Shelby: Self-awareness is a very important strength to have. You need to know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, to exist in the world with other people. Sometimes you need to put your head down and push through a situation, and sometimes (more importantly, I think) you need to know when you can’t do something and ask for the help you need. The problem comes in when the help you need is in the form of erased memories of a man who used to be in the body you currently occupy.
Spencer: Identities change all the time in comics. Sometimes our Robins grow up into Red Robins or Nightwings; sometimes our Miss Marvels attain the rank of Captain Marvel; sometimes, rarely, Doctor Octopus can even become Spider-Man himself! This week’s issue of Superior Spider-Man again features Phil Urich, the former heroic Green Goblin and the current thief Hobgoblin, as he takes on yet another new identity and begins a new era of his life. What does this mean for Phil, and for that matter, what does it mean for Otto?!
Today, Patrick and Scott are discussing Superman Unchained 3, originally released August 21st, 2013.
Patrick: As problematic as Superman’s powers are for a narrative, Clark Kent’s moral purity proves even more bothersome. Mind you, it’s much easier for writers to dial down Clark’s ideology to bring him in line with modern heroes than it is to de-power him in any way: if Supes can’t stop a bullet with his chest, fans will cry foul; but if he starts making unscrupulous choices, only the purest purists will grumble. Plus, how else should Superman writers obey the mandate to make the characters younger and more relatable? Personality flaws, and plenty of ’em! It’s fascinating then, that when Scott Snyder trots a bigger, more powerful version of Superman, he also doubles down on reason and civility. If the goal of Superman Unchained is to put the concept of Superman on trial, then we’ve actually got to put both versions on trial: the invincible boyscout and powerful alien protectorate alike have to answer for their sins (even if they’re only sins of omission).