”I made Superman real”

This is what Hollywood uberhack Zack Snyder said in this interview in regard his Superman film, Man of Steel. He says:

 

“The thing I was surprised about in response to Superman was how everyone clings to the Christopher Reeve version of Superman,” he told Forbes. “How tightly they cling to those ideas, not really the comic book version, but more the movie version. … If you really analyze the comic book version of Superman, he’s killed, he’s done all the things. I guess the rules that people associate with Superman in the movie world are not the rules that really apply to him in the comic book world because those rules are different. He’s done all the things and more that we’ve shown him doing, right?”

Like in “Watchmen,” which he directed in 2009, Snyder said he wanted to depict the true nature of violence rather than the sanitized, unrealistic version.

“It’s just funny to see people really taking it personally … because I made (Superman) real, you know, I made him feel or made consequences (in) the world,” he said. “I felt like, it was the same thing in ‘Watchmen.’ We really wanted to show it wasn’t just like they thought, like the PG-13 version where everyone just gets up and they’re fine. I really wanted to show the violence is real, people get killed or get hurt and it’s not fun or funny.”

 

It’s fucking Superman, not Taxi Driver. People love Superman because it’s hopeful. fun and ultimately it’s a giant power fantasy which allows us as an audience a bit of escapism. That’s why people love the Christopher Reeve Superman films, (well, the first two), myself included, and it’s also why people reacted badly to Man of Steel, myself included.

A good Superman story isn’t going to teach you the reality of violence, because Man of Steel avoided showing that. It was sanitised Hollywood violence which was firmly the sort of disaster porn the likes of Michael Bay trades in. The sad truth is that there’s nobody making these films with any really new ideas so they trade constantly on the ‘realism’ angle but it’s impossible to do a ‘real’ story about an alien in blue tights who can fly.

Constantly feeding people misery, death and violence featuring characters meant to inspire children isn’t ‘adult’ or ‘real’ it’s just a depressing lack of imagination, not to mention desperation throwing Batman and Wonder Woman into the sequel in order to try to jump start a Justice League film. People are in a recession. They’re struggling to make a living. They want fun escapism. They don’t want Superman being ‘real’ and killing people left, right and centre. A little bit of fantasy, joy and escapism works wonders, especially with characters designed to be enjoyed by children and anyone really, not just a group of grim blokes who think ‘adult’ means death, and kewl explosions.

There’s a lot to hate the Marvel films for with the lack of payment/credit to Jack Kirby and other creators being the main one, but they at least understand that a relentless, joyless experience is going to turn people off, and also, these characters are bloody silly so you need to ground them, but at the same time give them a sense of fun. That’s what Snyder misses. That’s why his film was a failure, and why the sequel will probably be the same.

Honestly, what’s wrong with a bit of fun and joy with your superheroes?

 

My top 20 Comic Book films-14-The Dark Knight trilogy

I did my top 20 horror and SF films last year, and found doing the lists to be more fun than expected, so in a massive bit of logic here’s my top 20 films adapted or inspired from comics. I need to point out I mean comics, not ‘superhero comics’ which is a lazy, and incorrect way to describe a wonderfully varied medium and it’d also cut out some bloody good films!

Previously, in this list at #20, X Men19The Crow18Heavy Metal, 17, Spider Man ,16The Avengers and 15, Danger: Diabolik

At number 14 it’s a trilogy, which is cheating a tad, but bollocks. It’s my list so it’s Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, with Batman Begins up first.

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When Batman Begins came out in 2005 the best most people hoped for was a half decent Batman film, which is pretty much what Batman Begins is as it rips up everything that Batman had been cinematically beforehand and starts again, which was the best idea after the mess of Batman and Robin.

It takes a more ‘realistic’ approach to Batman which in itself is daft as treating superheroes as ‘realistic’ means taking them far too seriously. You need an element of camp, or at least, some self awareness that it’s a film taken from a comic which thankfully, Batman Begins has as it resets the cinematic Batman to something close to the 1970’s depiction of Batman by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers.

Batman Begins should be a better film than it is, which isn’t to say it’s a bad film but there’s an awful lot being crammed in which means like a lot of superhero film origin stories the last act ends up being a mess and this is the case here as Batman has to defeat a countdown set by the baddie or Gotham will be destroyed!!!

It does however establish Batman as a strong cinematic presence again, not to mention the promise of something bigger for the inevitable sequel.

