41 – Batman and Superman

coverblackAn inspection of Batman through the lens of Superman and their historic impact and influence upon each other.  Batman’s commercial origins and influences, historic popularity and comparisons, The Dark Knight Returns, and modern media movies, TV, and videogames.

Clips featuring: Henry Cavill, Jim Steranko, Mark Waid, Denny O’Neil, Kevin Smith, Paul Levitz, Jerry Robinson, Neal Adams, Grant Morrison, Mike Carlin, Bruce Timm, Charles Roven, Len Wein, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Geoff Johns, J. Michael Straczynski, Todd MacFarlane, Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan, Kevin Conroy, Jay Oliva, and more!

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Batman’s influences other than The Shadow
  • Views of machines, technology, and industry
  • Mythological and Homeric parallels
  • Popularity polls and Ebert’s review
  • Batman as an avatar for anger
  • Views on civilization and mankind
  • Bat-Fan openness to interpretation
  • Batman exemplar of effort – Superman gift of grace
  • One bad day

…and more.

Henry Cavill Asks Kids: Batman or Superman? | Omaze
Jesse Eisenberg Asks Comic Fans: Batman or Superman? | Omaze
Win The Ultimate Batman v. Superman Experience | Omaze
Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes… | Grant Morrison
Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked | History
Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle | PBS
Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and… | Maslon & Kantor
Superman: The High Flying History… | Larry Tye
Our Gods Wear Spandex | Chris Knowles
Batman Tech | History
Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of… | History
Batkid Begins | Dana Nachman
Interview with Jay Oliva | Hall of Justice
Batman: Bad Blood | WB Animation
The Dark Knight Returns | Frank Miller
The Dark Knight Returns Deluxe | WB Animation
Batman The Animated Series | Warner Home Video
Batman Brave and The Bold | WB Animation
Batman Beware The Bat | WB Animation
Batman (1989) | Tim Burton
Batman The Complete Series (1966) | Adam West
The Killing Joke Radio Drama | School of Movies
The Killing Joke | Alan Moore
Exclusive Interview with Zack Snyder | Turkish Airline
The New Batman / Superman Adventures Theme | Shirley Walker

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!
Software Generated Transcript

Happy Birthday Superman!
Happy 30th Anniversary TDKR
BvS tickets on sale now!

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  1. You heard the good news Dr.Awkward?


    This should quell any worry about BvS underperforming at the B.O.

    • Other thing Dr., I recall you mentioned some Podcasts ago how “DC Extended Universe” wasn’t confirmed as the official title of the franchise, with the directors and producers using the terms “DC Films” and “Justice League Universe”. Well Henry Cavill used the term “DC Cinematic Universe” in a recent interview.


      Should we take it seriously?

      • I think I mentioned in the same podcast that if I slip and say “cinematic universe” it still applies because that’s an accurate, generic description. Maybe another way to put it… how can you tell Cavill was capitalizing “Cinematic Universe”? Right? In any case, it’s not worth arguing, what will be will be. I can argue with a Southerner until I’m blue in the face that a Pepsi isn’t a “Coke” because “Coke” is Coca-Cola’s proprietary brand, but that’s not going to stop them from calling it Coke for a variety of historical and cultural reasons. While I suspect “EU” is going to eventually go extinct, it’s not going to be for a lack of support from the current fandom. That said, we’re about to get a whole LOT of fans joining after BvS proves itself who will absolutely dwarf the current fandom and what they adopt… we don’t know yet.

    • It’s a good rule of thumb but those percentages can’t really be compared in that manner since we don’t know the total number of tickets, screens, etc.
      I’m sure we’ll have reports on numbers in a few days that will be exciting.

      • Thanks for the response Doctor, just another question. It will be a little long, sorry beforehand for that.

        I’ve recently been checking some articles from, let’s say journalists, were they share their thoughts of how BvS will hopefully increase the value of the Superman brand and will finally become “Hollywood Gold”, like how the Star Wars, Batman, IronMan and Spider-Man brands kinda are. While it’s nice to see media people wish the best for Superman, don’t you think it’s a little pessimistic to state that Superman isn’t already a big Cinematic brand?

