The Big Picture: Dumbsday, Part 2 - The Reign of the Supermen

MovieBob

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Dumbsday, Part 2 - The Reign of the Supermen

MovieBob takes a look at how DC Comics followed the death of Superman with an even more convoluted story line.

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Scarim Coral

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Wait, I thought the idea of trying new things for Superman was the result of that Red and Blue Supermen idea?
 

Story

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Sep 4, 2013
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Whoa, comics are confusing.
And weird.
But mostly confusing.
 

Urh

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I couldn't help but chuckle at the picture of Nicholas Cage as Superman. If WB people from that time are still around like Bob says, I wonder if that means the new Batman vs Superman/Dawn of Justice/whatever the fuck they're calling it is going to feature a fight with a giant spider...
 

Evonisia

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Jun 24, 2013
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I think this is probably one of the better "Comics... are... weird!" segments. This is how I like to approach them, just getting a summary of what happened to see how ridiculous it is.

Of course Bob could be missing things, but honestly I'm not going to claim to be knowledgeable on the subject so I'll take it for what it's worth.
 

Osaka117

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I gotta be honest, none of what you described in this video or part 1 sounded that particularly bad to me, in fact it sounded pretty boss. Of course I don't actually read comics so I guess that makes my opinions less than worthless, but I just felt I needed to say that after watching both videos. Well okay, that reborn superman did look like a dumb punisher wanna be, and that mullet was way too much, but other than that you only made me more interested in the death of superman.

Also I have to ask, Bob, is there ANYTHING you like or even deem passable that existed in the 90s, which seems to be just a decade long entertainment sinkhole in your eyes?
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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Points for showing the real Eradicator.

Looking back now, what Bob says is mostly correct. Looking at it at the time, I remember (as do some of my friends) all these plot thingies looking like they were going somewhere. And on a similar wavelength to the tone of these vids, that was the biggest disappointment. The Last Son, Terminator, and Superboy could have all been far more interesting if...Well, if DC had gone a completely different route with the entire arc. But with all the promises and teases and hooks, it's hard not to find yourself even more disappointed.

Scarim Coral said:
Wait, I thought the idea of trying new things for Superman was the result of that Red and Blue Supermen idea?
I think that was several years later. It did the same thing, though. In fact, a lot of the 90s did this.
 

Zombie Badger

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Wow, that story was really quite boring and stupid. It definitely makes sense why I keep hearing rumours that DC are trying to work it in to their new movies (although rumours of this sort are about as reliable as a chocolate thermometer).
 

Mangod

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MovieBob said:
Dumbsday, Part 2 - The Reign of the Supermen

MovieBob takes a look at how DC Comics followed the death of Superman with an even more convoluted story line.

Watch Video
Wait a second... the Eradicator steals Superman's body to use it in order to resurrect itself?

...

Am I missing a step here? Wouldn't the Eradicator need to be alive in order to steal Superman's body, and if he is, why would he need to use it to resurrect himself? If he's dead, how does he steal... anything? He's dead!

Bob, I... could you elaborate on this? Because this makes no sense, even by comics standards.
 

CelestDaer

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Mangod said:
MovieBob said:
Dumbsday, Part 2 - The Reign of the Supermen

MovieBob takes a look at how DC Comics followed the death of Superman with an even more convoluted story line.

Watch Video
Wait a second... the Eradicator steals Superman's body to use it in order to resurrect itself?

...

Am I missing a step here? Wouldn't the Eradicator need to be alive in order to steal Superman's body, and if he is, why would he need to use it to resurrect himself? If he's dead, how does he steal... anything? He's dead!

Bob, I... could you elaborate on this? Because this makes no sense, even by comics standards.
Sounded like the Eradicator just used Superman's image, not his actual body...
 

geier

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After last weeks episode i tried to read up on Doomsday himself. Oh my god! Crap like this is the reason i stopped reading comics.
 

Eleuthera

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Sep 11, 2008
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Mangod said:
Wait a second... the Eradicator steals Superman's body to use it in order to resurrect itself?

...

Am I missing a step here? Wouldn't the Eradicator need to be alive in order to steal Superman's body, and if he is, why would he need to use it to resurrect himself? If he's dead, how does he steal... anything? He's dead!

