Editorial: Written Podcast Extra: Big Dog’s Thoughts

If you’ve listened to Podcast 3, then read on. If you haven’t then listen first before reading forward. You have been warned.

This editorial is simply an expansion of some things that were talked about in our podcast and also as a response to the previous editorial posted by VaderFan. At least within the first part of this little write-up.

This first part deals with something that Matt said during the show: “…but a lot of the stories that we’re talking about are from a different era and a different time and don’t translate well to the younger generation around us.” Now before everyone thinks that I’m throwing our esteemed host under the bus; no. He agreed that everything in a perfect world would follow the stories along with the material they came from perfectly. However, this was his one argument to which him a Troy got into a mini-sparring match before Carl brought us back on topic.

To think about the stories from a different time and the current generation, I go back to 4 characters; 3 DC and 1 Marvel. The funny part is that the 1 Marvel will lead into a greater number of DC characters, but I’ll get into that in a few minutes. Let’s start with Batman and Superman first. The reason being is that they’ve had a lot of film time and are currently about to get more. They update so easily, it’s painful to see what current filmmakers have done. We all know the origin stories so well for both of these men that there’s no way we can miss it. It worked in the 30s and still works to this day. The fundamentals are all there. With Batman being the one that they’ve managed to screw up worse on film, let me just say this: you can bring him into the future and not make him a psycho. No matter the time and place, the story stays similar. Bruce Wayne will always be in that alley with his parents, the man will step out of the shadows, a slight altercation ends with the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Bruce is left with his dead parents as the crook hears the police cars approaching. Over time, Bruce hones his hatred into a war against crime which ends in him becoming Batman so no one else will have to live through that same night again. He hates guns so he uses Batarangs, he’s studied psychology to deeper understand the criminals he’s fought and himself, he’s a martial artist of the highest caliber so he doesn’t need a gun. No matter what tech you give him, he’s always going to be the best of the best and at the top of his game. That’s what makes the criminals in Arkham so dangerous, because they’re the polar opposites of the man they’re facing!

Superman is my favorite character. Always is he rocketed from Krypton, and as the stories updated onward he found a loving family in the Kents. He learned values and became an upstanding citizen. In the 30s he was the guy that was the man’s man. As the morals adapted themselves over the years he’s adapted with them until finally as some morals in society tried to disappear, he held on to them. This character became an icon for a reason. NEVER, despite some origin stories that have been written, should he ever focus on the fact that he’s alien. Yes, it’s down heartening that he lost his birth parents. I’ll agree that the Kents waited a long while to tell him about where they found him. Guess what? They’ve also never given Clark, the only parents the boy has ever known, a reason to distrust him either. Jonathan Kent should be an upstanding man that gives his son something to stand for, not someone who fears his own kid. If we take it away from comics and back to movies for a second, then let’s simply say that Superman is not a stalker and has always done the right thing! If he even had suspected that Lois was having a kid (which I‘m assuming with those super senses of his he would have paid attention) he would never have left her for all that time. Does he obsess over Lois? No, she’s just got a knack for getting into trouble to get his attention or by weight of the fact she’s not afraid of putting herself into dangerous situations. Superman = Morals. The secret identity this is protection. People have argued that it’s just another way of lying. Okay, so let’s say he exposes his identity. Brainiac learns about this and unleashes something that will take Superman’s full attention while he attacks and kills Ma, Pa, Lois, Jimmy, and anyone else that he holds dear. Yeah, the identity becomes necessary. He loses it, it’s today’s society that will crucify him. I say he’s more than justified. In the end, a lesser man would give into his powers and conquer the planet. Out of the good of his heart, he’s trying to save it.

Now Wonder Woman, the true heart of this matter. Some people have a problem thinking that she’s too outdated and unnecessary to the DCU. She’s the perfect center between Batman and Superman. She’s the golden heart with the warriors edge. There is nothing there that screams easier to write, if people actually don’t forget one in lieu of the other. I can’t count the number of people that try and do that. Others will never forget the Lynda Carter series and think that’s as good as the story will ever get, so you’re stuck with the fans that know the character, or as I call it the silent legion. I know 1 person and hear 1 on another podcast that defend her. I’ve seen people pick up the book and treasure it, but most stay silent about it like they’re hoarding a Playboy. I don’t know what’s wrong with these people. You got a fandom, say it loud and proud! With her origin story, you don’t have to shove it back into World War II to make it work. Does a period piece like that appeal? YES! Does it mean that it has to be that way? NO! Why? Because her story is just as easily transferred to current times as her two male contemporaries. What is so difficult about an island that time has left behind filled with Amazon warriors who by whatever miracle learn of a bigger threat from the outside world? They have a contest, which their Princess isn’t allowed to enter. Yet under a mask she enters anyway, wins and gets sent into 2011 modern world to deal with the threat? Her naivety of the world around her lends to a little fun as long as it’s not over done. She befriends children, animals and some grown people very easily. She learns about how some of these people are scuz-bags and intermixed with this she’s got to deal with the minions of Ares until the final showdown with the big man himself. This script writes itself so freaking well! Even if they didn’t follow the comics to the letter, it’s got so much of it written already that it just takes a talented writer to put it into order. Wonder Woman can stand with the other two, toe to toe and be counted as she’s should be. I say do this movie as I prescribe and make her their better just to prove what a real hero from DC Comics looks like on screen.

The 1 Marvel character I talk about is getting a movie of his own right now; Captain America. With the other 3, the updates are so easy to the modern day. Cap on the other hand I believe is needed in the world today, but he should always begin in World War II. There was something about that time and the hero it forged that should always remain that timeless. I also believe that to be with the Justice Society of America; the precursor to the Justice League of America. There are timeless tales that can always be told with these characters, but as I stare into the 3 Alan Scott (Golden Age Green Lantern) Action figures hanging on my wall and the 1 lead figure sitting on my desk I realize that the costume just screams man from the era. I believe the same for Jay Garrick (Golden Age Flash), and a host of other characters. I always think that in some last battle they got locked away and should be brought back to exemplify that era of heroes. Does it lessen Superman if that happens? Not at all! He came from that era, but the updated version should always feel like he’s the extension and embodiment of all those originals fought for. The best of the best. The big 3 should always be like that. Captain America is no different. He should always be that moral compass in the midst of the Marvel Universe. He’s an awesome character with a great place in history, that’s one that’s origins shouldn’t be tweaked. At least in my opinion.

I have so much more I could write about, but I think I’ve rambled enough. As I said in the podcast, my point is never to offend anyone. However, I want to make my opinion known. There are plenty things more within this issue of our podcast that I’d love to touch base on and may yet. It’s an honor to come to you each week. Thanks for listening and reading.