Editorial by Jeffrey Nowak

For the Love of God... Batman is a Superhero!

For the Love of God... Batman is a Superhero!

Last week a coworker approached me and asked if I thought Batman was a superhero. I was flabbergasted. “Of course Batman is a superhero,” I said without hesitation. This person then went on to tell me how wrong I was, and proceeded to give me reasons why Batman wasn’t a superhero. He then called someone else over and posed the same question. That second person agreed with him and then they both proceeded to give me shit about it.

 First let me say this, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would ever have to write an article stating why Batman was a superhero. I didn’t even know that there was a segment of the population that felt that way. However, I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked; at one point a few misguided souls thought that the Earth was flat. I really just thought that Batman being a superhero was one of life’s constants.

 The main argument I hear against Batman being a superhero is that he doesn’t have any powers. That, in my humble opinion, is a load of crap. Batman is a genius. His mind and deductive reasoning ARE his power. Get Stephen Hawking out of his wheelchair and have him fight crime, and he would be a superhero as well. Not only does Batman have his mind as a super power, he also has a secondary power: his ability to multitask. He can be up all night saving the city, and then continue with his philanthropy work during the day without skipping a beat. Oh yeah, he finds time to bang supermodels in between!

 People also say that Batman is not a superhero because anyone can do what he does if they had the resources. Guess what? If you are a genius, are in prime physical condition, and fight crime: congratulations... you are a superhero.

 Batman is also a superhero because he fights super villains in addition to petty thugs. The super villains have powers such as superhuman strength (Bane, Killer Croc), the ability to fly (Man-Bat, Killer Moth), the ability to control plant life (Poison Ivy), et cetera, et cetera. It takes a superhero to defeat a super villain or else the police would be able to take care of these guys and we wouldn’t need Batman. If Batman wasn’t a superhero, and just “an average guy” then why does the police call on him to help them out?

 For those of you who are into mathematics, I have devised a formula to prove that he’s a superhero. Are you ready for this? SUPER+HERO=SUPERHERO. Super: Batman is super. He fights crime, has cool gadgets, and wears a neat costume. These items all make him super. Hero: Batman has saved Gotham City on several occasions. He has defused bombs, prevented the city from disasters, and has rescued kittens from trees. He is a hero.

Batman is super + Batman is a hero= Batman is a superhero.

As with a lot of debates, there are usually two sides to the dispute. The debate over whether or not Batman is indeed a superhero is one of them. Look, I get the argument against Batman not being a superhero. I see where you’re coming from and I get your point. But the simple fact of the matter is that you are wrong. Batman is, and will always be a superhero.

 


Jeffrey Nowak is a VOG Staff Writer.

Editorial by - 7/3/2012 3:57 PM3850 views

Comments

vandalous
vandalous
7/4/2012 1:17 PM

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Let's not belittle Tony Stark's level of intelligence. He's probably on par with Bruce Wayne.

What about Punisher? Is he a superhero?
DarkTetsuya
DarkTetsuya
7/4/2012 5:16 PM

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Well I'd think 'vigilante' describes Punisher better, since I think his thing is being armed to the teeth with assault rifles/handguns/grenades/other assorted weapons.

As for Batman, I'd say he is... especially on the intelligence thing didn't he design all those weapons and things he uses himself?
Auspher
Auspher
7/4/2012 3:47 PM

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Batman makes it his job to save people.

I think that's all I need to know to confirm that Batman is a super hero.
RicePrincess
RicePrincess
7/4/2012 11:59 PM

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This is kind of a complex argument, so I'll see if I can properly articulate how I feel about this whole thing.

Batman is a superhero in the sense that his lifestyle is unsustainable for any real human, so he does, in a sense, possess the “super power” of extreme stamina. He couldn't possibly exist in the real world, though. He doesn't have any sort of "mutant" super powers (unless the extreme stamina is to be treated as one, but that's never really explored in the comics to my knowledge), but because he is a fictional character, he can maintain that sort of lifestyle with little toll on his well-being. If the writers were to impart realistic consequences for his actions, Batman would have to be addicted to some hardcore drugs to have enough energy to meet the demands of his lifestyle, and even then, that could only be a temporary crutch before his body just shuts down from all of the exertion.

