By Travis Martin
So “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” has released in theaters, and a trailer of “The LEGO Batman Movie” has also released online. Yes, Batman has a strong appeal, but what about Superman? What about the Man of Steel, who possibly the greatest superhero ever created?
Sure, my favorite superhero film is “The Dark Knight,” with a compelling story, intriguing action, and a brilliant villainous portrayal from the late Heath Ledger. I even think the costume and Christian Bale‘s version of the hero was inspiring. But now, we have yet another Batman with Ben Affleck taking centerstage, and Will Arnett playing an animated lego version all the while adding his own snarky voice to the hero. There are even other forms of media based on the Dark Knight, from video games like the “Batman:Arkham” series and to the upcoming “Telltale’s Batman.“ There was even the heart warming social media spark that came from Batkid, where cancer-stricken five-year-old Miles Scott was given a chance to be Batman’s sidekick for a day with the entire city of San Fransisco participating. It is all however becoming too much.
Think about this for a moment: Batman, as a character, is basically an obsessive, brooding billionaire who still has not gotten over his parents death. If we think about it, his whole reason for doing good is out of some form of PTSD or despair. Now, it is compelling don’t get me wrong, but should we be obsessing so much with Batman because of that?
In a video he posted on Youtube called “Regarding Clark,“ screenwriter and comic book writer Max Landis explains why Superman is the greatest superhero. Imagine Superman, having all of these great powers, like strength, flight, heat-vision, invulnerability. He’s basically a god among men. But, why hasn’t he conquered the world? It would be easy. It’s because doing good is at the core of what Superman is. He is a boy scout, but he chooses to do so because he can. He is just a farm boy from Kansas who just happens to be more powerful than most men. Also, on his secret identity of Clark Kent, why keep it? He has to have a full time job, wear normal clothes over his costume, and as Clark Superman is not that charismatic with the ladies. Clark probably has to pay taxes like the rest of us. Why over complicate things as a superhero with a normal life?
But what’s more is that Superman, despite being strong, isn’t going to beat an enemy in order to beat them. He fights so that he can save them. With these powers, Superman can either be a savior or a conqueror. So, choosing the latter, this makes him feel responsible for all of these fragile humans. To me, Superman represents truth, justice, and hope. Hope for a better tomorrow for all of humankind.
Clearly, Superman is a lot more complicated, and, like what Marvel Studios were able to do with other boy scout Captain America, can be written in a compelling way. Hollywood, don’t sideline Superman for Batman, because frankly I’ve had enough of the Bat. Give me a compelling Superman to cheer for, instead of criticizing. Below is the video I mentioned before. Watch it, and understand how Superman can be great again.
Image by Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_v_Superman:_Dawn_of_Justice)