Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Disillusionment...

Of course, no one thinks there's really a Superman, but that there is a concept of Superman (not necessarily in the Nietzscheian sense), is a very heartening idea. So reading about the stark contrast Jerry Siegel was to his character is quite disillusioning. From the article:
Jones said Michael grew up with few memories of his father, only Bella’s anger at how Jerry left them.

Jones said, according to Michael, Jerry “never tried to see me. He never asked about me even when he had to talk to my mother. And after the first few months, he didn't pay a cent of alimony or child support."
In many ways, I think that a comic book company's ownership and continual renewal of a character is very stifling and unimaginitive. However, with a character like Superman, and a creator like Jerry Siegel, it really does seem like the right thing happened in this case.

Gerard Jones (interviewed in the article for his book) makes a comparison between Jerry Siegel's creation and his son:
“Partly to make up for my earlier mischaracterization of Mike, and also because it creates an intriguing contrast between father and son Siegels,” said Jones. “Michael Siegel grew up to be an athlete and a community volunteer, winning Tae Kwon Do competitions and coaching a youth Tae Kwon Do team for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education.
One interesting thing is, Michael grew up to be a plumber. In Alan Moore's "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" (a story about the end of Superman), Superman also ends up as a plumber. Probably a coincidence, but interesting anyway.

At any rate, Jones's book Men Of Tomorrow sounds like it'd be an interesting read.

3 comments:

Deals On Wheels said...

Interesting.

I am a BIG superman fan. Always have been, and probably always will be (I continue to add to my rather large collection of superman pajama pants and T-shirts about every three months or so. It is a disease, I know, but c'mon now - it's superman!).

Anyway, I really enjoyed this post because it is...well...interesting how things end up paralleling each other (especially in this instance). It is a whole new take on the “story” for me (in a very INTO THE WOODS kind of way).

Gabe said...

Glad you liked it :)

I had to look up "Into the Woods". Sounds like an interesting story, might have to check it out some time... I wrote previously about "Fables" by Bill Wilingham, but I also liked "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" by Alan Moore (the comic book, not the movie). I like those mish-mash kind of stories, particularly with old and familiar characters.

Superman's just one of those characters, that if you like superheroes or doing good, it seems like you've gotta like. I don't know how many comic books you read, but if you'd like some recommendations, I'd suggest the Superman/Gen 13 crossover and the above-mentioned "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" by Alan Moore. I don't read too many Superman books, but I think those two really captured what it is to be Superman...

Deals On Wheels said...

Cool! Thanks for the tips. I'll have to check them out (especially the one by Alan Moore - you've definitely sparked my interest with that one)!

I read INTO THE WOODS years ago, and I absolutely loved the concept of what comes after the whole "happily ever after" fairy tale ending. I hear that WICKED also follows this idea to a point, although I haven't seen the play or read it personally.

I love different takes on the classic story (or as you so eloquently described them: "mish-mash kind of stories, particularly with old and familiar characters"). That stuff is right up my ally!