Can we stop with the "Batman is more relatable than Superman" thing?

JimB

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Happyninja42 said:
Sorry but no, that's not a character flaw in the context of story structure.
If deadish chooses to elaborate that by "flawless" he is only talking about character flaws in the context of story structure, then I'll revise my rebuttal to his argument. Until such a time, my post is a perfectly valid response to his as it is currently written.

Happyninja42 said:
Fair enough, as after hitting post, I can think of a few writers who have gone into questionable territory with Supes and how he behaves. But, I think it should be pointed out, that the most common reaction, when someone tries to give Supes a negative trait, the fans usually lose their minds, and flame rage about how "You're not writing Superman correctly!! He's not cruel or vindictive~!! He has no faults!"
If you say so. I never heard anyone call the Superman of Justice League Unlimited (for example) a No True Scotsman. When I've seen that reaction, the writers had to go pretty batshit crazy with it, like in the "Walking the Earth" storyline or Man of Steel.

Happyninja42 said:
Just look at all the things he did in Man of Steel, for example, that would actually portray a fairly flawed Superman, which personally I would find more interesting, but the fans lost their freaking minds about it.
Without knowing which specific events you're referring to, I can only say that Superman is an avatar of hope, so to see him behave so hopelessly in service to trying to make Superman be Batman while the cast continues to narrate about how hopeful he is despite his actions comes off as an extremely misguided direction choice to me.
 

Cicada 5

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Samtemdo8 said:
Agent_Z said:
Samtemdo8 said:
Zeconte said:
Samtemdo8 said:
Adam Jensen said:
I didn't even know that this was a thing. But now that you mentioned it, he's definitely more relatable than Superman.
Its because of that attitude is why we don't get any good Non Batman DC content. Name one GOOD Wonder Woman, Green Latern, and Flash comic book right out of your head?

Batman monoplized DC's attention. Batman sadly has become the face of DC when really it should be Superman.

Seeing Batman in the center of a Justice League group shot is just wrong.

http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/68/6896/NNTJ100Z/posters/justice-league-of-america-generations-group-team-comic-poster.jpg
Personally, I'd say that we don't get any good non-Batman DC content because DC is pretty terrible at creating good, relateable characters, Batman included. He just happens to be the most flawed, and therefore, most resembling human character they have, so he's slightly more interesting than the rest of them and therefore, the only one who has any kind of widespread appeal because the rest of them just come off as bland, one-dimensional flawless do-gooders with superpowers and no human qualities. At least, that's always how they were portrayed in all the cartoons and everything I've seen them in. The comics themselves may do better, but DC totally failed at making marketable, appealing cartoons until Batman the Animated Series and by the time they started trying as hard or harder with their other characters, they already lost any interest I may have had in them.


And I feel like people keeps forgetting that Superman the Animated Series and Justice League Animated Series Exists as if Batman was the only viable animated series worth watching.
Let's also not forget Static Shock, Young Justice, Teen Titans, and numerous DC animated movies (before the New 52 anyway).
I highly question whether the New 52 is BAD as everyone makes it out to be. Just because a few comic issues was bad (like the whole Starfire controversy) does not represent the WHOLE relaunch. I bought the first 6 issues of Justice League New 52 and it was alright.
Forgive me, I was talking about the animated movies based on New 52 stories rather than the comics line.
 

Cicada 5

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JimB said:
Something Amyss said:
Yeah, is it any shock people tend to find the angry, violent loner more relatable than the guy who is an embodiment of nobility?
ObsidianJones said:
You want to defeat Batman? Put a psychiatrist in front of him with a handful of Prozac. That's the end of the caped crusader.

I think Batman is more relate-able to the masses because Batman stopped growing at one moment in life. The fear of moving on, of growing even through undesirable circumstances is very in-tune with the modern, self centered society. "I was hurt, life must pay" type of thinking.
undeadsuitor said:
Clark Kent never lived on Krypton, he may not be a homo sapiens, but he's an earthling all the same.

Batman, on the other hand, has embezzled billions of dollars from his own company, gotten multiple children killed and crippled, has inadvertently created several super villains, and to when end? To make either a negative, or zero difference in one city.

Our hero, everyone.
This forum really needs some kind of Like feature.


I mean, honestly. Batman has infinite money, infinite intelligence, infinite physical stamina (you simply cannot do all the shit he does day and night without dropping dead from pure sleep deprivation), is the best martial artist in the world, is the best actor in the world, is probably the best acrobat in the world, but somehow still counts as human? Because he's pissed off, I guess? I'm sorry, but Batman stopped being relatable to me years ago when I outgrew my teenage angst and took my the Crow posters off the wall. Batman is, quite frankly, as dangerous a villain as anyone he punches the shit out of and throws into Arkham, because he has the tools to help raise people out of the state in Gotham that drives them to crime (seriously, can you imagine how desperate for money you'd have to be to go apply for a job with the Joker?), and instead refuses to alter the status quo so he can keep punching the shit out of people.

