A few days ago a lot of the people I follow on Twitter to see their Superman-related thoughts were all answering the same set of questions, which began with this post. It’s one of those things they do on social media to get to know each other better and feel like they’re all being fans of the things they love together, y’know?
I’ve said it before, but I always feel kind of outside of the Superman fan commuity. A lot of my “takes” feel so contrary to the accepted mainstream views that I feel like when I chime in, I’m being overly negative.
But then I find I don’t feel comfortable in “fandoms” in general. One of the primary reasons for that is I don’t often see the value in ranking and picking favourites among the things I enjoy. But hey, even as an outsider, I can feel the fun in participating. And I gotta put something on this darn site. So here goes:
1. Favorite member of the Superfam?
So, to translate into PDRese, which of the Superman-related cast of characters do I like best? Realistically, without Superman himself, would I even be here? But I’ll give some honorable mentions: I have high hopes for Natasha Irons to become a great character. Lois Lane is nearly as iconic as her husband and with good cause.
2. Adding onto the other one, who’s your favorite ‘Superman’? Like whether it be Kenan, Jon, Clark, or some other world variant.
At this point, if I’m deciding which person who has gone by Superman is my favourite, the boring answer of Clark is the truest.
3. Who do you believe is Superman’s best rogue and/or your personal favorite?
Different supervillains serve different purposes and which one is “best” really depends which purpose your story is going for. Lex is good for scheming superscience and corruption. Zod is a nice stand-in to be the kind of fascist strongman that Superman is occasionally incorrectly called. Really, I just have more thoughts on Superman villains than my head can contain.
4. Thoughts on Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen?
They kick ass. As I’ve said before, if you want Superman to be a character who inspires people to be their best selves, it is handy to have Jimmy as someone in-text who is living that inspiration. And Lois is great because she shows the audience that you can be as driven as Superman and fighting the same kinds of battles even without being a godlike superhuman.
5. Thoughts on Jon Kent as both Clark’s son and successor?
I like Jon a lot. His current iteration, where he’s been trapped in other dimensions and whatnot throughout his childhood isn’t something I care for, I’d rather he was born and raised in Metropolis and had a childhood that is at least somewhat more relateable, but I still love him. I’d love to see him become an eternal and iconic part of the mythos. I’d also like him to go into school to be a psychiatrist.
6. Do you prefer Superman with or without trunks?
With. Mostly I like it just because it is how Superman has looked for most of his career and it has become iconic. It also helps that I have zero self-consciousness about goofy stuff in the stories I like. I feel like a lot of the trunks-haters are still kind of embarrassed to like Superman and want to make it less goofy so they don’t need to feel that way. I don’t care about that. And also, if we’re going to have other Supermans like Jon and Kenan around, leaving Clark his trunks gives them to have their own unique trunkless looks.
7. Follow up to the previous one, what is your favorite suit that Clark has worn?
Assuming this means Superman suit and not just a suit-and-tie combo he wore to the Planet, I’ll just go with the classic look that you can find through most of the Silver and Bronze Ages and beyond.
8. Preferred origin story?
I don’t think my preferred version of the origin has been told yet. I generally find retellings of the origin to be useless to me at this point. They’re easily skimmable at best.
9. Favorite Superman writer?
No strong opinion.
10. Favorite Superman artist?
No strong opinion.
11. What do you believe is Superman’s best story? And what is your personal favorite(s)?
I can’t pick a single best. Just give me stories with a mix of science fiction and journalistic mystery where some threat to the world is opposed by Superman and his allies. I’ll be happy.
12. If you could make any change to Superman’s lore/ mythos, what would it be?
This would admittedly be a hugely sweeping one, but I’d want to sever any and all connections between Superman and the DC Universe. This is definitely a PDR opinion that is note shared by the masses.
13. Favorite adaptation of big blue?
I have a fondness for the radio show. It’s not perfect, but no representation of Superman has been perfect and this one does a lot of things right. Not everything though. It never really delved into Lois and Clark as a romantic couple and I never like the loud dramatic stings that are so overused. But it gave a good mix of Superman sci-fi plots and social causes and fighting supervillains and character stuff.
14. Favorite live action actor?
No strong opinion.
15. Favorite voice actor?
No strong opinion. I guess Collyer would be the reasonable choice.
16. Favorite Superman theme?
I dunno, the Williams one I guess. But what really bugs me is that all of Superman’s themes are these big orchestral deals when what I want for him is a theme that compares to the 60s Batman or Spider-Man themes. Superman needs a theme that a four-year-old could sing.
17. Favorite and least favorite Superman takes?
I think my most and least favourite takes on Superman are kind of the same one. Does Superman represent “Hope”? I have gone on the record that I don’t think so more than once. I think Hope is meaningless without followup and I think we need to keep fighting even when it’s hopeless. But all the same, some of the people who espouse the Superman = Hope stuff are coming at my ideas about Superman from a different angle. They want him to be a figure that shows us what we can aspire to and should be fighting for. I’m fine with that.
18. Who is your favorite Superman ‘analogue’?
Supreme, the Image character, specifically when written by Alan Moore. That run was one of the big steps in the path that made me the Superman fan I am now. It showed me that you can use Silver Age-style silliness, but still take the story seriously. There are flaws in the run (and its incomplete nature is frustrating), but I enjoyed the heck out of it.
19. Your favorite shield?
I don’t really care, but lets just go with Fleischer-style. I will say that I prefer it to just be an S for Superman over it being the Kryptonian symbol for the House of El.
20. Finally, why do YOU like Superman?
As a child I watched Superman movies and the Lois and Clark show and recognized Superman as a fun action hero. At some point in my teens I got into the weirdness and imagination in the stories from the 50s and 60s and realized the potential for sci-fi plots closer to Star Trek and Twilight Zone instead of always just being about fights. I followed that path into the Golden Age stuff when I was in my twenties, and there I saw Superman angry about corruption and fighting to better the world. Finally I looked back to the 90s comics (which realistically should have been where I started, but I missed them somehow) and saw the fantastic worldbuilding built around the character. Those all added up into a single franchise that had so much potential to give me what I enjoy. And sometimes it even lives up to that potential. Sometimes.