Batman or Superman, Betty or Veronica, Ginger or Mary Ann?A column article, Busted Knuckles by: Beau Smith
Batman is the alpha male of the DC Comics Universe. He has been since the 1960s. The global press would argue that Superman represents DC Comics, but in the reality of consistent sales, popularity, and box office receipts, Batman is the boss.
Part of what has made Batman the king of the pop culture prom is that he's more interesting than Superman as a character. Some would even venture to say that Batman is a nut job. That nuttiness makes Batman interesting. Superman has always been a bit bland. In my opinion that's because he has always been made to be so powerful and so many have wanted to make him so spiritual and messiah-like. I never agreed with that version of Superman because basically he's just another being from a planet somewhere other than here -- just a lot stronger. He's no smarter than humans. He's just more powerful. I've always kinda wished they would pull back Superman's powers to the level he had in his origin issue in 1938. Even though he still be the most powerful in the DC Universe, at least Superman'd have to work harder at being stronger.
Superman has always been made out to be sorry that he's so powerful. He's shown as feeling guilty that he didn't "earn" his powers. If you asked Batman if he felt guilty about his abilities, he'd give you a very stoic answer of "No." In fact, Batman'd be annoyed that you didn't already know that he worked and earned them, then remind you that he doesn't have super powers, and that he's just a normal guy like you and me. (Yeah, he'd be lying about that, and he'd know it when he said it.)
Superman worries and cares what others think of him. Batman, on the other hand, is a grouch. He doesn't care what you think. Superman really wants to be normal whereas Batman does not. Superman wants you to give him a job to do so he can make you happy, Batman has a job and wants you to stay out of his way while he does it. Readers like the fact that Batman, in his own weird way, is a take-charge kinda guy. Superman doesn't emit that same confidence that makes people feel safe. If Batman had Superman's powers, or even half of them, villains like Lex Luthor, Brainiac and The Joker would be the buffet for worms.
Superman invites the world to be his focus group. Batman's focus is on making sure justice gets from point A to point B with as little interruption as possible. People like and understand that. Clark Kent has a secret identity of Superman. Batman has one that he made up called Bruce Wayne.
Superman cares about people, and so does Batman…as much as he is capable of caring. Superman is the principal at your school who makes sure you're getting the opportunity to get an education and that your parents know that. Batman is the vice-principal that makes sure you don't mess up that education and sees that your butt is in class to get your schooling.
So for as far as my eye can see, Batman is going to remain the alpha male for DC Comics while Superman and his iconic, female counterpart Wonder Woman remain the less interesting four-color figureheads. Maybe the upcoming Superman movie will change that. I hope so, I'd like to see ol' Clark get a chance at being interesting. I suspect that if Wonder Woman ever gets a chance to appear on the big screen, she will also be many times more interesting that what we've made her in comics for the last 70-odd years.
Even though you may argue this with me - after all, it's the internet, where everyone is wrong - I think deep down inside, where your true comic book common sense hibernates, you know I'm right.
These days everyone feels they need to pick a side on everything. Well, this is your chance to have one more thing to fight about. The bell has rung. Have at it!
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week: Exciting Comics #35 (1944)
Better Publishing (Nedor)
Back in 1944 we were at war and in the world of The Black Terror, justice was served up in black and white. There wasn't any gray area. The enemy was the enemy and you didn't stop hurting them until your Thompson machine gun was empty or your sidekick, Tim, had flattened the bad guys with his steamroller of freedom. (Tim wasn't even old enough to drive -- but what the Hell, it was war.)
This has always been one of my favorite full-throttle manly comic book covers. It was fantasy fulfillment for young boys not old enough to fight the Nazis and Japanese in 1944, as well as a time capsule for pop culture. Note the date and enjoy the insanity.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week: Nicole Zaloumis
Sports Broadcaster, NFL Network
Sometimes the most attractive women don't have to be movie stars, singers or supermodels, sometimes they are smart, sportscasters that know how to read a defense better than some starting quarterbacks. Greek goddess Nicole Zaloumis is one of those sportscasters.
Nicole has been giving the sports lowdown for over ten years. She knows not only football but all major sports, and she can talk sports with anyone. Currently she anchors NFL AM on the NFL Network every morning. She's very pleasant and isn't one of those anchors that grinds on your nerves, best of all, she doesn't yell at you like most sportscasters seem to do. Nicole also has the best posture of anyone on TV.
Football season is only a few months of the year, but Nicole is year round.
You regular readers of Busted Knuckles, or "Knuckleheads", as I like to call you, know that I'm a sharing kinda guy. You'll also know that I only share the best of things with you. Time to do just that.
Maximum Jack…And Bob, The Bullet-Proof Dog.
I created this character and popular Marvel Comics artist Scot Eaton designed him. We've had Jack in our creative desk for a bit now and soon we hope to be able to bring you his adventures in the form of a comic book.
I can't say too much at the moment, but I did want to share Scot's pencils for a cover/promo with you. As you know, Scot is one of the most dynamic pencil kings in comics today. Anything he draws will bust your jaw.
Maximum Jack is, in my opinion, what Superman could be. He's the best of Captain America without being held back and he's got a mysterious background that would make Wolverine seem like an episode of Dr. Phil. Did I mention he has a bullet-proof bull terrier named Bob?
The book also has a sense of humor that is truly missing in mainstream comics today. If you enjoyed the sense of humor that the Avengers movie had, then Maximum Jack should look good on your dinner plate.
I'll share more when I can, but for now, I wanted you to at least know that I'm hard at work to make Maximum Jack happen. I think you're gonna like this guy.
The Flying Fist Ranch