Thursday, June 22, 2006
I've already decided NOT to see the new Superman movie. "What the heck's up with that," you say? "You're not supposed to pre-judge a movie before you've seen it," you add. Well, yeah, ideally that's true. It is, however, due to my ideals that a plan to avoid the latest DC Comics movie.
For those who don't know the setting, Superman returns to earth, having been away for a few years. Upon arrival, he finds that Lois Lane has shacked up and had a son out of wedlock. Now, that may be fine if you're not at all familiar with the characters of the Superman mythos, but those who are will see a glaring problem of characterization. You see, Lois Lane has ALWAYS been a strong, independent and extremely capable woman. The last thing she ever seemed to need or want, prior to her marriage to Clark Kent, was a husband and/or family. Understand, I'm speaking to the character, here, not expressing my opinion on marriage and family; that will come in a moment.
So, this is a glaring departure from the basic make-up of the Lois Lane character. Now, don't misunderstand me - I realize that Hollywood is ALWAYS going to do something a little different when it comes to comic book movies. Whether that something has to do with powers, personality or even ethnic background, you can bet some director or writer is going to do what they can to put their own "mark" on an already-well-established character. Fine. No problem. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. But, I WILL take note of it, as will other long-time fans. The problem is not that I'm a continuity-junkie, feeling that nothing should be changed from comic-page to the big screen, but that the change itself would seem to represent someone's belief that they can do "better" with a long-running and accepted character, and that the audience may be getting short-changed by not "seeing" the character as it's creator intended. That's all.
Now, as to the moral implications: quite simply, I think it's a shame that the movie makers would have such a situation waiting for the Man of Steel. Even more disappointing if it turns out to be his, from the "tryst" he and Lois had in Superman II. (Yeah, THAT one's always been a problem for me, too.) See, Superman has a reputation in the DC Universe as being an upstanding, true-blue kind of guy. Mom, Dad, apple pie and all of that. I mean, he's even referred to as the "big blue boy scout." Again, it's a shame to divert from such a great character simply for the purpose of making him more "today." But, why the need for such a storyline at all? In a superhero movie, no less? Was it to make it more "hip?" More "today?" If you ask me, it simply makes it that much more mundane. After all, isn't that the kind of thing most other movies are doing, nowadays?
I suppose what it comes down to is that I won't be seeing the movie because I respect marriage, family and monogamy. That simple. People sometimes laugh and jeer at such values. Let'em. As I see it, the collapse of those very same values is what has been digging our nation into a deeper whole for decades, now. But, that's a discussion for another time. And maybe another place.
Normally, I don't like going to the Post Office. That may seem strange to some, but unless I'm expecting a purchase from Ebay or The Comic Empire of Tulsa, the lion's share of what we receive is bills. Who looks forward to that? I will, however, be heading to the local USPS branch on July 21st - that's when they will be issuing the DC Comics Super Heroes commemorative stamps. This is a set of 20 stamps with characters drawn by some of the artistic greats who helped make them legendary, such as Curt Swan, Neal Adams, Jack Kirby, Carmine Infantino and more.
Not only that, the USPS has announced a set of Marvel stamps for 2007. Here's hoping.