Superman Through the Ages! Forum

Superman Comic Books! => Superman! => Topic started by: alschroeder on January 30, 2006, 05:38:26 PM



Title: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: alschroeder on January 30, 2006, 05:38:26 PM
I have a theory about what keeps drawing them together, despite their many differences.

Bruce Wayne is very similar to Superman. Handsome, lionized,  a "protector" of the city, albeit only in a financial selnse many women attracted to him. Bruce Wayne and Superman have a lot more in common than Superman/Batman.

On the other hand, Batman is an investigator, and used to being ...disturbing in appearance. Clark Kent is an ace reporter,  and often used to ferretting out secrets and knowing more than he lets on, and yet, not lionized for his appearance---although not feared, but rather mocked.

Bruce Wayne/Superman are alike...

Batman/Clark Kent are alike...

Each's costumed identity can find points of reference with the other's civilian identity, and vice versa.

---Al


Title: Re: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: JulianPerez on January 31, 2006, 12:32:57 AM
Quote from: "alschroeder"
I have a theory about what keeps drawing them together, despite their many differences.

Bruce Wayne is very similar to Superman. Handsome, lionized,  a "protector" of the city, albeit only in a financial selnse many women attracted to him. Bruce Wayne and Superman have a lot more in common than Superman/Batman.

On the other hand, Batman is an investigator, and used to being ...disturbing in appearance. Clark Kent is an ace reporter,  and often used to ferretting out secrets and knowing more than he lets on, and yet, not lionized for his appearance---although not feared, but rather mocked.

Bruce Wayne/Superman are alike...

Batman/Clark Kent are alike...

Each's costumed identity can find points of reference with the other's civilian identity, and vice versa.

---Al


Hmmm, interesting idea.

Clark Kent's skill as an investigative reporter, however, has been historically underplayed, and with rather good reason, though: 1) if Superman was really good at his job, he wouldn't be a put-upon loser, 2) being a great reporter is really Lois's thing, 3) Clark Kent is far too "mildmannered" to be any good at all at being a hardhitting, question asking investigative reporter.

Though Bruce Wayne as a millionaire was always shown to be a responsible, Tony Stark type whose employees are probably very well provided for. Clark Kent as a crusading reporter, probably has a sense of social justice that is deeply repressed to keep his Clark Kent cover inoffensive and meek. Why be a reporter, and not, say, an air traffic controller?

Incidentally, Al Shroeder, I just read your incredible Wold-Newton Geneology for Captain America, and it was magnificently conceived. The most stylish one was the link to that landscape painter named "Rogers." I especially like the idea that Jonny from the Fab 5 was responsible for Steve's recruitment for the Super Soldier Program. It makes Steve's selection less arbitrary.

And keep up the good work on MINDMISTRESS. It's the first, and only Webcomic I read as a standard.


Title: Re: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: Permanus on January 31, 2006, 02:35:56 AM
It's an interesting idea that each should be attracted to the other's disguise: Batman, who is Bruce's real self, feels he has more in common with Clark Kent, while Superman, Clark's real self, feels more drawn to the brash cardboard cut-out that is Bruce Wayne.

It's worth noting, too, that both of them are really rather secretive and retiring people who have been reluctantly pushed into the limelight. Bruce would probably rather stay in his cave and Clark is the repository for Superman's humanity.

Most other superheroes seem to have secret identities as a bit of an afterthought, but in the case of Batman and Superman , their dual natures are integrating parts of their characters. They probably recognise this in each other, and it draws them together.


Title: Re: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: alschroeder on January 31, 2006, 09:01:16 AM
Quote from: "JulianPerez"

Clark Kent's skill as an investigative reporter, however, has been historically underplayed, and with rather good reason, though: 1) if Superman was really good at his job, he wouldn't be a put-upon loser, 2) being a great reporter is really Lois's thing, 3) Clark Kent is far too "mildmannered" to be any good at all at being a hardhitting, question asking investigative reporter.


I sometimes wonder about that. I don't think Perry giving all those choice stories to Clark over Lois was just male chauvinism---I don't think Perry would let anything get in the way of a good story. I agree Clark is not hardhitting....but I bet he has an innoculous way of asking a question that gets people to reveal more than they really intended. Sort of like Columbo.



Quote from: "JulianPerez"

Incidentally, Al Shroeder, I just read your incredible Wold-Newton Geneology for Captain America, and it was magnificently conceived. The most stylish one was the link to that landscape painter named "Rogers." I especially like the idea that Jonny from the Fab 5 was responsible for Steve's recruitment for the Super Soldier Program. It makes Steve's selection less arbitrary.

And keep up the good work on MINDMISTRESS. It's the first, and only Webcomic I read as a standard.


Thanks on BOTH counts. I'm having fun with MINDMISTRESS, and I hope it shows.  I'm trying to keep a Silver Agish sense of wonder to it while exploring some different themes for a superhero(ine).

---Al


Title: Re: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: laurel on January 31, 2006, 11:19:51 AM
hmmm.  I always figured it was an orphan thing.....

But I can tell you that Mr. Kent is worth more than a pennyworth as a father :shock:


Title: Re: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: Permanus on January 31, 2006, 04:14:51 PM
Quote from: "laurel"
hmmm.  I always figured it was an orphan thing.....

