With Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice about to hit cinemas in the UK, we thought we’d take a look at some trivia tidbits about the two characters (and Wonder Woman!) over the years.
Ben Affleck As Superman
In the 2006 film Hollywoodland, Affleck played George Reeves, an actor who became famous for the lead role in a 1950s TV show called The Adventures of Superman. The TV series was sponsored by Kellogg’s and, I think, introduced the line ‘Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s Superman!’ which was dropped into the Christopher Reeve films, too.
Bat’s Two Dads
Bob Kane is regarded as the man who invented Batman, but many people haven’t heard of Bill Finger, the character’s co-creator. Finger helped come up with the costume – Kane originally had Batman in a red jumpsuit wearing a Lone Ranger style mask – as well as co-creating The Joker and turning Bats into a hero who uses his intelligence. Which is why he was known as The World’s Greatest Detective (and first appeared in Detective Comics #27). .
With all the brouhaha and animosity going on in the run-up to the American election, it’s worth bearing in mind that sometimes comics give people the leader they need. Wonder Woman ran for and won the US presidency in the 1940s. (I don’t know what her policies were, though. Short-shorts for everyone?)
Superman Can’t Fly
Since the Superman films of the 1970s and 1980s, we’ve been used to seeing the man-in-blue zooming around the sky (and even going into outer space). But that isn’t representative of the original Superman. When the character first appeared he could leap 1/8th of a mile (660 feet) and ‘hurdle 20-storey buildings’. He was super strong, but didn’t have heat vision or any other powers. I think a hero with limitations is more interesting, don’t you?
Who Killed Robin?
One of the shots in Batman v Superman is of Robin’s costume in a glass case, suggesting that the character is dead. In the real-life world of comics, Robin was actually killed off… by his readers. In a Batman story arc called Death In The Family, fans were given two phone numbers to call to vote for whether Robin lived or died. Apparently the results were very close, with less than 100 votes deciding the outcome.
Wonder Woman’s Lie Detector
We all know that Wonder Woman is going to be in the film, but were you eagle-eyed enough to spot the rope coiled on her hip? In the comics, that’s the Lasso of Truth, which forces anyone WW ties up to…tell the truth. It turns out that the character’s creator, William Marston, was a psychologist who had an interest in emotion and honesty. He also developed the polygraph AKA lie-detector. Coincidence?