"Perchance to Dream" Vs "For The Man Who Has Everything" (Spoilers)

Which imaginary episode was better?

  • Perchance To Dream

    Votes: 37 52.1%
  • For the Man who has Everything

    Votes: 34 47.9%

  • Total voters


Oct 29, 2003
Perchance to Dream focused on Bruce's fantasy situation the entire time. FTMWHE focused on Clark's fantasy for about half of the first 20 minutes, while the other half was a beatdown fight. Then his fantasy ended and he pummeled on a guy for a while.

I think Perchance to Dream was the more emotional piece. It focuses more on character and drama, which is what should matter, over blind action, which should always be driven BY character and drama in my opinion, not used as a distractionary device separate from it.

PtD by far.


Bittersweet Symphony.
Feb 28, 2004
Wayne Manor.
GMahler said:
You're not missing much.

Actually, you're missing one of the best episodes of B:TAS and the entire DCAU ever. Try to get your hands on a copy if you can. You won't be disappointed, unless average animation ruins your enjoyment of an episode.
Yeah go ahead.Rub it in why don't ya?!:p
I have heard it's great though...senn screen grabs and all...but as if they can actually make up for the actualy episode...
It is the the BTAS DVD Box set is not?
If not so than ah well..."Hope is on the way!"


Emerald Knight
May 2, 2001
I liked For "The Man Who Has Everything" more although "Perchance to Dream" was good this one had the best of both worlds with drama and action. Plus it generally kept me more entertained and I love a good entertaining episode.


An Aperture Science Original
Apr 15, 2002
I can't decide. I really can't.

I like FOr the Man Who Has Everything because I think it did something I haven't seen before, which was do a pretty good adaptation of an Alan Moore story. Not only that, but it was good in almost everyway, tight plot, good voice acting, emotional, etc.

Then again, Perchance to Dream was more focused on the created world, and was much more a detective/mystery story. In that way, it edges out FTMWHE because it really was a mystery and had emotions and drama.

I like them both. I would have to rewatch Perchance to Dream to really be sure. I mean, I really want to rewatch both just to formulate my final opinion better. They're just so different and deal with a similar theme that I want to compare some more. :)

But, if I had to choose, I would say Perchance to Dream. Then again, I love Superman stories.... AGH!

Ok, enough from me already.

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
Framingham, MA
Tough choice. Perchance to Dream had a WAAAY more psychological bent and seeing Bruce and Batman fight on the clocktower was chilling... Particularly Batman's "You're not well Mr. Wayne." Brrr! On a Kevin Conroy creep factor between one and ten that's a twelve just edged out narrowly by Batman laughing in Mad Love as the creepiest Batman moment ever.

But For the Man Who Has Everything was by far the most rewarding and emotional of the two. George Newburn was FABULOUS and the goodbye scene with Van-El is definately worth a lump in the throat. It also screwed with Superman more that Perchance to Dream did to Batman and left a huge hole in him after the fantasy ended. I love tragic endings and Batman shrugged off his fantasy enough to make a quip to Gordon while Superman just flew into a rage. Best Superman vocal performance EVER! Heck, best Superman performance period. Tim Daly would be proud of Newburn.

So, For the Man Who Has Everything by a nose.


Naked Snake Returns
Jan 28, 2002
Bay Area, California
I like For the Man Who Has Everything slightly better than Perchance to Dream. Seeing Loana, Van-el, and Krypto might have something to do with it. I love the mystery on Perchance to Dream though. It's very close but I'll stick with For the Man Who Has Everything, for now :p


Active Member
Dec 22, 2002
Well, "For The Man Who Has Everything" was written by Alan Moore...
But "Perchance to Dream" features the Mad Hatter...

Don't make me choose!


Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2003
weird thing is, it wasn't until i re-read the comic -- (i think i hadn't re-read it since it originally came out) -- while prepping for our adaptation, that i realized we must have sub-consciously swiped the basic idea for "perchance to dream"....mongul's motivation is even the same as the hatter's: to keep the hero out of his way....

at least i HOPE it was a sub-conscious swipe :sweat:....

one thing no one's mentioned is that we also apparently swiped alan moore's original ending for the BATMAN BEYOND episode "eyewitness"....the fact that we had already done that ending once was one of the reasons why we didn't do it this time, but just hinted at it with sound effects...also, we knew there's a limit to how much horrific carnage the censors would allow us to show, anyway...

back on topic: which do i prefer? haven't seen "perchance..." in many years, but i remember thinking the animation was fairly weak....also, we weren't crazy about the storyboard for the last act, so boyd kirkland and i re-boarded the majority of it under a very tight deadline....i remember thinking kevin was awesome (especially as the "evil" batman) and dear ol' roddy was wonderful, of course....

hmmm, i guess i'd better dig it up and re-watch it, before casting my vote....

