I guess December is official harass the living shit out of Batman month for me! idk why Supes and Wondy are being assholes, but it's kind of satisfying. I'll move this scribble dump to scraps in a bit. :]
1940-1986 Batman and BTAS Batman are where it's at for me (with the first two seasons of Adam West's show for good measure). Batman works best as a character when he's got a well-rounded personality, the ability to have fun even at his own expense, and actually cares about the people in his life. His Miller/post-Miller jerk persona just makes me wish someone would punch his lights out.
Well, I think the aggravating thing about modern, post-Year One Bats is just the fact that he never evolves. The way he's written, fueled by vengeance and darkness and AAAANGST, he can't. If our Batman is to let go of his grief, undergo a catharsis and learn to love his life for everything he does have, he stops being the Batman, you know? The trouble is that it's just not realistic. No one stays that angry forever, especially no one with a clan of children he loves dearly and that love him in return. Bruce is just so inconsistently written, it's like every time one writer takes a step forward in his development, the next one has to go straight back to MY PARENTS ARE DEEE-EEE-EEAD! Bruce.
It just makes it hard to love the guy consistently. He's very unrealistic in a lot of ways. I love him best when he's interacting with his kids, though. Fatherly-Bruce, displaying affection, worrying for his loved ones and moving the fuck on, is a super interesting Bruce I'd love to see more of.
What I like about the 1940-1986 Batman runs is that he did move on. The pain of losing his family never fully went away (and truthfully, it shouldn't), but it didn't consume him. He loved and cherished his friends and companions. He could enjoy the good things in his life, clown around, laugh at himself, and be human. It didn't diminish him as a character. Far from it; that was what made Batman interesting to me, that he had suffered a huge loss and used that experience to forge himself into a better man. When Batman became a cardboard cutout of hate and misplaced rage at everyone and everything with nothing else to him, he was gutted as a character. And to be honest, I think the always-angry, always-hateful, always-plotting-against-his-allies-when-he-should-be-plotting-against-his-enemies Batman is the campiest, most ridiculous version around. The "MY PARENTS ARE DEAD" meme is the perfect summation of what Batman became with Miller and those who followed, and it's a pretty scathing indictment.
I think the reason current writers are too afraid to break from the Miller/post-Miller mold is twofold. One, that version of Batman is a Marty Stu, and writers can easily self-insert onto him and use him as a proxy for their fantasies. (Batman spending years as the DCU's resident pimp and the nonstop "prep time" gimmick both spring to mind.) Two, that version requires no effort to write; it's cookie-cutter storytelling. Writing a multifaceted, human Batman as Bill Finger, Steve Englehart, Dennis O'Neil, Gardner Fox, Archie Goodwin, and the rest of the old guard did would require talent and genuine work, which many writers today either don't have or don't want to be bothered with. So they take the easy way out. Great for them, but it makes for bad stories, and Batman is a lesser character for it.
Yeah, that's the thing. I know Bats' darkness and angst has become especially iconic for our generation, but I honestly think it detracts from the fullness of his character. When I write or draw or even think about Batman, I'm usually taking my impressions from the Timmverse if just because his Batman made sense? (Plus that's the version I really grew up with, so.) Miller's handling of the Batverse has been really poisonous in a lot of ways, the worst of which is the legacy he's left. Even the reboot smacks of his influence and.. ugh. Just. Ugh.
I will freely admit that I hate pretty much everything he's ever done, though. I mean, as a real live woman with a functioning brain, it's hard not to. My biggest problem with Selina Kyle is her inconsistent, flippant and often misogonystic portrayal, but Miller just takes the fucking cake. The only good thing he's ever done and he made her a whore. Great. Good job, jackass.
I was trying as hard as possible not to bring up Hooker Catwoman in both DKR and YEAR ONE. I'm all in favor of updating Catwoman's origin to be more timely ("The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne," as much as I love it, really does belong to another era), but Miller's insistence on making her a prostitute (to say nothing of his attitude toward women in general) is character assassination of the worst kind. I won't say any more about it, because it's just not worth going into a rant over.
But yeah, I can't really disagree with you on anything you've said.
Ah yes, the cliche "Batman is God/Superman sucks" card. Bar none, the most overused, egotistical ploy fanboys run to.
