A gradual review of every issue of Batman and Detective Comics.

I have to travel constantly for my job, and often like to read comic or books while on the road. On planes especially. It has occurred to me that there are a lot of earlier Batman and DC comics that I haven't read, and so I now plan on reading every single Batman comic and every issue of Detective Comics. I'm hoping that it will give me a better understanding and knowledge of the character, and since I can update it as I go, it's something short to write about until I finish my revision of my Cap vs Batman blog.

Expect this page to be constantly updated.

Batman #1: I'm aware this is not the first appearance of Batman in comics, it's just what I happened to re-read first. I had read this before, so no big surprises here. It gives a brief telling of Batman's origin and then has a story with the Joker. What's most interesting about this is to witness the start of what became these two incredibly prominent, well developed characters. All the elements are there..Batman saving Joker, joker venom, a bit of detective work...and there are some plot details which have been updated in several other stories, such as Joker disguising himself as a cop which influenced The Dark Knight.

In the subsequent story we have Batman vs Dr Strange and his monsters. Two things stand out to me in this story, as we see Batman's knowledge and intellect on full display, however at the same time we see a Batman who doesn't mind killing as a way to solve a problem. He doesn't kill directly, but has no issue in allowing the "monsters" to kill each other and indirectly killing the two remaining despite having an antidote.. It's going to be interesting to see his evolution into a character for whom any death is needless and unacceptable.

The story with The Cat (who would later become Catwoman) isn't especially interesting. The main thing I observed is Batman allowing Robin to fight 4 men by himself. It was either a training exercise or Bruce was so confident in the training that he had given Dick that he genuinely had no need to fear for his safety. I refuse to believe the hokey in story reason that criminals are very scared without their guns.

The final story, The Return of the Joker doesn't really add much over the first story, although it shows the Joker's foresight and preparedness as well as his extensive knowledge of chemistry, something that later becomes a staple of the character.

4 Comments

Batman and Captain America: Physical Equals

This has been on my mind to write for some time. At least since an article on the site gave had Cap draw with Batman alleging Cap had a physical edge in terms of combat over Batman - something I think is nonsense since Batman would have won had they been rightfully declared equal phsyically. While debating this issue, I learned a lot although my opinion did not waver.

It seems a lot of Cap fans are terribly vocal and tend to cherry-pick a few inconsistent and/or silver age feats to justify this stance, which is why I didn’t feel the argument of Cap being enhanced or greater had much merit. If a modern character is superhuman, there should be a wide array of feats and showings to showcasing this. It shouldn’t be necessary to always go back to the same few sometimes ambiguous feats to make a case.

As such, I thought I would collect those feats and show equivalent Batman feats to disprove this notion. Instead of getting mixed up in labels, it’s easier to show that Steve Rodgers does not surpass (and perhaps even falls behind) the abilities of DC’s most famous peak human by showing them having equivalent feats, although certain vocal Cap fans will try to invalidate them in hilarious ways.

Firstly though, there are two important points that need to be clarified. Two points that Captain America fans often argue to support their view, neither with any merit. The first is to do with the meaning behind “peak of human potential” while the second is related to misinterpreting “next step in human evolution”.

Let’s examine the first point. Steve has often been described as “being enhanced to the peak of human potential”. This is often misinterpreted to mean that Steve is enhanced to the point of being equal to what humans will one day evolve to. I will address that more in the next paragraph, suffice to say that interpretation is incorrect. The peak of human potential refers to what a current human; a Homo Sapiens Sapien in Marvel terms is capable of achieving today. The unbelievable limit to which they can push their bodies, doing feats no human in the real world could do, surpassing even the best Olympic athletes in the Marvel Universe. That’s what the peak of human potential refers to. A “peak human” in comics generally does things no human could ever do in the real world. Keep in mind also peak refers the highest something can currently be, not the highest it can hypothetically be. Steve is officially listed as Peak Human in his handbook entry.

I know Brubaker allegedly said otherwise…but his take on it isn’t enough to convince me, especially without feats to match.

Now to address “next step in human evolution”; It doesn’t make sense to say that Steve Rodgers is the next step in human evolution, when we already have so many geneses of human in the Marvel Universe: Homo sapiens superior, Homo sapiens mermanus, Homo sapiens inhumanus, Homo sapiens aeternus and Homo sapiens deviare.

Steve Rodgers is still Homo sapiens sapien, i.e. plain old human, exactly like Batman. When he is referred to as being the next step in future evolution there are a few likely explanations. Either the scientist was mistaken or being hyperbolic, or was specifically referring to Steve’s healing factor or running speed, both of which are enhanced. It really doesn’t make sense to consider Steve the next point in human evolution like people try to claim; If Steve was representative of the average human in the future, he wouldn’t be Homo sapiens sapien any longer. Keep in mind, evolve is not synonymous with “improve” – a closer synonym would be adapt. From what I know there are no humans from the future in the Marvel Universe who are even close to Steve’s level naturally.