        It’s true that while being the highest-grossing Superman film to date, MoS still won a little less revenue than Spider-Man’s lowest-grossing film to date. Some people tends to state that simply because of that, Superman still isn’t a big enough brand to be considered a “safe bet” for DC and WB. Like how it’s almost guaranteed that the upcoming solo Batman flick directed by Affleck will win around a billion in B.O., and how many people would still pay to watch more solo IronMan in theaters even after 3 whole films, apparently the upcoming solo Superman sequel doesn’t has enough marketing value to be considered “Flop-Proof”, and hence the developing of such isn’t such a big priority right now (but yet again, neither is the Batman film).

        Many tend to forget that the very first Batman film in this century grossed less than 400m at B.O., it wasn’t until the sequels (and Ledger’s Joker) that it became the juggernaut it is now. BvS does indeed have enough interest and hype behind to be considered an almost certain success, and while I do realize that a solo sequel without Batman would be less anticipated, would it still be considered an almost certain success? Would it be safe to assume it could surpass MoS in every aspect like how TDK outdid Batman Begins?

        Yes, I accept the fact that having the solo Superman sequel being made after “Justice League” was a better move than making it before, but hypothetically assuming that the DC Films would have never been greenlight and the original plan of the solo Superman Trilogy would had gone unaltered, do you honestly think “Man of Steel 2” (and by extension 3) would had been commercial successes big enough to rival or surpass the Batman films that precede them?

        To summarize: in your opinion, did MoS made Superman a cinematic brand big enough to be considered “Hollywood Gold”?

        “Hollywood Silver” at least…

        • Heart of Steel,

          Sorry for the late reply, I’ve been in court all week with an intensive trial. A planned episode seems unlikely this weekend. I might have an unplanned one if the stars align with one of my three potentials special guests (I’ve been dying to do a commentary track but don’t want to do it alone, I have some people I know listeners will be fascinated by and fans will recognize, but our schedules never align… sigh).

          Anyways, I’m going to slightly deflect your question since part of my thesis from Episode 41 is that popularity can be fickle. It’s remarkably easy to assume Batman is inherently more popular and that’s just the way it is… but go back to the early 60s and he was on the verge of cancellation. Similarly, Spider-Man was assumed to do no wrong, until… he did. Brand value can be more volatile than the stock market and considering how well Superman has held up as a global intellectual property, I have to say that DC have be remarkable stewards of that responsibility. Ask yourself how many products from the 1930s are STILL valued as billion dollar brands today?

          To me, the next step in Superman’s evolution as a brand is to help the public and cultural consciousness catch-up with what longtime comic book fans and consumers of Superman in long-form media know: Superman is interesting, complex, deep, and compelling. To me, this is what Snyder meant by “Look at the canon, I didn’t change Superman.” He’s not saying that his version is the singular and truest representation of them all… no, he’s saying that if you were familiar with the canon, you know that there is a diversity of takes and variations which include and encompass his version. We know this for two reasons: 1) He told Junkie XL that these characters are bigger than the creators and that other versions would come along after them (a statement that makes no sense if he believes that there is only One True Superman); 2) He contrasted his statement against the previous movies conceding, “If you look at the movies, yeah, I changed him a bit.” (acknowledging the difference between his take and that; so it’s not an ignorance of other takes or an assertion of One True Take, but an acceptance that there are a spectrum of takes).

          Once the public at large has Reeve on one end and Cavill on the other (with side-orders of Supergirl, Smallville, etc), they can start to understand and accept what long-time Superman fans already knew… there’s more to the character than just Donner’s vision! This gets reinforced by recent interviews:

          Henry, this movie also brings some new darker dimensions to Superman, whom we often think of as just the simple embodiment of pure goodness.

          Cavill: Right, certainly in some previous live-action adaptations of Superman he’s been — I don’t know if “simplified” is the right word but something around there. But there is a complexity to Superman that is very prevalent in the comic books. It’s just a matter of bringing it out, which is tricky to do.

          Snyder: Because we’ve had the experience of the Dark Knight movies, we’re generally open to a complex Batman. But I think — I hope — “Man of Steel” started the conversation about what a more complicated Superman would be. He loves just as hard and has as much at stake in relationships as anyone, and you don’t know where he’s going to go when you put pressure on him and threaten his loved ones.


