When I was a kid I love Superman. He was one of my favorite comic book characters and superheroes all around. I had Superman action figures, coloring books, puzzles and other memorabilia. I really like the movies all four of them in fact at the time. I would watch Superman cartoons a whole bunch of them a number of them anyone that I can find in fact. And I instantly fell in love with and became obsessed with Lois & Clark The New Adventures of Superman when it aired on TV. But then something changed in some point in my life and my past I stop liking Superman and actually started hating him. Except, I don’t remember when this happened.
I recently decided to get back into comic book collecting I’m going to say back into I mean I sold all my comic books or abandon and number of them when I left my apartment 2 years ago. But I’ve recently with coronavirus and everything else have been at home a lot more than I had been previously and I have a better job now more money now and thought now is a good time to get back into serious comic book collecting. And that includes reading comic books more than ever. Now I just wrote a post last night on rediscovering the Golden Age of comics and in that Discovery I realized I still have lingering feelings of respect and appreciation for the Man of Steel. So I wanted to talk about the parts of Superman that I never stopped liking and try to figure out what it was that made me go from admiring this character to despising him for so long.
My earliest memories of Superman that I can pinpoint was sitting down and watching a VHS tape of some random Superman cartoons my dad rented from the video store at one point. I can’t tell you what happened in that story I vaguely remember a bank robbery and Superman flying around with a bank vault on his shoulder but I can’t remember beyond that. I do remember liking the character and wanting to see more of him. I remember watching the Superman movie the original one from the 70s and just loving it when I was a kid. I remember watching Superman 2 and thinking at the time and throughout most of my life thinking it was the best of all the Superman movies had been my favorite for ever. I remember watching and even enjoying Superman 3 and even liking Superman 4 the Quest for Peace hey I was a kid. It wasn’t until Lois and Clark came along that I realized I really like Superman and I never had Superman comics this is key I believe I always only ever had the shows to watch or a handful of toys inundate me into the characters mythos.
I even remember going into Superman Returns expecting the like it hoping to like it and I remember getting to the end of that movie and questioning my entire interest in the Superman character. May you have to keep in mind I’ve never wavered on Batman to this day he still my favorite comic book character my absolute favorite superhero if you can call him a superhero some won’t but I do. And I know Superman was friends with Batman and there were shows like super friends that I didn’t watch. And I think that’s part of it never having read a comic book featuring The Man of Steel and only knowing him as a character in his own universe but knowing he was Affiliated Loosely with Batman I think that swayed me to take the side of the Dark Knight and dismiss the Man of Steel, the Kryptonian as it were.
I remember the point where I started liking Transformers and watching the cartoon and reading a comic books and obsessing over the toys. And I can remember the point in my life where I went from thinking Batman was okay but not great to becoming my favorite superhero spoiler alert it had to do with one of the movies. But I can’t trace the point in my mind where I went from admiring and respecting Superman to flat-out loathing him, hating him, despising him. But I do believe it has to do with the fact that I never read his comics.
By the time Lois & Clark was finished I was still into the character that much I do know. And I remember being a little bit turned off by Smallville at first enjoying the episodes I did watch but not enough to get into it because it wasn’t Superman it was Clark Kent and I think that was the start of my downward spiral but I have to dig deeper. I was that weird kid that like the Atari Superman video game just because it was Superman I didn’t care that it was a bad game it was fun to play in my mind and that’s all I ever cared about. And I do remember hating Superman Returns by the time it was all said and done.
And I remember never having any interest in the Justice League I remember thinking it didn’t make sense that Batman and Superman would be on the same team with Wonder Woman The Flash and a bunch of other people whose names I never took the time to learn. This fueled my disdain for the Justice League which eventually magnified itself as a hatred for Superman and all things related to him. I think that’s why I enjoyed Batman versus Superman the film so much because Batman beat the snot Ida. Kryptonian creep and I was so excited to see him get the stuffing knocked out of him by my favorite superhero despite being portrayed by an actor I also despise.
