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August 11, 2003

"The most dangerous man on Earth," says Superman

Superhero face-offs can turn brother against brother:

"Superman stands for what is powerful, clear, bright, noble and just; Batman is dark, obsessive and vengeful. Because they are so different, they will inevitably end up clashing. It will be a battle of the titans. They both go through some kind of a crisis. Superman has an unwavering belief in what is right and wrong and it's just not that simple anymore in today's world, while Batman is on a path of self-destruction. He reacts to an act of incredible violence in a way that almost puts him over the edge".

The Flea's rhetorical skills are going to be tested to the limits in response to one of the most brilliant, if misguided, posts I have ever read.

... ... over at Ghost of a Flea seems to believe that Batman would 'totally have some kryptonite laying around the Batcave' and would therefore 'give Superman a beating.'

He couldn't be more wrong.

First of all, Superman has a lead suit that makes him impervious to that stupid rock.

Ahh, but which stupid rock? Which stupid rock? The Batman may be angsty but he is not dim. Even if the green kryptonite ring failed (you know, the one Superman gave to Batman in case Superman turned bad and Batman needed to give Superman a well-deserved beating) I am pretty sure Wayne Industries has the resources to come up with some red kryptonite. Then there is gold kryptonite:

Gold Kryptonite exposure permanently removes superpowers from Kryptonians like Superman.

But that is not even the point. Think about it. Batman is cool. Superman is not cool. Batman's cool is what gives him the edge over Superman even if stats-wise Superman thinks he is all that. Batman can dance the Batusi. Superman is popular in France. Even Batman's secret identity is, like, fully a billion times more cool than Superman's lame day job.

No, Batman does not even need that ring to put Superman in his place should that day ever come.

If you ask me, the gift of the ring was merely a symbolic gesture, because in my estimation, super-powers or not, Batman could bitch-slap Superman into submission any time, anywhere. You think a man who has time and again defeated threats that whole teams of superheroes cower in fear of would sweat some overly patriotic boy scout like Superman? Do you think the one character who has time and again proven there is no one with more resources, meddle and grit wearing a cape really needs a kryptonite ring to defeat a preening, needy Dudley Doright-wannabe like the Man of Steel?

I am pretty sure he means resources, mettle and grit but the point is well-made. To quote the Batman after he gave Superman a beating at the end of Dark Knight II:

I'm done talking.

This may be one of those ineffable, unanswerable debates. Could, for example, the Enterprise take out the Death Star? How about Freddy vs. Jason? Or Alien vs. Predator? Mike Campbell asks if a Ben Franklin action-figure could put the smack down on a Return of the King Aragorn action figure.

RoTK Aragorn would easily win out in areas like strength, speed, agility, and weaponry. But, with his intelligence, wisdom, and versatility, BF would also hold the upper hand based solely on system of government.

Mondo Sismondo sent me a link to an action figure which would kick both their butts.

It turns out the Chaos Overlord and I will have to put aside our disagreement for the moment. We have some super-villainous problems to deal with at DC Comics. FrontPage magazine exposes some vomitous nonsense underway at the Justice League of America (via Aaron's Rantblog by way of Absinthe and Cookies):

Writer Joe Kelly and artist Chris Cross use the July issue (#83) of the venerable DC Comics' series JLA - an acronym for Justice League of AMERICA, mind you - as the vehicle for their misguided attempt at political commentary. The issue opens with the superhero team - led by Superman - thwarting an advanced biological weapon attack on London. The heroes then consult with the president, who explains that his intelligence indicates that the attacks originated from the Middle Eastern terrorist nation of Qurac, a fictional stand-in for you-know-where. The president, by the way, is none other than Superman's arch-enemy Lex Luthor, though the general public believes him to be a legitimate businessman and an honest politician.

They did not forget to soil Batman's reputation along the way. A later scene...

...features a squad of riot cops holding back a mob of protesters on their way to an anti-war rally. Batman dropkicks one of the cops because he believes them to be part of a conspiracy to clandestinely use the military to stifle dissent. For proof, the Dark Knight Detective fishes Army-special-forces dog tags out from under the officer's uniform and shows them to a stunned Superman.

Apologies in advance for this comic-spoiler but it turns out the whole thing is a dream. It is time for Chaos Overlord and Ghost of a flea to combine our super-powers and go kick some sense into DC Comics (which, by the way, was never as good as Marvel).

And then... Ok, that France-related remark was maybe uncalled for. This Lili & Beko interpretation of Magnum P.I. is genius.

The Enterprise would smite the Death Star due to the Kirk-factor. I expect Freddy to dance circles around Jason. And Aliens eat Predators for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 11, 2003 11:39 AM


"The whole thing is a dream."

Yeah. Which makes it not only agitprop, but chickenshit agitprop.

Joe Kelly has the touch of death on books he writes. I'd already cancelled JLA from my pull list an issue or two ago, but the ish you describe still found its way into my bag. More's the pity. I'll check back on the team after Kelly's gone.

And, just to play the game:

... The Enterprise can fight at warp speed, which makes the weapons the Death Star has either too wimpy or two slow.

... Freddy is a hell of a lot smarter than Jason.

... "Aliens" demonstrated that it's not a matter of being a good fighter to beat the Aliens, it's a matter of being a good run-away-and-blow-up-the-placer, which Predators are not; going mano-a-mano, they lose their culo.

... And, finally, of course Batman finds the way to take down Supes. I mean, really -- how the hell else can he survive on the JLA without being that much smarter and deadlier than anyone else? Superman's lead suit? Sheesh -- even the Joker knew how to deal with that (see "The Superman/Batman Movie: World's Finest"). Unless Supes were willing to effectively nuke the planet with his superspeed and strength (which he never would), Bats will always have a better than fighting chance to take him down.

Posted by: *** Dave at August 11, 2003 05:15 PM

Me thinks we should agree to disagree, friend. You have clearly given me a new quest of truely epic proportions.

And Marvel comics are 10 times the comics that DC ever were. Even Image is superior in my humble opinion.

I'll sum up with this: Both the Superman and Batman that we grew up loving are infinitely more admirable than the tripe that DC is trying to shove down our throats currently. I think we can agree and both of their predecessors would beat the shit out of either of them.

Honor, faith and patriotism are weapons that truly cannot be defeated.

Posted by: Chaos Overlord at August 11, 2003 06:02 PM

Amen to all that!

Posted by: Nicholas Packwood at August 11, 2003 06:23 PM

I always used to prefer Marvel to DC. Alas, I've found a lot more to enjoy in the latter than the former over the past few years. While I may disagree with some of the things that DC has done, Marvel is still suffering from Over-X-itis (and the political posturing in JLA can be easily matched by the current team on, of all things, Capt. America).

Ah, well. There are plenty of Image, and indy, comics out there.

Posted by: *** Dave at August 11, 2003 08:39 PM

good job

Posted by: ekundayo at March 16, 2004 05:59 PM

I know the comic books made it possible for Batman to beat Supes into a pulp, BUT, if you ask me, Superman let him beat him. think about it, if YOU had the identical powers of Superman, could batman beat you??? Would you fight the BAT on his turf? I know for a fact, if ANY comic book reader possesed the powers of Superman, mere imagination would to the Bat into ashes!!

no pun intended

Posted by: tavares at December 10, 2004 04:36 PM