Get your fill of sci-fi, science, and mockery of stupid people
* FAQ    * Search   * Register   * Login 
Want to support this site? Click

Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 93 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-06 10:31pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Posts: 13656
Location: Looking for another drawer
I don't know if the Justice Lords ever cropped up in comics continuity, but the Timmverse iteration pretty much was.



'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kids with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-07 02:41pm
Offline
Jedi Knight

Joined: 2011-11-20 12:59am
Posts: 957
Simon_Jester wrote:
He may not look like it, but Superman is an alien; he might honestly not expect people to keep fighting each other with rocks and sticks after you take their guns away.

Maybe if those African countries were full of Kryptonians, and some superpowered being flew in and wrecked all their weapons, they really would go "Gee, this war is pointless and destructive, and it's taking a much worse toll on innocents and property than on our real enemies. Let's just call it off."

And at the gut level, Superman might still expect people to act that way. The same way some people 'expect' mentally ill people to behave 'normally' and keep getting frustrated if they don't. And they get frustrated long after some outside observer might expect them to get used to it, because their instincts are being violated.

From Superman's point of view, it's not that he's naive. It's that we're all crazy. But in a strange way, he decides to respect our right to some kind of self-determination anyway, and not just blatantly turn into the Nanny-God of Earth.

Are we better off for that? It depends on how good a king Superman would make.

Should people be yelling at him for not declaring himself god-king of Earth? It seems kind of perverse, that we would demand the right to tell someone else to take away our self-determination.



One thing I did like about the comic is that most people don't consider it such for some reason. AS far as they're concerned, Superman is just going to help out the good guys (them, always them) and cut out the bad pieces. I wonder how they would react if he came for them and didn't just stop with their pet issue.

As for him not being able to understand; is there any evidence that he's different from humanity in a cognitive sense? He seems to operate much the same. Was Krypton that much better? I would think that it's his childhood that would give him absurd ideas.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-07 04:31pm
Offline
Sith Marauder
User avatar

Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4455
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
Superman may be an alien, but he grew up as an Iowa farmboy (which really probably didn't prepare him all that well for the harsher realities of the wider world) but the real sticking point is that he's been a reporter for a global newspaper for... how long exactly in continuity? Less than the 70 years in RL, but long enough to have won a Pulitzer and written a best-selling book. That should have taught him far more about how people think and work.

In that story, it was made pretty clear that Superman overreacted because he was feeling impotent at failing to save Lois earlier. I won't say that's objectively what happened, but that's the side the story came down on.

Superman was sent to Earth to protect and inspire it's people. But it's a short trip from 'protect and inspire' to 'guide' and a shorter one from 'guide' to 'rule.' The better stories examine this, and the limits Superman must keep to in order to avoid corruption.



"Any plan which requires the direct intervention of any deity to work can be assumed to be a very poor one."- Newbiespud

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-10 11:00pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Posts: 13656
Location: Looking for another drawer
I think 'Smallville' has a nice iteration of this. In this, Clark was sent to Earth to rule (eventually) because mankind was too stupid to deal with its own problems already (and I don't know Jor-El was wrong about that) leave alone the extraterrestrial ones it was about to face. Whereas the Kents tried to teach him that he can't solve's everybody's problems for them (including his adoptive parents, or at least Jonathan-the series is lousy with examples of him forbidding Clark from/admonishing Clark for using his superpowers to help out on the farm).



'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kids with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-12 04:49pm
Offline
is a laughing fool.
User avatar

Joined: 2003-04-30 10:24pm
Posts: 6932
Location: Painesville TWP, Ohio
Batman wrote:
I think 'Smallville' has a nice iteration of this. In this, Clark was sent to Earth to rule (eventually) because mankind was too stupid to deal with its own problems already (and I don't know Jor-El was wrong about that) leave alone the extraterrestrial ones it was about to face. Whereas the Kents tried to teach him that he can't solve's everybody's problems for them (including his adoptive parents, or at least Jonathan-the series is lousy with examples of him forbidding Clark from/admonishing Clark for using his superpowers to help out on the farm).


Yet later on in the series, Jor-El wasn't pushing him to be Earth's ruler.



ASVS('97)/SDN('03)

"Peppercorn Tomatoes slathered in broken guacamole sauce. Put it in the microwave and press puree. 5 seconds in the dumpster and it is ready to be cooked in the freezer at -350 degrees for twenty minutes. Apply pressure in various hamster spots and scream like a psychotic banshee." My reply when asked what was on my mind.