That so many people keep mentioning Batman's flaws as a source of relatability while saying that being good makes Superman boring vaguely worries me in its implications. I can relate to Superman because I know I can be better and do better, and Superman gives me something to aspire to; do the people who "relate" to Batman aspire to his level of selfishness, childishness, and myopia? Do they aspire to substitute violence for justice the way Batman does? I suppose there's very little harm done if so--we can all probably agree that no one who tries to emulate Batman is going to do so more effectively than making unironic YouTube videos of themselves scream-singing "DARKNESS! NO PARENTS!"--but still. Kind of a bummer to think about.

I find Superman more relatable than Batman because I want to be more like Superman, not in his powers but in the way he comports himself; whereas I have the potential to possess Batman's powers, yet am purely contemptuous of him for the way he mishandles them.

deadish said:
At least [Superman] isn't flawless.
This is the kind of thing I'm talking about when I say I get a little worried by these discussions. Superman is flawed. He is totally flawed. He simply can't save everyone; despite him being on watch, people still suffer and die. Villains still rob and kill; diseases still ravage the poor; children in Africa still starve; women are still honor-raped and honor-murdered in the Middle East. Even within the context of his own stories, he fails. The thing is, Superman at least tries, and he keeps trying; but somehow, refusing to give up or to be apathetic makes him flawless, boring, and worthy of being dismissed. It's a very damning indictment, but not of Superman.
I very much agree. And as I stated some pages back, Bruce's flaws do not bring about the consequences that they normally would in RL. The police allow him to operate with impunity, I don't think the comics actually point out he could do more with his money than fund equipment to beat people up, the Batfamily always forgives his transgressions etc. It's a have your cake and eat it too situation; the writers dial up his imperfections but for the most part avoid the repercussions.
 

Cicada 5

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Happyninja42 said:
JimB said:
Happyninja42 said:
That's not a character flaw. Being sad that you can't stop all crime in the world is simply an emotional state based on reality.
I didn't say anything about being sad. I said there are limits to the amount of good he can do. He is not perfect; therefore he is flawed.
Sorry but no, that's not a character flaw in the context of story structure. It's not a negative aspect of his personality or behavior, that's simply a limitation to his abilities, something every character has. And the fact that his limitation is restricted to "He can't save everyone" is pretty telling in that he doesn't have anything negative going on.

JimB said:
Happyninja42 said:
Can you name a single negative trait of his personality or behavior?
Depends. Which creative team's take on which continuity of the character are we talking about?
Fair enough, as after hitting post, I can think of a few writers who have gone into questionable territory with Supes and how he behaves. But, I think it should be pointed out, that the most common reaction, when someone tries to give Supes a negative trait, the fans usually lose their minds, and flame rage about how "You're not writing Superman correctly!! He's not cruel or vindictive~!! He has no faults!" Basically the fans reinforcing the idea that he shouldn't show any negative traits. Just look at all the things he did in Man of Steel for example, that would actually portray a fairly flawed Superman, which personally I would find more interesting, but the fans lost their freaking minds about it.
Loonyyy said:
Happyninja42 said:
JimB said:
deadish said:
At least [Superman] isn't flawless.
This is the kind of thing I'm talking about when I say I get a little worried by these discussions. Superman is flawed. He is totally flawed. He simply can't save everyone; despite him being on watch, people still suffer and die. Villains still rob and kill; diseases still ravage the poor; children in Africa still starve; women are still honor-raped and honor-murdered in the Middle East. Even within the context of his own stories, he fails. The thing is, Superman at least tries, and he keeps trying; but somehow, refusing to give up or to be apathetic makes him flawless, boring, and worthy of being dismissed. It's a very damning indictment, but not of Superman.
That's not a character flaw. Being sad that you can't stop all crime in the world is simply an emotional state based on reality. A character flaw would be he is a paragon of virtue and nobility, but has a gambling habit. A flaw would be him constantly stopping drug dealers and shutting down cartels, but has a vice for some form of alien chemical that makes him feel good. "Gosh I'm sad because I can't save everyone" isn't a character flaw.

Is he petty? Is he vindictive? Is he selfish? Is he prone to fits of anger and rage, and outbursts that are unwarranted based on the situation? Can you name a single negative trait of his personality or behavior? No? Then he's flawless.

I would normally say "The fact that he lives a double life, and willingly lies to the people he cares about" would be considered a serious character flaw. In anything other than superhero stories, it is considered one. Characters with double lives are almost universally portrayed as being less than virtuous by behaving that way. And by the end of the story, they almost always give up the double life, come clean, and have a better, happier existence as a result. But that doesn't work in superhero stories. The "my enemies will target the people I love to hurt me" is a very legitimate concern, that is verified over and over. So even that isn't a flaw.
I feel it's more a refute to the typical "Superman always wins" bit. There's always someone (Lots of someones) who say that Superman is not relateable or is boring, because Superman is well, Superman.

