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Topic: Q for JB - Boy of Steel (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Pat Ditton
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 8:19am | IP Logged | 1  

JB --

You've mentioned a couple of times (and I paraphrase) - that you sometimes regret not having Superboy be part of the back story in MAN OF STEEL.

Had you made Clark Superboy in your story - would your teen Clark still have been a football player, etc ?   I recall your use of that aspect of adult Clark being used to explain his large muscular size, etc.

How would your MOS teen Clark (as Superboy) have differed from the one we saw in MOS?

Thanks

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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 2  

My Superboy would have been a more traditional take on the character.
Only the time period would have been updated, to about 1976.
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John Young
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 10:51am | IP Logged | 3  

Mr. Byrne you have shared previously that the Legion of Superheroes are not to your taste, but would you have included them with your Superboy?
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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 11:01am | IP Logged | 4  

Would he have called himself "Superboy", John?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 11:04am | IP Logged | 5  

Would he have called himself "Superboy", John?



Yes, but I would have included a scene of young Clark musing over a name
he could still use when he grew up.
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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 11:17am | IP Logged | 6  

MOS is the definitive Superman for me, but your take on the character's young adventures would have been neat (and more stories in Smallville are always a good thing).
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 11:39am | IP Logged | 7  

The appeal of Superboy is the appeal of the Superman DC had said they were going to let me do, before they double-crossed me. That's a Superman who is "new to the job" and not good at it yet. Or, at least, not as good as he will become. This is what Superboy would be. (Oddly, this element was hardly ever touched, outside of flashbacks, in Superboy's adventures. He was already every bit as good as Superman. Considerably better, in fact, in the pre-Earth2 days!)
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Charles Tzu
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 12:04pm | IP Logged | 8  

Double-crossed? Do you feel as if you were personally betrayed, JB?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 12:44pm | IP Logged | 9  

Yes.
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Glenn Greenberg
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 12:49pm | IP Logged | 10  

I've said it before here and I'll say it again: dropping Superboy from the
canon is one of my favorite aspects of the JB reboot of Superman.

I never liked Superboy. I thought the whole concept was silly and hokey
and completely without any sense of drama or suspense. I liked that JB's
Superman was a throwback to the Golden Age version--he makes his
debut as a super hero when he's an ADULT. That was also the way it was
done in the first Christopher Reeve movie, which is the first version of
Superman that really "spoke" to me.

In fact, I'd have to say that the only Superboy story that I ever truly
enjoyed was the Superman/Legion of Super Heroes crossover that JB and
Levitz did.   
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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 12:50pm | IP Logged | 11  

And so were the fans, by proxy.

You almost have to wonder if those in charge of the Big Two have meetings where they say things like, "We've got a great thing going here--what can we do to completely f#*$ it up?"

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Ron Chevrier
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 12:57pm | IP Logged | 12  

It's too bad that Superboy was declared off-limits to you, JB. I imagine that there would be a great deal of material to be mined not just from the point of view of a young Clark Kent dealing with his powers, but also with the conflicts this would cause between him and the Kents. After all, how do you ground a disobedient boy who can lift a mountain or fly to the moon? That is, working from the assumption that the teenage Clark might be at least a little willful and eager to test the limits and boundaries not just of his abilities, but of the relationship he has with his parents. I imagine that the teenage Clark is more himself and not yet the carefully crafted Clark Kent "persona" that serves as the cover for his superheroic guise.  
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 1:00pm | IP Logged | 13  

It's too bad that Superboy was declared off-limits to you, JB.



Superboy was not "declared off limits". The choice to leave him out of the
canon was mine. But, as noted many times, that choice was made with the
assurance from the Powers That Were that I would be able to do a Superman
who was still learning the ropes. Then, after the contracts were signed, they
reneged on that promise.
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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 1:06pm | IP Logged | 14  

I think the reaction to the Superman reboot -- by both some fans and some pros -- was an early indication of issues we would see in the industry down the line. Normally, you could make major changes to characters -- from Flash and Green Lantern and Superman and Batman themselves -- and there wouldn't be any real resistance. Mostly because the audience turned over so quickly.

There was a lot of kicking and screaming about JB's Superman reboot and it seemed to come from aging fans and fans turned pro. Kids my age (13 at the time) were pretty excited about it. And the interesting thing was that I liked JB's Superman enough to actively seek out the stories that the aging fans complained "no longer counted."

When BIRTHRIGHT came out, I had issues with it but I accepted that it would make sense to reboot Superman every few decades -- as had been the case previously. But now, aging fans my age were kicking and screaming about the changes -- and not just changes on a global scale but changes on a specific story point. In other words, the fannish devotion to continuity was getting worse.

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Geoff Gibson
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 1:06pm | IP Logged | 15  

Why do you think DC let George Perez introduce a "learning the ropes" Wonder Woman? 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 1:08pm | IP Logged | 16  

I've said it before here and I'll say it again: dropping Superboy from the
canon is one of my favorite aspects of the JB reboot of Superman.

I never liked Superboy. I thought the whole concept was silly and hokey
and completely without any sense of drama or suspense. I liked that JB's
Superman was a throwback to the Golden Age version--he makes his
debut as a super hero when he's an ADULT. That was also the way it was
done in the first Christopher Reeve movie, which is the first version of
Superman that really "spoke" to me.

In fact, I'd have to say that the only Superboy story that I ever truly
enjoyed was the Superman/Legion of Super Heroes crossover that JB and
Levitz did.  

+++++++++++

Same here.

