Last fall, many of my students and I got into what I like to refer to as “The Great Debate.” It has been the longest ongoing debate at La Salle since I got here. Started in October 2011, no one knows when this will end. Or if it will end. The debate is open-ended. Who is the greatest superhero? Well, I think it’s Batman, and so do lots of people online. So here’s an argument I adapted from Postiar.com:
Reasons Why Batman Is So Great
A short, poorly written essay on the Dark Knight’s Awesomeness
Batman does not have superpowers. He is more realistic. He uses his brain to outsmart the villains, and trains himself to be as strong as he can so that if necessary he can also over-power them. Batman can’t fly or bend the physical properties of the world. He lives in the real world and follows the rules of the universe.
Batman is a self-constructed hero. He made himself “Batman.” He wasn’t born into it. He wasn’t told he was it. He chose it for himself. He’s a self-made hero. Most other superheroes resign themselves to being superheroes once they discover their powers. Batman chose to seek out the ability to make the world a better place. He chose to be great.
If he had to, Batman could beat all other DC superheroes. He’s already beaten crazy Superman, and shown Green Lantern how its done.
One word: Batmobiles. You know you want one. He has the most awesome gadgets, but his cars blow everyone else out of the water. They are sleek tanks ready to take on the world.
Batman has the greatest suit design. His outfit does anything he needs it to, and his utility belt is amazing. It always has what he needs no matter what. It’s like the cool version of Mary Poppin’s bag. Anyone who is anyone wishes they had a utility belt.
Batman is the mentor for other heroes. Hence, we have Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl.
Batman makes a killer teammate. He is an excellent companion to other superheroes and always ends up being an important addition to any team (Justice League, anyone?). Plus, if he were a part of the Avengers, they would be that much cooler.
Batman has tons of twisted and perverse villains that he fights, and he fights them all. He can even catch them when they team up and he is still alone. Most other superheroes get to go to bed after they save the world from one or two psychos and relax a little. Batman has like 6 other psychologically unstable people he needs to save Gotham from. Everyone he fights belongs in Arkham Asylum.
Batman’s weaknesses are actually his strength. He is obsessive, but it makes it so that he never yields. He never truly gives up. He can be a little paranoid in that he always expects there to be problems, but this makes him always alert.
Batman gives Gotham a way to call on him for help whenever they need him. Not many other superheroes offer this service.
Batman is whatever we need him to be. Lt James Gordan says that Batman is not the hero we deserved but the hero we needed. Batman is willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the world. He doesn’t care about his own name. We are more important.
Batman is a Ninja. Just watch him fight. Ninjas are awesome. Therefore, Batman is awesome. You know it’s true.
Batman is constantly setting the standards and breaking the molds for the movies, TV shows, comics, video games etc. today. In the comics, we have the Dark Knight Returns, which is considered to be a work of great influence in the way that superheroes are interpreted and written today. In terms of film, we have Burton’s Batman and The Dark Knight, both of which are epic films for their time. Batman: The Animated Series (Ms. Carlsen’s favorite) was a television series that broke molds. Kevin Conroy was the first animated actor to use two separate voices to portray Batman and Bruce Wayne. When the series moved to Sunday evenings on WB, it marked one of the first times an animated series created specifically as a Saturday morning cartoon had aired on Primetime. Also, the title of the show is never seen because the producers decided that Batman was an instantly recognizable character and anyone in any language would be able to tell what the show was about. With respect to video games, we have Batman: Arkham Assylum and Batman: Arkham City, which many will admit make intense and exciting strides in the world of gaming.
No other superhero has as many awesome songs associated with him: “Drive him Bats” by Niel Patrick Harris, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” by U2 was used in Batman Forever and scored high on several charts, and the introduction theme song for Batman: the Animated Series is just plain awesome.
The Batman is. For most superheroes, their superhero side is their disguise. For Batman, he is Batman. Bruce Wayne is his disguise. It is his way to move around and gather information for his work. Also, Batman uses other disguises to gather information about the criminal world (see Batman: the Animated Series). These disguises are more like Bruce Wayne than Batman.
Basically, the Batman name is associated with a ton of great things of which most other superheroes can only dream. He has set the standard for superheroes, and it is a high bar to reach.