Batman vs Superman
Exploring the Ways that Batman and Superman Combat Crime, Their Ideologies, and How They are Portrayed in Society
At MoonAtMidnight.com, we revel in all things Batman - from our wide inventory of Batman t shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts to a plethora of data concerning the Caped Crusader. Right now, we're looking into the long-standing debate: Batman versus Superman. For many years, these two renowned super-heroes have been pitted against each other, and now we are exploring the details of their method for preventing crimes, ideologies, public images and rivalries as superheroes, with examples that emphasize the primary contrasts between these remarkable icons.
Obviously we are not the first to want to compare these two super heroes.
The relationship between Superman and Batman has been one of the most iconic partnerships in comic book history. While their personalities and approaches to crime-fighting may be different, they have always shared a deep respect and admiration for each other's abilities. They have teamed up countless times over the years to save the world and protect the innocent, and their friendship has been a source of inspiration for generations of comic book fans.
One of the key aspects of their friendship has been their ability to complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. Superman's powers and idealism have often been a source of hope and inspiration for Batman, while Batman's intelligence and strategic thinking have helped Superman navigate complex situations and overcome obstacles.
Their friendship has also been a reflection of the broader themes of justice and heroism that have defined the DC universe. Superman and Batman represent two different approaches to fighting crime, but they share a common commitment to protecting the innocent and upholding the values of truth, justice, and the American way.
Batman versus Superman Comparisons
Dawn of Justice film poster
Batman: Possessing a broad array of skills such as martial arts, stealth, and technology, Batman is an impressive crime-stopper who uses logic, instinct, along with an arsenal of gadgets to apprehend perpetrators. Generally, he opts for a non-lethal technique involving frightening villains, detective work, and shrewd tactics. An exemplary instance is the Bat-Signal employed by Batman to intimidate wrongdoers while simultaneously notifying law enforcement of his whereabouts.
Superman: Conversely, because of his extraterrestrial origins, Superman is endowed with incredible capabilities such as the capacity to fly, unbelievable strength, and immunity. These powers permit him to fight crime all over the world, promptly capturing wrongdoers and rescuing countless lives. For example, Superman has the capability to utilize his heat vision to disable bombs or save captives from afar.
Due to suffering a heartbreaking tragedy in the death of his mom and dad, Batman declares a solemn tenet of no-killing in order to protect others from experiencing the same plight as him. An instance of this is seen in the comic narrative Hush, where Batman rescues the Joker from being executed by another vigilante, regardless of their vehement enmity.
This is what many fans believe. Perhaps it is because the "No Killing" rule is Batman's "Only Rule" is mention in The Dark Knight. However, multiple stories lines not only in the comics but also in other media indicate this not to be the case.
In the early days of Batman DC stories, when he was first introduced, Batman did not have any concern about the lives of his enemies. His first confirmed kill was in Detective Comics #27, where he knocked Alfred Stryker into a vat of acid. Batman continued to murder criminals, cause their deaths or leave them in lethal situations. In some stories, he also wielded a pistol. This violence continued until Batman issue#1, where he gunned down Hugo Strange's henchmen and hung one of the Monster Men with a noose from the Batgyro. Complaints from parents whose children had become devoted in following Robin & Batman, led editor Whitney Ellsworth to create a policy for prohibited killing from their published comic book characters . "Heroes should never kill a villain, no matter the depths of his villainy."
Later in 1954 the Comics Magazine Association of America created the Comics Code Authority's guidelines to prevent government intervention. Comic books, including issues of Batman and Detective Comics, had to abide by these codes if they wished to be published. The “Comics Code", lasted until the early 21st century when the remaining three major comic publishers broke with the CCA in 2010 (Bongo) & in 2011 (DC and Archie).
But there were many instances during the 1970’s and onward when Batman began to take a somewhat looser approach to non-lethal crime-fighting when he found himself reacting in self-defense that indirectly lead to incidents causing a death. Despite this, he still would not use guns. However, swords and bows began to reenter his arsenal when the DC writers introduced Ra's al Ghul and his League of Assassins.
