After my very serious last post, I thought I’d do something fun.
I was telling my sister the other day how I could use the Justice League Animated show to pick out what I did and didn’t want in a man, and then I thought I could so turn this into a blog post.
So let’s dive in:
What is the show’s philosophy about what makes a good man?
The early season of Justice League, with just the original 7 members, is the best one, I think. The writers also tackled more hard topics back then.
Before I get into the individual characters, I think it’d be helpful to look at how the writers defined good men.
You’ll never hear those words specifically used, but it was funnily enough, usually episodes that centered around Wonder Woman, the feminist icon, that examined what makes men good. (In hindsight, that was low key savage as heck.)
In The Savage Times, when Wonder Woman meets Steve Trevor, she’s impressed that someone without powers and special abilities is willing to risk his life in battle. Later, in the episode Fury, she acknowledges Batman to have the same heroic qualities. (I mean, and he’s Batman, so there’s that.)
Other than these episodes, the show mostly doesn’t make a distinction between genders, but displays courage, honor, honesty, and loyalty as the traits the heroes should have. As well as Compassion and naturally, Justice.
Breaking Down the Characters:
While I love the show and still watch it from time to time, even though I’ve seen most of it 10 times over, over time I have changed how I feel about the characters.
If you do watch the show, I’m probably going to insult at least some of your favorites, but hey, I don’t care if you like these characters. I understand why people do, I just don’t personally anymore. Too much negative experience with some.
I won’t bother with the female characters, since A, I’m a woman. And B. I don’t know if I’d pick either of them as a great example of womanhood, but I do think both of them change over the show more than the male characters do, so at least they can grow. That being said, this post is more about what I look for in a man.
I will freely admit, I am biased towards my favorite, the Flash, but he wasn’t always my fave, and I don’t usually let my biases influence whether I approve other characters or not, I just don’t enjoy them, but if I’m criticizing, it’s because I thought it out.
Let’s start with Superman, the big guy:
In all fairness, Superman is probably not on my hate list, but he’s not on my top 3. I usually just feel neatural about him.
Over time I’ve started to think that’s because Superman purposefully lives his life in a way that keeps people neutral.
Now, when I say a superhero is not what I’d look for in a man, I’m not actually saying I think they’re a bad person. Plenty of good people are just not ready for, or suited to, romantic relationships.
A romantic relationship, as even Jesus said, requires a lot more growth, maturity, and self sacrifice than any other form of relationship does, from us. We’re naked to each other, both literally and emotionally, in romance, and that’s not something everyone is ready for.
Which is my chief complaint against Superman. He’s a great guy as a friend, son, and mentor…
But with Lois, both in the comics and the show…not so much.
The comic version of him, at least early on, was way worse, I admit. I remember one issue where he literally tells Lois “Maybe I will marry you….someday.”
And…it’s like…played off as a joke…
But I’m thinning “So you play with her feelings, toy with her, get jealous if she flirts with anyone else (which happened multiple times in other issues) but you won’t put a ring on it and she’s just supposed to be okay with being treated like a convenience?”
I’d put it down to it being the 50s and 60s, but…to be honest, marriage expectations were higher back then, and a young man not proposing to a girl after so many years of dating was kind of seen as irresponsible and weak…so yeah.
Superman just doesn’t want to trust anyone with his identiy, usually.
But…I mean…you know, worst case scenario, everyone finds out you’re Clark Kent…just form a new false identity, you’re superman, are you really worried about someone killing you?
And if you can’t trsut the girl…why are you dating her at all?
It’s not about logic with Superman, it’s about fear.
On the show they do a better job of showing this, they depict how he’s afraid of his powers sometimes, especially since Darkseid used him against earth.
Superman does become more arrogant later on in the show, probably in a suppressed desperation not to ever lose control of a situation again.
Lois, being the sassy queen that she is on that show (best version of her) is never afraid to call him out on his BS.
But…I don’t recall a single time he ever listened to her. He brushes her off, dismisses her concerns, and honestly, at times I think he kind of acts superior.
Lois has good points every time, but for all Superman pays attentin she might as well be the airhead she is in the comics.
Though on this show she saves his life two or three times, so you’d think he’d be alittle more grateful and respectful.
Not to beat a dead horse, but I don’t actually think he even thanks her once for doing that. So…yeah.