But surely that wasn’t enough a disappointing movie a mediocre TV soap opera that couldn’t have been what killed my interest in a character I enjoyed as a kid, could it? I remember the jokes I don’t know who first made them making fun of Superman all the powers of a God and he uses it to get cats out of trees I was told over and over. His most powerful villain is a banker I was told mocking the Superman. And he is defeated by a pebble of all things a piece of chalk as they mocked the Superman. And I know the first point I pulled on a thread that unravelled some of the mystery was in fact rolling my eyes at the first Superman movie as I re-watched it and realized how absurd it was that Lex Luthor would be able to deduce that meteor had to be Kryptonite simply because a planet blew up decades ago around the same time Superman would have laughed and he just figured it out didn’t make sense to me and I’m at that point and all those other markings compounded in my head the things people had said about Superman over the years he wears his underwear on the outside they said. And soul it really started to become real at that point. I do know that was two thousand and 7 and I know that was because I was living with a guy at the time friend a roommate who is obsessed with Superman and we watched the movies together because he was trying to remind me how much I shouldn’t hate Superman when I was mocking him for liking Superman and forgetting that I had at one point in time also like Superman
I know part of it was finding the Marvel Universe of characters far more fascinating as I fell in love with thoroughly the X-Men and also Spider-Man. After a while I started to believe the things people said about Superman and started to distance myself from him thinking he’s beneath me and people are weird for liking him and not only growing to hate the character growing to despise the company that he was a symbol representing but also questioning my filiation with people who put him on a pedestal also questioning myself why do I care so much about a fictional comic book hero? I didn’t answer that question at least not in a way I will brag about. All I learned is at some point I went from really liking the guy to really hating him and I don’t know why.
When I decided to get back into comic book collecting I knew I had to subscribe to Action Comics I told myself I’m subscribing to comic books because my goal is to play my small part in helping the industry obviously I don’t believe I can save the industry but I felt obligated to subscribe to some print Publications as at the time I was working for print publication and felt a kindred spirit with those produced in comic books. So I decided to start subscribing monthly the books to be delivered in my home and the first one I chose was Action Comics knowing that Superman despite my disinterest in the character what’s the pillar that holds the entire comic book industry even I know that his importance cannot be understated after all he is the world’s first superhero and probably the most iconic most popular and most important superhero by Leaps and Bounds above everybody else. Love him or hate him I could not deny his importance.
But then something happened something I didn’t expect I bought some comic books used off of eBay grab the couple off the shelf of my local comic book store and read them. It would be cliche to say my jaw dropped but it did I was amazed at how good these stories were and how enjoyable reading that character was and then I remembered how much I like to know the kid Nostalgia has a way of doing that reconnecting us to our childhood and a way that lists the fog of our memories and reminds us of the things although distorted that we may have forgotten. And I remember liking I remember waking up every day knowing that today is the day that a new episode of The Adventures of Superman comes on TNT and I couldn’t wait for it I had to see the newest episode I remember waiting anxiously for the Superman video game to come out on my game console of choice at the time having to rent it from Blockbuster video.
And I couldn’t remember how much I hated that character and now I can’t remember how much I loved him but I cannot remember or pinpoint at what point those emotions reversed. All I can say now is I very much regret all the time I missed enjoying the Superman exploits and stories fascinating dramas that were told in the pages of his books because now is I flip through Silver age books and Bronze Age books and Modern Age books and golden age books some on the digital platform stop physically in my hand I realize is quality of Storytelling and remain consistent throughout his entire history and I was a fool for thinking he was anything but the greatest superhero of all time. And now I can say I no longer hate the character I used to love I can now say he’s actually pretty good pretty cool he’s a nice guy he’s all right. And I don’t think I could have said that before.
And now I have to reflect not on what I missed not on why I dismiss to the character but on how do I move forward righting the wrongs of my own life? last summer I told my family I was a cross-dresser contemplating if I was transgendered or not. I decided at that point I couldn’t keep secrets anymore and now I realize I can’t keep secrets for myself either and I was lying to myself by saying I hated Superman when I secretly didn’t. I was afraid of being made fun of mocked for being a nerd anyways and even among comic book nerds Batman is considered cool Superman is considered a dork and despite the fact that I myself am more of a dork than cool I felt the need to root for the other guy for some reason.
None of this in any way has diminished my admiration for Batman. If anything it’s only made me appreciate the Dark Knight even more so the first trade paperback I bought featuring Kal-El the Kryptonian is in fact the greatest Batman versus Superman stories at least according to the Publishers of DC Comics who you know write them. Oh and yeah it actually now has me very fascinated and interested Beyond even curious to say the least in the Justice League and I can put some of the blame on that directed towards those so-called terrible dceu films everybody mocks. And hey I can admit that I like suicide squad and found it quite entertaining and most enjoyable because my favorite Batman movie of all time to me the best movie that fully represents the Batman is Batman Forever so clearly I can accept enjoy and appreciate a film other fans do not as much and that’s where I am now I don’t care what people think of me anymore I don’t care what people say I don’t care if I get made fun of I’m going to like what I like and that’s that. And if that means admitting that I like Superman then so be it what am I afraid of I mean so what if he wears women’s underwear it’s not like I haven’t.