Batman vs. Superman

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The one thing i always hate in these arguments are the “But if this was a REAL fight,” which is silly since you’re discussing fictional characters. So you actually have to place the fight on the character terms. Batman wins, not because he’s better prepared, but because his character is fundamentally presupposed to win. His character is that he has to face impossible obstacles constantly:

1. fight crime in a perpetually corrupt city, which as a function of story telling, literally never gets better. So 20 years in, or 40 years in, Batman’s job has not made anything better. But, he can’t stop. He’s pretty much sisyphus in spandex.

2. he also must combat epic-level dangers, and be able to hold his own and be a leader to super powered characters. And since he’s right next to very powerful characters, he can’t be shown as weak, so he’s developed this meta-power of always being prepared.

Since his existence is one of perpetual struggle – victory – struggle, if he lost, it’d undo his character completely.

But Superman is almost the opposite. He’s not a human cursed with a literary hell on earth, and remaining just sane enough to call himself human, he’s an alien who’s godlike, masquerading as a human. So, he must constantly be humbled, defeated, and rise again. Which is messianic in it’s nature, which is what the character represents. So when Superman confronts Batman, he loses, but loses until he realises he shouldnt be fighting Batman anyway. Pitted against each other, they must fulfill their character arcs, so Batman wins, continues in hell, Superman loses and returns to heaven.

Its perfectly reflected in their cities, and enemies. Batman lurks in the dark wet Gotham fighting demonic villains (twoface, joker, killer croc) whereas Superman flies above the skies of sunny metropolis fighting Lex Luthor (A god among men) Darkseid (a literal New God) and Mxyplyzyk (A 5th dimensional God).

So Batman wins, cause he’s written to. But his life sucks in the long run.

Superman loses, but he gains in humanity.

24 thoughts on “Batman vs. Superman”

  1. Thanks! i don’t normally write on this blog, but i was reading a fanboy argument about this, and got irritated.

  2. Thanks! i don’t normally write on this blog, but i was reading a fanboy argument about this, and got irritated.

  3. Thanks! i don’t normally write on this blog, but i was reading a fanboy argument about this, and got irritated.

  4. I can’t really argue. All of my replies are like “Dude, he’s got LASER EYES.”

  5. I can’t really argue. All of my replies are like “Dude, he’s got LASER EYES.”

  6. I can’t really argue. All of my replies are like “Dude, he’s got LASER EYES.”

  7. One of the best “Who Would Win” arguments I’ve seen in a long, long while.
    Of course, now you have me thinking of what “winning” could be defined as. Assume Batman loses/dies, he has an incredibly large “family” (for a loner…), many of whom share his “crazy-prepared” worldview, suggesting that it would not be entirely unlikely that they’d do the whole “This is proof that superhumans should be eliminated” schtick, use the Batman Files, kill Superman (and probably disable/kill most of the Justice League to prevent retribution – not all of Batman’s “family” is as against killing as Batman is), and so on. Of course, the reverse is likely true as well. And since Batman’s main goal is to protect his city and more generally the world, if he had to spend all his time preventing effective retribution from the superhuman community, he may have beaten Superman but he would still have (in many ways) lost, since his life’s purpose would by necessity have to be put on the backburner. Similarly, Superman is all about being Boy Scout, if he beats/kill Batman, it would be a major blow to his own self-image (particularly if the fight was over idealogical issues rather than mind control) which would (given the way Superman is typically characterized) likely send him to a very dark place (LOST). And depending on why they were fighting, there’s a good chance that Batman may have arranged that, if he should fall to Superman, the defeat would cause some major victory for Batman’s goals (WIN).
    S’crazy complicated.
    AAAAAAAAnd by the by, been a fan of Motro for a while now. I really enjoy the feel of it and its settings.

  8. One of the best “Who Would Win” arguments I’ve seen in a long, long while.
    Of course, now you have me thinking of what “winning” could be defined as. Assume Batman loses/dies, he has an incredibly large “family” (for a loner…), many of whom share his “crazy-prepared” worldview, suggesting that it would not be entirely unlikely that they’d do the whole “This is proof that superhumans should be eliminated” schtick, use the Batman Files, kill Superman (and probably disable/kill most of the Justice League to prevent retribution – not all of Batman’s “family” is as against killing as Batman is), and so on. Of course, the reverse is likely true as well. And since Batman’s main goal is to protect his city and more generally the world, if he had to spend all his time preventing effective retribution from the superhuman community, he may have beaten Superman but he would still have (in many ways) lost, since his life’s purpose would by necessity have to be put on the backburner. Similarly, Superman is all about being Boy Scout, if he beats/kill Batman, it would be a major blow to his own self-image (particularly if the fight was over idealogical issues rather than mind control) which would (given the way Superman is typically characterized) likely send him to a very dark place (LOST). And depending on why they were fighting, there’s a good chance that Batman may have arranged that, if he should fall to Superman, the defeat would cause some major victory for Batman’s goals (WIN).
    S’crazy complicated.
    AAAAAAAAnd by the by, been a fan of Motro for a while now. I really enjoy the feel of it and its settings.

