Hey folks, its Chris “Optional” Gray here bringing you a guest piece for Universal Dork. This blog was promised to Mr. Saturday long ago, and much like the topic this blog is covering there have been many set backs, production delays, casting issues, wardrobe disputes, you know, the typical things that can go wrong with writing a blog. My original idea was to compare and contrast the film making efforts between Marvel and DC, but that subject is for another time and day.Today we will be focusing on the Man of Steel himself, Superman and his adventures on the silver screen.
The first time Superman was brought to the big screen was in 1941 with the Fleischer Studios animated shorts, bringing the Caped Crusader to life for the first time. These shorts are absolute classics and have endured the test of time so much to be readily available on Netflix for your viewing pleasure.They perfectly capture the Superman of that early era.They feel like your reading a short comic in a newspaper fun,fast and a feast for the eyes especially if you love old animation.
The next time Superman graced the screen was in 1948 when Alan Kyrk starred in the theatrical series, which were very similar in style to George Reeve’s later television series. Unfortunately, Kyrk really lacked any kind of screen presence to pull off the roles of Superman and Clark Kent. The most entertaining aspect of the shorts comes from the lack of budget that prevented them from actually showing Kyrk take flight, those segments had to be animated which while distracting is still very entertaining. It makes even the worst modern day CGI look glorious in comparison, but the shorts still come off as enjoyable.
Now we come to George Reeve’s debut as Superman in the little known B-Movie Superman and The Molemen Continue reading
I have watched the “Superman: Man of Steel” trailers quite a few times lately since they were recently put on the web for everyone to enjoy. I think so far it looks pretty interesting. However I am just not so certain that this is the Superman movie I really want to see. It’s clearly a darker more realistic take on Supes and it’s clearly trying to use the Nolan / Batman recipe for success. The trailers show a darker more emotional style of filming that may take a bit of getting used to. This however isn’t really what we’re all used to from Superman, so I am not going to jump to any premature conclusions yet, I’m quite sure I will enjoy this one immensely. Yet I would much rather have a brighter, more colorful Superman story to be honest. I could just be feeling this because this is all I am used to?
I just don’t know how I feel about this one so far. What works for Batman may not necessarily work for Superman. I picture a Superman movie playing out a little more like Whedon’s Avengers personally – like a comic book really transformed into reality except without all the dark gritty real world vibe. I enjoyed Singer’s tone on his Superman film, I LOVED Brandon Routh as Superman.
Damn he was almost on par with Reeve in my opinion. He had that perfect charm, innocence and humor as the Man of Steel that is desperately needed to make the character work on the big screen. It’s still a mystery to me how Singer messed it up and somehow made a boring Superman movie! So instead now we get this, a dark Superman movie. It’s going to take a lot of convincing here for me folks…what do you now all think after seeing the trailers? Am I way lame for feeling this way?
Back in 1986 it was a real treat when John Byrne took over Superman starting with the mini series The Man of Steel. He rebooted the series with that limited series and then took over Superman and Action Comics entirely doing the writing and artwork. He gave the people of the 80’s a more adult version of Superman and drastically changed his arch nemesis Lex Luthor into simply an evil billionare instead of an adversary that would often times tangle physically with The Man of Steel.
Byrne was on top of his game artistically as well and here is one of my favorite covers from that era where Superman takes down my personal faves The Teen Titans in Action Comics #584. Damn may have to pull out my Superman back issues later tonight, I have every issue of the Byrne era and it still withstands the test of time…
Check out this rad article that gives you the full story on the John Byrne era Superman stuff, a fun read to say the least!