Superman or Batman?

Puma Man!

Batman is better. The “all powerfull being” gimmic is the reason I’ve never cared for Superman. After all, I could stand up to all of those guys if I knew that I was damn-near indestructable. Batman actually has to think in order to beat most opponents. Previously, Superman only resorted to this arcane skill if the bad guys had kryptonite. Making Superman more vulnerable was without a doubt a vast improvement. Nowadays, Superman REALLY knows what it’s like to be a hero. :slight_smile:

“I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms.” -The Secret of Monkey Island

Ahh, on topic, Warner Brothers is again talking about making a Superman/Batman movie with Batman as the “bad guy.” Well, thats the rumour coming out of this page.

Guy Propski mentioned an Elsewhere comic book where Kal-El is adopted by the Waynes and eventually becomes Superbatman. I wonder if they explored what would happen if the Kents had adopted a normal kid. Without super powers or a family tragedy, there would be no incentive for Clark Kent to become a superhero, although it is possible for him to be something like Marvel’s Captain America–a hero with no superpowers like Batman, but with all the virtues we associate with Superman.

Still, it would make an interesting “What if…” story to imagine what Clark would have done if he had grown up normally. Would he still become a reporter, or was that occupation chosen merely so that Superman could quickly discover emergencies that need his help? I’d like to think that journalism was something that Clark was naturally interested in, and that he would still become a reporter. Of course, Superman eventually revealed his identity to Lois Lane and married her, but would the ordinary Kent have the same luck? Of course, would the ordinary Clark Kent be quite as “mild-mannered” as the one trying to hide a secret identity?

“Interested in fashion, Harmonica?”
“There were three dusters like these waiting for a train.
Inside the dusters were three men. Inside the men were
three bullets…”
Once Upon A Time In The West

There have been a number of alternate universe stories about Batman and Superman. One recent, “The Nail”, centers around the fact that Superman was the most important part of the Justice League of America. In this story, baby Kal-el is adpoted by an Amish family, who discourage him from leaving the farm or developing his powers. I won’t spoil the story for you, but it’s a wild trip.

The “new” Superman actually fits your description. In the revised DC universe, Clark didn’t exhibit superpowers until late adolescence. The Kents never told him he was adopted (or from another planet) until he was about 18. They raised him as an average farm boy from Kansas. So this Superman doesn’t think of Clark Kent as a secret identity; instead, he thinks of himself as Clark Kent, someone who becomes Superman. He became a journalist because he was interested in it during high school.

The stories play down the “mild-mannered” reporter bit now; Clark’s not the total wimp he was in the 50’s, always pretending to faint so he could change into the S-man. He also wooed Lois as Clark, not Superman

For sure Batman. Except for the Movie Batman. M. Keaton, get real! He’s not Batman. Val, much better. George, probably the best but 3 Batmans later, there is a problem with loyalty to a character. The comic Batman, and the TV Batman, they are better than Superman anyday. Plus, everyone in Supermans world must be stupid to not recognize him in a pair of glasses! At least Batman wore a mask.

Well, it depends what you look to these characters for. I’d rather BE Superman (in most ways - more below), but I’d much rather read about Batman, at least when it’s done well. There still seems to be a lot of problems keeping the character from degenerating into total silliness, though it can be done. Superman is pretty boring: Batman has to think of some way of being a superhero that you and I could do, at least in principle. When Superman is clever it’s in a novel use for heat vision or some-such-thing. I also like the fact that Batman isn’t really completely balanced. In the best stories, there’s always the feeling that he’s about to go over the edge. Superman is just so powerful that he has to be a goody two shoes or he’d be the world’s despot.
I agree with the observation that Superman has translated to the screen generally better than Batman, however.

But the main reason Bats is better is:

Curious Geoge said “For girlfriends, neither of them do too well, unfortunately. Lois Lane and catwoman aren’t much”. I don’t know, catwoman is drawn with a certain…something. And Batman at least has the POTENTIAL to have sex. If Superman ever had…well, a super-orgasm, we can expect that it would not go well for his partner ( Lois, of course - after marriage, missionary position, lights out). The forensic examiner would have quite a job with that one. (I suppose he could travel back in time and pick up a box of super-condoms from the pre-exploded planet Krypton, but would that be enough to stop super-sperm?) Since Supes can never have sex, at least with a human female, how much of a superman is he, really?
Batman on the other hand is a physically healthy, psychologically twisted American male who’s into black costumes. Much more interesting, at least when Robin’s not around.

Robin’s the worst part of Batman; I’m surprised no one mentioned him.

Actually, I think that Clark has a healthier sex life than Bruce. Assuming he’s a healthy male, and not quite as pure as the old comic books suggested, Clark would have noticed any problems whenever he masturbated. If he really believed that sex with Lois Lane was out of the question, he would not have ardently wooed her for so long.

