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View Poll Results: Which character do you prefer?
Superman / Clark Kent 27 56.25%
Batman / Bruce Wayne 21 43.75%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-05-2013, 07:14 PM   #1
Axl Van Sixx
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Default Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

It's the all-time classic superhero question: Who do you prefer, Superman or Batman? And yet we don't appear to have a thread on it. Therefore I have taken the liberty of creating one, complete with a cheesy reference to Twilight in the title.

This is a thread designed to allow people to say which of the two characters they prefer in the most general sense, and why. Obviously this is a theme that runs through a lot of discussions on here, but I thought it deserved its own space. We can like both heroes and I certainly do, but if you had to choose one, who do you prefer?

I've said in a lot of other threads why I prefer Clark Kent/Superman over Bruce Wayne/Batman, but to summarize:
  • Superman has all the power in the world, but instead of using it for selfish ends, he uses them for the greater good
  • Clark is more optimistic and tends to see the best in people
  • His background embodies small town, Norman Rockwell-esque Americana and working class roots rather than inherited wealth
  • Clark Kent is not a billionaire, but works an ordinary 9-to-5 job like everybody else (which happens to dovetail with my own career and interests)
  • I love science fiction and Superman is all about that: Krypton, space travel, superpowers, mad scientists, aliens, you name it.
  • As far as wish fulfillment goes, having all of Superman's powers would be way more awesome for me than having a ton of gadgets and the coolest car ever. Flight alone would be incredible.
  • Kryptonite may be an overused story element, but it is an excellent metaphor
  • The analogy of Superman as a secular Messiah for the modern age is fascinating to me and I find it interesting to read about the parallels between him and religious figures such as Jesus (Death and Return of Superman and Kingdom Come) or Moses, as well as other characters from classical mythology such as Hercules (which Grant Morrison played on to great effect)
  • Even though The Joker, let's face it, is the better arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor in the modern era is for me a more realistic one in terms of what he represents - the colossal power of monetary wealth combined with a terrifyingly capable intellect. What better antithesis could you have to a virtually invincible demigod?
  • The character of Batman would not exist without Superman.

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Old 10-05-2013, 07:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

I actually liked the fact that we didn't have these Fanboy battle threads

It separated us from the rest of the internet

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Old 10-05-2013, 07:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

The prevailing controversy has been between pro- and anti-Batfleck factions. But I think it's high-time for a thread on the big issue, especially if the movie is called Batman VS. Superman (or the other way around).

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Old 10-05-2013, 08:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

i can't choose.

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Old 10-05-2013, 09:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

Superman

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Old 10-06-2013, 12:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

Supes

But I want Batman done right. The Ninja Genius Detective.

And a Man of Steel that speaks his mind more. I'm over the strong silent type they've gone for in the last two movies. They did better this last time but they waited waaay too long before they let him speak.

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Old 10-06-2013, 01:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axl Van Sixx View Post
It's the all-time classic superhero question: Who do you prefer, Superman or Batman? And yet we don't appear to have a thread on it. Therefore I have taken the liberty of creating one, complete with a cheesy reference to Twilight in the title.

This is a thread designed to allow people to say which of the two characters they prefer in the most general sense, and why. Obviously this is a theme that runs through a lot of discussions on here, but I thought it deserved its own space. We can like both heroes and I certainly do, but if you had to choose one, who do you prefer?

I've said in a lot of other threads why I prefer Clark Kent/Superman over Bruce Wayne/Batman, but to summarize:
  • Superman has all the power in the world, but instead of using it for selfish ends, he uses them for the greater good
  • Clark is more optimistic and tends to see the best in people
  • His background embodies small town, Norman Rockwell-esque Americana and working class roots rather than inherited wealth
  • Clark Kent is not a billionaire, but works an ordinary 9-to-5 job like everybody else (which happens to dovetail with my own career and interests)
  • I love science fiction and Superman is all about that: Krypton, space travel, superpowers, mad scientists, aliens, you name it.
  • As far as wish fulfillment goes, having all of Superman's powers would be way more awesome for me than having a ton of gadgets and the coolest car ever. Flight alone would be incredible.
  • Kryptonite may be an overused story element, but it is an excellent metaphor
  • The analogy of Superman as a secular Messiah for the modern age is fascinating to me and I find it interesting to read about the parallels between him and religious figures such as Jesus (Death and Return of Superman and Kingdom Come) or Moses, as well as other characters from classical mythology such as Hercules (which Grant Morrison played on to great effect)
  • Even though The Joker, let's face it, is the better arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor in the modern era is for me a more realistic one in terms of what he represents - the colossal power of monetary wealth combined with a terrifyingly capable intellect. What better antithesis could you have to a virtually invincible demigod?
  • The character of Batman would not exist without Superman.
You just summed up everything I love about Superman.

