Batman and Superman: AN ORAL HISTORY
Superman: Oh, yeah, we were tight. Me and Bats? Are you kidding? In the ’70s, we were unstoppable. We’d film The Super Friends by day and dominate the club scene by night. We were getting pussy by the metric ton. It wasn’t even fair. Of course, the show was done out in L.A. The exterior of the Hall of Justice was actually some bus station in Pasadena. Did you know that? Yeah, they had to hide the palm trees for the outdoor scenes. The rest was all sound stages. But, anyway, the real action was happening back in Metropolis, so we’d fly back every night. Me under my own power and him in his, uh… Bat-Whatever. Plane, I guess. Bat-Plane? Does that sound right? Bat Force One? (laughs)
Batman: I seem to remember socializing a bit after work, sure. I was very focused on the show back then, though. Trying to make it as good as it could be, even though it was for children. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. The show had a lot of dialogue to memorize, and that took up some of my time. But, yes, Superman and I did explore the Metropolis nightclub circuit on a few occasions. He more than I. To be honest, I really don’t reflect on those days very much anymore. I certainly have enough to keep me occupied now. Very full plate.
Superman: So one night we were double teaming Linda Lovelace in the bathroom at Hellfire, and Bats, he looks up at me, and he says, “Beats working!” And we both just cracked the fuck up. Laughed for what seemed like ten minutes straight. Linda, she doesn’t know what the hell’s going on. Good times man. Good, good times. That’s what you’d never guess about him these days, you know. He goes around all grim and serious, like he hasn’t taken a shit in a month. But Bats, he could be funny as hell. He had this weird sense of humor. He could come up with the craziest shit. And the chicks dug it, too. He got more trim than I did! You know, we were both in Saturday morning TV by then, but he’d had the prime time series just a few years earlier, so it was fresher in people’s minds. And you think he didn’t trade on that shit? Of course he did. I had a prime time thing, too, but it had been a while. People forget. But that was about to change.
Batman: The ABC series? Yes, that was a satisfying experience, by and large. It gave me the opportunity to work with some creative people, and I appreciated that. Like I said, I don’t really dwell on my past accomplishments. I’m always looking for that next big project, trying to make it better than the previous. But, sure, if people wanted to come up and ask me about the show, I wasn’t going to turn them away.
Superman: When it came to women, he was a dog, man. That’s why I called him B-Dog. Yeah, we were B-Dog and the S-Monster. There was always talk about his relationship with Robin, which was something he never really discussed with me. But I can tell you this: If that dude was overcompensating for anything, he was overcompensating like a motherfucking champ. Oh, man. Those were some crazy nights. Playmates, NFL cheerleaders, Morgan Fairchild, you name it! But I guess we started to drift apart when the Superman movie came out. You know, the Chris Reeve thing, God rest his soul. After that? Forget about it. That’s when I took the partying to a whole other level. I was pretty much coked out of my mind from 1978 to 1987. I rode the ’80s hard, man. Hard! Bats, he went along with it for maybe a year or so, but then he started giving me excuses about having to get up early the next day and that shit. Personally, I think he was a little jealous. You know, it was finally my turn to shine.
Batman: Jealous? No. No, I’ve had a wonderful career, which is something I’m very grateful for. Frankly, I was happy for the opportunity to get back to what really matters: doing good work I can be proud of.
Superman: Well, as it turned out, Bats had the last laugh. He was working while I was playing, and it really paid off for him in the long run. During the Reagan years, when I was neck-deep in poon tang and snorting the gross national product of Colombia on a nightly basis, he was off doing that artsy-fartsy Dark Knight shit in the comics with what’s his name. Miller. Honestly, I didn’t think much of it at the time. I was like, “Whatever. Not for me. I’ll pass.” But that shit got him a movie contract. Who’d have guessed? Suddenly, he was big. Bigger than me. At first, I was actually happy for the guy. I was thinking, “All right! The B-Dog is back in business!” But it wasn’t like that. He had changed too much, you know? He just wasn’t a dog anymore. I was still trying to be the S-Monster, but I was getting too old for it. The club scene was all kids by then. I couldn’t keep up. Me and Bats, we got together just once after that first Batman movie came out and had a few drinks. Old time’s sake. By then, we were both living in L.A., so we went to SkyBar. Honestly, it was nothing special. The magic was gone, man. Of course, we still worked together occasionally, Justice League and so on, but it was strictly business between us.
Batman: I value him as a colleague and a costar, certainly, and I look forward to working with him for many years to come. But, no, I don’t really yearn for a return to the 1970s. Why would I? My career is so much better now, both creatively and financially. I feel like I’m finally at the place I need to be. Our personal lives went in different directions, but I have no regrets about that.
Superman: You wanna know the funniest thing about all of this? I mean, the funniest goddamned thing? I ended up trying to be more like him! I mean, look at this shit I got on now! My costume used to be blue, yellow, and red. Bing bang boom. Now it’s bluish, reddish, and some kind of gray. And I don’t go around saying shit like “Up up and away!” anymore. I’ve gotta be all mopey and depressed and shit. That’s all from Bats. You think I want to do this? This is just what you’ve gotta do to get back in front of the cameras these days. So we did the flick together, the Batman vs. Superman: The Rise of Whatever the Fuck thing. Notice who gets top billing. I’m Superman, and I’m playing second fiddle to a goddamned rodent or whatever. Are bats rodents? Ah, fuck it. Anyway, he was a total professional on the set. As per usual. Knew his lines, hit his marks. There on time every day, in the makeup chair by nine, just like a good little soldier. I tried to talk with him between takes, but it was useless. All he wanted to talk about was some fucking juice cleanse he was on. Jesus. What a waste.
Batman: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comes out on March 25, 2016. Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Superman: So what are you doing after this interview? ‘Cause I got a good assortment of craft beers and all the episodes of Boardwalk Empire back at the Fortress of Solitude. You interested? Oh, okay. Not a problem. Yeah, I know it’s tough to get away sometimes. Just puttin’ it out there.
Originally from Flint, MI, but now making his home in the suburbs of Chicago, Joe Blevins is a self-described darkener of doorsteps and a chronicler of all things that truly do not matter. Of late, he has been wasting the time of readers through The A.V. Club, Splitsider, and his own blog, Dead 2 Rights, which used to be about zombies before those became a cliche. Now it’s about god knows what.