Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Joss Whedon: Most DC Heroes Can't Connect With Movie Audiences

Marvel vs. DC: which superheroes connect more with film audiences?

Joss Whedon, in a recent Maxim interview, explained why (in his opinion) Marvel characters "connect" better with audiences than DC characters:

"Because, with that one big exception (Batman), DC's heroes are from a different era. They're from the era when they were creating gods.

"And the thing that made [rival publisher] Marvel Comics extraordinary was that they created people. Their characters didn't living in mythical cities, they lived in New York. They absolutely were a part of the world. Peter Parker's character (Spider-Man) was a tortured adolescent.

"DC's characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman and Green Lantern, were all very much removed from humanity. Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to."

Whedon also explained his side of the Wonder Woman movie fiasco:

"They didn't tell me to leave, but they showed me the door and how pretty it was. Would I like to touch the knob and maybe make it swing? I was dealing with them through [producer] Joel Silver who couldn't tell me what they wanted or anything else. I was completely in the dark. So I didn't know what it was that I wasn't giving them. I've moved on."

Between this interview and the ones he done for "Dollhouse," I really get the feeling that right now Whedon is a bit disillusioned by the whole Hollywood thing, period. He sounds really annoyed. He sounds tired and frustrated. I think "Dr. Horrible" has been his one pure creative joy in at least a few years.

Won't nobody think of Joss?


  1. There may be some truth to the Hero/God divide-- it makes me wonder about whether the "connection" thing is true. Me, I still think Superman is the ultimate comicbook alienation story, & the one I most sympathize with.

  2. I'm just going to write what I wrote about this on Newsarama:

    Whedon only writes emotionally damaged women, not women who celebrate their lives and are proud of their abilities and accomplishments, and I think that's why he can't really write DC characters, and especially Wonder Woman. His characters are people who are pretty much depressed, and have occaisional moments of humor. But DC's characters are people who are generally well-balanced people who occaisionally have sad things happen to them.

    I think the disconnect comes because Whedon seems to have a very, very pessimistic outlook on life, while DC characters are about optimism.

  3. The Whedon formula:

    If you have sex with him, he will turn evil and try to kill you.

    Buffy sleeps with Angel -- he flips out and tries to kill her.

    Latest episode of "Dollhouse" -- Echo has sex with that guy, then he flips out and tries to kill her.

    Sleeping with somebody could prove fatal!!!

    If Buffy kept her legs closed way back in season 2, none of that crap would have happened, and nobody would have died! Guilt! Guilt!

    That said, that doesn't make me like the stories less. It's just sort of obvious.

  4. Anonymous10:50 AM

    No, I won't, because he's really not as talented as people seem to think.

    Sorry, it's true. Saying that Spiderman's more "real" because he lives in New York and was a "tortured teen" or whatever is ridiculous, and the only reason he mentions Batman as a viable DC character is because of all the money he knows "The Dark Knight" made.

  5. I think Wheedon is right, at least on a basic level looking at the characters from the time they were created. I am not certain that those assumptions are completely true in today's environment with characters as they are written now, or with a broader range of characters than just Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Green Lantern.

    Growing up, I had a similar feeling. I started out loving the big characters of Superman and Green Lantern, and I moved to characters like Batman and Daredevil who were more... 'street level' heroes.

    I don't think that anyone ever needs to declare an allegiance to only one company's characters. I don't know that the issues with connecting to audiences are the fault of the characters themselves. I think that if a company produces a great superhero movie it will be well received. If there is an inability to connect with audiences, I would blame management first for not having high enough standards for what they let go out under their brand.

  6. Yeah. Not with him on that.

    Especially on GL.

    I mean, isn't that what's defined the Green Lanterns for the last 20 to 30 years? Their humanity and fallibility? The fact that each GL was at the right place and at the right time...even if they had no fear.

    Hell, they seem more relatable than a billionaire industrialist who can (at whim) make almost mystical technological doo-dads.

  7. Hmmm - Iron Man. Tony Stark. Mega-billionaire genius who is also suave and socially gifted. Gets women, designs super suit, and becomes hero.

    Yeah, I can totally see how people can connect with that. Because that situation is so common and relate-able. I could go on, but that would just be piling on.

    It's not a Marvel vs DC thing. I really think characters from one are as relate-able as those from the other (i.e., NOT AT ALL, they're comic book super-heroes for goodness sake). Now, if his position is Marvel has more interesting characters or whatever, that sounds a lot less loopy whether you agree or disagree.

  8. "Valerie, I have to call BS on your Whedon sex=death comment."


