Making Evaluations

evaluations


PowerPoint: evaluations

 

 


 

1

Returning to the example of Superman saving the young girl on page 96 in All-Star Superman, the page opens with a long shot of a young woman on the edge of a building. The obvious implication presented visually here is that she is thinking of jumping to her death. There is no need for text here; the audience can clearly see and interpret the scene visually of a young girl in distress, with tears in her eyes. Rather than seeing Superman swoop in and save her after she jumps (a stereotypical and expected superhero trope) the audience witnesses something new and even more powerful. In a series of vertical panels (running parallel to the original long shot), Superman lands behind the young woman, puts his hand on her shoulder, and reassuringly tells her that her doctor really was “held up” and that “It’s never as bad as it seems . . . You’re much stronger than you think you are. Trust me” (All-Star Superman, Vol. 2 96). Superman is letting this girl, who obviously appears to suffer from some form of mental illness, that suicide is not the way out, she is stronger than her pain. Superman demonstrates his ability as a messenger of hope here. Superman not only models strength that can be seen by others, but he also attempts, as Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca note, “to incite to an action inspired by it” (The New Rhetoric 362). Superman could have saved the young woman after she jumped, while she was falling, and then imparted to her the lesson, like some father figure “wagging his finger” at her telling her “now don’t do that again” (also an argument of authority), but he does not. Instead, Superman provides a concrete demonstration of his own abstract principles of his excellence. In fact, he does more than model it; he shares it with someone, as an equal, rather than “lording it over” them in some form of superiority. Superman is indicating to the young woman, and to the audience, that he is like us. More so, he imparts his belief of the greatness and good we are capable of and expresses his wish, by his example, to help us see it for ourselves.

Use Above Picture and Text to Answer to the Following Information:

Concise Description: Provide us with a 2-3 sentence summary of the scene depicted

Criteria: Is this a good example or representation of “what” Superman is all about, his essence? 

Discussion of Subject: Discuss and apply criteria found in the question based on information given

Balanced and Fair Assessment: Assess your review and stance in answering the question

Well-Supported Reasons: Use evidence from comic page and description and discussion after to support your position.

 

 

2

Superman was the hero of those who had been hit the worst by the Great Depression. This Superman was also “outside” the law, and this was evident from his very first story. In Action Comics #1, Superman made his first appearance, and it was a first appearance that was engaging, provocative, and ambiguous. The very cover of Action Comics #1 set the tone for the ambiguity of the story. The story within gave a brief, one page explanation of “where” Superman comes from and his powers, along with a scientific explanation of his powers, before launching right into what appears to be the middle of a narrative already in progress (Siegel and Shuster 4-5). With almost no real context or set up, the audience witnesses Superman leaping out of the sky with a woman under his arm. It’s not a woman he’s rescued from some nefarious crime, but, rather, someone who is perhaps a criminal. Over the next 3 pages, after Superman deposits the woman on the lawn, declaring as he dashes away, “Make yourself comfortable! I haven’t the time to attend to it” (6). This scene on page 3 is immediately followed by the depiction of Superman forcing his way into the governor’s mansion. Inside, he manhandles the butler, breaks down a steal door, harmlessly absorbs a point-blank gunshot, and provides evidence that saves a woman from being executed in the electric chair (5-7)[1]. Only four pages into the story, one can imagine some young kid being completely engrossed in what they have just read and viewed. Still, we (the audience) really are not one hundred percent sure who this “Superman” figure really is yet.

Use Above Picture and Text to Answer to the Following Information:

Concise Description: Provide us with a 2-3 sentence summary of the scene depicted

Criteria: How engaging or enticing might it be to read on in Action Comics #1 if all one has to go on is the cover?

 Discussion of Subject: Discuss and apply criteria found in the question based on information given

 Balanced and Fair Assessment: Assess your review and stance in answering the question

 Well-Supported Reasons: Use evidence from comic page and description and discussion after to support your position.

 

 

3

Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery is one of those stories that just tends to “trip you out” if one is unprepared for reading it. Knowing something of Grant Morrison’s life and feelings about superheroes, one cannot escape the strange feeling that Flex Mentallo is part meta-narrative of Morrison’s own life (fictiaonlized) mixed in with wishfulfillment of superheroes being “real.” The scene above appears to represent something other than the normal version of “wishfulfilment” though. In the usual envisionment, what is fictional and not real “appears” to become real in our world. This page from Flex Mentallo appears to demonstrate the exact opposite. Rather than becoming real from an incoporial, fictional existence, the characters (superheroes?) slam into ground, one declaring as they do “It’s not death. Prepare to become fictional” as they appear to “die” in order to return to some kind of incoporial, fictional state.