Think about it: he must utilize his brain power during all waking hours to keep up with the multiple aspects of his life, and for a good portion of that time, he must be (sometimes extremely) physically active to A) train, B) fight criminals, and C) build and use his contraptions. When does he sleep, and for how long? I'm really not sure how his body recuperates from all of his exhaustive physical activity if he's simultaneously devoting so much time to all the rest of his causes unless he's built some sort of device that allows him to recuperate at an accelerated rate for a shorter amount of time, like the machines from 2300 A.D. in Chrono Trigger. I admit that I don't know much about Batman (I've only ever read “The Dark Knight Returns”, “The Killing Joke”, and watched all of the Batman Movies...yeah, even “Batman & Robin. I know what you're thinking, but save your criticism and just CHILL), so chime in if there's something I'm missing here.

Also, does an absence of vigilante justice preclude someone from being a super hero? Because there are plenty of geniuses in the real world who fight crime through the proper legal channels, not to mention ones who save lives in other ways, like extremely talented surgeons who operate on patients and generous philanthropists who donate money to charitable causes. These people are all considered normal heroes by any dictionary definition.

I suppose one could argue that the “super” part of “super hero” implies “superhuman abilities”, such as those that come about as a result of mutations (a la the X-Men or Spider Man) or ones attributed to heroes that are understood to be inhuman (like Hellboy). If you take away Bruce Wayne's superhuman stamina and vigilante crime fighting tendencies, he'd likely just be another rich philanthropist, which would just make him a normal hero. If you take away his wealth and let him train all day to be a vigilante crime fighter, he could still potentially be a hero to some, but he'd probably be arrested for violent behavior (because, regardless of whether he's saving lives or not, going around and beating the shit out of people with wacky bat-shaped contraptions isn't exactly adhering to due process of law).

Maybe “superhero” is just an antiquated term. I've always subconsciously associated it with the comic book heroes of yesteryear for no justifiable reason. I wanted to talk about whether the term applies to contemporary comic book characters, but I realize that the comic books that I wanted to discuss (“Spawn” and “WildC.A.T.s”) aren't exactly considered “contemporary” anymore. Damn, I'm old :/
RicePrincess
RicePrincess
7/5/2012 12:01 AM

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I totally joined just so I could leave a ginormous wall of text about a topic of which I know practically nothing, btw :|
Auspher
Auspher
7/5/2012 11:42 AM

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You should come back on OLR, too!
TigerClaw
TigerClaw
7/3/2012 6:21 PM

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Batman will always be a Superhero, There are many Superheroes of all shapes and sizes, and different powers. Batman has no powers, But he has the power of using his brain, An expert with Gadgets, And to top it off, Drives a really cool Car.
immortal_king
immortal_king
7/3/2012 9:30 PM

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If Tony Stark heard that he'd bitch slap this guy because the same argument would logically apply to Iron Man, the Green Hornet, and others I have failed to mention. Like Batman, Iron Man brain is at a status of genius. The man practically built the suit(s) by his own hands. Most of us can remember growing up to Batman, and there is no doubt to me that Batman is a superhero. What I can say is that if anyone can do what Batman does I'd consider them a hero; the gadgets and intelligence is just icing (and who doesn't love icing). Just the fact that Batman is in the Justice League is enough to solidify that he is a superhero.
puppetfarmer
puppetfarmer
7/3/2012 9:45 PM

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This is deep, but without the Iron Man suit, Tony Stark is not a superhero.

Bruce Wayne without his suit, toys, or car is a superhero. In earlier comics he even went out fighting crime without the Batman costume
act_deft
act_deft
7/3/2012 10:37 PM

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Yeah, I pretty much agree with that.
Batman or Bruce Wayne levels of intelligence is probably what takes him a step above an average human. His brain is his superpower.
Bronzethumb
Bronzethumb
7/15/2012 8:33 PM

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Flip it around. Is Lex Luthor a supervillain? Is the Joker? Of course they are! The fact that they have no abnormal powers doesn't make them any less villainous, or any less super in their abilities.

There are two components to a superhero. The latter, hero, obviously applies to Batman. The former gets misconstrued: it's abilities that go beyond the average, either through natural talent and skills, powerful tools or some kind of supernatural empowerment.

Batman is smart, rich and dedicated enough to assemble an arsenal and take on multiple foes who are bigger and stronger, and he uses those skills to fight crime in Gotham. He's a superhero. Superman has great powers bestowed on him by the yellow sun and its effect on his biology, and he uses those abilities to save people. Iron Man is smart and technologically proficient enough to built a suit of flying power armour, and he uses it to take on otherwise-unbeatable bad guys that threaten the lives of others. He's a superhero.
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