But that's the thing, Superman does lose. He's got weaknesses, he's got nemesis who plague him, and in the end, he does lose some, and he can't save everyone. Like just about every other Superhero. Including Batman. Like Batman, he also ends up coming out on top in basically every one of his stories, like pretty much every superhero. People don't have this problem with Wolverine, Batman, or any number of other heroes. Many people have noted that Batman has the strongest plot armour of almost any fictional character, and somehow gets to play on the same field as gods among men like Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, despite being a man, without any real powers. The people saying these things largely aren't even reading the comics, they have no familiarity with them. They're just arguing archetypes and stereotypes, because that's what these characters are at this point.

Superman stands for a certain set of values. So what? Why does he need to have fits of anger and rage, why does he need outburts, why does he need a gambling problem? What does that add to his character? Yeah, he's a boy scout, that's kind of the point. At the end of the day, Batman's flaws are no more challenging. Woo, occassionally goes overboard on people who are usually mass murderers. Come on, we can all empathise with that. If anything, doing the right thing is more challenging there. You have to do a lot of fridge logic to really marr his character, and point out that he could totally solve crime in Gotham with just his money and technology.

Neither of them really change that much over time as characters. Things happen to them, they do things, they have arcs, but comics aren't about real change. Nobody gets to grow much, and that's the most damning thing you can say about either of their character. For what it's worth, I think that not growing from Christ-figure with heroic and noble sensibilities is more admirable than not growing from death in the family (Not an in joke) for 50 years.
Again, having a weakness, specifically kryptonite in this case, isn't the same as a character flaw. Every superhero has something that limits their powers, it's called dramatic tension. If the hero has absolutely zero risk of failure or injury, then there is no tension in the story. The person I quoted, that you quoted me responding to, was talking about flaws in Superman. I was pointing out that character flaws are negative aspects of a character's personality/behavior, that directly contradict, and conflict with his overall narrative arc. It is an aspect of themselves they must overcome, to struggle against to try and be a better person. Kryptonite is not a character flaw. Fighting someone who is stronger than you and losing, isn't a character flaw. What would be a character flaw in that example, would be if Superman then became obsessed with getting stronger, so that he never lost again, and took dangerous risks to try and gain more power. Possibly putting his own health/sanity, or the safety of those around him at risk to accomplish his goals. Pride, ambition in this example. Or, in that recent DC fighting game, Gods Among Us I think it was called? Where Superman
basically went evil because of his grief over the loss of Lois Lane, and decided to become a totalitarian dictator of the planet as a reaction. Or at least I think that was the gist of it? I haven't personally played it, but I saw a decent chunk of a Let's Play of it, and that seemed to be the thrust of the storyline.
Those are flaws.

And depending on who is writing the character, he might have a story that includes that, with 60+ years of literature, and dozens of different writers, some variation will pop up, I don't deny that. But the fans apparently cannot stand this, and lose their shit over "mis-representing Superman". I have no problem in theory with Superman being the proverbial boyscout, and I in fact like Superman. But please don't try and say he has flaws, when he clearly doesn't. Not as his most archetypal representation.

And just to clarify, I said nothing about "Superman always wins". Victory in battle isn't what I'm talking about.
Thing is fans complaining about how a character is written won't change how that character is being written. And not all Superman fans hated Man of Steel. I liked it. Some Superman fans also like Injustice. I wasn't one of them. So it isn't whether or not he's portrayed as flawed (at least that't not it for everyone) but whether or not they think he's still being written well and not just being deconstructed to prop up another character (usually Batman).

And it's not like there aren't people who complain about Batman's portrayals either. I've seen people say they hate the Nolan movies for seemingly dumbing him down. I've met people who hated the tv show Gotham because Bruce, at the age of 13 at most, has not become a master detective.
 

happyninja42

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JimB said:
Happyninja42 said:
Just look at all the things he did in Man of Steel, for example, that would actually portray a fairly flawed Superman, which personally I would find more interesting, but the fans lost their freaking minds about it.
Without knowing which specific events you're referring to, I can only say that Superman is an avatar of hope, so to see him behave so hopelessly in service to trying to make Superman be Batman while the cast continues to narrate about how hopeful he is despite his actions comes off as an extremely misguided direction choice to me.
Some of the things he did (that I can recall, that movie was pretty forgettable for me):

Wrecking a guys truck out of spite for having a beer tossed on him.
Deciding to murder an entire species based on the actions of a handful of them.
Showing frustration and anger at Pa Kent, and lashing out at him "You're not my father!" in a fit of teenage rage.
That's all I can recall at the moment, though if I watched it again I could probably find a few more. Though I really don't want to. xD

