Alright, we’re encroaching on some touchy ground here. I know. Please don’t publicly hang me with USB cable, nerds. I mean you no harm.
As one of you, I am duty-bound to admit this is basically an open question that I am posing to myself and working through in a public space. So, put down the phasers and close your heat-vision eyelids, okay? I’m not going to dive into the canon of stories that have transpired. Instead, I want to wade in the theoretical futures of each character. There are too many alternate storylines to keep track of to be completely pious to every Superman and Batman narrative.
It might also be my stressful memories coming back to haunt me, compelling me to paint this picture as starkly as I’m about to depict it.
1. Batman Is Human
Being godlike has its drawbacks. Superman looks at the world through a different lens than we do. While Bruce Wayne is affluent and incredibly skilled, he knows he breathes air and fights the same limitations a child does. Superman is essentially an alien who was brought up as a human. One day, Clark realized that he had to wear the mantle of protecting our planet. His outsider vantage would make relating to a child’s needs really difficult and burping super dangerous.
2. Batman Works at Night
Batman, while he’s certainly dedicated, has more of a schedule than Superman, and though he may be fast and incredibly strong, Superman is called away often. He can hear the screams of the masses. He cannot simply shrug his duties to our world. Imagine you’re sitting with your son playing legos, and you hear someone being murdered. AWKWARD. Are you more of an a-hole if you speed away in your glorified underwear, or if you continued playing with your kid? That’s what I thought. Superman cannot divorce his work from his personal life. Kids would be another form of kryptonite.
3. Batman Is a Realist
Batman suffered though he was raised with means. He’s working on his demons, his painful past and knows about “teachable moments.” These traits can be very important in teaching a child that not everything in the store is for sale. Kevlar is softer than steel in this case. Also, what if Superman’s kids were human? No powers. Think about about all the unreal expectations that a normal kid would have from dad who could fly and warm up Top Ramen with his eyes? What kind of a letdown would that be? Dads have enough intense expectations without superpowers. Or worse yet, what if he had flying rugrats who eventually went to school. Now, you know why Krypton exploded.
4. Batman Is Approachable
Sure, Batman has some baggage, but I defy you to find a dad without. His experience would inform his parenting practices. He would know the loss of having an absent dad. He would cherish his time with his children. He would know the value of an engaged father and use every tool in his utility belt to provide a balanced life for them. Superman never met his parents and learned of them from crystals. Crystals. The guy basically learned about his parents from meth.
5. Superman Is a Douche
Cool toys with badass armor and an awesome “angry dad voice” or brightly-colored underwear with the world on his shoulders. Which dad would you rather bring on a class field trip? Can you imagine how good Batman would be with Legos? I rest my case.
Anyway, I know “Man of Steel” is about to premiere, and I swear I’m not hating on the dude. If anything, this new iteration should be closer to how the hero ought to be imagined: a real person in a real setting who wants to do right but struggles against the conflict between his ability to save those around him and his own self-preservation as a foreign body in the metaphorical immune system of Mankind. Whatever all that means.
Have at it.
Follow us on Facebook. The best way to stay connected to our brand of madness.
My Original Superman Post
Losing a part, I gained a whole.