Crisis on Infinite Earths
In 1984 with the celebration of its 50th anniversary in 1985, DC decided to release the major crossover event, Crisis on Infinite Earths designed to recalibrate DC's rather convoluted continuity. As a result, many of the origin stories were changed in Earth One/New Earth/Prime-Earth and Batman’s character once again embraced the no kill philosophy. However, with the introduction of the DC Multiverse / Earth 2 and the Earth 31, Batman’s character turned darker. In Batman: The Dark Knight a four issue mini-series written and drawn by Frank Miller, published by DC Comics in 1986 and The Dark Knight Returns, Batman is depicted as more brutal and violent compared to his other counterparts. He is willing to use torture to gain information and even use guns when necessary. In the sequel Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Batman has abandoned this previous no kill codes, and now uses vehicles and weapons to kill opponents.
In the 1960’s Batman TV series he does not use weapons nor kill any of his enemies. Batman actually attempts to save criminals from situations that were potentially lethal. In DC’s animated series, Batman is slightly darker than his TV character, but he nevertheless abides by the rules to ensure justice is held and that the Gotham authorities can do their work.
Batman as depicted in films does not follow the "No Killing" rules. In Tim Burton’s films he makes use of weapon attached weapons, such as missile launchers, machine guns and explosives.
In Joel Schumacher, the Batman character seems to retain rules against killing criminals. Likewise, in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, Batman adheres strictly to non-lethal tactics. In fact, Batman retains the rules during The Dark Knight, not using any weapons or firearms in fights and avoids indirect kills.
Clark Kent is Superman’s alter ego. He is an idealist and believes that as a reporter, he can create as much or even more positive change as Superman. Clark admits that Superman is not suited to doing all things since Superman primarily solves many problems with his fists. On the other hand, inspired by his background on Krypton and the morals taught to him by the Kents, Superman ultimately stands firmly behind faith, fairness, and the betterment of all. This is demonstrated in the seminal Death of Superman narrative, where Superman gives up his own life to protect the planet from the formidable enemy Doomsday.
Regardless of times they are viewed in unison, Batman and Superman have also commonly been portrayed as opponents due to their divergent thoughts on how to battle criminal activities and morals. In the Dark Knight Returns comic book series, an aging Batman takes up his cape once more, leading to a conflict with Superman due to their diverse ideals concerning justice and lawbreaking. In the end, Batman defeats Superman through his shrewd tactics and inventiveness, displaying that even an average human can take on a superhuman being.
The Dark Knight Returns
As Bruce Wayne, Batman conceals his true identity as a vigilante while maintaining an image of a millionaire playboy to mask his activity at night. There isn’t really a lot of back story for Bruce Wayne in DC Comics Batman storylines. We know Bruce Wayne is the rich socialite and the quiet, reclusive head of Wayne Enterprises. Aside from ill-fated relationships with Talia Al'Ghoul and Selina Kyle, Bruce Wayne’s life seems to be a series of one-night stands. It almost seems that Bruce Wayne is nothing without Batman. He's just a shell of a character. However, being Bruce Wayne allows Batman to live the life he really wishes: to be a shadow in the night that deals out as much punishment as he takes while matching his wits against a series of villains as he protects Gotham. The wealth of the Bruce Wayne persona gives Batman the opportunity to defend those he loves and finance his crime-fighting operations.
In the movies, Bruce Wayne is portrayed as both an idealist and a realist. He has a driven and focused nature and is dedicated to achieving his goals. Deliberate and measured, he meticulously thinks through plans before taking action. He approaches problems from a logical perspective and is full of new ideas. He doesn’t accept the status quo or long-held traditions, preferring to make his own judgements about what makes logical sense. In the movies Bruce Wayne, is a known playboy and one of the most eligible bachelors in Gotham, with a highly publicized dating life. The movies have filled out Bruce Wayne’s character far more than DC Comics.
“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
Batman Begins, 2005
To read more about his love interests in the movies go to this site.
Batman / alter ego Bruce Wayne
Superman: Superman has an alternate identity as Clark Kent, a mild-mannered journalist for the Daily Planet, enabling him to stay informed about global news and remain inconspicuous. Superman is viewed as an emblem of optimism, motivating individuals around the planet with his steadfast focus on fairness.
