Saturday, April 14, 2018

75 years of Superman in 2 minutes

Cool animated video that celebrates Superman through his many looks and reboots. What more can I say other than, "Great Caesar's Ghost!"?

28 comments :

Dave Wrighteous said...

Seen that before and LOVED seeing it again here! Thanks, Ken!!
I'm a HUUUUGE comicgeek and Superman is still my favorite. He's the first "super hero" and the best.
Some people think he's dull, boring, too powerful, too good.
Whatever.
As all of us budding and inspiring writers here know, it's all about the script/writing.
This character has great "ingredients". In the hands of a good scribe, he can be AWESOME!

therealshell said...

That video rules !

Dhruv said...

Nice!

I like Hans Zimmer's music which started at around 1:13. It's the trailer music of 'Man of Steel'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6DJcgm3wNY

Only saving grace of that movie being its music.

J Lee said...

Fun fact: The guy who came up with the tag line 'It's a Bird! It's A Plane! It's Superman!' for the Max Fleischer studio in 1941, Jay Morton, would later go on to make his money by inventing the pull-top aluminum can (something even better than X-ray vision for beer drinkers).

VincentS said...

Yes. Love this video. Saw it a while ago. Thanks for putting it up, Ken.

Stephen Marks said...

Excellent. I guess everybody has their favorite Superman, like having a favorite Bond. I liked Christopher Reeves but he wasn't edgy enough to play Superman, no dark side. He was the Roger Moore of the bunch. I still prefer George Reeves from the old TV series. Poor George ended up taking his own life by shooting himself in the back of the head while his wife stood behind him with a gun in her hand. Incredible! If it would have happened 5 years later she could have blamed it on Oswald. You know if you plan it out properly you can "Oswald" your way out of any Hollywood murder. Reeves, O.J. murders, Bob Crane, Marilyn Monroe, um, am I missing any? Oh yea, Lee Harvey Oswald was seen on the deck of the Splendour while R.J. and Walken were sleeping on the grassy knoll behind the white picket fence. Somehow the people responsible for all these murders were able to make up alibis faster then a speeding bullet and had legal teams talented enough to leap tall tales in a single bound. All this is just a long winded segue into a Friday question. Have you ever murdered anybody Ken?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Superman, radio legend Art Bell passed. The man was a broadcaster and kept us night birds going for years.

thirteen said...

Bring back the red shorts. That's all I'm sayin'.

Jeff said...

Somehow cartoons making fun of Superman comes to my mind whenever Superman is mentioned.

The best was Daffy's
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQUlHJM1d2I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYtdBlzvtU4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_8Wvuq42hY

And then there is "the guy you hate" who always tries ridiculing Superman by portraying him as a sex pervert and a bisexual killer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrkmPESmuN0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_zRBULj_PU

Greg Ehrbar said...

@Jee: I always thought that the "it's a bird, it's a plane" line, along with the whole opening narration ("faster than a speeding bullet") came from the radio show, along with the characters of Perry White and Jimmy Olsen.

Ernie Kovacs also did a very funny series of Superman spoofs, too with Lois often saying the wonderfully quotable line, "Oh Clark, you're so pusillanimous."

Peter said...

Stephen, you did not just call Christopher Reeve the Roger Moore of the Superman character!! Are you serious? Not edgy enough? Does that mean you think tubby George Reeves was edgy?

Reeve is the definitive Superman and Clark Kent for all time. He played them as completely different characters. This is something Zack Snyder doesn't seem to get, because Henry Cavill's Superman is written identically to his Clark Kent. There is absolutely nothing to distinguish them. Reeve was smart enough to know he had to give Kent different mannerisms and different speech rhythm. Richard Donner understood that too. Snyder is more interested in how much he can shoot against a green screen.

other Ken said...

Always remember old nerd joke/question about the risk to woman ( Lois Lane?) of attempting to procreate with Superman assuming his "little guys" had same physical nature of superman as to whether the woman was putting her life at risk without a krytonite lined vagina to contain the little guys.
Another example of risk of applying logic to comic books

Chip Keyes said...

In the late 1950s, I avidly watched George Reeves as Superman. I became a paper boy for the Hartford Times. That job funded the purchase of a ludicrous number of monthly DC comics. (Marvel was not around and I was long past Archie or Uncle Scrooge.) Titles I read, just off the top of my head: Superman, Action Comics, Superboy, World's Finest, Detective Comics, Justice League of America, Green Lantern. The Flash, Supergirl, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane, Hawkman, The Atom. Also once in a while--if jonesing-- Turok Son of Stone, Blackhawk or other DC WWII war comics. Sometime in the early 1960s, in a fit of anger at my messy bedroom, my Dad threw them all away. I later moved wholesale to Marvel Comics. But Kal-El will always hold a special place in my heart. Sidenote: when I lived in Brentwood, I was neighbors with Jack Larsen, TV's Jimmy Olson. A very sweet, smart and gifted gentleman.

Tom Galloway said...

The red shorts are back as of Action Comics #1000, out this Wednesday.

And the bit about whether Terrans can survive sex and pregnancy with Kryptonians was explored to most* of its logical conclusions around 50 years ago in Larry Niven's Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex. *Most in that Larry apparently forget about the bottle city of Kandor, a particular omission since Superman's lookalike cousin Van-Zee and Lois Lane lookalike Sylvia DeWitt managed to have twins there (yeah, stories could get strange in the 60s).

Dave Creek said...

As much as I love the Marvel comics of the sixties and the current Marvel movies, Superman will always be the definitive superhero to me. It's too bad he's currently being portrayed as this dark, troubled character. He's SUPPOSED to be the Big Blue Boy Scout. If you had told me even a few years ago that I wouldn't even bother to go see a Justice League movie, I'd never have believed you.