Bruce, on the other hand doesn’t have a steady girlfriend. I do not think that the comics ever gave Bruce a consistent love interest. I think part of the problem is that Bruce is so secretive that he’s unable to open himself up to another person to have a long lasting relationship. That doesn’t mean he’s a monk, but probably that he has a series of one-night stands.

Getting back to what Guy Propski was telling about the changes John Byrne made to Superman’s character. It may be true that deep down Superman is Clark Kent, but the reverse is probably true with Bruce. Deep down, he’s Batman, and “Bruce Wayne” only serves as a cover for what he does as the Dark Knight. You don’t get a sense for what the “real” Bruce is like when his costume is off because there isn’t any. Only when he becomes Batman do we see the real person.

One last thing before I go–did anyone else have trouble logging onto the General Questions forum today?

“I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way…”
–Jessica Rabbit,Who Framed Roger Rabbit

They are both great characters, the better one to be determined by your own perspective. If you say who is stronger? Superman. Who has the cooler gadgets? Batman. Who is better is like asking who do you like better, and for that reason my vote goes to Spider-Man. (I know it was not one of the choices, but he is my favorite)

Well, if you’re going to open it up to all superheroes, I’d have to vote for the Green Lantern. I loved the power ring and what it could do. It was always hilarious when GL would defeat someone with a giant green lawn mower or tennis racket. Now that the new GL is actually an artist, his green creations are rendered with a lot more detail.

There was a science-fiction short story or essay, from about 1970, I think, about Superman that I would love to find again. It discussed the super-sperm shooting through Lois’ body like high-speed bullets. It also discussed the problem Superman would have going to the bathroom – would his super-stream crack the urinal? If he spits on the sidewalk, does it make a pothole?

The essay went on in this vein, it was hilarious. Alas, I can’t remember the author. Maybe some of you other old codgers know where I can find it?



I believe that you’re thinking of the essay ‘Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex’ by Larry Niven.

‘They couldn’t hit an Elephant from this dist…!’

Last words of General John Sedgwick

Forgot to give a URL to the text of the essay:

‘They couldn’t hit an Elephant from this dist…!’

Last words of General John Sedgwick

Wonderdog. He kept that kid from getting spanked.

I once read a Superman “Elseworlds” story in which Lois Lane was pregnant with Clark’s baby, but the fetus was superpowered, and when he kicked, he did serious internal damage to Lois. She ended up dying.

A couple of general things…One thing I like about the Batman Animated series, was that if you listened to the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne, you realized that the voice actor had three different voices. There was the Batman Voice, Dark and Menecing, the Bruce Wayne Voice, kind of normal if a bit bland, and their was the Bruce Wayne to Alfred Voice, which was a little different from the other bruce voice, that was Bruce’s real voice.

As for Men of Steel, Women of Kleenex, try to find a copy of Tom Smith’s Superman Sex Life Boogie for a hilarious send up on that essay.

>>while contemplating the navel of the universe, I wondered, is it an innie or outie?<<

—The dragon observes

Another comment on the post-Crisis Superman. Not only did the belated emergence of Superman’s powers mean that Clark lived a normal childhood, but it also explains why Clark Kent did not become Superboy. John Byrne said he didn’t want Clark Kent to become Superboy because it would take an edge out of the series–the reader knew Superboy would never be killed because then Clark would never grow up to be Superman.

Still, Clark Kent can have a normal life apart from being a superhero. How much more difficult it must be for Kon-El, if it’s true that he cannot age beyond 15 years. At first it sounds terrific, but he will be forced to change secret identities every few years or somebody will catch on. Also, unless he can find a female counterpart (I’m assuming he’s straight) who doesn’t age, Superboy can’t have a lasting relationship with anybody. Maybe he decides to wear green tights and start hawking peanut butter?

“I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way…”
–Jessica Rabbit,Who Framed Roger Rabbit

I just read Man of Steel Women of Kleenex. That was great, thanks!

I just read Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex. Too funny! It reminds me of those books that try to analyze Star Trek’s pseudo-science and draw extended conclusions from it.

“I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms.” -The Secret of Monkey Island

If you ask me I have to go with Neobican, in the world of super-heros none is beter than Peter Parker ( A.K.A Spider-man) he is the prime example (beter than clark or bruce ) of what a realy person would be like if they got “strange new powers”. peter faces the problem that being a super hero doesn’t pay and takes up a lot of work/girl friend time. Bruce is rich and dosn’t worry about women (he’s got robin…nah I won’t say that) and clark is everywhere, everytime doing everything, it’s not real. Sorry this is so long but hey gota speak my mind.

oh and don’t even get me started about GL

no matter where you go…there you are