It’s very hard for me to be silly about Superman, because I’ve seen firsthand how he actually transforms people’s lives. I have seen children dying of brain tumors who wanted as their last request to talk to me, and have gone to their graves with a peace brought on by knowing that their belief in this kind of character really matters. It’s not Superman the tongue-in-cheek cartoon character they’re connecting with; they’re connecting with something very basic: the ability to overcome obstacles, the ability to persevere, the ability to understand difficulty and to turn your back on it. [Christopher Reeve] – Time, (March 14, 1988)
Team work, chums!
"I’ll just fly over and pick her —"
"… Dam the river with rocks?"
"Dry it up with my heat vision, then."
"No. C’mon, dude. Let the kid have this one. You just … stand there. Right there. Hold onto the tree."
"I don’t have to hold onto the tree."
"I KNOW. Just … for the kid, okay? For show."
Dick had the best childhood.
People try to tell me that Superman is simple and naive. They try to suggest to me that Batman’s more psychologically complex stories are where adults REALLY gravitate. And in many cases, they do.
But I actually do think that Batman represents a certain type of naievete. Batman is about trying to CONTROL your environment. He believes that he can STOP bad things from happening. He is forever an 8 year old boy, holding his dying parents in his arms and thinking he can stop this from ever happening again. Batman hopes to eliminate criminals from his world entirely. With his fists.
Superman, for me, has an acceptance that bad things WILL always happen. In many versions, he comes to terms very early in life with the fact that despite his immense power, he cannot stop bad things from happening. That his goal as a hero cannot be to stop bad things from happening, but instead should be about using his gifts to help those in need when the time comes. Sometimes, yes, he can stop a bullet. But he cannot eradicate the darkness that would convince a man to fire it in the first place.
One is about fighting against the dire currents of life, one is about accepting them and trying to make the ride as comfortable as possible. There is maturity and wisdom in acceptance.
“That was my best friend. And you just killed him!” [x]