  9. One of the best “Who Would Win” arguments I’ve seen in a long, long while.
    Of course, now you have me thinking of what “winning” could be defined as. Assume Batman loses/dies, he has an incredibly large “family” (for a loner…), many of whom share his “crazy-prepared” worldview, suggesting that it would not be entirely unlikely that they’d do the whole “This is proof that superhumans should be eliminated” schtick, use the Batman Files, kill Superman (and probably disable/kill most of the Justice League to prevent retribution – not all of Batman’s “family” is as against killing as Batman is), and so on. Of course, the reverse is likely true as well. And since Batman’s main goal is to protect his city and more generally the world, if he had to spend all his time preventing effective retribution from the superhuman community, he may have beaten Superman but he would still have (in many ways) lost, since his life’s purpose would by necessity have to be put on the backburner. Similarly, Superman is all about being Boy Scout, if he beats/kill Batman, it would be a major blow to his own self-image (particularly if the fight was over idealogical issues rather than mind control) which would (given the way Superman is typically characterized) likely send him to a very dark place (LOST). And depending on why they were fighting, there’s a good chance that Batman may have arranged that, if he should fall to Superman, the defeat would cause some major victory for Batman’s goals (WIN).
    S’crazy complicated.
    AAAAAAAAnd by the by, been a fan of Motro for a while now. I really enjoy the feel of it and its settings.

  10. I find your thoughts interested, and mostly agree. But i tend to think that the bat family wouldnt hold together unless batman was alive.
    But generally, i think the batman character is essentially about loss to begin with. Superman is about gaining (he’s adopted, gets stronger as story dictates, gets the hot wife).
    So when i think about every fight i know that batman DOES fight superman, he does normally win. Then loses right after, specifically remembering DKR and Superman: Red Son. He’s crazy prepared..at surviving.
    And thanks for reading motro, been on a long hiatus!

  11. I find your thoughts interested, and mostly agree. But i tend to think that the bat family wouldnt hold together unless batman was alive.
    But generally, i think the batman character is essentially about loss to begin with. Superman is about gaining (he’s adopted, gets stronger as story dictates, gets the hot wife).
    So when i think about every fight i know that batman DOES fight superman, he does normally win. Then loses right after, specifically remembering DKR and Superman: Red Son. He’s crazy prepared..at surviving.
    And thanks for reading motro, been on a long hiatus!

  12. I find your thoughts interested, and mostly agree. But i tend to think that the bat family wouldnt hold together unless batman was alive.
    But generally, i think the batman character is essentially about loss to begin with. Superman is about gaining (he’s adopted, gets stronger as story dictates, gets the hot wife).
    So when i think about every fight i know that batman DOES fight superman, he does normally win. Then loses right after, specifically remembering DKR and Superman: Red Son. He’s crazy prepared..at surviving.
    And thanks for reading motro, been on a long hiatus!

  13. I really enjoyed this, maybe more than I should have. I like these dynamics of “humility vs. ability,” and that you think outside the story and talk about what it dictates about them.
    I’m always put off when people pick Bat or Supes over the other because one is the end-all in terms of being cooler/stronger, it’s superficial and almost like politics. This was really refreshing, and something I’ll remember.

  14. I really enjoyed this, maybe more than I should have. I like these dynamics of “humility vs. ability,” and that you think outside the story and talk about what it dictates about them.
    I’m always put off when people pick Bat or Supes over the other because one is the end-all in terms of being cooler/stronger, it’s superficial and almost like politics. This was really refreshing, and something I’ll remember.

  15. I really enjoyed this, maybe more than I should have. I like these dynamics of “humility vs. ability,” and that you think outside the story and talk about what it dictates about them.
    I’m always put off when people pick Bat or Supes over the other because one is the end-all in terms of being cooler/stronger, it’s superficial and almost like politics. This was really refreshing, and something I’ll remember.

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