Now with that out of the way, I will admit straight up that Steve has an enhanced healing factor, enough for him to stay alive while iced, but not enough to heal from serious injuries during combat. He also has an enhanced running speed being listed as able to run at 30mph. Any other claims about how he is enhanced I find suspect and not supported by sufficient evidence. But now comes the fun part, comparing scans.

I don’t know the context for the Captain America scans in this thread; they are what Cap fans supplied to make their case. If he has augmented powers for some reason or the feats are not canon please advise. I would like this blog to be accurate as I think it’s an interesting discussion, as where nothing is gained by “cheating”. For the Batman scans I’m not making a distinction between pre or post New52, as I don’t think that distinction is helpful or relevant as Batman’s physicality did not change with the reboot.

Lastly, the reason I don’t think silver age feats apply is because they don’t have much in common with the current incarnation, even if everything is still technically canon. Current characters don’t tend to be sexist or racist or have as many PIS feats as silver age incarnations. If you can only make the argument by relying on silver age feats, then you should probably reevaluate your stance.

So, the scans. Let’s first do it by category. First up, Strength:

So let's see what we have.

  1. Cap throwing a chunk of concrete, which weighs about 150lbs per cubic foot. My guess by looking at the size of the chunk is that it is about 6 cubic feet, so 900 pounds. I would not think that the chunk is pure concrete, but nevertheless an impressive feat.
  2. Cap using his shield to take out a helicopter. This is more the shield than Cap strength I would think. It certainly doesn't show Cap is stronger than Batman.
  3. Cap taking off a tank turret with his shield, PIS IMO.
  4. Cap throwing his shield through a truck. It's a strange angle if he threw it from behind as it seems to be coming down from on high. Either way, impressive, although I feel it is PIS.
  5. Cap fighting some werewolves. I don't know what this was meant to prove, but I like to be thorough.

IMO 1, 2 and 5 are not overly impressive while I think 3 and 4 are not consistent feats, i.e. PIS.

Anyway, let's see what Batman has.

  1. We have batman holding up a roof, at least 1000 pounds. This is equivalent to the scan of Cap holding up some debris from a demolished skyscraper.
  2. Batman swinging around 600 pound Manbat. This is IMO equivalent to Cap throwing the chunk of concrete.
  3. Supporting one sarcophagi with his batline while supporting another on his back. That's close to 2000 pounds!
  4. Bending the barrel of a gun with raw strength
  5. Lifting a totem pole off his leg. They generally weigh about a tonne.
  6. Ripping through the metal in a train car to get to the wires.
  7. Using only strength he forcibly pulls apart a locked trunk sinking under water.
  8. Holding on to a jet engine nacelle without being sucked in

I honestly don't see how Cap fan's can claim to show Steve is stronger. At the very least, they have equal feats.

I would argue if Batman is strong enough to bend guns, pulls prison bars out of a wall, pull a locked trunk apart etc, he can throw a vibranium shield strong and fast enough to do the things Cap did. In those scans, aside from maybe being PIS, I give more credit to the shield. Has Cap ever done anything similar to what Batman does for his strength feats?

Now for Durability

So here is what we have:

  1. I don't know why this is first, but it is the second panel showing Cap with a huge wound in his chest
  2. This shows Cap surviving an explosion. I would give more credit to his shield and armor here
  3. This shows Gambit charging Cap's armor. I understand this is considered a large PIS moment, since Gambit can charge oragnic matter and Cap should have been dead or thrown much further. Good discussion here.
  4. Cap using his shield to withstand the flame from a launching rocket. This is a nice feat for the shield....
  5. First panel showing Cap's chest wound
  6. The next 3 clips show Cap diving from a plane and crashing onto a badguy, using him to break his fall.
  7. This shows Cap falling/jumping from an undertermined height and leaving an impact in the ground. Heavy things falling from heights make impacts. Not really impressive.
  8. Thor smacking Cap through what looks like metal and wood walls.
  9. Cap landing on a car crushing it. A weight of 250 pounds (113 kilograms) falling from ~100 feet (30 meters) will have a velocity of ~80 feet/s (~25m/s). His impact force in newtons is 33222, which equates to 7468 pounds-force. More than enough to destroy a car as seen in the scan. This site was used.
  10. Namor throwing Cap into some rocks. Not sure why this is a feat.
  11. Captain America getting thrown through a thin wooden roof and getting saved by Black Panther

