Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Grand Contradiction

I really like it when two superheroes hang out together as friends. However, at the same time, I am not really all that into Superman and Batman being bestest buddies.

I get that they are the two biggest heroes DC has, but why do they have to be such good friends?

I'd like to see the whole "good friend" thing mixed up a bit. I mean, Wonder Man and Beast - who saw THAT coming?! So I'd like to see some more mix-and-match friendships like that.

Take the X-Men, for instance. At times, it seems like some of the X-Men do not even know each other. Like, say, Bishop and Iceman. Have they even said ten words to each other in the fifteen years Bishop has been around? I am not saying I want Bishop and Iceman to become best friends, just that I'd like to see a little mixing and matching with superheroes hanging out, not just the old stalwarts (Atom/Hawkman, Green Arrow/Green Lantern, Superman/Batman).


Blogger Richard said...

By contrast, I really like the "world's finest best buddies" angle. Not solely beacuse it's the dynamic I read about as a child -- although that's a big factor, I'll admit -- but also because it has a conceptual elegance to it. Here you have two guys who are at the top, without peer in their chosen field. Who else can each of them turn to who will totally understand their situation in life?

It's like when the Beatles hung out with Elvis. They were at equal levels of fame and fortune, and really only Elvis could relate to the bizarre world the four kids from Liverpool had been thrown into. They didn't talk about music, or their business management, or their fans. Instead, they were fascinated by the fact that Elvis owned one of the first television sets with a remote control, and the five of them sat around playing with it. Elvis was someone they could relax with and be themselves, not The Beatles.

With that in mind, I really like the idea of Batman having this one guy for whom the whole bat-mystique doesn't mean anything, and Superman having one guy with whom he can relax and not have to be standing at attention for. If these characters don;t have any opportunity to relax with someone and always have to be mindful of their public personas (all four of them) at all times...they become rigid monsters.

6/15/2006 3:55 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I agree that it IS good for heroes to have other superhero friends. I'm just saying why Superman for Batman?

Why not, say, Martian Manhunter (picking a name out of the air)?

6/15/2006 8:17 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Well, the Beatles hung out with Fleetwood Mac -- the original blues group of that name, that is -- but no way is that as cool as them hanging out with Elvis!

6/15/2006 9:46 PM  
Blogger Derek B. Haas said...

While I respect your totally absurd, unjustified, and objectively wrong dislike of Joe Kelly and his run on JLA, I have to say that he and Mahnke do the definitive Relaxing Superhero Pals. The first page of the entire Obsidian Age business--with the poker game in the Watchtower, J'onn messing with a sketch, and Superman smoking a stogey--is pure joy. The J'onn J'onzz Backyard Barbeque in Trial By Fire is also pretty swell in this regard.

6/16/2006 8:42 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I WAS, actually, thinking of Kelly's Batman/Wonder Woman pairing as an interesting twist on the whole "heroes hanging out" thing.

If only his run wasn't so bad overall.

6/18/2006 6:34 AM  

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