Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

Superman vs Batman. Investigating the All American Hero

By Rogerborg in Culture
Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:02:23 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

As the momentum behind a Superman vs Batman movie grows, let's take a moment to consider the most All American of our costumed Heroes.

Sponsor: rusty
This space intentionally left blank
...because it's waiting for your ad. So why are you still reading this? Come on, get going. Read the story, and then get an ad. Alright stop it. I'm not going to say anything else. Now you're just being silly. STOP LOOKING AT ME! I'm done!
comments (24)
active | buy ad

Cloaked and masked in a black outfit designed to generate fear, anonymous, unaccountable, striking out of the darkness without warning, upholding justice while being free from the bounds of due process, Batman epitomises the ideals of the heroes and defenders of society, our modern law enforcement and paramilitary governmental agencies.

What, you thought I was going to talk about Superman? Sure, he's All American - if you've been frozen in a block of ice since 1945 (or 1949, or 1954). Do grow up. Batman is our ideal now.

Am I being unfair to Batman? He is laden with gadgets and body armour (in the comics as well as post Keaton), but surely he uses no lethal weapons? Not so. Batman drives and flies armed vehicles, has used firearms opportunistically, and wore one on his utility belt very briefly. He regularly assists criminals to take impromtu flying lessons, has no compunction about killing anyone/anything remotely paranormal or freakish, and has even killed at least three people with his silken bat-rope.

But Batman doesn't kill indiscriminately! No, and neither does law enforcement. Like Batman, they are forced to kill because they choose to put themselves in positions where it is kill or be killed.

It's easy to see why Batman has become a model for modern law enforcement. He does background work, so as to be sure that he never gets the wrong guy. He has no superpowers, but makes up for it with technology and training. And he's pragmatic; Batman understands that in the heat of battle, due process has to take a back seat, and survival becomes paramount. Batman is fighting a just war against hopeless odds, and his only chance is to pick his fights and put his enemy down fast. This urban warfare mentality describes modern law enforcement very well, where the military (and Batman) principles of gathering intelligence, planning and resourcing the operations, then going in with surprise and overwhelming force are becoming increasingly commonplace. Witness the SWAT team commander that takes his inspiration from Napoleon.

So, where does that leave Superman, with his primary colours and high ideals? Rescuing cats out of trees, most likely. The Man of Steel has changed several times down the decades, and recent reworkings have attempted to give him a darker spin, and to burden him with troubles (including being dead ). But that's an aspect known only to comic afficionadoes; the popular view of Superman is and will remain a one dimensional do-gooder, of unquestionable morality. Superman announces his presence, often reasons with evildoers, and gives them an opportunity to surrender and repent. His powers are so overwhelming that physical confrontation with individuals is unnecesary. The mere appearance of his gaudy costume is enough to cause criminals to throw down their guns in dismay, a behaviour that the cunning Batman has exploited on several occasions.

Superman seems like a relic of a bygone age; his unswerving adherence to the law and to fair play now make him seem slightly ridiculous. As far back as 1986, he was being portrayed as a mildly contemptible figure, even in the world of comics. In Dark Knight Returns, Superman unquestioningly obeys any order accompanied by the waving of a Star Spangled Banner. He was shown as an easily manipulated opponent and oppressor rather than an ally. Further, he invites his own defeat through his sense of fair play, making him seem foolish in comparison with the pragmatic protagonist.

But his apparent anachronicity is a symptom of his fall from grace, not the cause. We could have chosen to develop a society and justice and law enforcement systems based on the ideals of Superman rather than Batman. We could have decided that when making arrests, we would send in overwhelming force, but announcing itself as such and offering the opportunity to surrender. The "Come out with your hands up, we have you surrounced!" method of a show of force followed by negotiation for surrender is now only portrayed for satirical purposes, often by the bumbling Chief Wiggum. A far more popular fictional and edutainment depiction of law enforcement is the SWAT team style assault, shown from their point of view, where overwhelming force is there to be used directly, not just as negotiating leverage. Where negative consequences are attached, the Batman style SWAT operation is portrayed as the lesser of two evils.

It's hard to argue against that. We can't be Superman, but we can be Batman, and that gives us all sorts of pragmatic advantages in fighting the good fight against the forces of evil.

The problem is that we seem to view it as being inevitable that because we can become Batman, that we should become him. And once the mask goes on, it becomes easier and easier to assume that we know right from wrong, that all of our actions are justified and forced on us, and that the occasional death of a suspect or bystander - or 84 year old bed ridden woman - is collateral damage in a just war.

It's so tempting, so easy, to put on the mask and the utility belt and zoom off into the darkness in the Batmobile. But wouldn't it be equally pleasant to look at Superman and see more than a figure of ridicule? We don't have superpowers, and we probably shouldn't all start wearing our underpants on the outside, but how splendid it would be if we tried to live up to his ideals: courtesy, respect, integrity, and the fairness that flows from strength of character. On the street, in the courts, in the boardroom and in Washington, what would it be like if we aspired to the Superman ideal in our daily lives, rather than just remembering it fondly as the relic of a bygone age?

Please, choose your costume.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Who do you aspire to be?
o Batman 70%
o Superman 29%

Votes: 103
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Superman vs Batman
o or 1949, or 1954
o with his silken bat-rope
o increasing ly commonplace
o Napoleon
o changed several times down the decades
o dead
o has exploited on several occasions
o Dark Knight Returns
o Chief Wiggum
o collateral damage
o Also by Rogerborg

Display: Sort:
Superman vs Batman. Investigating the All American Hero | 126 comments (109 topical, 17 editorial, 1 hidden)
interesting (3.50 / 4) (#2)
by tps12 on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 10:33:22 AM EST

I always thought the Green Lantern[s] watched over Earth like the US watches over the rest of the world.

Batman is a Bad Example For America (2.61 / 18) (#3)
by StrontiumDog on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 10:43:15 AM EST

He runs around wearing tights all day with a minor (an underaged youth) who is also wearing tights.

He lives in a big mansion together with another guy, called (coincidence? I think not) Alfred The Butt. Don't ask me what the Batster and the Buttler get up to at night, because frankly, I don't wanna know.

He wears headgear like these Palestinian terrorists who blew up the WTC.

He has horns on his head, just like a typical Satan-worshipping socialist rock fan. Rock is the devil's music. If Batman were a true Christian American he wouldn't be promoting Rock And Roll, which is the music of Arab Terrorists.

Besides, the American Symbol is the Bald Eagle, not the Bat. I believe John Ashcroft wrote a stirring patriotic song about a soaring eagle. Perhaps that could form the title song of a new film about the EagleMan. He (or she) would be IMHO a better superhero for America's kids than Batman.

I don't think terrorism, satanism, pedophilia and homosexuality make good examples for America's Youth, I don't think. So sorry, I'm going to have to -1 your submission.

Indeed, the evils portrayed in comics are many. (4.75 / 4) (#10)
by ffrinch on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 11:07:47 AM EST

The year was 1954. Dr Fredric Wertham published a book called "Seduction of the Innocent".

He too claimed "Batman" encouraged homosexuality, since Robin was devoted to Batman, was drawn with bare legs, and perhaps worst of all, his legs were often open in a suggestive manner.

That wasn't the worst part though - comics like "Wonder Woman" gave little girls the "wrong idea" about a woman's place in society.

Just imagine, what if the youth of the world had been brought up thinking that men and women were equal?!


"I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick
[ Parent ]
Well noted (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 11:43:19 AM EST

    comics like "Wonder Woman" gave little girls the "wrong idea" about a woman's place in society

Heck, it didn't end there. Classic quote from the 1976 Lynda Carter TV version: "Without her magic belt, she's just another woman."

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Except .... (none / 0) (#38)
by Hektor on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:34:30 PM EST

That she could see her plane ... imagine owning an invisible plane - how would you remember where you parked it? Imagine the embarrasment of telling the doctor, that you "got hit in the eye by an invisible plane". Then you would certainly need your superpowers to avoid being placed in a rubber room ...

[ Parent ]
Homosexuality (none / 0) (#35)
by Beltza on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:13:19 PM EST

I would like to see homosexuality removed from your list of bad examples for the youth. In contradiction, the youth has to be shown that homosexuality is a completely normal thing. That´s why I like the fact that Madonna is going to play the first lesbian bond girl.


Be alert!!!
The world needs more lerts...

[ Parent ]
definition of normal (none / 0) (#56)
by tps12 on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:10:53 PM EST

I can't tell if you are joking (hey, I don't follow the Bond series or Madonna), but on the off chance you are serious...homosexuality occurs in a very small percentage of the population.

While I agree that children should not be taught to hate people because of their sexuality, I think it would be more productive to keep things honest and teach them the truth (look at the effects of anti-drug campaigning: if you lie to children, the result is often a backlash when they're old enough to figure things out for themselves.

Homosexuality isn't evil or bad, but it isn't normal.

Oh, and the original poster was joking about Batman's bad influence. ;)

[ Parent ]

Percentages (none / 0) (#115)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 04:55:52 PM EST

I can't tell if you are joking (hey, I don't follow the Bond series or Madonna), but on the off chance you are serious...homosexuality occurs in a very small percentage of the population.