Superman / alter ego Clark Kent
Superman and Batman's relationship has undergone significant changes over the years, reflecting the evolution of their characters and the wider DC universe. In John Byrne's The Man of Steel #3, Superman begins to view Batman as a more antagonistic crimefighter who operates outside the law. Meanwhile, Batman develops a wariness towards Superman's immense power and potential for destruction should he ever be corrupted by evil.
Yet despite their differences, their friendship is rebuilt over time, based on a hard-built trust and a shared commitment to justice. In Action Comics #654, Superman entrusts Batman with a piece of Kryptonite, recognizing the need for a fail-safe against his own potential threat to the Earth.
Their partnership extends beyond their own individual storylines, as they worked together as members of the Justice League and shared their secret identities with each other before any other members knew them. While their methods and approaches may differ, they continue to offer each other support and assistance in various storylines, such as "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" and "No Man's Land."
Their friendship is not without its challenges, however. For instance, in the "Hush" storyline, Batman discovers that Superman's wife, Lois Lane, has been kidnapped and used as a pawn against him. While he ultimately helps Superman rescue Lois, the experience further highlights their differences in approach and worldview.
And then in 1986 the four-issue comic book miniseries, The Dark Knight Returns , starring Batman, written by Frank Miller, illustrated by Miller and Klaus Janson is published..
While the depiction of Superman and Batman as enemies in The Dark Knight Returns may have been shocking to some fans, it was also a reflection of the changing times and the desire to explore new facets of these iconic characters.
While their differences may create tension and wariness at times, their commitment to justice and shared history as the World's Finest Team ensure that their partnership remains one of the most enduring and beloved in all of comic book history.
Moreover, the Batman vs Superman debate extends beyond their individual abilities and delves into the broader implications of their actions. Batman's vigilantism brings up considerations about the usefulness of the judiciary process and the ethical consequences of handling justice independently. The graphic novel "Batman: The Killing Joke" delves into the blurry boundary between order and insanity, confronting Batman with a harrowing realization that there might be more similarities than differences between him and the Joker.
Kingdom Come DC Comic
On the other hand, Superman's superhuman power raises worries concerning absolute control and the burden that accompanies such terrific force. The storyline "Kingdom Come" considers the repercussions of superhumans imposing their will upon the world, leading to a potential dystopian future. This story emphasizes the moral complication experienced by Superman, as he faces a challenge of safeguarding mankind while simultaneously honoring their independence.
Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice film poster
In addition, the clash between Batman and Superman has served as an inspiration for multiple adaptations in film, animation, and game formats. The movie from 2016 entitled "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" explores the ideological clash between the two heroes while simultaneously setting the stage for the formation of the Justice League.
Game: Injustice: Gods Among Us
NetherRealm Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
In "Injustice: Gods Among Us", NetherRealm’s 2013 fighting game featuring the heroes of the DC Universe was widely lauded as a great game, BUT for many comics fans, the authoritarian take on Superman and the Justice League was a step too far, earning Injustice a reputation of being home to a twisted version of the DC Universe. The story line occurs in an alternate universe in which Superman becomes a tyrant and Batman, who is the godfather of Superman’s child is forced to battle against his former friend. In this story line Superman becomes a tyrant, establishes a new world order after the Joker tricks him into killing Lois Lane, and destroys Metropolis with a nuclear bomb.
The debate of who is a better superhero, Batman or Superman, may never be solved however it is the discrepancies between them that keep lovers of comic books entertained and continue to thrive. Through their contrasting methods of crime-fighting, morals and public images, DC Comics give fans an extensive range of tales and characters to savor.
Ultimately, the Batman vs Superman debate is not merely about determining the superior hero, but rather a fascinating exploration of complex themes, ethical dilemmas, and the enduring appeal of these legendary characters. The intricate narrative of stories and interpretations related to Batman and Superman will keep attracting devotees for generations to com.
For all the devoted fans of Batman and Superman, MoonAtMidnight.com offers exclusive memorabilia that puts the spotlight on these remarkable characters. Keep an eye out for more thrilling material regarding the mysterious Dark Knight and the indomitable Man of Steel.