[…] Who’s my favorite superhero? Without a doubt… [“na na na na na na na” X 6] + “na”… BATMAN! Come on, there is no one as cool as him! Yeah, Ironman is kind of “Marvel Batman”, and I really like him too; however, Batman is darker and has so many psychological layers and shades. What I love about both of them is that they are cynical antiheroes that acquired their powers because of their vast knowledge and huge intellects (and bank accounts, of course) instead of receiving them from birth, by accident, or from secret projects. I find heroes like Superman and Captain America to be incredibly dull since they have stiff personalities and ideals: they are just “too perfect” and never truly question themselves, they only do “good things”.
Why did I choose Batman instead of Ironman? Well, on the one hand, Tony Stark became Ironman because he needed to protect himself and, eventually, turned into a show-off hero. On the other hand, Batman became a hero because he could not stand the world as it was despite his own cynicism and pain. He didn’t care that his only “superpowers” were his smarts and money. He could have just kept being a playboy on his yacht while drinking Martinis and buying everything he wanted. Granted, Stark could have done that as well, BUT he already owned a power before deciding to fight injustice. In that regard, every other hero obtained his/her power before deciding to use it for protecting good people and just causes, but not the Man in the Bat Suit. Moreover, it is easy to be brave when you have inherent superpowers like Superman, but Batman faces powerful enemies even if he knows he doesn’t own any superpower, just his strategy, cleverness, and gadgets.
The Dark Knight is a truly multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, and round character while, most of the time, Stark has only two or maybe three modes: show-off, genius, and an attempt of a human. In contrast, Batman is entirely human, including his heart (not like Ironman’s), in the sense that he has a range of different emotions while being in pain all the time. Bruce Wayne is a dark, damaged, and depressed loner that could not get over his loss and trauma, a very relatable topic at least for me. Every night, he mourns that he lost his innocence and faith in humanity way too early.
Because of that, he developed his own moral compass and acts accordingly, becoming a true Übermensch (no, Nietzsche was not a Nazi nor the philosophical foundations of Nazism). And this didn’t happen out of nowhere, he had to struggle against himself for a long time. He did not only recognize his own shadow, but he also embraced it till the point of becoming one with it: therefore, Batman is a true synthesis of his hope and despair. Of course, sometimes, it becomes too hard for him to keep staring into his own abyss, but sooner or later, he stares back into it to release his true power, i.e. the pit in The Dark Knight Rises.
In Kill Bill vol. 2, Bill explains that his favorite superhero is Superman because while other heroes disguise themselves to protect their identities, Superman puts his uniform on to become who he actually is. This is a very compelling argument, but he clearly misunderstood Batman. Bruce Wayne was Batman way before he decided to go under that name. As hard as he tries, he can’t go back to be Bruce Wayne because Bruce Wayne died the day his parents were killed, and it doesn’t matter how much hope and love he can feel and receive, he is not capable of escaping from Batman because Batman is his true self. The Dark Knight was born the day of the traumatic event and grew in the Wayne Mansion under the shadows of trauma, solitude, and darkness, to become a vigilante and a captivating antihero.
Thus, “Bruce Wayne” is only his façade: he acts like a selfish and spoiled prick, but only to protect his authentic, vulnerable and broken self, not to hide the fact that he is from outer space like his friend Clark Kent. In consequence, the Man in the Bat Suit designed his hero symbol as his deepest fear, not the bats, but his own darkness in the spotlight: a fear that he came to conquer. That bat is not a display of his name or a reference to a science-accident/project, it’s a meaningful symbol that represents a ray of hope to people that live in the middle of the darkness.
1) He has the best cartoon: Batman: The Animated Series (my favorite show when I was a little girl, maybe that’s why I am depressed, too many dark colors and topics on the screen XD).
2) He brought the Justice League back from a parallel dimension after stupid Flash ran in circles around the team. Plus, he did it with his own intellectual work, he did not use an A.I. (named F.R.I.D.A.Y.) to solve his math and physics problem like Ironman did.
3) Lego Batman is unidimensional but hilarious.
4) Yeah, Superman is extremely powerful, but is he rich? 😛
Do you like Batman? Please share a slice of your opinion in the comment section below! The Cake is always thrilled to read about your thoughts!
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Featured image taken from Pop Matters.