Tag Archives: superman

Is Superman Overpowered?

supes sqI say 100% no, despite the fact that he’s got it all, plus he’s always the good guy. Superman’s massive power-level has led some to think of him as the most ‘boring’ comic book character ever, since he faces no real challenges, but to be honest I just don’t see him that way, and it all boils down to one of his powers; hearing.

It seems like one of the least important of his powers but just think about what his (albeit fictional) world is like: he has super hearing and the ability to save people just one at a time. Even if he can only hear for a few miles he must be able to pick up on multiple problems every few minutes, and there will inevitably be times when he hears two or three emergencies at once.

This means that on a daily basis Superman must be ignoring cries for help either to focus on another call or in some cases he may even simply be trying to lead a normal life. Super hearing isn’t a power its a curse.

In fact there must be ways that you could say the same about all of his powers; from holding back his strength around us squishy easily-breakable humans, to controlling his breathing so as not to accidentally blow over a building or freeze someone. His entire life is a straight-jacket of control.

He has a massive collection of insane powers but the truly interesting thing about Superman isn’t about how he uses them but instead how he doesn’t use them. Writers of Superman can’t afford to be lazy, their job is insanely difficult; they have to create a story in which this mega-powerful alien can somehow come across as relatable humanised character who the reader can empathise with. He might be very powerful but he has very real limits that must plague him every minute of every day.

Maybe I’m wrong but I think drawing on the risk of death is actually kind of lazy (when used to the extreme) so the writers of Superman have been forced (for the most part) to write stories that build intense emotional resonance without the boost of emotional reactions we have in the face of death-defying deeds. What’s more the risk of death is so distant in most of our minds (children especially) that it can sometimes feel less ‘real’ than seemingly more mundane risks like failure, loss of acceptance, ridicule etc.

Superman is a weird character but I wouldn’t say he’s overpowered, he just has a different perspective on the world and his own set of challenges to face because of that. That’s of course only my opinion (what else could it be) and I’d love to hear what other people think of this iconic character. Do you think Superman is overpowered? Why do/don’t you think that? Let me know in the comments below, over on the Jack Reusen Facebook page, or over on the twitter account. Thanks for reading, All the best, John

Why Fantastic 4 is failing (and why Batman vs. Superman will follow suit)

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I haven’t seen it, to be honest I might even like the movie when I do, but one thing I know already is that 20th Century Fox made a mistake. It was just too soon for a reboot, especially on a movie that failed to perform as well as other superhero franchises the first time around. The numbers are looking bad for the movie on it’s second week out in the world.

The Fantastic Four has never been my favourite comic book team but neither have I had anything bad to say about them either. Overall I give all of the characters a loud resounding ‘yeh they’re OK’. However, even an ‘OK’ superhero franchise is better than a bad one, or even worse none at all, so what do I think has gone wrong here?

It’s all about emotional investment; viewers watched a movie (2004), and then a sequel (2007), from that point on most of us might have expected to see a further instalment (after all it would round out to a nice trilogy). However, our investment, both emotional, and in terms of time spent, has been wasted on characters that have now been binned. Even if the previous Fantastic Four movies weren’t the best movies ever, I was still in a position of wanting to see what happens next. Now there is no ‘next’, and there never will be.

I feel short-changed, as I suspect many marvel fans do. I also feel (to a certain extent) cheated out of a satisfying end to a decent (though not exactly ‘fantastic’) storyline. Why on earth would I bother convincing my wife to come and watch yet another superhero movie, handing over my money, and then sitting through a couple of hours of storytelling, when I have prior experience that tells me that I could very well be wasting my time.

It could be the best movie ever made and still I’d be reluctant to go. In fact I would be even more reluctant to see it if it does turn out to be an amazing movie because I can’t be sure whether Fox will make a sequel or simply yank the rug out from under me yet again. This brings me to my prediction about Batman vs. Superman:

Brandon Roth’s Superman (2006) was promptly (OK not promptly but in movie terms pretty closely) followed by a revamped (and very dark) Henry Cavill (2013). I kind of liked both movies but the revamping bugged me and now this Superman mark III (Christopher Reeve’s Superman may have predated it significantly but he left a very solid impression) is being combined with yet another revamped character to create a ‘Super-revamped’ mash-up.

Superman mark III will be up against Batman mark…(I literally have no idea any more, there have been so many). To be safe just consider the fact that The Dark Knight Rises came out in 2012, making this reboot the quickest I’ve mentioned so far. Waiting four years to reboot a character really doesn’t do WB any favours with fans.

I find it easy to believe in Disney’s faith in the Marvel universe they’re building. Sadly, as a fan, I simply don’t believe that either Fox or WB believes in their franchises as much, not enough to commit to telling a story, even where a movie in the middle of that story fails. As a viewer walking into the cinema to watch a Fox or WB superhero movie I will always be asking myself “Why am I here? Is this just another blatant ‘Hail Mary’ pass from a studio that is desperately trying to claw out the same returns as The Avengers?”

And there’s the clincher; the real reason these films flop: if the studios don’t care then why should the fans. As a solid Superman and Batman fan I’m sorry to say I probably won’t be attending the cinema to watch in 2016.

I might catch it on DVD or buy a digital copy on Amazon a few months later, but by then the studios will already be calculating returns and dropping sequels. They’re not willing to wait for the fans who (quite rightfully) have reservations about the story the studio is telling. Once again we have yet another nail in the coffin of superhero franchises that belong to studios who have stopped caring about the stories they are trying to tell.

Sorry for yet another movie rant but I couldn’t help it. Do you see Batman vs. Superman becoming a big hit? I sincerely hope I’ll be eating my words come next year but what I’ve seen so far isn’t changing my mind. At the moment it really feels as though they’re all rushing in before they’ve figured out what story they want to tell us.

As always thanks for reading, and apologies again for the rant, all the best, John