That's true of plenty of normal things. A very small percentage of Americans were born in Ethiopia, but I wouldn't call them abnormal.
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
wha? (none / 0) (#116)
by tps12 on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 05:01:16 PM EST

I would. That is, the people themselves aren't abnormal, but their origin certainly is. Homosexuals are [often] very normal; their sexual behavior, however, is most definitely ab-.

[ Parent ]
Abnormal vs Unusual (none / 0) (#117)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 07:06:53 PM EST

I guess I think of abnormal as different from unusual. For me, the term abnormal seems to carry a value judgment. I just checked a dictionary, in which they had similar definitions (not common, not usual), but abnormal added "deviant" as part of the definition.
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
fair enough (none / 0) (#119)
by tps12 on Tue Jul 16, 2002 at 07:28:04 AM EST

I will concede that "abnormal" carries with it a negative connotation.

[ Parent ]
Bond Lesbians (none / 0) (#83)
by chroma on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 01:47:21 AM EST

I thought that Pussy Galore in Goldfinger was the first lesbian Bond girl.

[ Parent ]
You definitely need to read "The Tick" (none / 0) (#82)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 11:33:31 PM EST

I don't think terrorism, satanism, pedophilia and homosexuality make good examples for America's Youth, I don't think. So sorry, I'm going to have to -1 your submission.

You definitely need to read the episode of the Tick where they discuss how side kicks are always boys with full, pouting lips and no parents.

Between him and Cerebus the Aardvark, I can keep myself amused for hours.

The gift that lasts a lifetime: Give your child "mental blocks" this christmas!

[ Parent ]
Why do you think they call him "Boy Wonder&qu (none / 0) (#102)
by BLU ICE on Sun Jul 14, 2002 at 07:10:34 PM EST

The servant calls Robin "Master Dick."

"Robin! To the secret bat cave!"

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

+1 (5.00 / 4) (#6)
by axxeman on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 10:49:58 AM EST

Catwoman over Ms. Lane any day or night...

Being or not being married isn't going to stop bestiality or incest. --- FlightTest

The canonical Batman. . . (4.00 / 2) (#8)
by IHCOYC on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 11:00:49 AM EST

. . . for me, at least, will always be the Adam West version from the TV show that flourished in the Sixties.

Grim and gritty superheroes never cut it with me. At any rate, Marvel was always better at doing that sort of thing than DC ever was, having had more practice.

Marvel heroes grew out of the milieu of Fifties monster books. Their canonical heroes were the Hulk, a milquetoast who harbours a Mr. Hyde side of mindless rage, yet somehow manages to come up on the side of good; or Spider-Man, a teenage wimp who needs to conceal his true super-heroism. Later, the X-Men under Byrne and Claremont was a precursor to the many paranoid fantasies that have since become part of the mainstream of American entertainment.

DC heroes, by contrast, owe more to the milieu of Fifties science fiction. Theirs was always a sunny world of Progress, where faith in the marvels of science went hand in hand with faith in the American Way. Superman and Green Lantern regularly visited alien worlds, and usually found out that the Joe Average alien had a pure heart despite living under the cruel edicts of a super-villain.

The canonical Adam West Batman with his crime computers and his tongue-in-cheek exhortations to law-abiding citizens was a full participant in this rosy DC multiverse. The Batman you take as standard, by contrast, was invented by Frank Miller in the 1980's. While on the one hand, he is probably the most popular DC character, on the other hand he remains something of a stranger to the rest of the DC universe, even in its truncated post-Crisis version.
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
--- Livy

Can of worms! (5.00 / 2) (#18)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 12:07:27 PM EST

    The Batman you take as standard, by contrast, was invented by Frank Miller in the 1980's

Mmm. I feel that the very early Batman was a pretty nasty piece of work as well; this was a man who would casually machine gun the rampaging victims of drug experimentation. He did justify it with "These monsters must be stopped before they hurt anyone!" type morality, but that's really my point, that Batman's morality is flexible and based on pragmatism, and that can be a slippery slope, especially when you start dehumanising your enemy.

The sketches that I presented were based on what I expect the movie will show: a complete contrast between the methods and outlook of Batman and Superman. They're not based on any given incarnation of the comics, but on what I consider to be the most likely portrayals in the movie. Pure speculation, I freely admit.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Not pragmatism... (none / 0) (#61)
by zonker on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:24:46 PM EST

Please, don't give pragmatism any more credit than it already receives. Pragmatism over idealism is going to be the death of our culture.

Batman's morality is flexible

Yes, to an extent - much like the morality of Greek gods and heroes was flexible. Their stories changed over time to reflect changes in their culture just as Superman and Batman have been re-invented almost every decade since their creation to reflect the ideals of our culture. This is not pragmatism, it's simply a character reflecting the changing mores of society - not to mention the fact that Batman and Superman have been shaped by many different writers over the years - expecting them to remain consistent under the guiding hand of so many different writers would be naive.
I will not get very far with this attitude.
[ Parent ]

I completely agree (none / 0) (#108)
by Rogerborg on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 10:37:14 AM EST

    Please, don't give pragmatism any more credit than it already receives. Pragmatism over idealism is going to be the death of our culture.

That's my main point, I just didn't spell it out as such.

    Superman and Batman have been re-invented almost every decade since their creation to reflect the ideals of our culture

That's true, but I think that they both stayed fairly consistent (Batman == pragmatism, Superman == idealism), and they've both ended up more or less where they started.

What I find interesting is the way that society has changed around them, so that we now popularly identify more with Batman than with Superman. Maybe I'm reading too much into this though. I should probably get out more. ;-)

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Apparently you are unfamiliar with the history (4.50 / 2) (#29)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 01:25:11 PM EST

The sixties televsion series seriously (!) redacted the character of Batman. Some of the early strips feature such tactics as Batman sneaking up on a vilian and then swooping down to break the villian's neck before speeding away in the dark of night. Batman was originally a dark and brooding anti-hero.

In other words, Frank Miller's Batman was far closer to the original than Adam West's Batman.

[ Parent ]

Golden Age Batman v. Silver Age Batman (none / 0) (#76)
by IHCOYC on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 07:25:11 PM EST

I am generally aware of the Golden Age Batman of the 1940's, and that he inhabited a somewhat grittier world.

I would cheerfully argue, though, that the Adam West Batman is a fairly faithful translation of the character as he existed in the Silver Age comics immediately preceding, as well as a TV show that remains entertaining even unto the present day. Of course, those Silver Age comics had been through the Comics Code wringer, and recast as children's entertainment. The Adam West Batman was a sly commentary on what the contemporary character had become.

This Batman more or less stood unchallenged until Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns. Then again, the post-Crisis heroes seem to be impostors in the costumes in any case.
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
--- Livy
[ Parent ]

Perhaps there is a reason (none / 0) (#79)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 09:33:12 PM EST

In the US violent crime in the twenties and thirties was as commonplace as it is today. Beginning with the mid to late forties through the late sixties there was was an enourmous drop in the rate of violent crime. Violent crime began to increase in the early seventies through the eighties and peaking in the nineties at about the same level as the twenties and thirties.

Perhaps there is a correlation between Batman's mood and public sentiment on the living conditions in our society.

[ Parent ]

Batman: Animated (none / 0) (#57)
by Alexander the Drake on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:15:12 PM EST

I like the Batman: The Animated Series version best. He's both Bruce Wayne and the Batman[1]. He carries out his crusade with ruthless efficiency, but he still values life.

While cartoon, B:TAS is not toned down for a younger audience, but instead strips away the extremes of the Batman mythos and rebuilds around the core of the character. It mixes darkness and light: There's the grittiness of petty crime and the insanity of Batman's arch-enemies, but also the familiar banter of old friendships and the satisfaction of good deeds done.

Episodes devote time to a villain's motivations as well as his/her schemes, rather than automatically assuming that they're wrong and misguided because they're morally defective baddies and Batman, as the hero, is perfectly justified in beating them up and locking them away.[2] Over time, the show touches on the long-term existence of the Batman, examining Bruce's decision to be, and stay Batman, and the roles of Robin, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, etc. in all this.

A middle ground between the campy cheer of the Sixties and the current self-conscious noir, the animated Batman is my definitive version, balancing grimness and hope, and truly all-ages in the best sense of the term.

[1] Most depictions tend to present one as a hated, but necessary mask for the other.
[2] Though they usually are, and Batman usually does beat them up and lock them away.

[ Parent ]
Except that (none / 0) (#70)
by FritoKAL on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:49:09 PM EST

Batman in the beginning was more a detective.

He has the aforementioned firearm, and he -did- kill.

The modern Batman does not, and the previous "Adam West Batman" is a disgrace to the creator and to all that is GOOD About the character.

(and don't even GET me started on Robin or Batgirl from that show. Abominnations.)

[ Parent ]

Superman would kick Batman's bat-tush (5.00 / 5) (#16)
by jmzero on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 12:00:32 PM EST

Seanbaby is a little vulgar, but he makes an extremely convincing case here.  You'll have to read a couple pages to really get the flow of his argument.

