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Superman: Grounded (SPOILERS)

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  • Superman: Grounded (SPOILERS)

    Superman #701 is due out today. Let's use this thread for the first story arc.

    I already (Monday!) saw a blog post slamming JMS for not writing about Philadelphia as a native would. Dunno if they're anticipating or if they've seen it already.

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

  • #2
    Preview

    There's an online preview of the first five pages at:

    http://www.newsarama.com/php/multime....php?aid=36668

    Lee
    Webmaster
    SFTV.org
    B520 ( http://www.azsf.net/b520 )

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jan View Post
      Superman #701 is due out today. Let's use this thread for the first story arc.

      I already (Monday!) saw a blog post slamming JMS for not writing about Philadelphia as a native would. Dunno if they're anticipating or if they've seen it already.

      Jan
      Jan,

      Is this the blog?
      "A 'Grounded' Superman gets lost in Philadelphia"

      ... Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Michael Klein takes note of a caption box in Superman #701 that sets the scene in "Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ... the South Side," specifically, on the 500 block of S. 48th St. The thing is, the city doesn't have a "South Side" -- it's South Philadelphia or, more commonly, "South Philly" -- and even if it did, that block wouldn't be in it. You see, the intersection of 48th and Larchwood streets is in West Philadelphia (aka University City, aka where the Fresh Prince of Bel Air was born and raised). ...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dan Dassow View Post
        I'm pretty sure it is, Dan...though the part I recall was mostly about ragging on the sandwich, which I gather isn't referred to as a sandwich? I've lived all over the states and that sort of detail is something one learns over the first few months, it's not something that an 'outsider' would know.

        Jan
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

        Comment


        • #5
          So I finally got home and read the issue and I liked it quite a bit. I liked that Superman had dealings with several people/groups and each was distinctive on its own. I think my favorite was his strategy for getting the girl off the ledge.

          I'm still not entirely sold on the art, though I liked this issue better and the last panel was wonderful. There are some, though, were the face has a flat look, as though he doesn't have much of a nose at all. Lois had the same look, for that matter. I've seen some posts around that are raving about the art so it may just be my particular taste.

          What do the rest of you think?

          Jan
          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

          Comment


          • #6
            I enjoyed this review of the issue.

            I'm disappointed that this issue hasn't shown up on the DC comics iPad App so far. Yeah, I bought the pamphlet copy but I very much enjoyed being able to manipulate the images larger on the iPad. That's a great feature for appreciating the art more.

            Jan
            Last edited by Jan; 07-16-2010, 09:45 AM.
            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

            Comment


            • #7
              I thought it was a good story; quite well-written. But I have major issues with the ways in which DC portrays minorities in their comics.

              As an African American, it's very annoying to me that people of color don't appear very often in SUPERMAN, and in this issue, the most prominent African American civilians were mostly "bad guys": The drug dealers; the dude in the back seat of the car encouraging his white friends to run a red light; and to a lesser extent, the (Latino?) police officer who questions Superman's motives.

              It would be been easy for JMS or the artist to include an African American in the group that was complaining to Superman about the drug dealers. Instead, because the blacks are only the drug dealers/criminals in the scene, it comes off not only as racist propaganda, but wholly inaccurate because in real life, black people want the drug dealers out of their neighborhoods, too--regardless of their color.

              Quite disappointing in that regard.

              http://sonofbaldwin.blogspot.com/201...-coloreds.html
              Last edited by sonofbaldwin; 07-16-2010, 01:08 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jan View Post
                I enjoyed this review of the issue.

                I'm disappointed that this issue hasn't shown up on the DC comics iPad App so far. Yeah, I bought the pamphlet copy but I very much enjoyed being able to manipulate the images larger on the iPad. That's a great feature for appreciating the art more.

                Jan

                DC and Marvel haven't committed yet to bringing out their issues along with the print ones on their digital distribution. The "preview" of Superman 700 and a couple others Marvel and DC have done have been free issues to try to get you to check out the print comic, nothing more. The only one so far that's come out along with the print issue is the Iron Man Annual.

                It's annoying, but just as many comic folk or more will whine when it is available at the same time on digital citing it's "killing comic shops." It's my theory that comic shops kill the comic industry, but that's a rant for another time.

                I just read the book and I thought it was great. I will have a review probably later this evening.

                And there's no racism intended in this book. People need to relax.
                Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sonofbaldwin View Post
                  I thought it was a good story; quite well-written. But I have major issues with the ways in which DC portrays minorities in their comics.

