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The Symbolism of Superman

As a comic book character, few have garnered the notoriety that Superman has. This topic calls for an investigation into the character’s history and an investigation into the symbols the character has come to represent over the years. Questions for investigation may include: How has Superman changed over the decades, and why did these changes occur? What type of ideology does Superman best represent?


    Superman is Dead and Hollywood Killed Him.

    Over the last century the man of steel has soared through the American collective consciousness. Since his first appearance in Action Comics, Superman symbolized freedom, justice, faith, perseverance and triumph over evil. But in 1978 the hero’s story received a script treatment and director Richard Donner turned it into a Hollywood blockbuster. However, subsequent sequels suggested that it was a property with diminishing box office returns. Though television shows such as "Smallville" and "Lois Clark" had many successful seasons, the efforts to bring Superman back to the big screen in a meaningful way have failed horribly. The Kevin Smith and Tim Burton proposal disaster, the hugely unpopular Superman Returns and now the Zack Snyder version(s), may have mortally wounded the son of Jor-El. Is this a nuanced observation? No. However, what is significant is that people have stopped caring about Superman. Why does this matter? Children won’t be adorning red capes to jump off their beds and try to save the world. Thus not as many people will think twice before saying something hurtful. Others might not hold a door for the next guy or extend that hand to a struggling neighbor. It is not just about another bomb at the multiplex, it’s really society’s rejection of a loving steward of the human race that protected us from dark forces and brought us a joyful uplift to our spirit. And this will prove deadlier than all the kryptonite in the galaxy.

    • I never liked Superman. I am a Spiderman, Captain American and Black Panther fan, in that order. I have been watching Superman from the 1950s show with George Reeves. I think the reason is that the character of Lois has to be more appealing. The love interest always makes the movie. Take MJ in Spiderman or Gwen Stacy. Instead of focusing so much on Superman, we need a really great Lois Lane too. Think of when Superman turned back time to save Lois, a truly romantic scene. – Munjeera 2 years ago
    • Yea I think even shifting the perspective from Superman to Lois's would be very interesting. – Jason052714 2 years ago
    • You can also argue whether if the Superman franchise would've been much better, more popular, and more symbolic of righteousness if they stuck to the routine comics. Or are you suggesting they should've abandoned the story to keep it a memorable experience? Or are you simply suggesting that the movies could've been better? You have to be clear about what you're up against. – Abhimanyu Shekhar 2 years ago