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May 7, 2007

Okay, so Batman came up again recently and as I started to get defensive, my husband Timothy suggested a blog entry … perhaps because he didn’t want to hear me get defensive.

I am tired of people trying to tell me that Batman’s not a real superhero. The debate comes up time and time again, so I’m just going to settle the issue once and for all here.

1. Batman is a hero. Webster defines “hero” as “an illustrious warrior,” “a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities,” or “one that shows great courage.” Batman is, similarly, super – especially at being a hero. “Super” is defined as “of high grade or quality,” or “exhibiting the characteristics of its type to an extreme or excessive degree.” No one can argue that Batman is neither of those things. Thus, he is a super-hero.

2. As shown above, no – one does not need super powers to be a super hero. One only needs super powers to be a freak.

Exhibit A: Spiderman. Bitten by an infected spider and unwilling took on spider-like characteristics: Freak.

Exhibit B: X-Men. Mutated chromosomes. I like X-Men, but you have to admit you’re really splitting hairs about the more appropriate term: “super” or “freak.” They’re superheros because they’re heros of a high grade or quality, not because, say, their skeletons are made of an indestructible metal. They’re superfreaks because their skeletons are made of an indestructible metal.

You can’t even really make the argument that said freaks are super-human, given Webster’s positively infalible definition. Review: “exhibiting the characteristics of its type to an extreme or excessive degree.” There’s nothing human about being able to control the weather, scale buildings, or suck the life energy out of someone.

Then someone always brings up Superman. Superman, let’s not forget, is an alien. That’s all. We don’t refer to any other alien sightings as “superhero sightings,” so why this guy? Because he has a weak spot in his heart for the human race? If I deposited you on a planet of intelligent, self-aware slugs they’d worship you too, but that doesn’t make you a superhero. Again: superhero because of actions, not because of physical abnormalities.

All that said, Batman’s just as much a superhero as the rest of them. If not more, in certain circumstances, because we all remember the issue when Spiderman tried to quit vigilantism. Sissy.

And when it comes down to it, if you were in a dark alley at night in Gotham City, you’d be wishing you had a bat signal.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. The Academy Against Apathy permalink
    May 7, 2007 7:33 pm

    no such thing as BatMan or Superman. Everything else is segregated superhumanized version of Jesus Christ. Howsever I think you could win any debate a comicon.

  2. The Academy Against Apathy permalink
    May 8, 2007 4:02 pm

    wow it looks like I think in broken english.

  3. Lex permalink
    May 8, 2007 8:39 pm

    Ya, I was wondering …

  4. Tami permalink
    May 9, 2007 5:44 am

    some very good points, lex. and might i make two more?

    1. ask ANY kid (for whom comics were originally created)…definitely, superhero. no contest.

    2. xmen: i believe “mutant” is their preferred PC term.

    oh…and check out the hillsongkids song “jesus is my superhero” some time. i know scott has a copy. love it.

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