    Willow: "Tara, I'm so glad we made up and are spending a lovely morning in bed after having sex. What could possibly go wrong?"

    Soon after:
    Willow: "Oh God! Tara's been shot! Oh God! Why is everything so depressing in this furshlugginer Whedonverse?! If only we didn't have that radiant moment of joy!"

    Buffy to Riley: "Can I trust you?"
    Riley: "Sure!"
    Buffy: "Oh snap, he totally lied to me."

    Buffy to Spike: "Let's have passionate sex devoid of joy!"
    Spike: "Can I still date-rape you?"

    Buffy to Angel: "I'm totally afraid to have sex with you because last time I did u went crazy."
    Angel: "Fair 'nuff."

    Buffy to Satsu: "I'm having sex with you but I'm not serious about it! Ha-ha!"
    Satsu: "Bitch, I'm better off without you. If we end up having a radiant moment of joy, I might get shot by some loser. I need a less high-profile girl."


    Buffy to slayers-in-training: "You know that older sister or aunt you might have that has been burned so many times by men that she's sort of become asexual and is really into her cats? That's kinda like me. Though I might sleep with one of you and show you the same carelessness with your emotions that men have shown me."
    Slayer-in-training (raising hand): "If I sleep with you, will you suddenly go evil?"
    Buffy: "No, that's only men."


    Don't get me wrong, I like Whedon's stuff. But I wouldn't want to date or sleep with anybody in that universe. No matter how hot they are.

  9. Anonymous12:21 PM

    Whedon's statements just show that he can't relate to the DC stable for whatever reason. Saying that Marvel characters are more acceptable for is simply, IMO, a lack of imagination on Whedon's part.

    Now, this is coming from a long-time, "Formative Years" Marvel guy who has only recently appreciated the DCU. Might say a lot about my mindset, actually, since I've only appreciated the DCU post-crisis, but even going back recently to the pre-crisis books, I've enjoyed the DCU's characters and humanity, so...

    Joss' stuff never hit me like it has so many others, except maybe Firefly, but even that was never realized to it's full potential, sadly. It just seems obvious that he and I have very different tastes. Just fine.

  10. Ahhh, I see what Joss is doing here. Pain=humanity. That's an unsettling equation.

  11. I very much agree with Whedon on this. I just don't think DC's universe is as accessible as Marvel's. Just look at what happened with "Superman Returns." That film really ran with the superhero/god idea, and it was dreadful. Marvel's characters tend to be humans first and superheroes second. That's an important distinction.

    I don't think it's just about the characters, though. There's just something to DC's universe that I find less credible compared to Marvel's. I'm not sure how they compare nowadays. I just know that "The Uncanny X-Men" I read as a kid felt very much like the world outside my door and not some faraway reality. DC just couldn't pull that off for me. In DC, the reality seems to revolve around the characters. In Marvel, the characters actually seem part of the world.

    To go back to Wonder Woman, I would have to ask what the motivation of the character is. What is it that drives her to be what she is (the ridiculous costume, her choice to serve as protector to the "outside world," etc.)? This is an important question that I don't think can be answered in a way that doesn't come across as very contrived. Superman suffers from this a bit, too, especially with that strange costume. I think the TV show "Lois & Clark" found a very clever and humorous explanation, but it still only served to highlight what a ludicrous outfit he's wearing.

  12. It's been my personal experience that DC does indeed use demigods to illustrate the human experience while Marvel uses actual humans to do the same thing.

    That said, I've been a fan of both for as long as I've been able to read and as of this writing I am very much in favor of the DC pantheon.

    Peter Parker, Tony Stark, even Reed Richards are human beings with human problems. They have bills, marital problems, malfunctioning equipment at critical moments. They are flawed and that is all well and good.

    But Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, and Hal Jordan are deities unto themselves, paragons of virtue that represent (for me, at least) something to aspire to.

    Maybe I don't want to be as rich as Bruce or as insanely powerful as Clark or travel to the distant stars like Hal but I do want to aspire to having Bruce's insane drive towards serving the common good and making the world a better place, Clark's ability to see beyond all of his great powers and many blessings to stay in touch with what makes us all genuinely human, and Hal's ability to ignore the fear that would paralyze us and use it as a galvanizing force for the betterment of all.

    Marvel's stable of characters are just like you and me. And, again, for me that's the problem. Not once have I ever actually wanted to be Peter Parker. My love life is MUCH better, my paycheck is a helluva lot bigger, and I could honestly do without a J. Jonah Jameson, Norman Osborn, or Eddie Brock hunting me down.