Here's another thing you could add, he's the ultimate embodiment of the immigrant's success story. He proves that your differences and background no matter what they are, are in fact a credit to you and makes you stronger. He shows that no matter how different you are from the rest, you can succeed and belong. That's something Smallville and Man of Steel nailed.

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Old 10-06-2013, 01:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

My response at :06
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

Sigh. That's a tough call.

While Superman is the hero we'd all like to be, all-powerful and always doing the right thing, and always flying off into the sunset with a smile
to the audience, Batman's probably a better reflection of what people
are like, flawed and a bit messed up inside.

If I had my choice, I'd be Superman in a heartbeat. yeah, it'd be tough
being at the top, and having all that self-imposed responsibility, but then after a tough day you can just fly to the moon or go sit on top of Mount Everest for a break.


Although I've been a batfan since I first saw that cheesy TV show as a little kid, I lean toward team Clark, just cause he's a nice guy who
looks after his mom, despite being an alien, with god-like powers - but mostly because, as you said, he's got those powers and doesn't use them to conquer humanity, or get rich and not give a ****, but instead takes on the thankless task of protecting us, of always doing the right thing.

When I was a kid, back in the 80's, I was very moved by SM IV: Quest for Peace, it was a terribly, really-terribly executed film, but the idea that a little kid wakes up one day, sees the insanity of the cold war, and says "Hey, why don't we ask Superman to save us." A bit like praying to Jesus
really (which builds on your messiah comment) - I believe God works in mysterious ways, but the beauty of Superman, is that you see a god getting his hands dirty and helping out in person.

Anyway, despite it's enormous flaws, the film was a great idea -and very moving, heartening that Superman was such a great guy that he would make the effort, and tragic, that even a god couldn't protect us from our own stupidity.

I really enjoyed the portrayal of Clark Kent/Kal-El in Man of Steel (okay, I loved Man of Steel, there I said it. And I was a huge fan of the Reeve movies). I thought that the slightly less boy-scoutish, more serious Superman was a better reflection of the times we live in. Sure, Clark frowns a lot, but he carries a heavy load.

However, having said that, here's some arguments for Team Batman:

- "I'm Batman" said in a gravelly voice is always going to sound cooler
than "I'm Superman."

- Batman has no super-powers, which means that any of us (provided we
had a genius intellect, mad ninja skills, and billions of dollars of disposable income) could be Batman.
this makes his triumphs, especially over Superhuman menaces,
much more meaningful.

- Batman has billions of dollars and instead of living it up large and enjoying himself, he tries to make society better....although maybe he could do it by creating more jobs and eliminating unemployment in Gotham city, rather than prowling the streets bashing the crap out of
criminals.
Really, he's punishing himself as much as the criminal underworld.
He could just take his wealth and intellect and become another Lex
Luthor, but doesn't (kind of like Supers and his powers).

- guilt, regret and obsession are part of being human. Batman's mortal and has all of our human failings, which make him a more relatable character (well except for the genius, billionaire ninja part). Potentially, Superman is immortal (well functionally immortal) which means his stories can go on forever -sooner or later Batman's clock has to run out, and we've seen some terrific endings, Miller's DKR (and I loved Nolan's TDKR). I liked All-Star Superman, but it didn't have quite the same resonance as DKR.

- Batman is always one step ahead of his enemies (in the comics anyway)

- Batman has a cool car !

Despite what other people have said, I like your thread ! I did a variation of it a while back, "Batman vs Superman, who will win ? who should win?" in the context of the upcoming film.

Threads like this get all kinds of emotional and strongly-held opinions out
into the open, which is what forums are meant to be about. Cheers.

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Old 10-06-2013, 08:22 AM   #10
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It's a close call, since I love both of them, but I have to go with Superman. He was my first superhero, and really, the one who holds a tad more interest for me.

Not because I think his storyline has always been executed the best, but because I love the concept of his character. His endurance, even after all the terrible things he's been through is amazing, and despite the trials he's had to face, he still generally believes the best of people.

