Superman Returns - Trailer


May 3, 2006, 11:08 AM
Any way to get tracers to really bounce like that? I think bouncing bullets would make a great Mythbuster's episode...

Superman's an interesting character since he was raised on a farm with guns. Truth, Justice, and the American Way, after all!

The incarnations in the comics, Timm animated series, Smallville, and L&C all have confirmed firearms on the Kent Farm. In the comics, Superman's even shot a kryptonite loaded shotgun somewhat recently, and it's been revealed that their home is filled with high-tech less-than-lethal (for a metahuman) guns for fighting off superhuman attackers catching Lois home alone (in the comics they're married). This would all suggest a level of comfort with firearms on one hand, but I wouldn't go so far as to say he's "pro-gun", content to save damsels in distress rather than, say, advocate arming them (with the exception of his wife).

He's had a few bouts with disarmament- usually of a military/nuclear scale- but almost always in response to a perceived crime/threat. One can hardly expect a peace officer to maintain a suspect's right to arms after the comission of a felony! "Hands behind your back, watch your head going into the car, and here's your revolver back, sir." And despite his personal views on killing, he is not against armed citizens without powers or turning over a criminal to the state knowing they can and will be sentenced for capital crimes.

By contrast, Batman- originally developed as a gun-toting detective- has be portrayed as "anti-gun" or "gun phobic". In Begins, the Timm animated series, and the comics, his hatred of guns is well documented. The Burton film version seemed to have no adversion to guns (mounted on his vehicles) or killing and choose not to use them simply out of quirk of character. Ironically, despite his prohibition on guns for himself or any of his disciples (Robin, Batgirl, etc.) his manservant, Alfred, is regularly pictured with antique hunting rifles or shotguns as his defensive staple raising no eyebrows from The Bat. Most likely a contrivance necessary to preserve the lives of iconic Bat Villains/Rogues- as they're less than bullet-proof, compared to Superman's gallery- but interesting that the character with psychological defect is the once naturally characterized as a hoplophobe.

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May 3, 2006, 11:27 AM
As you said, Superman was raised by farmers and is supposed to be the embodiement of "The American Way" as percieved by 1950's style farmers. He believes in hard work, morals, helping your neighbor, and that people are inherently good. If people are good, there is no need to take their weapons.

Batman, on the other hand is the product of massive tragedy, and has built his persona out of his major phycosis (sp?). Depending on who is writting him, he either hates guns or simply distains their use as the tools of cowards. Batman does not believe that people are inherintly good but is suspicious of everyone (even Superman).

They are two completely different types of heros, but both lead to interesting stories. In the end, Superman is the hero of the optimist, and Batman the hero of the pessimist.

Edit: Also, unlike most Anti's, Batman never projects his dislike of guns onto others; the would is full of evil, of course the few good people should be armed.

May 3, 2006, 11:54 AM
Also, unlike most Anti's, Batman never projects his dislike of guns onto others; the would is full of evil, of course the few good people should be armed.I'm not sure about this, in the comics, Batman has a strict "No Guns" policy not only for his disciples and associates, but in a broader sense across the city. For whatever reason, he doesn't allow any metahumans to operate in "his" city without sanction. Superhero "disarmament" if you will. A character like, say, The Flash, could clean up his city inside a month but isn't "allowed" to.

But that reminds me, if you have any comic fans into the Marvel universe, they're starting up an event this week called "Civil War" where the government demands all superheroes register their identities with the government to be held accountable to act with-in the boundaries of the law. There's a lot of "registration leads to regulation", "trading liberty for security", etc. kind of talk in the event and may be a good "in" for talking about gun control topics with a fan or kid reading the books.

May 3, 2006, 02:00 PM
Personally I think Bruce Wayne and thus Batman is sick in the head.

Bruce is an immensely wealthy and competent businessman with much influence in Gotham government. If he wished to he could change the nature of the city around in a very short time, especially areas like Crime Alley.

Yet does he? Nope, Crime Alley has remained infested with thugs for a long time. Why? Because Bruce needs to beat up on criminals and if a supervillian is not availiable there is always a good chance there is a thug hanging around Crime Alley. Think of it as a private hunting preserve that he keeps stocked with prey.

If he were to allow other supers in they would "overharvest" his "secret spot".

I would not be suprised if it turned out Bruce owned many high-end (jewlery, electronics etc.) stores in town and placed many in high crime areas just so that he could encourage criminal behavior. Hunting over a baited field, if you will.

May 3, 2006, 04:06 PM
I've always been under the impression that Batman considered guns to be a tool of the weak - not that there was anything inherently bad about guns in general. You'll notice that in most Batman fight sequences, the villain's gun-toting henchmen are normally considered helpless once they've been disarmed. The adversaries that are worthy of 'respect' in the Batman universe are usually the ones who are either capable of outwitting Batman or fighting him hand-to-hand. Having said that, I can think of several situations where Batman has used a gun himself - although never a handgun, always a high-powered scoped rifle for a specific purpose.

Personally, I think that in recent years Batman has become more of an icon of obsession, rather than revenge or pessimism. Most of his relationships with other superheroes and supervillains focus on how a normal human, with no super abilities, is able to be their equal (or superior) through his intellect, his innovation, his resolve, and his ferocious dedication to training.

As far as "hunting a baited field"... that's an interesting concept, but I think you may be overthinking the comic universe a bit. Batman doesn't like other superheroes messing about in his backyard because he thinks of most of them as well-meaning simpletons, blundering about, making a mess, getting a lot of publicity, without considering the consequences of their actions.

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