    Same goes for Tony who, as noted above, is NOT the most relatable hero. He's got all of the material things that I could want but he's shown very little (especially post-Civil War) of the emotional and spiritual things that I need.

    As they are written now DC's heroes are being forced more and more into the Marvel vein of characterization. I lament this most of all.

    DC's heroes are gods, plain and simple. They each represent one or more aspects of the human experience taken to the Nth degree. That is what I want in a hero, someone I can aspire to be.

    Just look at DC's Golden Age. I'll be the first to recognize how imperfect it was (especially with regards to race and gender issues) but it was still a time when good samaritans were the heroes of their day.

    Look at Wildcat, Green Lantern/Alan Scott, Mister Terrific I, etc. They were more or less normal guys with extraordinary gifts who put on silly costumes and stood up for their communities. Then they stood up for their country in WWII.

    Again, heroism I aspire to.

    Not to say Marvel doesn't have that but in an industry where most of your superhero stories are soap operas in tights Marvel's got the market cornered on soap operatic action.

    So many of their heroes are "Woe is me..." (Spider-Man, Hulk, 99.3% of the X-Men, etc.) that it just blows my mind.

    Yeah, we see that in DC too but there's a major difference. Dick Grayson being shoehorned into the "not quite Bruce" category or Tim Drake having everyone he loves shoved into their graves or Superman's existential breakdown every time he even thinks of a life without Lois aren't the SPIRIT of those characters. Those are interpretations placed on them by contemporary writers and editors. At their core, in their truest forms, Dick Grayson is still the happy-go-lucky daredevil pretty boy who is every bit as formiddable as Bruce, Tim is still the little boy who WANTED to be Robin and bring back the light into Batman's life, and Superman is the alien savior who doesn't have time to think about the impossible because he's too busy DOING it.

    But, at Marvel's core, Spider-Man is still the whiny geek who never got a girl and takes everything way too seriously (Why are they still trying to convince us that it sucks to be Spider-Man?), Tony is still the self-absorbed control freak, and Reed is still too busy plumbing the depths of the multiverse to plumb the depths of his heart.

    That, my friends, is what sets them apart. Well, my take at least...

  13. "Hmmm - Iron Man. Tony Stark. Mega-billionaire genius who is also suave and socially gifted. Gets women, designs super suit, and becomes hero."

    Humble apologies but, while I totally agree about the unattainability of Tony Stark's life pre Iron Man, isn't the main thrust of his origin (the original comic one) the likelihood that his heart will fail at any second? Sure, before he was a carefree womaniser, but after he couldn't even take his shirt off in front of a woman, as it would reveal the chest plate he was doomed to wear for the rest of his life.

    Y'see, to me what Whedon is talking about here is flaws and weaknesses; everyday trials and obstacles, albeit in a heightened dramatic context.

    If people want to class these protagonists as 'damaged' then fair play to them, but I genuinely believe 'human' is more accurate.

    (I hadn't previously noticed how much Joss has it in for sex though! To paraphrase Buffy "Nice Guy but, woah... issues!")

    "DC's heroes are gods, plain and simple. They each represent one or more aspects of the human experience taken to the Nth degree. That is what I want in a hero, someone I can aspire to be."

    Can't disagree with that at all. however, I think the aspirational nature of DC heroes has at the very least the same level of merit as identifiable nature of Marvel's. And clearly in Whedon's eyes the 'Marvel' way counts for much more.

  14. F-C Commando, first of all... thanks for telling everyone to look at me. "Look at Wildcat, Green Lantern/Alan Scott, Mister Terrific I, etc." Sorry, just couldn't pass up that one.

    Anyway, you make some interesting points about what makes DC superheroes interesting. Don't really disagree with you on any of that. I think it also adds a bit to why they don't translate well on film. They're less about why they're the way they are and more about just being that way.

    It's like with musicals (weird transition, I know, but go with me on this). Music videos are a lot of fun to watch, but a musical on film just seems weird. Movies are usually about making things look real, and dozens of people breaking into choreographed song and dance doesn't happen on the average street corner. You've got to ground these movies in reality for anyone to really buy into them and for them to be successful. That requires the film to explain things like why Diana wears that strange outfit or why she leaves her home island to get into the rest of the world's problems. I think even the comic book for Wonder Woman has struggled with that at times.

    And David, I agree... damaged is different from human. Marvel does get a bit carried away with the soap opera side of things, though.

