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Point: Superman more than a mere mortal

Marcela Berrios | Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Before Rommel and Montgomery, or Lennon and McCartney. Before Tom and Jerry, or Hillary and Obama. Before Britney and Christina. Oh wait, that last one already has a clear loser.

Before any high-profile rivalry that may come to mind, there was Superman and Batman. It’s Superman and Batman, not Batman and Superman.

My esteemed colleague Jay Fitzpatrick will have you believe Bruce Wayne’s alter ego is better than the one and only Man of Steel. Jay is young and he means well but his I-love-explosions-and-cool-cars reasoning is exactly what drove the Batman fans at Warner to give us “Batman and Robin” in 1997.

How can one forget those opening lines?

“I want a car. Chicks dig the car,” Robin says.

“This is why Superman works alone,” Batman replies.

Ba dum chh. Not even George Clooney himself could keep the movie from putting the final nail in the coffin of the entire Batman franchise.

And while “Batman Begins” undeniably returned some much needed credibility to the so-called Dark Knight, one cannot forget so easily how many times Batman has proved to be a joke in the past.

“Batman Begins” is a well-made film that features a shirtless Christian Bale in a training montage and very likeable sidekicks in Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. But the glorious return of Batman didn’t come without flaws. The movie also put Katie Holmes in a role as annoyingly self-righteous as only her role in “Dawson’s Creek” could have been.

So don’t be fooled by “Batman Begins.” Batman still sucks.

Let us never forget that he and Robin have set gay men 50 years back on their quest to gain social acceptance and shed the awful stereotype that portrays them as immoral. If the Dynamic Duo just came out already they could help educate the more conservative Americans on the contributions of gay men to society.

But Batman – unlike Ellen – is a chicken so he won’t do that.

What he will do, though, is use his money to buy expensive cars and gadgets and trick Gotham City into thinking he’s a superhero. Anybody with those resources could put up a decent fight too.

And that’s exactly when Jay tells me that Bruce’s willingness to use his millions to fight crime is what actually makes him a hero. He seems to forget that Superman also has powers and abilities that he altruistically chooses to use to protect Metropolis.

He could easily be an NFL quarterback, or single-handedly bankrupt FedEx by charging customers less and guaranteeing a 30-minute delivery to anywhere in the world.

But he doesn’t do that.

Instead, he hides behind a pair of glasses and becomes a journalist. A journalist. That my friends, is what awesome people – or in his case, aliens – do. He writes compelling, conscientious articles with well-phrased leads and whenever possible, puns. I bet that if he had studied at Notre Dame, Clark Kent would’ve worked at The Observer.

And a man like that is a far better catch than any millionaire playboy.