DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

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Who's the Mostest!

Superman
6
9%
Wonder Woman
3
5%
The Goddamn Batman
55
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Total votes : 64

DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:53 am UTC

Who's the more (blank) character. Interesting? Compelling? Svelte? Debonair? Grhenalast? Hrjlas? Am I just making up words now?

Of the presented options.... I'd have to pick Wonder Woman as being the most interesting character. Superman's too damn invulnerable and more or less perfect in every other way. He's either underusing his own powers or fighting things so far above a normal human as to essentially be a Clash of the Titans style godfight. Which, frankly, is boring.

Batman... eh, for the World's Greatest Detective, his detective work seems to consist mostly of beating the tar out of lowlifes until someone tells him what he wants to know, or he notices bizarre details that no other human would notice ("I noticed he walked with a slight limp but favored the leg regardless, which is something only a Zhranti Tribesman of the Amazon would do, yet obviously he is European. As I've read and memorized the names and faces of every European to be in the deep Amazon for more than two years, which is the minimum you'd need to be there for the Zhranti to teach you their ways, he can only be... Sir George MacGuffin!")

Even so, Wonder Woman isn't too terribly interesting. There's so many interesting ways they could run with her, especially after the Amazons Attack story thing they did (which I vaguely read some of the side things, so I'll be honest, I'm not 100% on what happened there other than the Amazons done gone crazy and Attacked for.. some.. reason or another. And the US started throwing women in jail for.. some..reason or another) but... I know they're not. Sorta how I saw such interesting Political directions they could have taken Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, but ..whoops, my bad, just another group of mooks whacking people in the face.

I guess I'm saying DC's main three are boring. Which is a shame, as the ideas behind them are interesting.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:53 pm UTC

Man, now I have to choose. The thing with DC's big three is no that they're inherently boring, it's that they've largely been saddled with writers who aren't particularly spectacular, but apparently have pictures of the executives raping babies, since they manage to get work on the top tier characters, so you end up with average at best stories that really don't add anything to the character. That said, with ANY of them (with virtually anything, really, but I'm still waiting for a Rainbow Raider revival), when given a competant writer, great things happen. Rucka's Wonder Woman was really the only run that made me care enough to read (NOTHING since the reboot has managed that, including Simone's work), Morrison's current Batman run had a rough start but has picked up (Robinson's was merely okay), and (I can't believe I'm saying this) Johns's current Action Comics run has really been a lot of fun, if delay-prone. And that's not even mentioning the All-Star books. The Batman and Superman cartoons were both fantastic (and still are, really) and really showed how interesting the characters can be.

Also, Amazons Attack was painfully bad, and required you to concurrently read Wonder Woman to make any sense at all. Also, the ending was terrible and out of nowhere unless you'd REALLY been following the whole DCU up until that point, meaning it failed as a miniseries in a dozen ways. So don't read it.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Palomides » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:19 am UTC

As with any character in any franchise, if the writer sucks, the character is going to be portrayed in a very flat manner. A well written Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman are all excellent and simply impossible to compare. However, in the crummy manner that they are written for, as a rule, I find far more satisfaction from watching Batman beat the crap out of baddies (:
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby dbsmith » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:51 pm UTC

I'm throwing it out there that they are "boring" because they are a product of their times, and future iterations are still laden down with all their basic simple root ideas, which end up being quite restrictive. I.e. superman, invincible except kryptonite.
Whereas other superheros potentially weren't so restricted and had more room to breathe as characters, perhaps?
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby lorenith » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:04 pm UTC

I like batman, granted I've never actually read any comics for any of these characters, only seen the cartoons.

That said I don't know much about Wonder Woman so I can't speak on her. But the concept of Batman VS the concept of Superman, has batman winning.

The idea for superman is just boring to me, and it doesn't help much that he makes me think of poorly played paladins.

Batman, at least what I have been exposed to from him is more admirable, and just interesting I guess, more potential?
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Palomides » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:11 am UTC

lorenith wrote:...
The idea for superman is just boring to me, and it doesn't help much that he makes me think of poorly played paladins.
...


This is exactly my point! Most writers 'play' superman as simply an nigh-invincible human. The key in making a good superman story is emphasizing his inhumanity. Look at Red Son and Kingdom, among a number of good Superman stories; in these, Superman is not expected to, and does not, live by mortal/human standards.
Batman is probably easier to write for, as he is an extremely human guy; his motivations are very understandable, but nonetheless admirable (where Superman is rather ambiguously motivated, generally appearing unmotivated and hence boring).
Hope my ramblings make sense :P
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:07 pm UTC

dbsmith wrote:I'm throwing it out there that they are "boring" because they are a product of their times, and future iterations are still laden down with all their basic simple root ideas, which end up being quite restrictive. I.e. superman, invincible except kryptonite.
Whereas other superheros potentially weren't so restricted and had more room to breathe as characters, perhaps?