Now for Batman's equivalent feats

  1. The first 2 scans show Batman getting caught off guard by an explosion, coming out seemingly unscathed and on fire. Pretty equivalent to Cap surviving an explosion I think.
  2. The next 3 scans also Show Batman getting caught in an explosion and surviving. Also equivalent to the Cap surviving an explosion
  3. The next 3 scans show Batman going through a brick wall, getting smashed into a sky scraper and then a bell. Pretty durable and more impressive than being thrown through thin wood.
  4. The next 2 show Batman coming out of an explosion to beat the Joker
  5. The next 4 show Ra's al Ghul stabbing Bruce in the chest, then Bruce getting back up and continuing to fight. Despite what some posters say, this was not due to the lazarus pits. They were not in the pits, and the fumes of the pits are not enough to heal an injury like that. There is no indication or implication the pits are responsible.
  6. The last 4 show him getting a beating by Clayface, which should satisfy the beat down by stronger opponent feat.
  7. Batman surviving in space for 24 seconds. I personally think this is more impressive than anything Steve has been shown to do.

Now a feat from Punisher showing landing and crushing a car is not that impressive, even if done with less style:

Finally Speed and Agility

  1. So here we have Cap swinging around a flagpole and launching up about 12 stories, or about 120 feet. I think PIS as this isn't consistent at all.
  2. Here he jumps about 20 feet to a helicopter. Estimation based on him being 6ft or taller. Don't know if this is PIS or not.
  3. Cap falling of a building onto a moving train. Maybe 100 feet.
  4. This is cap jumping and climbing over a ledge. It doesn't seem very high to me, so not very impressive.
  5. A silver age scan of Cap jumping and landing a short distance from a hovering plane.
  6. Captain America saying he "sees faster". Single instance and open to interpretation. Does it mean his eyesight is physically augmented, or merely that he can see things faster than other people due to training and experience? I think the latter.
  7. The next two are running feats. One from the silver age and one a tribute to the silver age that people try to use to prove Cap can run at 60mph. I won't try to match these as it doesn't matter, since I agree Cap can run at 30mph and Batman can't match that. They are not a good argument to say he can consistently run at 60mph however.

Now for Batman's feats.

  1. Batman literally deflecting a bullet by punching it. Has Steve done anything close to that?
  2. Dodging bullets by inches as they come at him, like Neo in the Matrix.
  3. Freefaling off a tall building without his cable. Shown running in an ally. Possible his cape healped to break his fall.
  4. The next 8 scans show Bruce and a talon falling about 15 stories. Bruce separates from the Talon and manages to land on a gargoyle, while the talon opens his wingsuit to try and save himself but fails. Also not the car getting crushed by his weight.
  5. The next 3 scans show him dodging uzi fire at fairly close range and taking out the bad guys.
  6. The next 2 scans show Batman being thrown out a window and managing to survive. Yes, he uses the canopy to break his fall. It's still impressive.
  7. The next 2 scans show Batman dodging multiple guns firing at close range and taking out the guys firing.
  8. Dodging Power Ring blasts
  9. Catching up to a car responsible for a drive by shooting on foot.
  10. Jumping a great distance to another roof, crashing through and then avoiding multiple rifles firing at his chest
  11. Throws his Batarang 100mpg to take out a gunman, then catches a falling baby covering 10 feet in a second.
  12. Jumping 20 feet from a Bat Blimp to Riddler's baloon.

I think the feats listed shown in this blog should leave no doubt that Captain America does not surpass Batman physically. In a few cases Batman has more impressive feats than Captain America (surviving in space for example). It's sometimes hard to show the same feat for both characters but I think the feats I chose to show are equivalent. In short aside from running speed feats, I think Batman is capable of every feat Captain America has been shown to do. I would not be confident Captain America could do everything Batman was shown to do.

When you eliminate silver age feats, and feats for which Batman is shown to be able to match, there isn't much of an argument for Captain America surpassing Batman physically. Jumping great distances, fighting folks far more powerful than he, taking beatings, being thrown through walls, sustaing crazy damage and continug to fight, dodging bullets...all of this stuff is standard fare for both characters. Not sure why some folk need to try and say otherwise. He certainly has a faster running speed and higher health endurance though, so that's something. Doesn't give him an edge in combat, but it's something.

Lastly, I think some folks might find this video interesting. It shows how a normal human can through experiences be "reinforced" or perhaps "enhanced" if you will.

I'd also like to thank a bunch of people that I had debates with. @tg1982, @ghost_knight, @cameron83 and others who debated civilly and answered my questions and provided scans.

162 Comments

The problems with Man of Steel...in pictures!

Obviously the movie has been out for a while now and everyone has their opinions. This isn't intended to persuade anyone.

I just thought I would take some caps from the movie of scenes where I thought there were issues, and explain why.

