Batman and Superman: Opposite but the same

In anticipation of the “Batman VS Superman – dawn of justice” movie coming out in the nearer future, I had a few thoughts about the two characters mauling in my head. But before I get into that, I just have to sidetrack myself. Is that really the title of the movie? Man! It’s such a long title, I almost fell asleep typing it out and had to use my spell-checker several times.

Back to the point of this blog post: Batman and superman are both such famous superhero comic book figures, both are from DC comics and they are both of the oldest comic book heroes that are still in print. They had such a good run, mostly as solo careers, but also in the strange, weird and wonderful cross-overs and alt-timelines over the years.

In a way, they are complete opposites:

  • The one is the dark knight, he hides in the dark, bends the law (but doesn’t break it…), dominates with fear and believes humans are inherently bad and need to be dominated by a higher force. His alter ego is well known and operates in the limelight mostly.
  • The other is the one who operates as hero in plain sight, with his face open for all to see. No mask, no hiding. Instead his alter ego is the one that is hidden, undercover, operating below the radar, no one being able to identify him.

These two are exact opposites, with their roles totally reversed. The one’s “hero” face is the other’s “normal” face and visa versa. These two have everything that would make them go at each other, in that they see and handle life differently.

But are they really that different? After closer inspection, you can see that these two characters have more in common than meets eye:

  1. Yes, obviously, they are both “super heroes”, let’s get that one out of the way first. They both operate under guises, fighting against crime and any greater evil.
  2. They both have been born with a silver spoon in the mouth, and didn’t have to do anything for the rest of their lives if they wanted.
    1. Bruce Wayne is a billionaire, he could live off his family’s money and party all his life.
    2. Clark Kent is… Superman! He could easily have made it big as a professional athlete with his speed and strength. He can easily rob the world’s richest criminals and dictators and roll in the money.
  3. Yet both decided to sacrifice a life of leisure for a greater purpose.
  4. Both are orphans, and the loss of their biological parents had a profound impact on both their lives.
  5. Both have a really big weak point
    1. Superman is allergic to kryptonite, to the point that it can easily kill him. If you have that stuff, you can own him. In spite of the fact that he is larger than life, he can actually be defeated very easily if you have a brain.
    2. Batman has no super powers! He is just a man, and a single gunshot or accurate stab with a blade will kill him.
  6. Both prefer to work alone and don’t trust other superheroes with their identity.
  7. Both have awesome, kick-ass butlers…
    … no, wait, that’s only Batman, so that mean he is still cooler than Superman :)
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