Now, I’m not saying that Batman would kick Superman’s keister in a fist-fight. No.
Though there is a hilarious series of posts over on The Correctness where they have Batman, Superman, Wolverine and other super heroes fight to the death, tournament style, each time debating who would win and why. It is amazing. Go read it.
I’m saying something different: that Batman is more far more interesting, cool and entertaining than the man who wears blue and red pajamas.
On to the reasons:
5) Batman movies rule, Superman movies drool
Comic books are a separate shebang, and the comic book nerds dive so deep into the Batman and Superman policy weeds that they Confuse me, because when it comes to the comics, I am a Bear of Little Brain.
Movies are something we all know and love, and it doesn’t take a lifetime of reading back issues of Detective Comics to say that THE DARK KNIGHT is 5,982 times better than all of the various Superman movies combined — plus every Transformer, G.I. Joe and My Little Pony movie ever created. (No, there is not a My Little Pony movie yet. At least I hope not.)
Superman movies are lame. Batman movies are fun.
Yes, there is that one exception, the George Clooney version of Batman with that blonde actress who was in a bunch of Aerosmith videos. Alicia Silverstone? Something like that. I hope she’s got a sitcom or reality show now, and that she burned that Batgirl costume, because her wearing it was an abomination. Even so, I’d rather watch the Clooney movie six times in a row than any random Superman flick.
If we throw out the one semi-decent Superman movie — the first one — and the one bad Batman with Clooney, you’ve got zero great Superman flicks versus a whole pack of good Batmans, a few great ones and three brilliant ones.
No contest. Batman wins.
4) Batman is dark and dangerous while Superman is a self-righteous ninny
We know exactly what Superman will do. He’s Mr. Perfect, completely predictable, completely indestructible and completely boring.
Batman keeps on surprising us. He’s got that one rule, but other than that, hey, watch out. Think that Superman would break a thug’s leg to find out where Joker hid a bomb? No. That would be wrong, boys and girls. Superman will use his X-ray vision to find the bomb. Or he’ll fly really fast to go back in time and prevent the bomb from ever being planted in the first place. Ugh.
3) The outfits, they are not comparable
Sure, early Batman looked little different than a five-year-old in pajamas who used a towel for a cape and put on a mask. Adam West’s costume is hilarious.
Superman’s red-and-blue pajamas, though, haven’t really changed over the years. They started out kinda odd. They’re still kinda odd. There’s nothing cool about them.
Batman’s costume has only gotten better and better. Michael Keaton looked amazing, years ago, and the Christopher Nolan movies turned the Batsuit into a work of art.
Superman’s alter-ego is a bumbling reporter who wears glasses. Otherwise, he’s also a goodie-goodie two shoes just like Superman and nothing to write home about.
Batman’s alter-ego is playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne, who is entertaining all by himself.
Who else has a playboy billionaire alter-ego that’s endlessly entertaining? Tony Stark. Does this work as a movie? Oh yes.
Batman wins again.
1) Super powers get old, while gadgets and skills are always good
Invincible powers, like being bullet-proof and invincible and able to fly so fast you go back in time — those are nancypants, because it’s unfair to the bad guys and unfair to the audience. We know who will win, every time.
Powers are also inherently bad because the average person reading a comic book or watching a movie can’t get (a) bitten by a radioactive spider or (b) decide to be born on a different planet and sent to Earth in some kind of spaceship aimed at a cornfield in Iowa.
Batman doesn’t have super powers. He has gadgets that he designs and makes, plus skills that he earned through hard work, study and sweat.
No matter how hard you try, you couldn’t become Superman, Spiderman, the Hulk or the other 927 super-powered heroes floating around out there.
Batman is achievable, given enough money, motivation and training.
Skills beat super powers every time. Also: girls like guys with skills.
ALSO-ALSO: Batman’s gadgets are so interesting and fun, Daniel Craig is jealous. What’s an exploding pen and a Aston Martin with machine guns compared to the Batsuit and the Batmobile? He’s got the grappling gun to zoom around, the cape with memory cloth to fly around Gotham and seventeen other amazing toys that you and I would love to have.
It’s also more interesting to watch somebody solve crimes and defeat villains using skills and brains rather than super powers that you inherited through no effort of your own. How did Superman prevent that comet from destroying the Earth? Oh, he flew out there and pushed it out of the way. No big deal. Didn’t even break a sweat.
If you’re watching a movie or reading a book, even a comic book, you want to identify with the hero. I don’t identify with Superman, not being an alien from another world with invincible powers.
I can identify with Batman, and every man alive would happily trade their two-car garage for a fully equipped Batcave.
Sidenote: By the way, Batman would wipe the floor with Superman.
Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.