Jump to content


Getting an "Insecure Connection" warning for Exisle? No worry

Details in this thread

Supergirl - To Refit or Create New Characters

Supergirl Superman DC

  • Please log in to reply
95 replies to this topic

#81 G-man

G-man

    Is there a problem?

  • Moderator
  • 8,595 posts

Posted 12 June 2015 - 07:10 AM

Well, that's part of the hazards of adaptation, isn't it?

To my mind Jimmy Olsen was always the young co-worker at the Daily Planet who wanted to be more.  He was generally a nice guy who was often overlooked, except when some boring chore had to be done, and whom Clark/Superman happened to befriend.  In short, he made for a convenient side-kick, with whom the audience at large might identify.

If there's something to cause concern about Olsen in the Supergirl teaser (I bring up in a desperate attempt to get this thread back on track), is his apparent elevation from the mostly unappreciated side-kick to hunky mentor figure.  Nevermind the race, I think THAT is the biggest change they've made to the character.

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#82 BklnScott

BklnScott

    FKA ScottEVill

  • Islander
  • 18,142 posts

Posted 12 June 2015 - 11:08 AM

All of these adaptions are already highly-revisionist from the jump - radically so, I would think, from a point of view that screams bloody murder at cross-ethnic casting. That's one of the things that's so frustrating here - the claim that there is some originalist, Ur version of Jimmy Olsen, or ANY of these iconic superheroic figures, that is somehow corroded by cross-ethnic casting.

What does fealty to the original text even comprise in this context? Superman has been produced in 8-22 page increments per month over the course of three quarters of a century - and counting - by dozens if not hundreds of journeymen artists for hire. The text is rife with contradictions, both deliberate and unintentional. When you come to a contradiction, as an adapter, what should control? Mind you, when he was introduced, Superman killed people left and right and could not fly. Batman carried guns. Wonder Woman was the JSA's secretary. Presumably returning to the original depictions isn't an option for folks freaking out about a nonwhite Jimmy Olsen… which is interesting and perhaps starts to make it clear that arguing about the "original versions" of these figures is not as straight-forward as some seem to think.

Quote

There isn't enough mommy in the world to further a cause like yours!

#83 RJDiogenes

RJDiogenes

    Idealistic Cynic

  • Demigod
  • 13,617 posts

Posted 12 June 2015 - 06:01 PM

View PostG-man, on 12 June 2015 - 07:10 AM, said:

Well, that's part of the hazards of adaptation, isn't it?  
Indeed, which is why they almost never work for me.

Quote

If there's something to cause concern about Olsen in the Supergirl teaser (I bring up in a desperate attempt to get this thread back on track), is his apparent elevation from the mostly unappreciated side-kick to hunky mentor figure.  Nevermind the race, I think THAT is the biggest change they've made to the character.  
Exactly.  Just another example of a character burdened with a recycled name who has no connection to his namesake. Maybe not quite as egregious as Sherlock Holmes, but there are so many of them these days.
Please visit The RJDiogenes Store. Posted Image   And my Gallery. Posted Image And my YouTube Page. Posted Image And read Trunkards. Posted Image  And then there's my Heroes Essays.  Posted Image

#84 sierraleone

sierraleone

    All things Great and Mischievous

  • Islander
  • 9,215 posts

Posted 12 June 2015 - 06:57 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 12 June 2015 - 06:01 PM, said:

Quote

If there's something to cause concern about Olsen in the Supergirl teaser (I bring up in a desperate attempt to get this thread back on track), is his apparent elevation from the mostly unappreciated side-kick to hunky mentor figure.  Nevermind the race, I think THAT is the biggest change they've made to the character.  
Exactly.  Just another example of a character burdened with a recycled name who has no connection to his namesake. Maybe not quite as egregious as Sherlock Holmes, but there are so many of them these days.

Having a character remain static and unchanging (even the same itineration) is not well thought out. Should people imagine Olsen the same no matter what age he is, or whatever situations or milestones he has gone through? That is something people sometimes complain about. Characters going through life-changing situations and not changing at all. Sure, some people do seem perpetually stuck in a certain development phase :D But other than comedic relief characters I would definitely want to see characters change or grow. Sure, we can stick Olsen at the same age forever for nostalgia, but it isn't realistic. If I understand the story correctly Kara arrived on Earth around age 7-10, and her cousin was already all grown up. So it is some 10-15 years later. Sure, perhaps they didn't need to put Olsen in this story, but say Kara went to go visit her cousin and his friends when they are in their early to mid 30s, or even older. Would you not imagine Olsen more mature and different than how he was traditionally portrayed? Not saying someone can't be an unappreciated perpetually (story of some people's lives ;) ), but I'd imagine there would still be some changes. Perhaps that is the appeal of some stories to some people, the characters never have to change, at the core, just reset after each adventure, and be stuck at one age/stage of development for 70+ years.
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#85 Omega

Omega

    Maktel shcree lotak meta setak Oz!

