JOE KLINE TAKES ON THE SUPER HERO PHENOMENON
Joe Kline: Hello ladies and gentlemen, I'm Joe Kline and tonight, we're going to look at a growing phenomenom. Superheroes. It seemed just yesterday, they were scrictly in the comic strips. Nowadays, they're an all too real part of our society. And with them unfortunately have come supervillians. Tonight, we will look at the phenomenon, and also weigh the positive and negative aspects of these super powered beings that live amongst us. Tonight, on "The Joe Kline Show"!
Joe Kline: Hello ladies and gentlemen, I'm Joe Kline and tonight, we're talking super heroes. With me I have Gardner Fox, sociology professor at Yale and author of the book "The Next Evolution" and Marvin Wolfman, professor at NYU and author of the book "End of Days". Now gentlemen before we get into this let's go over the brief history of superheroes in our world. In the 1940s a group of heroes known only as the Justice Society combated crime and even helped our boys over seas fight World War II. In the 1950s, the Central City's own Nightshade roamed the streets protecting us until his encounter with the Ghost. In 1974 we were introduced to the man known as Captain Marvel. It's 1976 and Wonder Women debuts and some say she's even the same Wonder Woman that was rumored to have existed in the 1940s. Two years later, our world is forever changed with the arrival of Superman in Metropolis. In 1984 we were introduced to Superman's cousin, Supergirl. Reports begin in 1988 of the Batman in Gotham City and are later confirmed in 1989 and one year ago, the Flash pops up in Central City. Even a few months ago there were rumors of a hero in Coast City going by the name Green Lantern. Now gentlemen, despite the effects of these individuals being positive or negative, you do have to admit, we're not living in the same world we used to anymore
Gardner Fox: No we're not Mr. Kline and in a way, we are. To me, these heroes are the answers to the balance this world always holds. Life, fate, whatever you want to call it, it always finds a way.
Marvin Wolfman: But Dr. Fox you must ask, what gives these people the right?
Gardner Fox: The fact that they have the abilities to do what normal people can not.
Marvin Wolfman: To me, these heroes and those yet to come will only bring chaos with them. They have no regard for the common man and in fact, seem to wish to set themselves as Gods. Even Superman himself can not be trusted.
Joe Kline: Excuse me Dr. Wolfman but how can you doubt Superman?
Marvin Wolfman: Well Mr. Kline maybe you've forgotten but I seem to recall a little incident seven or eight years ago with reports saying Superman had become evil, straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa, stopping a ship transporting oil in the middle of the ocean letting the oil spill out in the waters and even reports of drunken outrage at bars. Superman is far far from perfect
Joe Kline: But it was later found out that Superman had been exposed to an altered form of Kryptonite which resulted in his temporary altered personality.
Marvin Wolfman: Well what's to stop someone from re-creating that and exposing it to him again? And if it were to happen again, how long would it last the next go 'round?
Gardner Fox: But you also forget that Superman righted the wrongs he had caused and since then, has had no signs of changing personality.
Marvin Wolfman: Ok, what about Wonder Woman? No one has seen or heard from her in ten years, where did she go? If she cared so much, why didn't she stay and help this country during the Iranian Hostage Crisis?
Joe Kline: Well, the most popular rumor is that she headed back to Paradise Island where she...
Marvin Wolfman: Oh well how very convieniant that she can go back to some supposed uncharted island while the world is going to hell.
Joe Kline: Dr. Fox, you wish to say something?
Gardner Fox: Thank you Mr. Kline, yes I do. These individuals, while super-powered, are at the end of the day, just like us. Superman and Supergirl may be Kryptonian, Wonder Woman may supposedly have been an Amazon but these were all people who felt things just as much as you or I. Who is to say Superman is Superman all the time? But the point I wish to make is that yes, it would've been nice for Wonder Woman to help this country out but who knows what she had to take care of for herself?
Marvin Wolfman: Well forgive me for thinking this but a superhero who suddenly just doesn't have the time to help anymore doesn't sound so super to me..
Joe Kline: Well on that note ladies and gentlemen, we'll be right back.
Joe Kline: We're back and I want to bring up a topic that Dr. Wolfman brought up, the issue of super villians. Now one could argue that these costumed heroes draw them out of the woodwork. Your thoughts Dr. Wolfman.
Marvin Wolfman: Well Mr. Kline you can see it right there plain as day. These nut jobs who want to play dress up attract only those who are looking for a way to escape. In your own Central City so far, there's been Captain Cold, the homicidal James Mongomery Jesse dressing up as a personality known as the Trickster, Mirror Master, Captain Boomerang. What's next, a human spinning top? Even the Ghost showed up again after being gone since 1955. And he looked like he hadn't aged a day! If these heroes really want to keep up safe, they should stay off the streets so these psychotics don't want to go playing dress up to face them!