Seriously, NOBODY in comic book fandom is more hateful and butthurt over other heroes than the Batman fanboys. Every single time any other hero gets mentioned, Batfans rush to tear said other hero and throw hissy fits whenever Batman isn't number one on a "top superheroes" list. (IGN got skinned alive recently for putting Superman in the top spot for their list.) Pointing the finger at Superman fans when it's the Batman fandom spewing hatred at every other hero in existence is more than unfair. And considering this obsessive fanboy adoration didn't exist until Frank Miller turned Batman into a blatant Marty Stu, that says a lot about the fandom.
DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is the point where Batman degenerated as a character. Sorry, but I liked Batman better when he had actual depth, warmth, humanity, compassion, and nobility. All Miller did was rob him of all those qualities and leave behind a shell of arrogance, egomania, and hate perfect for self-insertion, but useless for anything else. Even if DARK KNIGHT RETURNS hadn't been a plotless, incoherent, self-indulgent mess, the treatment of Batman alone would have been its death knell. Expecting me to root for a character who has no redeeming qualities is always a surefire way for a story to lose.
Frank Miller is to Batman what Stephenie Meyer is to vampire novels.
Why do you insist on making this about Superman fans "hating" Batman when Batman fans spew hatred at any hero who isn't Batman? Why do you refuse to acknowledge that a lot of the complaints about Batman have to do with the way he's been turned into a Marty Stu under Miller and those who followed him? My issues with DKR go way beyond the way Superman was treated. I hate the way Batman's heroism and humanity was ripped away from him. I hate the way he was turned into the same kind of uncaring psycho he's supposed to be fighting. I hate the way that I'm expected to root for him at all times no matter how offensive or reprehensible his behavior is. I hate the way he's been cemented as being a guy who can even kill God with enough "prep time" and devotes himself to plotting against his fellow heroes instead of concentrating on stopping his enemies. Miller's hatred of Superman is beside the point. It's that he turned Batman into a blatant self-insert and set the stage for others to do the same at the expense of the character's integrity and at the expense of any other hero who's not Batman. Blaming Superman fan for being "haters" is woefully missing the point. And seeing as the "majority" is frequently wrong (boy bands, Michael Bay, reality TV, TWILIGHT), using that excuse to defend Miller and his acolytes holds no weight whatsoever.
And with that, I'm done. You've made up your mind that it's all us stupid Superman fans throwing hissy fits regardless of what anyone actually says. So for me to say anything more would be a waste of time.
Uh, idk, that hasn't been my experience? My numero uno hero is Oracle, followed in short measure by Superman. I adore Superman. It's possible Birthright is my favorite DC comic, and that's coming from the lips of a die hard Gail Simone fan. But I love Bats, too, and I actually draw him a lot more. Most of my friends obsess over Batman to a straight up unhealthy degree, including those who also love Supes.
I don't see why we have to pick sides when they don't.
Haha, sometimes a little OOC-ness can be funny! Don't apologize for it, it definitely made me laugh! It's not even THAT out-of-character. I can see Clark and Diana doing something like that, as a joke. Not to be mean, just teasing between friends.
Have you seen this piece by Harseik? [link] That's the dynamic I'm talking about. It's a little OOC, sure, but at the same time it doesn't feel THAT weird to me that Clark and Diana would rib Bruce like that sometimes. Goodness knows he needs help taking himself a little less seriously XD.
I love the friendship between these three. They are one of my favorite Power Trios, right up there with Luke/Leia/Han and Harry/Ron/Hermione.
Except unlike those two there isn't any romance going on between any of them, which I actually like. I always think people are kind of missing the point when they 'ship Wonder Woman with Superman or Batman (or Batman/Superman with each other for that matter). I like that there can be a strong and real friendship without it being romantic. But that's just my opinion. WW doesn't really have any really strong (I'm talking strong as a character, not physically strong) love interests so I do understand the temptation.
And I think Diana is wonderful too! You should totally draw her more, I would love to see it!
I actually like Diana and Bruce in the Timmverse, and I definitely prefer it to most of his ships? (I HATE Bruce and Selina. Forever and ever I hate it I hate it.) But ultimately, I don't ship Bruce with anyone because a long-term relationship would never work. He's in love with the city and his duty and his family, and he could never rearrange his priorities to share his life with a woman. it would feel like a betrayal to those things he's already devoted to. And romantic love is not the end all, you know? Familial love and platonic is just as important, just as fulfilling, and I think Bruce is more suited to it. His life is rich without a mate, I think.