  15. Anonymous6:42 PM

    Here's the thing about Joss Whedon, and I don't think it's off-base to say this: he's still, in Hollywood terms, very young. He's very naive. But I don't blame hin.

    Also, I agree with him. As far as getting good writers to do DC movies, that's a different story.

  16. Anonymous8:05 PM

    Spider-Man hasn't really been the way Whedon describes him since the Ditko days.

    Superman was more fun in the Silver Age when his powers were more godlike. They were crazy, weird, ridiculous stories and were in my opinion more fun than the stuff that's being done now. I haven't like him since the Byrne revamp in '86.

    With DC heroes they just need to find the right way to go about bringing it to the screen. The failure of the recent Superman movie had little to do with Superman. Marvel for a while seemed to have a problem bringing their heroes to the big screen, although that had as much to do with money as anything else.

  17. I think I fall on the imagination side. There are no bad characters, only unimaginative writers.

    I guarantee you that Jon Favreau and his crew could do a kickass Superman movie. Could you imagine the banter between Lois and Clark? HOT!

    I wouldn't want to see a Sam Raimi Batman movie, though. :)

  18. I still say any WW movie should be a modern day Ray Harryhausen movie, with the Medusa, the Minotaur, skeleton armies, etc.

    Skip all the sturm und drang and make it FUN. PG rated fun, with a heroine who simply doesn't take crap from men, because she's fricking WONDER WOMAN and she doesn't have to.

    Girls would love the main character--Buffy minus all the angst--and boys would love the action and fantasy.

    And get the property away from Joel Silver.

  19. I agree entirely, and have said it myself that Marvel characters are just more relatable 'cause they're more human.

  20. @ Mike. In the Iron Man case, he is basically Steve Jobs in an iSuit. As a superhero, he combines ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and a DIY ethic.What could be more American than that?

    I think Joss Whedon is on to something. I usually prefer DC to Marvel, but the superheroes I prefer are invariably the ones like Animal Man, Booster Gold, or the Giffen/DeMatteis era Justice League.

  21. With regards to DC heroes on film I think the major failing has next to nothing to do with the heroes and falls squarely on the shoulders of the people making the movies. Case in point...

    Batman and Superman.

    Batman is a crimefighter. Superman, for all intents and purposes, is a savior.

    Batman can be in exciting, action-packed tour de force movies because everyone knows that Batman kicks ass and takes names.

    Superman, on the other hand, is a messiah. Kids love that he's strong, bulletproof, and able to fly faster than a speeding bullet but at the end of the day Superman will always SAVE someone.

    Batman is the hot shot cop, the fighter, the action star, and Superman is the glorified firefighter, who uses his power to save the day and inspire people. I've always felt that people see his powers as more for rescuing than retribution.

    Think about the most iconic, and stereotypical Superman moments: saving a little kid's cat, catching falling construction workers, rescuing a ditzy Lois and clueless Jimmy Olsen, stopping runaway trains, etc.

    A great deal of the public doesn't read the comic and only knows these images from old cartoons and the movies (especially Superman Returns with the falling airplane and all). They don't have a lot of images of Superman tearing into some villains ass.

    And for most they don't want to see that since the only villain the public is largely aware of is Lex Luthor. And we all know, fanboy/girl or not, that no one wants to see that fight.

    The Dark Knight wasn't so much a Batman movie as it was a supercharged version of a Clint Eastwood movie. Superman Returns, however, was minute after minute of Superman saving folks. There was no action.

    I think Superman movies, more so than any other DC hero, are going to fail to capture the imagination until everyone gets it through their head that Superman is not only the most powerful superhero but the most effective.

    And it's not just in the movies.

    When you read the comics you get this feeling that everyone behind the scenes is reining him in. And to an extent you have to. If you didn't there wouldn't be a need for heroes like Guardian, Gangbuster, or even Supergirl in his mythos. Hell, there wouldn't even be a need for the Justice League!

    Batman has gotten a fair shake on film because people like badasses and even the 1960s Batman exuded badass. You can't contain it, you can only redirect it.

    Superman's major failing is that he's just not badass. He's powerful, upstanding, heroic, and great but he's not readily badass.

    Some heroes automatically exude that thing that turns the audience on (Batman, Wolverine, the Punisher to some extent, etc.) and others have to have it extracted from them (Superman, Cyclops, etc.). Superman, along with a few of DC's classic heroes (especially Aquaman) have to have the latter.

    If more writers, editors, producers, directors, and studio execs were willing to defy convention we'd see a surprised and pleased populace.