          The expansion of the genre and viewpoints on Superman is a revelatory and conversion-like experience… I just love this encapsulation of how Chris Terrio, the outside skeptic, deep dives into superheroes to come out with an awe for their literary merit, potential, and possibility… and all of that is already IN Superman, people just need to see it!

          When we were talking to Ben, he mentioned that you and [co-screenwriter] Chris Terrio working together was like magic. Could you talk about that?

          “Chris is amazing, and Chris and I did have an amazing collaboration. Chris is super smart, and he does his research. He knows what’s going on….but he’s not a total dork! Well, maybe academically he’s a little bit of a dork. But he’s read all the books, and he’s got more dogma now than I do because he’s done all this research. Now I’ll say, ‘Let’s not do this’ and he’ll be like, ‘But in such and such comic book, they did that.’ And I said, ‘Chris, what happened to you?!’ In the beginning, he was like, ‘Screw those comic books! We’ll make it awesome, and more literary.’ Anyway, it’s great. Chris, in the end, wants it to mean something, and he wants it to be about something. It’s amazing having these three titans of pop culture…I mean, it’s just the craziest IP that you can imagine! Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman! And we’re actually manipulating and having fun with their stories! It’s an amazing opportunity.”


          “If you told me the most rigorous dramaturgical and intellectual product of my life would be superhero movies, I would have said you were crazy,” the screenwriter said.


          Exciting times.

  2. Using the theme of “The New Batman/Superman Adventures” at the end was a nice touch.

    • Glad you recognized it! It was really evocative of both characters, their themes, and successful blending of the two… and now we’re going to see it in one of the biggest blockbuster films of the year. So awesome!

  3. That was a very good episode Doctor. I sincerely hope that MoS will be more appreciated in retrospective, people in some years from now looking back and stating “Man of Steel is the film that defined Superman”, because it certainly did for me and many people, and hopefully it will for many, many more fans in the future (a future that I hope is not to far).

    I have a couple of questions, one is about the latest footage revealed at the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show.

    1) When Batman tossed that smoke grenade at Superman, you think the latter was “blinded” by it? In “Justice League: War” is depicted that Superman can use his X-Ray Vision to see through smokescreens, however in a recent issue of the comic “Injustice”, Batman used a Lead-Based smoke grenade to dent Superman’s vision.


    If Batman was really using lead, that means he is more aware of Superman’s weaknesses than many thought. I think it would be extraordinary since I’m almost certain not even Superman himself is aware of such handicap in his Visual abilities (AFAWK). That would really depict the “World’s Greatest Detective” to a whole new level.

    2) I crossed with a fan some time ago that stated that the reason (s)he doesn’t like the new take of Superman is because they are – I quote – “making him to human”. Apparently, Superman is someone you “aspire to”, not “relate to”. I know the common criticism of Superman being “non-relatable” to some people, but this person sustained that Superman shouldn’t be someone you identify with, should be someone you respect without the need to know personally. Like a cop or an officer, a military general or high-ranking marine, Superman should be “all power without signs of personality”, stoic.

    Like, say, Professor X of the “X-Men” films is widely regarded as “someone to look up to, but hard to relate to”, whereas the young Charles Xavier of the “Prequel” films is likewise regarded as the opposite.

    I know reasonable minds will differ, and that person isn’t exactly the majority, but don’t you think that someone you can aspire to can also at the same time be someone you can relate to?

    • 1) I won’t weigh in on an answer yet but that’s a plausible possibility. If I can make two predictions it will be that: First, it’s unlikely to be explained in the film… most of the combat in Snyder’s filmography doesn’t break-down or explain the fight choreography or tactics; Second, I will be carefully thought out and considered and with its own internal logic, whether or not we’re explicitly privy to it.

      One of the reasons I included Oliva’s interview at the end was how he said there was a through-line in the storyboards of Superman trying to figure out what to do. We got a little insight into the back-n-forth between Oliva and Snyder asking the same questions any audience-member or fan would ask, “Why doesn’t he fly away?”, etc. So through the choreography… they showed Superman trying different ineffectual tactics to leave to the final possibility. For even something as small as the smoke grenade scene is the collaboration of countless creators who want the best for this film… the storyboarders, the cinematographer, the stunt coordinator, the cameramen, the crew, prop department, continuity, writer, director, actors, and visual effects who all have to pour in hours of care and effort into just a split-second idea. In that chain you have people looking out for Superman and challenging the combat and others pushing back with explanations.

