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Batman or James Bond - Who is more iconic?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Kachi Khatri, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Kachi Khatri

    Kachi Khatri Well-Known Member

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    I have a debate going on with some folks and need some input as this one is tearing my mind.

    The two fictional characters, Batman and James Bond are iconic in status. Of the two which one you think is more iconic and why? I am a fan of both but I feel Batman has more iconic status with a broader fan-base and mass appeal.
     
  2. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Well-Known Member

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    I say Bond. He has greater international appeal and he appeals to women more than Batman.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    I'd say Batman just because he wears a costume. Not that Bond's tux isn't iconic too but you can see people wearing a tuxedo lots of places and you hardly ever see anyone wearing a Batsuit anymore.
     
  4. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Well-Known Member

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    My initial impulse was to say Bond. After a few minutes thought though, I think I'd say Batman. The reason being is that Batman was featured in comics, TV series and movies. So I would say that over time Batman has had much more exposure in different media than Bond has.
     
  5. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Well-Known Member

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    I'd go with Batman for the same reason Travis noted. Batman is instantly recognizable, but a guy in a tux can be anyone. Could even be Bruce Wayne!
     
  6. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Premium
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    The only comic book character that I'd label as iconic is Superman. In order to be worthy of that label I'd say that one must be the best of the best. James Bond is the world's best known secret agent, so that makes him more of an icon than a second tier superhero.
     
  7. RickER

    RickER Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm...interesting question. I would say Batman, because you might not know Bond when you see him. He has to have the gun and the pose. But see a guy in the batsuit, even Adam West, and you got Batman.
     
  8. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Well-Known Member

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    Batman......a second tier superhero?!!! [​IMG] I think not! [​IMG]

    Anyway, getting back to this subject.....Batman is much more iconic than Bond. The character was around a lot longer and no one could possibly mistake that costume as being anyone else.
     
  9. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Well-Known Member

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    Two questions have to be asked in order to determine iconic status.

    1) Name a fictional Super Spy.

    2) Name a fictional Superhero.

    I would guess that at least 7 out of 10 people would answer "James Bond" and "Superman" if you asked average people those two questions. Therefore, I believe that James Bond is actually more iconic than Batman.
     
  10. Jacinto

    Jacinto Well-Known Member

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    For me, "iconic" must involve some sort of image or symbol that is recognizable. So in that vein, I agree with the others who have said that imagery-wise, Bond is just a handsome guy in a tuxedo, whereas there is absolutely no mistaking Batman. So in that sense, even though Superman may be the most famous if all superheroes, Batman is by far the most iconic. Even the most basic silhouette of Batman immediately tells the viewer exactly who he is looking at.
     
  11. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Well-Known Member

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    Define "iconic"


    I'd have to agree. Much as I'm a fan of both, Batman is just more 'obvious', if that's the word for it. Even if, by Edwin's suggestion, Bond is almost always the first choice for "name a superspy" and Batman is just one of several choices for "name a superhero".

    I guess the weird costume is what makes him "iconic". And the rest of the bat-themed paraphenalia, of course.
     
  12. troy evans

    troy evans Well-Known Member

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    An icon (from Greek εἰκών, eikōn, "image") is an image, picture, or representation; it is a sign or likeness that stands for an object by signifying or representing it, or by analogy, as in semiotics; by extension, icon is also used, particularly in modern culture, in the general sense of symbol — i.e. a name, face, picture, edifice or even a person readily recognized as having some well-known significance or embodying certain qualities. one thing, and image or depiction, that represents something else of greater significance through literal or figurative meaning, usually associated with religious, cultural, political, and economic standing.

    With this, Batman wins hands down.
     
  13. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how you can definitively say that "Batman wins hands down". For most people Batman would not be the first person to come to mind if they were asked to identify a Superhero.

    To me, the definition of iconic is a name or image that immediately identifies the subject. The subject is Superheroes. If asked, the first Superhero that comes to mind for most people would be Superman. That is what I would consider iconic. The image of Superman is indelibly linked to genre of Superheroes in people's minds. The exact same thing applies to the genre of spies. People immediately think of James Bond.

    It goes even further than that. The idea of a "Superman" or a "James Bond" crops up in wider society. If someone does a feat strength or derring do invariably a lot of references will be made to Superman. As in "that guy was like Superman" or some other such nonsense. If someone pulls some outrageous stunt connected with spies or sometimes even criminal activity, a lot people might say that it was "right out of James Bond". To me that is iconic.

    The only way Batman would win is if the cue was strictly visual. Very few people would ever equate Batman with anything outside of the visual, except maybe climbing a building. And he probably wouldn't even win there, since most people would identify that stunt as "pulling a Spiderman".

    Edit: Hell, some people in Britain would probably think you had gone starkers if you asked whether The Batman was iconic. They would probably ask you what's iconic about a guy who plays a cricket. [​IMG]
     
  14. troy evans

    troy evans Well-Known Member

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    Edwin, I agree completely that Superman is more iconic than Batman. However, the question is between Batman and James Bond who is more iconic? Let's look at this from another angle. Which is more known, the superhero universe or the spy universe? If I go around the world and ask people who Wolverine is alot would say X-Men. Now, if I go around and ask them who Spider-man, Hulk, Fantastic Four are I'm sure many would have no problem identifing them to some extent and those, as someone put it, are the "second tier heroes." Now, using that same example, let's say I go around and ask people who Ethan Hunt is? Perhaps Napoleon Solo, no? I know, La Femme Nikita? How bout Jim Phelps or Flint? Emma Peel (my personal favorite) or Steed? Matt Helm? Anyone? Anyone at all? Well, you get the idea. The funny thing is, Batman is more recognized as the second most popular superhero in that genre, than James Bond is as the first and foremost spy of that genre. [​IMG]
     
  15. RobertR

    RobertR Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so if I show people this:[​IMG]

    vs.

    this:
    [​IMG]

    It doesn't seem obvious that one "icon" is more recognizable than the other, especially if one shows the two in Europe as well as the U.S. Neither does simply saying the name "Batman" vs. "James Bond".
     
  16. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Batman, because he could beat Bond in a fight.

    Nuff said.
     
  17. RobertR

    RobertR Well-Known Member

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    But Bond would get the girl, which would be more fun. [​IMG]
     
  18. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    you must of ever been married, otherwise you'd know that getting the girl isn't necessarily winning!

    [​IMG]
     
  19. RobertR

    RobertR Well-Known Member

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    I said Bond "gets" the girl, not Bond "marries" the girl. [​IMG]
     
  20. troy evans

    troy evans Well-Known Member

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    As I recall Bruce Wayne hasn't done too bad for himself in that regard.
     

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