Sure I know that Batman won in the comic books.  But that's stupid.  If it was a real Superman, Superman would just get to invent some new super power (sort of like he invented "rebuild-the-great-wall-of-China-o-vision" in that one movie).  His new power would be like "turn-Batman-into-Robin-o-vision".  And then he could tie the two Robins up.  And who's going to save them?  Aquaman?  Hawkman?  Black Lightning?  

Probably the Flash would have to save them, and he'd do so by running around Superman so fast that his angry molecules (or atoms, depending on who was writing that day) rotated to become bizarro-angry molecules.  Which for some reason would mean that he wanted to let the two Robins go.  MmmmXpTLK!
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife

Ack! (none / 0) (#47)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 03:20:09 PM EST

I hope this pink squiggly thing I just laughed up wasn't anything important. Lovely link, lovely.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Superman (none / 0) (#68)
by Go5 on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:45:43 PM EST

Damn that's funny. Thanks for sharing.

[ Parent ]
Batman, definitely (5.00 / 2) (#21)
by bob6 on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 12:42:31 PM EST

Batman inspired more writers than Superman ever will.

Who cares about an invincible man, well raised children, all seeing, all hearing? Who could face him? Mxyzptlk may challenge his brain's language center. That's all.

OTOH, Batman and Bruce Wayne suffered a lot which is an absolute requisite for an hero. He fights crime with intelligence, skill, determination, training and a lot of money. Batman villains are the most colorful ones: Joker, Scarecrow, Penguin, Two-Face...

My vote goes to the detective.

Mxyzptlk (none / 0) (#22)
by jmzero on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 12:45:45 PM EST

Some of you may be wondering who or what Mxyzptlk is.  Simply put, Mxyzptlk is Kltpzyxm backwards.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
You wrote it ! (none / 0) (#24)
by bob6 on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 01:01:54 PM EST

Back off to your own dimension.
Mxyzptlk and Bizarro both seem very space-soap-ish for me. You know, one came from the 25th (?) dimension and the other lives on a cubical asteroid.

[ Parent ]
Just for the record (4.85 / 7) (#23)
by krek on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 12:59:17 PM EST

DC comics has never been very good at acurately capturing the human element in their stories, and thus, both Batman and Superman are extremes of human nature, and as such, are rather unrealistic and rather elitist.

But, on the other hand, the Batman vs Superman argument is very representative of the American Black and White syndrome; "You are either with us or against us"

But, as I said, that is just unrealistic and cause more problems than it will ever solve.

If you are looking for a proper hero, one that actually makes the difficult choices, look no further than Spiderman.

Marvel has always had it's thumb firmly situated on the pulse of the human condition, and with Spiderman explores the nature of the balance between the good of the few and the good of the many, his personal problems and the problems of the world. Spiderman has never been given a manual, or divine inspiration for how to be a good superhero, he has had to figure it out as he goes, making mistakes, muddling along as best he can, being the best man, and the best hero that he feels it is his duty to be. By an accident, he was endowed with an advantage that most did not have, instead of profiting further from it he chose to make a difference. If only more people in the real world were a little more like Peter Parker. *sigh*

If you are satisfied with believing that law enforcement is be all and end all of human existance, then please, continue reading and enjoying your Black and White world of Batman and Superman. On the other hand, if you feel like exploring yourself, pick up some Spidey.

Again, just for the record: Batman is a super kick ass character, he is a psychotic bad-ass with no super powers other than a good brain and drive, he is like ninja, and as we all know ninjas are just damn cool. But when all the chips are down, I have to go Spidey all the way.

P.S. Superman sucks ass!

Ahem (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:52:08 PM EST

    If you are looking for a proper hero, one that actually makes the difficult choices, look no further than Spiderman.

Well, I was somewhat limited in choice by the title "Superman vs Batman". ;-)

OK, I'll bite the hero one-upsmanship. I'll take the Spiderman milieu but you can keep the quipping arachnid. I'll take Daredevil any day. Spiderman with handicapped parking.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Daredevil is a good one (none / 0) (#53)
by krek on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 03:54:42 PM EST

I just never really got into it, and I did try several times; while marvel has far superior heroes and universe in general, they just never seemed to be able to pull together enough writting talent to make more than one or two titles worth reading at any given time. Spidey was fairly consistent and engaging right up until the Clones Wars fiasco, and Chris Claremont (comic writting god: where did he go anyway?) kept the X-men rocking and rolling for decades. Beyond that, any given title would get a decent writter for about 6 months, it would start to get good, and then they would switch writters again, and slowly degenerate for a couple years until they cycled again.

There were so many really good characters at Marvel, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange, etc that never seemed to get a good kick at the ball.

In an ideal comic world, it would be Marvel universe/pantheon, DC writters and indy artists.

[ Parent ]
Daredevil (none / 0) (#63)
by zonker on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:29:15 PM EST

You should check out Kevin Smith's work with Daredevil... it was pretty damn good. Frank Miller is definitive, but Kevin Smith had a good turn with him as well...
I will not get very far with this attitude.
[ Parent ]
Claremont (none / 0) (#100)
by chale on Sun Jul 14, 2002 at 02:30:00 AM EST

he has written a few books. i have some of them in my library. for example, First Flight, Grounded!, Sundowner. also, he has continued the story of the princess in Willow (don't remember the title of the story(ies).


Last week, I began a sentence by saying, "If Bush had any imagination..." and then I hit myself. Silly me. "Molly Ivins"
[ Parent ]

Look (none / 0) (#111)
by krek on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 12:14:35 PM EST


Shadow Dawn I believe

[ Parent ]
Much missed (none / 0) (#106)
by Rogerborg on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 10:19:13 AM EST

    Chris Claremont (comic writting god: where did he go anyway?) kept the X-men rocking and rolling for decades

Tell me about it. I got teased mercilessly at college for being into comics. My response was to hand out copies of Claremont X-men and/or Sandman, and that usually shut people up. But when Claremont left X-men and it turned into a series of punchups and "running into camera" group action poses, I just woke up one day and thought "Uh oh, this isn't good, time to cancel the subscriptions." Damn shame.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Thank you (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by Rand Race on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 03:08:37 PM EST

Psychotic is a terribly apt description of Batman. The man has problems and solves them by dressing up in a uniform and brutalizing people. Not exactly a good role model for modern police, but an unfortunate reality of some officers of the peace.

While never a big Spidey fan, I must agree with your view of the Marvel universe being a more complex one - only in Frank Miller's deconstruction did Batman even slightly deal with his madness. Wolverine is as psychotic as Batman (and not-so-coincidentally was really defined by Frank Miller with Chris Claremont) but he has to deal with his mental unstableness. Its a weakness not a strength in most cases and it has lead to his being perceived as something of a villain by more straitlaced heroes like Captain America. Meanwhile Magneto is a villain but is fighting a good cause; I always thought when the Beyonder dropped him in with the heroes in Secret Wars - because his motivation was heroic even if his methods were not - was a really nice touch.

And ninjas.... let me just quote The Tick: "Wow! And I thought all Ninjas did was hang out at airports and get sucked into jet engines!"

Yea Superman sucks, but Lex Luthor is the shiznit; he regularly defeats this earth bound God with nothing but his human intellect.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Frank Miller RULES! (none / 0) (#55)
by krek on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 03:59:25 PM EST

That guy can write a story, and his artwork is just jizzalicious. I still read the Dark Knight Returns series whenever I get bored.

[ Parent ]
AAAAGH (4.00 / 2) (#25)
by wji on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 01:04:56 PM EST

After reading the "what if linux were a nuclear missile or something heheh" article, and now this, I have to say: Metaphors. They're a privilege, not a right.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
Strange (none / 0) (#41)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:42:33 PM EST

    Metaphors. They're a privilege, not a right.

I was aiming more for an allegory. :p

Actually, I kind of got carried away after pulling what was admittedly a rather cheap bait-and-switch on the American Hero promise. But heck, it's not all my fault. This being a democracy of sorts, we need to consider the people that voted the story up. I'm just a pawn in their sinister machinations.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

The wonkyness of it all (4.00 / 2) (#27)
by Bad Mojo on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 01:14:58 PM EST

Batman and Superman fight crime. Each has their own way of carrying out this mandate. That's about the only differences these two really have. Both have uninteresting alter-egos. Both take on super-villians in addition to the typical regular criminal. But when they work together, they have conflicting views on how to solve the problem at hand.

The core battle isn't ever a physical combat. For all of Supermans powers, Batman has brains and vice versa. The core conflict is ends versus means. Batman has no intrest in being nice or himself being a `good guy'. Superman, on the other hand, worries about doing the `right' thing the `right' way.

Wether you like the characters or not isn't really the point. Hell, without each other I think both are pretty boring super heros. But compared, they can illustrate a good point. If I had to pick a winner in this context, I think Batman would take the prize. Not because what he does is the better solution, but because he's more aware of the reason why they are different. In my experiences (comics, cartoons, etc), Superman seems barely aware of the differences between them. But, like most of these debates, a lot of it comes down to how an individual views the two sides/characters. So many different views and renditions of these characters exist that who they even ARE is up for grabs.