      Does that mean a bad idea or line can’t make it through? No, but I trust the process is more-likely-than-not to produce well-reasoned action as proven again and again in MoS when you really dig down into the combat. They’ve earned the benefit of the doubt and I expect it’ll all make sense.

      2) It’s unnecessary to put a fictional character into a box like that. Some takes will be more or less relatable depending on the demands of the story but the criticism is stumping for only one take as if it excludes the other.

      A concise comparison of relatable or aspiration in advertising seems apt. http://scampblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/is-it-better-for-advertising-to-be.html

      They’re both spectra, but it is a threshold requirement that anything aspirational is also relatable… otherwise there is no relevant point of intention or goal. You can’t aspire to be a flamingo or linoleum. There must be some measure and metric of relation to aspire to. At least three major world religions have central figures representing the aspirational ideal while totally and completely relatable as intrinsic to their message (identifying with the figure being an foundation of faith). Arguing they’re opposing traits is a false dichotomy that’s been reconciled for thousands of years by billions of individuals.

      I get concerned about people pontificating about the fictional Superman when their standards start to exceed those of actual real-world religious figures…. but that’s another show. 😛

  4. This is slightly off-topic, but it involves DC and for the sake of curiosity and interest i wanted to ask you this:

    This Week Netflix just added Son of Batman, Justice League: War, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and The Batman(the 2007 animated project).

    I wanted to know your opinion on these Shows/Movies, your favorite DC Animated Shows/Movies as well as your thoughts on the recent shows and movies and what did you think of Young Justice and do you hope that it gets a third season on Netflix?

    1. I know that you usually read Superhero Comics, but have you ever read any Vertigo/Independent/Non-Superhero titles and if so what were they and what are your favorites? Do you also follow iZombie and Lucifer TV Shows?

    2. What is your personal opinion on the main DC Shows now that time has passed and what were your feelings before then?

    3. As someone who practices and teaches Law, were you a fan of Daredevil(Show,Movie,and Comic), are you interested in the second season and are you a fan of Jessica Jones?

    4. Going back to my question on Ta-Nehisi Coates writing Black Panther, have you followed his writing beforehand, were you surprised that he was a “Geek”/Comic Book Reader(Marvel Fan in terms of Superhero Comics) given his articles at The Atlantic and did you read his articles on the process of writing Black Panther? It’s on his page at The Atlantic website by the way.

    5. By the time you’ve seen this post,you will have seen Anthony Breznican’s Articles about Batman V. Superman and the DCEU on Entertainment Weekly and other articles about BVS, as well as Bloomberg’s Profile Article on Zack Snyder. Many People on the site will ask you these questions but i just want to know your thoughts and opinions on seeing them.

    I wanted to go back on some older questions i asked you earlier, but I’ll wait tomorrow afternoon to revive them, either on Storytime or this post. Thanks for the Episodes and have a good night. Three Weeks Left!!!

    P.S. I know i will, but after he finishes Justice League 1&2, would you watch a Film about George Washington directed by Snyder?

    • Thanks for the questions, sorry for the delay in reply.

      0. I love all the animated stuff, tending towards more serious but even the seriously cheesy like Superfriends, Krypto, or Go! The single best thing about the Young Justice series, in my opinion, is that sense of a larger coherent world behind every episode. It’s something difficult to replicate with the New52 starting over and perhaps a little too sprawling and inconsistent in Post-Crisis continuity. Even for the vaunted DCAU or Timmverse, there is a sense that world-building was grafted-on or retconned-in. Young Justice is a world nearly as big as any other, but intentionally designed from the ground-up, which is one of the reasons I’m so excited by the live action cinematic universe, the possible return of Young Justice, and to some extent Rebirth. Because it is an entirely closed universe the stories are evergreen and I hope Netflix takes that into consideration (plus the smarts of buying into it now while the license is dead and relatively inexpensive vs. after the films blow-up). Animation, of course, takes time so if the do bring it back it will be a while until we do. I think shows like Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice were invaluable samplers for making future DC fans… hoping Justice League Action can play that role (and YJ if it comes back).