Again, I don’t hate Superman, but I think Lois could do better. Take the glam off of him being Superman, and he’s a guy with a lot of insecurities, which is fine, but not if they control him.
We all have our fears and hang ups, but not all of us let that make us into people who won’t listen or trust people who prove themselves to us time and again.
And while Superman has had issues with people setting him up, they are always his enemies, none of his friends have ever betrayed him, so I wonder what his possibly excuse for being so wary is. People who’ve been abused often can’t help but mistrusts others at first until we do therapy and growth, but Superman’s past is pretty healthy all things considered.
Not that he still can’t have trust issues, but what’s his reason for not addressing them?
He lets no one get close enough to call him out on it.
And it’s not just Lois, other league members like Batman, Flash, and Green Arrow all confront him and he ignores all of them, and it takes blowing up a deserted base of government workers to make him see a problem with his actions.
All things that might be forgivable, but don’t bode well for any relationship he’d ever be in. If he can’t listen, then forget it. You’d never resolve any issues.
Men who can’t admit faults scare the crap out of me. So do women, for that matter.
That said, if you like Superman, that’s cool, he’s a fun character in many ways, but, I’d never date him.
Not much to say about our friendly neighborhood Martian Manhunter, because he’s not featured a whole lot in episodes that deal with relationships.
But we do know he’s lonely often, and tends to go by the book about interpersonal issues as well as public ones.
He actually does have a relationship later on in the show, and it seems to be going well. I could believe that.
Though he can be stoic, J’onn is caring, compassionate, and not overly stubborn about his own faults that I can tell.
I feel like characters who don’t look human are often written to have less human flaws in fiction, maybe it’s just me, but just about the only flaw J’onn has is he doesn’t always do the right, or human thing, in favor of doing the “smart” thing.
While you can argue that maybe that’s not bad, it is easy to slip into ignoring a lot of people’s needs if you carry that logic too far.
But J’onn laughs it off fairly easily when he is proven wrong, so it’s not too serious of a flaw. He also can be quit salty when the other members do things hypocritically, which is fun.
While J’onn is not my type, because I like a man with more of a sense of humor, irony, and friendliness, I would approve him for dating to the right person. He’s got the necessary humility and doesn’t seem too hostile to critiques or conflict resolution…plus he could read your mind, so that’s bound to make communication easier right there…a little unfair, actually.
I’m about to piss some people off.
Sorry, not sorry.
Green Lantern is my least favorite Justice League member, period. even out of the wider cast.
Actually when I returned to the show after years of not watching it, it surprised me how little I liked him. I used to think he was fine when I was a young teen, young teens are honestly the worst judges of character in the world. Children and older adults are much more perceptive.
GL can be funny, but that’s about it.
In my humble opinion, he’s an ungrateful ass to his friends, and arrogant to them also.
He thinks it’s my way or the high way all the time.
Even more concerning to me was that his ship with Hawk Girl gets off to a pretty rocky start.
Hawk Girl is actually pretty cool to him at first, I thought. She helps bail him out when he gets framed for blowing up a planet, and tells him “that’s what friends are for.”
I don’t really see any issues with how she treats him from that point on to the War World, or whatever. But there Green Lantern snaps at her about her attitude.
She’s quiet understandable pissed off by this, and bothered.
Green Lantern apologizes later, by saying he was “too hard on her.”
But I don’t find that very satisfactory.
I mean, was it your place to call her out on that? Did you have a close enough relationship for that? And what exactly did she do anyway?
To me it’s more like he was wildly out of line, and should know better.
My problems with GL continued though, aside form Hawk Girl, I think he treats the Flash pretty disrespectfully–because he can, the Flash won’t retaliate– and is often lacking in compassion to the people they’re helping, even thought the other members say they should help them.
He’s ungrateful when they help him.
And in the episode where they’re all fighting and trying to do team building, he takes a very militant approach to solving issues that are much more personal and emotional.
Still GL in the early show was a bit more bearable, there were some funny moments.
But the later showed killed the character for me.
For one thing…he’s dating Vixen…
And he can’t even do that properly, he’s negligent to her and acts annoyed when she wants to go out on a date.
But what peaked it for me was when he told Sheyara about them having a son in the future. Only to add that he didn’t want to break up with Vixen and be controlled by it.
And I thought…” then why did you tell her? She never had to know, Jackass!”
Thenhe gets pissy when she dates someone else…wow…due, just…wow..
This is not healthy behavior.