Don't get me wrong; Batman is intense and interesting. But a lot of times his stories depress and drag me down. There's a reason why I like it better when he's paired up with Superman, because I think some of that good-natured sunshine is exactly what Bruce needs to keep him balanced and sane.

So final answer, Superman is my favorite, but only by a nose.

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Old 10-06-2013, 08:46 AM   #11
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The man who dresses up as a bat!

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Old 10-06-2013, 10:51 AM   #12
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Superman, for all of the reasons you stated, plus, when it matters, it all comes down to this. Batman wants people to act good. Superman wants people to be good.

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Old 10-06-2013, 10:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Man of Steel View Post
Superman, for all of the reasons you stated, plus, when it matters, it all comes down to this. Batman wants people to act good. Superman wants people to be good.
And that's why I prefer Batman. He knows how people are, but he wants them to not harm each other anyways. Superman still lives in this bubble where good and evil are absolutes, like in fairy tales.

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Old 10-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shield View Post
And a Man of Steel that speaks his mind more. I'm over the strong silent type they've gone for in the last two movies. They did better this last time but they waited waaay too long before they let him speak.
Damn straight. MOS was leagues better than SR, but both had this odd problem of minimizing the amount of lines they give Superman. My own thinking is that this is actually a testament to the enormity of the character and his legacy, which makes it harder for a writer to sit down and think, "What does this guy actually say?" It's a little like trying to write the character of God, whom even John Milton found it difficult to make interesting.

I may prefer Superman over Batman, but I definitely don't envy writers of the former, because it really is hard to create realistic challenges to such an omnipotent character.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator Pleasury View Post
And that's why I prefer Batman. He knows how people are, but he wants them to not harm each other anyways. Superman still lives in this bubble where good and evil are absolutes, like in fairy tales.
Arguably, that was something Goyer and Snyder were trying to challenge with their controversial ending to MOS, which intentionally challenged Superman's moral beliefs and dabbled in shades of grey. It's interesting how people reacted to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batmannerism View Post
Sigh. That's a tough call.

While Superman is the hero we'd all like to be, all-powerful and always doing the right thing, and always flying off into the sunset with a smile
to the audience, Batman's probably a better reflection of what people
are like, flawed and a bit messed up inside.

If I had my choice, I'd be Superman in a heartbeat. yeah, it'd be tough
being at the top, and having all that self-imposed responsibility, but then after a tough day you can just fly to the moon or go sit on top of Mount Everest for a break.


Although I've been a batfan since I first saw that cheesy TV show as a little kid, I lean toward team Clark, just cause he's a nice guy who
looks after his mom, despite being an alien, with god-like powers - but mostly because, as you said, he's got those powers and doesn't use them to conquer humanity, or get rich and not give a ****, but instead takes on the thankless task of protecting us, of always doing the right thing.

When I was a kid, back in the 80's, I was very moved by SM IV: Quest for Peace, it was a terribly, really-terribly executed film, but the idea that a little kid wakes up one day, sees the insanity of the cold war, and says "Hey, why don't we ask Superman to save us." A bit like praying to Jesus
really (which builds on your messiah comment) - I believe God works in mysterious ways, but the beauty of Superman, is that you see a god getting his hands dirty and helping out in person.

Anyway, despite it's enormous flaws, the film was a great idea -and very moving, heartening that Superman was such a great guy that he would make the effort, and tragic, that even a god couldn't protect us from our own stupidity.

I really enjoyed the portrayal of Clark Kent/Kal-El in Man of Steel (okay, I loved Man of Steel, there I said it. And I was a huge fan of the Reeve movies). I thought that the slightly less boy-scoutish, more serious Superman was a better reflection of the times we live in. Sure, Clark frowns a lot, but he carries a heavy load.

However, having said that, here's some arguments for Team Batman:

- "I'm Batman" said in a gravelly voice is always going to sound cooler
than "I'm Superman."

- Batman has no super-powers, which means that any of us (provided we
had a genius intellect, mad ninja skills, and billions of dollars of disposable income) could be Batman.
this makes his triumphs, especially over Superhuman menaces,
much more meaningful.

- Batman has billions of dollars and instead of living it up large and enjoying himself, he tries to make society better....although maybe he could do it by creating more jobs and eliminating unemployment in Gotham city, rather than prowling the streets bashing the crap out of
criminals.