"Whilst human alchemists refer to the combustion triangle, some of their orcish counterparts see it as more of a hexagon: heat, fuel, air, laughter, screaming, fun." - Dawn of the Dragons

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-12 08:52pm
Offline
Jedi Knight

Joined: 2011-11-20 12:59am
Posts: 957
I think the Jor-El pushing him was a computer program that couldn't take a hint. The other Jor-El probably realised that it wouldn't happen or it would have to be subtle.

As for Jonathan, he made a lot of use of Clark's powers.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-12 09:15pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Posts: 13656
Location: Looking for another drawer
Jonathan's attitude towards Clark's powers was-inconsistent, at best. He'd happily have Clark do work any other farm hand could do except massively faster, he didn't mind him aiding in fixing farm machinery by, say, lifting a two-ton tractor so Jonathan could get at its guts. At the same time, he routinely yelled at Clark for using his powers around the farm, refused to let him use them to keep the farm economically viable when they were in financial troubles and I'm sorry, I'm not buying the 'I'm worried about somebody finding out about you' excuse. 'Smallville' Jonathan Kent simply was a dick. He was one of the main reasons a Lex Luthor that started out as a decent enough fellow and desperately wanted to be a friend to Clark and the Kents, up to and including absorbing an incredible amount of unwarrented hatred from Jonathan and still trying to be friends, eventually turned into the villain we know from the comics.



'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kids with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-12 11:54pm
Offline
Jedi Knight

Joined: 2011-11-20 12:59am
Posts: 957
Batman wrote:
Jonathan's attitude towards Clark's powers was-inconsistent, at best. He'd happily have Clark do work any other farm hand could do except massively faster, he didn't mind him aiding in fixing farm machinery by, say, lifting a two-ton tractor so Jonathan could get at its guts. At the same time, he routinely yelled at Clark for using his powers around the farm, refused to let him use them to keep the farm economically viable when they were in financial troubles and I'm sorry, I'm not buying the 'I'm worried about somebody finding out about you' excuse. 'Smallville' Jonathan Kent simply was a dick. He was one of the main reasons a Lex Luthor that started out as a decent enough fellow and desperately wanted to be a friend to Clark and the Kents, up to and including absorbing an incredible amount of unwarrented hatred from Jonathan and still trying to be friends, eventually turned into the villain we know from the comics.


Jonathan and Pete were one of the main reasons one of my friends declared the message of the show "Don't trust rich people".

He seems like a good,noble person but he's a small minded bigot that has no problem blaming people who did nothing to him because he's proud. Every attempt Lex made to fix things or change (especially his pathetic attempt to glom onto Clark and his "good" life) was rebuffed for no reason other than the fact that Jonathan was taken by his father. Pay the hospital bills for anyone who gets injured in Smallville? Don't give a shit. Provide recompense for your lost cattle even if I didn't cause it? Fuck you. All this is pure pride.

I find it very interesting that that was the direction the writers went with though.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-15 11:17pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Posts: 13656
Location: Looking for another drawer
I would be interested to know if that was intentional. To ruin Lex Luthor's chances to be Clark's friend, which he desperately wanted to be (and continued to be for a long time in the series) via Papa Kent's hubris and, eventually, Clark taking on his attitude. A Smallville with Lex remaining one of the good guys, if a flawed one, with Lionel remaining the Villain Luthor could have been most interesting. But no, they had to go the Messias angle.
I swear the longer what I saw of that series ran the more they should have concentrated on the capes&tights stuff they allegedly didn't want to concentrate on. Yeah, emotionally immature and so on. Nobody's watching this for the teen drama, there's 19 million dedicated series' for that. We (or at the very least I ) want to see how despite your never seen in the comics before kryptonite induced powers make you awesome, you're screwed, because you're up against Clark.



'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kids with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-16 12:52am
Offline
Emperor's Hand

Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 22006
Scrib wrote:
As for him not being able to understand; is there any evidence that he's different from humanity in a cognitive sense? He seems to operate much the same. Was Krypton that much better? I would think that it's his childhood that would give him absurd ideas.
The devil (or in this case, possibly angel) is in the details.


First off, there's instinct. Human beings have certain expectations about social behavior that are hardwired into us. You might be able to find isolated societies or subcultures where no one cares about marital infidelity, for example- but it's not easy; the idea of fidelity in long term relationships as a moral thing is very very common. So is the idea that people have a 'right' to get upset, even violent, about it. We punish a man who kills his wife's lover, but very few people express any difficulty in understanding why he did it. And yet it's not hard to imagine aliens among which this is not true- fidelity isn't taken nearly so seriously, or at least isn't a cause for violent rage.