-Bad Mojo
"The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!"
B. Watterson's Calvin - "Calvin & Hobbes"

Batman and Superman fight crime. (3.25 / 4) (#36)
by enterfornone on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:15:06 PM EST

Superman actually fights for "Truth, Justice and The American Way". Which is rather odd given the fact that he is an illegal immigrant, and also the fact that "Truth and Justice" and "The American Way" are mutually exclusive.

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Two archetypes (none / 0) (#122)
by hummassa on Tue Jul 16, 2002 at 03:27:15 PM EST

Superman is the naive, not really intelligent but kind-of savvy, well-meaning, powerful-strong Hero.

(he is the football-team quarterdeck)

Batman is the Anti-Hero: mean, brutal, crazy-scientist-smart and machiavelic.

(he is the chess-club president)

The Batman archetype is the same of most Villains (including the Joker) and the confront would end up favouring Supes. Because the big guy always beats the hell out of the nerd. This is (and always was) the message.

[ Parent ]

All American? Half-American, you mean. (4.71 / 7) (#28)
by Dest on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 01:23:36 PM EST

Yes, that's right, Superman's co-creator Joe Shuster was Canadian. He moved to the US as a child.

And thanks to the Canadian Government for ramming Canadian culture down my throat with government funded TV commercials, otherwise I wouldn't have known.


"Bah. You have no taste, you won't be getting better than tofurkey bukkake." -- Ni

ah canadian heritage! (4.00 / 1) (#48)
by eurasian on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 03:23:33 PM EST

apparently, canadians also invented the telephone, the avro arrow (who cares? well dan ackroyd does!), and basketball. any other canucks out there have any other canadian inventions they know of?

[ Parent ]
Sure (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by Go5 on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:16:22 PM EST

How about:
  • Zippers
  • Snowmobile
  • IMAX camera
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Electron microscope
  • Ski bindings
  • Snowblowers
  • Airplane de-icer
  • Panoramic camera
  • Java (not the hot caffeinated drink)

    [ Parent ]
  • And let's not forget (none / 0) (#87)
    by Corwin on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 04:04:13 AM EST

    the CanadArm which NASA uses to do anything useful up in orbit.

    I'm in search of myself. Have you seen me anywhere?
    [ Parent ]
    sahweet! fav canuck exports? (none / 0) (#125)
    by eurasian on Fri Jul 19, 2002 at 04:50:20 PM EST

    ah yes, JAVA! can't believe I forgot that one! great replies Go5 and dadragon!
    did someone say phone yet?

    BEWARE AMERICANS!! we are out to infilitrat your culture!
    already our main operatives are in place
    • Jim Carrey
    • Pamela Anderson Lee
    • Dan Ackroyd (lol, i just had to add him :) )
    • Jim Cameron
    • Alanis
    • Celine (I like to break Macs) Dione
    • Those guys (goose? nguyen something?) who made Counter-Strike
    • Nelly Furtato
    • the producer (director?) of SNL
    • sheesh, can't remember anymore at the moment
    anyone like to add? or is this a dead thread?

    [ Parent ]
    My personal favourite... (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by dadragon on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:20:59 PM EST

    The Miniskirt!!! :)

    Yes, IIRC it was invented by a Canadian.  Or at the very least it has been claimed to be invented by a Canadain,  either way,  a good invention (when not worn by 13 year-olds), no?

    Also the skidoo or motortoboggan (for some reason, people south of the border like to call it a snowmobile), insulin, Trivial Pursuit(tm), cobalt bomb (cancer treatment), electron microscope, the green ink used in American currency, IMAX, light bulb*, pacemaker, beer carton handle (seriously)**, standard time, washing machine.

    *The light bulb was invented and patented by a Canadian from Toronto in 1874.  It was not all that practical,  and Thomas Edison pretty much added a decent power system to it in 1875 and patented that.

    **These are the punch-out handles on the side of beer and pop cases.  In Canada they're big enough to fit over a hand wearing a glove.

    [ Parent ]

    Focus too limited (w/ reference & short though (3.50 / 2) (#32)
    by Malicose on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:06:05 PM EST

    The title "Superman vs Batman. Investigating the All American Hero" points to a substantial comparison of two heroes. Unfortunately the consideration of "the most All American of our costumed Heroes" simply equates being a hero with being a crime-fighter. This should be one interesting facets of many. As it stands, it narrows the realm of conversation far too much. Perhaps expanding the definition of hero would give too much of an advantage to Superman what comes across as more "In Defense of Batman" than an objective "Superman vs Batman."

    Regardless of the character, I think looking at character traits or backgrounds and more would make distinguishing and ultimately deciding on the ultimate All-American (super)hero much deeper. A good investigation of the man from Krypton in the same vein--but that doesn't even limit itself to superheroes--is Gary Engle's What Makes Superman So Darned American?. In this piece points made on Superman's behalf really focus on his being the epitome of the American dream: 1) his immigrant background, 2) individual initiative, 3) average man mirrored in Clark Kent, and more. Do check out the article for more points to discuss here. Batman (or other possible candidates) held under this wider-reaching scope would offer a background being possibly less All-American: one of murdered parents, vengeance as the primary drive, and having power bought in expensive gadgetry and wealth's influence.

    The Role of Wealth (none / 0) (#54)
    by Perianwyr on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 03:55:49 PM EST

    You bring up a very good point about Batman's wealth. He is a captain of industry in his "day job", and his career as Batman wouldn't have been possible without that. One thing I cannot remember about Batman, however, that would shed a lot of light on this issue is whether or not he started out wealthy.

    Did Bruce Wayne inherit a great deal of wealth from his parents? Was Wayne Industries his creation, or his parents'? If he gained his wealth on his own, he is just as American as Superman in origins. In fact, perhaps a tad more so, in that his advantages are all learned, developed, and earned, not simply inherited from powerful, alien parents.

    [ Parent ]

    That's easy to figure out -- (none / 0) (#91)
    by toganet on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 10:46:53 AM EST

    The Wayne family was very well-to-do, and Bruce always had a priviledged life.

    Remember, he was raised by his parents' butler.

    There is much to explore in the origins of Batman, and the psyche of Bruce Wayne: a man orphaned by violent crime, driven to combat criminals himself, in an attempt to please parents he never knew.

    Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.

    [ Parent ]
    On the Wayne fortune (none / 0) (#124)
    by El Zahir on Tue Jul 16, 2002 at 10:42:35 PM EST

    Bruce's father was a wealthy doctor. Bruce did have the advantages of a very comfortable upbringing. But his father was not Carnegie :)

    Wayne Industries is entirely due to Bruce, and probably stems from his drive to gain every advantage possible over his adversaries.

    But this is early-eighties, revisionist Batman, when Bruce moved out of Wayne Manor, Robin went to college, etc. The decade of greed was the wrong time for a superhero to run a philanthropic foundation dedicated to his father's memory.  

    But I won't go on about comic books. For god's sake, I could be having sex instead!

    For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. - Richard Feynman

    [ Parent ]
    Our problem... (5.00 / 5) (#33)
    by dennis on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:09:55 PM EST

    ...is that so many of our law enforcement guys think they're batmen, when really, as your "collateral damage" link illustrates, they're nincompoops with guns.

    Delta Force, now, they have a case. They test themselves by sitting some of their own guys in a room, right next to mannequins, then the team busts in and puts two shots in the vitals of each mannequin, live ammo, all in about three seconds. But they expend millions of rounds practicing for that. Most of these "swat teams" would depopulate if they tried it.

    But they don't seem to mind putting other people at risk.

    Maybe for non-hostage-rescue we should go back to the old way - you know, knock, "we're the police, we have a warrant," that sorta thing. You could actually check to see if the warrant's valid, you wouldn't have to wonder whether these are real cops (there have been several robberies by fake swat raid)...It'd be sorta like living in a free country.

    *gasp* (none / 0) (#60)
    by revscat on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:24:11 PM EST

    You could actually check to see if the warrant's valid, you wouldn't have to wonder whether these are real cops (there have been several robberies by fake swat raid)...It'd be sorta like living in a free country.

    With Rehnquist on the Court? Never happen. Not. A. Chance. In. Hell.

    - Rev.
    Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
    [ Parent ]
    Get your comparison right (3.75 / 4) (#34)
    by Ken Arromdee on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:13:19 PM EST

    Batman doesn't kill people. The batrope incident you're talking about, from your own link, happened in a very early comic book that is not relevant to what Batman is like today, or what just about everyone who has encountered Batman in the media has seen. Even in Dark Knight, he ultimately won't kill the Joker, who twists his own neck so that Batman would be blamed.

    Batman doesn't use guns either, and has vowed not to because his parents were shot by one (unless this changed recently). He only used them, again, in very early comics that only apply to a miniscule part of his career, are not considered valid today, and ended before most of us were born.

    Remember that Superman in this time period did a lot of questionable things too, like the time he beat up some athletes for expressing anti-American sentiments. (They turned out to be spies, but he didn't know it at the time.)

