In anticipation of the much anticipated animated adaptation of “All Star Superman” in stores this year, and the upcoming Zack Snyder/Christopher Nolan re-boot of the Bryan Singer re-boot “Superman Returns,” we have taken the time to voice our love for the character Superman and ponder on his more unique and endearing aspects that will surely be ignored in favor of the man of steel lifting tanks and destroying buildings with one force of breath. We hope Zack Snyder can invoke much of what made “Watchmen” so excellent and stow what made “300” so absolutely vapid and dunderheaded. Or at least find a balance. With that we continue to our “Superman Tribute.”
There was a journalist over five years ago who wrote an article about Superman who mocked the Man of Steel openly, and oh so sternly explained that among Superman’s fans, you’d be hard pressed to find any who would openly admit to being a fan of Superman in public. Oh how wrong he was and how wrong he continues to be. I’ll admit as a fan of Superman, that he is not the most popular hero in modern pop culture. In a world of cynicism, violence, and dread, the more enduring characters are all the darker ones with demons and shades of turmoil, all donning Bat costumes, garnering giant white skulls on their chests, or waving around claws from their knuckles.
I’m honestly not sure why I’ve taken so long to sit down and watch “Watchmen” subsequent its lackluster theatrical release. I enjoyed the comic books for what they were as well as their fantastic literary class epilogues, I loved the characters (including Nite Owl and Rorschach), I enjoy Alan Moore as the eccentric mad genius that he is, and yet… I still never quite saw “Watchmen,” even with the “Director’s Cut” sitting on my pile. The Alan Moore groundbreaking graphic novel has been deemed completely unfilmable for decades after its release. But that didn’t stop Warner bros. from trying their damndest by bringing aboard acclaimed visualist director Zack Snyder to unfold the world of Rorschach and Night shade for the fan boys in full color and motion.
“300” is really nothing more than a movie about war. It’s about a society that paints war as heroic, and beautiful, about a society that views death in battle as heroic, and unflinching loyalty to government as brave. And yet, we know better. But this was the society. This is society period. It’s not difficult to see what the subtext is if you look hard enough.”300” though is also a beautiful action film that stages every scene as a living painting. Frank Miller, in spite of my disagreement with his views, is a wonderful writer. And he without a doubt set the stage for many writers to explore new domains in the comic book world.