                  As an African American, it's very annoying to me that people of color don't appear very often in SUPERMAN, and in this issue, the most prominent African American civilians were mostly "bad guys": The drug dealers; the dude in the back seat of the car encouraging his white friends to run a red light; and to a lesser extent, the (Latino?) police officer who questions Superman's motives.
                  I think you're really stretching there. How is the police officer in any way a bad guy? He asked a legitimate question about what Superman would have done. A better question would have been how he knew Superman promised her that he wouldn't save her. I decided that they had some sort of long-range mike focused on them.

                  It would be been easy for JMS or the artist to include an African American in the group that was complaining to Superman about the drug dealers. Instead, because the blacks are only the drug dealers/criminals in the scene, it comes off not only as racist propaganda, but wholly inaccurate because in real life, black people want the drug dealers out of their neighborhoods, too--regardless of their color.
                  Granted. So what? The clientele of the diner were fairly mixed. I'm not sure what 'brand' the manager/waitress was but I think she was a person of some kind of color. Another lady was asian, I believe. I could as well gripe that none of the group complaining was female and it would be just as meaningless.

                  Quite disappointing in that regard.
                  Tell you what, why don't you go over to the moderated newsgroup and ask JMS what was in the script he wrote? He's got an excellent record for 'casting' all sorts of people in all sorts of roles. Here's a good post on the matter:

                  http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-10080

                  Originally posted by SmileOfTheShadow View Post
                  DC and Marvel haven't committed yet to bringing out their issues along with the print ones on their digital distribution. The "preview" of Superman 700 and a couple others Marvel and DC have done have been free issues to try to get you to check out the print comic, nothing more. The only one so far that's come out along with the print issue is the Iron Man Annual.
                  I wouldn't mind if it even came out a couple of days later.

                  Jan
                  "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Didn't mean to offend, Jan--just wanted express my opinion, which has not changed: Great writing; NOT great representation of minorities in a book where they never normally appear.

                    However, I don't know that the problem is simply SUPERMAN #701; the problem, for me anyway, is DC Comics' track record. Marvel does SO much better in this regard.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No offense taken, sonofbaldwin. I meant what I suggested about going and posting a question to JMS. He doesn't interact over there a lot but it might be worth a try.

                      Jan
                      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Another review of #701:

                        http://www.aintitcool.com/node/45843#2

                        Reviewer: Optimous Douche

                        By now we have all heard the multitude of jokes surrounding the new ôgroundedö approach that JMS is taking with the Man of Steel; jibes like ôYouÆll believe a man can walk,ö ôForrest El,ö and my personal favorite ôDead Story Walking,ö have all been clogging the intertubes in anticipation of this new soul searching approach to the Big S.

                        And now that the book is released the reviews have not been much kinder. JMS is being accused of everything from new age preaching, geographical clusterfuckeryàall the way up to racism (I shit you not). For me it boils down to two simple questions: ôHow do you view America?ö and ôDo you need every comic to be a smash-in-the-teeth free-for-all of non-stop action?ö If you said yes to the second question, stop reading this review, and donÆt pick up this book. ItÆs not a title for you; JMS is writing an indictment of America in this tale as a respite from the non-stop barrage that has been assaulting our senses in all DC titles for the past five years.

                        Even if I disagreed with the intent of this book (which I donÆt) I would still be lenient, because I fully believe that we all need a breather from the CRISIS Tsunami. As one reporter comments while Superman saunters down the streets of Philadelphia, ôHow can you be walking? What if thereÆs a Crisis?ö SupermanÆs reply, ôThereÆs always a Crisis?ö See I canÆt even spell the word anymore without capitalizing it! If everything is always cranked up to 11, 11 is no longer extraordinary, it becomes the norm. Unless you want to turn Superman into IRREDEEMABLE and ultimately end of the title, there must be times of quiet and reflection. After all, thatÆs sort of what life is like.

                        For anyone that believes that this issue is merely Superman walking down the street saying, ôHey, IÆm Superman yÆall better watch me walk.ö Please get your head out of your @$$. Superman uses most of his powers in this issue; heÆs simply not focusing them on billions of space zombies or other Kryptonians. His X-ray vision helps identify a ruptured fuel line, he uses his heat vision to incinerate a stash of drugs, his super hearing uncovers a heart murmur, and he uses his aerial capabilities to try and talk a building jumper off the ledge. But this issue is not about the powers, itÆs about bringing Superman back to his roots as a reflection and embodiment of the real America, our AmericaÆs savior. Since his inception Superman has always been what America needs at that moment in time. In the 1930Æs he was an unstoppable hero to show that we all could be an unstoppable hero against threats abroad. This trend progressed untilàthe beginning of the Dark Age, 1986, when we incinerated our collective hero worship and delightfully started snorting the ashes of the fallible, or to speak more succinctly, the fallen hero. And maybe again this was just a reflection of real society as well. Perhaps Moore, Miller and the rest of dark lords were simply using comics to reflect their own disillusionment with crumbling societal pillars like Nixon, the Catholic Church and the collective build-up to inevitable destruction that was the cold war.