But I can tell you that Mr. Kent is worth more than a pennyworth as a father :shock:

Wow! You think Batman thinks of Superman as a father figure? You know, that could make sense... Clark is more settled than Bruce: at least he had adoptive parents. Bruce has only had Alfred and a whole bunch of teachers (martial arts experts, explosives experts, computer freaks and who knows what); he's had nothing to rebel against. Along comes Superman, a caring, stable person, and what does Bruce do? He challenges him, that's what. Tries to see how far he can take him. Much like a two-year-old does with his parents. Hmmm...

(I don't want to lay too much on you, but I lost my parents, one at a time, at a rather early age, so I sort of like this idea. I don't fight crime or anything, though. I'm a translator. I fight... misunderstandings or something.)


Title: Re: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: TELLE on January 31, 2006, 07:28:46 PM
Quote from: "JulianPerez"

Clark Kent's skill as an investigative reporter, however, has been historically underplayed, and with rather good reason, though: 1) if Superman was really good at his job, he wouldn't be a put-upon loser, 2) being a great reporter is really Lois's thing, 3) Clark Kent is far too "mildmannered" to be any good at all at being a hardhitting, question asking investigative reporter. [...] Clark Kent as a crusading reporter, probably has a sense of social justice that is deeply repressed to keep his Clark Kent cover inoffensive and meek. Why be a reporter, and not, say, an air traffic controller?


I often wonder about similar issues (http://superman.nu/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1528&highlight=workingclass).

Clark has won many prizes and been recognized by his peers on  umerous occasions for his acheivments as a journalist.  He was given a primetime newsreader job by WGBS.  Many of his stories are high profile and put him in professional and physical danger (both because of what he does as Superman to create the story and as a mild-mannered reporter to report it).  Granted, he's not a he-man weight-lifter like the John Byrne (who I hate*) version, but he is out there, fighting for truth (even Lois must figure that his scaredy-cat routine has let him scoop her many times).

*Just kidding Gangbuster Thorul!!! :D


Title: Re: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: laurel on January 31, 2006, 07:48:17 PM
Quote from: "Permanus"
Quote from: "laurel"
hmmm.  I always figured it was an orphan thing.....

But I can tell you that Mr. Kent is worth more than a pennyworth as a father :shock:

Wow! You think Batman thinks of Superman as a father figure? You know,



i meant (jonathan) kent and (alfred) pennyworth...... silly  :P :wink:

i'm sorry about your parents.  do you think it makes you more understanding of others?


Title: Re: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: Permanus on February 01, 2006, 03:08:58 AM
Quote from: "laurel"
i meant (jonathan) kent and (alfred) pennyworth...... silly  :P :wink:

i'm sorry about your parents.  do you think it makes you more understanding of others?

Oh, well, I completely missed the point on that one. But what the hey, at least I got to develop my own theory about it, which in the cold light of day still holds up.

I don't know that losing my parents makes me a more understanding person,  though. Perhaps I'm more understanding of other people who lost theirs, but even I can't quite imagine what it must feel like when your parents get vaporised as your home planet blows up.


Title: Re: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: laurel on February 01, 2006, 12:05:11 PM
Quote
But what the hey, at least I got to develop my own theory about it, which in the cold light of day still holds up.


right on.  

superman as prodigal son and batman as the brother?  

childhood is sunny and normal for clark and bruce gets raised by sifus and detectives.  

supes has power to throw around wastefully while the bat carefully musters and tediously allocates even tiny bits of hard won advantage and still often gets beat up.

but at the end of the day we more honor supes.  and clark is so cute in a dorky kinda way while bruce is just a profligrate waste..... :cry:


Title: Re: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: Just a fan on February 01, 2006, 11:56:28 PM
I always thought the attraction was that they completed each other, Bruce/Batman was the dark side denying most people were good by nature, KAL/Superman was the always shining light, refusing to believe anyone was beyond saving even Luthor. As Clark he would fall for Lois' stunts because he couldn't believe she was up to not good, or was trying to scoop him on the next big by-line, Bruce on the other hand trusted no one but Alfred, Dick and maybe Commish Gordon. One abnormally sour the other abnormally sweet, together they were just normal. Together they kept each other blanced.


Title: Re: Superman/Batman theory
Post by: JulianPerez on February 02, 2006, 06:32:23 AM
If Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne like each other, it's because both have a sense of social justice, with Bruce Wayne as the anti-Wal Mart responsible employer and Clark Kent as a crusading journalist fighting political corruption for the little guy.

The idea that Clark Kent got where he is in the reporting world by Colombo-esque innocuous questions is a brilliant idea for characterization, I'll admit. To be perfectly honest, I never found "Who Took the Super Out of Superman" as fantastic as other people seem to, because the only reason Clark Kent was able to achieve and get what he wants was by adopting Superman's more assertive personality characteristics, when it ought to be the other way: Clark Kent should succeed and have his worth proven by having him be Clark Kent.

Though as for the source of the attraction between the two characters in their hero identities, it may be because of how much they have in COMMON as heroes. The differences between the two characters have really been overplayed in recent times.

Batman, as shown by his leaving the JLA to form the Outsiders, is much more of a rebel than Superman is. Superman obeys the law, not because he thinks all laws are right, but because he has faith in the system and believes it will correct itself. Batman on the other hand, is someone that has much less faith in the system.

This is not to cast Batman in the light of a motorcycle riding badass that answers to nobody. Batman is very disciplined and has respect for how justice works. Note for instance, that Batman always insists on collecting proper evidence before doing a job.

But my POINT here is this: both superheroes have more things in common than differences. Both have a "serve and protect" mentality, a strong sense of right and wrong, a desire to protect the weak and powerless, and so forth.