  • Moderator
  • 4,028 posts

Posted 12 June 2015 - 08:29 PM

So is it changing a character if all you do is explore the same person at a different stage in life?

#86 Virgil Vox

Virgil Vox
  • Moderator
  • 5,293 posts

Posted 12 June 2015 - 09:35 PM

Quote

If there's something to cause concern about Olsen in the Supergirl teaser (I bring up in a desperate attempt to get this thread back on track), is his apparent elevation from the mostly unappreciated side-kick to hunky mentor figure.  Nevermind the race, I think THAT is the biggest change they've made to the character.

This doesn't bother me because it's not Superman's story, it's Supergirl's. She's starting her superhero career long after Superman has been established and it makes sense that Superman's supporting cast has also moved on from their typical roles. I'm looking forward to seeing how Jimmy has grown. At first I didn't like the idea of a cool, all ready established Jimmy but I think it works in the pilot.

Quote

But what chance does Black Jimmy Olson have of making history as that Black iconic member of the Superman family?  Zero.  Because Jimmy Olson already exists.  Therefore this character will end up a novelty, not an icon.  An opportunity missed. That's the problem.

I hate to prolong this debate but a black Jimmy Olsen can become iconic, at least for this show and its viewers. There are going to be people introduced to the Superman mythology through the Supergirl TV series and for them Jimmy being black isn't a big deal. It's what they'll expect from the comics or other adaptations.

My first big introduction to Superman and his mythology, besides a few comics here and there, was Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Because of that show I find a Perry White that isn't obsessed over Elvis and isn't deeply involved in his reporter's lives odd. Same for any comic or adaptation that says that Superman is the real identity and Clark Kent is the disguise. It's also why I found it odd that in Superman Returns Lois and Clark seemed to barely have been friends. I was used to them being partners and then lovers and then married. The same thing could happen to the viewers of the Supergirl TV series. Even if Jimmy Olsen stays white in every other adaptation it doesn't mean that the Jimmy in Supergirl is less than the other Jimmys from other movies, TV shows, or comics.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#87 gsmonks

gsmonks

    Tree Psychiatrist

  • Islander
  • 5,078 posts

Posted 12 June 2015 - 10:09 PM

Just an aside about minstrel shows, in order to scotch some misunderstandings and errors:

They weren't black-face. That was vaudeville, aka "white face", aka various politically incorrect terms.

In both vaudeville and minstrel shows, actors of both colours whited and blacked up, and in some instances blacked up and whited over, and vice versa, in order to play blacks and whites blacking and whiting up.

Vaudeville and minstrel actors and musicians routinely crossed over to each other's venues. Because of segregation (1870's to 1960's) they weren't allowed to overtly appear on stage together.

Society may have been segregated, but most of the musicians and actors weren't.

Edited by gsmonks, 12 June 2015 - 10:10 PM.

Capitalism is a pyramid scheme run by the 1%.

#88 RJDiogenes

RJDiogenes

    Idealistic Cynic

  • Demigod
  • 13,617 posts

Posted 13 June 2015 - 04:24 PM

View PostOmega, on 12 June 2015 - 08:29 PM, said:

So is it changing a character if all you do is explore the same person at a different stage in life?  
Not necessarily.  It depends on why you do it and what the result is.  Take Ben Grimm, for example. For over fifty years, he's wanted to be cured of being the Thing.  You could do that and it would give you new stories to explore, but it would ruin the tragic nature of the character.  You've got to ask what the essence of the character is, and would a new character be a better choice.  For me, the answer is almost always new character.

View PostVirgil Vox, on 12 June 2015 - 09:35 PM, said:

I hate to prolong this debate but a black Jimmy Olsen can become iconic, at least for this show and its viewers. There are going to be people introduced to the Superman mythology through the Supergirl TV series and for them Jimmy being black isn't a big deal. It's what they'll expect from the comics or other adaptations.  
Yeah, there's that.  But what can I say, it still feels like sloppy seconds to me.

View Postgsmonks, on 12 June 2015 - 10:09 PM, said:

Just an aside about minstrel shows, in order to scotch some misunderstandings and errors:

They weren't black-face. That was vaudeville, aka "white face", aka various politically incorrect terms.

In both vaudeville and minstrel shows, actors of both colours whited and blacked up, and in some instances blacked up and whited over, and vice versa, in order to play blacks and whites blacking and whiting up.

