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ursulav

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I know that many diehard comic fans are gonna ream me for this, and I will, in fact, deserve it.

Nevertheless, as I sit and watch the Justice League as Superman does whatever super thing, I am left thinking (yet again, and in an echo of Seanbaby's observation on the Superfriends) "Why do the other members even bother to show up? I mean, it's Superman. Send the Green Lantern along to watch just in case somebody has kryptonite, but other than that, who cares?"

They do a good job in the cartoon, mind you, of giving everyone equal airtime--except maybe Hawkgirl, who, let's face it, is just not very useful in a group where being able to fly and whack things hard are basic entry requirements.

The problem, of course, is that Superman is boring. I have never had any interest in Superman whatsoever. There is no creativity involved in being indestructible, and whenever he DOES get creative, it's to do things to the laws of physics that make me whimper.

Batman is at least marginally more interesting, because of the whole gadgetry thing, and more importantly, he's a jerk. The Martian Manhunter is at least vaguely interesting because he's green and squishy looking and appears to have been to college.

Some of the others, however, drive me nuts. Because I am a geek, whenever I am confronted with terribly versatile characters acting just...NOT VERSATILE...I grumble. Like the Wonder Twins in the old Superfriends.

Okay, go ahead, laugh. They were purple losers. I admit this. They had a monkey. I know. But still! They could've done so much more! They could have made everybody else on the team obsolete (with the possible exception of Superman.) I had a shaman in a Shadowrun campaign once who could turn into any animal, and I blew the game balance so far out of whack that the GM and I got locked into an arms race--every time I invented some obscenely powered trick ("Hmm, I bet if a humpback whale fell on these guys from a great height, they'd know they'd been somewhere! Hey, wanna bet a rhino can take down this roadblock? Surveillance? Watch me turn into a seagull...") he would alter the rules to close that particular venue. It was a devastatingly powerful trick, and I couldn't do dinosaurs, OR have a brother who could turn into a popsicle!

Or the monkey.

And don't get me started on the Green Lantern. You can do any damn thing so long as it's green, and what is it? Always with the giant green hand. "I'll punch him with a giant green fist! Again!"

I'm fairly sure that I am not the only dork out there who spent part of my childhood yelling "A walrus and a bucket of water!? You morons, a brontosaurus and a rain of hailstones would render the whole thing moot!"

But anyway. *cough* Really, I have a life. Honest.


You should read...

(Anonymous)
...Larry Niven's "Man of Steel--Woman of Kleenex," a meditation on the pitfalls of sexual congress between Superman and mortal woman.

I love you, Ursula.

*giggles and giggles and giggles*

I think--no. No, it's too late for me to get into a dissertation-length discussion of the benefits of, at the very least, Batman and Superman being on the same team. Too late. Hitting the post comment *now* before I suck myself in. :)

I remember running around in the backyard on Saturdays (right after cartoons, of course) with my siblings when I was younger. Being the SuperFriends(TM) was a popular game; so was mangling the phrases that Zan(TM) and Jayna(TM) would use.

WonderTwit powders, abdicate!

Nowadays I have less socially-acceptable habits, such as envisioning SuperFriends(TM) hentai. Form of . . . an ice dildo?

Never mind. I'm just sick, and I know it. <g>

I never really liked Superman at all *until* the series after the Batman animated series. He still isn't my favorite, but i can tolerate him.

"Sandman" needs an animated series.....

It very much does.
The only problem is that very few people could produce a version that would make the fans even somewhat happy with it.

I was terribly fond of the "Injustice For All" episodes because they dealt obliquely with this very thing. Lex Luthor gets together a pack of bad, bad guys, and they honestly have a shot of taking the Superdudes down, and there's this terribly ironic bit where the Martian Manhunter tries to tell Batman not to feel like he has to prove something just because he's the only one of them without superpowers--but how is the day saved?

Batman gets one of the bad guys to turn by doubling his pay.

Sure, he can't deflect bullets or run superfast or fly on his own or anything, but dude? The rest of the Superfriends are pretty much broke.

Batman just rocks. :)

(Deleted comment)
I've enjoyed the hell out of the JMS run of Spiderman, personally.

On the DC side, see if you can find any of Peter David's Supergirl stuff. And really, all of the Vertigo line that I've read has been really solid.

Personally, I wonder why they have anyone but Batman around. Mainly to clean up messes he feels are beneath him, I suppose.

Repeatedly, we see Bats outdoing or taking down others on the team. He designed their air-sea-spacecraft. He funded and designed the Watchtower. He always knows just what to say, what to do, and how to maintain a decent secret identity. When they need something clever done, they go to him. Languages? Bats. Investigation? Bats.

John Jonzz is a clever guy, admittedly, but he has no contacts and he never seems to figure out that people just suck. Well, and how to use his powers. Bah.

Teen Titans has a better superteam.

Teen Titans has a better superteam.

And a totally awesome J-pop theme-tune. X)


Hey.. my best friend had a PC who could morph into any animal. She also did that humpback whale bit. Or something reasonably similar. Cool!


And.. I've always hated Superman. Much like I've always hated Wolverine. They're both terribly overrated for superheroes.

Batman, however, is my hero.

Superhero teams suck!

Superhero teams suck!