And yeah, what I love about the three of them is the bromance. Supes asked Bats to carry kryptonite with him in case he ever went rogue ffs. There's so much love and mutual respect, it makes my heart sing, and yeah, I don't think ribbing Bats is too ooc. They love him, and he's SUCH A STICK IN THE MUD. Messing with him is natural!
Noooo, how can you hate Bruce and Selina? They're so perfect for each other! I agree that Bruce's priorities are more on his work, but at the same time, I don't think it would hurt for him to rearrange those priorities a bit and concentrate more on the people he loves. Not just romantically. His "kids" too. I know he cares about them, but he's kind of terrible about showing it. Dick doesn't get THAT hurt by it because he's more of a people-person and he's good at surrounding himself with other people who love him, but poor Tim and Damian are practically walking around with big signs on their foreheads going "PLEASE LOVE ME, BRUCE", and it's like he doesn't even SEE it. And he ignores Cass entirely most of the time even though he bothered adopting her - what, because she's not worth as much of his time because she's a girl? And he's been so mean to poor Stephanie, I wouldn't blame the kid if she didn't even WANT his attention anymore. And that's not even getting INTO the mess that is Jason "I hate you soooo much Bruce! I HATE YOU!! Look at all the bad things I'm doing! LOOK AT THEM!! WHY WON'T YOU PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEE???" Todd. (I don't blame Bruce for that last one though.)
And the stupidest thing is, the person Bruce is hurting the most when he ignores or pushes away the people he loves isn't any of those people, it's himself. He would be HAPPIER if he made more time to show the people he loves what they mean to him and be loved in return. I know that his mission and his city are incredibly important to him, but I personally think he could do what he does and still make more time for personal relationships. I wouldn't see that as a betrayal. And part of that would be making time for romantic love, but that's just a part of a larger whole.
I agree that romantic love isn't the only important thing, and family and friendships are incredibly important too - which is why, like I said, it baffles me when people feel the need to interpret any kind of familial or platonic love as being romantic. There are many kinds of love which can be incredibly powerful. But at the same time, I do think that most people are happier when they find their soulmate. There's a level of closeness and partnership that you can't have in any other kind of relationship, you know? Bruce's kids grow up, and they go away and make their own lives. He still loves them, and they still love him, but it's not the same. And that obviously frustrates him and causes tension, but that's the way it has to be. And of course, his friends have their own separate lives too. I think he would be happier if he had someone to share his life with forever (no, Alfred doesn't count XD). Now, whether he could make a committed relationship like that work is another matter, because to say the guy has relationship issues is the understatement of the century. And if Selina was the person he "settled down" with, it would be doubly hard, because she's just as independent a person as he is, and making their two separate lives fit together without compromising either of their principles or individuality would be difficult. But not, IMO, impossible. If they were both willing to be mature and compromise, I think they could make it work. That's just me, though.
But yeah! Bruce and Clark and Diana have a great friendship between them! I agree, there is so much mutual respect between them. I liked the moment in the recent Justice League #3, where Diana shows up, and Hal Jordan is busy making obnoxious comments about her (seriously, can he just shut up - I didn't like THAT part) but Clark is impressed by her strength. And he tells her "You're strong", and Diana replies "I know". It's such a short, simple little exchange, but I just thought it was... nice. It made me smile. Mutual respect, like you said. That's just one small example. I don't like that the reboot chose to erase their previous friendship, but at least there are still moments like that one. And the example you gave with Bruce and Clark, OMG. Could there be a higher mark of trust then to ask someone to do something like that for you? I love that. And all kidding aside, I love how much respect Clark and Diana have for Bruce even the he doesn't have their kind of power. They never look down at him as lesser in any way.
And there should definitely be more moments of teasing and fun between them in the actual comics! More scenes like this one: [link] In general, I wish the comics would let their superheroes have some fun and happiness more often, and more of those nice normal moments with friends and family. Not every hero has to be a Tall Dark & Angsty antihero loner. And even characters like Batman who ARE like that to a large degree don't have to be like that ALL the time. He's allowed to joke around with his friends sometimes! Honestly! And if he won't they will MAKE HIM loosen up, LOL.