Vaudeville and minstrel actors and musicians routinely crossed over to each other's venues. Because of segregation (1870's to 1960's) they weren't allowed to overtly appear on stage together.

Society may have been segregated, but most of the musicians and actors weren't.  
Very true (and, coincidentally, a factor in one of my WIPs).  That's why there were miscegenation laws-- you don't make laws against something people aren't doing.  But evoking a minstrel show is a nice shorthand to make a point about how this kind of gimmick feels to me.
Please visit The RJDiogenes Store. Posted Image   And my Gallery. Posted Image And my YouTube Page. Posted Image And read Trunkards. Posted Image  And then there's my Heroes Essays.  Posted Image

#89 gsmonks

gsmonks

    Tree Psychiatrist

  • Islander
  • 5,078 posts

Posted 14 June 2015 - 05:04 AM

Yeah, the token black Vulcan in Plymouth Voyager thing kind of thing grates on my sensibilities, too.

Brent Butt had the right approach in Corner Gas. Lorne Cardinal's being native was never mentioned- not once. He was there, that was enough, and that's how it should be.
Capitalism is a pyramid scheme run by the 1%.

#90 zarkon

zarkon
  • Islander
  • 125 posts

Posted 14 June 2015 - 09:15 AM

I am not a big contributor here, but I am truly in awe of the expertise of those that know so much about these shows and the associated books and everything else that goes along with various avenues of entertainment.

But this thread is amazing in an odd sort of way.  

However, is there any chance the title to this topic can be changed?

In less than a dozen replies on the first page, this is no longer about the Super Girl Pilot, and I suspect when it really airs, any comments might end up buried in here among all these other topics.

I keep coming in here hoping to find out more about the pilot, etc

I am in no way asking this discussion to end, as everyone is entitled to their opinions, but it should be noted in the title of this thread what is really being discussed here.

Then we can choose more wisely  ;-)

I also hope in no way does this request offend any of the many excellent contributors to this forum.   I am very glad this forum exists. :cool:

Edited by zarkon, 14 June 2015 - 09:16 AM.


#91 sierraleone

sierraleone

    All things Great and Mischievous

  • Islander
  • 9,215 posts

Posted 14 June 2015 - 09:33 AM

View Postgsmonks, on 14 June 2015 - 05:04 AM, said:

Yeah, the token black Vulcan in Plymouth Voyager thing kind of thing grates on my sensibilities, too.

Brent Butt had the right approach in Corner Gas. Lorne Cardinal's being native was never mentioned- not once. He was there, that was enough, and that's how it should be.

There is a different between not mentioning something, and ignoring something. I guess it depends on how relevant it is to the character and the community specifically, and the subject matter of the story. And it doesn't have to be in every episode, of course.

If the show was about a workplace much more than the personal lives of the main characters (say most criminal procedure out there) you would not expect someone's religion, culture, circumstances growing up, etc. to come up that much. Even a drama. Unless they are visually distinct in dress from the average Joe/Jane Schmoe, but even then it doesn't need to be commented on.

And I am not saying that Corner Gas did that balance incorrectly, the show was a comedy on small town Canadian prairie life :D IIRC wasn't there an episode where someone was trying to off-load some dream-catchers? On e-bay or something? Or maybe that was another show? I only watched the show occasionally. Little Mosque on the Prairie could be argued to be in the same genre I suppose (comedy on small town Canadian prairie life that is), but I feel that that show could have worked without the Mosque in the title, or many of the characters being Muslim. They dealt with the same interpersonal problems you see in lots of comedy shows :) From what I saw of that show (probably about the same amount as Corner Gas).

View Postzarkon, on 14 June 2015 - 09:15 AM, said:

I am not a big contributor here, but I am truly in awe of the expertise of those that know so much about these shows and the associated books and everything else that goes along with various avenues of entertainment.

But this thread is amazing in an odd sort of way.  

However, is there any chance the title to this topic can be changed?

In less than a dozen replies on the first page, this is no longer about the Super Girl Pilot, and I suspect when it really airs, any comments might end up buried in here among all these other topics.

Hi Zarkon :) I don't mind if the thread gets a title change, or an amended add-on after the original title. (ETA - note: not that that decision, or ability, rests with me, nor am I the thread starter). In any case, yeah, when it does air, the pilot is going to need its own thread.