Alex Weitzman

Got Opinions?
May 20, 2003
b.t. said:
weird thing is, it wasn't until i re-read the comic -- (i think i hadn't re-read it since it originally came out) -- while prepping for our adaptation, that i realized we must have sub-consciously swiped the basic idea for "perchance to dream"....mongul's motivation is even the same as the hatter's: to keep the hero out of his way....
To be fair, I think there's a really nice separation between the nature of Mongul's motivation and Tetch's. Tetch wanted Batman to stay in that dream world forever, the means justifying the end of keeping Batman out of Tetch's way for good. It was almost a warped sort of honestly-meant gift; Tetch would rather enclose Batman in a joyous fantasy than have to off him permanently. On the other hand, Mongul seemed to be rather satisfied by Superman's removal of the Black Mercy, since it made his cruelty complete. Superman couldn't possibly be as hurt by remaining in the Mercy's grip than he was when he lost what the Mercy gave him, and it almost seems like that was what Mongul was going for the whole time.

EDIT: Oh, my choice on the thread's topic. It's a very, very close call, but I give the edge to Perchance to Dream, since it had just as psychologically perfect a structure, but hid it a tad better.


Jul 7, 2004

The Black Mercy killing the person if they are captured long enough is not part of the original comic.

Maxie Zeus

Upside Down
May 1, 2001
Norman, Oklahoma
Ack. I don't have time to write the full spiel I'd like to on this. Let's see what comes out when I turn on the auto-blabber.

I really like "For the Man Who Has Everything," but I'm on record (shameless self-promotion) as praising "Perchance to Dream" to the skies, and I still think it's the superior story. Darkseid is right that "For the Man" is pretty strongly separated into "Superman" and "Mongul" stories, while PtD is completely integrated, so that's one point in PtD's favor.

I think the "fake life" conceit (whether it was swiped or not) works better with Batman, too. That's because there is a much stronger element of choice (and hence of dramatic interest and intensity) when it's applied to Batman. Superman did not choose to leave Krypton; he was cast adrift. He didn't choose to become Superman, either: he didn't choose to have superpowers, and his history and life in Smallville make it very natural that he should turn into such a nice guy. But Bruce Wayne chose to become Batman, and he chooses over and over again ('nother shameless plug) to continue as Batman. Even the cataclysm that set in motion their respective lives has an element of choice in it. The destruction of Krypton was a natural disaster, but young Bruce lost his parents because someone chose to kill them. So Batman's "fake life" shows what would (in all likelihood) have happened if lots of contingent, moral choices had gone the other way, because those events were within the power of moral agents to change. But Superman's only shows what might have happened, because his life was affected by matters beyond the control of anyone. It's more interesting to see what happens when someone paddles onto the wrong shore than to see what happens when someone is swept by a current onto that shore. And so it is more interesting to reflect on what would have happened if the protagonist had paddled in the other direction.

There's also a stronger element of choice inside the delusions. When Bruce Wayne awakens in his bed in PtD, he finds himself in a world he doesn't understand and he has to choose how to react to it. Superman doesn't consciously recognize his Krypton life as delusive; he seems to have a full set of false memories to go with it, so he just takes it all as being normal. Bruce Wayne explicitly has to choose whether to continue as "happy" Bruce Wayne or try to get back to what he recognizes as reality. And in jumping off the tower he deliberately acts in a way calculated to take him out of the dream. Superman doesn't seem to have a similar "Euraka!" moment; he merely acquiesces in his sense of growing unease and lets Batman's outside interfereence pull him out. It's less that he chooses reality, but that he chooses not to fight reality's intrusions.

In PtD, then, we get a drama about a character (Batman) trying to get out of a bad scene; in FtMWHE, we get a (very nice) character study about what Superman is really like—though what we learn about him really isn't all that surprising. There is much to be said for character studies, but I find dramas more involving.

I also didn't have a very emotional reaction to Superman's "good-bye" to his son. I suppose that Superman has all kinds of false memories and emotions that he has to shake loose from when he tells his "son" that he (the son) isn't "real." But since we haven't had a real chance to see the son—we haven't really had the experiences that Superman has to fight—I find it much harder to empathize with him. I didn't feel what Superman was supposed to be feeling. (In all fairness, and I don't mean the preceding as a criticism, just an observation, I don't think there was a way that this story could have imparted that kind of emotion to me.) With Batman, we are able to feel his anger and his despair because his entire history has set us up to recognized just what a terrible experience this is for him.

Again, FtMWHE is a really good episode. But PtD is able to take a very similar idea and go much farther and much deeper with it. (And yeah, the animation in FtMWHE is way better than PtD, which is no small point in its favor.)

Slightly OT, but relevant: The plant in FtMWHE and the dream machine in PtD actually seem to do slightly different things. Mongul says of the plant that it creates a "simulation" "of the heart's desire" of the victim. The Hatter explains in PtD that the machine's "purpose is to create an ideal world for you!" This is not a semantic quibble. The machine is designed to create fully structured realities based upon some set of desires. The plant simulates a stated desire, which itself might not be a fully worked out reality. For example, if my deepest desire is to win a race, the plant will, presumably, create only the experience of winning the race, but the machine will create the reality—including a past and future—in which that desire is realized. And we see this difference in the parallel dreams of Batman and Superman in FtMWHE and Batman's dream in PtD. Superman's desire is to have a happy life on Krypton, though with elements of his Earth life woven in. So that's what he gets. Batman's desire is to see his parents survive their encounter with the gunman. So the plant gives him the experience in the alleyway (but gone right instead of wrong), but the machine gives him the world that results from seeing that desire realized.