And the sequel hit, and showed just how to do the brooding superhero right. OK, it is about 15 minutes too long and at times is far too pompous for it’s own good, but a remarkable performances by Heath Ledger as The Joker and some splendid direction by Christopher Nolan sets this film apart from the mass of chaff that the superhero film has become.

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Had I done all three films separately The Dark Knight is well and truly in my top ten.  It’s almost perfect until of course the last reel where Batman has to defeat a countdown of Gotham is destroyed!!

Even that though makes sense in this case as it’s a moral point that’s being made that works within the context of the film rather than to artificially create a Big Climax at the end of the film because the script needs it and the producer has ten million bucks spare.

So The Dark Knight is the closest we’ve come to a ‘realistic’ comic book film. It sets up a final film in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy perfectly and there’s simply no way that the same people who did this film could balls up a final film could they?

The answer we go to the question was ‘actually, yes they could’.

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The Dark Knight Rises isn’t a bad film. There’s parts which are excellent and Christian Bale shines along with a perfectly cast Ann Hathaway as Catwoman, but it’s ultimately a big mess of undercooked bollocks with plot holes the size of Jupiter in it. It’s also got some of the most embarrassing attempts at shoehorning modern politics into it, with Bane’s group (a honestly wasted opportunity of a villain)  being a crude metaphor for the Occupy movement and Bruce Wayne being a crude metaphor for the 99%.

In fact all the political statements are the equivalent of drawing a cock on a picture of  Maggie Thatcher’s head and turning round looking at the mirror smugly as if you’d done something that’s going to bring the system down from the comfort of your sofa!

The sixth form politics annoy, as does the pointless build of Bane as this amazing supervillian only for him to be dismissed in a way that makes much of what happened pointless. Then there’s the massive stretch of imagination that it takes to believe a broken back can be fixed in a few weeks, not to mention that when Bane is in control of Gotham and has it sealed it, not only can Bruce Wayne come and go and he pleases (after he’s recovered from his broken back) but the streets are clean, so Bane must still be paying the binmen to do their job.

And of course the end is Batman has to defeat a countdown set by the baddie or Gotham will be destroyed!!!

It’s a poor ending to something that promised so much after The Dark Knight, but sadly failed to deliver. As a trilogy it yet again shows film has a problem with a satisfying closing film, but there’s so much in these three films to enjoy, especially in the middle film. After this, Nolan was involved in the craptastic Man of Steel, so I hope that he finds form again soon because he really is a quality filmmaker.

Next time, join me for a history lesson…

2013-That Was the Year That Was

Boxing Day has passed and we’re into the odd twilight that is the time between Christmas and Hogmanay and seeing as everyone else spends this time in the pub avoiding the sales, or even madder, actually in the sales, I’m going to take this quiet time to do a little rundown of the year for my best and worst of the year…

So cracking on let’s leap into this…

Best Overdue Death-Margaret Thatcher.

Without her incredibly overdue death I’d not have written the first post in my blog, or even finally felt a sense of release though at the time I don’t think I would have predicted her becoming such a martyr figure to fucked up sociopathic Tory scum as she has become.

As you can see, there’s still a little bit of my heart blackened with hate for her and especially her spawn.

Best FlounceThe EDL’s Tommy Robinson

Tommy Robinson came into his own after the senseless murder of Lee Rigby which he used as a dragnet to get every snide wee fucked up racist in the country to quietly agree with the EDL’s obvious bigotry. During the summer he hosted an hilarious Q & A session on Twitter, which saw me being blocked by him.

However just as the EDL were at a peak, Robinson flounced off saying they were becoming ‘too extreme’ for him. This set people’s Spidey Sense tingling as frankly. the EDL had been ‘too extreme’ from the fucking off! Still, it’s now hilarious to see the EDL crack and fracture.

Most Annoying Americanism of 2013Calling TV programmes ”shows”.

There was a time when Telly programmes were called programmes. They would be called dramas, serials, kids telly, documentaries, anything. You’d have entertainment programmes that would be called shows. They’d normally be things like Seaside Special which normally featured a paedophile or a Tory (sometimes both) presenting the worst of British Light Entertainment in a tent in the pissing rain during the summer. It was clearly a term relating to certain types of programmes.

Now everything is a ‘show’. Breaking Bad, Football Focus, Doctor Who, Panorama, and I bet if someone did a 12 hour documentary about Auschwitz someone would give it the jolly title of ‘show’. Stop it! It’s lazy.

The Iain Duncan Smith ‘Cunt of the Year’ awardIain Duncan Smith.