And I agree that Man of Steel suffered from trying to "Batman up" Superman. Please understand, I'm not saying "Superman sucks because he isn't like Batman". In all honesty, personally, I like Superman better, even though I find Batman more relatable. But I can accept the fact that the way he is most commonly portrayed, as the paragon of virtue and nobility, is a flawless representation of a character. He doesn't have to "be dark" to be flawed. I'm just asking for him to have 1 common, consistent character flaw, that is something he has to struggle with, to make him a more fleshed out character. It doesn't have to be dipped in the blackest ink of emo grimdarkness, but something that isn't constantly reinforcing that he is the ultimate boyscout. The examples I gave above (not this post, but my previous ones), while dark, are simply that, examples. They are some of the more common examples I can think of from pop culture. He doesn't have to have those specific ones, just something. And while I'm certainly not an expert on Superman, the amount of Superman substance I have seen continues to show him as having no flaws. I would appreciate his efforts more, if there was some internal struggle with him, not just an external one. I don't think that's asking for much out of a character. To have one negative trait? Hell, most of us have dozens, I know I do, and plenty of other superhero characters have them too. It's what makes them more relatable, we can identify with them more when we see them dealing with normal problems along with supernatural ones.
 

happyninja42

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Agent_Z said:
Thing is fans complaining about how a character is written won't change how that character is being written. And not all Superman fans hated Man of Steel. I liked it. Some Superman fans also like Injustice. I wasn't one of them. So it isn't whether or not he's portrayed as flawed (at least that't not it for everyone) but whether or not they think he's still being written well and not just being deconstructed to prop up another character (usually Batman).

And it's not like there aren't people who complain about Batman's portrayals either. I've seen people say they hate the Nolan movies for seemingly dumbing him down. I've met people who hated the tv show Gotham because Bruce, at the age of 13 at most, has not become a master detective.
But it does impact how the character is written. When the fans hate the new direction a hero is taken, they stop buying the title. Sales drop, and a new direction is taken. "Oh, it wasn't Superman who did something bad, it was an evil clone of Superman!" "That's not the real Superman becoming a tyrant, it's an alternate universe Superman! See? Here's your flawless hero come to stop this and bring everything back to the status quo!" Which while certainly not a Superman exclusive trick in comics, it lessens a lot of the potential impact that the story arc might have for me. I'd like to see him make a mistake, decide something that is ultimately a bad move, and have to live with that consequence. To decide to do something for himself, and it have a price, and deal with the consequences. Rather than simply do a plot twist where it wasn't the real Supes, or it was, but he was mind controlled by an alien parasite, or whatever other crazy excuses comic book writers come up with on a regular basis.
 

Cicada 5

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Happyninja42 said:
Agent_Z said:
Thing is fans complaining about how a character is written won't change how that character is being written. And not all Superman fans hated Man of Steel. I liked it. Some Superman fans also like Injustice. I wasn't one of them. So it isn't whether or not he's portrayed as flawed (at least that't not it for everyone) but whether or not they think he's still being written well and not just being deconstructed to prop up another character (usually Batman).

And it's not like there aren't people who complain about Batman's portrayals either. I've seen people say they hate the Nolan movies for seemingly dumbing him down. I've met people who hated the tv show Gotham because Bruce, at the age of 13 at most, has not become a master detective.
But it does impact how the character is written. When the fans hate the new direction a hero is taken, they stop buying the title. Sales drop, and a new direction is taken. "Oh, it wasn't Superman who did something bad, it was an evil clone of Superman!" "That's not the real Superman becoming a tyrant, it's an alternate universe Superman! See? Here's your flawless hero come to stop this and bring everything back to the status quo!" Which while certainly not a Superman exclusive trick in comics, it lessens a lot of the potential impact that the story arc might have for me. I'd like to see him make a mistake, decide something that is ultimately a bad move, and have to live with that consequence. To decide to do something for himself, and it have a price, and deal with the consequences. Rather than simply do a plot twist where it wasn't the real Supes, or it was, but he was mind controlled by an alien parasite, or whatever other crazy excuses comic book writers come up with on a regular basis.
Well there was that time in the 2000s that it was revealed that some members of the Justice League were brainwashing criminals and Superman knew about this but didn't do anything about it.
 

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Samtemdo8 said:

Anyone expecting Batman and Superman to only duke it out and remain enemies at the end of the movie are fooling themselves.

We all know they won't do that because Comic Stories are Predictable. Yes even Marvel.

Especially when they come out and say that they are making so many planned sequels.
Heck Batman and Superman are teaming up by the end the trailer, which is terrible in that it spoils the show. You know exactly what is going to happen in the movie.
 

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Gorfias said:
Samtemdo8 said:

Anyone expecting Batman and Superman to only duke it out and remain enemies at the end of the movie are fooling themselves.

We all know they won't do that because Comic Stories are Predictable. Yes even Marvel.