    I'm still looking for a 21st century Superman movie where Clark really tears into a tank, Doomsday, Darkseid, the Parasite, anything!

  22. I'm sorry, I've been to California a few times, looked a lots of maps but haven't ever seen Sunnydale.

    Also, I'm calling bollocks on DC characters being not-human gods and Marvel characters being relatable.

    First, The Flash. Both Barry and Wally are real people. Wally was an auto mechanic. He's had money trouble for his whole adult life even after he won the lottery. Barry had a real job as a CSI before being struck by lightning. He had a girlfriend who made fun of him for showing up late for dates. He got married.

    Second, I can't relate in any way to Reed Richards. Sorry. Tony Stark, super-rich super-jerk? Also not relatable. Speaking of gods, which company employs Thor, an actual god?

    Third, Clark Kent is easy to relate to and that's part of the Superman story. Superman is a lot more powerful than Spiderman but they're both orphans raised by fill-in parents that they love very much. They both loved the girl next door. The difference is ... ?

  23. Everyone else has pointed out the ludicrousness of Whedon's statements, but let me address another issue:

    DC's heroes could translate perfectly well to film. It's just it's few and far between that someone writes a good film about them. Saying it's the characters is bullcrap. In the hands of the right writer, any character or concept could be awesome. Superman Returns didn't suck because of Superman, it sucked because it was a rehash of the first Supermn film and didn't explore all the potential that was there.

  24. I've been curious to see where this thread would go. I'm glad to see it's mostly stayed on track, but I am truly curious. Does anyone here having any suggestions as to how you make a character like Wonder Woman work on film? How do you explain away the outfit (because, I'm sorry, it has to go)? How do you explain her leaving home to go and fight for the rest of the world? How has the comic book handled this in a way that works? Has it or does it just go for something contrived and then kind of ignores it to just let her be?

  25. @ Mark -

    "@ Mike. In the Iron Man case, he is basically Steve Jobs in an iSuit. As a superhero, he combines ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and a DIY ethic.What could be more American than that?"

    In the Superman case, he is essentially an immigrant from a faraway land, sent here to escape the decay of his native society. He is raised with a belief in the basic goodness of others and the desire to make the world a better place as it was made so for him. That's the classic American story in a nutshell. What could be more American than that?

    We could do this all day. I just disagree with Whedon's statement (which someone at some point will probably claim was taken out of context) and think it's silly to begin with. I would never really expect to be able to "connect" with comic book super-heroes because of the fantastic nature of the material in question.

    And anyway, I think way too much attention is given to anything Whedon says.

  26. The whole point Whedon is making is moot, in my opinion.

    A good writer can make us care about and relate to gods, aliens, angels, demons, vampires, talking frogs, etc.

    It's not the properties themselves. It's what you do with them.

  27. @ Bill the Wildcat -

    "I've been curious to see where this thread would go. I'm glad to see it's mostly stayed on track, but I am truly curious. Does anyone here having any suggestions as to how you make a character like Wonder Woman work on film? How do you explain away the outfit (because, I'm sorry, it has to go)? How do you explain her leaving home to go and fight for the rest of the world? How has the comic book handled this in a way that works? Has it or does it just go for something contrived and then kind of ignores it to just let her be?"

    Disagree about the outfit, because it is iconic. Otherwise, she's just another super-strong broad with an attitude in some popcorn action flick. Because you know this is what it would devolve to after enough "idea guys" in Hollywood got their hands on it.

    The trick is to do a movie that incorporates that costume and early elements of the character. I was always in favor of taking a WWII story approach. The whole idea of "Man's World" really makes more sense in the context of that era than the current one.

  28. Wow,

    I was getting overwhelmed by the comments, but I think the last comments have really nailed it.

    Valerie's comment about the writer should be able to relate to gods, aliens, angels, demons, vampires, talking frogs throws it back in Whedon's face considering how much he's made us relate to vampires and others.

    I also agree that Wonder Woman made much more sense in WWII. The TV series started in WWII, and the love interest of Steve Trevor was important. Where would a Superman movie be without Lois?

    There probably is some point to Whedon's comment. In many ways, many of the Marvel characters are more accessible. But these are characters that in all cases have had fans for decades. There should be ways to make just about any of them successful in the movies.

  29. Anonymous2:43 PM

    @Bill, the Wildcat:

    When it comes out on March 3rd, check out the animated WONDER WOMAN movie on DVD. It will answer your question in spades, including a perfect explanation as to why she wears the costume. And she must, dude, it's iconic.

