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I'm sure you do not understand Wonder Woman, either.
Characters do not exist in a vacuum. A character like Superman is not like a mythological character whose stories were passed down through oral traditions. No, Superman was created by people, people who we do know about, and yes, their vision and their development of the character is the most important thing. This applies to all characters-the people who create them, or the people who develop them the most during their developmental period (like Wolverine, created by Len Wein but mostly developed by Chris Clairemont) are the best guide to figuring out what the characters are and what they are about. To understand Superman and to write Superman, any writer should be familiar with Jerry Siegel's work. And yes, just like with ALL writers, there were things that changed, story ideas that were touched on then abandoned (like Xavier's attraction to Jean), but if you understand comics at all, you know that you look at the entire body of work to see where a writer was going with a character. And Siegel's Superman overall, the body of work, paints a very consistent character. It should, as Superman is his character and was a very personal creation. These comics are done by humans, not robots, and humans change. It's just the law of averages, really. Jerry Siegel wrote a Superman for 4 years who killed on very rare occasions and a Superman for 15 years that did not kill. 15 is more than 4. Therefore, in the vast majority of Superman stories written by Jerry Siegel, which is the vast majority of Superman stories written by any writer-Superman did not kill.
It's not that damn hard to do. Unless you think Superman always sucked until John Byrne got ahold of him and threw the baby out with the bathwater, that is.
Claiming Siegel changed Superman most every month is a complete and total lie. Period. And the only reason you are bothered that I appeal to any authority is the authority I appeal to is not you, or the ones you approve of. All I can say is, put Mark Waid, Zack Snyder and John Byrne all in a room and ask them a ton of questions about Superman. I think we all know who will win.
Actually, it does. But it bothers you because I do not define Superman as being a creation of John Byrne.
Lucas willingly sold Star Wars of his own accord, but he does have at least an advisory role. I'll judge the new movies on their own merits, but I also admit that if they seem too far removed from what he did, using elements like flashbacks, etc, then I will certainly divide SW into Lucas and a Post-Lucas designations just like DC is divided into Pre and Post-Crisis.
Except you do exactly what I do-you pick and choose the books you count as defining the character. You ignore all the work by the characters creator, and you ignore all the books that were the most successful and introduced the most new characters and concepts, and instead you embrace the books by a writer who treated the character and his basic concepts with contempt. So your definition of Superman comes from your personal affection for John Byrne. My definition of Superman comes from the aggregate of Superman stories from 1938-1986. I use the stories to reach conclusions-in most Superman stories, he has a code against killing, consistently from 1942-1986. So since most of the time he didn't kill and had a code against it, Superman does not kill. Law of averages.
Again, you are wrong and you fail to understand how I look at things. Superman does not kill because the vast majority of evidence shows he does not.
No, those are the Superman comics that sold the most in terms of overall copies and more comparable, market share. Superman's most successful decade by FAR is the 60's. That's not my opinion, that is fact. Consistently, year in, year out, 6 of the top ten books always Superman Family comics. Lois Lane sold more in the 60's than Spider-Man or Fantastic Four, or even Uncle Scrooge. That is how dominant Superman was in that time. He never dominated sales charts like that before or since. That's not my opinion. That is a fact.
Everyone knows that the cut-off date for Superman being done in a manner that was evolved from Siegel and Shuster's original ended with Byrne's MOS when he destroyed their concept as Clark Kent and Superman being different characters and made him the same guy in and out of costume. The claim was Clark was the "real" persona, but in reality Clark and Superman acted almost just alike-the was only one persona. What Byrne did in his revamp that hurt the most is he got rid of Clark Kent. And that is when the talk of Superman being impossible to relate to really exploded and became the way a lot of people felt. At least before you could point to Clark and show how Clark was an expression of Superman's own flaws and fraility. But Byrne's version was a god 24/7.
You don't hear people talk much about Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis Batman. That's because although a lot of details were changed, the Post-Crisis Batman was true to the spirit and the core concepts of the Pre-Crisis version, while the Post-Crisis Superman was not. He was a more modern Batman but he was a clear evolution of Finger and what's-his-name's original.
Well, that is a completely different debate, but with Superman there is data that completely supports that the 1938-1986 Superman was more successful than the 1987-2002 Superman, and that the 60's Superman was the most successful of all. And that's not because I like the 60's version most (I like the 70's stuff and Maggin's novels a little more), but because it simply WAS the most successful. Again, numbers. Cold, opinionless numbers.
I love Superman because in the vast majority of his stories, he has morals and ethics that appeal to me. And yes, the versions of Superman that I accept have killed and have not killed, but the best version to me-the Silver/Bronze Age version-absolutely did not kill and would renounce his powers if he did. The version you accept killed three unarmed and depowered people because they goaded him into it. He is not just as bad as the MOS version, he is worse. At least the idiot in MOS killed a Zod with his powers.
Lots of low hanging fruit here but all I have is my phone to type on, so I'll get to it later.
One part just stood out though with your "justification based on averages".
If a man kills 10 times in his life, but lives for 70 years, I suppose you consider him someone who doesn't kill right? After all, he only killed at maximum 10 days of his life but he lived over 25000. 10<<<25000 so he doesn't kill.