Bob, I... could you elaborate on this? Because this makes no sense, even by comics standards.
I'll try to summarize.

The fortress of solitude was built by the Eradicator. The robots running the fortress resurrected the eradicator after Superman had destroyed it, by throwing it into the sun. They managed to get most of it's energy contained in a containment field.
But the Eradicator was confused and suffering memory loss, only remembering it had recently been killed in battle. After watching news footage about Superman being killed by Doomsday it assumed it was Superman. In it's containment field it was very limited though and it came up with the idea the "real power" must still be in the body.

It travelled to Metropolis to reclaim the body, once there however it discovered it couldn't just repossess the body. Instead it used matter from the tomb to built itself a new body. It took the old body with it to use as a power "battery" (Superman is solar powered), and would drain power from the body whenever it was getting low on power itself. After a while the power build-up in the body was enough to revive the not-quite-dead Superman.

OT: I still like the whole Death-Funeral-Reign-Return story lines...
 

Optimystic

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Mangod said:
MovieBob said:
Dumbsday, Part 2 - The Reign of the Supermen

MovieBob takes a look at how DC Comics followed the death of Superman with an even more convoluted story line.

Watch Video
Wait a second... the Eradicator steals Superman's body to use it in order to resurrect itself?

...

Am I missing a step here? Wouldn't the Eradicator need to be alive in order to steal Superman's body, and if he is, why would he need to use it to resurrect himself? If he's dead, how does he steal... anything? He's dead!

Bob, I... could you elaborate on this? Because this makes no sense, even by comics standards.
From what I understand - he was alive but needed a template, kinda like how stem cells are alive but don't actually do anything on their own without something to copy. So it's really a matter of Bob using shorthand and being a bit confusing as a result.
 

Darth_Payn

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After watching that, I can see how Superboy and Steel were the more popular of the 4 replacement Supermen: they're the easiest to keep track of compared to the Cyborg Superman (nice pic of him as one of the Sinestro Corps) and Eradicator. I would ask Bob to elaborate more on how Return of Superman wrapped up (and that Bloodlines thing, which I remember as just belch), but even he can only take so much.
Mangod said:
MovieBob said:
Dumbsday, Part 2 - The Reign of the Supermen

MovieBob takes a look at how DC Comics followed the death of Superman with an even more convoluted story line.

Watch Video
Wait a second... the Eradicator steals Superman's body to use it in order to resurrect itself?

...

Am I missing a step here? Wouldn't the Eradicator need to be alive in order to steal Superman's body, and if he is, why would he need to use it to resurrect himself? If he's dead, how does he steal... anything? He's dead!

Bob, I... could you elaborate on this? Because this makes no sense, even by comics standards.
Another question raised is why that thing designed to rebuild Krypton is called THE ERADICATOR in the first place.
 

Logience

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Jun 25, 2014
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Daaaaam, that's a lot of convoluted. Though you missed noting how Steel got his own shitty movie that NC sporked.

Also, what happened to "COMICS! ARE! WEIRD!"?
 

marscentral

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Dec 26, 2009
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Osaka117 said:
I gotta be honest, none of what you described in this video or part 1 sounded that particularly bad to me, in fact it sounded pretty boss. Of course I don't actually read comics so I guess that makes my opinions less than worthless, but I just felt I needed to say that after watching both videos. Well okay, that reborn superman did look like a dumb punisher wanna be, and that mullet was way too much, but other than that you only made me more interested in the death of superman.

Also I have to ask, Bob, is there ANYTHING you like or even deem passable that existed in the 90s, which seems to be just a decade long entertainment sinkhole in your eyes?
I was around at the time (although I did take a break from comics soon after this) and it wasn't all bad. It's easy to snark in hindsight, twenty years after the fact, but it was pretty epic at the time. It seems convoluted in a 5 minute video, but the original story came out over the course of a year.

Darth_Payn said:
Another question raised is why that thing designed to rebuild Krypton is called THE ERADICATOR in the first place.
Iirc it was because it's original purpose was to eradicate alien influence on Krypton which had become very isolationist and xenophobic. In doing so it also kept Kryptonians on Krypton, which is why there weren't any other Kryptonians out in the galaxy when Krypton blew up.
 

