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Batman’s superiority evident

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Batman vs. Superman debate is the hottest thing to hit The Observer since the Vagina Monologues, and I commend The Scene for their bravery in printing Berrios’ and Fitzpatrick’s articles (“Superman more than mere mortal,” “Batman’s humanity is key,” Feb. 12) – needless to say this is this year’s version of “SMC Girls are Parasites” and a precursor to next year’s “Waffles vs. Pancakes,” but I digress.

Bruce Wayne is often discredited as a superhero because people argue that the large sum of money he inherited has enabled him to become the Batman. Money, these heathens argue, is his only superpower. However, Bruce Wayne is not merely a billionaire playboy, as he might come across in Batman Begins.

We cannot forget that although there are many billionaires in the world, it is not every day that Bill Gates hits the streets to fight crime. It takes bravery, courage, dedication, strong moral fiber and a lifelong commitment to physical training to become a self-made superhero, and money cannot buy these things.

Moreover, where does Batman shop for Batman gear? I must once again beg readers to forget what they have seen in Batman Begins and remember that Batman’s secret identity is a closely guarded secret. He cannot simply hire a scientist to create his gadgets, or a mechanic to build a Batmobile, lest he rouse their suspicions. Furthermore, last time I checked there are no local superhero gear shops … anywhere – as if Bruce Wayne or Batman could simply waltz into one and make a purchase anyway. No, it is Bruce Wayne’s brilliance, (something else that money cannot buy), which not only helps him solve mysteries and talk his way out of sticky situations, but invent and build the many gadgets that make Batman the hero he is.

Another important facet of the argument that Berrios and Fitzpatrick left out of their own articles is which superhero would win in a fight. The answer, of course, is Batman. In the comics, Superman recognized his potential to be a threat to humanity and entrusted Batman with a kryptonite ring to use against him should the need arise. Although this ring was destroyed (probably to Batman’s benefit, because kryptonite proved to be a carcinogen) he did continue to keep kryptonite in his belt (presumably in a pouch lined with lead) and in the Batcave.

Some would argue that Superman could easily vaporize Batman from space with heat vision, to which I respond, try it. Preparedness is Bruce Wayne’s motto, and I am certain that in addition to his hip flask of kryptonite, he has outfitted his home, his vehicles and his suit to withstand at least preliminary blows from Superman’s most outrageous abilities. Constant readiness proves that should a fight between the two occur, Batman would be the surviving superhero.

In closing, I would like to loosely quote a classic 1995 film, Angus. Angus is a film about an overweight high school kid struggling to fit in. This movie best explains why Batman is undoubtedly superior to Superman in every way. Superman may stand for “truth, justice and the American way” but that does not make him brave or courageous. As Angus’ grandfather explains to him, “Superman is indestructible, and you can’t be brave if you’re indestructible.” Instead, it’s people like Batman, people who “are different, and can be crushed and know it. Yet they keep on going out there every time” that are admirable. Don’t be a Superman, he warns his grandson. Be brave, be a Batman.

J.J. Cappa


Keenan Hall

Feb. 12