      1. I think after about 2005, I probably read more indie stuff than superheroes, but now with less time to read I’m down to a few core titles with everything else in trade or sales. Fables, Sword, Locke & Key, Warren Ellis (Planetary, Spider-Jerusalem, etc), Mark Millar, Brubaker, Vaughn, Jeff Smith, Gene Yang, Ennis, Moore, Waid, Kyle Baker… more than I can remember right now. It’s still technically a superhero comic I guess, but Ex Machina keeps coming to mind right now as a favorite.

      My tastes tend towards contemporary settings with a “What if?” kind of twist (and/or inspiring stories) and I’m willing to put up with graphic content to get to a good story, but it’s usually not a plus-factor for me… generally don’t read horror. I also love documentary-like detail and really dynamic action, which tends to be lacking in American comics compared to manga, where they can do slice-of-life / competition / cooking / sports-focused stories with unblinking sincerity or storyboard really cinematic action. Something like Gunsmith CATS is the ideal combination of both, a nearly fetishistic attention to real-world detail and information, with total action-movie sequences. I don’t know, I’m omnivorous… ask me in two weeks and I’ll be telling you how I love Geof Darrow and Alex Ross instead of more animated artists! I watch iZombie and enjoy it, I’m not quite clicking with Lucifer. I usually let the episodes play on 2.5x speed to get the plot points. I feel like the show is less compelling because we know he’s the genuine article, whereas some ambiguity has served shows like Cupid, Joan of Arcadia, Eli Stone, Angel from Hell, etc… then again, maybe that formula is too played out? Feels like a less earnest version of Forever. The show is still building its mythology so I’ll give it a few more episodes.

      2. Flash is solid, a little cheesy but intentionally so, no worse than Smallville and more deftly executed melodrama makes it consistently enjoyable. Supergirl is about the same, suspension of disbelief needs to be turned up, but it’s earned through the emotions of the soap stuff. Gotham is crazy and embraces it, you will groan looking for flaws but go with it and its fun. Arrow… I generally skip the island bits and enjoy the show. Legends… like it on a surface level and the ambition behind it… kinda waiting for it the fully click. Constantine… not into horror / fantasy / magic, mostly a slog for me despite finding the lead really good. Like iZombie. I’m not really someone who looks for holes or criticism, I think they’ve all got an audience and potential… I think they’re roughly ranked in the order I’d watch them if they were all piled on by DVR… I’d probably put iZombie before Arrow?

      3. Yes, She-Hulk and Manhunter too. However, I was into them anyways. I devoured the Marvel Knights and MAX lines so I was into Jessica Jones before the show. I thought the adaptation was solid but didn’t exactly capture what I liked about the comic series as much (which was more of a “what if” whereas the show as caught-up into building her world / drama). I’m hoping Daredevil S2 is as good, but the trailers feel a little less grounded than before.

      4. Yes, fan before; no not a surprise since most young professionals were kids in the 90s during the comics boom, I’m behind on it so thanks for the heads up I’ll check it out when I can.

      5. It’s been a while since I read them, sorry, no specific thoughts come to mind right now.

      6. If he’s serious about it, sure!

      • Thank you for your answers, way more articulate than how i would’ve written it. Also i wanted to show you some old questions that i asked a few weeks ago.

        I figured that two of them would hopefully be interesting enough to make a blog post about them, and i wanted to hear your thoughts as well.

        1. Were you also a fan of Warner Brothers as a studio and if so, what do you like/love about WB?

        2. What are your thoughts on the current state of the American Film Industry in terms of Finance/Creative, certain films being made and studios obsession with Big Movies?

        3. What are your thoughts on the Academy with what’s going on right now and also, are you a viewer of Independent Films? (Edit: Now that the Academy Awards are over, were you fine with the results and do you think that #OscarsSoWhite needed to happen as a wake-up call to Hollywood on Inclusion/Diversity?)

        Going Back to No.2, I do feel that there are certain films being made more than others and the “bottom line” is more important to some studios than quality(excluding WB), but I’m actually optimistic and hopeful in the film industry and in terms of Superhero Films, as long as the movies are good/doing different things, finding real, creative reasons to exist other than cashing in on the genre, than i think we’re good.