Joe Kline: Dr. Fox, your rebuttal?
Gardner Fox: Thank you Mr. Kline, what Dr. Wolfman fails to reconize is that not all of these villians wear a mask or play dress up. One only need to look at Lex Luthor. Now he was a major problem for the Metropolis police force YEARS before Superman debuted. Until Superman came along, the police couldn't even get at Luthor. Even look at Thaddeus Sivana. The man is undoubtedly one of the brightest minds of the 20th Century. However his mind was warped long before the arrival of Captain Marvel. And while yes, I agree that mobster Jack Napier adopted the persona of the Joker shortly after the appearance of Batman, one must also consider that he and Carl Grissom were problems for James Gordon and the Gotham City Police Department years before the arrival of Batman. Point being that it's just another case of the world retaining it's balance. These men were bound to make wrong choices regardless of if these heroes existed or not. And we should be thankful these heroes DO exist to keep men like Lex Luthor and Captain Cold and the Joker in check. I don't know about you Dr. Wolfman but I wouldn't want to live in a world ruled by these men, would you?
Marvin Wolfman: No I wouldn't but..
Gardner Fox: Thank you for proving my point sir
Marvin Wolfman: I'm not... I'm not proving your point but I'd like to say that while I definitely wouldn't want to live in a world of persectution brought on by these men, these men wouldn't be such a problem if these heroes wern't around to begin with!
Gardner Fox: Oh, come now sir...
Marvin Wolfman: If.. if... if these men and women have nothing to hide, why don't they do the HONORABLE THING, AND WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT!
Gardner Fox: (amused) You're saying Superman doesn't help the government?
Marvin Wolfman: Well he sure took his sweet time when that General Zod appeared ten years ago!
Joe Kline: Gentlemen, gentlemen if I may, we have to pause for a quick commercial break. We'll be back folk, don't go any where as we discuss the superhero phenomenon.
Joe Kline: We're back ladies and gentlemen. For those of you just tuning in, tonight is a special edition of "The Joe Kline Show". Tonight's topic is the superhero phenomenon. I'm speaking with Dr. Gardner Fox and Dr. Marvin Wolfman and I wanted to touch upon something Dr. Wolfman said prior to the commercial break. Dr. Wolfman, you think these superheroes should sign up with the government?
Marvin Wolfman: Yes Joe. If these super-powered beings have nothing to hide, why not join up with the government. These so-called "heroes" act outside the law and it's a shame that nothing has been done to put these individuals back in line! They want to live on our shores, they want to help us with problems, then they should be open to the same type of scrutiny that a policeman or a firefighter should be!
Gardner Fox: And so just like a police officer, they can put they loved ones in harm's way?
Marvin Wolfman: Why not! You seem to love using Gotham as an example so much Dr. Fox, you don't think a person working for the Gotham PD puts their entire livlihood on the line day-in and day-out? Gotham is one of the most dangerous cities in America, probably even the world. The real heroes in that town aren't the ones stalking the rooftops dressed like a bat. The real heroes ARE men like Jim Gordon and the men who put on a badge everyday, who show their faces to the scum of the streets!
Gardner Fox: Well sometimes there NEEDS to be someone who can go above and beyond. These heroes are doing what the police can't! You get these men to be government approved and it's only a matter of time before they're being used to bully some third world country into giving the United States it's resources. And if that were to ever happen, how super would Superman be really?
Marvin Wolfman: So are you saying our government can't get the job done anymore Dr. Fox?
Gardner Fox: Oh, that's not what I'm saying and...
Marvin Wolfman: Well you just said it.
Gardner Fox: Dr. Wolfman if you're going to...
Marvin Wolfman: I'm just trying to get an honest answer out of you Dr. Fox, where do you stand on America?
Joe Kline: Gentlemen if we may please stick to the issue...
Marvin Wolfman: I'm trying but he's slandering our country!
Gardner Fox: I'm not slandering our country!
Joe Kline: We'll be right back
Joe Kline: Welcome back folk. We're almost out of time but I wanted to touch upon one final subject, we're do you think the world is heading to now that the superhero seems all too common place?
Gardner Fox: Well, I think we are heading towards a newer, better world. An evolved world. Maybe even in time, this would bring about the next step in human evolution.
Joe Kline: Dr. Wolfman?
Marvin Wolfman: I think that it's only a matter of time before a certain darkness decends. Sooner or later, there'll be a crisis that no one sees coming. One of infinite proportions perhaps. And when it comes, these "heroes" and "villians" will have no one to blame but themselves as our world is consumed and eaten by darkness and war.
Joe Kline: Well I thank you both for coming on. Before we sign off, I'd like to say tjhat this world is definitely a changed one. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. All we know is this world definitely isn't in a golden age anymore. I'm Joe Kline, goodnight.