You know what bugs me? What bugs me is when a comic book creator bends over backwards to make sure that their favorite gets put over in ever story, against all odds, no matter how ridiculous or silly it may be. Logic and reason are tossed out the window, and any semblence of (sur)realism is trampled as the writer makes sure that his or her "golden child" ends up as the victor, no matter what the situation or circumstance. It bugs me to great length when I see this happening, and it starts to get under my skin when I see it happening repeatedly.
I, of course, refer to Batman beating Superman in a fight.
I know what you are saying. "Cmon Luke, isn't this a bit immature, even for you?" And yeah, it is. I admit that. But this is my blog, and dammit, it bugs me that Batman can beat Superman with alarming regularity for little reason other than the fact that he is more popular with fans and creators.
I mean... seriously.
Batman is a great character. I think everyone who reads comics has a minimum threshold appreciation for him. I've never met anyone who actively dislikes Batman. The range goes from "Yeah, Batman's pretty cool" to salivating adoration. But no one really hates him, unlike pretty much every other superhero character in the history of time. And I too am part of that range. I have never bought a Bat-book with any regularity (unless you count Batman And The Outsiders), but I always like the Adam West-era Batman, as well as Batman: The Animated Series, and enjoyed most of the movies and so forth. So I am not a Bat-fan, but I think he's alright.
The problem comes from the rabid Bat-fans who elevate him above all others. Furthermore, the problem comes then that a lot of creators are just this type of rabid Bat-fan. Which is fine, really, because people will like what people will like, and obviously Bats does pretty good for DC. But this business of Batman beating Superman in a fight just strains credibility to me, and if a superhero comic is straining credibility, well, that's a problem.
People: Batman is a guy with a ROPE and a BOOMERANG and a CAR. He cannot beat the pinnacle of physical development, who can fly, see and hear a mouse sneeze half a world away, see through walls, burn things by looking at them, change the course of planets, resist impacts up to and including nuclear bombs, and pretty much approach godhood in most definable ways.
(That sound you here is all of my readers storming off in disgust. At least, you would hear it if I had any readers.)
I get that Frank Miller made this fashionable. I get that DKR has pretty much defined Batman for my entire lifetime. But, come on people: this is getting a bit silly. Batman being able to beat meta-powered folks in hand-to-hand, I can buy that. Someone like Green Lantern is not as skilled in fisticuffs as Bats. Similarly, Batman outsmarting and outplanning a superpowered opponent makes sense for most of the DC pantheon. But for him to do this to Superman on a regular, recurring basis just boggles my mind. These stories (including the still-excellent Justice League: The New Frontier Special, which you should totally go buy) rely on Superman being an idiot in order to fall for Batman's traps. And not just an idiot, an idiot who takes the least-efficient way to do everything. I have to essentially forget that anything that Batman does has to be filtered through the "Batman is a Badass"-scope, and I just can't do that.
I understand that Batman is popular. Like, really popular. Really I do. But the madness must stop eventually. When you reach the stage where having Supes defeat Batman would be considered a daring creative choice, I think we've gone past the tipping point, and sanity needs to make a come back.
(This message brought to you by Guys Who Like Superman And Think He Could Totally Take Out Batman. "I'm Luke, and I approved this message.")