Kryptonians might have very similar instincts, but still differ in subtle ways. Maybe they're less bloody-minded when it comes to keeping up a conflict: more motivated by fear and less by revenge, when it comes to fighting. So when the enemy's means to make war on you disappear, you as a Kryptonian might actually say "okay, no need to keep trying to fight them now." On the other hand you might be MORE likely to give in to the counsel of your fears and launch a preemptive strike or something.

If this were true, Superman might have a persistent habit of slightly misguessing and mis-analyzing the outcome of his actions on a political scene. Since there are no living experts in Kryptonian psychology, no one would be able to explain exactly why things kept not working out... quite like he thought.

And he's not clearly insane or even all that cognitively far from human norms. His ideas seem broadly reasonable. "If we destroy the weapons, people will stop fighting" is an idea many, many humans have expressed. But he can still be a bit surprised by people who keep fighting- as indeed many humans are.

(I just made this up, but you get the idea)


Two, yes, upbringing is a factor. He's not raised to think of certain things, although the longer he spends off the farm, the more you expect to see him grow beyond that.

Ahriman238 wrote:
Superman may be an alien, but he grew up as an Iowa farmboy (which really probably didn't prepare him all that well for the harsher realities of the wider world) but the real sticking point is that he's been a reporter for a global newspaper for... how long exactly in continuity? Less than the 70 years in RL, but long enough to have won a Pulitzer and written a best-selling book. That should have taught him far more about how people think and work.
This is true. Then again, nothing says Superman can't try things which are idealistic and impractical, because in his gut he expects them to work, or wishes them to work, or is willing to accept that they'll be only a partial solution to a problem.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-16 12:58am
Offline
Jedi Knight

Joined: 2011-11-20 12:59am
Posts: 957
Quote:
I would be interested to know if that was intentional. To ruin Lex Luthor's chances to be Clark's friend, which he desperately wanted to be (and continued to be for a long time in the series) via Papa Kent's hubris and, eventually, Clark taking on his attitude. A Smallville with Lex remaining one of the good guys, if a flawed one, with Lionel remaining the Villain Luthor could have been most interesting. But no, they had to go the Messias angle.

I would assume that they were deliberately placing the mistrust of Lex on the two people most likely to be negative (and in Jonathan's case extremely stubborn) about him so it seemed like Lex had a chance and lost it by being pushed out and creating some ambiguity, but then they went around with that bullshit Indian storyline that pretty much stated that he was always going to be evil, producing an objective reason to not trust him, because Kryptonian tech is capable of seeing into the future *rolls eyes*.

It's as if they didn't trust their own writing to give us a believable face-turn for Lex. They wanted to have it both ways imo, having Lex be someone on the edge and not have the Kents be responsible for him falling over because of irrational their dislike of him.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-16 04:45pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Posts: 13656
Location: Looking for another drawer
I'm not sure I like the 'instinct' approach. The 'marital infedility' thing is something frowned upon if it's the woman doing it. A man having extramarital affairs could as often as not expect to be admired for his virility. Likewise, in the past, nobles could pretty much do as they wanted (females less so than males, but still).
Harems. Again, the marital fidelity thing seems to largely be limited to females.
The Middle Eastern/Indian habit of marrying off their daughters while they're still children (in the case of India, to an animal if need be).
I think that instinct plays a much lesser role than you think it does.

Not that instinct is needed to explain why Clark consistently overestimates the human ability to to what is sensible. Plenty of humans have done it in the past.



'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kids with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-16 04:51pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2003-05-11 09:41pm
Posts: 7150
Batman wrote:
I think 'Smallville' has a nice iteration of this. In this, Clark was sent to Earth to rule (eventually) because mankind was too stupid to deal with its own problems already (and I don't know Jor-El was wrong about that) leave alone the extraterrestrial ones it was about to face.


Actually, I never bought that as Jor-el's motivation.

The symbols for 'Guide' and 'Rule' may be very similiar in Kryptonian. (Kind of like They're, Their, There in English). I always assumed that Clark's reading of the writing on his ship might have been off, due to the differences betwen Kryptonian and Human linguistics and such.

A perfect example of that is from a book series I'm reading.
A man that is learning the local language asks one of his female co-workers if he can 'Join' her at the table for dinner.
She burst out laughing and points out the tense/variation of the one word he used would imply he wanted to have sex with her on the table. 'May I join with (have sex) you at the table'.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-17 01:07pm
Offline
Youngling
User avatar

Joined: 2012-08-16 10:03pm
Posts: 116
Location: Dol Guldur
"So in other words, yes, you can."