Heartsib

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marscentral said:
I was around at the time (although I did take a break from comics soon after this) and it wasn't all bad. It's easy to snark in hindsight, twenty years after the fact, but it was pretty epic at the time. It seems convoluted in a 5 minute video, but the original story came out over the course of a year.
I think it's also worth mentioning that, though Marvel and DC spent a lot of the 90's trying to prove that they were just as hip and cool as those young whipper-snappers over at Image what with their new fangled computer coloring, glossy paper, and busty ladies wearing two Christmas ribbons and a hankie as crime fighting costumes, the near-indiscriminate spending of the 90's speculator boom allowed for a fantastic amount of creativity to hit the shelves. If you could come up with a comics pitch, you could probably find someone who would put up money to publish it. Sturgeon's Law applies, of course, and most of it was garbage, but it also resulted in a few gems like Strangers in Paradise.
 

skullberry

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Osaka117 said:
I gotta be honest, none of what you described in this video or part 1 sounded that particularly bad to me, in fact it sounded pretty boss. Of course I don't actually read comics so I guess that makes my opinions less than worthless, but I just felt I needed to say that after watching both videos. Well okay, that reborn superman did look like a dumb punisher wanna be, and that mullet was way too much, but other than that you only made me more interested in the death of superman.

Also I have to ask, Bob, is there ANYTHING you like or even deem passable that existed in the 90s, which seems to be just a decade long entertainment sinkhole in your eyes?
I won't pretend to speak for Moviebob but I'm definitely from his same generation, although 2 or 3 years older. The Death Of Superman is a great entry level comic book story and I always recommend it to anyone who's looking to get into them. It's not literature and it's highly melodramatic, but you definitely come off it knowing a lot of not just how comic book stories operate, but the business of it as well.

Fans who've grown slightly jaded or have taken themselves out of collecting comic books for whatever reasons they can either look back on these stories with either rose-tinted glasses or a deep loathing of what they, in their maturity, have now realized were exploitative or manipulative business schemes. But the truth is that you get that from anything you enjoy in entertainment, because it's a business. What you shouldn't forget is that in all this business/entertainment there's also a lot of creative people who do their job because they are passionate about it. So, whatever reason DC comics had for coming up with the Death of Superman, you get comic books with good art from Dan Jurgens, Jackson Guice, Jon Bogdanove and Tom Grummet, who each channel in their own way the best about the visual language of comic books.

Superman 75 has some of the most beautiful pages Dan Jurgens has ever drawn and the fact that he chose to go splash pages for the whole issue makes the last moments of the battle the most epic. It's an attempt from the artist/writer Jurgens for the reader to let the whole sequence sink in.

Bob doesn't give credit to Doomsday because he only sees it from the "business ploy" POV, but the truth is that Doomsday is the perfect Cave Troll/Dragon/Godzilla/Midgard Serpent that our St.George/Hercules/Superman couldn't slay, which makes the whole Death of Superman one of the finest ways the Bronze Age of superheroes gets thrust into the Postmodern/pastiche world of the 90's...even better than some of Grant Morrison's convoluted chaos magic,meta-reality attempts. Because they played it with a straight face and an unrelenting story that didn't take breaks for the narrative.

It is very reductive and superficial of Moviebob to compare Cyborg Superman to the T-800, when he's about one of the few supervillains with a REALLY AWESOME backstory created in recent years and a respectable power set. Most other supervillains are from previous decades. If he knew anything about the Cyborg Superman he would've compared it with the classic Wolfman story because all Hank Henshaw wants to do is die so that he can end this atrocity that has happened to him. But Moviebob went by Cyborg's look. He keeps turning up in stories because every time he does it's just badass, like in the Sinestro Corps War and even now on DC New 52's Supergirl comics.

I could go on and on, but the more sensible thing is that I simply vouch for the idea that there's a whole of things to like about the 90's and it's worth to check it out if some of you guys haven't. Yes, there's a lot of REAL CRAP, but also good things that even oldies like Moviebob and I didn't really consider at full light, which any of you could probably find redeeming aspects.

I will agree with Moviebob though that Batman's Knightfall was a much better event. But I assume it's because DC learned a few things from the icebreaker Death of Superman :p