I know that many diehard comic fans are gonna ream me for this, and I will, in fact, deserve it.
Nevertheless, as I sit and watch the Justice League as Superman does whatever super thing, I am left thinking (yet again, and in an echo of Seanbaby’s observation on the Superfriends) “Why do the other members even bother to show up? I mean, it’s Superman. Send the Green Lantern along to watch just in case somebody has kryptonite, but other than that, who cares?”
They do a good job in the cartoon, mind you, of giving everyone equal airtime–except maybe Hawkgirl, who, let’s face it, is just not very useful in a group where being able to fly and whack things hard are basic entry requirements.
The problem, of course, is that Superman is boring. I have never had any interest in Superman whatsoever. There is no creativity involved in being indestructible, and whenever he DOES get creative, it’s to do things to the laws of physics that make me whimper.
Batman is at least marginally more interesting, because of the whole gadgetry thing, and more importantly, he’s a jerk. The Martian Manhunter is at least vaguely interesting because he’s green and squishy looking and appears to have been to college.
Some of the others, however, drive me nuts. Because I am a geek, whenever I am confronted with terribly versatile characters acting just…NOT VERSATILE…I grumble. Like the Wonder Twins in the old Superfriends.
Okay, go ahead, laugh. They were purple losers. I admit this. They had a monkey. I know. But still! They could’ve done so much more! They could have made everybody else on the team obsolete (with the possible exception of Superman.) I had a shaman in a Shadowrun campaign once who could turn into any animal, and I blew the game balance so far out of whack that the GM and I got locked into an arms race–every time I invented some obscenely powered trick (“Hmm, I bet if a humpback whale fell on these guys from a great height, they’d know they’d been somewhere! Hey, wanna bet a rhino can take down this roadblock? Surveillance? Watch me turn into a seagull…”) he would alter the rules to close that particular venue. It was a devastatingly powerful trick, and I couldn’t do dinosaurs, OR have a brother who could turn into a popsicle!
Or the monkey.
And don’t get me started on the Green Lantern. You can do any damn thing so long as it’s green, and what is it? Always with the giant green hand. “I’ll punch him with a giant green fist! Again!”
I’m fairly sure that I am not the only dork out there who spent part of my childhood yelling “A walrus and a bucket of water!? You morons, a brontosaurus and a rain of hailstones would render the whole thing moot!”
But anyway. *cough* Really, I have a life. Honest.