Friday, October 27, 2006

The psychology of loss--the pain of an orphan from an unknown world; or where the hell is my continuity, damnit?!?

okay, i am really not into comics (aside from the obligatory collection of Buffy comics) *and in the spirit of full disclosure i must admit i read Richie Rich, Little Lulu, and Archie as a kid but, as you may or may not have noticed, i have been taking a closer look at them of late--somehow, not being a visual person, the whole comic thing is lost on me, though i'm loving reading the history, mythos, and analysis of it all--call me weird--it won't be the first time. But, when The Man from Krypton: a closer look at Superman (completely unauthorized)--and doesn't that just make it all the more interesting??? edited by Glenn Yefeth showed up on our new releases cart i must admit it peaked my interest (as WAAAAAAYYY too many books do--such is the nature of addiction) so i checked it out--at least i haven't bought it YET! This is a collection of essays that gives me what i hunger for. It covers the comics, the radio shows, the animated series, the movies and the T.V. series (those what got me curious about back story to begin with--series like Lois and Clark--almost ashamed to admit that i loved it--own the DVDs and Smallville (a boyfriend's friend who WAS into the comics recommended it and got me hooked--tho i haven't watched all of them--have those DVDs too--and now i'm terribly curious as to how closely it follows the rest of the Superman canon.)
here are the essays and a brief synopsis of my take on them:
Previous Issues by Lawrence Watt-Evans—discusses the fact that Superman essentially wears his security blanket
A History of Violence by David Hopkins—discusses whether or not Superman holds back his power and whether he is a violent individual
You Will Believe a Man Can Walk by Sarah Zettel--Christopher Reeve IS Superman
Jewel Mountains and Fire Falls: The Lost World of Krypton by Chris Roberson--the world-building and eventual writing-out of Krypton
Man of Steel Woman of Kleenex by Larry Niven (reprinted from All the Myriad Ways) --a rather silly essay speculating reproductive possibilities between a kryptonite and a human
Actor and Superactor by Keith R.A. DeCandido--the different actors who have played Superman on the radio, animated series, television series, and movies
A Tale of Two Orphans:the Man of Steel vs. the Caped Crusader by Lou Anders--the ever-changing relationship between Superman and Batman
God, Communism, and the WB by Gustav Peebles (reprinted from The Believer)--very interesting essay about the threat of Big City Capitalism on SMALLVILLE
Supermyth! by Steven Harper--Superman as heroic legend
Six Things that Plain Don't Make any Sense about Superman by Adam-Troy Castro--entertaining piece about how even when one suspends every other disbelief there are still a few things one just can't let go of
Is Superman a Superman? by Adam Roberts--we're talking Nietzsche here folks!
The Mirror of Gilgamesh: the Foe Superman fears the Most and the Ally he can't do Without by John G. Henry--Clark Kent as absolutely necessary to Superman's survival
The Golden Shield: Image as Superman's Greatest Power by Paul Lytle--(image is everything BAAAYBY) without Superman would crumble--or at least run and hide!
Superman by Moonlight: Can Clark and Lois break the Curse? by Evelyn Vaughn--can we stand to see our favorite characters live happily ever after?
Speeding Bullets and Changing Lanes by Joseph McCabe--how Lois has been represented throughout the decades and different medium (medias?)
A Word of Warning for Brandon Routh by Lou Anders--is there a Superman curse?
Superman's Moral Evolution by Peter B. Lloyd--Superman does exactly What He Wants regardless of Terran rules (but Batman hold a ring of green kryptonite--Just In Case...)
Brains versus Brawn: the Many Lives (and Minds) of Lex Luthor, the World's Greatest Villain by Bob Batchelor--the ever evolving character of Lex Luthor
Superman, Patriotism, and Doing the Ultimate Good: Why the Man of Steel did so Little to Stop Hitler and Tojo by Paul Levinson--this all seems a little obvious to me, non-comic-book-reader that i am, but it does make some very interesting points (mainly that the comics live side by side on the newsstand with the real world!)
This is a Job for... by Larry Dixon--we should all act like superheroes (blah, blah, blah...)
i'm still somehow hungry for more--more of the mythology, more of the back-story, and mostly more continuity--damnit all!!!
Speaking of missing continuity--here's a confession of a guilty pleasure: Days of Our Lives, which i've been watching for the last twenty-five years (gasp)--with a few gaps here and there--and at one point i thought i wanted, needed to be their continuity editor to keep them on track with all their story-lines (i'm sure they don't really care--tho i Really Do!)
i sometimes wonder if my need for continuity comes from the fact that i'm adopted as is, of course, Superman...

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