Especially when they come out and say that they are making so many planned sequels.
Heck Batman and Superman are teaming up by the end the trailer, which is terrible in that it spoils the show. You know exactly what is going to happen in the movie.
The thing is I knew something like this will happen regardless. WB claimed beforehand that it was like this:

Man of Steel > Batman v Superman > Justice League movie part 1 > part 2> The whole DC Cinematic Universe.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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Happyninja42 said:
Samtemdo8 said:
Anyone expecting Batman and Superman to only duke it out and remain enemies at the end of the movie are fooling themselves.

We all know they won't do that because Comic Stories are Predictable. Yes even Marvel.

Especially when they come out and say that they are making so many planned sequals.
I'm pretty sure the movie is going to boil down to this:

*Opening scene, and everything up to about 15 minutes left in the movie*

Batman: I hate superman!
Superman: I hate batman!
*Fight fight fight*

*15 minutes left*

Batman and Superman: Oh shit! Doomsday is here! We should probably fight him!
Wonder Woman: Hey! I'm in this movie too guys! And I'm just as capable as you men!
B&S: Ok!

*Fight fight fight*
B&S&W: We won! Hey we should be friends and form a bowling league!
*End credits*

I'm not terribly optimistic for this movie as you can tell. :/
You can apply that to a lot of Superhero stories. We all know The Avengers would beat Ultron because the still have to get the whole team against Thanos plot.

I mean hell I doubt Captain America and Iron Man would kill each other. And a whole other villain will pop out.

And if they did I will accuss that movie of making a last minute change just like what happened to the Ninja Turtles movie that a white man was playing Shredder.
 

deadish

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JimB said:
Happyninja42 said:
Sorry but no, that's not a character flaw in the context of story structure.
If deadish chooses to elaborate that by "flawless" he is only talking about character flaws in the context of story structure, then I'll revise my rebuttal to his argument. Until such a time, my post is a perfectly valid response to his as it is currently written.
Ya. I meant character flaws.

Batman ... to say his flawed would be an understatement.

It's been pointed out many times, that if you think about it, he is as crazy as the villains he fights.

He has pushed away just about everyone close to him - how many Robins has he gone through? The only real friend he has is Alferd.

He is obsessed and his obsession practically destroys any chance of him having a normal life.

Superman? He is the perfect boy scout. That's his character. Nothing wrong with that - just that it isn't as popular as the "broken loner" that is Batman.

PS: Superman would work better if he had a "relatable" starting point within his mythos. People love a zero to hero story - shounen manga has exploited that trope to death. But ... he was born "super" ... so ...
 

OldNewNewOld

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Honestly I never understood the "Batman is relatable" nonsense. How is he relatable?
A billionaire super genius that learned literally everything there is to learn before he got his first pubes, every martial arts, knows science, art, everything.
Is an inventor, investor, master of everything and anything. He's a bigger Gary Sue than Superman. At least Superman is that, super and a man. He has actual power. With Batman it's always "HE HAS PLANS FOR EVERYTHING!!!1".

I don't see how he's relatable even the tiniest bit. I mean, he's human means literally nothing when he's more alien than some alien in comic books.

EDIT:
This post is obviously an exaggeration.
 

kitsunefather

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That said, given that the discussion is on the Batman/Superman dichotomy, I'll add my two cents.

First off, neither is more or less powerful than the other. The one who wins in a fight is the one the writer (more likely the editor, if what we hear out of DC's staff is true) wants to win. Aunt May can beat Galactus with cold chicken soup and a stomach pump if that's how the writer wants to write it.

Batman is generally considered more easy to relate to because the problems he faces we can imagine ourselves in. Can you imagine the death of someone you love? Now, can you imagine being the last of your species? The prior is something we all have to face, while the latter is something that's conceptual and outside our ability to really connect with.

Batman is a person consumed by the worst day in their life, and I think most people can see a scenario that would consume them. Superman is more of an ideal, similar to Greek Legends, who acts because it is their nature to do so. It is harder to see ourselves lacking basic psychological concepts such as greed or pride.

Next, when Batman has a gun pointed at him, we can imagine the danger he is in and feel a sense of victory when he overcomes it. Superman is never in danger except by supernatural means, which is harder to identify with. And yes, I know neither of them are in any danger, but the imagery is intended to appeal to your subconscious, no matter how conscious you may be of their immortality. When Batman stops a shooter, it is written as the triumph of a man. When Superman does it, it is written as the act of a God.

And that comes to the main idea: Batman is written as a person who is God-like. Superman is written as a God who acts like a person. It is easier to identify with the former than the latter, in the end. It owes more to the early structure of DC to write their characters in a more archetypal fashion than as people, and that aspect following it through various iterations of its universe. The characters are meant to each be concepts before people, existing in cities that are more different types of places than different actual places. This is why you see this discussion crop up around DC so much more than Marvel; this approach to the characters.