Edited by sierraleone, 14 June 2015 - 09:34 AM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#92 RJDiogenes

RJDiogenes

    Idealistic Cynic

  • Demigod
  • 13,617 posts

Posted 14 June 2015 - 04:56 PM

View Postgsmonks, on 14 June 2015 - 05:04 AM, said:

Yeah, the token black Vulcan in Plymouth Voyager thing kind of thing grates on my sensibilities, too.  
I liked Tuvok, but the weird thing, of course, is how they started to give aliens the same ethnic groups as humans. It would have been more creative to give aliens different sub-populations.  Oddly, back in those days, my brothers and I used to do weekly creative challenges-- story jams, stuff like that-- and one thing we did was create our own Star Trek shows. Mine had a Black Vulcan, but she was Black because she was half human, and thus unique. She's been migrated over to my own Space-Opera-In-Progress, but as a neo-Buddhist, since I don't have Vulcans. :lol:

View Postzarkon, on 14 June 2015 - 09:15 AM, said:

I also hope in no way does this request offend any of the many excellent contributors to this forum.   I am very glad this forum exists. :cool:  
Hey, Zarkon, no offense taken and sorry about going so far off topic. I'd be find with a name change if the Mods want to do so.

View Postsierraleone, on 14 June 2015 - 09:33 AM, said:

There is a different between not mentioning something, and ignoring something. I guess it depends on how relevant it is to the character and the community specifically, and the subject matter of the story. And it doesn't have to be in every episode, of course.  
Sounds similar to Northern Exposure, which was a great show for American Indian themes and elements.
Please visit The RJDiogenes Store. Posted Image   And my Gallery. Posted Image And my YouTube Page. Posted Image And read Trunkards. Posted Image  And then there's my Heroes Essays.  Posted Image

#93 Cybersnark

Cybersnark

    NERV wants YOU!

  • Islander
  • 2,571 posts

Posted 17 June 2015 - 02:27 PM

Just skimming, because I haven't watched the pilot, but apropos of cool mentor-figure Jimmy, he'd already gotten pretty badass in the pre-Flashpoint comics (before the universe was rebooted again). He may have still been an everyman, but he was the everyman who was used to aliens and superhumans and rushing into burning buildings to rescue civilians while Superman took care of the bigger problems.

They even eventually revealed that he's known who Superman was for years and had kept quiet about it ("you think I wouldn't recognize my best friend when I take a picture of him?").

View PostRJDiogenes, on 11 June 2015 - 06:21 PM, said:

Now they could have created a brand-new Black character, like these other shows did, and that character could have become just as iconic as Jimmy Olson.  That would have been something, huh?  An iconic Black character standing up there with Superman and Lois and Jimmy and Perry.
Oh, hey Ron, didn't see you there.

For that matter, how 'bout Natasha Irons as Kara's requisite tech-support (with or without a suit of armour)? She already has a history of working with Supergirl in some universes, and she has a ready-made backstory that both connects her to and distances her from Metropolis (she wants to get out from under her uncle's shadow).
"Hilarity ensues." --Seamus Harper

#94 RJDiogenes

RJDiogenes

    Idealistic Cynic

  • Demigod
  • 13,617 posts

Posted 17 June 2015 - 05:55 PM

There you go.  Why don't they promote Ron Troupe?

As for badass Jimmy--I'm so tired of everybody having to be a badass.
Please visit The RJDiogenes Store. Posted Image   And my Gallery. Posted Image And my YouTube Page. Posted Image And read Trunkards. Posted Image  And then there's my Heroes Essays.  Posted Image

#95 G-man

G-man

    Is there a problem?

  • Moderator
  • 8,595 posts

Posted 18 June 2015 - 09:33 AM

Hunh, I was totally in ignorance of Ron Troupe, which might be why they opted to refit the more familiar Jimmy Olson as opposed to introducing this guy.  Not sure if I agree with that decision -- but given my own unfamiliarity with the character, I can understand them thinking that most of their anticipated audience would also be unfamiliar with him.

OTOH, I always considered DC's Jimmy Olsen and Marvel's Rick Jones to be much alike, the professional side-kick of their respective universes who, because of whom they had "hung-out" with, had acquired the experience and sang froid necessary to deal with the extraordinary that they would later encounter.  So, being an experienced professional in the field of "hero-support" who better to help acclimatize a new hero, and act as go between than Jimmy Olsen?  

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself

Edited by G-man, 18 June 2015 - 09:40 AM.

Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#96 RJDiogenes

RJDiogenes

    Idealistic Cynic

  • Demigod
  • 13,617 posts

Posted 18 June 2015 - 05:47 PM

Come to think of it, there's another parallel, too.  There was a Black character named Jim Wilson who became the Hulk's new buddy/sidekick in the 70s when Rick Jones had moved on to other stuff.  Marvel ignored him in the 80s and then killed him off with AIDs in the 90s.
Please visit The RJDiogenes Store. Posted Image   And my Gallery. Posted Image And my YouTube Page. Posted Image And read Trunkards. Posted Image  And then there's my Heroes Essays.  Posted Image



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Supergirl, Superman, DC

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users