Also, I think that JB's pocket universe Superboy story may have been my introduction to the character, and since he was the "villain" in that story, well...

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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 2:34pm | IP Logged | 17  

JB, did any part of your decision to drop Superboy have to do with Lois "naming" Superman?  I may be confusing the movie with the comic(s) but I always thought that that was an integral part of her.  Shows off her brilliance as a writer and ties her to the Man of Steel...even if he hadn't fallen for her.

 

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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 2:38pm | IP Logged | 18  

Lois naming Superman sprang from the movie. I wanted to drop Superboy
because he was not part of the original mythos.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 2:41pm | IP Logged | 19  

Why do you think DC let George Perez introduce a "learning the ropes"
Wonder Woman?



As I learned when I was working on her title, the Powers at DC have
nothing but contempt for Wonder Woman. From the earliest days, when
outside her own book she was assigned to a secretarial role in the
JSA, she has always been pushed down. Even when DC decided to cash in
on Women's Lib and turn Diana into a symbol of female emancipation,
they did so by stripping her of her powers!

I am convinced George was allowed to do what he did because the Powers
at the time simply didn't care. They gave no thought whatsoever to the
ripple effect that George's reboot caused. It just didn't occur to them that
Wonder Woman could possibly be that important.
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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 2:47pm | IP Logged | 20  

This might be a good topic to start a new thread but speaking of movies influencing the comics(or the "real" version) I recently picked up the Batman dailes 1943-1946 and found it interesting how much the comic was influenced by the serials.  Alfred and the batcave being examples of things that weren't established in the comics.

I've always felt that movies/t.v. usually just modify what's been established in the comics but that isn't always the case.  I guess it's nice that they don't always screw things up or "don't get it".

Superman the movie is that way for me.  I guess I saw it at such an impressionable age and the DC comics of the time weren't that fun for me that it became the "real' version in many ways.  Hackman as Luthor wasn't the real guy and Marlon Brando wasn't the real Jor-El, but some elements of the movie became "fact' in my mind.

I think I'll have to remember that when some youngster tells me of the "real" X-Men, Punisher, Elektra, Daredevil, etc. based on their viewing of the movies.

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Ron Chevrier
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 3:16pm | IP Logged | 21  

JB, a couple of questions regarding Superboy.

If your version of Clark had been Superboy, would he have developed all his superpowers by eight years old (or whenever he would have begun his Superboy career) ?  Would some powers would only develop later on, such as flying, as he stored enough solar energy, or got older?

Thus, a Superboy in his early teens would be able to leap an eighth of a mile and
outrun a locomotive at top speed, whereas a Superboy of eighteen or nineteen could fly fast enough to break the sound barrier, for example.
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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 3:18pm | IP Logged | 22  

I never liked Superboy. I thought the whole concept was silly and hokey
and completely without any sense of drama or suspense.

*************

SER: I agree that Superboy stories seemed to have gotten stuck in a Mitt Romney past that never actually existed. However, the concept of Superboy -- a young Clark who has adventures and is allowed a degree of fallibility -- appeals to me. It's one of the things I like about SMALLVILLE.

A part of me has trouble with a Clark Kent who doesn't actively use his powers until adulthood. Peter Parker realized that with "great power comes great responsibility" and he was in his teens when the spider bit him. Shouldn't or rather wouldn't Clark Kent try to help others once he discovered his abilities?

So, if you have a 15-year-old Clark Kent with super strength and super speed, I think he should be using those abilities in a positive sense. I think the SMALLVILLE approach makes sense in that he hasn't decided *how* he will be Superman but he's laying the foundation for it.

 

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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 3:20pm | IP Logged | 23  

I am convinced George was allowed to do what he did because the Powers
at the time simply didn't care. They gave no thought whatsoever to the
ripple effect that George's reboot caused. It just didn't occur to them that
Wonder Woman could possibly be that important.

***************

SER: Yeah, what stands out to me about that is the idea that DC would *ever* allow someone to reboot Superman or Batman so that they *debut* in the modern age. I mean, Wally West was the Flash in LEGENDS when Wonder Woman showed up!

What's also extremely sexist was the idea that Black Canary was a real replacement for in the now-invalid JLA stories. That would be like saying that Superman wasn't there but let's replace him with Wildcat. That's about the same, right? They're both dudes!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 4:24pm | IP Logged | 24  

I've mentioned before that, while I was on WONDER WOMAN, I was asked to do the art for the DC Xmas card. Previously, we had seen Superman and Batman in suitably dynamic poses. For Diana, they wanted her sitting under a tree with animals being peaceful all around her.

This was at a time when DC's stationary featured a totem pole of characters supporting the bullet, with Wonder Woman at the top, supported by the likes of Robin and Batman. The same Wonder Woman who should have been able to support the whole stack herself!

sigh

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Pat Ditton
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Posted: 04 February 2008 at 4:38pm | IP Logged | 25  

JB --

What AGE would your (MOS) Superboy have been?  I was always partial to the junior/senior in high-school age (15 to 18) -- I liken the 17/18 age more to his LSH adventures and the 15/16 to his Smallville stories.

You?

 

Oh -- back to my orignal question -- when you say "traditional take", is that meaning "no football player" aspect to the character ?    I've always thought it was a great concept of explaining Clark's obvious size to everyone.  I mean, Lois would have invariably grabbed Clark's arm from time to time and felt some pretty big guns --- good writing excuse "don't hide it".

 



Edited by Pat Ditton on 04 February 2008 at 4:42pm
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