“Batman” (1966) by Duane Eddy
"Batman" (1966) by Duane Eddy
I was talking a month ago with my friends, Rhys and Dave, at lunch, about the new Superman movie. I stated how I was looking forward to seeing it. But I definitely tail-ended my appreciation by officially stating that Batman was always better. I always feel the need to do that. It’s like saying how you expect the Wallabies to put up a good game, but you’d still expect the All Blacks to win.
I expected support, but! Rhys and Dave said, for them, Superman was far cooler than Batman. At that precise moment, I felt grabbing the backs of both of their heads and smashing them into their Mochachino Latte and Chicken Salad: “KAPOW!”, “ZLONK!”, “EEE-YOW!” They said Clark has alien superpowers. And it is of this one reason alone that Clark is far superior to the mere mortal, Bruce. And furthermore, Clark can fly … Unaided! I was comfortable, however, letting the conversation settle.
Last week, I was talking to some other friends, Robo and Steve, about the same subject: the new Superman movie. But this time, I added no tail-end. I wanted to see where these two stood. Luckily for me, neither of them were too fussed about the film! They hoped the movie would be good, if they intended on eventually ever seeing it. But they tail-ended their blessings by stating how, from day one, they’d always been Batfans. Thank god, I was in like company!
Off the top of my head, here’s three reasons why I love Batman:
* I’m a child of the 1990’s. Hence I was young enough to catch reruns of the campy 1960’s TV show. I was there during Tim Burton’s and Joel Schumacher’s films, as well as the Warner Brothers cartoon series, which was always broadcast just as I got home from school. And I was old enough for Chris Nolan’s spectacular trilogy. Simply put, Batman was of my generation. I know that Jerry Seinfeld is a huge Superman fan. But that’s because he grew up during an era when Superman was far more prevalent in the media. With the amount of Bat media I had growing up, how could I choose otherwise?
* the Caped Crusader has the coolest cavalcade of colourful crooks: the Penguin, the Riddler, Two Face, Scarecrow, Rahs Ah Gul, Catwoman, Clayface, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Harlequin, Bane, the Mad Hatter, the Ventriloquist, Killer Croc, the Man-Bat, Black Mask, Babydoll, The Terrible Trio, Mr. Zsasz, Prof. Pyg, the Clock King and of course the Joker. A superhero is nothing without a fantastic foe to fight against. (I’m being bias, but what does Superman have? A bald guy? Is that it?!)
I understand how some critics would denounce how incredibly silly and ridiculous each of the Batvillains are, with their quirky little themes. But let’s not forget, our hero has his quirky little Bat theme going on, too (the guy wears a mask with pointy ears, for god sake.) And that’s another reason why I love Batman – to fight loonys, you gotta be a little loony, yourself!
(To be fair, not all of Batman villains are that great. Take for instance, "Crazy Quilt": a guy who dresses up in a loud coloured costume that could be misconstrued as either a Lego puzzle or a gay parade marching leader. I forgot what his superpowers were because after I found out about his ridiculous costume, my interest pretty much ended there.)
* And finally, as showcased most especially in the Christian Bale version: Superman was ‘born’ a superhero; Spiderman and the Hulk ‘accidentally’ became superheroes, whereas the Bat ‘chose’ to be a superhero. That’s why Bruce Wayne is the most relatable of all of them. I guess that’s what Rhys and Dave can never understand. Bruce suffers from the complexities of what it means to be a mere mortal man. And it is of this one reason alone that Bruce is far superior to the hyperbolic Clark Kent.
I feel comfortable letting this conversation settle now.