    Matters of opinion (4.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Rogerborg on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:33:57 PM EST

      Batman doesn't kill people

    And that's a valid view, because comic history is regularly rewritten and characters reinvented, and individual readers must decide their own canon. However, my view is also valid for the same reasons, and I'll lay pennies to pounds that in the upcoming movie, he will kill or cause a death, to trigger the dramatic confrontation promised by the "versus". I guess we'll have to wait and see.

    "Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
    [ Parent ]

    It also depends on which version (3.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Cro Magnon on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:38:44 PM EST

    The Batman in the movie killed the Joker!
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    However (none / 0) (#69)
    by FritoKAL on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:46:00 PM EST

    The Batman that the general public KNOWS -- that is the Batman that -DOES NOT KILL-.

    Not ever, not for -any- reason.

    I think that if the movie happens, (and it doens't totally suck giant monkey balls) -- that the writers will have to come up with something a little more plausible.

    I think we're more likely to see Frank Miller's Dark Knight, where Superman is the "bad guy" so to speak, than to see a Batman that discounts the value of an innocent life.

    [ Parent ]

    Hmm, maybe (none / 0) (#107)
    by Rogerborg on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 10:32:03 AM EST

      I think we're more likely to see Frank Miller's Dark Knight, where Superman is the "bad guy" so to speak, than to see a Batman that discounts the value of an innocent life.

    We're well into the realms of speculation now. First, I agree that Dark Knight is one way that it could go. It certainly can't be as campy as the slippery slope started by Batman Returns. Shame, after the dark, reserved quality of the 1989 Batman. Batman and Superman are so utterly different in the potency stakes that it has to play as a character drama.

    I actually think that a lot of it will revolve around who they cast, and what the actors demand. The directory reportedly wants Matt Damon for either role, which is rather a worrying sign about the lack of vision, even this early on. Would Damon want the cowl or the curl? Would he want to be the pragmatic underdog, or the tightly restrained demigod? We tend to think of Batman as the more interesting part, but I'd like to see a realistic investigation of the restraint that a being like Superman would have to show, every second of every day.

    Damn, this film has such potential - for both good and evil. ;-)

    "Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
    [ Parent ]

    Batman and Guns (none / 0) (#86)
    by Corwin on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 04:01:26 AM EST

    Go read the Batman: Year Two graphic novel that details the real reason (or at least a reason) Batman doesn't use guns. It was printed in 1990, so I think we can consider this to be modern canon.

    I will talk about the story here, so if anybody wants to avoid poilers, move along! There is nothing more to read here!

    Apparently Gotham had a vigilante before Batmans day. This guy would mercilessley kill any criminal he came across in a rather bloody fashion, with no distinction between murderers and purse-snatchers. He used large sickles and firearms (built into the sickles. Very strange) and wore a skull-mask. He called himself the Reaper.

    As the story goes, the retired Reaper drops back into town again and is stricken by how crappy Gotham still is, so he starts Reaping again. Batman doesn't like this very much, and (after defeating him in a battle where Batman uses a firearm) vows not to be a killer like the Reaper was.

    I'm in search of myself. Have you seen me anywhere?
    [ Parent ]
    Ideal vs reality (2.50 / 2) (#39)
    by Cro Magnon on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:35:08 PM EST

    Superman is the ideal superhero. Awesome powers, and always does the right thing. Batman is closer to reality. His only "power" is brains and years of training. He's one of the good guys, but sometimes he seems almost like the scum he fights. Superman flies over beautiful Metropolis. Batman fights in the dark alleys of Gotham.
    Information wants to be beer.
    Reality check (4.50 / 2) (#42)
    by bob6 on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 02:52:04 PM EST

    A little help from money. Bruce Wane is incredibly rich. He manages his stock by day and, by night, fights crime as Batman. He must be on amphetamines.
    While more realistic than Superman, he still an improbable overromanticized character.

    [ Parent ]
    Well, actually... (none / 0) (#46)
    by Alexander the Drake on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 03:11:45 PM EST

    In the comics and the animated series, Wayne is portrayed as a sleep all day, party all night playboy who doesn't handle his own money. He just shows up in the office occasionally to give his manager Lucius Fox the final okay on how WayneCorp should invest it.

    But aside from that, they do treat him like a Bat-God.

    [ Parent ]
    Indeed (none / 0) (#49)
    by bob6 on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 03:27:53 PM EST

    So he is millionaire without handling it? That is as fantastic as Superman powers! The playboy act is just a facade he builds, which adds one more task to his daily/nightly life.
    I guess Batman's perseverance and total dedication to a single task makes him a perfect choice for the American heroic figure.

    [ Parent ]
    Wealth attracts crime (none / 0) (#74)
    by Alexander the Drake on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 05:32:03 PM EST

    The money is mostly inherited. But the playboy facade is a useful part of Batman's life. In addition to providing cover for his real activities, a lot of stories center around him being at some society fundraiser or museum gala when the villain breaks in and demands money and jewelry, or tries to steal the display, and cowardly Bruce Wayne runs to hide in the nearest bathroom, or locks himself in a closet and only re-emerges after Batman has shown up to save the night.

    I suppose it saves time over patrolling the streets for random muggings

    [ Parent ]
    Origins? (3.66 / 3) (#50)
    by Swashbuckler on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 03:29:45 PM EST

    Superman was sent to earth because it was (1) his planet was going to blow up (2) his father was one of the only ones to anticipate Krypton's doom (this knowledge was derived from respect of lore I believe) (3) earth was one of the few places he could survive (4) because his father thought that his teachings, through superman, could help us human beings through hard times.

    Batman, on the other hand, had parents who were murdered by a crook on the street.

    So Batman's purpose derives from "revenge" and Superman's from a "higher good"

    Batman, in other words, is pissed when he fights. He sees the men who killed his parents in every crook.

    Superman sees his father and all that he believed in.</p? <p>I believe I had a point, but I completely forget what it is. Perhaps someone could take my half-assed insights and run with them?

    *Note* - this comment contains no inside K5 humour because inside K5 humour is only for/by K5-wankers. Media does not = "community."
    Both good characters (none / 0) (#65)
    by sypher on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:32:41 PM EST

    They both have stuff to help them out as well.

    Batman (my favourite):

    Robin, Alfred, Batgirl, Catwoman, Car, Boat, Plane


    Supergirl, Transfer $.05 dollars from each account man (now helping superman)

    Superman has the cash, batman has the 733t 5k177z to take supermans money.

    I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
    [ Parent ]
    Opposite childhoods (none / 0) (#73)
    by Alexander the Drake on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 05:19:58 PM EST

    I suppose one could argue that Superman and Batman are two extremes of what I'll call the stereotypical American upbringing.

    Due to regrettable, but unavoidable circumstances, Superman's parents aren't able to care for him themselves, and selflessly give him up for adoption. His adoptive parents are good, wholesome folks who care deeply for him and make sure he gets an idealized farm upbringing.

    They imbue him with their down-to-earth values about being an upstanding citizen who helps others in need, and when he's grown, he goes and does his parents proud by becoming a big blue Boy Scout who treats everyone as if they were fellow Boy Scouts. He's disappointed when people don't all live up to the honourable Boy Scout rules, but he pretends it's a lapse, and he knows they can do better.

    Batman, on the other hand, is the product of a broken home. His parents are wealthy, but neglectful, because, well...they're dead. They were murdered for pearls while walking back to their car from a movie they were seeing. To top it off, the street where the movie theatre was is now a run-down slum. His absentee parents leave him to be raised by a servant, and there's a doctor he talks to about his lack of home life. Adrift and alone, Batman drowns himself in his pursuits and wanders from place to place, trying to fill the hole in his life.

    In time, he returns to Gotham to confront his demons. Batman's motto is "Never Again". His motive is not to help directly, but instead to prevent what happened to him from happening again. He doesn't see people as being inherently good, but divides them into "criminal" and "victim", and he wants to "Take Back the Night", for the latter.

    Both heroes want to make the world a better place, though for vastly different reasons. Superman had a good, decent life, and he wants to share it with others. Batman is a traumatized inner city kid who wants to clean up the neighbourhood. And thus, the difference in their styles.

    If anyone else wants to build from this, feel free.

    [ Parent ]
    Buttman all the way (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by sypher on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 03:39:01 PM EST

    Supermans 'powers' are inherant, his use for it is for the benefits of 'good', he will always just jump straight in to all kinds of shit if something he thinks is 'bad' starts to happen, even if it gets him into deep shit.

    Batman's 'abilities' are learnt, his use for these abilities is vengeance, he will learn all he can about his enemy before rushing in to kick ass.

    More than one parallel there, but Batman is the mans man from where i'm standing.

    Supermans 'invincibility' is Batmans 'slyness'

    I thought superman sucked, the comic, the character and the movies, it's all too nice, whereas Batman is down deep and dirty stuff, the start of the first movie certainly made it clear what Batman was for, Superman is just out to save the world.

    Get the movie sorted out, make tim burton direct it, and also ensure batman wins.

    I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
    Spawn (3.50 / 2) (#62)
    by sephalix on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:29:14 PM EST

    Spawn would kick both of thier asses.

    If there is anyone who'd win... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Two Thumbs Fresh on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:53:44 PM EST

    It'd be Groo. ;)

    "Friendship is like an ointment, when you've been stung by fifty bees."-Brak
    [ Parent ]
    News bulletin (none / 0) (#64)
    by krek on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:29:21 PM EST

    Batman: Year One is comming to theaters soon.

