Superheroes 9/20 – Is Superman in Kingdom Come a boring Superman story?

Hi everyone,

Based on your reading of the Soren Bowie article “3 Reasons it’s So Hard to Make Superman Interesting” answer these two questions:

-What are the author’s main arguments about how Superman stories should be written?

-Read chapt. 4 of Kingdom Come. Evaluate whether or not the Superman of Kingdom Come is truly a complex character. Bring in evidence from both the article and the book to make your argument.

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6 thoughts on “Superheroes 9/20 – Is Superman in Kingdom Come a boring Superman story?

  1. Although I am someone who isn’t a crazy Superman fanatic, I can tell the Superman in Kingdom Come is definitely a complex character and Superman like he hasn’t been seen before. The article said that the generation of comic fanatic’s are tired of seeing the boring Superman that never dies and has a bunch of powers. The way to get a good Superman story is to not focus on his strength and powers but they “want someone who is deeply broken, who is struggling to keep himself together in the face of adversity…”. Thats exactly what we want and thats exactly what we got. In the beginning of Kingdom Come, we find Superman old and out of his regular attire. He has left society and is struggling to overcome himself and the rage he has against himself to be able to go back and do what is morally right. In chapter 4, Norman says, “Do you really think he’s mad at them? He’s raging at HIMSELF!”, right there sums up the Superman in Kingdom Come who we don’t see fight a lot but he is mentally hurt which the reader can connect to.

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  2. 1. In Bowie’s article, he argues that “we want someone who is deeply broken, who is struggling to keep himself together in the face of adversity, and most importantly, we want a character who isn’t invincible” (Bowie), which some of these apply to Superman in the book Kingdom Come. According to the author, stripping away some of Superman’s power would make him fit into the “mold”, the “mold” being the madness it takes for vulnerable people to become heroes. There is just one problem with stripping away some of Superman’s power, “Superman stops being Superman as soon as he has artificial limitations” (Bowie). To make a great Superman story the author believes Superman has to be presented with a problem that can’t be fixed even with his abilities, perhaps homelessness, diseases, or teen suicide.
    2. I believe the Superman in Kingdom Come isn’t a complex character. Although we do see “someone who is deeply broken” (Bowie) we also see someone who is invincible, someone who was presented with the problem of world destruction by metahumans but obviously in the end, the problem was solved by superman. When Superman was first introduced in the book he was seen on a farm, not in his Superman suit, his reason for being on the farm was perhaps because of the death of his parents and wife. We see someone who is deeply broken for a few pages and then it’s gone, we then suddenly see Superman back in his Superman suit and fighting metahumans.

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  3. 1) Superman stories are incredibly predictable, he faces a problem and loses the fight, but of course superman doesn’t die, he wins the war. In Bowies article about the ideal superman story, he argues that “we want someone who is deeply broken, who is struggling to keep himself together in the face of adversity, and most importantly, we want a character who isn’t invincible” (Bowie). These story archetypes can be found in Kingdom Come. Superman is found in the beginning of the book facing self-conflict. The author also argues that a good superman story shouldn’t have an invincible superman. The problem with that is once you have limits on superman, “Superman stops being Superman as soon as he has artificial limitations” (Bowie). Any good Superman story has an internal struggle or a problem that all the powers in the world cant fix for instance, teen suicide, world hunger, or homelessness.

    2) Superman in the story Kingdom Come we are met with a complex character. In the beginning of the story superman is found living on a farm in regular human attire. A complex character has defeat, unlike the stereotypical superman who is invincible. In this story, Superman has essentially been defeated because he didn’t want to be a superhero anymore. He faces self-conflict, which is relatable to anyone, and is completely vulnerable. Superman is not the average Superman in this story because he is not constantly “winning” or looking triumphant.

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  4. 1.In Bowie’s article he claim he makes is that superman movies are because in other movies about superman it’s boring because they know he is invincible, they know that whatever he does he not going to get hurt “Is it still heroism to leap into a burning building when you know it can’t hurt you?”(Bowie), when superman is walking into a burning building there is no suspense because the audience know he going to walk out fine, and that’s what makes it boring. But they also can strip away some of his power because “ Superman stops being superman as soon as he has artificial limitations” (Bowie). But what the audience wants is who is unable to save everyone. And because he can’t do save all humanity at once he nearly destroys himself trying, and not just about him but is about him living in a world where people are suffering and dying but can’t save everyone.
    2.Superman of Kingdom Come is truly a complex character because in the beginning of the book he had excluded himself from society and living a normal life. He was doing that because he was going through losing his wife and family and had been defeated. That’s what the people audience want in a movie “we want someone who is deeply broken” someone that is dealing with strong emotion.

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  5. 1. While reading “3 Reasons It’s So Hard To Make Superman Interesting” by Soren Bowie, he argues that Superman is not Superman if he does not have his powers. He would be ordinary rather extraordinary. Superman is invincible, he leaps into a burning building and it can’t hurt him. Superman has many special abilities such as X-ray visions, super strength, super speed, invulnerability, solar powers and much more. “Superman can’t help but set a precedent he can never live up to”(Bowie) he ingrained a false hope among Americans after he stopped a bridge from collapsing.This means that Superman is abandoning the hope of thousands of people, letting them down because he can’t save everybody with all his special abilities. Though he can save many, he can’t save everyone who is dying of societal problems and it is beyond his super abilities. “There’s only one way to make a great Superman story arc: He has to be presented with a problem that even Superman at full power can’t fix”(Bowie) the audience wants a superhero they can relate to, someone who is not invincible, broken, and struggling. Superman is the opposite. With all his super abilities, he is not capable to put an end to homelessness, diseases, teen suicide, or domestic abuse. In all of his abilities, he cannot fix the way someone is feeling towards him, something Superman at full power cant fix.
    2. Reading Kingdom Come and the article, Superman in Kingdom Come is a complex character. At the beginning of Chapter 1, Superwoman visits Superman who is retiring. She calls him by his name “Hello, Clark..”(pg.33). Clark Kent is a civilian working on a farm when Superwoman called Superman Clark, he automatically gave her a bad look. This shows that he is attached to being invincible again and being Superman. As he is working on the farm, he is letting the Americans hopes down, thinking Superman will return and help them. When he returns to gather a force of team to stop metahumans, he is unwelcomed by the civilians because Superman abandoned them.”Ladies and gentlemen of delegation…is anyone here delighted with what we’ve just heard?”(67) Now, he is facing a problem that he cannot fix with his abilities because he is unwanted in a world that needs saving from the metahumans. This relates to the article because Superman is back to save people in need but he is not welcomed, he cannot fix the way people feel about him and that is an obstacle that he cannot overcome just by using his abilities.

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  6. In “3 reasons it’s so hard to make Superman interesting” by Soren Bowie, he argues that “we want someone who is deeply broken, who is struggling to keep himself together in the face of adversity…” .Bowie also argues that the way to get to a good Superman story is to not put on the focus on his powers and strength. In Kingdom come we can tell Superman is very complex.We find out that Superman in kingdoms come is struggling and “broken” which is what everyone wants him to be. “We aren’t nearly as interested in acts of heroism as we are in madness it takes for vulnerable people to become heroes”(Bowie) vulnerability means (of a person) in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect, Which isn’t Superman at all because he’s not vulnerable because he can not get hurt.
    2. in kingdom come Superman is really complex . In beginning he was struggling to “find himself” because of the lost of relationships. He was eliminating himself from society and trying to live a “normal” life. And in the Bowie article that’s what they want “ someone who is deeply broke” who is struggling like a normal person.

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