and Man of Steel. I’ve even built up a nice selection of comics from the 80’s to today. He’s actually the only character I’ve done that for.
So, what is it that keeps me coming back to the character? Is it the powers, the man, or both? I think it’s a lot of things. If I had to pinpoint it, I’d have to say that the man himself that keeps me coming back to the franchise. When you remove all of the “Super” stuff, all you have is a good man who wants to help wherever he can. That’s an important message to send not just to kids but to anybody. The powers are also cool, but they aren’t the only thing to him. He’s just a good guy who stands up for what’s right.
While the powers aren’t the only cool thing about him, they are still cool. I mean, he’s called “Superman!” He’s more powerful than a raging storm! He’s faster than a speeding bullet! He can leap over skyscrapers! He can even heat food with his eyes! Now, I am more a fan of an underpowered Superman. The Superman who can do any and all things is cool, but I like it when he’s challenged. I also like the weird aspects like the Fortress of Solitude.
Huh... looks like my room sometimes.
I also like his supporting cast. Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen (sometimes), and Perry White are great supporting characters. I do like it when his adoptive parents are around, but they’re not always needed. We got Supergirl, Superboy (the Conner Kent variety), Steel, and Krypto around. Then, there’s his friendship with Batman which is great when handled by good writers. I also like his friendships with other superheroes as well.
He’s also got some of the best villains in comics. His gallery may not be as big and diverse as Batman’s, but they aren’t pushovers either. He has villains like Metallo, the Parasite, Toyman, Bizarro, and Intergang to face. He has Brainiac, General Zod, and Mongol who are pretty cool alien villains to battle. While I consider Darkseid to be more of a Justice League villain, he’s more entrenched with Superman than most heroes. Finally, we have Lex Luthor who’s one of my favorite villains in general. As for Mr. Myxylptlk, he’s more like Q from TNG to me than a big threat.
As for what did the character best, Superman: The Animated Series and the Justice League cartoons get my vote. They have good versions of Superman, his allies, and his villains all there. The Donner movies aren’t perfect (well, the first movie gets close) but they have their moments. Man of Steel has its issues, but it brought a nice punch. Smallville did its best to give a different origin and Lois and Clark gave us one of the best versions of Clark Kent. There’s really something for me to like in all the media.
Well, I’m done talking about the Boy Scout who apparently wasn’t one. While I might not do another Superman Month, this isn’t the last you’ll hear of the Man of Steel. Peace, God Bless, and Happy Tuesday! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go do a little reading.