In decades to come history will look back at this man and write a terrible history of what he’s done. Sadly too many people will have suffered by them

The Ed Millband Useless Bastard awardEd Milliband

You’re opposition leader against a coalition  people hate. You should be leaping ahead in the poll. No, you’re not because you’re as useful as a Vatican approved condom.

The Jack Whitehall Middle Class Comedian awardJack Whitehall/Everyone on BBC Three/Channel 4

Back in the day comedians came from all walks of life. You’d have a mix of people and this would mean something may have a broad appeal, which meant much of British comedy came from pointing out class divisions, the inequalities of it and we could laugh at it. Something like Dad’s Army is full of this. Politics was the lifeblood of British comedy along with satire, slapstick and

Now comedy in the UK is dominated by graduates talking about being at university without spotting the irony in doing so. Comedy is dominated by comedians speaking in the same accent, making crap gags about the same things and it’s boring.

The Michael Bay Award For Film of the YearMan of Steel.

Ever wondered how it would be possible to make a worse film than Superman  IV: The Quest for Peace? Man of Steel provided the answer to that question.We need an edgy murdering Superman because that’s what hope is about.

The Rupert Murdoch Award for Journalistic IntegrityThe Guardian’s treatment of Dev Hynes

I outlined recently what happened when The Guardian decided to print an article by one of the Vagenda’s editorial team about crowdsourcing in relation to the fire that destroyed musician Dev Hynes.

In a year when Julie Burchill still writes for newspapers, this managed the amazing task of the worst piece of vile attack hackery disguising itself as journalism I’ve seen. Well, today The Guardian decided to go ahead and print the interview without any mention of the previous article or Hynes saying on Twitter he wants nothing to do with the paper again.

There is however a suitably feeble excuse…

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The Heroes Reborn Award for Cocking Up SuperheroesDC Comics

Many years ago, Marvel Comics decided to turn their like into Image Comics with the disaster which was Heroes Reborn. This gave us this.

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DC Comics gave us the New 52 a while back. It gave us this.

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Nuff said.

The Jamie Theakston Award for Worst TV Festival CoverageBBC Three

I love festivals as anyone who’s read through my blogs will have worked out but TV coverage of festivals is always all over the place, but this year BBC Three’s coverage ploughed new depth as they managed to take what was a good year for festivals and concentrate on the same dreary tedious student Indie bands at every festival they covered.

Then there’s presenters so completely lacking in joy, charisma or talent telling us of these bands without joy, charisma or talent that they love.

The Jamie Redknapp Award for Pointless Footballing PunditryMichael Owen.

In the event of a nuclear war all that’s left is the roaches and Michael Owen endlessly talking in a dull monotone to any roach who’d listen about how they all need to do to win football matches is to put the ball in the net.

That’s the future of the human race: Michael Owen endless talking and talking and talking and talking and talking and talking and talking….

The Ray Winstone MassiveTool AwardAlex Ferguson

For decades we’ve had to put up with Ferguson telling us he never held grudges or vendettas. The minute he retires he releases a book outlining the grudges and vendettas he’s held for years.

Tool.

The Partick Thistle Award for The Film Which Should Have Done Better in 2013The World’s End

This was a year of actually some decent films. I saw the splendid Excision which is a lovely mix of Cronenberg and Lynch. Lord of Salem is a ridiculously fun horror film. Pacific Rim is the most fun I’ve had at the cinema in ages but they all have something in common in that they didn’t do as well as they really should have.

The film that should have been fucking enormous is Edgar Wright’s The World’s End.

It did ok, It ticked over but it never hit the heights of success Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead did. That’s a shame because it’s a better film than the other two, and those other two are very good films indeed but without getting too much into spoiler territory here The World’s End isn’t the big obvious fist punching end that many expected it to be.

It’s actually more than that. It’s also a more adult film than I was expecting with the alien plot being something that works well within the main plot of the story of five middle aged men. It’s also very British so that a lot of this will skim over an overseas audience; the wee smile that slips on Paddy Considine’s face when his character hears I’m Free by the Soup Dragons for the first time in decades is something only people who remember a certain time in British popular culture will get, while for everyone else they’ll lose the nuance in that scene which comes early in the film.

See, this is a film for people roughly aged between 40-50. The references in the first 20 minutes or so are things that were unique parts of our youth so that when the film gets to it’s ending it can read as a tragic ending, but I’ll leave plot discussion there. Search the film out or buy it. It’s a fantastic film. It might have helped if it wasn’t released in the middle of summer when we actually had a glorious summer. Ah well…

And finally...

