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You Decide – What Future Version of Modern Superhero/Superhero Team is Your Favorite?

With the release of JLA 3000 #1 this past week, we thought it’d be interesting to see what other future versions of modern heroes were your favorite!

Read on for the choices…

A few notes about the choices. I accidentally ommitted Ghost Rider 2099, and I only gave one Brane option for Batman. The odds of either Brane or Ghost Rider 2099 doing particularly well on the poll were very slim, but I figured it was worth noting why I ommitted them.

Doom 2099 is not on the poll because Doom is not a superhero. Guardians of the Galaxy is not on the poll because they are not a future version of a modern superhero team (it is instead the other way around).

31 Comments

I have to ask, no MC2 chars mentioned? Could at least have A-Next on the poll. :(

Very few MC2 characters were actually future versions of modern heroes. They were mostly all their own unique characters. They weren’t, like, Wolverine 2 or anything like that.

In the absence of the Future Superman of 2965, I’ll have to go for JLA One Million.

What buttler said.

What, no chance for Superman 2020 to anchor the poll? Bronze age DC doesn’t get enough respect…

Batman Beyond. No contest. Though I did enjoy the Future X-Men in BftA quite a bit for how little they appeared. Ice Gandalf Iceman was cool (pun not intended but appreciated), Colossus with sword and mustache was badass (and I suddenly realize possibly an Escaflowne reference), and QQ as Phoenix was so perfect and made me figure out why certain Phoenixes are stable and others are not.

Batman Beyond.

Batman Beyond would have won for me if they didn’t botch the landing at the end by making him Bruce’s son. This piece by Dean Trippe explains why I hate it so much. Ruined the whole series for me:

http://deantrippe.tumblr.com/post/44229199457/batmans-beyond

I have a suggestion for a poll. Who do you think the most influential non-Claremont X-creator is? (Not best but most influential as far as lasting contributions) I’d personally argue Rob Liefeld by creating Cable and Deadpool but I’d love to hear other’s takes.

I kind of liked the SIlver Age Superman (and later Batman) of the 30th century.

I was kinda hoping to see the Keeper (Future Silver Surfer) make the final list.

For me, while it was close, I went with JLA One Million with Batman Beyond a close second.

No love for the Batman of 2050? The one who teamed up with Hex?

Are the Super Sons considered future versions of Batman and Superman?

@T. it was actually a pretty good episode, and I could understand why the creators wanted it to tie up the series, but, yeah, it kind of ruined Batman Beyond for me, too. The genetic Deus Ex Machina was pretty lame. I did like the design of the older Terry, his interactions with Waller, and his decision to marry Dana, though.

These are odd choices. Wasn’t there a future version of Machine Man in the Barry Windsor Smith mini?

Sure, but that’s just a possible future of the present-day Machine Man, like Dark Night Returns Batman or Kingdom Come Superman. It’s not presented as a different character carrying on the same name.

it was actually a pretty good episode

Well, I have to disagree. I thought it was simply terrible through and through. It had so much of a fanfiction feel that it felt like a modern day DC comic, which is one of the worst criticisms I can give a DC animated or live action adaptation.

The whole point of Batman is that he doesn’t have genetic gifts but rather he works hard. If his gifts come about because he’s genetically gifted and his abilities are some sort of birthright, due to his unique genetics, then that just makes him a less powerful Superman.

I will also add, as a black person it disappoints me immensely that Dwayne McDuffie wrote that episode. Black people have had genetic inferiority arguments used against them for years as an excuse to dehumanize and otherize them. It made it easier to oppress them politically and to outright segregate and lynch them. The theory of genetics giving people a birthright to greatness or inferiority is what Hitler was about. It’s what fueled the idea of eugenics and all types of discrimination.

