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  1. #31
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Batman is clearly more popular among the younger generations, mostly because of how successful he’s been in outside media. His movies, video games, cartoons, and TV shows have both been more numerous and more popular than Supes. Supes meanwhile has sadly never been given to someone who loves him the way Dini and Timm love Batman, so his stuff tends to be either outright bad like the DCEU or ok to mediocre like the DCAU.
    Quote Originally Posted by jb681131 View Post
    Hard to say why Superman is concidered more iconic. I guess he represents "THE" perfect superhero.
    But since very early on Batman has had way more success than superman. Maybe because of Robin, then in the Bronze/Modern age because of his very dark side.
    Anyways, over the years Batman always had more medias on him (more comics appearences, more tv shows, more movie appearences, a big familly, ...).
    He’s iconic because he’s the one who founded the superhero genre and because he’s the one who made the first leap to the big screen and also founded the superhero movie. Feige still has his MCU people watch Donner Superman to study how it works.

    And your memory of Batman is incorrect. Batman has only recently really solidified his status as top dog. Before he was almost cancelled numerous times. The first time he was saved by Robin being created. Then he was saved by the Adam West TV show. Then he was saved by O’Neil revamping him. It was the two hit combo of DKR and TKJ which put Batman on the path to dominance, but Supes still outsold him well into the 21st century. Really I wanna say it was Hush and the Nolan movies which cemented Batman as top dog.

    You know I’ve seen a lot of people say Batman fans are more accepting of different takes, but that’s not really true imo. The BTAS fans were screaming bloody murder when Brave and the Bold was first released, and to this day there are people who hate that show. A lot of Batman fans didn’t like Affleck’s killing. Adam West’s show was referred to as Batman’s “old shame” for years, and it was only recently that people started to warm up to it. I mean hell, Miller used to brag that he was the one who “gave Batman his balls back” because he *rescued* Bats from the TV show.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Do they though? Superman has had big creators too. Morrison has been on Superman... Johns revitalized both Aquaman and Green Lantern but didn't do well on Superman. Now 'golden boy Bendis' is on Supes... Superman was the key in CoIE, Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis... Batman never really does a whole lot in the crossovers until this dark multiverse stuff came up...

    I'm not sure why these top respected writers can do so much for OTHER characters but are just kind of 'there' when they get on Superman...
    A lot of them have done well regarded work. Morrison for example wrote what’s considered the GOAT Superman story and his work on the character elsewhere is generally liked. Alan Moore’s Superman work is held up to be some of the best work ever done with the character. Loeb wrote some well regarded Superman stories. Azzarelo has a well regarded Lex Luthor story under his belt even if his work on the main title was a flop. Scott Snyder’s Unchained book seems to be liked even if it’s not considered a classic. Rucka’s Lois Lane book is one of my favorites. Busiek’s Superman stuff is fantastic. Personally I think a lot of the problems were rooted in Berengaza been quarantined to the Superman books as a “punishment”.

    Part of the problem though is that Supes and Bats scratch different itches so to speak. Batman primarily exists in a world that revolves around crime, noir, and horror. There are some exceptions like with Morrison but that’s generally what people want from Batman. Superman meanwhile exists in a world revolving around science fiction and journalism. Batman’s Rogues are mainly mobsters with gimmicks. Superman’s tend to be aliens or other pulp sci fi threats like mad scientists or fifth dimensional imps. That’s not to say they don’t occasionally dip into each other’s worlds, Batman has fought crazy science fiction threats and Superman has dealt with street crime or noir, but the cores of each are going for different things. I don’t think Superman is “harder” to write for personally, I just think that what he brings to the table doesn’t really interest a lot of Batman writers, and when they’re put on the book they thus tend to struggle.
    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    Superman is am more popular symbol and icon, his iconography is used far more in random conversation, but Batman is a more popular character. that being said, Batman seems to appeal to people more in modern times. I think it's because parts of Superman's mythos need serious updating. Example, newspapers are becoming more and more irrelevant by the year, and don't have the symbolic significance they once did. But making Superman a blogger or newscaster kind of doesn't work, because they lack the symbolism that newspaper reporters use to. The values of middle America have also come into question in recent years. A major part of Superman's lore tells us that being raised in middle America is what made him what he is. What happens to a character based on certain conventions, when those conventions are perceived as problematic?

    Batman, has also had his basic premise questioned in recent years, but he's been able to weather it better then Superman, because he is a more versatile character. A good example of this was Snyder's Superman film. A sizable percentage of Superman fans hate that film with a passion because they don't feel it represents the character's essence well. Now look at the Batman films. You've had campy Batman, films (Adam West) Gothic Batman films (Burton) "realistic," Batman films ( Nolan) and even goofy family film Batman(Lego), and you rarely here people say that any of these versions "don't get the character". Their all just versions of Batman. I think this stems from the fact that what Batman represents is more nebulous then what Superman represents, and can be morphed to fit the times a lot more easily. It's hard to change Superman significantly without loosing what makes Superman "Superman". What if Kal-El's ship had crashed in Compton rather than Kansas? would his values be different? Or would it be the same character?

