dilletantish, amoral, and inconsistent
humbug! That's accepting weak writers' excuses for bad Superman stories. "Kryptonite-unrelated weaknesses" characterized Superman for decades:Orphaned twice over, he lost both a planet that he shouldn't have remembered but did because of post-infancy technological teaching that accomplished nothing but teaching a young child all about a culture and a family that were already dead and his adoptive parents to ordinary human mortality. He had to sentence his surrogate brother to a thousand-year imprisonment to save his life, and spend decades trying and failing to find a way to cure the disease that brought it about. He lost his childhood best friend to a lifetime of bitterness and rivalry. Kandor, Supergirl's death-- the Silver/Bronze Age Superman was *always* surrounded by failures and limitations that had to do with the basic human condition, not shiny rocks. And the best writers, especially Elliott Maggin, saw the storytelling potential in a man who was psychologically human, limited, mortal, and capable of loneliness who was simultaneously physically godlike and invulnerable-- and a man who was utterly aware of all the ethical dilemmas in the linked-to article, who wanted to save everyone always and couldn't without reducing the people he *felt* to be his equals to the status of slaves. If the paradox of theodicy can support thousands of years of philosophy, I have to believe it's an interesting enough struggle to build the occasional non-sucking comic book around.
I detect a fan.I'll not wade into that brier patch of empirical facts you adduce in SM's defense. I'd have to be a fool, and my momma didn't raise no fool. Still...that last argument just doesn't sit right with me. I'm not sure the ingredients of theology also make good comic books. When I was a kid, I had a comic book version of the bible. That was interesting enough, at the time (at least the Hebrew bible parts of it--Jews have a holy book infinitely superior to Christians from a plot development point of view). But I guarantee you that a comic book version of Thomas' Summa would suck. What makes for interesting onto-theology doesn't necessarily add up to good serial-format tales of heroism.
Fair enough-- not every conflict is a good comic-book conflict. I think this one is-- there's good pathos to be had in a theodicy walking around on two legs. But at a minimum, it means there's *something* there to work with, and that we shouldn't take the route of saying "he's superstrong so no conflicts are possible."
Post edited to reflect Dr. levy's principled objections.
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