It's also why you have so much of DC media taken up by Batman; he's the easiest to fit into the mold of an essentially regular person. Yes, he's stupid rich, but it is easier to write a rich guy you can feel bad for than a God you can be afraid for. The best thing DC could do, in my opinion, is stop trying to make them people and accept them as legends. Treat them like mythology, rather than every one of them being people first.

Give us a Wonder Woman where a Goddess decides to live as a mortal, and has to come to terms with what that means for her. Give us a Superman who is basically Steve Reeves' Hercules in tights. The reason that nothing DC does but Batman works is, in the end, because everything DC has done for 20 years has been trying to be Batman.

And for me, I think Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, and Jon Stewart are much more relatable than Batman. Not all consuming, but each one an Everyman who has the power to do more thrust on them and doing what they can to help. Hell, Martian Manhunter is more relatable to me; someone out of their element in a new place who misses his home and family, and is trying to make the best of things.
 

JimB

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Happyninja42 said:
Some of the things he did (that I can recall, that movie was pretty forgettable for me):

Wrecking a guys truck out of spite for having a beer tossed on him.
That fucking scene, man. I have no idea how much a big rig costs, but Kal-El had to have committed at least a hundred thousand dollars' of damage not just to his attacker but to his employer's parking lot, all for childish spite. That was when the movie really started to fucking lose me, because that is just plain criminal. Like, literally criminal. He deserves to be imprisoned for that.

Happyninja42 said:
Deciding to murder an entire species based on the actions of a handful of them.
Murder them? How so? He just sent most of them back to the Phantom Zone...though I guess reasonable people can argue that banishing someone from physical reality isn't especially different from murdering them.

Happyninja42 said:
Showing frustration and anger at Pa Kent, and lashing out at him "You're not my father!" in a fit of teenage rage.
That one was okay. Trying to pass off Henry Cavill as a teenager in that scene wasn't okay, but him having a fight with his dad did ground the character some.

Happyninja42 said:
Please understand, I'm not saying "Superman sucks because he isn't like Batman."
I understand. I don't think you and I disagree too widely, really. I'm just trying to remain aware that this is a public conversation and people other than you will respond to my post--after all, I wasn't addressing you when you chose to rebut what I was saying--so at least part of what I say is aimed at the community in general.

Happyninja42 said:
I'm just asking for him to have one common, consistent character flaw, that is something he has to struggle with, to make him a more fleshed out character.
Fair enough. Time was, it was his struggle to balance a mortal life with superhuman duties, but any more?

deadish said:
I meant character flaws.
That being the case, not much I can say. I have seen him have character flaws in various stories written by various people; I have seem him have no character flaws and instead just be a force of goodness to which the rest of the world must react. How much he's flawed depends on the story you read, and if you're not talking about this or that story, then all I can do is shrug.

deadish said:
Superman would work better if he had a "relatable" starting point within his mythos. People love a zero to hero story; shounen manga has exploited that trope to death. But...he was born "super," so...
That is not true of any post-Golden Age story I'm personally aware of--he had no powers as a child, and was a teenager before he developed them meaningfully after absorbing years of solar radiation--but I will admit to being ignorant of what his Nu52 origin is.
 

Redryhno

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JimB said:
I mean, honestly. Batman has infinite money, infinite intelligence, infinite physical stamina (you simply cannot do all the shit he does day and night without dropping dead from pure sleep deprivation), is the best martial artist in the world, is the best actor in the world, is probably the best acrobat in the world, but somehow still counts as human? Because he's pissed off, I guess? I'm sorry, but Batman stopped being relatable to me years ago when I outgrew my teenage angst and took my the Crow posters off the wall. Batman is, quite frankly, as dangerous a villain as anyone he punches the shit out of and throws into Arkham, because he has the tools to help raise people out of the state in Gotham that drives them to crime (seriously, can you imagine how desperate for money you'd have to be to go apply for a job with the Joker?), and instead refuses to alter the status quo so he can keep punching the shit out of people.
You have no idea how sick and tired I am of seeing this thrown around. I have commented on it four times in this thread, and yet people STILL think all Batman does is a rich boy playing dressup and that's it.

Wayne Food, Tech, Medical, Electronics, Construction and BioTech all regularly donate time and resources to the city. The police are somewhat able to deal with some of the super-powered beings because of the breakthroughs in Tech and BioTech. People are able to afford transplants and costly procedures because of the somewhat lenient healthcare provided by Medical in addition to being some of the first to get access to newer drugs that help combat AIDS and various forms of cancer. Schools aren't left in the 50's with education because Electronics and Construction donated infrastructure, buildings, and computers. People aren't left starving because they can't afford food because of the things donated to food banks.