    Batman, at it's core is a concept that has been remade several times since the 1700's. Batman, the Shadow , Zorro, and the Scarlet Pimpernel, are essentially the same character just updated slighty for the time. But the values that make Superman what he is stems pretty firmly from mid 20th century American values and notions.
    Well Superman has had some very extensive revamps. The Post Crisis Superman Byrne that people consider to be “classic Superman” is a completely different character from the Pre Crisis guy. Johns and Busiek’s revamped Superman is also different from the Byrne guy and of course the New 52 Superman was different from Johns Superman too. So there is a point to be made about how Batman has managed to retain his core while Superman has changed dramatically, but I think the root of that has to do with their motivations. Batman’s parents get shot so he wants revenge and/or justice so he trains to fight crime. So simple and straightforward DC has never needed to mess with it. Superman meanwhile isn’t motivated by Krypton blowing up or even by the Kents deaths in takes where they’re gone. He’s motivated by the upbringing he gets from the Kents, which is a more nebulous motivation. I personally think it’s more relatable, most don’t become doctors or whatever because their parents got killed but because they want to help people, but it also means that when you change some in thing about Supes there tends to be a domino effect because his core is so much more shapable.

    I agree with a lot of the criticisms you made about Supes. Newspapers are dying. The idea of Middle America holding stronger morals than urban people is pretty laughable today in a way it might not have been during the crime epidemics of the 20th century. I don’t think making Clark a blogger was a bad idea at all, but maybe a podcast or whatever would be a better idea. Ultimately the core is that Supes likes to write because it puts him on an equal level with everyone else because his powers don’t help him there
    Last edited by Vordan; 04-17-2020 at 10:59 AM.

  2. #32

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    According to a recent poll in March, Superman is still at the top. The top ten is:

    America’s top ten favorite superheroes

    1. Superman
    2. Spider-Man
    3. Batman
    4. Captain America
    5. Iron Man
    6. Wonder Woman
    7. Aquaman
    8. Captain Marvel
    9. Black Panther
    10. Wolverine


    Of course, survey's are always somewhat subjective as it's limited to who you poll, and there isn't a way to poll everyone in the world, but it's the most recent thing I can think of regarding this subject.
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  3. #33
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    Undoubtedly. Even Batman's villains like Harley Quinn and Joker are generally more popular than Superman these days. DC Comics is actually aptly named, since it's named after Batman's comic.

  4. #34
    Mighty Member Uncanny Mutie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Miller View Post
    Batman is absolutely more financially successful than Superman. I'd argue as far as "popular" that's tough to quantify. They are both the most iconic superheroes of all time with Spider-Man in third place. But I think it's probably a 1a/1b situation with Spider-Man at 2.
    This is the best/correct answer.

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member batnbreakfast's Avatar
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    Superman is ill-defined, boring and has had an unsuccessful adaption

  6. #36
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batnbreakfast View Post
    Superman is ill-defined, boring and has had an unsuccessful adaption
    What do you mean by ill-defined? Why do consider the character boring?is it a general not for you thing?
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 04-17-2020 at 11:54 AM.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post

    And your memory of Batman is incorrect. Batman has only recently really solidified his status as top dog. Before he was almost cancelled numerous times. The first time he was saved by Robin being created. Then he was saved by the Adam West TV show. Then he was saved by O’Neil revamping him. It was the two hit combo of DKR and TKJ which put Batman on the path to dominance, but Supes still outsold him well into the 21st century. Really I wanna say it was Hush and the Nolan movies which cemented Batman as top dog.
    Batman hasn't had to worry about cancellation since the 1970s. Between the Burton movies and helping to start the DCAU, his top dog status was cemented long before Nolan.

    You know I’ve seen a lot of people say Batman fans are more accepting of different takes, but that’s not really true imo. The BTAS fans were screaming bloody murder when Brave and the Bold was first released, and to this day there are people who hate that show. A lot of Batman fans didn’t like Affleck’s killing. Adam West’s show was referred to as Batman’s “old shame” for years, and it was only recently that people started to warm up to it. I mean hell, Miller used to brag that he was the one who “gave Batman his balls back” because he *rescued* Bats from the TV show.

    Don't forget the vitriolic reaction to Batman & Robin.