I think this says something very interesting about Batman. His desire is to see his parents survive, not in any of the consequences that follow from that fact. So, that is what the plant gives him in FtMWHE, and that is why he is not terribly satisfied with the reality created in PtD: it just doesn't interest him that much. It also seems to be why he can break free of the plant so easily: once he's seen his dad rough up the mugger, there's no place else for the scenario to go. But it casts an interesting light on Batman, that he apparently does not want anything except for an ancient wrong to be righted, which would fit in with one psychological theory about him: In fighting bad guys, he is in some "displaced" way, acting out the night his parents died, trying to prevent what happened.

Well, this was longer than I intended. Now I don't have time to get any real work done.


Magically Delicious
Aug 10, 2004
Well, I liked FTMWHE so much that I had to register back on the forum after a long lurking period. That said, it has been a while for Perchance.
I think that they can compliment each other, in that in the years since Perchance, Bruce has become darker. I beleive someone here commented on how it seemed Bruces fantasy in FTMWHE just dwelled on his father beeting the crap out of Chill, I think one could read between the lines on Bruce's current state. Given his darker turn, his (more or less) abandoning the Bruce Wayne persona from TAS to being Batman in his mind 24/7, fallout with Nightwing, it seems he's more screwed up then ever. He's already had his fantasy life in Perchance, and in that he was able to imagine growing up outside of the shadow of the Bat. Even in that case, he sensed something was wrong. So now, that fantasy life would hold no meaning for him. He can't imagine a life growing up "normally' anymore, so his FTMWHE fantasy dwells on his last moment as a happy child, and the big "what if". His father becomes the hero, protecting all that he loves. Bruce is smiling because he is being protected, and not having to be the protector himself. A symbolic return to the womb. But Bruce no longer can imagine anything else besides being Batman (his scars run too deep) so his fantasy never progresses past that point. Young Bruce is safe and all crime is being punished via the Joe Chill figment. But Bruce was easier to snap out of his fantasy than Supes, because his real trauma consumes him so much, and he experiences the ordeal again. He tortures himself. But this all happens so quickly, so the viewer has to bring a lot of that to the table already to appreciate it fully.

And of course, this is a Superman episode, and his problem is one of responsibility. He "founds" the League on the premise that even he alone cannot always save the world, but in his mind, he feels that he alone must bear this burden still. He (like another hero) also subscribes to that axiom "With great power comes great responsibility" and as such, we can see in his fantasy all that he wants, a quiet simple life, surrounded by loved ones and just being normal. Though he's much more emotionally stable than Bats, he's pained by the fact that his is a never ending battle as well, not based on vengence, but the fact that he has been given all this power. Even when presented with the "perfect life" he feels guilty about enjoying it, nagged by the subconscious feeling that he has to be out protecting the world, because no one else can. Though there is a lot of smash 'em up action in the ep, it's still great characterization because Supes rarely cuts loose like that, and given his great powers, the only way to really hurt him is emotionally, which Mongul did.

So both were great eps, but I feel FTMWHE did more with less.


The Hound
Feb 20, 2002
I'm surprised no ones brought up the episode of Angel (live action of course) that followed the story FTMWHE very closely in that the lead has a parasitic like plant creature attach to his chest that makes him comatose, and is saved by his 'friend/enemy'. Wasn't his fantasy world, just hallucinations.

Anyways, I would have to vote for FTMWHE just because it actually showed some emotional consequences of what Mongul had done, while in Perchance it kind of just left you hanging and thinking Bruce was just mildly upset, while Supes was royaly PO'ed. Also, the fights in FTMWHE were really really well done and made you cringe. I actually think FTMWHE eas better then the original Moore story, mainly because the Moore story dragged in a few places, and this was just spot on.

Don't get me wrong, Perchance is one of my favourite episodes of television ever, but FTMWHE jumped ahead after I watched it 4 times in one day. ;)


Who's on Discord?

Latest profile posts

Man, I wish I got paid for every time someone on this forum said they believed that Warner Brothers Discovery was going to ax, erase or sell off the Looney Tunes franchise. I could retire tomorrow.
Why do so many adults with no kids get so hopping mad about the existence of preschool shows and blocks? "Grr! I hate Cartoonito and Mickey Mouse Fun House! How dare they make preschool shows!" I don't get it.
Did the forum drop the swear rule? I've seen serious high tier swears and adult terms.
Just 10 more days until part 2 of Invincible's second season. Let's go!!!
I love how The Naked Gun films list bit parts by their line of dialogue. I wish more films did that rather than generic "Guy 1", "Woman on street", etc.

Featured Posts