That's hardly restricted to Golden Age characters. Martian Manhunter is like Superman only he can also change shape and is telepathic and his only weakness is fire. Superman is at least vulnerable to magic (which is to say, he's as vulnerable as a normal human would be to the magic in question or something it's best not to think too hard) in addition to kryptonite. Aquaman is superstrong and can talk to fish but he has to take a bath every hour or something. Venom is superstrong, can change his appearance, but fire and sonics hurt him. Up until the past decade or so Green Lanterns were vulnerable to the color yellow. Spider-Man is invulnerable as long as he can remember that he killed his Uncle and Aunt May needs her medicine. I can't think of any modern examples, but there's not been many new characters that stick around.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby ascendingPig » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:12 am UTC

Batman isn't a detective. Oracle is. And he would have been dead ... well, a lot more times than he's already been dead if not for her.

I say Wonder Woman, because I don't like any of the Big Three, but she has the best tits.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:10 am UTC

I disagree. Batman's are clearly superior.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby ascendingPig » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:50 am UTC

I take it you're a nipple fan.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:14 pm UTC

More of me attempting to find a reason to not fry your post on sight, really. I'll probably just end up removing everything referencing it anyway.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Palomides » Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:11 pm UTC

ascendingPig wrote:Batman isn't a detective. Oracle is. And he would have been dead ... well, a lot more times than he's already been dead if not for her.


Oracle was invented at a far later date, and is very much to the detriment of modern Batman writing :<
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Jesse » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:22 pm UTC

Oracle is a great addition, although she's often used very very badly. She's not the detective, she's the communications hub. She's the link between Batman and his circle of, not friends, but the people he works with. Not to mention a constant reminder of his limitations, his inability to protect everyone.

At least, that's how I see it.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:10 pm UTC

They moved her away from Gotham specifically because Batman was becoming too reliant on her. Of course, now she's the JLA's switchboard operator instead of just Batman's. :roll:
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Klapaucius » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:23 am UTC

Batman is my favorite. In a realm of people of gods, demigods, and other super-powered individuals, he got where he is just by wanting it. He can take out anyone in the Justice League, and more or less has (including the whole Prometheus incident). And he's just a regular guy.

And anyone who dislikes Superman should read the All-Star Superman miniseries.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby DarkKnightJared » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:33 pm UTC

I can't choose--they're all equally interesting, when written well.

To me, I think they both represent the key protectors for humanity.

Superman is kind-of the fireman--when there's a disaster, he's there to save the people that's effected by it.

Batman is the policeman/detective--when someone is killed, he uses the clues the murderer left behind to catch him.

Wonder Woman, in recent interpretations, represents the activist--the person who uses their skills and connections to bring more peace on the political level.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Jack Saladin » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:22 am UTC

And anyone who dislikes Superman should read the All-Star Superman miniseries.
Except modern DCU Superman and All-Star Superman are completely different, and differently dealt with, so that doesn't really help. If anything it just makes it even more obvious how terrible the canon Superman is.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby DarkKnightJared » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

Klapaucius wrote:Batman is my favorite. In a realm of people of gods, demigods, and other super-powered individuals, he got where he is just by wanting it. He can take out anyone in the Justice League, and more or less has (including the whole Prometheus incident). And he's just a regular guy.

And anyone who dislikes Superman should read the All-Star Superman miniseries.


And for those who don't want to read something "not in continuity," I'd recommend reading Superman: Birthright and Superman: For Tomorrow.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:23 pm UTC

Birthright is not in continuity anymore, either, I believe. "Whatever Happened to Truth, Justice, and the American Way?" is a really good in-continuity Superman story.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:48 pm UTC

Heh, ST, you rock my world. But, uh... Green Lantern? The Flash?

