This is the kind of thing I really love (I actually got excited watching the intro to the Superman/Elite movie for the first time ). 75 years is definitely something to honor and I don't think there are that many better ways to do it. I'm really curious about what it will look like: something that looks fully animated like a cinematic release or something that's more on par with the best stuff we see in the dtvs.
"I'm here to keep the stinkin' sprouts off the mac 'n' cheese!" - The Punisher
Batman stories than Superman stories.
The Byrne run was successful, but not entirely because of the quality of writing. Crisis on Infinite Earths, followed by the post-Crisis reboot of the entire DC Universe, was a pretty big attention-grabbing event in comics. It's kind of like what happened in the first few months of the New 52; good or bad writing, sales were going to be up. There are a few aspects of Byrne's run I think were great, but it's also worth noting that throughout the years since Byrne's run, DC has eschewed several of those ideas.
Superman at all, but that this Superman wasn't the one that was going to be juggling planets or breaking the time barrier or anything. They depowered him pretty significantly (akin to what Byrne aimed for in his post-Crisis reboot), but it didn't take much to just readjust my expectations on how powerful this Superman was. Even at his lower power levels, he still had way more than any other human on the planet. Superman is a power fantasy -- it's important that he is the biggest boy on the block (which is also why I think it's best to keep him and Captain Marvel/Shazam as far away from each other as possible), but I thought STAS still achieved that easily even at his lower power levels.
Also, relating to the Byrne run, I remember really liking it a lot at the time (when I was all of 14 or 15), but after re-reading it recently, I felt like Byrne was playing a very, very good game by the old rules while writers like Frank Miller and Alan Moore were off re-writing the rule book. As a result, it just became dated really really fast. Even then, I think George Perez was more successful overall with his Wonder Woman reboot than Byrne was with his reboot of Superman, and even Byrne's work with Chris Claremont on Uncanny X-Men ended up aging better than Byrne's Superman.
Regarding power levels and foes, I recently re-watched Apokolips....Now! and couldn't help but think the major problem was (as is later on in Legacy) less so the level of his power and more so the lack of detail in the fights. I have no problem with Superman not being the strongest, but it's the anti-climatic fights that drag the DCAU stuff down. "Oh boy, Stepphenwolf is on the scene! He's supposed to be one of Darkseid's true aces, right?" And then...nothing actually happened. Darkseid kicking the ever-loving stuffing out of Superman in one shot works here because you have to built the hype for the arc's climax. Apokolips...Now! had no interesting fighting, just Superman being dragged down by Parademons. Ten minutes of Stepphenwolf tanking all of Superman's trusted moves would have been more interesting than that. Of course, the two-parter also has the problem of being four episodes worth of story and character haphazardly cut down into two, so there's that going against it, too. This is actually something I feel they improved upon with Justice League, essentially making those fifty-two episodes feel like twenty-six Star Trek episodes. Of course, the animation and storyboarding was still awful, but c'est la vie.
I've written a lot in the past about power levels and stuff for Superman, so I'll briefly state I thought they used a cheap tactic to inject drama in action scenes. As far as de-powering goes, Silver Age is to Byrne as Byrne is to STAS. If they started off making Superman more like he was in the second season of the JL cartoon, that would've been plenty good. It's been said before that JL season 1 Superman was, power-wise, the same guy as in STAS. I agree, and that's one of the problems of STAS.
Edit: In regard to Jacob's comment about the lack of detail in the fight sequences, I think de-powering Superman actually was an enabling factor that helped push the storyboarders, animators, etc., to plot out these generic sequences. Not the cause, an enabler, or something that subconsciously pushed the equilibrium away from creative, novel, and original, so that's another strike against de-powering in my book.
I agree on all counts with both STAS and Byrne's Man of Steel/Superman run.
One thing that should be remembered is that Timm was trying to take Superman back to the Max Fleischer era a bit, where Superman actually struggled a little, so it wouldn't come so easily for the character as the later comics would show with him moving planet and such.
Just spotted during my lunch: Entertainment Weekly has exclusive video of the short and some background on it from Bruce Timm himself. It began life when they approached Snyder to do a DC Nation short, he came up with this and they realized the awesomeness couldn't be contained in a minute.
This is phenomenal and references all kinds of cool stuff. The original look, Max Fleischer Superman, Superman TAS naturally, other versions as well and some iconic moments you can probably guess...ah, I don't want to spoil it, go see it. The shift between iterations is seamless, everything looks really good, it's just first-rate stuff.
Don't forget, as Toonzone & others reported this is running on Cartoon Network. Wednesday, October 16th, 6:58 PM. This'll be even better on TV.
Superman: 75 years of heroic history in one 2-minute animated short | Inside Movies | EW.com
I would suggest that it's not the medium, but the quality of perception and expression, that determines the significance of art. But what would a cartoonist know? -Bill Watterson
A special talkback thread will go up on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 for the official debut of the "Superman 75" animated short, but feel free to keep discussing the online preview of the short in this thread until then.
If you haven't watch the video on the EW site, the short is already in the DC Comics youtube account.
I'll wait for the "official" talkback thread to post some comments so I don't spoil anything from those who hasn't seen it, but I have to say that this animated short is 2 minutes of awesome :anime:
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