The Wayne Foundation is a purely charitable endeavor started by his parents and continued with himself. Two parts of it, one that runs the clinics in the shitty parts of Gotham that can't afford medical care and awards breakthroughs in medicine, specially anything that lets the poor prosper and stop being as poor. And the other, which runs countless orphanages around the city, provides an education for poor students with learning disabilities, has its own private detective agency that finds families so those orphanages can sometimes not be required(hell, some of them are essentially boarding schools to entice said orphans to not end up as criminals), and runs countless homeless shelters and soup kitchens around the city. Not to mention both provide grants for labs and artists so they can continue their research/work.

There's alot Bruce does for Gotham besides scaring the shit out of street thugs, but nobody seems to bother caring when they want to score points with the "ANGSTY SHITHEAD" crowd. Don't like him all you want, call him a teenager's wet dream and something no reasonable adult would like on anything other than an ironic level, fine with me, but don't act like he doesn't try to help as both Batman and Bruce.
 

JimB

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Redryhno said:
You have no idea how sick and tired I am of seeing this thrown around.
Sorry, but: tough. In what way has Bruce Wayne used his money that has caused the setting of Gotham City to meaningfully evolve past being the playground for criminals and villains it has been for decades of continuity? What has he done that has reduced crime rates and kept them reduced? The list of accomplishments you provide seems like nothing more than background dressing that doesn't actually make a dent in the body count in Gotham, locking the cycle of shootie-punchie-imprisonie-escapie-shootie into a holding pattern rather than solving it.
 

Redryhno

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JimB said:
Redryhno said:
You have no idea how sick and tired I am of seeing this thrown around.
Sorry, but: tough. In what way has Bruce Wayne used his money that has caused the setting of Gotham City to meaningfully evolve past being the playground for criminals and villains it has been for decades of continuity? What has he done that has reduced crime rates and kept them reduced? The list of accomplishments you provide seems like nothing more than background dressing that doesn't actually make a dent in the body count in Gotham, locking the cycle of shootie-punchie-imprisonie-escapie-shootie into a holding pattern rather than solving it.
So basically you're going to hold Batman to these standards, but not the guy that has fought his own villains in the streets that have then damaged infrastructure countless times in his own city because they're just as strong as he is, barely does any reporting, and refuses to do much more than stay in his own holding pattern? Exactly what do you want him to do beyond what he does now? Because what he does now is about six times what people have won Nobel Prizes for Peace for.

It's comics dude, there's always going to be that kind of shootie-punchie junk no matter what the background. Without it, there's barely any conflict. You may as well complain that Xcom focuses too much on the invasion part of the uplifting the aliens are doing.

But since we're gonna play this game: Why does a guy with nearly infinite power just sit at a desk all day long? Why didn't he use his powers to just become the mysteriously best farmer in Kansas and provide food for the entire world since he doesn't really have a timetable with his endurance and speed? Why set himself up in one of the fanciest cities in the DC universe instead of just wandering around the third world helping others if he wants to help people of the world? Why does he continue to let his villains survive and live? They're infinitely more dangerous than anything people throw fits about with Bats. Why does he not imprison Doomsday and make that his sole duty to the universe? Why not serve full time as judge and executioner for the ones that only he has a chance of defeating? Why does Clark Kent not do his own investigative reporting on LexCorp when he finds out as Superman how corrupt Luthor is? Why does Clark Kent exist when all he honestly has to do is reveal himself as Superman and retreat to his Fortress of Solitude for when he's not sorely needed? There's a thousand and one things Superman can do better that people routinely ignore.

I'd like to end this with - because I know it's happened before in this thread - this,but I don't hate Superman, I just prefer Gotham and the Bat Family. And I just find him to be a character that is insanely easy to write for, but insanely difficult to write in a way that isn't completely boring, and I've found Batman to just have the better quality stories as a whole.
 

happyninja42

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JimB said:
Happyninja42 said:
Some of the things he did (that I can recall, that movie was pretty forgettable for me):

Wrecking a guys truck out of spite for having a beer tossed on him.
That fucking scene, man. I have no idea how much a big rig costs, but Kal-El had to have committed at least a hundred thousand dollars' of damage not just to his attacker but to his employer's parking lot, all for childish spite. That was when the movie really started to fucking lose me, because that is just plain criminal. Like, literally criminal. He deserves to be imprisoned for that.
Heh, yeah, I actually liked the scene though. Because it conveyed very well for me, his frustration over controlling and hiding what he can do, behind what a human can do. And it showed that he isn't a flawless boyscout. xD But yeah I agree, it was totally criminal.

JimB said:
Happyninja42 said:
Deciding to murder an entire species based on the actions of a handful of them.
Murder them? How so? He just sent most of them back to the Phantom Zone...though I guess reasonable people can argue that banishing someone from physical reality isn't especially different from murdering them.
...uh, he shot his laser eyes through the hull of the babyship, thus destroying all the embryonic kryptonians that were in suspended animation on that vessel. That counts as genocide in my book. I don't know, nobody seems to remember that scene the way I did, so maybe I am misremembering it. But I seem to recall them showing us little baby kryptonians floating around in the magic science fluid, and then him cutting the ship in half with his eyes.


