Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The hierarchies for writing Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman

I shared these yesterday on Facebook, G+, and Twitter:

Hierarchy for writing Superman

1. Idealistic American aware of his immigrant roots.
2. Passionate journalist.
3. Parttime hero.

Hierarchy for writing Batman

1. Defender of social hierarchy.
2. Vigilante obsessed with violent property crime.
3. Playboy.

Hierarchy for writing Wonder Woman

1. Egalitarian.
2. Visitor to a strange capitalist land.
3. Protector, especially of social outcasts.

I'm happiest with the Superman hierarchy and least happy with the Wonder Woman. She's never been as clearly defined as Superman or Batman; my hierarchy is an attempt to be faithful to her creator's version of her, but I agree other approaches could be just as valid.

The Batman hierarchy got the most discussion. The benevolent billionaire can be interpreted in so very many ways. I would write him as a modern version of a feudal lord who does not want the peasants mistreated but has no interest in ending feudalism—essentially, a good Republican/right-libertarian.

My favorite comment was Murray Lindsay's: "It's been my melancholy realization in recent months that Superman with all his powers is no longer the unbelievable aspect of the character. That's been overshadowed by the concept of Clark Kent being an "investigative journalist/reporter" that actually digs up facts, flips over rocks and types up "news". Those beings seem to be extinct in the 24 hour infotainment news cycle."

ETA: Also shared this:
Superman's motto is a hierarchy: Truth is first, justice is second, the American way (as ideal, not reality) is third. He's no jingoist.