Why is the codex, one of the most valuable things on Krypton, in the form of a broken skull? The symbolism does not make sense, and it doesn't make sense for an advanced society to do this.
This isn't a complaint I hold, although I did read it and while nitpicky, I thought it was interesting. Clark has no misgivings about stealing clothes.Does he need them that badly? Could he not ask? As I said I don't m ind, but an interesting observation.
Yes Clark, Maybe you should have let those kids die to protect your secret identity. Your secret identity is worth more than the lives of several children. Some fine moral guidance from Pa Kent.
Destroying a man’s livelihood because he was a jerk and threw beer on him and hit him. It was funny sure...but not fitting with the character of Superman.
Where did this ship go?! After he got his costume, the ship was never seen again! It certainly could have been useful to talk to Jor El again and get some advice.
This is the command key where a COPY of Jor El was uploaded from. Which means a copy of Jor El still exists in the ship that was never seen again.
A minor gripe, but I don't like the costume at all. I don't like the lack of a red belt or something to breakup the blue...but that isn't the issue. The issue is that the red and blue are depressing shades. Superman should be bright and inspiring...something this movie didn't even attempt to be.
Pa Kent being a needless martyr. This was possible the films stupidest moment. It served no purpose and was unnecessary. Pa Kent could have died, but it could have served a purpose, this really didn't.
The religious symbolism in this movie was unnecessary and to me out of place. More to the point, why didn't he go back to his ship and talk to Jor El?
I get that he is angry that Zod threatened his mother. That's no excuse to fly Zod through several buildings filled with people, and then fight him in this populated area. Especially after traveling through miles of unpopulated land.
Still in the populated area. two experienced military Kryptonians coming. Let's fight! Instead of you know, flying away.
This is not the Jor El program being destroyed. It is a COPY of the Jor El program being destroyed.
Destroying the world former is a fantastic goal. Destroying the one killing people in Metropolis instead of the one over the Indian Ocean would have been an even better idea.
Lets fight some more, even though the city is already in shambles. Even though Superman can fly and Zod can't, he doesn't use that to his advantage. Zod can't fly, piledrive him into the darkside of the moon or something before he can.
Dodging a tanker instead of you know..stopping it. Allowing it to crash into the building and explode and probably kill some more people. This kind of thing is a bigger issue than killing Zod...the lack of concern over collateral damage.
I don't have so much of a problem with the killing, although it was unnecessary. There were certainly other ways out of that situation, and it is indefensible to claim otherwise. The other issue is with people who claim that he knows not to kill now, and in future situations he won't. Well, that's admitting there is always another way, making this kill unnecessary in the first place.
Snyder and /or Goyer could have really learned a thing or too from Tom Taylor, the writer of Injustice. He get's the character even while turning him into a ruthless killing dictator.

137 Comments

Captain America is peak for strength, and not more than that.

It is often debated between Captain America fans and comic book readers just what classification he falls into. Marvel officially lists him as a Peak Human, with many Captain America fans insisting he must belong to a higher classification because of his feats.

We can see here from the most recent Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entry for Captain America, from 2011 that he is considered peak, which means he can press 800lbs.

It has to be noted however, that 800lbs is not the overall limit of what he character can lift, nor is this what is being applied. When the entry mentions Steve can lift 800lbs, this means Steve can lift 800lbs according to the Marvel Strength Scale.

Quoting how the Marvel Strength Scale is defined:

The purpose of this Strength Scale is to, eventually, put all the characters of the Marvel Universe in order, by raw physical strength.

This includes the amount of weight each listed character can lift over his/her head with arms fully extended based upon information taken out of the various printings of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and other encyclopedic comic books styled after the OHOTMU.

The reason this is noteworthy, is because many Captain America fans will argue that the character is Enhanced or even Super Human when it comes to strength, because there are feats (albeit not numerous or consistent) that show him lifting far more than 800lbs.

Well, that just makes sense. The type of exercise described in the quoted passage above used for the Marvel Strength Scale is called a military or overhead press. Generally, people training equally across the board will be able to lift 2/3rds of what they can bench press and less than half of what they can deadlift.

This site illustrates this principle nicely: http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.htm

It shows for example that a male weighing 320lbs can press 285lbs, bench press 420lbs and deadlift 615lbs.

This means that if Captain America lifts 800lbs in an overhead press, he should be able to bench around 1200lbs and deadlift around 1700lbs.

Whenever you see pictures like the one to the left, it is actually helping to support the point that Captain America is in the peak classification for strength.

For Captain America to be considered anything other than Peak, at least when it comes to strength, he would need to be shown lifting around the 2000 pound mark. To my knowledge, there is nothing even close to that.

So, can we please stop insisting that Captain America is more than peak when it comes to strength, since there is absolutely nothing to back it up?

6 Comments

My ideal Justice League fancast

I attached this to the DC forum as the JLA forum didn't seem appropriate.

