Talkin’ Nerdy: Batman V Superman — For Realz
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the kinda sorta not-quite-but-that’s-what-we’re-calling-it sequel to Man of Steel, is a noteworthy event in nerd cinema: not only will it serve as a launching pad for a DC Cinematic Universe (DCCU), but it will also be the first time that DC’s 2 premier superheroes, Superman and Batman, will appear together on the big screen. But of course, this event has also sparked a debate that’s about 10 years older than Europe: namely, who is better, Superman or Batman? And if Batman were to fight Superman, who would win? It’s an argument that’s as old as the hills.
“LESS FILLING!” “TASTES GREAT!”
Unfortunately, far too often these debates invariably just detour straight in the realm of pure fanboyism.
So to avoid the usual cries of “Batman could easily beat Superman!” “Batman could beat Magneto!” “Batman could beat the Hulk!” “Batman could beat the entire Justice League and all their sidekicks and pets!” “Batman could beat Jesus and his pals Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva!” that we know we’re gonna hear when we go to the theater to see this movie, Twinsanity would like to take this moment to debunk some common Batman V Superman myths that fans like throw at us.
“Batman could just bring some kryptonite, and it’s all over.”
Urgh! Whenever I hear or read this, it makes me want to tear what’s left of my hair out! First, kryptonite is the last remnants of a dead planet and not a substance that’s readily available for just anyone to find and pick up. You can’t just go to the garden section of Walmart and buy some. Second, let’s try to be clear here: is Batman trying to kill Superman in this scenario, or just defeat him? Because if we’re talking about Bats facing Supes in a fair fight, then Bats isn’t allowed to bring any kryponite. If Batman needs kryptonite to defeat Superman, then that proves that Batman can’t beat Superman on his own. Furthermore, if this is a fight to the death, then Superman could kill Batman in so many ways that it’s almost pointless to list them all here.
“Batman could just call in Robin or Batgirl, who could attack him from behind with a poison-laced Batarang or a sneak attack from the Batcycle or Batjet.”
Again, it’s not really a fair fight if Batman is allowed to cheat. If you’re going to allow Batman to bring in assistance, then Superman has to be allowed the same courtesy. Anyway, if Batman has to bring in other people to tip the scales to his advantage, then you’ve just proven than Bats can’t defeat Supes on his own, thus you’ve defeated your own argument. Check and mate. That statement makes about as much sense as this exchange:
“Hey Freakazoid, who would win in a fight between Superman and Fred Flintstone?”
“Given time to prepare, Batman could beat Superman.”
Well, that’s true, but here’s the thing: given time to prepare, ANYBODY could beat ANYBODY. Heck, we could take down Big Blue if we were given the time to formulate a plan and strategy to do so. One mo’ time, if you’re going to give Batman time to plan and prepare a plan or action or strategy, then you have to give his opponent (in this case, Superman) the same courtesy. Plan your hypothetical nerd battles fairly or don’t plan them at all.
“Superman may be stronger and have powers, but Batman is smarter than Superman.”
Ah, no he’s not. Supes hails from an alien planet boasting technology and science literally centuries ahead of ours. If we’re going by the live-action movies’ continuity, then Kal-El was being fed information about his world, science and technology while in the rocket that carried him to Earth. The guy’s defeated Mr. Myxyzsptlk on numerous occasions not by whaling on him, but by outsmarting him. Supes once even performed Super-Surgery on an injured comrade. So while Superman may not be a great detective like Batman, the dude’s no knuckle-dragger. It always bugs me how Batfans like to tip the odds in their favorite character’s favor by portraying Superman as so stupid he’s almost brain-dead.
The following aren’t necessarily fight arguments, just general sentiments that we’ve heard from hardcore Batfans over the years, but they’re no less debunkable.
“Superman is too powerful.”
Really. It’s funny, on the other side of the pond, Son Goku has just about every power that Superman has and then some, plus his power levels are constantly increasing to the point where the writers and producers have to keep inventing new levels of Super Saiyan for him to ascend to. It’s gotten to where Goku can only fight gods and other divine beings (and even they can be beaten or surpassed) since any lesser being wouldn’t pose a challenge to him, yet I never hear anyone complaining that Son Goku is too powerful. if anything, Wiz and Boomstick of ScrewAttack’s Death Battle have proven conclusively that characters like Superman and Goku shouldn’t be placed in hypothetical battles like this in the first place; after all, how can one properly counter a being whose powers are by design virtually limitless? It’s like going against a giant 3-headed dragon whose heads possess fire breath, ice breath and laser eye beams, and you’re armed with only a flyswatter. Good luck with that.
“Batman is more relatable. You can’t identify or relate to Superman, but you can relate to Batman, ’cause he’s just a regular guy.”
There are 2 reasons why this statement is Grade-A Baloneyum:
1. You’re not supposed to relate to Superman. Superman is an icon, a symbol of hope, an ideal for humanity to admire and aspire to be, he’s not someone you’re supposed to relate to and identify with, that’s what Spider-Man is for.
2. Unless you’re Richie Rich, Tony Stark or Scrooge McDuck, no, you can’t relate to Batman. How many Average Joes and Janes do you know have more money than the mint, have traveled the world learning the skills of master fighters, martial artists, award-winning scholars, escape artists, Tibetan monks, chemists, criminal scientists, illusionists and detectives and can afford to produce the latest high-tech vehicles, gadgets and gimzos? Not many, I’m guessing. Let’s face it: if Superman is an uber-powerful paragon of perfection, then so is Batman. The only difference is that one has a vast array of cosmic super powers while the other has this:
“Without his powers, Superman is nothing.”
You could say that about pretty much EVERY super hero, but if you really wanna play that card, then I say without his vast family fortune, Batman is nothing. Think about it, Bruce Wayne has traveled all over the world studying and mastering 127 different martial arts and other defense techniques under the tutelage of some of the greatest masters. He’s spent years studying and examining the criminal mind and is master of disguise. Bruce wouldn’t be able to do any of those things if he were poor. And Batmobiles, Batarangs and Bat Computers don’t pay for themselves. If Bruce were just a grocery bagger at the local Stop ‘N’ Shop, he’d just be a guy with unresolved psychological issues and emotional baggage about his parents being murdered. Bruce’s riches are just as much a crutch to Batman as powers are to Superman.
“Batman is more realistic than Superman.”
Seriously?? If we’re actually going to play the realism card here, then realistically it would make more sense for Bruce Wayne to become a cop or an anti-crime advocate than dress up in a bat costume and roam the streets smacking the bejeezus out of people. What does this or any comic have to do with reality anyway?
Now I know it may seem like we’ve been purposely tipping the scales in favor of Superman, but truth be told, we like both heroes tremendously. We’re big Superman fans and make no bones about that, but at the same time, we also like Batman. Batsy’s been overhyped and overplayed to death, but we still like him. In fact, like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, we’re tired of the 2 of them constantly being pitted against one another. We prefer Supes and Bats as allies rather than enemies or rivals. A colleague of ours put it best: Superman averts Armageddon while Batman deals with the crazies. You wouldn’t send Superman to do Batman’s job or vice-versa. If a volcano was erupting and about to send lava flowing onto a nearby town, you’d want Superman to be around, but conversely if you needed someone to crack down on a serial criminal who’s been leaving envelope bombs at the homes of various public officials, then you’d better call Batman. Both heroes are the best at what they do, and they’re the parentheses of the superhero world.
So don’t hate, appreciate. Superman and Batman both rock!
P.S.S.: It DID suck. Better luck next reboot.