Superman, Batman and Spider-Man: How Murdering Loss Creates Comic Book Character

Over the holiday break, I decided to watch the newest Superman movie and I was certainly disappointed in the silly story, the rebooting of the franchise, and the awful acting of the lead character.  Superman should be wily, and funny, and tough.  He never preens.

It’s always boring when movie production houses feel they have to re-start a story that’s been never-endingly told for generations.  We pretty much know the backstory of Superman and we don’t need to re-live, over and over again, every 10 years or so, just how the star child becomes the Superman on earth.

In my short life, I think I’ve lived through at least a dozen iterations of Superman in film and on television and I would be perfectly fine to have a new Superman just appear in media res.  We get it he’s special and Superhuman, so just drop him in and let the story start with no explanation necessary!

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The Curse of Super Hearing

I am cursed with the Super Hearing SuperPower.  It’s a curse because I can hear everything at any volume tone or decibel.  There is likely some irony in my “db” email sign off — in fact, several people mock me by addressing me as “dB” — not because I am loud, but because every noise at any level appears loud to me.

Having Super Hearing can be a problem as an apartment dweller in The Big City:

When you live in a building with other people, you always have to negotiate the tricksy totems of living.  Loud music, wild children, stomping feet above you, and banging on walls can quickly descend into ongoing fights and rifts that can never heal.

In my experience in apartment dwelling, I have learned that some neighbors are never worth the time it might take to ask them to temper their behavior because they are so totally unaware of how they come across in the building community; and to waste even a moment of your time trying to help them fit in is time lost when you could be out doing something useful like banging your head against a concrete wall to get them out of your mind.

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How the Superman Syndrome Ruins Student Writing

Hubris is dangerous in the classroom.  The student that believes nothing can be learned that isn’t already known catches nothing.  The instructor that believes in an all-knowing prescience guarantees nothing worthwhile is cast for the capturing.  That battle between student and teacher can dangerously become a war between good and evil — and that fight leaves no winners on the field of learning.

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Are Actors Necessary: Negotiating Future Dead Rights

Brandon Routh plays Superman in the new Superman Returns movie but he isn’t really Superman. Christopher Reeve is Superman, and Reeve was and shall always be, the definitive Superman. Watching Routh stumble his way through the movie makes one long for the deep talent of Christopher Reeve — who was trained at Cornell and Juilliard and he cut his teeth on the live stage — and you wonder how shallow the talent pool must be in Hollywood when a lightweight like Routh is gifted the role of a lifetime. As you can see in the images below one Superman is intense and in the moment and believable while the other is frail, fake and flailing:

Christopher ReeveBrandon Routh

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