And so monumentally unfair to Shayera. She’s been through enough, losing it all, you need to tell her that even if the future declares it, you won’t just choose her.
How does that make a woman feel?
Horrible, I guranntee it. Her guilt wasn’t bad enough.
There’s no real point to telling her that anyway, it’s not like it can influence your decisions if she knows or not, unless you were hoping to convince her not to date anyone else, in which case…frick you man.
The amount of insensitivity in this, it’s not how you should treat anyone, let alone someone you claim to love.
Some could say I have too high standards.
Well, I guess it is true that the people closest to us hurt us the worst…but is it too much to ask that there be a traditional reason for a decision? Not just him weirdly wanting to clear the air?
After that I kind of thought Sheyara should just dump his rear end for good and find some one who actually treats her right, the show never does resolve this conflict anyway, that I recall.
It says a lot when Vixen, her rival, treats her with more respect and consideration than her actual love interest does.
So it’s a hard pass on GL for me.
I also think he’s judgmental, which I hate.
Well, Bats is my second favorite male in the league, mostly because he’s funny, though not usually on purpose.
His main ship is with Wonder Woman on the show, and while…it’s not perfect, they have a much better rapport than Superman and Lois, or GL and Hawk Girl.
You never catch either of them dunking on the other for stupid reasons. Batman is actually the first to believe Wonder Woman is a capable hero, and she tends to see a side to him that other people don’t.
He’s also the first person she asks for help when she has an emergency, and he delivers.
Their trust in each other is affirmed several times throughout the show, and batman even finds her more belligerent temper to be funny or endearing at times, instead of off putting.
So the signs are good that Batman can handle a challenge, especially one that would scare most people off.
Wonder Woman is also the only non-spoiled rich, crazy, or kleptomaniac ship for him I know of, which I thought was a plus. She’s weird enough to satisfy his need for not liking ordinary people, but she’s sane. And a good person. Hurrah!
Suck it Catwoman.
But anyway, as far as Batman goes, he does have trust issues.
He trusts Diana though, as he’s quite open about, and his issues don’t really revolve around her, but more of the idea of getting close to someone in general.
I’m pretty sure she’s the only woman he ever admitted that too.
Of course, it’s all total BS, since he used to cozy up to Catwoman with zero regard for that.
Also it kind of feels like the writers shoehorned his problem with it in, since he has none in earlier episodes.
But assuming it’s legit and not BS, then I think his problem is really that Diana is the type of person he could actually be happy with, and that’s what scares him. He’s afraid to risk it, and disrupt his life.
And of course, where would they live anyway? Imagine Diana going out of Wayne Mansion, right?
But you can work around that. For crying out loud, he’s a billionaire, move? Have a private house, like, get creative man.
They’re just excuses.
But I’d hold out more hope for Batman to be able to grow up a little, despite what the authors ultimately did in Batman Beyond (because he’s not allowed to be happy, you know, ruins the edgy aspect), because he’s at least aware he has a problem. He also treats Diana way better than the other men treat their girls. At bottom, Batman is actually a pretty affectionate, compassionate guy, who hides it behind being scary. Which is shown both on his own series, as well as Justice League.
He also is pretty cool to the Flash and doesn’t berate him like the other often do, and shows up for his big event.
Batman also has the ability to appreciate qualities in others that he himself lacks.
It’s a 50-50 chance on whether he’d chose to overcome his issues, but if he did, I’m convinced he’d make one of the best partners out of the bunch.
Not maybe my type per sec, but I could at least see myself being friends with him, so that’s a start.
Biggest flaw is that he doesn’t take people saying no to him well. And tends to ignore criticism. I think he gets better about it–and to be fair, Diana’s about the only one who gets away with teasing him about it and not getting the Batglare, so I ship the heck out of it to this day.
Fight me, it was the best relationship on the show.
I saved the best for last.
I never crush on fictional characters, but I think the Flash has become my one exception to this rule.
What can I say? He’s just so good.
I don’t get too wound up about it, it’s just that every episode he’s in, he somehow fails to do anything to tick me off, and manages to be the best part of the league.
Now I know, he may not be everyone’s flavor, I’m not like a Jonas Brothers fan girl, okay?
But I evaluate.
One of my favorite things about the Flash is that, unlike the others, he’s not too polished, he’s not perfect, and unlike most of them, he doesn’t hide it.