Really, he's punishing himself as much as the criminal underworld.
He could just take his wealth and intellect and become another Lex
Luthor, but doesn't (kind of like Supers and his powers).

- guilt, regret and obsession are part of being human. Batman's mortal and has all of our human failings, which make him a more relatable character (well except for the genius, billionaire ninja part). Potentially, Superman is immortal (well functionally immortal) which means his stories can go on forever -sooner or later Batman's clock has to run out, and we've seen some terrific endings, Miller's DKR (and I loved Nolan's TDKR). I liked All-Star Superman, but it didn't have quite the same resonance as DKR.

- Batman is always one step ahead of his enemies (in the comics anyway)

- Batman has a cool car !

Despite what other people have said, I like your thread ! I did a variation of it a while back, "Batman vs Superman, who will win ? who should win?" in the context of the upcoming film.

Threads like this get all kinds of emotional and strongly-held opinions out
into the open, which is what forums are meant to be about. Cheers.
Great post! I saw that other thread you mentioned when I was checking to see if there were any "who do you prefer" threads, but I'm glad you like the new one. Those are some great pro-Batman arguments you offered.

The bolded part is one of the reasons it's easier for me to be more critical of Batman, but I will say that while the Nolan movies had some reactionary elements, you have to give them credit for at least giving lip service to that issue. I think of lines from Batman Begins like "The first time I stole so that I wouldn't starve, I lost many assumptions about the simple nature of right and wrong".

I have to say, I am stunned by the results of this thread so far. The whole reason I originally created it was out of a sad acceptance that Batman was now the more popular character than Superman for the general public, and that the choice by Warner Bros. to bring him into the MOS sequel was a de facto recognition of this. The fact that Batman has so dominated the BvS board makes it doubly surprising to me that Superman seems to be doing so well in this thread.

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Old 10-06-2013, 01:55 PM   #15
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Wow! Superman leading the poll. I'm really surprised.
Btw Team Batman. A far more engaging and compelling character than Superman.

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Old 10-06-2013, 02:43 PM   #16
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Ill always be team Batman.

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Old 10-06-2013, 03:17 PM   #17
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The thing is, I think Batman is a technically better character than Superman. I think writing wise, he is a more interesting character to write AND to read about, his exploits are just more juicy. With Clark it's always bad guys causes trouble, Clark takes off glasses, gets into suit, saves the day. Batman has a big cast of characters and there is always something different going on. His stories are more noir and adult than Superman's, obviously.

But I think it's to be noted as you said, Batman was just created to be a different take on Superman besides being the pure good good-evil red and blue type of hero. He was like the night version of Superman.

But my only issue is, while Batman is supposed to be more of a reflection on the flawed state of human being, I still can't relate to him on that level of just being human. I mean never get me wrong, he is most definitely an interesting character but to me that is where I draw the line; he's interesting. He always is. He's glamorous, exciting and really cool to look at. But he isn't likable, he isn't relatable, he isn't ever in situations that the normal folk would find themselves in. He is as rich as Prince William and Prince Harry. He can have anything he wants and while it's awesome he uses that money to become Batman, there is still that jock, i-just-want-to-scare-people, angry guy throwing his weight around aspect to him. Almost all of his villains are some kind of reflection or metaphor of mental illness. The people who we are supposed to hate have mental health issues. The major part about that is it is something we cannot control because mental health problems means we cannot think or process thoughts appropriately. If they were criminal BEFORE they became mentally ill that does make for a good hate-able villain, but many of them do criminal deeds as a result of going insane. And then we're supposed to cheer when they are killed by Batman.

This in some small way is hearkening back to the playground bully. Yes, pick on the weird kid or the shy, troubled kid because they might be a psycho underneath it all. Pick on the eccentric or oddball kid because they aren't rich, flashy or outwardly bold. Because they're more cerebral or heady.

To me this is not a good message to give to young boys and Clark Kent/ Superman in all his incarnations to me has been a positive force for goodness, well-being and acceptance. He truly attempts to see good in others, before seeing the bad. I am not trying to say which character is 'better' or worse than the other. What I am saying, is that Superman is a more likeable, lovable, charming, kind, socially and economically relatable, as well as being a better romantic role model. Of course Batman is probably the more interesting character to read and watch and listen to. But I also don't have a gazillion monies to my name, so the only thing I can truely get from his stories is 'Ooohh, that looks cool.'

