EDITORIAL: Is Batman Really a Super Hero?
He's Batman! Of course he's a hero, right? I'm not so sure! Here, I take a look at the strengths of the Batman and ask you to decide whether or not one of the greatest comic book heroes ever created is actually a super hero.
With the huge influx of comic book movies hitting theaters, there are a lot of folks who have questions about the characters regarding many aspects of the characters and being that I'm the only geek that most of my friends and family know, they come to me with a lot of their questions. Most of the time, I am able to answer their questions with out a problem and if needed, I can always come here to the wealth of resources and knowledge that are the comic book movie users. But the other day, my brother came to me with a question that I never really considered: Is Batman a super hero?
Before I go on, let me clarify what is meant by the question, at least what my brother was asking. The fact Batman is on the streets taking down the bad guys and bringing justice to those streets is not what is in question. Rather, does Batman's lack of any "super power" keep him from being called a super hero? But what is a super hero? In my mind, a "Super Hero" is someone/something that has powers and abilities that take that being to a level that a normal person could not achieve: alien beings, genetically altered beings, etc. This is what caused me to question my answer that I initially gave. What I'd like to do is look at a couple different vantage points here and create some discussion as to what the answer is here.
Right off the bat, my answer was "Yes! Of course Batman is a super hero!" But I quickly back peddled and changed my answer to "Yes he is, but by association only." We all know that Batman is extremely well-trained in numerous styles of hand-to-hand combat and can hold his own against a number of people who actually do have powers and/or heightened abilities or strengths. He can do this mainly because of those skills, in conjunction with all of the high-tech toys and gadgets that he creates. He is also one of the greatest detective minds in the comic book world, but I don't think that allows the use of the title Super hero. Is Bruce Wayne/Batman of higher intellect and skill than the average human? You bet he is, but I'm not sure he falls into the Super Hero category.Having said that, the company that Batman keeps in the Justice League for instance, allows for people to associate him to earn a title of Super Hero...by proxy.
On the other hand, despite his lack of super powers, Batman is one of the most effective and hardest working heroes out there and is not afraid to take on rogues that would easily best any other normal Joe. Not only that, but will usually succeed in taking them down. Some of these folks have even beaten heroes with more power and abilities than the Batman, so he does not need to prove himself in order to be taken seriously as a hero.
To take things to a different level, one could argue that a character like James Bond should also be considered a super hero if Batman is, creating an interesting argument. Think about it: he has great fighting skills, some killer (literally and figuratively) gadgets, and a kick-ass car. He has taken on villains that pose both a physical and intellectual skill and both of them have had feline companions (so to speak) in Catwoman and Pussy Galore. Admittedly, I would say that Batman is probably the superior fighter, but all of the other comparisons are pretty substantial. So for those that consider Batman to be a "Super Hero", one would really have to think about placing James Bond in that same category.
So, to be honest, I really haven't come to much of a conclusion, and I think I will stick to my second reply of "super hero by association." That doesn't make Batman any less of an amazing character though, as he has a great, long history in the comic book world and I'd put him up against numerous other characters and my money would be on Bats a majority of the time (with the proper prep time of course *wink, wink*). What say you, the CBM masses? Is Batman a super hero or just a rich guy with way too much time on his hands? What are your feelings on the James Bond comparisons that I mentioned earlier? Are they legit or just random babblings of a bore CBM contributor? Sound off below!
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