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Batman or James Bond - Who is more iconic?


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#1 of 38 Kachi Khatri

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Posted April 24 2008 - 08:27 AM

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 of 38 Andy Sheets

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Posted April 24 2008 - 11:08 AM

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

#3 of 38 TravisR

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Posted April 24 2008 - 11:12 AM

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 of 38 Bob Graz

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Posted April 24 2008 - 11:55 AM

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 of 38 Greg_S_H

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Posted April 24 2008 - 12:13 PM

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 of 38 Carl Johnson

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Posted April 24 2008 - 12:39 PM

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 of 38 RickER

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Posted April 24 2008 - 01:17 PM

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 of 38 Joseph J.D

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Posted April 24 2008 - 02:11 PM

Batman......a second tier superhero?!!! Posted Image I think not! Posted Image

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.
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#9 of 38 Edwin-S

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Posted April 24 2008 - 02:12 PM

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.
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#10 of 38 Jacinto

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Posted April 24 2008 - 03:56 PM

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.
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#11 of 38 Yee-Ming

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Posted April 24 2008 - 04:56 PM

Define "iconic"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacinto
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.

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 of 38 troy evans

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Posted April 24 2008 - 07:16 PM

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.
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#13 of 38 Edwin-S

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Posted April 24 2008 - 07:56 PM

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. Posted Image
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#14 of 38 troy evans

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Posted April 24 2008 - 09:00 PM

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. Posted Image
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#15 of 38 RobertR

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Posted April 25 2008 - 03:23 AM

Quote:
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;
Ok, so if I show people this:Posted Image

vs.

this:
Posted Image

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 of 38 Russell G

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Posted April 25 2008 - 05:03 AM

Batman, because he could beat Bond in a fight.

Nuff said.
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#17 of 38 RobertR

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Posted April 25 2008 - 05:18 AM

Quote:
[Batman, because he could beat Bond in a fight.
But Bond would get the girl, which would be more fun. Posted Image

#18 of 38 Russell G

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Posted April 25 2008 - 05:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR
But Bond would get the girl, which would be more fun. Posted Image

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

Posted Image
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#19 of 38 RobertR

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Posted April 25 2008 - 05:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell G
you must of ever been married, otherwise you'd know that getting the girl isn't necessarily winning!

Posted Image
I said Bond "gets" the girl, not Bond "marries" the girl. Posted Image

#20 of 38 troy evans

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Posted April 25 2008 - 06:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR
I said Bond "gets" the girl, not Bond "marries" the girl. Posted Image
As I recall Bruce Wayne hasn't done too bad for himself in that regard.
" I think it's time we go to plan B". "What's plan B?" "That's the one where we don't do something stupid".


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