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-18 12:07am
Offline
Emperor's Hand

Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 22006
Batman wrote:
I'm not sure I like the 'instinct' approach... I think that instinct plays a much lesser role than you think it does.
In the marital infidelity example- if female infidelity is almost invariably not acceptable in male-dominated society, but male infidelity is... Really, can you say that's not a 'human nature' thing? Differences between the sexes are part of human instinct too; should we be surprised if males accept the jealousy of other males as a valid response, but don't honor the jealousy of females?

Or, for that matter, vice versa?

Quote:
Not that instinct is needed to explain why Clark consistently overestimates the human ability to to what is sensible. Plenty of humans have done it in the past.
Agreed.

I think we can easily imagine Superman being a little more susceptible- but that's really all I'm getting at. Being from another planet really should have some effect on the way you view society and reality and so on.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-19 06:24pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Posts: 13656
Location: Looking for another drawer
Maybe I'm working with a wrong definition of 'instinct', I don't know, but to me that means something hardwired, something biological that we can't help (we may learn to resist it but it'll always be there). By contrast, I see the easy acceptance of male infedility vs the harsh treatment of female infedility as social conditioning-not a part of human nature, but something you have to grow into, and something that changes as society does. If easy dismissal of male infidelity were instinctual half the scandals that happened in the 20th century wouldn't have happened.

And I really don't see how Clark being from another planet makes any difference (other than the fact that he can casually benchpress an aircraft carrier). Our views on society, on what it should and shouldn't do, what it would do if we had any say in it and so on are formed as we grow up and shaped by the people involved in helping us grow up. It's not in our genes. A Clark that landed here as a teenager might have his attitude affected by the way things were done on Krypton, but the Clark we actually got is effectively human, education-wise.



'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kids with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-19 07:56pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand

Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 22006
There's hardcoded instinct, then there's... predisposition. Things that all people have to one degree or another, but that can be overridden by logic. Or that all people have, some more than others.

For example, we could reasonably say "people instinctively shout when they're angry." That's not true of all people, and even people who are that way can learn to control it without too much trouble usually. But it's still true of most people most of the time- to the extent that if someone is shouting at us, we naturally start to assume that they are angry.

Clark Kent thinking "if you take away the means/motive/opportunity for violence, the violence will stop" might be that kind of reflex. When he really sits down and thinks things through he can go "oh wait never mind." It's not a totally automatic, nigh-irresistible compulsion. Not the way closing your eyes when you sneeze is. But at the level of impulse decisions and unspoken, unexamined expectations, it could be playing a factor.

Or, yeah, he could just be totally human-identical in terms of what goes on between his ears, and just happens to be a really nice guy who tacitly expects other people to be really nice guys.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Superman vs the Elite PostPosted: 2012-08-20 06:41am
Offline
Padawan Learner

Joined: 2006-12-12 04:43am
Posts: 177
Location: Just North of Antarctica
Quote:
There was another occasion, and I enjoyed a quiet story, where Superman goes to a priest to talk with somebody about his feelings, because Lois is gone and he can at least invoke the seal of confession. After an incident in which hundreds of people around the world vanished for no apparent reason (including Lois) Superman was feeling helpless, like he was always two slow, too late. So he confiscated all guns from a generic African country cheerfully slaughtering itself, and was surprised when people just went at it with rocks and clubs and bare hands. Then elemental giants started popping up claiming to represent the spirit of the earth and ordering the alien to leave. Okay, that story got weird to. But it was better than "god-like alien bulldozes through all problems with super-awesomeness."


I remember that one. It was a two-parter called "For Tomorrow". I liked it, though many people apparently didn't. IIRC (and it's been a while) Superman actually does question his own responses and emotions while he is discussing his thoughts and actions with the priest, whose name is Daniel, I think. Anyway, he asks questions like, "Are the emotions I'm experiencing the same as those a human has? I'm Kryptonian, how do I know what a human feels?" He also displays an acute awareness of how he appears to humans and tries to compensate. There's actually a fair bit of emphasis on the point that he is a foreigner, which is what the elemental giants call him. His stare-down with them basically ends with him saying, "Go ahead, do what you want to the human race who shelter me. Then I'll destroy you by destroying the planet and find a new planet to live on." That scared the crap out of people, because it really seemed like he could make good on the threat.



"An elegant weapon, for a more civilised age".
- Obi-Wan Kenobi

Top
 Profile  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 93 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dragon, SpottedKitty, Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group