Some teams are created as a team, like the Fantastic Four, or the X-men. Those teams usually work fine.
But some teams consist of heroes who were already popular as solo superheroes, and are brought together for the sole purpose of cashing in on this popularity.
Sometimes it works (sometimes the Avengers are pretty good) but often the team is too unbalanced.
Any team with Superman in it is bound to be unbalanced. Superman in a team is just shit.
Why would anyone who can do everything ever team up?

And as for Batman: I love Batman, but the dark and eery mood that goes with Batman usually works best if Batman works alone.
Batman and Superman together: It's been tried many times (becuase they have been the most popular superheroes since the 1940's) but usually, it only produes crap.

Judge Dredd is the best 'superhero' ever. It's a really warped comic. If you happen to find it, give it a read. Very strange take on a protagonist.

Try reading "Marshall Law" sometime...
That is a twisted comic.

Superman does have another weakness. He's an idiot. that's why Batman is on the team. To save everyone's butt and let them know they are idiots.

I found the argument amusing -- not ream-worthy, especially as it mirrors about half the arguments that repeatedly got thrown around in a course I took a few semesters ago, which I always found incredibly amusing.

Joey Cavalerri -- senior-ish editor at DC, and the teacher of said course pretty much summed up a similiar plight in correlation to his work on numerous titles for The Flash. Basically, He can't keep a decent writer on board with the titles for longer than a story-arc or two -- because interest, even among "up-and-coming" writers or ones who've recently hit a slump, wanes really quickly.

Why? They all end up saying, repeatedly, that "There's only so much you can do with a guy running around." This response even after DC tried to shape-up and remodel some of their second string superheroes to be competitive with Marvel's "Ultimate" line.

(I've gotten off course, haven't I?) As for DC in general, though -- Eh. Just, eh. Maybe it's because, with the exception of Batman (who, from the issues I read, courtesy of my father and uncle, from the 1960's - 1970's wasn't the dark and brooding guy we see today), I was raised on a diet of X-men, and less frequently, Spiderman. And even X-men I don't read much of anymore -- I'm still leery to pick up "New X-men" now that Grant Morrison's run is finished. :\

Also -- compare the way Batman and Superman got along with each other in Superfriends (and probably a few other of the older Hanna-Barbera shows), versus the more recent shows, beginning with Superman's series. WTF? They're getting along in Superfriends, huh? The whole dichotemy of Superman and Batman loathing each other, as well as Batman's own departure from being a campy blue-clad Adam West, is attributed to Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" (and yes, to a certain degree, Tim Burton as well before someone smacks me) -- in which Miller, who portrayed Superman as a raving dictator in the future (Was it the Superman series or Justice League that had an episode sort-of in homage to that?) and Batman as a grizzled, mean, dark & psychotic badass.

Miller basically stated that there was no way the two could get along, Superman was the ultimate in peace, order, and the American Way; while Batman was a rather psychotic product bent on avenging the death of his parents, he's more a vigilante than a real Superhero, and not the Sort of guy that would get along well with Superman. People *hated* what Miller did with the two at first -- but if you'll notice it's a mainstay in the DC universe, now.

But, I apologize, Ursula, for completely bogging down your comment slot with my babbling! >.

Batman (who, from the issues I read, courtesy of my father and uncle, from the 1960's - 1970's wasn't the dark and brooding guy we see today)

Batman was dark and brooding in 1939. For a short while. In 1940, Robin was added, to give a lighter side to the dark hero. And from then on, the atmosphere in the comic changed real fast. Late 1950's to half 1960's were the worst. Batman and Robin were a sort of superclowns. Every form of realism was banned form the comics in those days.
The 1960's TV show was based on those comics from the early 1960's.
In the late 1960's, Batman got his new look, he became more realistic, less funny, more serious.
But he didn't go back to being the 1939 dark knight until Frank Miller came around in the 1980's.

So you are right. During the largest part of Batman's carreer, he wasn't very dark and breeding. Yet most people remember Batman as the dark and breeding hero.

You are also right that during the largest part of their carreer, Batman and Superman got along very well.

And of course, with the Wonder Twins, eventually you got to "Form of an Ice Laser!".

And I remember sitting there thinking, "Ice laser? ICE LASER?!? If you could be a &(**%^% ICE LASER why have you been turning into a Gazebo for the past six months!"

Stupid aliens. Didn't deserve a monkey.

You'll probably be pleased to know that this set James off into "Form of--a water closet! Form of--medical waste!" for about five minutes...

At least the Flash can make me snarf at his chauvinism. :D

What I like about BatMan is that he's the Average Joe of the group. No superpowers, just toys, and he's mortal, but he worked hard. What an inspiration to us all!

And I appreciate that we don't have Robin on the show.

What I hate about the other superheroes is that they've created a context in which a man with a dozen blackbelts, his own Fortune 500 company, the most advanced computer system and devices money can buy, and the greatest detective skills seen since Sherlock Holmes could actually be referred to as 'the Average Joe'.

Some of this has been covered in the comics, especially the Green Lantern thing. In the comic, Green Lantern is Kyle Rainer, free lance artist, and trust me, he's imaginative. Even if the ring is still used for blunt force more than anything else, what he creates for the task is downright hilarious. Batman on the other hand is the detective, and gadgets are rarely needed or use, his mind is the only important tool, take a look at JLA vs Avengers for a really good example of this.