I would really like some thoughts on my choices, as I'm planning to try and make a trailer using these characters. I'm mainly doing it as a project while I teach myself about video editing software, but I'd like to take it semi seriously as I think it would be a cool thing.

So, here are my choices:

Superman

I have to go with Henry Cavil here. For a long time I wanted a different Superman as I have fears about the movie, but here is hoping they get it right and Man of Steel can kickstart the DC cinematic universe. If only they had given him a red belt at least...

Batman

My choice here is Eric Bana. I want a Batman who is a bit older than Superman, and Eric Bana has the chops to be dark and menacing as well as play the billionaire playboy. I think if he was given a shot he would do an amazing job.

Wonder Woman

This was the hardest one to choose. I went with Rachel Nichols because I think she has a good combination of beauty, action scene experience and height/musculature. I think it's easy to see her in the part. My runner up choice was Lynn Collins from John Carter, although I just don't thinks he really looked the part. Exotic, but not in the right way IMO.

Green Lantern

I wanted to use Hal Jordan for this role, I even like Reynolds as an actor. I think though that a Justice League movie should be a fresh start, not tied to any of the other movies except maybe Man of Steel. Which would mean recasting Hal Jordan. So I think it is easier to go with one of the other earth lanterns, and out of them I think John Stewart is the best choice. I think Michael J White would do a fantastic job portraying him...he is no stranger to action movies and I think he would do fantastic in a super hero role.

Flash

Flash was a hard actor to choose as well. I want to go with Barry Allen to link it to the current comics continuation, and also partly because I'm more familiar with Barry than Wally. Ryan Gosling is a popular choice for Flash, but I think part of the key to good casting is not choosing the most popular choices of the fan, giving underrated or underexposed actors the chance to define the character in peoples minds, somewhat overriding what they will have already done in their imaginations with their preferred actors. For Barry Allen, I think Ryan Kwanten from True Blood would be a great choice. He can do comedy and drama very well, has had quite a few movies where I could see him playing Barry very easily.

Cyborg

Cyborg I think should be played by Donald Glover. This guy is extremely talented as a writer, actor and musician. Seeing him on Community where he plays an Athlete having trouble being out of highschool, I do think he could play Victor Stone with the seriousness the role requires. He is also a huge comic book fan, and campaigned heavily for the role of Spiderman.

Martian Manhunter

Martian Manhunter is an interesting character, because his powers should rival Supermans. In the movie version I think he should be less strong, but have the phasing and telepathy to compensate for that. Like Superman, he is the last of his kind, but unlike Superman he was a father and had a family, so he lost a lot more and carries that pain with him. I envision at least half the movie him being in human form, and so I think none other than Carl Lumbly should play him. Lumbly has being a detective and carrying pain nailed, and as the Martian he will be CGI. I honestly can't think of a better choice to portray John Jones.

Aquaman

Aquaman is one of the most important characters in the film. The basic story I would like to use would be something similar to the Throne of Atlantis from the New 52. I think having Atlantis as having been only a myth and then suddenly attacking earth would be fantastic for a movie. It instantly distances itself from The Avengers because the enemy is not an alien, and it allows for some subtle commentary on what humanity is doing to the environment/planet. Aquaman would be caught between both worlds, but knowing the humans he would fight to save them, joining the other heroes to defeat Orm and then taking the throne, which sets up future movies.

I'm not really sure who should play him though. A lot of people seem to like Charlie Hunham which I can see, but I think there are better choices. Many people also like Jai Courtney, which I can't see at all. I think Alexander Skaarsgard from True Blood would be a great choice, although even more than that I would like to give Garret Hedlund a try. I think he has the right look and the acting chops to bring the character to life.

So, what do you guys think about these ideas?

29 Comments

Problems with Snyder's Batman run -- In Pictures

I've made it pretty apparent since the court of Owls that I don't like the way Snyder writes the character. Instead of just talking about story arcs or actions, I've decided to show key panels from all of the 17 comics that highlights the problems and issues I have. I would be interested to see if people agree or disagree in general or with specific panels.

Without further ado....

The first issue I have is with the 0 issue. Snyder has introduced a Red Hood gang, invalidating Jokers most well known and I thin liked origin story. Instead of the red hood being an unknowing patsy used by a gang of criminals, it was now a group of master criminals with each one being a red hood. The main problem I have with this is..why do it? Change for the sake of change? Would this story not have worked equally well with criminals with a different name?

This really annoyed me. Instead of becoming the worlds greatest martial artist and detective by training obsessively for 11 years, he managed to do it all in 4. I think this is almost as bad as Green Arrow on Smallville, who managed to perfect his unbelievable archery skills in just a few months on an island. I know that it is not Snyder's fault that DC introduced the 5 year thing, but it is certainly Snyder's fault for choosing to implement it in this way.

