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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Batman vs Superman.

It's the Clash of the Titans! Superhero Kumite to the Death!

Actually I don't care who will win in a dickfight. I'd really prefer to know - which of them will win your heart?

Now I may be a science geek, but when it comes to comics, I'm as ditsy as a buxom high school blonde with pink ribbons enjoying a small tub of strawberry swirl ice cream.

I'll give you a minute to relish that mental picture.

OK, as I was saying, even to a comic book airhead like myself, the contrast between Batman and Superman could not be more obvious. The only thing in common between these two characters is that they are both "superheroes" in name. The difference though, is literally as clear as night and day.

Just check out these fashion photos.

Batman the Dark Knight lurks in the shadows of the Night. His true identity hidden behind a mask. His human vulnerability shielded by his armored costume and utility belt filled with bizarre gadgets. Moody, mysterious, and morally ambiguous, Bruce Wayne's tragic childhood experience has turned this privileged kid into one mean vengeance machine.

Baddies watch out. He strikes fear into the heart of his enemies.

Or into any heart. If I saw him coming I'd run away screaming like a little girl.

*nervous little laugh*

On the other hand, Superman the Man of Steel can usually be found standing triumphantly on tall skyscrapers in the light of Day.

Preferably near a flapping US flag.

He is showing his true face as Kal-El. In fact, his stint as that wimpy reporter Clark Kent with the body weight of a styrofoam board is his disguise. (Kill Bill 2 has a superb dialogue based on this observation. Cool dude that Quentin Tarantino!) He displays his sculpted body proudly in a skin-tight costume with bright colors and a long red cape. He doesn't need any armor or gadgets since he is a super alienoid with special powers that lets him fly and bend tempered steel. His eyeballs can shoot lasers and even deflect bullets! Forthright and righteous, his loving childhood experience has given him a clear sense of responsibility to help the weak and defeat the baddies.

He emanates a feeling of strength and compassion. If I saw him coming I'd share my strawberry swirl ice cream with him and then giggle like a little girl. With such twinkling lovey-dovey eyes that you would run away screaming from me.

So, who do I prefer?

Based on the number of sentences I have written for each superhero, my favorite is (you've guessed it!) - Batman.

"Huh? Didn't you just wax lyrical about Superman?"

It is true that I have written more sentences to describe Superman. I wrote less for Batman because I didn't need to write about him. I can identify with him.

Sure, wouldn't it be great if you were born some superalien already complete with invulnerability (Kryptonite? Puhhhlease...), flying powers and amazing strength? Then you can use your abovementioned capabilities to fight evil and save the world! Hurray!


Bruce Wayne on the other hand is not invulnerable. He can't fly and can't hold a candle to Kal-El's strength. Since he cannot beat baddies on brute strength, he has to use his smarts and lots of effort to learn technology and design weird contraptions to save his ass. His innate motivation to fight evil is less than honorable and he knows it.

He eats, sleeps, shits, bleeds and has issues like anyone of us. To make the best of what little we have, to be aware of our own shortcomings and prejudices, and to do what is right in this world of noisy and conflicting moral systems...

This is the triumph and tragedy of being human. Both sides of the same coin.

You dig?


mathia said...

Superheros who are so busy saving the world they don't know how to wear underwear properly??? No thank you, neither appeals. If I could chose, i'll go for aladin -- walt disney version, the part before he gets the palace etc, when he's a street kid stealing the princess and taking her through the backstreets, or showing her a whole new world on magic carpet rides. Peter Pan's good too, but tinkerbell could turn out to be a real problem..............hehehe. Superheros save damsels (and kids and old folks and kittens and whoever else in distress) from evil folks and terrorists, but unless you live in the middle east or equivalent, we really don't need superheros do we? the good old neighbourhood Mr Policeman is enough. What we really need is someone to save us from ourselves and our dreary days. Its Aladin and Peter Pan, not the princes or knights or superheros, that can do the job.

Xisla said...

I have Peter Pan issues. When I hear that name I see Michael Jackson's face... :(

ah said...

Read this, it might appeal to your inner science-child-er... thing.

Kinda tricky being superman...

Xisla said...

Yes I've read that before.

Superman has issues of global proportions.