    Directed by Darren Aronofsky, it promises to be a dark psychotic thrill ride, an exploration of all of Batmans deepest motivations....


    Batman Year One (none / 0) (#75)
    by godix on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 06:10:19 PM EST

    If this is even remotely like the previous Batman flicks, Frank Miller is probably considering homicide. Next thing I'll find out they're making a Watchmen and Sandman movie so all my childhood obsessions can be killed by hollywood.

    [ Parent ]
    That is very unlikely (none / 0) (#110)
    by krek on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 12:10:37 PM EST

    For one thing, have you noticed that there seems to be a force within the movie industry that is trying to make good movies? Or perhaps they have just become better at pandering.

    Either way, Darren Aronofsy is directing, I feel that it may well be impossible for him to not make an excellent film.

    I will point out that the first two Batman movies were not bad, with the first being quite excellent, if a little hokey; they were directed by Tim Burton and as such were done in a Tim Burton style; Dark yet comical. It was only when that pusbag Joel Schumacher got ahold of it that things went to shit; à la Overpriced Carnaval Ride.

    Once Darren Aronofsky does his thing I assure you it will be Dark and Disturbing filled with imagery appropriate to Bruce Waynes complete break with reality.

    [ Parent ]
    Kevin Conroy *IS* Batman (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by gmol on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:35:25 PM EST

    I have recently come to appreciate Kevin Conroy's voice in the various incarnations of the WB animated Batman.  He's such a consistent character from Justice Leauge to Batman Beyond.

    I bet some of you didn't know that Luke Skywalker is the voice of The Joker.

    Both Conroy and Hamil (along with the respective artists who contribute to writing/direction and animation) have created a remarkable deep characters that I never miss if I see them on the screen (even though those cartoons seem to be directed towards younger kids...maybe I'm just immature).  I've never read much comics, yet those animated incarnations hold deep meaning for me.

    Thanks to WB for creating such a wonderful set characters and all the great cross-overs.

    Batman Beyond Rocks (1.00 / 1) (#95)
    by cybrpnk on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 08:21:32 PM EST

    I'm with you about Kevin's voicework, particularly in Batman Beyond. Those of you with any interest at all in the Batman mythos who haven't tuned into the Batman Beyond cartoon currently showing on Cartoon Network are really missing something special. The whole concept of the aging superhero is SO well done here. There's rumors that a Batman Beyond movie is in the works, and my choice for Bruce Wayne is Paul Newman...

    [ Parent ]
    I beg to differ (none / 0) (#103)
    by thither on Sun Jul 14, 2002 at 08:36:14 PM EST

    First off, I completely agree about Bruce Wayne's role in Batman Beyond being very well done. It's a pretty clear Dark Knight version of an elderly Bruce Wayne, and they do a good job of getting the cynicism and crotchetiness down. The voice work is superb, just like you were saying.

    The rest of the show sucks, though. I mean, it's set in a high school. "Oh no, the killer robot is loose in my high school again -- and it's almost time for Gym!" I can never believe that Wayne would let this sub-Robin-caliber airhead take over as Batman. Plus, they completely squandered the creepiness of the joker by turning him into just a bunch of low-level thugs.

    [ Parent ]
    As a comic fan, I protest. (4.75 / 4) (#67)
    by FritoKAL on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 04:39:11 PM EST

    You know very little about the modern Batman OR Superman that you are using as an example of the two types of "hero".

    The current Batman does not kill, does not take innocent lives, and while he has trained with a firearm to understand how they work -- does not use them.

    Yes, in the past, (a grand total of I believe 7 appearances in his first issues) he carried a gun. Since then, the character has been revised - TWICE!.

    In recent years, Bruce Wayne (The Batman we know and love) has ousted his successor (Jean-Paul Valley, now using the "superhero" name "Azreal")for killing and for letting an innocent man die to catch a criminal.

    He has - more than once - refused to kill a dangerous criminal (Most often, The Joker) when the opportunity arose. He has worked WITH the police -- befriending the (now retired)commishoner of the Gotham City Police Department (James Gordon, father of Oracle, who was Batgirl.

    This is not a man who "has no compunction about killing anyone/anything remotely paranormal or freakish, and has even killed at least three people with his silken bat-rope."

    He is on a -team- where he is only one of TWO normal humans - the rest being aliens, demigods, non-humans or altered humans. All paranormal or freaks.

    This is NOT a character who kills. This is a character whose primary theme has been to show that while yes, harsh measures CAN Be necessary -- that human life is of paramount importance, even if it is the life of a criminal.


    By contrast -- Superman, Kal-El, Clark Kent has killed -- with his own hands, deliberatly.

    Superman executed 3 criminals from his birth planet of Krypton (I cannot recall if they were from an alternate Krypton, or the destroyed one that Superman is from. Either way, they're dead now). This was not a mercy killing - this was deliberated EXECUTION of criminals.

    (I know far more about Batman than Superman.)


    The differences you are calling attention to are -not- as black and white as you make them out to be. Neither character is an accurate metaphor for today's law enforcement.

    What about our friendly neighborhood spiderman? (5.00 / 6) (#72)
    by cgenman on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 05:08:42 PM EST

    In the lives of many youth today, this years release of Sam Rami's SpiderMan had as much impact at the release of Tim Burton's Batman did many years ago.  Is Batman as dated now as Superman was when we were subjected to Superman 4: Nukes are Bad?  From a purely cinematic standpoint, S4 looks like Return of the Jedi when compared to B4, and Tobey McGuire shines like an on-screen god.  But what do the characters stand for?

    Spiderman is actually, in many ways an interesting combination of Superman's earnestness and goodness, Batman's propensity for working outside the law, the hong-kong hyperreflexes of Neo, and the total isolation and depression not seen in a superhero since...  He also splits his abilities evenly between superman superpowers (reflexes, strength) and batmanesque geniously made gadgets (webbing).  

    Spiderman is a goodhearted cultural loser.  He is apart from his family, guilty about his father's death.  He's in love with a girl but is both too shy and to scared to let her know.  He is in love with the idea of being a living martyr.  He is hunted down for the good deeds he does by the very people he is trying to protect.  And he lives very, very alone.

    In a lot of ways, he's a good reflection of our role in society.  By day we're just people working our tails off as hard as we can and getting nothing back from the world around us.  But we have our secret side that we use to do good for those around us.  And we do good even though it will always come back to harm us.  

    If superman is a benevolent Nietzschean Uberman fatherfigure, and Batman is a vengeful Kafkaesque LA Swat Team, then Spiderman must be a self-sacrifice in a meaningless world Camus figure.  He's not only apart from the institution, he's actively hunted by it.

    And what kind of world do we live in today?  An overprotective father figure won't do us any good, and is quite frankly not well advised so long as Bush remains in office.  The LA swat team?  While our institutions are randomly arresting and beating innocent citizens?  And our self-sacrificing meaningless hero wandering through a messed up world surrounded by corruption and doing what he does only out of a personal desire to redeem himself through good works?  

    Sounds like a plan to me.  

    - Chris
    - This Sig is a mnemonic device designed to allow you to recognize this author in the future. This is only a device.

    Just one note: (none / 0) (#105)
    by Dee Kaos on Sun Jul 14, 2002 at 10:48:36 PM EST

    Sam Raimi's spiderman doesnt have any cool gadgets- his webbing is another result of his radioactive mutation.
    Dee Kaos

    [ Parent ]
    He has at least one gadget: (none / 0) (#114)
    by Happy Monkey on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 04:06:05 PM EST

    He has a miniature fancy suit manufacturer. It isn't shown on screen, but it's pretty much implied.
    Length 17, Width 3
    [ Parent ]
    And another (none / 0) (#118)
    by tpv on Tue Jul 16, 2002 at 01:21:34 AM EST

    It's Spider-Man, not spiderman.

    [ Parent ]
    Comic version of Star Trek vs. Star Wars? (none / 0) (#77)
    by ehintz on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 07:42:55 PM EST

    If I went to a comic con of some sort, would I find fans fervently arguing who's best, just like one finds Star Trek vs. Star Wars arguments at scifi cons? Just curious, seems like there could be a lot of similarities...

    Ed Hintz
    the supreme comic force (5.00 / 4) (#78)
    by mdouglas on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 09:16:20 PM EST

    milk and cheese could kick both their asses.

    Ha, punny USian heroes. (4.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Tezcatlipoca on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 10:37:20 PM EST

    The real thing, is the Chapulin Colorado.
    Allow me to translate to enlighten you about the Super Hero that truly exemplifies the concerns with modern criminalty in the post modern era, where existencialist concerns are of paramount importance if we are going to discover our iner-selves without being consummed by the doubts instillied by terrorists. In this post 9/11 era we have to point to our children in the direction of real heroes, role models. To say all: do it for the children.

