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Batman vs Superman
If we consider a duel between Batman and Superman there is no doubt that Superman will win it without breaking a sweat. The reason is as clear as day. No matter what tricks Batman can come up with, he can never beat the man of steel with God-like powers. One stare from his laser powered eyes could vaporize Batman. Batman doesn't have any superpowers and so he has to compensate with his gadgets and tactics. There is a limit to what he can achieve and beating someone like Superman will prove very difficult if not impossible.
Yet there are many people who prefer Batman over Superman. Comparing their abilities Superman is an invincible hero with every possible power that a superhero wants and in comparison to him, Batman just looks like a spoilt rich kid with psychological issues. Even still it is Batman who has won the hearts of more people (and mine too!). So what's his secret? What makes Batman so special?
Being strong is good but being invincible is not. The reason we love heroes is that they are the protectors of the weak from the big bad guys. These big bad guys are the ones who are bullies misusing their own power for personal gain. When compared to the villains the heroes are supposed to be weaker and yet through sheer willpower and against all odds come out on top. At least that's how we like it. But Superman is too powerful that he seems like the bully making us root for the villains in the end.
In contrast, Batman is just the opposite of Superman. He has no superpowers, except that he is rich of course. So he has to compensate his lack of such gifts to training himself hard, using his genius mind and his fancy gadgets. He is just a normal human, a person among the normal populace with a genuine concern for his people. Compared to the villains that he has to fight he is a lone ranger who in spite of being outnumbered perseveres. Naturally, we will be inclined to cheer him on in his struggle to save mankind.
Brute Strength vs Intellect:
Facing an enemy head-on, smashing his defenses and simply obliterating his stronghold looks fancy but brute strength is not always that pretty. When it comes to a show of pure strength there is none that can beat Superman. With his incredible strength he does not need to think of any special scheme or ploy to defeat his enemies and in many cases, it is the villains who come up with ingenious ideas. Batman on the other hand always outwits his enemies. His villains themselves are criminal masterminds and outwitting them is a challenge we all enjoy to watch.
Being a normal human himself it is really difficult for Batman to confront his enemies head-on. Although he is quite talented and trained in martial arts, this hardly makes up for his lack of special abilities. His true strength lies in "theatricality and deception". With all the technology and money in the world to back him up, he is capable of cooking up ingenious plans that seem impossible to pull off. Yet with careful planning and a sharp mind, he is able to save the day in the end.
For a hero with God like superpowers, it is difficult to imagine that Superman has a weakness to a substance like Kryptonite. Bring in a couple of those stones and he will be as weak as an infant. It will be acceptable if he gets knocked out by a couple of nukes but having such a silly weakness is just stupid. The worst part is that anyone can use Kryptonite against him. So technically even a common thug could bring him down if he gets his hands on the substance.
Batman is a person who has conquered his fears. The only weakness for Batman is that he is just a normal human being. He is just like anyone else in the world but with training and an arsenal of weapons. So it is natural that he is very vulnerable. But it is this vulnerability that is his strength. It is this vulnerability that causes people to cheer on for him.
The reason why we all love Batman so much is because of his wide range of gadgets. Every guy on earth would have wanted to ride that bat-mobile. He has a gadget for basically every single task he does. All these fancy high tech gadgets catch our eye immediately. It is with these utilities that Batman gets the edge over his enemies. In comparison, Superman doesn't really have any cool gadget which is a bit disappointing.
It is true that Superman is a lot more powerful than Batman. He is capable of handling much stronger enemies but he still falls short of our expectation. Why? Without a challenge, there is no real thrill in the fight. We want a hero who is strong but not over-powered. Not invincible but uses every ounce of strength and strategy to somehow outwit the enemy. Batman is the hero we deserve and need right now.
Which Superhero do you prefer?
© 2017 Sudhir