2013 was pretty crap. Sure, some things were fun but it’s been a hard year for not only me, but many people I know and things don’t that much better in 2014. However I’m going to carry on blogging in 2014.

That means my 20 favourite comic book films. My top 20 pop songs. More stuff about politics. A football blog about Scotland’s World Cup send off in 1978. The history of Neptune Comic Distributors. The return of my personal history of Glastonbury Festival. More about the Glasgow comics and SF scene of the 1980’s, and of course porn!

Happy new year!

Ben Affleck is Batman

It’s been announced today that Ben Affleck is to play Batman in the Man of Steel sequel. This has made fans get their knickers royally in a twist and throw the sort of sad, pitiful sense of entitlement I’ve spoken about previously.

I’m not bothered about Affleck appearing in a sequel to a film I thought was awful, but was made in order to cling onto the rights of Superman, but we don’t see the level of outrage when the likes of DC or Marvel infringe creator’s rights or treat creativity as a side-effect of making money for shareholders, or even cling onto the world’s cultural history rather than let it escape into the open as it should do.

The problem with yet another example of fandom throwing a strop isn’t that Affleck is a bad actor (he isn’t), or that him playing Batman is a bad idea (it isn’t really), but that fans think that he’s going to make a Man of Steel sequel rubbish, when it’s clear that the makers of the film will be capable of doing that all by themselves without Affleck’s help. However the more studios pander to fans the more they build up their inflated sense of importance, not to mention that horrible sense of entitlement that annoys the fuckity out of me.

It’s not really that Affleck has been cast that’s annoying people. It’s just that he’s not what they wanted in their own vision of Batman. All other considerations are academic.That’s simply bloody childish, which is of course, how many fans are these days.

Even the Guinness Book of Records Hates the New Superman Outfit

This weekend at Kendal Calling there was a new world record for people dressed as Superman

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A bit of research shows there’s a lot of competition over this and it is indeed, a big thing in it’s own wee way. There’s one thing though from this link here…..

PLEASE NOTE:  The costume requirements for participating in this event are as follows: 

Any costume must have the blue body suit, the red and yellow “S” shield on the chest, the yellow belt, the red cape, red boots, and the red trunks.  Guinness has given us no indication that other costume variations set forth in the comics, films, or books other than the Classic Superman version or the “Superman Returns” version are considered acceptable, so- to be safe- we are limiting it to these two costume styles only.  The Rubies-brand Classic Superman and Superman Returns costumes are considered acceptable as they are officially licensed. Fan-made costumes are acceptable as long as they meet the criteria listed above.

So there we have it. Even the Guinness Book of Records thinks this is horrible…

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We are however nowhere near this yet…

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Superman Kills!

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That’s a panel from Justice League #22 written by Geoff Johns, the man who seems to be single handedly making DC’s superhero comics grim, dark, depressing things that you wouldn’t wipe your arse on.

Yes, I know that Superman is possessed and it’s not really him, but if there’s an image that defines superhero comics now it’s probably going to be this which is designed to make as many people pissed off as possible and create chatter online for DC’s range of titles.

It’s only designed to to this. That’s it. It’s a fuck you to people who might be more than a bit fed up by this constant  pandering to those who think ‘adult’ is just more and more empty violence or thought Man of Steel was kewl and hey, people are going to die right?

It’s clearly an attempt to reconcile Man of Steel with the comic version of Superman and I’ve made my thoughts clear on that film, but this is yet another example of bad writing from bad writers in order to pander to people with a video game’s sense of morality.

It’s dull, it’s boring and it’s frankly offensive to see DC do this. Will they change anything? No, of course not as it’s a cynical attempt to cash in while removing another little piece of joy from the world as if you make everything dark, grim and depressing then what’s the point? Where’s the optimism? You can’t sustain drama when the tone is that of someone standing over a sink with a razor over their wrists thinking whether or not to slash them open? You can’t make things grimmer and grimmer because you don’t have anything in this world that anyone wants to fight for?

And that’s the problem. Why should we the readers bother anymore?

Mass Murderer of Steel

I made a blog about Superman and the new film, Man of Steel last month which focused on how DC Comics and Warner Bros. had royally shafted Superman’s creators over the years, and how this film was meant mainly to be made to keep the film rights of the Superman character.

Well, I’ve seen the film now so from here on in it’s spoilers so you’ve been warned.

