I was watching a countdown on teh YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T2UJBpiOcg about the top DC superheroes. This particular list chooses Batman over Superman. Of the two, who would be your favorite?
Personally, I know Superman doesn't quite resonate so much with today's society as he did back in the 1930's, but there's a lot of value there. he's a character that inspires a great deal of hope, he's empowering to the downtrodden, he's just the best that there is in terms of the archetype of the superhero.
Batman, on the other hand, gets a lot of respect from the current generation. It's easy to understand his motivations, seemingly born out of anger and a sense of injustice. He also has a much better rogues gallery and supporting cast, IMO.
For me, I'm giving a slight edge to Batman here, but I'd love to hear people prove me wrong.
I made an error: the King debuted in Flash Comics in #3, on-sale Jan. He was cover-featured on #5, Mar. (#3 had Cliff Cornwall, and #4 the Whip.)
I wrote p.5 I didn't think the Zoners had appeared between Superboy #189 and Faora Hu-Ul's debut in 1976. Supergirl met a female escapee called Shyla in The Superman Family #183, which DC Indexes says went on sale a week before Action Comics #471, the start of the Faora story. I can't find a statement to this effect, but I think I've read Faora was created because the makers of the upcoming Superman movie wanted a female Zoner. The Supergirl story's simultaneous appearance was presumably connected.
This postl displaced the thread The Walking Dead Season 6 from the homepage.
Returning to the original subject of Randy's thread, I think Batman adapts to adult sensibilities easier than Superman. You can make Batman stories more adult by making the crime more real and more serious. (So e.g. in the 70s the Joker returned to committing murder.) But Superman is so powerful ordinary criminals shouldn't be a challenge to him. If he were pitted against a serial killer, for example, he might look incompetent for not catching him quickly. And social problems (drugs, family breakdown etc.) can't be solved in the stories without distancing them from the real world. That said, Siegel often pitted him against gangsters and real world problems rather than fantastic foes early on.
Luke Blanchard said:
Siegel often pitted him against gangsters and real world problems rather than fantastic foes early on.
Writing stories like that was probably a lot easier before Superman started moving planets around with his little finger.
In some early stories he has to strain to perform big stunts (e.g. "Superman and the Dam"). The stories also have "Can Superman survive this?" moments, where he survives a danger easily but it's treated as uncertain whether he will (as when he's shot in the opening sequence of Action Comics #1). But in others he could be as powerful as he was later, and it wouldn't make a difference; how he solves a problem is the interest (e.g. the mine story).
I’ve been reading several Superman Sunday continuities from the ‘40s recently. Collectively, they are known as “Superman’s Services for Service Men.” Supposedly, all the stories are inspired by real letters. I thought National prevented Superman being used too directly in combat during WWII, but in these stories he’s right in the thick of things (albeit not in a combat role). In some stories he appears to help the Japanese (or at least tolerantly interact with them), only to turn the tables later on. For example, a group of Marines are due to attack a Japanese-held island. The water is infested with sharks and barracuda and razor-sharp corral. The island itself is infested with stinging insects, saw-grass and venomous snakes.
Superman arrives and uses the corral to create a barricade for the sharks and barracuda. The Japanese soldiers thanks him for creating a lagoon for them to swim. He also clears up the above ground dangers, for which the Japanese are equally appreciative. Basically, he cleans up the hazards making it easier for the Marines to attack, but he doesn’t take part in the battle himself, reserving that pleasure for the soldiers themselves.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
I thought National prevented Superman being used too directly in combat during WWII, but in these stories he’s right in the thick of things (albeit not in a combat role).
On page 218 of Men of Tomorrow by Gerard Jones, it says:
"They (Siegel and Shuster) did finally bring Superman into the war, although, by agreement with their editors, not as a combatant. They'd made such a superhuman out of him that the Axis armies couldn't have stood plausibly against him even for the length of a story, so the Man of Tomorrow decided that the war should be won by 'the greatest of all heroes, the American fighting man.....' "
Sounds like it was a mutual decision.
Oh, I even read that book. Thanks for the reminder!
Siegel was drafted in 1943. There's information about who took the writing over here.