The long ongoing debate about which superhero beats the other can easily get people’s knickers in a twist, and regardless of the endless cases made for each side, die-hard fans are not easily swayed and would much rather go at each other’s throat than to betray their favourite superhero. So, of course, I am aware that I won’t be putting an end to this debate today, but that’s the fun of it, because what’s better than engaging in some playful banter about fictional figures that do not exist?
The Superhero Suit
So, most people tend to point out the fact that Superman looks ridiculous with flashy red undies over his pants, to which I would like to reply, bonjour people! All superheroes wear undies on the outside, well at least in the old comic books because, in the recent movies, they’ve all had a pretty decent makeover. And as to the flashy red and blue colours as opposed to the black and grey, or black and blue colours that Batman dons, what do expect if Bruce Wayne wants to be a “Dark Knight”.
I don’t think it would make sense for Bruce to call himself “Batman” or “The Dark Knight” if he had to go round at night wearing an orange jumpsuit. Plus, the red and blue combo is so awesome, even Spider Man couldn’t resist it. Also, for the record, such colours are really hard to pull off, so more props to Superman for looking handsome as hell.
On the other hand, Batman’s suit is... actually pretty cool. I admit he does look pretty badass in it especially in the recent movies. However, having said that I do have some mixed feelings about his “bat ears”. I mean, I understand that’s what ultimately distinguishes him as “Batman”, and that the ears are used as sensors to communicate by, but I kind of fail to take him seriously sometimes because I also find them comical. I know that he at least puts a mask on his face in order not to be recognized, unlike Superman whose disguise is a hat and a pair of glasses, but for someone who wants to be known as the “Dark Knight”, he’s made to seem less intimidating with those pointy ears. It’s difficult to distinguish between him and Catwoman sometimes.
Ok, so I don’t care how much people disagree with me, but the way I see it is that no superhero movie can really and truly surpass the 1978 Superman movie played by none other than Christopher Reeve. Yes, the flying and fighting look super fake because obviously there wasn’t the kind of technology we have today back then, but the whole storyline is just fantastic. It is dramatic, emotionally rich, heart-wrenching and exciting. Plus, Reeve was a great actor.
When it comes to Batman movies, however, I have never managed to watch one from start to finish. All of them seem lackluster to me, and the villains are a complete laughing stock. I’ll save you the endless rant on how and why The Joker is probably the most overrated villain of all time, but Penguin in the Batman Returns, what in the world? Not to mention that that movie was just altogether weird.
Now with Superman, I had never had a problem finishing a movie, until the Superman Man of Steel reboot came out in 2013 and left me with my wide open in disbelief. All I could ponder was on which cloud the director of this movie was on the whole time. The sweet, charming, light-hearted and kind superhero we all knew and loved was replaced by an arrogant [insert bad word here], who practically eradicated a whole city to “save the world”, with seemingly no care to the loss of human life. In the old movies, Superman would stop whatever he was doing, to save an innocent. Now he’s just blasting through buildings and making explosions with seemingly no care for humanity at all. Man of Steel was very disappointing to say the least.
Yet, even with this stupid movie hitting the big screen, Batman movies still suck, so Superman wins this round too. Sorry, Batman.
Now here is where I will hand it to Batman who had a much better start to the world of gaming.
The first Batman games released were by far more fun, diverse and full of excitement than the Superman games which were very boring and did not do justice to the Superhero at all. In fact, it’s like the game developers weren’t even trying.
To give you an example, just look up Superman 64 which was released in 1999 and compare it to Batman Forever which came out in 1996. The game is considered to be the worst game of all time. For starters, Superman 64 looked like it belonged to the previous decade. The graphics were terrible, and the setting of the game made no sense. The game was set in a virtual world where you had to make Superman fly through hoops. Yes, hoops, you heard correctly.
But, I will still not be too quick, to say that Batman wins this round, because those were just one category of games I’ve alluded to. There’s another side to the world of gaming, and that is online gambling, and in this case, the tables are completely turned. Excluding the modern online slot games based on the recent movies, the first Superman slots were by far superior to the Batman slots released at the time.
They had amazing graphics, and more importantly, they had a wide range of features. Superman II, in particular had wilds, scatters, a Superman wild feature, daily planet headline bonus round, skyline fight free games, phantom zone free games feature, X-Ray vision free games, multipliers, the battle for Metropolis feature and the Lois & Clark bonus round. In fact, at the time it had received a lot of positive reviews, and it is still regarded as being one of the best online slot games to this day:
“Superman is not just a hero, he is a legend and this game, by slot developing legends Playtech really does do him justice. If you are after high-octane action, superb graphics and sound effects, a theme that will keep you gripped from start to finish, and bonuses and special features that are quite literally, out of this world, then Superman II is the game for you. Once you start spinning and start landing wilds and symbols on the reels, you will be transported to a world like no other full of superheroes, supervillains, and more. This game maintains the incredibly high standards that Playtech are renowned for and it transforms one of the best film franchises of all times, into one of the best slots of all times. The bonus features offer epic winning sessions and prizes that just keep on giving!” - Casinos.co, online casino review site
On the other hand, the Batman slots were excruciatingly tacky and cringeworthy and had fewer features. Not to mention, Bruce had to share the limelight with either Catwoman or some lame villain like Penguin. Just have a look at Superman slot and the Batman & Catwoman Cash slot:
Need I say more? So, in this round, it’s a draw.
Superhero stuff aside, I feel we have to end this debate by talking about the characteristics and personalities of both.
I understand that being a bit of a bad boy is regarded as appealing in today’s day and age, like an enigmatic Damon Salvatore, but Batman is just a hot mess. People feel like they can understand Batman because he lost his parents and was practically traumatised from witnessing their deaths, but that is never a good excuse for someone who clearly has way too much baggage.
People say that that’s what’s great about him and what makes him a character they can relate to, but I’m going to have to disagree here. I’m not downplaying what he has gone through, but at the same time, the guy has a lot of psychological issues. He refrains from killing the Joker because he’s scared of ending up in a spiral where he kills all villains. His motivation is selfish. It's like he’s given himself the task of ridding Gotham from evil to be able to cope with the trauma he’s been through and doesn’t even do it well either. He just throws criminals in an ineffective asylum, then they break out, and history keeps on repeating itself.
On the other hand, many seem to have forgotten that Superman basically lost his entire world, and by that I mean his whole planet. Not only did he lose his parents too, but he’s also the only one left of his race. He grew up on a completely different planet and although he is more powerful than all humans put together, instead of conquering humans, all he wants to do is protect them - genuinely! He could easily annihilate everything in his sight if he wanted to, but he doesn’t. He is a god who wants to be a human, whereas Batman is a human who wants to be a god. So, yes, all things considered, Superman is still better than Batman.