        4. While you usually wait to hear actual confirmation about an actor or director being signed on to a film and that you don’t dabble in rumors/speculation a lot, when you hear Amber Heard being in negotiations to play Mera or J.K. Simmons playing Commissioner Gordon in JL1, do you feel intrigued or excited about what that actor will bring to the character or do you have a wait and see approach on whoever might be involved? (I mean, if you open minded that’s something you have to do anyway, rather than being negative and damning the movie because “so and so” doesn’t fit how you view the character.)

        Speaking of casting, I honestly think Simmons playing Gordon in JL1 is one of the most surprising casting decisions I’ve ever seen. Up until now, it’s been either “Wait and See” or “Makes Sense to Me” viewpoint to actors sometimes, but with this i was both excited and intrigued. When it came to Jim Gordon most of us became so fixated on say… Bryan Cranston being Gordon, that we never even bothered to think about someone like Simmons taking the role and yet here we are. Even if it’s a small, supporting role(which it is), I feel that with Snyder’s direction, Terrio’s Writing, and Simmons’ Acting is making more enthusiastic to see Gordon than i normally would, especially considering the rest of us didn’t even know he was the film until now.

        Anyway that’s all for me. I had a question for you that involved Age of Ultron that you talked about last year in your episode that included the cast photo of the Suicide Squad, but it’s getting late so I’ll do it tomorrow. Have a good night and i hope to hear from you soon.

        P.S. Are there any other Movies, TV Shows or Books that you’re interested in this year.

  5. Excellent Podcast as always

  6. J. K. Simmons is playing Commissioner Gordon in Justice League.


  7. Hello there kind Sir,

    Just wrote to tell you how much I appreciate your thoughts on the DC Films universe and also to share this bit of information I found on Chris Terrio on creating the League. Here is an exerpt:

    –Comment begin—-
    Mr. Terrio recently finished his script for “Justice League,” which starts shooting next month, giving him a key role defining the big- screen versions of DC superheroes. To prepare, the writer says he studied red- and blueshifts in electromagnetic physics to think about the Flash, investigated deep sea biology in the Mariana trench to create the world of Aquaman, and read the Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily’s account of the war between Amazon and Atlantis to better understand Wonder Woman.

    “If you told me the most rigorous dramaturgical and intellectual product of my life would be superhero movies, I would have said you were crazy,” the screenwriter said.
    — comment end —

    Here is the source -> http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-great-comic-book-movie-debate-1457637539?tesla=y

    Not that I expect you to go research magnetic waves LOL I just thought you would have thoughts on this.

    Please do keep up the good work. Can’t wait for your thoughts on BvS (only days now!!). Here where I live they are doing a double bill with Man of Steel on the 24th and I got my tickets already. Yea, what is six hours of entertainment?! Gonna be the best night of my life!

    Please do keep up the great work. You have fans here in Ireland.


    • Thanks for listening, I genuinely appreciate it.

      I read that and I was both excited and terrified at the same time. Chris Terrio is a researching machine… and here, he’s not confined to JUST reality but the whole of literature and mythology and science. On one hand, I am going to LOVE trying to unravel his every reference and research to fully appreciate everything going into the film. On the other hand, I don’t think there’s any hope of me catching it all!

      I’m really looking forwards to the film on every level!

      • From what I have heard/seen from you, I believe in you! Do not doubt yourself for even a second! You can do it! Hell, almost 98% of what you talked about Man of Steel, I hadn’t even imagined. And I loved that movie to bits. Now I am going to re-watch it in IMAX before BvS and I am sure I am going to appreciate all that more thanks to you.

        And I am pretty sure you have heard of this as well but there is another article where Zack talks about Chris and how in the end he knew more about comic book lore than Zack – a nerd! He said he was like ‘What the hell happened to you man?’


        I am so excite for this birth of the DC I have started a petition to elongate my life. There is no way I a missing this for anything!

  8. Doctor, first I just wanted to say; you were right, about the fight vs Zod, about collateral damage, about everything!


    “He would, of course, bring collateral damage to an absolute minimum, but in that, he’s just trying to survive because if he doesn’t, the planet’s gone.”

    “-it’s very easy to point out the faults in someone after they’ve done it, but put yourself in their shoes and see what happens.”

