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  1. #16
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korath View Post
    I would say that it mostly rest on one question : what kind of threat may require Superman, Supergirl, the Superboys, Steel, Super-Man and any other members that one can think of the Super-family, but not the Justice League ?
    This is my answer as well. The Batfamily is useful because Batman can't be in two places at once... Superman very nearly can. If you drop Superman in the middle of a threat against an entire fleet of alien... This happens.




    Superman is designed by nature to be all the superhero you need for any threat. Any threat that requires Superman, Supergirl, Superboy and Krypto the Superdog…. frankly is gonna diminish the brand. Superman has to dumb himself down compared to every OTHER time he's fought Mongul or Brainiac, where as with Batman, it's more of a numbers game.

  2. #17
    Mighty Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    I agree with this, except Superman is absolutely associated with Metropolis as an established hero and Smallville in his formative years. Now Metropolis definitely doesn't have the "character" of Gotham in a lot of interpretations, a "Metropolis Central" book wouldn't be as successful as Gotham Central was, but "Metropolis" is associated with "Superman" as much as Batman is associated with Gotham.
    No argument that Superman is associated with Metropolis. He is. But the image of Metropolis is different from Gotham. Narratively, Metropolis is threatened by outside forces. But the threats to Gotham are organic to it: it generates the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and all the other villains. That also means that Gotham has become filled with individuals who are threatened as individuals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    But yes, Batman has side kicks that have changed over the years. Superman has a supporting cast that changes depending on the setting, but Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen have the recognition or status of a Robin. (moreso actually, mass media frequently leaves Robin out of adaptations, but Lois is a constant with even Smallville bringing her in early). And both Lois and Jimmy could support their own books probably at the level of a Supergirl or Robin individual title.
    Again, no argument that Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane are central characters in the Superman mythos. But their relation to Superman/Clark Kent was constructed differently from the relation of Robin or Batgirl to Batman/Bruce Wayne. Jimmy and Lois had their peer social interaction with Clark Kent, and they acted as cheerleaders, readers inserts, or friends in peril towards Superman. Robin or Batgirl, on the other hand, were to a much higher degree partners to Batman in his mission. They were adepts to his mentor.

  3. #18
    Spectacular Member Yoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    No argument that Superman is associated with Metropolis. He is. But the image of Metropolis is different from Gotham. Narratively, Metropolis is threatened by outside forces. But the threats to Gotham are organic to it: it generates the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and all the other villains. That also means that Gotham has become filled with individuals who are threatened as individuals.
    Yeah, I overstated your point then and agree with this. Metropolis, outside of Luthor and maybe Intergang, definitely has not had the threats that arise out of or have a strong connection to it that Gotham does. Though Bendis now seems to be trying to change that.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Again, no argument that Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane are central characters in the Superman mythos. But their relation to Superman/Clark Kent was constructed differently from the relation of Robin or Batgirl to Batman/Bruce Wayne. Jimmy and Lois had their peer social interaction with Clark Kent, and they acted as cheerleaders, readers inserts, or friends in peril towards Superman. Robin or Batgirl, on the other hand, were to a much higher degree partners to Batman in his mission. They were adepts to his mentor.
    Robin started out along those same lines too though, he was basically the Jimmy Olson role for Batman, a reader insert for the kids. His role evolved in the modern era when they graduated Dick up to Nightwing and more so in the 90's with Tim being more independent. Lois's role has, when it's handled well, portrayed her along similar thematic lines as peer to both Clark and Superman. I'm thinking the 90's triangle era comics, Rucka's Adventures of Superman run, Lois & Clark, Smallville, and it looks like Bendis is heading in that direction as well. I think you get writers who for whatever reason are stuck in the 60's damsel in distress model or think she has to be portrayed as alone or a mean b*tch to be "strong" that just don't get the character. Similarly to the way Robin has been ignored in the "serious" takes on Batman over the years, or looked at as the "Boy Hostage."

    That's probably drifting off topic though!

  4. #19
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    In the past it always seemed like the Superman family was the top. Batman seemed to be copying him--although, the truth is more complex, in that some ideas started with Batman first and Superman after and the other way around, as well. But Superman was much more popular, so they spun off more Superman titles and they needed a big family to fill all those comics. Now that the tables have turned and they need more Batman titles to dominate the comic shop shelf space, this has resultrf in more family for Batman and less for Superman (or rather less that we see on a regular basis).

    But this seems ironic to me, because the new fandom seems to like Batman for his aloof nature--he wants to be alone. He doesn't come across as a good team player--he's apt to undermine his own partners. And there's always angst with the Robins. So for a family character, Batman seems the most dysfunctional. While Superman comes from a wholesome background, has loving relationships and bonds well with his teammates. If commerce wasn't a factor, then rightly Superman would have the largest family of characters and Batman would only have a few trusted allies.

    Batman is probably too cool now for a "Batman Family" title to work as an ongoing, but DC should try to keep a "Superman Family" title alive. My reasoning being that while individual spin-off characters from Batman have enough schlep to sustain their own monthly ongoings--the Superman Family is better off pooling their efforts into one title, where the plethora of charactes could be enough to keep sales up.
    sorry 🍁

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