So what in the end does Batman Beyond have to say? Every person that grows up with Bruce Wayne, who he trains from childhood, can’t cut it. Dick Grayson falls out with Bruce and is rendered so insignificant that he never, ever even appears in the series. We also learn that Bruce Wayne tapped his love interest, Barbara Gordon, after Grayson leaves. Grayson’s inferiority established. Tim Drake is a failure as a superhero and is basically an underachieving washout. Drake’s inferiority established. Terry McGuiness, without any of the same lifelong training or hard work, adopts the mantle is instantly a success. McGuiness superiority established. So when we find out the difference is due to genetics, what’s the implication now. That hard work and training does not matter at all. It’s genetic makeup solely that matters. It basically means Batman has, in a way, superpowers. Superpowers are the basis of success, training is irrelevant, adoption doesn’t matter and never leads to true acceptance, setbacks can’t be overcome by hardwork etc. Basically, it undermines EVERYTHING that Batman is about in favor of a nazi eugenicist wet dream and for what? just to create a terrible fanwankery conspiracy retcon.

T, I’d noticed myself the oddity of Terry proving himself when everyone else Bruce trained wound up bitter and angry about it. I’d never quite put it together with the ending before. Though of course, even without the ending, it was an annoying oddity.

I remember reading a book some years ago (no idea of the title) pointing out how much the same idea crops up in culture: You are your parents. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, even if the apple gets adopted by completely different people. If you don’t know your birth parents you can never truly understand yourself.

The idea that blood “matters”, distasteful as it is to me, was very prevalent in a lot of cultures, much, much before the Nazis made it one of their tenets. It is a major element in a lot of fairy tales, for instance. The Batman cartoon is just your basic fantasy of a successor discovering he is descended from the old king.

Yes, I don’t like it very much either. Ironically, for a very traditional notion, it’s a materialistic philosophy. Soul, if it exists at all, takes a backseat to genetics, according to this viewpoint. Bullshit, says I. But comparing it to nazism is too much, man.

Rene – let me be clear, I don’t think McDuffie, Dini or Timm or whoever was involved in that retcon are some type of nazi sympathizers in any way. However, nazism, eugenics and other forms of historical discrimination were all an inevitable end result of the type of thinking of genetic destiny that that episode carelessly champions.

Yes, many of those “birthright” values existed in fairy tales and other old stories, but that just shows how primitive those ideas are. It’s hardly a justification for them. Those were written in unenlightened times where mass genocides, rape as a spoils of war, and slavery of people who were different than you was okay. Those stories were written in days of monarchies, castes, and feudalism, not in eras of democracy, republics, and social mobility.

I’m shocked that there’s no “Dark Knight Returns” Batman on the list.

T. –

I know you enough to say you’re not one of those people obsessed with political correctness, but I’ve seen too many people obsessing with “wrong messages” being sent by a work of entertainment, that you had to really stretch things to “get” the wrong message.

Just one example. I don’t know if you play tabletop RPGs or know about them? Many such games have rules that “minion” characters (the little guys working for the villain just to be beaten up by the heroes) are easier to beat by making them more fragile and less effective than other characters. I’ve seen one reviewer criticize such games, because they supposedly encourage players to feel like a “superior race” mowing down “subhumans” and that is Nazi thinking!

I never watched BATMAN BEYOND. I don’t know if Terry McGuiness being Batman’s biological son is presented overtly in the show as the reason he is successful as a superhero, or of it’s one of those things you can only infer if you think real hard about it, and maybe the creators of the show didn’t even intend to send that message.

I never watched BATMAN BEYOND. I don’t know if Terry McGuiness being Batman’s biological son is presented overtly in the show as the reason he is successful as a superhero, or of it’s one of those things you can only infer if you think real hard about it, and maybe the creators of the show didn’t even intend to send that message.

No, it’s actually pretty explicit and outright stated. The final episode outright reveals that Batman Beyond was part of a secret government 10 year conspiracy to recreate the success of Batman using Batman’s DNA.

http://comicfacts.blogspot.com/2005/07/guest-post-nature-vs-nurture.html

http://comicfacts.blogspot.com/2005/07/guest-post-nature-vs-nurture-part-2.html

Part two is really the part that describes Batman Beyond, but part 1 just gives context to part 2.