This is just a personal dislike on my part. They have made Tim into a genius spoiled brat at a private school, cocky and disrespectful. Where is the middle class tim who deduced who Batman was and that he needed help?

Aside from Dick and Tim now essentially being the same age, I don't like that Dick sees the bat signal. When Dick was a kid, Batman should have been operating as a myth....there should not have been any bat signal. A very minor quibble.

I found this quiet frustrating though.Dick was Bruce's adopted son (yes, he was a ward first) and the person Bruce is/was probably the closest too in many ways. Here, he doesn't even trust him....why would Bruce test Dick in this way? It didn't make sense.

I just thought this was odd, not bad. Hasn't it been established for a while now that Bruce's cape allows him to glide? Why would he use a hang glider with all the advanced technology at his disposal? A throwback to earlier stories?

This was so irritating! Bruce is the worlds greatest detective...why would he lend any credibility to an "investigation" he did as a kid....before he met Henri Ducard or knew anything about crime fighting. It doesn't matter how smart of a kid he was, this just doesn't make sense, and makes Bruce seem arrogant and incompetent.

Batman should not be this easy to capture, especially by a foe as low on the rung as a talon. Keep in mind the Bat Family had no trouble dealing with Talons, yet here he can creep up undetected, seemingly without a struggle and get captured? Is this Batman?

Aaaand this is what Batman is reduced to. The character is famous for his will power and mental control. Able to resist mind washing techniques, drugs, toxins, keep calm and figure a way out....always observing and investigating, looking for a weakness. Instead here he has his hands over his ears, something a 5th grader would do. Really?

This isn't to do with Snyder, more to do with Capullo.What is this? Half the time his art is terrible, scratchy and overly exaggerated. Although, it's mainly the scratchiness that kills it. Someone get this man an eraser.

More change for the sake of change. Why screw with the bat that gave him his inspiration? Just to show how scary owls are? Fail.

Showing more of a poor relationship between the two. Was there really no easier way to see the inside of Dick's tooth or alert him to his new secret origin?

Speaking of his new secret origin....ugh. Why make it so Dick was meant to be a talon, that he escaped his destiny. Why? Why screw with Haley's Circus like that? It adds nothing to the story, rewrites continuity yet again and..for what? Just another way to show how big and scary the court of owls are? Changing things like this to cement your claim to fame in the New 52 universe is not good writing.

The Worlds Greatest Detective, dismissing and destroying evidence.

This is maybe nitpicking, but I find it annoying how easy Batman is to capture. Yes, he is human, but he is well above other humans. Other humans like Lincoln should not be able to simply throw a net on him.

This was just ridiculous.

Is Batman seriously incapable of finding some of Lincolns DNA? He was in hospital for god's sake. How hard did he try?

Joker is not a superhero. Joker should not be able to kill 20 police officers in their police station without using poison or something. If you make Joker superhuman, you're writing him wrong.

Batman knew Joker was recreating his previous crimes. Batman knew Joker has a fondness for binary compunds, re The Man Who Laughs. Batman failed to even consider the possibility that the officers were already at risk. Batman is sloppy.

As above, given his experience he should have done a blodo test or something on Gordon. Instead...he offers to take him to a bunker. Why? Why not ensure he is OK at the moment? When the villains whole thing is to have already gotten to the victim, wouldn't you check if that is exactly what happened?

More Batman failing to be prepared and easily captured. Also, what the hell is with Joker's outfit and why was it never explained?

So despite having no reason to believe what he is seeing on the monitors is real, despite the family being captured but not in immediate harm, despite the police being moments away, Batman obliges Joker, sits happily in the electric chair as asked just so he can be taken prisoner. He had no reason to sit in the chair, it's idiotic. Why would he do this? More of Batman being written as a fool.

"Hi, my name's Bruce Wayne, although you might know me as Batman. Did you happen to leave this card in my secret Bat Cave by any chance?" -- Bruce revealing his identity to Joker is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen in any Batman comic. The argument that he knew Joker wouldn't care doesn't make sense, at all. Was this even thought out?

63 Comments

My Batman #17 review -- SPOILERS

So, I've managed to read Batman 17 early. I'm sure some regulars in the Batman forum know that I'm not generally a fan of Snyder on the book, but even so I found this issue enjoyable.

The biggest problem I have had with this arc after this conclusion is that nothing changed...absolutely nothing.There were no deaths, there was no tragedy....just some trauma which, relatively speaking, wasn't that bad. Everyone comes out OK and everything continues as normal. We find out that Joker has been in the cave, which really annoyed me. It's why I don't like Snyder on Batman...he writes him for a fool. Batman is not arrogant enough to say that he was 100% sure that Joker has not been in the cave because of all the security unless he was 100% sure. He is the World's Greatest Detective for a reason, although not in this book.