Right, firstly I’ll make it clear that the film is fucking shite just in case anyone might be confused as I go on.This isn’t to say there’s not good things about it; the score is good, some scenes are very well imagined (the Krypton scenes especially are very well imagined) and the last five minutes aren’t bad at all. Everything else is grim, unrelenting shite wrapped in one of the worst scripts you’ll hear being spoken by actors horribly miscast in roles they barely manage to breathe two dimensions into.

So let’s briefly recap Superman’s origins. He’s sent to earth by the brilliant Kryptonian scientist Jor El as his planet is doomed, where he’s found by Jonathan and Martha Kent who bring him up to be a guardian of everything good and to fight for truth and justice when he grows up to be Clark Kent, reporter for the Daily Planet, and to be an example for the world. As you can see there’s plenty of religious allegory here as that’s what Siegel and Shuster intended when they created Superman as they drew upon the Jewish myths of their upbringing, and at the time creating a powerful foe against the evils of Nazi Germany, not to mention the daily plight of immigrants to the US who suffered at the hands of slum landlords, corrupt businessmen and gangsters. In fact early Superman stories were full of him taking on these sort of villains as Superman was a moral guardian for the weak and the poor. He made things better for people and that’s been the character’s core for the 75 years he’s been around.

Then we get to Man of Steel which starts with a long sequence on Krypton which shows the planet in a middle of a civil war which means the director can show lots of THINGS EXPLODING, and the brilliant scientist Jor El (played with the range of a Findus Crispy Pancake by Russell Crowe) gets to walk around looking brooding and moody with a big gun. We know Jor El is broody and moody because Crowe frowns a lot and does his important sounding voice from Gladiator while shooting people as brilliant scientists tend to do.

Jor El then faces off against General Zod (played by Michael Shannon who SHOUTS A LOT to show how angry and earnest he is)  before being killed by Zod as he sends his son to Earth after some bollocks about Jor El placing the MacGuffin in the ship taking his son from Krypton. It doesn’t really matter because you don’t really care as there’s no character building as that would get in the way of the SHOUTING and THINGS EXPLODING.

Zod gets his arse kicked, the civil war ends, Jor El sends his son to Earth, Zod and his gang get sent to the Phantom Zone. And this is in around five minutes of screentime topped off by Krypton EXPLODING!

Then we flash forward to an adult Clark Kent being a moody wanderer in a fishing boat trying to rescue people from an oil rig fire in an actually well done scene, but this is the last good scene until the last five minutes. What follows in between these scenes is the sort of stuff you normally see in bad fanfiction or in a lot of superhero comics today as we get lots of brooding shots of Henry Cavill, lots of brooding shots of Shannon’s Zod, lots of brooding shots of Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, and on and on.

While I’m talking about Costner let me talk about his death scene. It’s so badly written and set in a scenario so ridiculous that if you’ve not been taken out of the film by the endlessly pompous tone of the film you will be as Costner dies in a tornado to save a dog because ‘humans aren’t ready for what his son is’.

Like I said, bad fanfiction.

Anyhow, Zod’s soldiers get out the Phantom Zone, find their way to Earth to get the MacGuffin, which results in a huge fight between Superman and the Kryptonians in Smallville which results in THINGS EXPLODING and probably the loss of thousands of lives, but lets skim over that as there was lots of kewl fights and guns and helicopters and soldiers and stuff plus lots of THINGS EXPLODING.

The film muddles along until it gets to the last 40 minutes which is more fight scenes, more THINGS EXPLODING and lots of 911 imagery used in a dubious moral way to drive home the point that this is a Superman for a post-911 world and things are much darker now. This of course ignores the fact the character was created when Jews in Europe were being rounded up and murdered by the Nazis, but today’s audience only seems to care of the here and now not to mention did I say there was THINGS EXPLODING on screen?

Eventually Superman defeats all the Kryptonians by sending them back into the Phantom Zone (I think, by now my brain was like putty) apart from Zod so they can have yet another huge fight scene with no emotional content but it looks kewl and there’s THINGS EXPLODING, and oh, Superman breaks the neck of Zod because that’s dark isn’t it? That’s what the kids want? A Superman who breaks the neck of a bad guy because kids love dark moody characters so let’s have Superman break the neck of Zod because the filmmakers can’t think of anything else. Did I say it was dark as well?

The fight scenes are clearly influenced by what Alan Moore and John Totleben did on Miracleman #15 back in the 80’s, but the difference is that Moore and Totleben detailed the horror of such a fight in graphic and gory detail.

