Superman's creators discuss their inspiration

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
Greyhawk
Greyhawk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 4 weeks ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 01/03/2015 - 19:17
Superman's creators discuss their inspiration

This has been bandied about quite a bit lately, so I went digging around to see what I could find. It wasn't difficult once I found a good combination of keywords.

http://comicsalliance.com/superman-jerry-siegel-joe-shuster-creators-interview-video-action-comics/

The long and short of it is the inspiration for Superman originally came from silent film action stars and the roles they most frequently performed.

The messianic aspect that so many commentators have pointed to, including myself, is more a result of Jung's "collective unconscious" than a deliberate use of metaphor.

Sometimes being wrong is kind of interesting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My author page at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APIPZC?ref_=pe_584750_33951330

TheMightyPaladin
TheMightyPaladin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/27/2014 - 18:25
Creators are not always aware

Creators are not always aware of where their inspiration comes from.
Even if they are aware of it, they can be motivated to downplay or conceal some of their sources,
or to give credit where it isn't due.
Asking them can be interesting but sometimes it's just useless.
Phil Collins has always said he has no Idea where the inspiration for "In the Air Tonight" came from.
And Robert Plant says that he sees something different in "Stairway to Heaven" every time he hears it.

That's one of the coolest things about art:
We all see what we want to in it, to the extent that we're able
and no one's interpretation is ever wrong.
Unless we insist that ours is the only one that's right.

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 5 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
Reading that, one of the

Reading that, one of the first things I find funny is that just because Superman is superstrong, people assume his sperm is too :p Of course, I also hate "Man of Steel, Woman of Tissue" made even worse with the thankfulyl cut scene from Hancock.

When someone says Superman should be played by an American. I usually have to agree, if only because most British think James Bond should be played by someone from the British Isles.

And don't icons always try to peddle something? :p

I still think Supes and him being Jesus was another writer and editor trying to top everyone :p Might have been one of the things I like with current Spider-Man. Doc Ock seems to have proven he could one up Spidey but Spidey in the end was still the better HERO.

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 5 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
TheMightyPaladin wrote:
TheMightyPaladin wrote:

Creators are not always aware of where their inspiration comes from.
Even if they are aware of it, they can be motivated to downplay or conceal some of their sources,
or to give credit where it isn't due.
Asking them can be interesting but sometimes it's just useless.
Phil Collins has always said he has no Idea where the inspiration for "In the Air Tonight" came from.
And Robert Plant says that he sees something different in "Stairway to Heaven" every time he hears it.
That's one of the coolest things about art:
We all see what we want to in it, to the extent that we're able
and no one's interpretation is ever wrong.
Unless we insist that ours is the only one that's right.

Phil Collins said the lyrics just came to him to go along with the lyrics.

I can believe that. Not all lyrics have to have meant something to the song writer. In the case of song writers, I always thought it was good for them to not say what the song was really about, that way the audience can be moved by the song in their own way.

Like when a song comes on, sounds like it's a love song but it's really not about love. Maybe it's about something creepy or just all together unrelated. REM is a popular love song, though really, it's less a love song and a thanks for the playtime. :p

That said, I just don't think the creators of Superman ever saw him as a Jesus figure. Just like I don't think Spidey was ever seen like that, though the movie directors have liked the idea of putting it in there.

TheMightyPaladin
TheMightyPaladin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/27/2014 - 18:25
I never suggested that they

I never suggested that they did see him as a Jesus figure. In fact I was the first to point out that they were Jewish and much more likely to have been inspired by Samson. But I also believe there are other influences they might not have been aware of (both from this world and the worlds above and below) and I know for certain that there have been many other writers who've taken control of the character and his world. Curt Swan and John Byrne are probably the most influential (they certainly are in my mind).

ArticulateT
ArticulateT's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 2 days ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 02/18/2015 - 04:52
Readers will always pick up

Readers will always pick up on alternative interpretations of a character, no matter how the creators have gone about making them. I had little doubt that the messiah aspects of Superman's interpretation was not really part of the original concept, but more the fans viewing the character, and then reinforced when a few of those fans would later write Superman stories.

Reading that article, it is a little bit of an eye opener, though I can't honestly see the concept of Superheroes as a representation of military force, anti-feminist or just as something pertaining to violence and oppression.

I do a DnD Podcast, which can be listened to here.

Additionally, I write up my sessions of a Teen Heroes game here.

Mendicant
Mendicant's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/26/2013 - 11:27
Readers will often project

Readers will often project completely different ideas and concepts onto an author's work, even disagreeing with the author on what the author actually meant.

http://youtu.be/tQnAhSzb4gY

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 5 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
I instantly thought of that

I instantly thought of that scene before hitting the link :p

Gorgon
Gorgon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 05/15/2014 - 11:46
I thought part of the

I thought part of the inspiration was an earlier story with a character called Guardian (who was presumably behind the naming of that Marvel character as a tribute). And Sentry, for that matter.

__________________

The very existence of the taunting tank irritates, for it requires idiotic AI that obeys the taunt.