Well it wasn’t even introduced until after the show had folded (it’s thrown in in JLU as noted) so no, it’s more of a retcon explanation.
I wonder if the real reason was that Terry sometimes came off as someone who was successful because he was wearing the special suit Bruce designed, rather than any inherent ability or skill. So this elevates him to more of a destined Bat-man.

Rene, I remember an argument on line where one blogger asserted the Joker in the second Nolan figure is obviously a racist image: he’s wearing the equivalent of warpaint so the real subtext of the movie was invoking the fear of nonwhite hordes attacking respectable white citizens.

@fraser: WOW. That is a really big stretch.

There’s always people willing to do that, though. It sucks, because it makes it hard to pick out the people pointing out real racial/sexual/etc. discrimination or ignorance under the flood of internet crazies saying an episode of “Cheers” promotes rape or something equally stupid.

Obviously T. isn’t one of those idiots. If he was, he’d be making ridiculous proclamations about McDuffie being a “race-traitor” or something. Those kind of sensationalists usually can’t help but turn their jump-to-conclusions into a call-to-action.

T. – I have to agree with you. That storyline sounds horrible.

A genetics program to recreate Batman? Dubious idea at best, offensive at worst. Batman was never about genetic gifts. He can’t help having inherited a fortune and good looks, but apart from that, he is the archetypical self-made man.

I gotta say once again, I love Alan Moore, and the original work shouldn’t be blamed for the copycats, but the number of people who want to redo “The Anatomy Lesson” for the n-th time is depressing. If I were editor, I’d forbid anyone from doing “character X’s origin isn’t what he always thought!”

While the Batman Beyond retcon was pretty stupid and unnecessary, I think many of the comments here make little sense.

*As each year goes by, science increasingly indicates that nature is more of a driving force than nurture.

*Science has yet to find a soul.

*Batman was self-made in regard to what, exactly? His inherited intelligence? His inherited good looks? His inherited wealth?

*Granted, he freely chose to become a crime fighter, but even there, the science is iffy. It’s very difficult to reconcile biology with free will.

*It’s unfair to say a show is bad just because you don’t agree with it philosophically.

“Epilogue” had a very lame plot device, but it also had some fine writing, excellent design work, and did (albeit awkwardly) tie together the entire DCAU. I really hated it the first time I saw it, but have since come to recognize that it’s not without its charms.

*As each year goes by, science increasingly indicates that nature is more of a driving force than nurture.

No it doesn’t. That’s like trying to argue what’s more important to forming a snowflake, the temperature or the humidity? Think about it.

*Science has yet to find a soul.

That’s in no way relevant to this discussion.

*Batman was self-made in regard to what, exactly? His inherited intelligence? His inherited good looks? His inherited wealth?

There are plenty of people who come from good intelligence genetic stock and fritter those gifts away because they don’t work hard at studying, are lazy, lack curiosity, or whatever. Even Einstein exercised his brain by literally sitting down and thinking for hours a day, even as a child. The notion of genes magically granting intelligence is simply not true. Regardless of your genetic stock, it’s the hard work that “activates” those genes so to speak. Inherited good looks? There are plenty of people who have genes for good looks but take terrible care of themselves overeating processed food and sugar their whole life, smoking, drinking, being inactive, etc. For example have you ever seen an unattractive, overweight person lose weight and get a makeover and suddenly they’re hot? No matter how inherited your good looks are, it’s very easy to squander them and be ugly if you don’t take care of yourself with good diet, activity, health habits, and grooming habits. That’s why even the most beautiful hollywood starlets have a whole team of makeup artists, stylists, doctors and personal trainers. As for inherited wealth, sure there’s that, but that’s not genetic. And people without making the right choices squander money all the time. And what does Bruce Wayne use his money for? To train himself, to give himself access to the best training he can. He uses the wealth to enhance his hard work.

