Kurt Busiek Fixes Superman And Batman

Superman and Batman by Ed McGuiness

Last night, comics veteran Kurt Busiek entered a number of Twitter exchanges with followers over the characters of Superman and Batman. The idea was pretty straightforward: he wanted a relationship between Big Blue and the Caped Crusader that showed camaraderie and fun. When someone asked if he was suggesting that Superman and Batman do something fun, he replied with this:


It started with Mr. Busiek discussing the idea of how he could sell World's Finest in 1983. He said that he "could do it, too, if not for time."

Someone suggested the melodrama of the time being a good catalyst for the comic, but Mr. Busiek replied with this instead

This discussion was supposed to relate to a comic that was published almost 35 years ago, but the principle remains the same in the present. We don't really see Superman and Batman as buddies anymore. That's a shame too, because they're supposed to be really close friends.

The resurgent popularity of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and its heavy influence on Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has made the idea of Superman and Batman as rivals a popular one again.

That never really works. They have the same morals and ideology; the only difference is presentation. Superman is hope and progress shining in the sunlight. Batman is fear and vengeance hiding in the dark. Other than that, they both just generally beat the tar out of baddies and throw them in jail. Frankly, I always thought the rivalry between Captain America and Iron Man held way more water than this one.

Busiek's idea here of friendliness between the two heroes is something that desperately needs to be highlighted more in modern DC Comics too. Even though a more classical interpretation has finally returned with Rebirth, there still needs to be more jokes and unity between these two heroes.

Bruce Timm's animated cartoons and Jeph Loeb's and Ed McGuiness' Superman/Batman series did a really good job with this. They had chemistry, a repartee; they didn't seem to barely tolerate one another.

The most memorable team-ups are the ones with characters who share a genuine bond: Green Lantern and the Flash, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. Superman and Batman used to have that too, and they could have that again, if only they were just allowed to be friends again.

I'm a big believe in the principle of the X-Men playing softball; super heroes are more relatable and fun if we see them do things outside of the costumes. So, I'm willing to take this a step farther and say that they should do something fun together. Why not have Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne go see a movie or go to a ball game or something like that. I do agree that they should not be so joyless in their super hero personas too like Mr. Busiek says. But I think it would be neat to see the two of them and Diana actually hang out together outside of the masks and costumes.

About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.