Of Syria, Batman, and Superman

Opinion Poll

Syria-articleLargeWhile answering questions for a political survey this morning about possible US action in Syria, I first go through about 8 questions, then the poll starts to ask me the following series of questions:

9) Are you a fan of Batman?
10) Which of the following was the best Batman actor?
11) Do you think it is a mistake for Ben Affleck to be cast as Batman?

So at this point I’m like, “well that is an odd transition, but okay… I get it. A lot of people seem upset by the Affleck decision and this is an opinion poll and they want to know how people feel. 82651-AflacDuck_headshotPersonally, he seems like an odd choice, but I’ll likely see it either way.

But the survey continues:

12) Are you a fan of Superman?
13) Which of the following was the best Superman actor?

No question in my mind, it was Christopher Reeve. But that’s not why that last Superman movie was sooooo bad. But I digress, on to the next question.

14) Who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman?

Wait… what?!!! Really??! Weren’t we just talking about war-torn Syria only 6 questions ago? And now you want me to answer who I think would win in a fight between two comic-book superheros?

PubbatmansupermanlogoIgnoring the fact that this question is in a survey, meaning someone paid to have this question asked, meaning the producers of the upcoming movie are waiting on the results of an opinion poll instead of just focusing on good writing. But the stark contrast between Syria questions and “Batman/Superman fight” questions made me put a bit more thought into the whole concept behind the upcoming Superman versus Batman movie thing (which honestly, I didn’t really care up until this point).

So after a few seconds of thought I think, “where’s the choice in the survey for, they wouldn’t?” I’m no comic-book expert, and I’m sure when this happened in the comic-book series they had some great plot device [ahem, kick-start slacking sales], but…

As far as I’m concerned

a) They really should remain set in totally different worlds. Superfriends was a fun cartoon when we were 7 years old… but when you’re trying to make a convincing movie that seems relevant to people older than say, 13, then lets not start mixing metaphors. That’s just bad story telling. And haven’t we seen enough of that from Hollywood lately? (Apparently, not)

b) Lets just say you make the mistake of mixing the superhero worlds (which apparently they are doing) … the problem is that they are both crime fighters. Their Raison d’être is standing up for justice and taking care of others. A series of events that lead to a drunken bar fight… yeah, I can believe that. But an actual fight, where grudges are held for long periods of time … where they are trying to do actual-physical-harm to each other. I don’t buy it. It’s not in their personalities, it doesn’t make sense.

c) Okay, lets say you come up with some plausible excuse for Superman to fight Batman. Perhaps there is this global catastrophe and in an act to save the world Superman must choose “the needs of the many against the needs of the few … or the one.” As a direct result of his actions, Superman’s decision to save “the many” kills Batman’s daughter. (Yeah, I said his daughter. Didn’t know he had one? Well, we’re making stuff up, right. Besides, I can’t really say that such a decision would result in the death of Batman’s latest love interest, because we already saw that plot in scratchy voiced Batman movie number 2 in which Batman was faced with that very choice. Come to think of it, Superman had to make the same choice when he let Lois Lane get swallowed up in that earthquake (although that was all conveniently resolved thanks to the Completion Backwards Principle.


Anyway, yeah, lets say that Batman is so angry and distraught by the death of his daughter (at Superman’s hands) that he is burning with rage and decides he wants to destroy Superman. We finally get to the question, who will win such a fight?

diehardSuperman, obviously. I mean, Superman is cool and all, but what make’s Batman so awesome is that he’s just a guy.. he’s one of us mortals with some gadgets and an attitude. It’s his lack of superhero powers that makes him the more interesting character. Batman IS the John McClane of superhero crime fighting (notice that they are both Bruce W.).

That’s precisely why these worlds should remain separate: Superman is interesting when he battles super villains. Batman is compelling because he fights greedy, corrupt, and powerful humans. So it’s not a fair fight. Superman wins because he has superpowers.

Well, unless Batman has kryptonite… then Batman wins. (See how stupid this is?)

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