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Topic: Best ways to ensure Superman isn't boring (Read 323 times) previous topic - next topic
Best ways to ensure Superman isn't boring
As you can guess by the fact that I'm a Superman fan, I don't think Superman is an inherently boring character. Many versions of him that I've seen are very interesting and compelling. But I certainly can't say him, or his stories, being boring is impossible. So I thought I'd make a topic for collecting some of the best ways to make Superman and the stories about him compelling and engaging.

Here are some ways that I think would be pretty universally appealing:

  • Make sure to develop his personality and not just make him generic.
  • Show his personal struggles, interests, and goals.
  • Put him in situations that challenge him - on a physical level, yes, but even more importantly, on an emotional level.
  • Make stories be about him solving mysteries or other situations that require cleverness, rather than just brute strength.
  • Develop his relationships with other people as being multifaceted and interesting.

Here are some ways that I think make Superman and his stories more interesting, but which might be less universal:

  • Focus a lot on his life as Clark Kent. This is helpful on quite a few different levels. It makes things more challenging, both because he has to be careful about not revealing his secret, and because the situations he runs into are less likely to be solvable by strength and powers alone. It can allow you to see more about who he is apart from his superhero identity, and to focus on the other Daily Planet characters and his relationships with them.
  • Obviously an extension of the above, but have a lot of stories that make use of his, and his co-workers', journalistic investigations. This ties into the idea of challenging him with mysteries to solve.
  • Supervillains and cosmic stuff are nice, but I also like for Superman to face more grounded and reality-based problems. These can be particularly relevant to the real world and can potentially introduce more complexity, and can keep you from just focusing on powers, spectacle and fight scenes. Of course, the challenge is that these are less likely to challenge Superman physically, but that can sometimes be OK or overcome with clever writing if the version of Superman in question is not too unlimited in terms of power.