  8. #38
    Astonishing Member batnbreakfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    What do you mean by ill-defined? Why do consider the character boring?is it a general not for you thing?
    He's like Steve Rogers... only that Steve is interesting

    I haven't come across someone outside of CBR who is looking forward to a Superman movie

  9. #39
    Mighty Member Uncanny Mutie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Bats is more financially successful, and has been since the 80's.

    Superman is still more well known around the world. Batman is on that list too, but a few spots below Clark.

    Of course, the fact that a grandmother in North Korea knows the "S" shield but not the Bat logo doesn't mean a lot when DC gives Bats all the good creators and big roles in Events while forcing all the cool stuff out of Superman's mythos for the benefit of other characters, and WB makes great Bat films while utterly undermining and screwing up everything about Superman.
    Sad, but true.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by batnbreakfast View Post
    Superman is ill-defined, boring and has had an unsuccessful adaption
    Personally, I think Superman is more interesting than Batman because his world is more interesting to me. I generally prefer fantastic stuff over gritty realism or more down to earth stuff, and while Batman has certainly done fantastic things, that's not necessarily his forte. Crime stories, detective stories, and psychological explorations of criminals just don't do as much for me, though I do like them when they're good.

    That said, I think Batman has been handled a whole lot better than Superman over some decades, and I believe that has nearly everything to do with why Batman is more popular now.
    Last edited by Vampire Savior; 04-17-2020 at 12:06 PM.

  11. #41
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batnbreakfast View Post
    He's like Steve Rogers... only that Steve is interesting

    I haven't come across someone outside of CBR who is looking forward to a Superman movie
    That's not much of a specific answer. People thought steve was "a guy with a glorified Frisbee", years ago.Aside from that, clark fights for truth and justice as focus, instead of freedom which is steve forte. Ofcourse, there are overlaps as they are both idealists and Clark is a chain breaker as well. He doesn't like bullies and is the antithesis of totalitarianism . So, this notion that steve is interesting as an individual while clark isn't, is bizarre.

    Anyways, regardless of your perception. Superman returns did make more money than batman begins. Man of steel's box office is very much hard to come by even after avengers boom.You don't particularly have data to back your claim of lack of interest in a superman movie. It's not like the touted draws such as harley or batman did wonders for birds of prey and bvs.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 04-17-2020 at 12:27 PM.

  12. #42
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batnbreakfast View Post
    Superman is ill-defined, boring and has had an unsuccessful adaption
    He is neither ill defined or boring. At least not always. We are talking a character with 80 years of history and stories across multiple mediums, all of them doing different things. Other characters, like Batman or Spider-Man, have been boring and ill defined or in just plain bad stories for stretches themselves.

    He's had unsuccessful recent adaptations, which is very embarrassing considering how mainstream and popular superheroes are. But that's not the characters fault, it's on the company. Looking at how successful the first two Christopher Reeve films were in their day and earlier on with the film serials, radio shows and Fleshier cartoons, I wouldn't call him "unsuccessful" overall by any stretch of the imagination.

  13. #43
    Astonishing Member stargazer01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire Savior View Post
    Undoubtedly. Even Batman's villains like Harley Quinn and Joker are generally more popular than Superman these days. DC Comics is actually aptly named, since it's named after Batman's comic.
    The Harley Quinn movie that just came out wasn't exactly a hit at the box office.. Even Shazam did better.. It almost seems like people weren't interested because there was no Batman or Joker like in Suicide Squad.

  14. #44
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    JOker did well since it wasn't playing off the comics. It wasn't based on everything. None of the other movies did well either. Man of Steel wasn't big, Justice League. The only one was Wonder Woman. Dc can't make hits. Right now their Animated movies and shows are generally better than their live action movies. Tv shows could be better also.

  15. #45
    Astonishing Member stargazer01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Batman is clearly more popular among the younger generations, mostly because of how successful he’s been in outside media. His movies, video games, cartoons, and TV shows have both been more numerous and more popular than Supes. Supes meanwhile has sadly never been given to someone who loves him the way Dini and Timm love Batman, so his stuff tends to be either outright bad like the DCEU or ok to mediocre like the DCAU.
    Smallville was very popular until the end. Pretty sure it got bigger ratings than the recent Gotham, and it lasted 10 freakin years. Lois & Clark also had a huge audience bigger than any Batman show in the last 3 decades.

    Superman also got the cartoon "Legion of Superheroes" which I remember was quite good. I read it was going to be called Superboy but for some reason it didn't.

    I think Superman needs better movies to bigger, mainstream audiences. The Snyder and Bryan Singer movies were too divisive and flawed. They couldn't completely capture why he is the greatest superhero. Not for the majority of people. Not like Wonder Woman or Aquaman did. Superman is often too gloomy in those movies and that's not why most love him. We love him because he is more hopeful and inspiring. The opposite to Batman.
    Last edited by stargazer01; 04-17-2020 at 03:52 PM.

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