Saturday, December 08, 2018

Gunn Takes Aim at Superman

Ugh. Apparently, scriptwriter/director/producer James Gunn wasn't content with taking Marvel characters, known for taking themselves too seriously, and re-making them as goofy clowns.  


In fairness, it does seem exactly like something Chris Pratt himself would do.

That's fine, perhaps.  For Marvel.

But now he's zeroed in on DC characters, known for holding themselves to a higher moral standard, and turning that on its head.  Yes, James Gunn is making a move about the tritest trope in comics: an Evil Superman.


It's been done. Ad nauseum. And with HATS.

Oh, sure, they aren't CALLING him Superman; we all know how THAT would go over in the courts.


Do NOT tug on Superman's copyright.  Just ask Billy Batson.

But all the signs are there in the trailer for BrightBurn.  A barren farm couple wishes for a child and one arrives from the skies in a rocket, which they hide in the barn.  As it grows, this alien child develops super-strength, super-speed, the ability to fly, heat vision, an affinity for red capes and... EVILNESS.


Super-sewing develops later in adolescence, it seems.

It's already being touted as 'a radical new genre': the superhero movie as HORROR.  Because Chronicle doesn't count, I guess. Or any of the other 1000 films/shows where someone gets superpowers and uses them for evil.  No, I guess it only counts when you can clearly recognize the superhero being ripped off and when it's the good-est superhero of all: Superman.

An Evil Superman! Such a modern radical cutting edge concept! Without the vision of James Gunn, who could have thought it before? Except perhaps... ever generation of Superman writers, ever, in every medium.


Simply wearing that much eye-shadow counts as federal crime.


"Coffee.Black. NOW."
He was originally from OUR earth, in case you forgot.

Look. I really like horror movies. And maybe this will be good one.  But was it really necessary to ride Superman's cape to make it?  If you insist on doing that, the LAST thing you have to right to do is make any claim of originality in that idea.



11 comments:

John C said...

To be possibly over-generous, while comics are absolutely awash with Evil Supermans, and Superman himself has had more than a few morally-problematic periods since Alan Moore wrote that boring Mongul story (it's hard to believe that DC believed that Mongul was going to be one of Superman's most popular villains twice...), it's not something the general public has seen much...and certainly not well-executed, as in Superman III's case. And Clark as Damien Thorn (if that's what they're actually going for) could easily work and hasn't been done before, though I suppose Oscar Wilde's Star-Child had some elements of that before Siegel and Shuster were born.

Though, honestly, I'd much rather see a '50s Marvel monster comic take on the idea, where Clark is struggling to be a humane person in conflict with an alien nature urging him to be destructive and tyrannical, if someone desperately wanted to bring such a thing to the masses.

And is it even worth bringing up how the whole Superboy-Prime thing was DC literally demonizing fans who missed older storytelling as childish forces of destruction? I mean, don't call out the fans who talk about their childhood being under siege whenever a woman or minority character takes center stage for half a page, just the fans who think antisocial killer vigilantes are boring...

But I guess that's digressing a bit too far.

Scipio said...

"Clark as Damien Thorn"
yes; that is EXACTLY what it is.

But Damien Thorn was scary because his power was all INDIRECT; he was still a vulnerable little boy.

Bryan L said...

Somewhere, Brian Bendis is gnashing his teeth and saying, "Why didn't I think of that?"

cybrid said...

gratuitous Marvel bashing >TWEET< ten yards

cybrid said...

If James "Minute Man" Gunn masterminded a nineteen-years-late sequel to "The Specials," on the other hand, well, THEN he'd be doin' something...

Bryan L said...

I call for referee conference, cybrid. Bendis works for DC now writing Superman. He's no longer working for Marvel.

cybrid said...

"Apparently, scriptwriter/director/producer James Gunn wasn't content with taking Marvel characters, known for taking themselves too seriously, and re-making them as goofy clowns....That's fine, perhaps. For Marvel."

Sounds like gratuitous Marvel bashing to me. I won't insist on anything, though. :-)

Bryan L said...

Oh, I thought you were talking about me mentioning Bendis. I clearly have an over-inflated sense of my own importance.

So, Scipio, how'd you feel about the Elseworlds crossover that concluded last night?

cybrid said...

No problem. :-)

Incidentally, while I pay little attention to either cinematic universe, I thought that cinematic Superman was already renowned for causing thousands of deaths as collateral damage without thinking twice about it. An evil Superman would presumably kill people ON PURPOSE which might in fact lower the body count significantly...

Sr. Favo Posso deixar vazio sim said...

Hot new take on the concept: Not Evil Superman, Chaotic Superman. He wants to bring freedom to the masses. Evil Superman doesn't want to take over the world, he wants to see the world burn.

Chaos Superman finds a way to destroy all bonds and laws and rules that bind Men together. Destroy society, destroy hierarchy and generally all the things civilization takes for granted.

Why? For the lulz. He wants to see how the little humans deal with ultimate freedom. A giant morality test.

"The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom. "

Nathan Hall said...

But, Sr. Favo Posso, that creates a paradoxical question: Is it really freedom if it's forced on humanity? That's the kind of third-act revelation that could make chaotic Superman rethink his alignment.