    Not that I or anyone here ever doubted you, but seeing Cavill agreeing with you is amazing, even if he doesn’t even knows this website exists. But speaking of Cavill, a recent interview with him pointed out that (not Henry’s words) the feel of the original Superman films with Reeve can’t sell anymore, and that’s because of Nolan’s take on Batman.


    Normally one could agree, considering that the only “fun” DC films made since then (‘Superman Returns’, ‘Green Lantern’) were massive failures, whereas a demi-obscure and super dark character like Deadpool can become a massive success. But, one look at the MARVEL Cinematic Universe and you can see that films don’t have to be dark or gritty to be successful or appealing to larger audiences. But yet again, were DC to start taking a more campy feel to their films, accusations of being copy-cats would fall like a deluge.

    The following is my own opinion, I want to know yours but first I want to give mine; I honestly think Reeve’s Superman should be forgotten, like, forever. Don’t get me wrong, I realize how important his legacy is and what a milestone the film in 1978 was, but it’s a fact that some (if not most) of his memory is doing Superman more harm than good. People complaining that Routh shouldn’t had been like Reeve in everything are the same people complaining that Cavill should be like Reeve in everything, is nuts!! I know that modern audiences and movie-goers will eventually stick with Cavill’s Superman once the DC Films Universe is more established, but it’s not gonna be thanks to those nostalgic elitists that will do everything in their supposed “power” to prevent Cavill from being more beloved than Reeve.

    I don’t know if I can speak for everybody on this case, but I am one of those people whose MoS was the very first cinematic Superman experience. I never saw the Donner film (nor any live-action Superman film for that matter) until after I got into Superman-in-film, hence why I got 0 nostalgic attachment towards the original one(s). But I’m not the only one, cuz I’m certain many people can sympathize with me and more people will, especially youngsters that will become adults that grew up watching MoS and the rest of the DC Films. We may not be “scholars” in the Superman topic, but that makes our opinion less relevant?

    So all in all, you think Reeve’s Superman should be forgotten? Not literally, but in the sense of “that is a take on Superman we ‘never’ want to see again”. Because I think it would be for the best.

    • MegaSteel,

      Thanks, I’m convinced that Cavill gets it with respect to his character, he’s properly protective, and he knows his motivations in the film. In speaking about what audiences want, he can only speculate like everyone else. To me, The Dark Knight Returns didn’t mean that all portrayals of Batman should- henceforth- be as dark or that dark… instead, it acted as a lightning rod and definitive portrayal to essentially completely satisfy that itch for darkness, adult themes, cynicism, violence, and the like. What you’ll find is that afterwards, everything tends to fall between Batman ’66 and DKR ’89… and that there’s less angst about it because the public has accepted that Batman is a complex, nuanced, varied character not wholly dark and violent, but also not totally camp and ridiculous.

      Without the spectrum, I don’t think Superman gets the benefit of the same complexity in the eyes of the general audience. If they only know Donner’s take, all they can do is parrot and imitate that and Returns shows that can act as a straight-jacket which robs the character of its relevancy and vitality. Man of Steel is deeper, more complex, more nuanced by virtue of being more realistic, so there is far more to play with in that space… however, if we’re stuck with ONLY MoS, Superman as an ongoing mythos can still be stuck in a straight-jacket… you lose the total and absolute impossibility of more absurd takes like Superman ’78 or All-Star. However WITHOUT MoS you have nothing to BALANCE those takes or act as the other end of the spectrum.

      So personally, I think we need to embrace all takes to an extent. You’re permitted to prefer whatever you like, but the sooner you can accept more takes, the more freedom the character has to be portrayed in more, different, and complex ways, and the easier he can raise in popularity such that everyone has “their” own Superman (whereas before, it was more like, “There’s only one Superman, but so long as society is collectivist and conformist, he can be popular.”). Even better, I think we’re going to see this evolution over the course of the Justice League Universe, so that people start to understand Superman can and does have a character arc… he doesn’t just pop out of the cave fully-formed, but can grow and change like every good character does. So between MOS, BvS, and the JLU… I expect Superman’s stock to raise significantly and for that to pave the way for increased adoption.

  9. Really excited to read that Chris Terrio stated that future Justice League movies will not be as dark in tone as BvS after listening to your podcast on the subject of character growth and tonality a few months back. Good call!

  10. New footage.


    Would love to hear your analysis of this.

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