Anonymous said...

Christopher Reeve's best moment as Superman:
In Superman II, as Clark Kent he has been rendered mortal and is with Lois in a diner when he is beat up by a bully.
His reaction when he sees his blood for the first time ever and realizes he is now mortal is really good acting.

Stephen Marks said...

Hi Peter, yep I did call Chris Reeve the Roger Moore of the Superman set. I spelled his name wrong, added an 's' so thats on me. Chris was almost too nerdy as both Superman and Clark.
A super man would not be shy around women like Chris played him, no way. Thanks for reading my comments Peter.

E. Yarber said...

In this era of tight serialized everything, I must admit I always had a preference for the old-school format of super-hero stories, in which you had a basic premise that began at square one every story and took established characters through a new variation of the formula. Instead of assuming the readers would automatically be around because they didn't want to break up their set of the previous 350 issues they'd already purchased, writers had to tear their hair out trying to figure out how to lure dimes from moppets THAT month, EVERY month. You never had to reboot a series because the format was already fluid, audience turnover understood as part of the system since most fans went on to different stuff as they grew older. Of course I could just as easily be describing long-running franchises like SNL or The Simpsons.

Robert Forman said...

To other Ken I would add that I always wondered how a Supergirl could lose her virginity.

thirteen said...

Mr. Forman: There is a subset of online pornography featuring Supergirl. The stuff that's not about her being a lesbian has her being fairly rough on guys with her "pussy of steel." In the comics, whatever else might have been going on between Supergirl, Jerro the Mer-Boy, Brainiac 5 and Dick Malverne, she got married shortly before she was killed in the 1985-86 Crisis on Infinite Earths. I presume that, somehow, her virginity was no longer at issue. It's still a good question, though.

Mr. Galloway: Thank you for the good word about the red shorts. He just doesn't look right without 'em. (Action #1000?!? My first one was #264 -- May 1960. Man, I'm old.)

James Van Hise said...

My favorite Superman episode (which should have been adapted into a comic book) is an animated episode titled "Hereafter." It can be found on season two of the Justice League animated series. It is a two part story and in part one Superman appears to have been destroyed by a disintegration beam and the JLA even has a funeral for him. In part 2 Superman finds that he was projected 30 thousand years into the future where Earth has a red sun and the entire human population is gone due to the plot of one person. Superman meets that person who has decided that what he did was a mistake and only by returning Superman to his own time can the deed be undone, which is not that easy to accomplish. The final scene in the episode is one of the best.

Steve Lanzi (formerly known as qdpsteve) said...

I'm still waiting for a satisfactory explanation as to why Superman wears his underwear on the outside of his tights. Maybe he's secretly a crossdressing figure skater?...

Cap'n Bob said...

Jeepers!

VP81955 said...

Well, she (or Supes) could have a lamp in their bedroom that duplicates a red sun, thus making either one able to safely have intimacy with an Earth human. If there's a sudden call to action, the Kryptonian can turn the light off, immediately regain his or her superpowers and take care of business. (At least that's how I'd do it.)

Donald Benson said...

The interlocking Marvel Universe movies are fun. but my definitive superhero universe consists of the Warner DC animated series: Batman, Superman, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited (Never got into Static Shock and Batman Beyond, but understand they laced in as well). Once they launched the Superman series we began getting more DC heroes, and the two JL series were what we 60s kids hoped for but never got from those Filmation shows (Superfriends? Forget it).

In those half-hour shows, supposedly kid fare, we got surprisingly sophisticated story arcs, nervy gags, and even serious implications of sex: Batman tried to suppress his feelings towards a leaning-in Wonder Woman ("You're an Amazon princess. I'm a rich kid with issues."); Green Arrow and Black Canary were dating (after he spotted her suiting up in the locker room); and Green Lantern and Hawkgirl ... wink's as good as a nudge to a blind bat (She knew how he kept his socks; in a time-travel episode GL met his adult son who had wings). Superman didn't precisely turn dark, but he DID get angry and difficult (especially when "reformed" Lex Luthor became popular enough to run for president). And a multitude of DC heroes, including some pretty obscure ones, would get center stage at least briefly.

A particular favorite episode from the Superman series has Clark Kent saving a man from the gas chamber by being a good investigative reporter. Then the real murderer tries to kill Kent, and Superman has to pretend the trap was successful because there was a witness to see no mortal could have survived. Yes, there was an out and Clark's investigation was pretty rudimentary. But there were some strong moments and a truly amazing closing scene.

thirteen said...

Mr. Lanzi: The red briefs are not underwear. Briefs were routinely added to superhero outfits in the '30s and '40s because it was understood by readers that the heroes wore tights, and their manly bulges would be disguised by the briefs, which were not skintight. This conceit was taken from circus performers of the era, who wore tights and briefs in exactly the same manner and for the same reason. The briefs also allowed the comics to add a spot of color to the midsection of an outfit in order to break things up. All that said, we did have a little kid in elementary school who came in one morning wearing his Fruit of the Looms on the outside because "Batman does it."

Mr. Benson: I completely agree about the quality of the stories in modern DC animation. And you're right about that ending. (It was an electric chair, though, IIRC.)

VP81955 said...

People who think Superman is "boring" need to check reprints of the late '30s comic books, where he was an active New Deal crusader for social justice against child labor, unsafe housing, political corruption and other issues.

https://www.supermanhomepage.com/comics/comics.php?topic=articles/new-deal-symbol

Kevin Koz said...

Chris Reeve showed how the glasses could work as a disguise in this scene from Superman. Take off the glasses, change his posture and he really does look like a different person. This is the scene that sold the movie to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIaF0QKtY0c