Top 5 reasons Batman crushes the nancypants known as Superman

tinseltown tuesday meme morpheous

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.

2) Alter-egos

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 stink, 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.

13 thoughts on “Top 5 reasons Batman crushes the nancypants known as Superman

  1. The thing about Batman is that he’s a regular guy with a lot of money, and a dark obsession making him much more interesting. Superman has suffered from bad writing since the late 1940s. They keep giving him more powers and enhancing the ones he already has, and this creates two big problems. The first is that Superman is completely unrepeatable as a character, the second is that the villains have to have powers on par, or greater to Superman to be interesting. This makes the villains unrepeatable

    Since Frank Miller's "Dark Knight Returns" Batman has been opened up into all kinds of wonderful noir which have added rich depth to an already cool character. Superman is still treated like a comic book hero with all the negative connotations that go with that title. He's lame, and for all of his super powers his true Krytonite  is crappy writing full of crappy stories.

    The irony is that both are depression-era heroes who originally fought similar characters: slum lords, dirty bankers, gangsters, and others who preyed on the poor. When writing a classic character the smart move is to always go back to the well and drink the original elixir. Prime example: Casino Royal, the movie re-launched James Bond by drawing from the first Fleming novel. They took the story and married it to our modern world and we got a pretty good movie out of the deal.

    Superman is trapped by bad writing from DC, and idiots at Warner Brothers who see him only as a vehicle for 3-hour long 3D action fests. Were I lucky enough to write the Man of Steel I would put Clark Kent back where he started, working with Lois Lane to root out corruption. Who wouldn’t like to see him face off against a Donald Trump-type Lex Luthor, who uses lawyers instead of an exoskeleton? Super powers are fun, but make for lazy writing (see every Superman comic written since 1950). Superman can become a metaphor for the US in the Middle East where our super powers have limited effect without brain power to back them up.

    Anyway, I love Batman. Batman was the first word I spoke as a toddler. I still hold out hope for Superman, but I’m in for a long wait.


  2. I have always denigrated Biff! Pow! Batman in favor of the original tv Superman…and on from there…but you have made a compelling argument! I will cease and desist from further denigration, while retaining my love for the guy who wears his clothes inside out…


  3. With you on this but have to correct a few points which might otherwise undermine your awesome argument – 1) Batman Forever was almost as bad as Batman & Robin and was just ludicrously over the top and 2) Superman 1 was mostly rubbish (it spent ages on the origin, as tedious as it is) and the good one is Superman 2.

    Otherwise, spot on. There is no dramatic tension with a superpowered God unless you put stupid stuff like Kryptonite and machines that split him in two or depower him etc.

    – Ed


      1. Don’t start me on the MATRIX sequels… You knew how it was going from that BLOODY rave right at the start of the second one.

        The first MATRIX was a really good film. It ripped William Gibson and Grant Morrison off something rotten, but it’s got few cinematic comparisons.

        It’ll be interesting to see how they make MAN OF STEEL interesting next summer. Removing the red underpants is probably as interesting as it’ll get…

        — Ed


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