    But besides all that, it's a bloody excellent film, and should be a blueprint for anyone wanting to do a live-action WW movie.

  30. @ Mike

    I think, to cut to the heart of the matter, everything Superman has is the result of some preternatural birthright. All Tony Stark has is his brains, and the ability to leverage that intelligence to his advantage. Horatio Alger or Jay Gatsby will always be more quintessentially American than Hercules. Iron Man and to a lesser degree Batman, are better exemplars of the classic American archetype than Superman.

    Speaking as an immigrant myself, I'm here for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". I don't remember where it says I have to make the world a better place, at least in the American Constitution or Declaration of Independence as they are currently written ;)

  31. I always disagree with this kind of stuff. Gods, schmods. I don't think you have to identify yourself so much with the characters or they have to be "rooted in pain." That's just one formula that works.

    Basically, the story just has to be interesting. Any given character can be appealing given the right story and the right approach. It's totally up to the writer to find that "in" for the audience. Superman always gets kicked in the crotch over this and yet many writers have taken him and MADE HIM WORK, Joss. They can do the same for Wonder Woman or whoever.

    And is Flash a god? When did that happen? Green Lantern, a god? What the hell? I thought he was a test pilot who got lucky and proved to be good at his job.

    And Whedon doesn't really seem to address the longevity issue. How is it DC characters can connect with an audience in one medium for more than 70 years, but not in another? And obviously, the original Superman movie connected quite well with viewers, enough to spawn three sequels. The reason the new version flopped wasn't that we're out of touch with Superman, it's that it was a LOUSY movie.

    IT was out of touch with Superman.

    Another thing is, these guys always seem to blame the outside elements to a certain extent. "It certainly couldn't be my brilliant creation or my own fault we failed to connect with people, it must be something within the people themselves that caused them not to recognize the genius of this particular film idea."

    That aside, only a crappy writer blames the characters for his failings. Sorry, Joss. I like a lot of your work, but that's the way it is.

  32. Oh and I disagree with the comment above that Superman Returns "ran with the Superman as god idea" and that's why it failed. The main reason it failed was it was a joyless mess, Superman aside. But it also made Superman a selfish, self-absorbed, mopey emo-head hung up on his ex-girlfriend and unable to move on with his life and accept that she had. Hardly the stuff of godhood.

    Why aren't fictional charactes allowed to find joy in their crazy abilities? Buffy was forever mopey about being the slayer and not getting to go shopping and stupid crap like that. Faith enjoyed being a badass and she was initially a villain and had to die for that enjoyment.

    I enjoy Spider-Man's soap opera stuff and his powers as "left-handed gift from the gods," but that's hardly the be-all end-all of Spidey. Sometimes he's fun because he enjoys webslinging and hurling insults at badguys. Recently, DC turned Batgirl into one of these "I just wanna be a NORMAL GIRL WAAAAHHH" Whedon-types and it's ruined her almost as much as their turning her to evil did a year or so ago.

    Why can't we get off this trope and have a few heroes who like what they do because they're so damn good at it?

    We can't connect with Superman unless he hates being Superman?

    Bullshit. Some of us love our jobs. We still have internal and external conflicts, but we love what we do.

  33. @Val:

    THANK YOU. That's my point. A great writer MAKES the character accessible. DC has Starman penned by James Robinson. Did we have a MORE accessible character in the 90's?

    Hal Jordan? Paragon of virtue? He spent most of his time "wandering the Earth" to try to find himself. That's before he went crazy.

    And Bruce Wayne? Wasn't the whole point of ROTDK and Year One to humanize him...not that he really needed it...

    But I have to say I completely disagree that Marvel is X and DC is Y, with regard to one being relatable. Wonder Woman is the one character whose drive can be questioned against us mortals, but try to do the same with Silver Surfer or Thor or the Starjammers or Hercules or the Eternals or ANY of the Inhumans.

    Jean Grey was a god before she died and came back to be a god again and die again...until she comes back again. Franklin Richards has abeen a god on many occasions. The one Cable/Deadshot series had him become the messiah for a short time.

    The truth is that there are MANY characters that are god-like on both sides. They are brought down to earth, not by some logo or corporate vision, but by the right writer or story.

  34. Mark -

    You're missing my point. All I'm saying is that there are elements of characters from both companies that are relatable if one cares to look that closely. My top-of the head example aside, I wasn't really trying to go down the road of one being more quintessential anything than the other. Rather that, just like your Tony Stark example, Superman (though "God-like" in power) still had his roots in very recognizable and relatable human drama.