                        Self serving? No doubt. But I ask you to find me a writer out there, especially a comic writer, without some level of personal agenda interwoven into their narrative. IsnÆt that what comics and good sci-fi ultimately do, transcend beyond the fiction to tackle true and real societal woes? My answer is an emphatic yes. STAR TREK was not about the stars, it was about using that device to get us all to pay attention to whatÆs wrong right here and now.

                        So what societal woes does Supes tackle? Helping our fellow man comes in the form of assisting a family working on their beat up truck. A fair dayÆs pay for a fair dayÆs work comes in the form of a cheese steak for a little stockroom clean-up work -- a lesson that needs to be crammed down the throat of our current malaise ridden Millenials (kids I tell you right now, very few of you will be able to make a career of texting, get a skill). Other themes include personal accountability, acceptance that life is random, but itÆs the only life we get, and finally my personal favorite, that you as an individual affect change, no one can change the world for you.

                        Honestly, I should hate this issue. I am part of the dark generation that revels at the sight of the anointed crashing to earth after falling out of their ivory towers. I giggle with delight when the infallible are caught with their pants around their ankles. But I didnÆt hate this issue, because part of me believes we need to step away from the darkness and cynicism for awhile. I want America to believe in ourselves once again and not dominate the earth, but bring it closer together by example. IÆll dare sayàthis issue made believe that we can once again believe.

                        Now after going all Pollyanna for most of this review, I will say both Barrows and JMS screwed the pooch on their portrayal of Philadelphia. PhillyÆs my home town, and these two made it way too sanitized. To the reviewers that decried JMS is a racist because when Superman confronts drug dealers they all possess varying degrees of skin melanin, I retort back with the fact JMS placed way too many Caucasians in the sceneàIÆm sorry, I meant misplaced them. You see, on the drive-by drug streets of Tioga and Kensington, all of the white people should be in their sports cars with a window merely cracked open an inch (enough room to hand off the money and receive your goods, but not enough room to get a gun through) and ready to jam on the gas at a momentÆs notice. Also thereÆs not one fucking row home in the book. South Philly is ALL row homes, most of them dilapidated. Also, I had to laugh at the squeaky clean ôWelcome to Philadelphiaö sign at the end. Sure thereÆs a dingy green ôWelcome to Pennsylvaniaö sign on the Philly/Delaware border on 95, but Philly itself welcomes no one, especially the Metsàand Santa.

                        This is a ballsy move for both JMS and DC -- one I applaud and wholeheartedly thank them for. Will it sustain? Based on other reviews and my belief that to sell books you must pander to the lowest common denominator, I think JMS is going to get an editorial mandate to throw in a few aliens or something Super. I hope this is not the case, so you know what? Instead of letting the cynic prevail as I usually do and become mired in dark conjecture, I will just believe otherwise.

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                        • #14
                          I just read 700 and 701 today. These are the first Superman comics I've had time to read in quite some time (even though I had not stopped buying them), but with JMS writing, I decided to pull them aside.

                          I wasn't quite impressed with the incident that started Superman on his journey. Not being there to perform a miracle surgery just didn't ring true to me. The line of the woman saying, "Never get to tell him that I love him" is really bad as it seems to imply that she never told her husband she loved him. It is not like it was a Susan and Marcus situation.

                          Moving on, though, it is an interesting decision for Superman to decide to see life and the problems of ordinary people from ground level. Is it the best use of his time and powers? I presume that is one of the things that may be explored in the issues ahead. He is trying to make a difference one step at a time and there are a lot of good stories ahead.

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by nottenst View Post
                            I just read 700 and 701 today. These are the first Superman comics I've had time to read in quite some time (even though I had not stopped buying them), but with JMS writing, I decided to pull them aside.

                            I wasn't quite impressed with the incident that started Superman on his journey. Not being there to perform a miracle surgery just didn't ring true to me. The line of the woman saying, "Never get to tell him that I love him" is really bad as it seems to imply that she never told her husband she loved him. It is not like it was a Susan and Marcus situation.

                            Moving on, though, it is an interesting decision for Superman to decide to see life and the problems of ordinary people from ground level. Is it the best use of his time and powers? I presume that is one of the things that may be explored in the issues ahead. He is trying to make a difference one step at a time and there are a lot of good stories ahead.

                            Well, I think 702 answered your last question there. Without spoiling it, it shows how making a difference in an ordinary life can have a cascade effect into something a lot bigger. JMS likes stuff like that.
                            Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
                            True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

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