Don’t you just hate it when the TL;DR summary is at the end of the post? Surely, that should be the first thing, in case your wonderful reader — you are wonderful, right? — doesn’t feel like reading the whole thing even though it’s only like ~700 words long.
Having said that, I will of course not hold you dear, wonderful — right? — reader in suspense. I think Batman is awesome and Superman is a snoozefest. There, now I’ve said it but stick around anyway and find out why.
Now, I would like to preface this with mentioning that I haven’t seen the new “Man of Steel” movie yet. It’s entirely possible that — against all odds — the movie is not just good but great. But I don’t know that yet so this entire post and the opinions within will be on the premise that there’s only one great Superman movie. And that’s the one from 1978.
That’s 35 long years ago.
But I suspect there’s a reason for that.
Superman is boring because he’s Jesus in a cape. Granted, if Jesus, you know… could shot lasers from his eyes but still. Looking at Superman’s behaviour he’s clearly suffering from a Messiah complex, sitting there on his holier-than-thou horse and watching us with his x-ray vision. Judging us mere mortals as we walk around this wretched earth, sinning and fornicating.
Superman — aside for the contrived Kryptonite — has no flaws or weaknesses, nothing that makes him in any way relatable. Superman is the most boring superhero to either watch or pretend to be because he has no story arc. His character development is done. He, is done. The only way there’s ever any conflict is because someone — again? — found some Kryptonite. At this point you have to wonder how much Kryptonite really made its way to earth. I’m mean really? The planet Krypton was nowhere near Earth and yet it seems like all of its leftovers are lying around everywhere, waiting for Superman’s foes to find them.
That’s why — looking at sales numbers at least — there aren’t any movies or games about Superman that comes near to the many successes of Batman. Expect the one I mentioned earlier.
Batman now on the other hand is flawed. Like deeply disturbingly in desperate need of psychiatric help — and medication — kind of disturbed and I like that. It makes him interesting and relatable. Batman has to constantly prevent himself from becoming as bad as the things that he hunts. Everything he does — or doesn’t do — can contribute to his character development because he is always made to suffer from what he does. From broken ribs to killed side-kicks, everything that happens to Batman will leave some form of scar because he is after all — much like all the rest of us — human.
Meanwhile, Superman is still sitting there on his Horse of Highness with a +20 Bonus to Judgementalness, reminding us that he’s better than us. Which is true, by the way. Superman is better than us in every possible imaginable way. An idyllic role model we can never live up to, he is after all — unlike the rest of us — more than just human.
But I’m curious what you — yes, you! — think. Leave a comment, who is your favourite superhero and why?
Also. Shooting Batman in the face will kill him, whereas shooting Superman in the face isn’t really going to do anything.
In the end, I turned to my wife — who usually has no interest in these things — and asked her which one she thought was better.
She smiled towards me in that “You know I don’t care about this” way, and replied “Iron Man”.