The other thing that didn't make sense to me was....why did he make fake faces of that family? Why did he actually leave their faces on? This is Joker we're talking about....the best he could do for a joke was making them think their faces were taken off? Why not switching their faces or something along those lines...I found it very lackluster. Also, what ever happened with Alfred's eyes being burnt out? The Joker is not someone who makes idle threats, so I found that annoying.

I do this issue is a good wrap up to the Death of the Family storyline, which I have enjoyed considerably more than the poorly scripted and trite Court of the Owls. It was weird to see Joker not being Joker, but rather an almost superhuman in a mechanics outfit, but meh. In this issue he is back in his Purple suit and a lot more Joker like. The biggest issues I with the arc are Bruce being written a a fool, and Joker being almost unrecognizable. Those issues are less apparent in this issue, but they pervaded the whole arc. It's a good wrap-up. I give it 3 stars. If they had kept with the classic Joker and had him do something actually horrific and had Bruce be less of an arrogant fool, then it would have been an easy 5.

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Who would be the best Batman from these 4?

I never really liked the Nolan/Bale Batman. I appreciated it as a kind of else worlds spin, but Batman should be a detective, a genius and not a murderer. None of which applied to Bale's Batman. So that they are going to inevitably reboot gives me hope I can see the character as he should be (or at least as I think he should be) on film. The Batman from Year One, from War Games, from Hush. That's who I want to see.

Then comes the question of who should play Batman. Who has the charm and charisma to play Bruce Wayne as well as the acting chops to be an intimidating force of the night, clinging to the shadows. I can imagine him donning a convincing Matches Malone persona while growling at someone in the cowl.

These are my choices in order, although I would be curious what others think.

1. My first choice is Eric Bana..

I think Eric Bana has the physique, the right look and the acting chops to pull of Batman. He is certainly charismatic enough for Bruce Wayne, and has played some pretty dark roles. I don't think he would have any problem nailing the dark obsessed detective Batman.

2. My second choice is Jensen Ackles

I think Jensen is an excellent actor. I mainly know him from his show Supernatural, where he plays a very charismatic, dark and at times very intimidating character. I think he would make an excellent Bruce Wayne, and be a very intimidating Batman. On Supernatural he has played many roles and does a lot of detective work anyway....I think he should be a very strong candidate for the role.

3. My third choice is Joe Manganiello.

I know Joe Manganiello from True Blood where his acting is fine. He plays a dark character, but having seen him on How I Met Your Mother I think he could play a charming and charismatic Bruce Wayne. I think he has the right look and a good build for the character. I haven't seen enough of his acting to make him higher in my list, but I would be excited to see how it would turn out if he were cast.

4. My final choice is Michael Fassbender.

I was mainly sold on Michael Fassbender for his performance of David in Prometheus. I think he did such a great job there, that I certainly think he could handle being a charming Bruce Wayne...although I'd like to see him be intimidating. Not a top choice, but I wouldn't be upset if he were cast. I'm not sure he really looks the part, but I would be interested to see where it went. I'd certainly prefer him over other fancast choices like Ryan Gosling or Channing Tatum.

The reason I'm not adding John Ham is because I think he would make a far better Superman than a Batman.

What do you guys think?

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How Batman has changed in the New 52

I'm no fan of what has happened to Batman in the New 52. Despite people saying that Batman's history has hardly changed, I don't think this is true.

Pre New 52 Batman was the peak of awesomeness, a well developed character with writers who paid attention to detail. That isn't the case so far.

So, I have made a list of the changes to Batman (The character and the universe). It's a negative list, but if you can think of a positive change please let me know in the comments.

  • Year One does not apply. Bruce was not gone for 11 years training. He would train off and on and come back to Gotham every so often.
  • Bruce no longer has a father/son relationship with Dick. Dick may have only been a ward, but for all intents and purposes Bruce was his father. That is no longer the case with Dick having a part time job at the manor and living elsewhere.
  • Oblivious to a secret society operating since before Batman was operating. You think he would have noticed a pattern in the types of deaths or something...but no.
  • Allows himself to be captured rather easily.
  • Not great tactical awareness. Taking off his cowl in an early Justice League issue. Going to confront Superman on a whim.
  • Worlds greatest detective? Thinking his investigation into the court as a boy before his training was sufficient?
  • Letting a Talon catch him unawares and let his belt be taken so easily? Pre New-52 Batman would have had some kind of security preventing that.
  • Leaving stuff unfinished? Not chasing up on Dollmaker, Jokers face, abandoning the court of owls till they make a move again...its partly poor writing but it also seems out of character.