In “Comics You Should Own – Flex Mentallo” George Burgas exclaims: “This blending of fiction and reality allows Morrison to examine how we deal with fiction and imagination” (Burgas).

“This lack of imagination in the modern world is tied to maturity, as other Morrison projects are, but what he wants us to consider is that in growing up, we perhaps inhabit an entire different universe than the one in which we lived when we were young.”

Wallace Sage, a character in the narrative, who all of this occurring might very well be the product of his imagination makes the point of saying to some person on the phone: “‘They talk to you all the time when you’re little. They live in … I don’t know … it’s like a factory where ideas are made. They escaped from ‘the Absolute’ but the plan went wrong. Reality was flawed from the beginning. I mean, haven’t you ever felt like there’s something missing? They want to come back home. We can save the world if we can just … If I can just remember my magic word … What? No, the world doesn’t have to be the way it is. We can be them.”

Working with the comments made by Sage (voicing Morrison himself), do you find this page of imagery above to be compelling or persuasive in any way? This is what I want you to evaluate.

Use Above Picture and Text to Answer to the Following Information:

Concise Description: Provide us with a 2-3 sentence summary of the scene depicted 

Criteria: Working with the comments made by Sage (voicing Morrison himself), do you find this page of imagery above to be compelling or persuasive in any way?

Discussion of Subject: Discuss and apply criteria found in the question based on information given

 Balanced and Fair Assessment: Assess your review and stance in answering the question

 Well-Supported Reasons: Use evidence from comic page and description and discussion after to support your position.

 

 

4

Batman: Year One still remains one of the very best ways of entering into the “Batman” universe. This is not to take away from Batman: Zero Year (crafted recently by Zack Snyder and Greg Capullo), but Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli story remains the cornerstone for how many people imagine the origins of Batman becoming Batman. In particular, there is this scene found in the first issue. This is where, after a night out fighting crime without a disguise, Bruce Wayne decides he needs to become something more. It is from this scene, depicted here for the first time in image form (previously only described in passing) that Bruce Wayne is seen coming to the realization that to strike fear into criminals, he must become something that preys upon their fears and “frieghtens” them. This comes on the heels of having gone out on his own that evening, in a mask, and almost being killed by both criminals and cops in a crossfire.

Use Above Picture and Text to Answer to the Following Criteria:

Concise Description: Provide us with a 2-3 sentence summary of the scene depicted

Criteria: Is this a good depiction of Bruce Wayne’s decision to become Batman?

Discussion of Subject: Discuss and apply criteria found in the question based on information given

Balanced and Fair Assessment: Assess your review and stance in answering the question

 Well-Supported Reasons: Use evidence from comic page and description and discussion after to support your position.

 

 

5

A central element in Johns and Frank’s narrative is the visual homage and re-accentuation of Richard Donner’s vision of Superman in his films: Superman: The Movie (1978) and Superman II (1980). In particular, Geoff Johns, who worked for Richard Donner before becoming a writer at DC, along with Gary Frank, craft their Superman in the likeness of Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman in the Donner films.

Superman holds Lois Lane above Metropolis, one can see an illustration of the principles of Greenblatt’s self-fashioning at work. Superman’s likeness, the drawing of that re-accentuation, serves as the identifying element for the audience. Looking more closely at Lois in this image, a division occurs. More important in this scene of Superman embracing Lois Lane is the expression found upon her face. The expression appears to be filled, in contrast to Superman’s calming face, with mixed emotions: anxiety, surprise, astonishment, and even a little fear. Considering that the third governing condition laid out by Greenblatt for self-fashioning notes that it “is achieved in relation to something perceived as alien, strange, or hostile,” one must consider that Superman’s appearance to Lois represents quite a shock (Renaissance Self-Fashioning 9). Superman comes off as definitely alien and strange by the manner of dress (his costume), but also through the display superhuman powers. The same knee-jerk reaction can be construed all the way back in Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics #1. Here, the cover of the issue provided no context for the perceived damage and chaos Superman inflicted by slamming a car into a boulder. One had to read the issue to uncover the context. For without it, one might easily misperceive Superman as a hostile threat or even a criminal. That same sense of ambiguity and tension emerges here via Lois’ response and expression.

Use Above Picture and Text to Answer to the Following Criteria:

Concise Description: Provide us with a 2-3 sentence summary of the scene depicted

Criteria: Does this image alter and yet remain familiar the way we interpret Superman?

Discussion of Subject: Discuss and apply criteria found in the question based on information given

Balanced and Fair Assessment: Assess your review and stance in answering the question

 Well-Supported Reasons: Use evidence from comic page and description and discussion after to support your position.

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Author:

Recently received my PhD in Rhetoric from Texas Woman's University

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