    The Chapulín Colorado

    He dresses in red to instill terror on the heart of his enemies, above which he wears yellow trousers with two little tails. To the neck of the uniform a red cap goes united, more or less of frygian style ( with the obvious intention of reminding us "liberte, fraternite, egalite"), with  "antenitas of vinil" (vinyl anthenae) of approximately 30 cm. in length and finished off with two bi-colour wool "pompones" (red and yellow, the only weak spot of our hero).

    These "antenitas" allow him to detect the presence of the enemy (Spiderman, did you say SPIDERMAN?!? Don't make me laugh, Spiderteeny can join the Chapulin Colorado as an apprentice).

    In the chest he carries his shield: a yellow heart and within this one, his initials in red "CH" (a HEART. This hero offers his heart as a symbol of love to us all. Not egoistic S or threateaning bats or spiders here). Boots of yellow also exhibit the mentioned shield.

    His weapons of mass destruction ^H^H^H^H^H^^H^H^H^H^ freedom fighter are "chipote chillón" (screaming bruise) and "chicharra paralizadora" (paralizing horn) (Batman: take that!).

    "chipote chillón" is a hammer with a yellow plastic handle and a symmetrical red plastic head. It is "chillón" (screaming) because it has a whistle that screams with the air that expels when striking.

    It may be not a very impressive weapon, but has saved the Chapulin Colorado in many ocassions (although some times it gets him into trouble, but such is life, isn't it?).

    "chicharra paralizadora" is similar to the one used by the the bread sellers in Mexico ( this is a real hero of the proletariat) with the particularitity that the sound of the chicharra makes people and the objects become paralyzed. Sounding it a single time it paralyzes the enemy, and with two "chicharrazos" they regain movement.

    A third weapon exists, the terrifying tablets of "chiquitolina" (littleing substance). When taking a tablet he is reduced  to  a stature of 20 cm., (well, in all honesty nobody notices the difference). This allows him to hide himself and to access unsuspected places and even comming face to face in fierce battle against punny mice (many regards to rusty's cat).

    The Chapulín Colorado is short, thin, weak, clumsy, ingenuous, and a bit coward; but in spite of all his deficiencies and disadvantages, he overcomes them and faces the danger for the sake of a noble cause, without mattering if it is of political or personal nature.

    His cry of battle, "síganme los buenos" (good ones: follow me!) gives him strenght once he is determined towards his objective.

    All the previous confirms that the Chapulín Colorado is an authentic hero, since true heroism is to act in spite of being weak or afraid: true  bravery is not lacking of fear but the ability to overcome it.

    Ah! but there is something more: the Chapulín Colorado, is a womanizer, it does not matter that he is short, thin, and quite honestly, not handsome at all, nevertheless as soon as he sees a pretty woman he starts the conquest, which is something that puts him appart from his USian counterparts:  Superman always fleeing away from Luisa Lane. And  Batman, well, is known by all that he spends most of his time with Robin....

    I am sure by know, you know what uniform you would choose.
    _._ .....
    ... .._ _._. _._ ...
    ._.. ._ _ . ._.. _.__

    Did you ever read "The Watchmen"? (4.00 / 1) (#81)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 11:20:52 PM EST

    The problem is that we seem to view it as being inevitable that because we can become Batman, that we should become him. And once the mask goes on, it becomes easier and easier to assume that we know right from wrong, that all of our actions are justified and forced on us, and that the occasional death of a suspect or bystander - or 84 year old bed ridden woman - is collateral damage in a just war.

    You should definitely read "The Watchmen". I especially like how he manages to compare and contrast two versions of the Batman (NightOwl = Mr. Clean Batman of the the 60's and 70's; Rorshach = The Dark Knight)

    The gift that lasts a lifetime: Give your child "mental blocks" this christmas!

    Watchmen (none / 0) (#85)
    by godix on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 02:42:51 AM EST

    Most of the Watchmen are based on non-DC characters. It was originally designed to use some heroes DC recently aquired from a company called Charlton. DC nixed that idea so Alan Moore created characters based on Carlton heroes. A Google search comes up with a Wikipedia site amoung others showing the following:

    • Comedian = Peacemaker
    • Dr. Manhattan = Captain Atom
    • Nite Owl I & II = Blue Beetle in his various incarnations
    • Ozymandias = Thunderbolt
    • Rorschach = The Question
    • Silk Spectre = Nightshade
    • The others were based more on archtypes than any specific hero (Mothman = gadget hero, Captain Metropolis = patriotic hero, Minutemen = golden age superteam, etc.)

    [ Parent ]
    Call it the way you see it... (none / 0) (#96)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 11:19:40 PM EST

    But I still think Nite Owl and Rorshach are perfect representations of batman in his different incarnations.

    Mind you, I don't doubt you about where they came from - but how many different motivations can there be to put your underwear on over your pants and go fight crime?

    The gift that lasts a lifetime: Give your child "mental blocks" this christmas!

    [ Parent ]
    Archtype (none / 0) (#99)
    by godix on Sun Jul 14, 2002 at 01:11:01 AM EST

    I understand why you see the representations of batman there, all characters concerned have fairly similar archtypes. If The Watchmen was a novel there would be collage classes dedicated to this type of debate (same with V for Vendetta, although it doesn't have nearly as many layers as Watchmen).

    "how many different motivations can there be to put your underwear on over your pants and go fight crime?"

    I always found it interesting that the most obvious motivation of 'just plain wacko' is the least explored. Of course, in a world where UFOs do visit earth, dead people do come back to life, and there are worldwide conspiracies I guess it'd be hard to figure out who's wacko and who isn't.

    [ Parent ]

    a combo is the obvious choice (none / 0) (#84)
    by jnemo131 on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 02:40:05 AM EST

    The problem society has with Superman, is that he's far to elite for us to aspire to become, not that he is the moraly competent being that we should become. These two are seperable, however, in that we could have a batman with the same character as Superman, the ideal choice for modern society to follow. As an example, sadly, I must point to the "new breed of superhero" that is arising among youth today, that is, the teen action hero. Look to Disney's Kim Possible, or the movie Spy Kids, to see that children today see the possibility of becoming these people, yet these action figures only attack that which has been labeled a menace by the majority of society already, with out killing. It's the cute and fuzzy action hero, yes, but the type that's best fit to influence the new generation of superhero fans.

    "I heard the droning in the shrine of the sea-monkey"
    -The Pixies
    Neither Supes nor Bats were genetically engineered (4.66 / 3) (#88)
    by Fantastic Lad on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 06:38:33 AM EST

    So I predict the following. . .

    Two characters owned by Time Warner, which has the resources to distract the populace with style, means that, should a Supes v.s. Bats film be made, it will almost certainly be a popular one. (And we're certainly due for one of each even if the two icons don't actually go head to head. It's war/propaganda time, doncha you know! That's when they always roll out the costumed wonders.) --Particularly now, when there is so much interesting stuff bouncing around in the world which the Powers That Be very much want people distracted from looking at too closely. . .

    The two will both appear uber-cool.

    Batman will promote a dark, gritty style of problem-solving which is technologically within the reach of the average person. More propaganda for how we should all embrace Police State thinking, as Unavoidable, Necessary, The Only Way, Exciting & Cool.

    Superman will be what he is. The model of the Nazi ideal, which is (surprise, surprise), quietly coming back into vogue. Why so many superhero films in an age when comics are all but dead? Hm. The fact that Superman is From Space, Superior to us and Deserving of our Respect in every way, is by no means accidental. Too bad we 'cannot' be like he. Interesting that one of the two alternatives (to being pathetic and weak) within our grasp may actually be co-starring in the very same film, (or at least, at a theater on the same block). --And for the more subtle approach to cultural programming, we need only look left and right to the other super-hero films with their presentations of 'unique' bottled solutions to our bodies being, "Not Good Enough".

    You think I'm joking? You think we're not being shepherded along into this kind of thinking? A quick look at the very next story posted on this very news site ought to be enough to serve as food for at least a little thought. This stuff is happening, I tells ya!

    Superheros have long been a propagandists' dream train.

    When they were trying like mad to promote the acceptance of nuclear power and might-makes-right America = moral high ground to the world, every hero under the sun was bitten by or exposed to a radioactive something or other. Spidey, the Hulk, the entire FF, Daredevil (whose powers resulted from having been hit in the head by an, "isotope," which fell out of the back of a truck. No joke), in fact, much of the Marvel roster back in the 'day', with few exceptions, was the result of high-tech future voo-doo which the Powers That Be were anxious to get the world to invest in heavily with lots of Rah Rah enthusiasm and as little clinical pre-thinking as possible. Iron Man is the perfect example. Sell it to kids in the thirties and your next crop of industrial leaders will be well programmed to serve exactly the ends you want met. Iron Man was a military industrialist, for crying out loud!

    So are superheros simply a device to program the populace, or was the whole comics thing simply a cultural response to where the world was going anyway? There are certainly good arguments to be made for both thoughts, and indeed, even wiser arguments for how the two are inextricably intertwined, but I'm afraid I can't buy into such purist views. --Not when it's just so damned easy to manipulate people and create almost any mood or thought pattern you might want installed across an eternally ignorant population, --and there are certainly those out there with both means and desire! But how could you manage such a manipulation without the strings being visible? Well now, that's the trick, isn't it? And the answer to that is a very interesting one indeed, which has to do with manipulating the manipulators through means people have been very carefully steered away from even acknowledging the possibility of existing, but I won't get into that here.