Just some thoughts. I voted for Superman, which I'll get to:
The relationship I've seen a bit of that Superman and Batman share is one of interesting mutual loathing and respect. Superman is the boyscout, the God who walks on Earth and stands not so much as a part of society, stopping bank robbers and shit, but as the Guardian of humanity. His role is to stop the unstoppable, and let people be people. He's sort of Humanities insurance policy. I didn't really like the new movie, but it had some beautifully thought out scenes, particularly, Lois having no words for why we DO need Superman, and that scene where he blows out her lighter before she lights a cigarette. Also, Superman Red Sun put a fascinating twist on his character. Coupled with the death of Superman series via the hand of Doomsday, and we see that despite his all powerful nature, his frailties and limitations actually make him quite compelling.
Batman on the other hand, is the seedy underside of humanities need to purge itself of evil via embracing that evil. He hurts people, he IS NOT A GOOD GUY. Superman is the Boyscout, Batman is the Detective, the Dark Knight. Superman stands with the JLA, and Batman, as I see him, stands alone, works alone. One of my favorite crossovers has Superman being slipped Red Kryptonite, and going batshit, seriously hurting the JLA and blowing up parts of Earth, and BATMAN, the only man on Earth Superman could trust with a Green Kryptonite ring, stopping Superman, beating him senseless and suffering his fair share of pain and injury. Because ONLY Batman can out smart and out perform Superman, only Batman stands as his equal, his darker side. The boyscout can't torture criminals, and if Batman had Superman's strength, it'd be a very different Gotham. Frank Miller's Batman is how I see him, terrifying, lurking, plotting, ruthless, and ever so fragile. Batman returns to the cave with blood on his knuckles and broken ribs. Bruce Wayne acts and hides and deceives, but Batman is the real man. (As an aside, I think Alfred is very much in control. It's not a master-servant relationship at all)

So I dunno, DC's champions are perhaps dated in most of their execution, but the majority of the newer work surrounding them, especially the stuff were writers were giving a fair spread of freedom, are quite interesting and well executed. The 80's work was largely boring, and the early 90's was a sour time for most comics. But don't write them off!

/Er... long winded.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:34 pm UTC

See, my problem with that is that Batman doesn't work alone. As far as I know he *never* has. Whether he has any of his multiple partners (Robins, Batgirls, Batwomen, Oracle, and so on), Alfred, the Justice League, the Outsiders, or whoever, he's always had *someone* helping him in some capacity. He's supposed to be the consumate loner, but isn't actually portrayed as such, and is even typically shown as at his best when he's working with others.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:28 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Heh, ST, you rock my world. But, uh... Green Lantern? The Flash?
Big Three.

If I walk up to a random person and show them a picture of Batman, Wonderwoman, or Superman, odds are very, very good that they will correctly identify each individual. Odds are not so good with Green Lantern or the Flash. Odds are downright terrible with Blue Beetle or Metamorpho.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby Jesse » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:32 am UTC

When was Batman ever the consummate loner? He's emotionally isolated, he struggles to see people as anything more than weapons of war. Alfred is his medic and mentor, the various Robins have been soldiers in his war rather than friends, Oracle was his communications hub. That's what makes him alone.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby DarkKnightJared » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:00 am UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Birthright is not in continuity anymore, either, I believe. "Whatever Happened to Truth, Justice, and the American Way?" is a really good in-continuity Superman story.


Seriously? Man, that was definately the best origin they ever gave him, I think.

One I'll add also is "For The Man Who Has Everything," written by Alan Moore and drawn by Dave Gibbons.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby pineapplepie » Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:50 am UTC

Wonder Woman, because, in the hands of a great writer (Rucka, Simone) she is awesome. Also, she's a bit more loosely defined than Superman and Batman, and that creates a lot of problems. You can write about Superman or Batman beating up criminals for weeks on end without people getting tired of it, but, with Wonder Woman, her fans are a lot more persnickety. She isn't really being treated well at DC, though, what with the weird reboot and stuff. She's the most undervalued, too, 'cause people pay her less attention and it's really hard for mediocre, or even sometimes good, writers to write her with any degree of proficiency. That being said, I think she's also the one with the most potential.
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Re: DC's Big Three (For Endless Mike)

Postby El Spark » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:11 pm UTC

The thing is, the Big Three are precisely that: big.
Especially in Wonder Woman's case.

What I mean is, they've almost achieved the level of Plot Devices. I think I like them best when they're in the background and stories are told around them. The post that talked about their roles was exactly right. I look back over my favorite stories from DC, and I notice a severe lack of Big Three anywhere.

My personal favorite is Identity Crisis (yeah, yeah, my opinion, just breathe). Supes and Bats are referenced, and they're onscreen a few times, but the story is told almost in spite of them. Who and what Bats and Supes are have bearing on the story, but it's not like the story adds to their legend in any way. Diana's in there for what, five pages total? She shows up, does a euology, is used as a lie detector, and then she's never seen again. It's just sad.

I'm not saying that there are no great Big Three stories left. I'm just saying that a lot of the good ones have been told, and they cast a very long shadow.

I finally chose Batman in the poll, btw, because I've seen more consistent coolness from his writers over the years. I don't remember who wrote it, but "Batman 24/7" is one of my faves in the last ten years, and it hardly has the cape and cowl in it at all. It's a look at how Batman works to help people even when he's wearing the Bruce mask. And I suppose there's part of me that appreciates that he can be threatened by a thug with a pistol, too.
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