Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Who Is Superman?

Elliot S. Maggin's Lex Luthor has multiple identities so he assumes that Superman also has, like maybe:

Morgan Edge
Joe Namath
Bruce Wayne
Pete Ross
Graig Nettles
Jim Rice
Edward Kennedy

Luthor does not try to expose any of these aliases because he assumes that Superman would just create new ones. Superman plays the Clark Kent role so well that Luthor never suspects Kent although the guy spooks him somehow. There are times when Luthor is close to the truth but unable to see it.

Although Siegel and Schuster created Superman, several subsequent writers have invested a lot more creativity and ingenuity into the character and his supporting cast.

Miracle Monday III

Elliot S. Maggin's Miracle Monday, like the fourth Superman film, shows Superman acting against nuclear weapons. What better use of Kryptonian powers?

I wasn't quite clear how the demon was defeated but it was because Superman had decisively resisted the temptation. There was no point in continuing to use Kristin's body to wreak harm if Superman consistently refused to kill it. Thus, John Milton's Paradise Regained is only about the temptations of Christ because Christ decisively establishes his Messiahship and defeats Satan by resisting the temptations. His public ministry and its conclusion are merely the working out of the consequences of this already won victory.

People celebrate without knowing why. This seems appropriate. Kristin realizes that there is good even in Luthor and confirms that, in Maggin's version of Superman's future, Supes and Lex will be friends again some day. Miracle Monday is the ultimate feel good book.

Miracle Monday II

See Miracle Monday.

Superman has one secret identity. In most (?) continuities, Clark Kent is a pretence. In John Byrne's continuity, Kent was real; Superman was a role.

The Martian Manhunter can have many secret identities because he is a metamorph. Elliot S. Maggin's Lex Luthor has many false identities because he is a criminal genius who needs both to hide from Superman's super senses and to remain active in the world. This makes sense. Everything about Maggin's understanding of these characters makes sense.

Maggin's two Superman novels reflect in detail the comics continuity of the 1970s with, e.g., Kent and Lang on TV. In fact, the novels exactly fit into this continuity. Maggin even wrote sequels in the comics.

Maggin's best idea was that, in the future, Superman and the reformed Lex will again be friends. See here. Also good is Alan Moore's alternative account of these characters' futures. See here and here.

Byrne, Maggin and Moore: three great Superman writers -

Moore: the "last story."
Byrne: a new beginning.
Maggin: insightful novels.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Miracle Monday

See here.

Elliot S. Maggin's first Superman novel, The Last Son Of Krypton, begins with Jor-El whereas his second, Miracle Monday, begins with Jonathan Kent. Clark Kent's story begins in Smallville, not on Krypton.

Maggin writes the Silver Age/Earth 1 Superman:

Clark was Superboy before he became Superman;
the Kents sold the farm and ran a shop;
Superboy had a secret tunnel;
the Kents died before Clark became Superman;
Luthor was a much imprisoned, much escaped criminal;
Kent moved from the Planet to TV;
he was hassled by news reporter, Steve Lombard;
this is the most powerful version of Superman;
no doubt there are many other differences from more recent continuities.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Three Superhero TV Series

The Oliver Queen of the Smallville TV series works with Clark Kent even before Clark has become Superman whereas the Oliver Queen of the Arrow TV series meets Clark's cousin from the parallel universe of the Supergirl TV series. Neither is the original Oliver. Two adaptations could not be more different.

Smallville has perhaps four kinds of characters:

familiar and recognizable, e.g., Clark and Lois;
the same only in name, e.g., Pete Ross, Cat Grant, the two Hamiltons; Glorious Godfrey;
new, mainly Chloe;
new characters in old roles - Lex's father, brother and half-sister.

I think that too much happens in Smallville even before Clark has become Superman.