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The human cost is clear, but in Man of Steel, the human cost is at best an afterthought, but most of the time it’s ignored as that gets in the way of people punching each other and THINGS EXPLODING!

It’s a soulless, empty film made by accountants and marketing managers to try to hit the demographic who think ‘adult comics’ means people endlessly hitting each other, scientists carrying guns and maybe the odd THING EXPLODING.

But it’s the uncaring loss of life that shows up exactly how little the people who made this film care about Superman, or even follow the script they’ve filmed. In Costner’s death scene we have it made clear that Superman has to put people first and protect them, and we see that in the oil rig scene but as soon as the director/writer get to the big fight scenes we don’t see that until the moment when Zod’s neck is broken but by this time millions of people are dead or maimed but we’re not shown the human cost at all. It’s war but with no human cost so in that respect it’s very modern but ultimately Man of Steel is just violence for violence’s sake. It’s fanfiction writ large.There’s no joy in it. No fun. Just nihilistic violence and brooding, boring introspection. As said, it’s exactly the sort of thing creating by marketing managers and accountants.

Alan Moore recently outlined more of the history of Superman which detailed how the character was exploited, and Man of Steel is just another notch in the exploitation of the character but done in such a nasty, cynical way that any joy you can take from it is wiped out by another 15 minute fight scene with THINGS EXPLODING everywhere.

Then there’s the figure being sold at San Diego featuring Superman standing on skulls because nothing screams ‘hope’ more than Superman standing on skulls.

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Ultimately though the best review of the film is the fantastic Kyle Baker’s game Mass Murderer of Steel, as it just sums the bloody mess up perfectly. Endless scenes of men hitting each other over and over and over and over in increasingly empty scenes of violence…..

Man of Steel-What You Might Like to Know About Superman

The new Superman film, Man of Steel is out in the UK this week amid a huge amount of publicity and fuss. It looks like it might even be a bit above the usual American summer blockbuster. It might even be a very good film and it’s got good people in front and behind the camera. It is however an an enormous fuck you to the creators of Superman and their family who have been fighting for as long as Superman has existing to get a fair share of the billions upon billions their creation has made for it’s corporate owners for over seven decades.

 

Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and first published in 1938. You can see the pair discuss their creation of Superman here. The media are falling over themselves to provide studies of the myth and meaning of Superman over the last 75 years, but few if any will mention how Siegel and Shuster were shafted  over the creative rights of Superman.

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I didn’t know anything of this as a kid reading comics, not until I read in a fanzine about Neal Adams fighting for Siegal and Shuster to get due credit for Superman in the 1970’s and the story of the messy history between DC (and the companies before it became DC Comics) is in this excellent article here. Siegel struggled to make a living in comics for years, and there’s a mention ins Sean Howe’s excellent Marvel Comics: The Untold Story about how Stan Lee felt sorry for Siegel in the 1960’s when he was struggling for work, so gave him whatever job he could at Marvel but because his writing style didn’t fit into the Marvel style of the time this meant menial office jobs. The man who was partly responsible for the boom in superheroes and for creating employment for people at Marvel and DC was reduced to struggling for work and favours from friends like Lee. Siegel even worked for IPC’s line of boy’s adventure comics and created The Spider which appeared in Lion, which was a strip I adored as a kid.

 

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In 1975 DC agreed to pay Siegel and Shuster $20,000 for the rest of their lives. At that point, they’d made billions from Superman, and even then this amount was only agreed after the work of people like Neal Adams. This was not something DC out of the goodness of their heart.

By the time of their deaths the dispute still hadn’t been settled, and carried on to their heirs,  who continued to fight for what was a fair share of their creation as the sons and daughters of shareholders made money from Superman but the family of the men who created him didn’t. However due to US copyright law, the rights would revert to Siegel and Shuster’s families, and that would include the film rights as well. Early last year, DC’s parent company Warner Brothers won, which saw Man of Steel go quickly into production to ensure the film rights stayed with Warner’s .

So when you settle down to watch Man of Steel in your comfy chair in the cinema have a wee thought about the creators and their families and wonder why the media is talking about the heroic myth of Superman, but don’t feel it’s important to mention what happened to Siegel and Shuster? I’d imagine because it probably shows the myth up to be just that, a myth.

Siegel and Shuster deserved better. Their heirs deserve better. It would be nice if one journalist, or one person connected with the film mentioned this rather than repeat the same story which marginalises the creators and their plight into a footnote of a larger story rather than being something that taints the myth.