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Old 10-06-2013, 03:26 PM   #18
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^ Interesting, but I stopped reading when you said "killed by Batman"

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Old 10-06-2013, 03:37 PM   #19
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Batman has killed before. He prefers not to, but he does kill.

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Old 10-06-2013, 07:29 PM   #20
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This in some small way is hearkening back to the playground bully. Yes, pick on the weird kid or the shy, troubled kid because they might be a psycho underneath it all. Pick on the eccentric or oddball kid because they aren't rich, flashy or outwardly bold. Because they're more cerebral or heady.

To me this is not a good message to give to young boys...
This seems like a massive stretch to me.

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Old 10-06-2013, 07:36 PM   #21
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I love Superman too, but without the slightest shadow of a doubt, Batman all the way. I've been a Batman fan my whole life, as long as I remember. It was Batman that made me a fan of superheroes, and by extension the comic book medium. Without Batman, I in all likelihood wouldn't be reading - or perhaps even writing - comics today.

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Old 10-06-2013, 10:04 PM   #22
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This seems like a massive stretch to me.
Not really. If you look too closely at Batman, it's just a white male of privilege who beats up on people who are insane. The focus of mental illness = evil, and the fact that we are supposed to cheer whenever they're beaten is not necessarily a healthy message.

I realize this is a broad statement, and that some of Batman's foes are not mentally ill, but the point remains.

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Old 10-06-2013, 10:38 PM   #23
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Not really. If you look too closely at Batman, it's just a white male of privilege who beats up on people who are insane. The focus of mental illness = evil, and the fact that we are supposed to cheer whenever they're beaten is not necessarily a healthy message.

I realize this is a broad statement, and that some of Batman's foes are not mentally ill, but the point remains.
The connection he is making is Batman beating up insane criminals who assault, murder, rape, and terrorize citizens is somehow something that kids draw on to bully quiet, oddball, cerebral kids who are doing nothing wrong. That's ridiculous. If anything, it's an example of bullying or physically engaging the bullies, who might be a little messed up in the head. I can agree that that is not always the best way to handle things, especially in the school setting.


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Old 10-07-2013, 03:11 AM   #24
Batmannerism
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Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

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Originally Posted by TheOneWhoKnocks View Post
The connection he is making is Batman beating up insane criminals who assault, murder, rape, and terrorize citizens is somehow something that kids draw on to bully quiet, oddball, cerebral kids who are doing nothing wrong. That's ridiculous. If anything, it's an example of bullying or physically engaging the bullies, who might be a little messed up in the head. I can agree that that is not always the best way to handle things, especially in the school setting.

What a great thread, these kinds of discussions are what forums like this are for. Whether I agree or disagree, it's interesting to hear different points of view, hats off to the dude who started it.

Now IMO, while I'd much prefer to be Superman, swooping down from the clouds to sort things out, there's certainly a visceral attraction to Batman's brand of rough justice.

How often do we read a newspaper article about some scumbag who's escaped justice on a technicality, or some unsolved crime where somebody's gotten away with something terrible ? - On some level it'd be nice to imagine Batman out there, sorting out those thugs, and giving them a sound thrashing. Batman does what the police can't he doesn't
get caught up in the red tape, and isn't bound by rules of evidence that
shackle investigations in the Courts -but at the same time, Batman's
investigations are always correct, he never busts or sets up an innocent man - he's incorruptible and can't be bribed to look the other way.

While Superman seems to be about generosity of spirit and helping out
Batman is about justice, he's comfortingly black and white -right and wrong. He's also about our very basic human need for revenge, whereas Superman is usually above such things (I say usually !) Batman's about getting revenge on criminals in general, for his parents' murder.

However, I still think those billions could be better spent in creating jobs, or maybe influencing law reform. I mean, Batman does a great job dealing with organized crime, but does he cut off the drug supply into Gotham ?
Does he deal with domestic violence (which in my country is a huge problem).

By the same token, Superman could possibly share some kryptonian technology with humans, particularly some that would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, or would help clean up the environment....

....but these are superheroes, so that's hardly the point, the whole genre rests on the premise that the best way to deal with evil is to kick the
crap out of it.

If I had a point somewhere in there is that as someone else said Batman and Superman represent ideals - well, except when Batman's a bully, but then again, he's not meant to be perfect. He's Batman !

So, I'm still on team Clark, but only by the narrowest of margins.

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Old 10-07-2013, 03:18 AM   #25
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Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

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