As said before, it’s not so much about hating Kal-El but rather realising that he’s very wasted and expendable. Writers really have nothing interesting to do with him that he might as well be replaced. Superman (and any Super character) losing their powers isn’t new, that’s been done before as early as an unpublished Superman story goes.
Both Supergirl and Superboy either have lost their powers or got them reduced before, perhaps several times over. At this point, somebody needs to do something new and different to the Superman franchise. I even think Superman really needs a reboot, right down to the concept.
It’s also safe to say that every attempt at renewing and expanding the Superman franchise and concept feels like a gimmick. Not just in the comics but also onscreen. So far we have a junior Superman programme four times, a female Superman programme, Superman in a slice of life setting, cartoon Superman and a darker, edgier Superman.
It would be very radical to not only get rid of all the other Supers and Kryptonians, even making Krypton entirely gone for good but also bring in a replacement or heir. If the Gods and Monsters film is any indication, a new take on Superman would involve replacing Kal-El with someone else.
Perhaps it’s about time to retire Kal-El just to renew the Superman franchise.
There’s nothing wrong with giving Superman youthful and/or female counterparts except that they’re made redundant by his very own existence. One might say that both Supergirl and Superboy are flawed from the get-go.
Mike Smith pointed out that the problem with Supergirl is that she’s practically redundant. Perhaps even moreso than Batgirl, Spider-Woman and She-Hulk though they’re gimmicks.
She continually gets written out and is made stranger by the minute. Her depiction in the New 52 shouldn’t be that surprising where she became a Red Lantern. On television, she’s Superman in drag.
Funny enough the same can be said of Superboy. He’s a younger Superman, regardless if he’s Kal or Kon. Like Supergirl, he often gets written out which is why all the other Superboys have been getting stranger as it’s already occupied by other characters, including Supergirl herself!
The original Superboy turned out to be a fake or duplicate. Superboy Prime went nuts. Kon’s backstory and personality has been rewritten so often that writers have no idea what to do with him other than get killed and replaced by someone else and then be brought back.
We might have our patience tested with Kon turning out to be James’s brother on Supergirl and realise there’s something wrong with them after all.
As the Siegels and Shusters continue to fight over Superman, there’s a possibility that Kal-El has to retire or go away for good. Not because I hate him but because of the way the Superman franchise is heading would mean purging or excising essential problems.
The Superman case will be revisited again, which prompts DC to retire Kal-El and Krypton. In fact, by the time this happens the original Superman is dead for good and all of Krypton is gone.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be any Supergirls, Superboys and Supermen out there. All that it takes is a replacement or heir that would change the Superman franchise.
Not necessarily for better or worse, just something that happens in light of copyright and estates.
Superhero media will have its Evangelion moment in Supergirl. For those who don’t know, Evangelion’s a controversial cartoon due to its botched ending and increasingly graphic content that got it re-aired at a much later timeslot.
Not to mention its equally controversial 1997 film. (The same thing can be said of it predecessor and influence, Ideon.) It also received death threats when it was drawing to a close.
Here’s what will happen. Considering Supergirl’s declining ratings, it’s going to pull an Evangelion. Rather than introducing Kal-El, producers will have Kon-El turn out to be James Olsen’s baby brother.
To make matters worse, they introduce another Superboy. This leads to so many death threats on set that the programme gets moved to a later timeslot and Flash and Arrow do the same.
Especially with punk detective Barry Allen and masturbating Felicity Smoak. From then on, Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad bomb the box office putting an end to the superhero fad for eternity.
Supergirl starts featuring two Superboys. The first being Kon-El/Conner, James Olsen’s missing kid brother. The second being Jon Lane Kent, Superboy Prime. These episodes generate so much controversy that they invite death threats on set.
These get carried over to the Flash and Arrow, especially if they have a punk detective Barry Allen and masturbating Felicity Smoak. They all get moved to midnight timeslots, which becomes the norm for superhero television.
They also get repurposed into infomercials for upcoming webcomics and novels. This causes DC to do a Star Wars onto its comics continuity. The webcomics become the official versions from now on with the TV programmes being the adverts.
The print comics are now considered both drafts and apocryphal. Some readers wouldn’t like this but it’s going to be the case from now on.
Superhero fatigue draws closer and could change the superhero genre’s direction forever, possibly making it parallel anime all the more. Both of them have bifurcated markets since the 70s. OVAs, Comic Market and Direct Market are for hardcore fans. TV programmes, magazines sales and book sales are for casual readers and viewers alike.
Considering Supergirl’s declining ratings, it could take a cue or two from Evangelion. First it introduces two Superboys, the first is Kon-El being James Olsen’s little brother. It generates so much controversy that Supergirl’s continually greeted with death threats which gets carried over to the Flash and Arrow.
Then all three of them move to late night timeslots and become infomercials for more successful webcomics. This has happened to anime before and if these happen, expect that to be carried over to superhero television.
Kal-El is the classic version of Superman but he’s definitely not the first to be called such. His own original authors had a version of Superman who was bald and evil to boot. Not to mention that he himself was preceded by Doctor Occult and Doc Savage, whose own posse is said to have inspired the Fantastic Four.
Given that he and related characters have been treated like crap by DC so badly they might as well be reinvented into or replaced by something else altogether. As Bruce Timm’s ‘Gods and Monsters’ are any indication, Kal-El needs to be replaced by someone else.
Rather than being taken as a statement against Superman, it’s addressing the problems plaguing the Superman franchise and what will happen if such changes did take place. At any rate when Supergirl introduces Kon-El as James Olsen’s brother, DC introduces a Superboy webcomic and potentially turn him into the new Superman.
This has happened before but this time it’s going to stick and it’ll be canon. It’ll be as canon as depowered punk detective Barry Allen is. With the New 52 being the draft and the Berlanti productions becoming infomercials for a successful webcomic, this is going to be DC’s final and most drastic reboot from now on.