*Granted, he freely chose to become a crime fighter, but even there, the science is iffy. It’s very difficult to reconcile biology with free will.

This problem is not about free will. It’s about hard work. Free will is a whole different debate.

*It’s unfair to say a show is bad just because you don’t agree with it philosophically.

Strawman argument. I never said the show is bad JUST because I disagree with it philosophically. I’ve given several reasons. My personal philosophical disagreement is only one of them, and not even the main one. If you go to the links I provided, you’l find even more. My biggest gripe with the show is that it undermines the very premise and foundation of the whole Batman mythos. To give an example: It would be like if someone created a Batman episode where he decides he wants to become Dexter and become a serial killer of villains, and use a gun to do it. Then I pointed out, hey, that pretty much goes against 75 years of what Batman was about. Also, I personally hate the idea of people serial killing criminals. Then you turned around and said “Hey, it’s unfair to say a show is bad just because you don’t agree with it philosophically.” That would be a strawman because that is clearly not the only reason I dislike the show. I clearly stated that I disliked it because it undermines a core fundamental conceit of Batman. The affront to my personal philsophy was just one fact. The same goes for my personal problems with the Batman Beyond episode. The genetics trumping everything and hard work being not enough goes against a core fundamental conceit of Batman. I clearly said that as one of my reasons. To say I only dislike it because it offends my personal sensibilities simply isn’t true.

I also pointed out that it’s fanwankery. I’d add that it’s cliched and convoluted, trying everything into a far-fetched, lame conspiracy like a 90s X-Men comic. The science, even by comic book standards and allowing for suspension of disbelief, is incredibly implausible. The motivations are flimsy. The links I provided give more reasons for why it’s bad, all of which I agree with.

T – I would think most influential X-title creators (other than Claremont) were Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
and Let’s not forget Len Wein and Dave Cockrum for the new team (of course, Wein created Wolverine for an issue of Hulk)

I read all this way down just to see that John King already made the point I was going to make: most influential POST-Claremont X-creator would yield more interesting results than most influential NON-Claremont X-creator.

Personally, I always thought making Terry McGuiness Bruce Wayne’s son was wrong-headed and unnecessary, but I don’t really think it completely undermines the concept of Batman. We’re talking about a guy who’s one of the smartest people in the world, one of the best athletes in the world, one of the greatest fighters in the world, and allegedly THE best detective in the world, not to mention possessed of courage and willpower to put a Green Lantern to shame. The only time you meet anyone without powers who can surpass Batman in anything significant, it’s accomplished through virtually ignoring all the other things he’s good at – maybe Lex Luthor or Mr. Terrific are as smart, but they can’t hold a candle to him physically; maybe Lady Shiva or Richard Dragon can outfight him, but they aren’t even close to him intellectually.

I don’t think anyone would suggest that you could pluck any random 8-year-old off the street, put them through Bruce Wayne’s life, and get another Batman every time. Obviously Bruce’s dedication and training were necessary for him to achieve his potential, but obviously he had a lot more potential than most people to begin with. While it’s not necessarily a certainty, it makes sense that his kids might have more than the average amount of potential as well.

If Batman were supposed to be the everyman who achieved his skills through nothing but hard work and determination and only did things that any of us could learn to do if we were as dedicated as he is, then he shouldn’t be good at everything (well, everything but magic, but that’s not a real-world skill, so it doesn’t count); he should have weaknesses he has to work around – he should be more like Batwoman or Nightwing (great fighters but not supergeniuses) or Ted Kord (genius but just a pretty-good fighter).

T – I would think most influential X-title creators (other than Claremont) were Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
and Let’s not forget Len Wein and Dave Cockrum for the new team (of course, Wein created Wolverine for an issue of Hulk)

D’oh! I meant post-Claremont. I wrote non-Claremont instead, but I actually meant post-Claremont.

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