Chatter: Tom Spurgeon

I like Superman movies. I have fond memories of seeing that first big-budget effort back when I was a young man, and I still enjoy the barrel-chested, gun-dodging performance of George Reeves on the television show whenever I see that one on cable. I'm sure there are a lot of others that are pretty good, too. 
I like Superman comics a lot more. 
I think Superman's primary value isn't as a global icon or some sort of universal licensing mechanism but as a comic book character in really good comic books. They're not my favorite comic books in the world, but I think a lot of the comic books with Superman in them are good, fun and affecting: the early Siegel-Shuster material; the increasingly obtuse and arch material of the 1950s; the wonderful Bizarro, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen stories; Jack Kirby's affecting use of the characters as a sideways element in his Fourth World stories; the well-meaning retrenching of the character and concept in the 1970s; some of what writers like Alan Moore and then later guys like Joe Casey have done in short bursts since.
-Tom Spurgeon

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