He can be a bit reckless, thought not stupid, as he’s accused of being. And he does flirt too much in the first season.
But, he was the youngest member, and probably only in his early 20s when they started.
And I’ve met real life 27-30 year olds who act worse than him, so, age isn’t everything.
Plus, he grows out of it by the later season, so I think we can overlook.
I think after how I was raised by someone who’d put on a fake spiritual face at church and around people he wanted to impress, but torment the life out of anyone who was actually at his mercy, I’m just over people who act like they have this uber high standard, but are jerks to people close to them.
(Looking at you GL)
Flash on the other hand, goofs off on the job, which is hilarious, but is easily the most compassionate to people on a private basis.
He plays peacemaker between Wonder Woman and Hawk Girl (unsuccessfully, but he tried).
He’s willing to risk his life to help GL get out of a death sentence.
And my two personal favorite moments, are when he actually talks the Humanite into helping him bring Christmas Cheer to the kids at an orphanage, and talks his enemy the Trickster into surrendering just by being nice to him.
Flash also is said to help people with trivial tasks like household chores. And volunteers his time to lift the spirits of kids at an orphanage.
Something I never catch anyone else doing in this league, except maybe Batman as Bruce Wayne.
But Flash is a stand up guy both in and out of costume, both with people it will help him with, and people it won’t.
He’s also not afraid to call out the other league members if they cross a line, he even managed to stop Wonder Woman from straight up murdering a guy for killing Superman…which is taking you life into you hands right there.
On top of that, he’s funny.
I might swoon, to be honest…
Okay, okay, maybe this is not everyone’s type, but I guess personally, I don’t see what more you could ask for without exceeding human limitations.
Flash has his bad moments, but is the first to apologize usually, and the first to forgive, like when the league splits up briefly and then gets back together. He’s insecure sometimes, but tends to brush it off quickly.
He does nice things for the league even off the job, like getting them coffee, or blankets, another thing I don’t see the others doing usually.
He’s down to earth, and despite bragging a lot, actually has the smallest ego in my opinion, it’s mostly just for show.
He’s humble enough to brush off the other’s snide comments at him, though I find GL’s especial to be a little too cutting to be friendly.
And he forgives Hawk Girls the fastest and treats her the same even after her betrayal.
All in all, the only things against him are being too flirty, and sometimes too quick to speak and unable to reads the room.
I find those to be pretty minor flaws. Nothing to dump someone over. Just put him with a girl who’s good at that and he’ll be fine.
Sorry for gushing, but I get on a roll about Flash, I think he’s underrated sorely by fans.
Basically, the Flash could handle a relationship with a woman, because he checks all the boxes for his other relationships that would make you a good bf of husband.
Though as a fiend, he could get away with less effort, he chooses not to. He makes everyone around him feel special, and he’d do that for his SO if he one. Most men tend to treat women how they would treat their friends, after a certain point. So if he’s nice to his friends, he will be to you too.
At least my dad was a jerk to his friends as well as us, so I’ve seen it work the other way. And I’ve observed the same rule in my guy friends.
But fair warning fellows, that’s not true of women. Women will treat men differently than they do each other, anti-male brainwashing is rampant in this culture.
I’d suggest finding a woman who either is fed up with that crap, or who is able to learn, and if you explain it to her that it’s a double standard, and she listened, then there’s a good chance she’ll learn better.
I mean, men do frustrate me often, I admit. I’ve yet to find one at all like the Flash. It was a different time, you know, when men were taught to be somewhat confident. But I know there’s some out there still.
Flash might be a little too good, but in all fairness, it’s not like we see all there is to these characters. You can’t depict all of the quirks of a human being in fiction.
But you can look for the red and green flags.
Most of the members flash too many red flags for me to support shipping them, and I would look for it in a boyfriend.
But in my opinion, humiilty, compassion, honesty, and a snese of humor are the most importnat personailty triaits while and unwavering moral code is the most important foundation.
Beyond that, hobbies, tastes, and looks are really all a matter of taste and not that important anyway.
I actually think dating someone just because you have the same hobby is one of the stupidest ideas in the world. 10 years form now chance are one or both of you won’t be into that hobby anymore, and if you have no character compatibly, what will you do?
That said, that wraps up my analysis.
So did I convince you? Or do you think I overlooked some details?
Do you have any fictional examples of an ideal man or woman?
Until next time, stay honest–Natasha
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