JimB said:
Happyninja42 said:
Showing frustration and anger at Pa Kent, and lashing out at him "You're not my father!" in a fit of teenage rage.
That one was okay. Trying to pass off Henry Cavill as a teenager in that scene wasn't okay, but him having a fight with his dad did ground the character some.[/quote
Exactly, and it was a sign that he isn't a perfect boyscout, which is all I'm asking for. I don't really have a problem with most of how he was portrayed in that movie. I liked how he was actually at odds with what Pa Kent was trying to teach him. To hide his powers and maybe let people die to protect himself. And how he was just fundamentally against that. "What was I supposed to do?! Let them drown?!" The way he said it, I felt, was perfect. He knew what he did was a risk, but he couldn't live with himself if he just let them die, when he could do something about it.


JimB said:
Happyninja42 said:
Please understand, I'm not saying "Superman sucks because he isn't like Batman."
I understand. I don't think you and I disagree too widely, really. I'm just trying to remain aware that this is a public conversation and people other than you will respond to my post--after all, I wasn't addressing you when you chose to rebut what I was saying--so at least part of what I say is aimed at the community in general.
That's fine, I just feel the need to clarify. People on this forum tend to assume one answer means something else a lot. Especially after several pages worth of responses, and the discussion mutating away from the original question.

JimB said:
Happyninja42 said:
I'm just asking for him to have one common, consistent character flaw, that is something he has to struggle with, to make him a more fleshed out character.
Fair enough. Time was, it was his struggle to balance a mortal life with superhuman duties, but any more?
I dunno, I wouldn't call that a character flaw. I mean Spiderman's got the same issue, but I wouldn't call it a character flaw. It's more another layer of conflict for him to deal with. A flaw would be, him using his powers for personal gain, and taking petty revenge on the wrestling promoter, letting the guy who robbed him run away. "I missed the part where that's my problem."
 

DoPo

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Happyninja42 said:
JimB said:
Happyninja42 said:
Deciding to murder an entire species based on the actions of a handful of them.
Murder them? How so? He just sent most of them back to the Phantom Zone...though I guess reasonable people can argue that banishing someone from physical reality isn't especially different from murdering them.
...uh, he shot his laser eyes through the hull of the babyship, thus destroying all the embryonic kryptonians that were in suspended animation on that vessel. That counts as genocide in my book. I don't know, nobody seems to remember that scene the way I did, so maybe I am misremembering it. But I seem to recall them showing us little baby kryptonians floating around in the magic science fluid, and then him cutting the ship in half with his eyes.
It definitely happened. It was a very big plot point with Zod, I believe, explicitly spelling it out for everybody by saying something along the lines of "Will you destroy the legacy of Krypton?" and this lead into Superman contemplating it for a beat...and then destroying the ship.

I remember it, since I found it was one of the more stupid and contrived plot points that was hammered into it with not a really good reason. But it happened, that's for sure.
 

happyninja42

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DoPo said:
Happyninja42 said:
JimB said:
Happyninja42 said:
Deciding to murder an entire species based on the actions of a handful of them.
Murder them? How so? He just sent most of them back to the Phantom Zone...though I guess reasonable people can argue that banishing someone from physical reality isn't especially different from murdering them.
...uh, he shot his laser eyes through the hull of the babyship, thus destroying all the embryonic kryptonians that were in suspended animation on that vessel. That counts as genocide in my book. I don't know, nobody seems to remember that scene the way I did, so maybe I am misremembering it. But I seem to recall them showing us little baby kryptonians floating around in the magic science fluid, and then him cutting the ship in half with his eyes.
It definitely happened. It was a very big plot point with Zod, I believe, explicitly spelling it out for everybody by saying something along the lines of "Will you destroy the legacy of Krypton?" and this lead into Superman contemplating it for a beat...and then destroying the ship.

I remember it, since I found it was one of the more stupid and contrived plot points that was hammered into it with not a really good reason. But it happened, that's for sure.
Oh good, someone actually confirming that for me. Seriously ever since that movie's come out, whenever I mention it, people seem to respond as if they don't know what I'm talking about. And it was starting to make me genuinely wonder if I was mis-remembering the scene of his baby murdering. Thank you.

But again, I actually like that, as it has him having some conflict with his powers, his morality, and what he might have to do to "save the day". But I don't think it's very "Supermany" in the classical sense of the character. But, I don't have any deep emotional investment in Superman, and am fine with them taking some liberties with him. I don't think the way they handled them in Man of Steel were terribly effective overall? But I'm fine with them trying to give him some more depth and....would pathos be the right word? Hmm, no, don't think that's exactly what I'm looking for. Eh, I give up, basically just trying to make him less perfect boyscouty.