Art & Culture

We need Batman more than Superman today

Neena Haridas
Neena HaridasMar 28, 2016 | 14:07

We need Batman more than Superman today

We had all been waiting for the big fight for justice by the two most compelling superpowers from the world of DC comics: Superman vs Batman, the first time that the duo came together to set the world straight. For all superhero geeks, this was it. The two invincible characters who could put down the villains once and for all. Ben Affleck (Batman) and Henry Cavill (Superman) seemed like a plausible pair to get the job done in Dawn of Justice. Sadly, the world we live in is far more complicated, even for Batman and Superman.

Batman is more human than Superman.

I have always been a Batman girl. His measured silence, intensity, sulks, temper, and of course the fact that he is loaded and owns cool gadgets made him superhero-worthy. But what really appealed to me as a child was that he is human, one of us, just that he was more courageous and brave.

However, I learnt rather quickly that being a superhero geek does not make you very popular in school, especially if you vote for Batman. You end up topping the weirdo list. The cool-girl gangs can be rather uncharitable, and the boys don't want a girl in the clique either. But yes, you have a bit of a chance if you are a Superman fan.

Most girls prefer Superman to Batman. Superman, being an alien, has an edge over Batman when it comes to the girls' club. One, he is better looking than Batman, has a glamorous job as a photojournalist at The Daily Planet and always flies right in time to save a damsel in distress. Above all, there is romance and glamour with his secret love for fellow journalist Lois Lane. Show me a girl who does not like a bit of chick flick romance and I will show you a liar.

In comparison, Batman scores low on the romance quotient. Despite his multiple trysts with Catwoman (with a few promising kisses with Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, an almost lover boy look at Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises), nothing really ends up in a happily-ever after. Instead, he cuts a pathetic figure who lives with his Butler in his family home spending much of his time brooding inside the Batcave. Girls like men who are intense and mysterious to an extent, but too much of it comes out bit creepy like Norman Bates.

I remain a Batman girl.

No, not that I don't like Superman but he is not as real as Batman. With all his kryptonite dilemma and alien genes, it is difficult to see Supey as one of us. Meanwhile, it is easy to relate to Batman (unless it's George Clooney in Batman & Robin). Orphaned at a young age with an inheritance and a Butler who takes on the father-figure, Bruce Wayne, is someone you want to love and look after when he is not wearing his gear. You can imagine him growing up alone in the Wayne mansion with expensive toys to keep him company. You can understand his need to be alone in his den, his shyness and discomfort around women.

Batman, especially when played by Christian Bale, is human and humane compared to Superman who can fly, read minds, see through your clothes and has extra sensory perception. Come on, with all these powers it's got to be easy to fight off the villains, with a love life on the side.

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne has to actually fight it out punch to punch with vicious villains like the Joker, Bane, Lux Luthor, Two-Face, all more powerful than the other, with nothing more than a costume and some high-tech gadgets. At the end of the day, he is a regular guy with a heart of steel. That's it.

Given the way our world is shaping up today, may be what we need is a Bruce Wayne, with or without the mask. At least, in the comics the villains are made up. But the villains who bomb Metro stations, airports, cafes and marketplaces have no qualms killing thousands of innocent people or die for the cause. They are as real as they can get. There is no superhero with superpowers coming to help us fight these villains who live among us. This job has to be done punch-by-punch by one of us, Batman-style.

Last updated: March 29, 2016 | 11:34
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