Superman/Batman- Friends, reluctant allies or antagonists?

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Superman/Batman- Friends, reluctant allies or antagonists?

Post  thecolorsblend on Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:08 am

When I was coming up, I cut my teeth on John Byrne's Man of Steel miniseries (and the Byrne Age Superman in general), Miller's TDKR (that's right motherfuckers; there's only ONE TDKR, and it's not a fucking movie) and the aftermath of both.

Because of that, I'd kinda bought into that line that says Batman and Superman shouldn't be all buddy-buddy because of their differing methods. But, like some things to do with comics, it's one of those things that makes absolutely no GD sense when you analyze it a little bit.

Superman is Kryptonian. You shoot him in the head with a bullet and the dude just keeps on coming. He's got superhuman powers that let him do basically anything he really sets his mind to. He can operate fairly openly without much fear of basically anything.

Batman is human. You shoot him in the head with a bullet and he's a fucking dead man. He's got no powers so he has to rely on his wits and his gadgets. He has to operate in shadows and using a reputation as a monster to instill fear in others.

Each man is defined by his physical abilities (or the lack thereof). Now, I can buy that they might not grok that in their first encounter. All Superman really understands is that Batman swoops in, beats the piss out of somebody in wanton disregard for due process and then moves on. That ain't the world Superman comes from.

For his own part, I can see why Batman, living in the city he does, regards Superman as being a wee bit naive, borderline sheltered.

It all makes sense for their first year or two of knowing each other. But after ten whole fucking years of fighting side by side with one another, you'd think they'd eventually come to see one another's point of view as per the above. But they don't. And it's not because comic writers can't grasp the idea themselves. well, probably not. Fans, for some reason, have an explicable boner for Batman and Superman constantly being at odds with each other, even at times when it makes absolutely no sense. If Superman and Batman don't understand their differing methodologies after years and years of working side by side, they're both complete idiots.

Does this mean they should be best friends forever like they were in the Pre-Crisis days? Well, I think that characterization of their relationship is pretty overly simplistic. But to the extent it accurately sums up how they related to each other, yeah, I think they should. Why would Superman have a beef with Batman cleaning up Gotham? And why would Batman really mind Superman all that much when he himself has to face his share of superpowered foes at times? They each bring a different perspective to the table and both men are wise enough to value the importance of that.

Mind you, this all somewhat feeds in to my feelings on Batman. There was a time when Batman was just a regular guy doing his best. Nowadays, all Batman really lacks is superpowers because he can pretty much do anything. You give the fucker a AA battery, a pair of tweezers and half an hour, and he'll be ready to face off with friggin Galactus. Because it makes for ironic contrast (and because any other outcome only lasts for about three panels), Batman also has the capability of giving Superman a beat down anytime he feels like doing it. "It's Thursday, think I'll head over to Metropolis to kick Clark's ass". It's bullshit! The only way a fight between Superman and Batman should last more than three panels is if Batman can run really fast. Any fight between the two of them goes for three panels. In panel 1, Superman arrives. In panel 3, Superman leaves. In panel 2, Batman becomes a stain on the wall.

Anyway. Whatever. Batman can go fuck himself.
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Re: Superman/Batman- Friends, reluctant allies or antagonists?

Post  non_amos on Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:07 pm

Yeah, I really liked the pre-Crisis World's Finest stuff. Whether or not it was really 'realistic' by today's standards, I really don't care. I feel that Nolan shoved that mindset on the masses, at least in part, even to where it affects comics, but yeah, I'm also aware that John Byrne didn't exactly make them immediate friends either. But the pre-Crisis stuff? Awesome stories, whether logical or not. DC as I remember it! tongue
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Re: Superman/Batman- Friends, reluctant allies or antagonists?

Post  thecolorsblend on Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:05 pm

non_amos wrote:Yeah, I really liked the pre-Crisis World's Finest stuff. Whether or not it was really 'realistic' by today's standards, I really don't care. I feel that Nolan shoved that mindset on the masses, at least in part, even to where it affects comics, but yeah, I'm also aware that John Byrne didn't exactly make them immediate friends either. But the pre-Crisis stuff? Awesome stories, whether logical or not. DC as I remember it! tongue
Yep. But here's the thing though. You could extrapolate from the Byrne stuff that they'd eventually have been maybe not drinking buddies but relatively cool with each other. I mean, it was only their first meeting. I think it's natural they'd get off on the wrong foot at first. As for Miller, TDKR shows us that Batman and Superman came down on very different sides of a completely unrelated conflict. Their tension isn't so much about their methods as it is about their choices. So I could let both of those slide.

But sooner or later, I think they'd realize they have more in common than not. If they didn't, they're morons.
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Re: Superman/Batman- Friends, reluctant allies or antagonists?

Post  Apologist Puncher on Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:03 am

I look at their friendship in this way:

Both understand and appreciate what the other brings to the table. They may not think it is right for THEM, but they know it is necessary. Opposites attract, and all that. But in public? Nah, they aren't going to let on that they are "buds". But if you are Batman, and you need to someone to watch your back, who better than freaking SUPERMAN? And since Batman is God in the DCU, why wouldn't Superman want to have him on speed-dial?

But for them to be seen "breaking bread", or going out clubbin' together? Nah, don't want to see that.

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Re: Superman/Batman- Friends, reluctant allies or antagonists?

Post  thecolorsblend on Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:05 am

Hm. They don't like each other, there's no "friendship" as such but they value each other's perspective.

Hey, works for me.
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Re: Superman/Batman- Friends, reluctant allies or antagonists?

Post  Apologist Puncher on Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:09 am

thecolorsblend wrote:Hm. They don't like each other, there's no "friendship" as such but they value each other's perspective.

Not even that. I think THEY know they are friends, but don't need to speak the words.

Hey, works for me.

Smart man.

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