    So back to the main point, in the last two superhero films, (X-Men, Spiderman), what was the brand of magic being ever so subtly sold?

    Hm. . .

    That silk thread really should have come out of McGuire's rear-end.

    -Fantastic Lad

    nuclear power (none / 0) (#113)
    by Shren on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 02:27:52 PM EST

    When they were trying like mad to promote the acceptance of nuclear power and might-makes-right America = moral high ground to the world, every hero under the sun was bitten by or exposed to a radioactive something or other. Spidey, the Hulk, the entire FF, Daredevil (whose powers resulted from having been hit in the head by an, "isotope," which fell out of the back of a truck. No joke), in fact, much of the Marvel roster back in the 'day', with few exceptions, was the result of high-tech future voo-doo which the Powers That Be were anxious to get the world to invest in heavily with lots of Rah Rah enthusiasm and as little clinical pre-thinking as possible. Iron Man is the perfect example. Sell it to kids in the thirties and your next crop of industrial leaders will be well programmed to serve exactly the ends you want met. Iron Man was a military industrialist, for crying out loud!

    I'm not sure I quite agree with your conclusion here. The writers looted pop-science for buzzwords. Look around the comics today and you'll see the word "quantum". I don't think said looting of buzzwords means that comic writers have a political ideology.

    [ Parent ]

    Heh. (2.00 / 1) (#89)
    by kaemaril on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 07:19:51 AM EST

    The way the USA has been doing things recently, they remind me more of The Authority....

    Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?

    My favourite superhero (none / 0) (#90)
    by LeftOfCentre on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 09:23:58 AM EST

    Captain Euro in his environmentally friendly car, battling the evil capitalist Dr D. Vider who, while showing no regard for human life and ethics, is trying to chop Europe up into separate countries. :)

    batman vs Superman (none / 0) (#92)
    by krutch on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 12:07:47 PM EST

    Just a minor nit, Superman was the all Canadian hero, Superman was conceived in Canada by a Canadian, just because Marvel Comics was based in NewYork, doesn't mean the conception or idea originated there. =) Same with basketball - how many Yanks think of it as *their* game? It's not, invented again in Canada by Dr. James Naismith. Us weary Canucks are a little tired of Yanks, thinking there the inventors of all time, without researching specifically which is and which isn't. Cheers,

    Basket Ball and Goebles. . . (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Fantastic Lad on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 01:14:49 PM EST

    Being a Canuck myself, I've also been pummeled with those ubiquitous televised culture ads.

    See how easy it is for your attitudes and actions to be directed by those funky boob-tube rays? This is a fine example of nationalistic propaganda in action. --Of a low level and fairly harmless quality, mind you, (it seems upon first glance anyway,) but still a good example.

    What's more. . , I have no actual idea about the truth of basket ball's origin. Did you verify that one? It's almost certainly a true factoid. Those televised patriotic info-clips certainly had the air of 'Authoritative Trustworthy Boring Teacher/Daddy Knows Best', --a measure which ensures their being taken at face value by 999 out of 1000 viewers. (Thanks Goebles.)

    Now, all you have to do is seed about one lie in with every five pseudo-truths, and you've got a reliable tool for indoctrinating an entire television watching populace. --Which has indeed happened, and long ago at that!

    The cool part, is that you can unplug at any time.

    Here's a fun exercise: Sit down with your blinders off and try watching those science 'learning' channels sometime. --At the lowest level of evil, such channels are paid to air 'documentaries' produced by pharmecutical companies which do things like 'de-bunk' the 'myth' of the medical danger of breast implants, (I actually saw that one.). --All the way to bald-faced lies in the daily 'science' headlines.

    My favorite is when some loud-mouth boat rocker researcher digs up yet another pecular piece of evidence which further messes up the rickety old evolutionary theory or time line of civilization, you'll, maybe a week to two weeks later, get these hastily, (and usually quite badly), put together counter-theory, "Go Back To Sleep, Citizen" documentaries. (Which is not to say that I'm at all trying to validate the equally faulty creationist theory. --A nice little competitor to fill the opposite camp so that everybody ignores the well camoflauged truth hiding on the side lines.)

    I'm not trying to burn you here, but if you want to impress people, try digging for some Canadiana other than that old, "We invented Superman and Basketball Cuz TV said so,". Try bringing up something like the fact that Canada for several years made the best fighter jets on the planet. --Or. . . hold on, I think I saw that in a made for TV documentary. . .

    Or better yet, reclaim your brain and stop watching television altogether. It's summer outside, for goodness sake!

    -Fantastic Lad

    [ Parent ]

    Batman vs Superman (none / 0) (#101)
    by krutch on Sun Jul 14, 2002 at 04:14:06 PM EST

    Yeah guess who's watching TV too much. ;) FYI I'm 45 yoa and don't watch the tube much. I got these factoids from not watching TV but from actually reading history when I was young and in school. It is a fact that both of those two projects were created in the GWNorth. /cheers not being critical of you, just setting an asumption correct.

    [ Parent ]
    TV (none / 0) (#104)
    by Fantastic Lad on Sun Jul 14, 2002 at 09:14:21 PM EST

    cheers not being critical of you, just setting an asumption correct.

    Indeed! Always a good thing!


    [ Parent ]

    The invention of baseball (none / 0) (#94)
    by agapow on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 07:13:15 PM EST

    Actually, it's not clear where baseball came from. It's mentioned in passing in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, so it seems unlikely it was "invented" by a Canuck. Codified or formalised, perhaps. Invented, no.

    [ Parent ]
    Illiterate much? (none / 0) (#120)
    by Inoshiro on Tue Jul 16, 2002 at 02:31:33 PM EST

    He said basketball.

    [ イノシロ ]
    [ Parent ]
    Marvel Comics? (1.00 / 1) (#98)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 11:26:13 PM EST

    You must not care about Superman very much if you don't even know what company published him. Oh, wait - you don't. You just want to whine about how another Canadian had to come to the US to actually make money on their idea.

    The gift that lasts a lifetime: Give your child "mental blocks" this christmas!

    [ Parent ]
    Origin of Superman (none / 0) (#121)
    by hocrus on Tue Jul 16, 2002 at 02:48:30 PM EST

    Sorry, Superman was created in Cleveland Ohio USA by two teens, Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster

    [ Parent ]
    Sort of (none / 0) (#123)
    by spammacus on Tue Jul 16, 2002 at 06:35:35 PM EST

    Names right, place wrong.
    -- "Asshole, deconstruct thyself." - Mr. Surly
    [ Parent ]
    Oh... and the first hydraulic electric (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by MickLinux on Fri Jul 26, 2002 at 08:06:21 AM EST

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the first hydraulic electric plant was built in America because American government is so much better for business than the Canadian government.

    [okay, troll, troll, somebody butt me off the bridge with the real facts...]

    I, too, an American, have become tired of edited proAmerican history.  Edison was not an inventor.  He was a businessman and a patent thief, and indeed insulted the Czech immigrant Tesla by saying Tesla would never be a great inventor... because he didn't know how to steal.  

    In Edison's own notebooks, he has clipped and pasted an article which tells how a British inventor used a carbon filament to successfully make a long-lasting lightbulb.  On the next page (next day) he has written "_It_works!_".  (Sci. Am. article on Edison, I read a long time ago).  He then used monopolistic money plus repetitive lawsuits to impoverish the British inventor, until they settled for the British guy getting the patent in England, and Edison getting the patent everywhere else...  another victory for intellectual property and the incentive to invention of the patent system.

    The more I kept hearing stories like that, the more I started to think that our history books were full of fine, brown, freshly laid loam of the highest quality.  

    Anyhow, I'd like to offer a toast.  Here's to Truth, Justice or the American Way.  (Raises shotglass, drinks heavily, sways under the impact, emits a burp, and sets his milk down.)

    I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.
    [ Parent ]

    How many people have the two of them really killed (none / 0) (#97)
    by Coriolis on Sat Jul 13, 2002 at 11:22:20 PM EST

    Neither of the heroes kill other people (with a few exceptions) but this has probably resulted in more deaths. How many people has the Joker killed? Or what about Metropolis crime lords? Neither Superman or Batman kill their enemies, but rather capture them and turn them over to the authorities. The villians just escape and continue to kill more people. If the heroes had chosen to kill their opponents rather than showing mercy, then a lot of innocent people would not have to die. Although this is a critical part of the story line (eventually, the DC universe would run out of villians) but I prefer to see this of this as a character flaw on both their parts.

    their first meeting was a team-up (none / 0) (#112)
    by pantagruel on Mon Jul 15, 2002 at 01:04:01 PM EST

    in another time, and their first meeting in this time is a combat. This might lead one to erroneously conclude that Our Culture is going to hell, has gone to hell, or just admitted it was hell with no attempt at saving face.

    Superman vs Batman. Investigating the All American Hero | 126 comments (109 topical, 17 editorial, 1 hidden)
    Display: Sort:


    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
    See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
    Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
    Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
    My heart's the long stairs.

    Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!