Originally Posted by Shikamaru
This is exactly what my problem with this concept is. The mentality behind this decision is what bugs me the most. The idea that Batman needs about an entire decade of being older and of having more experience than Superman to be his equal is not only false but completely undermines Batman's abilities and worth in the DCU. We are not talking just "a couple of years" here (as in 2 or 3). We are talking around an entire decade, based on what we heard.
To answer the question...no. Batman doesn't need a headstart like that to be considered Superman's equal. First, Batman is not a normal human. He is essentially a monster in human form, and is the least human JL member on the inside while Superman is one of the most. Second, the thing that makes Batman stand next to Superman is his brilliant intellect. Much like Superman spent his entire teen years and early 20's learning how to use his powers, Batman spent his entire teen years and early 20's perfecting his detective/tactical skills. His brilliant intellect is not a product of him doing this for years, but of who he is & of his motivation and of the intense training he had leading up to him becoming Batman. Sure that he naturally improved his skills as he gained more and more experience, but the same thing applies to Superman. Superman didn't start out as the perfect man of all morals either (hence the way he is in MOS); he became better at the job with more experience. Both of them became better superheroes as the years passed by but proportionally speaking, they were always seen as equals to one another and, in a way, grew together throughout the JL years.
Technically speaking, Bruce already had way more experience by the time he became Batman then Clark did by the time he became Superman. Bruce began preparing to be Batman at the age of 8. He's travelled the whole world, has trained with several different masters/teachers, was exposed to multiple different cultures, has seen the worst of societies, the worst of people, was sometimes put in situations to survive by himself using only his body and mind, etc. In most Superman incarnations (including MOS), Clark wasn't exposed to even a quarter of that.
Even if you were to argue that Batman needs a headstart to Superman, an age gap of 2 or 3 years and a career maximum of 5 years prior to Superman's debut is more than enough IMO. No point to get a late 30's/early 40's Batman next to an early 30's Superman.
I see what you're saying, but at the same time book learning isn't the same thing as experience. As much as he may have trained, he didn't actually start gaining any experience being Batman until his first night in the costume.
Also, I disagree with the notion that he's a "monster in human form" and the "least human member of the Justice League."