I dont know if Ive used the best examples and will update it as I think of more stuff. It just seems New 52 Batman keeps doing things and getting himself in situations that Pre New 52 Batman would have known better or not had as much a problem with. Him being at the start of his career isn't an excuse, either.

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Why it is completely plausible that Batman can beat Superman.

It's somewhat frustrating recently as there seems to be a lot of activity on the Batman vs Superman front, with people thinking the idea of Batman beating Superman ridiculous.

I'm going to try and explain why that is not at all ridiculous and why it makes a lot of sense that Batman could beat Superman without resorting to PIS or CIS.

Keep in mind I am not trying to make a point that Batman WILL beat Superman, just that a good writer could write a believable story where Batman triumphs, due to Batman having a different or superior set of skills to Superman and using them to full advantage.

  • Batman has a superior mind, is more intelligent, more of a tactician and more of a strategist. Superman is an ordinary joe with powers who does good. Batman's ability to surmise a situation or scenario to ensure he has the upper hand should not be underestimated.
  • Psychology. Superman is far more likely to be able to be manipulated than Batman is. Using his love for Lois or his parents against him, or perhaps his need to prevent harm from happening to innocents at any cost are just the surface.
  • Superman's weaknesses, are huge weaknesses. Get enough Kryptonite and he is helpless as a baby. This is arguably Batman's biggest advantage and it should not be underestimated. Batman has the knowledge and means to take full advantage of this. A Kryptonite ray? Synthesized Kryptonite that acts in a different way ala Tower of Babel (demonstrated to be very effective)? Blasting him with red sunlight is also a possibility.
  • As fast/strong as Superman is, Batman could easily manipulate him into a trap. That was probably the most important aspect of the battle in Hush. Not that Batman held of Superman, but that Batman controlled every aspect of the battle. With more prep, even without Superman holding back, I don't see why batman couldn't manipulate Superman into somewhere bathed with red sunlight or kryptonite.
  • Lead. Superman can't see through Lead. That gives Batman a huge advantage in being able to hide from Superman. I wouldn't be surprised if there were already lead safehouses or tunnels or something in place that Batman could utilize if it became necessary to do so.
  • Batman is a master of disguise. This also should not be overlooked. Batman would be able to hide from Superman as necessary or impersonate people as necessary to get close to Clark for whatever reason was necessary.
  • Nanotechnology. We've seen in recent issues of Superman that he is not able to withstand nanobots entering his system and affecting him.
  • Batman is one of the worlds top martial artists. Top 3 I believe, after Cain and Shiva. If Superman is weakened to the point that Batman and Superman are trading blows, Batman is going to have the upper hand, without a doubt. Superman can throw punches but relies on his powers. When it comes to hand to hand combat on equal grounds, Batman has the advantage due to his dedication, training and experience.

I may have left some things out, but that is essentially why I think Batman vs Superman is more of a level playing ground than Superman fans are comfortable admitting.

Superman bloodlusted is not at all a level playing field and Batman has no chance.

Short of that, I think it a very believable story can be done with Batman beating Superman, without PIS or CIS. That is my only point.

An example scenario:

  1. Batman and Superman disagree over something to the point where they would physically fight over it. Batman has something Superman needs, or a world of innocents will be destroyed. Batman needs it for what he believes is a greater purpose, with the planet of innocents being a necessary cost.
  2. Superman has to fly back from Apokolips (no boom tubes) to earth, while Batman is already on earth, so Batman has prep time.
  3. Superman comes to Gotham to look for Batman and take back the key/device.
  4. Batman predicts where Superman will appear in Gotham based on either history, or knowing where he is coming from.
  5. He then makes his location known making sure he takes into account Superman's speed (assuming hear that Superman would not fly at lightspeed because he would not consider it necessary and because doing so could have negative consequences).
  6. Superman goes to Batman and follows him into a warehouse or subway, which Bruce has rigged with red sun light and kryptonite rays (as many as would be required to bring him down).
  7. The kryptonite was encased in lead and disguised as part of the building/infrastructure so superman didn't suspect.
  8. Superman is unable to leave as the Kryptonite is near all exit points and Superman is weakened to the point he can't use brute force to escape
  9. Batman should then essentially have Superman at his mercy, or brought down to a level where he can beat him physically.

I took about a minute to think of this example scenario, but with fleshed out details I think it could work. If anything it is too simple, and with a greater amount of prep the story could be far more interesting and plausible.

A final reminder: This is not a battle thread. I am not saying Batman will or could always beat Superman.

I am simply making the point that Batman could beat Superman in a plausible way, taking Superman's weaknesses into account, without relying on CIS or PIS.

Superman is not a god, he has weaknesses and lacks skills and training that put him at a disadvantage against someone tactical/strategic knowledge.

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