Saturday, January 15, 2011

Only Human First Part: Why Batman Is Awesome

Everybody loves Batman. And what's not to love about him? He's got 'em all. Brains, brawn, and a lot of bread. Ever since he started dressing like a bat and kicked criminal's asses back in 1939, the Dark Knight had become Detective Comics' second greatest superhero, scaring the shit out of Gotham City's lawless underbelly.

Whenever there's a boot kicking a bad guy's head off the panel, that's Batman.

I can still remember when I was a child in ’91; after a good dinner I would race to the TV every Friday night, turn on the set, and tune in to Batman: The Animated Series, and watch the square-jawed Caped-Crusader beat the crap out of the criminals ruling the otherworldly and noir-like landscape of Gotham City. When other kids of my age are having wet dreams of being Superman, Spider-man, or Captain Planet, I dream of becoming Batman.

. .  And twenty years later, nothing had changed. After a good dinner I would race to my PC every night, turn on the CPU, and play Batman: Arkham Asylum, and watch the impossibly-ripped Caped-Crusader beat the crap out of the criminals ruling the gritty and dark landscape of Arkham Island.



And why do I like Batman? Because he's only human, just like the rest of us. Unlike Superman, who is a goddamn Kryptonian, or Green Lantern, who has a godhood sitting on his middle finger, or Thor, who is a motherfucking Norse god, Batman is only a mere mortal. He proved that you don't have to be genetically enhanced to make the criminal underworld piss their pants at the mere mention of your name, or to be an alien to make an entire league of super-powered beings tremble at your presence, especially if one of them is "more powerful than a locomotive" and "faster than a speeding bullet".


And potential sexual predator, too.


All it takes is a human being. When all of media is drowning us how smashing it is to be a mutant, or genetically pre-disposed, Batman reminded me it’s also great to be jsut a common mortal. 

 He's so awesome, a few years back we’ve been flooded with this awe-inspiring quotation from Batman about the epicness of being a man, and how puny Superman will be in front of him. You might have received this through email or text messaging: 


We can imagine the Caped Crusader articulating those words in the Man of Steel’s face, possibly while wearing his kryptonite-encrusted knuckles and kryptonite-ladden kevlar, and at the same time going over the bazzilion of strategies he has in his mental flow chart on how to kick Superman’s ass, just in case the Kryptonian decides to fight back.  


Did you like the kryptonite-laced burritos, Clark?



Though how awesome it might look like, sorry folks, it just never happened, and probably never will. To set the record straight, Batman never said those words. He might be spending each night scaring the shit out of hardened criminals, but he is not really the kind of dude who'll badmouth about his fellow superheroes, not even if he has the tricks up in his dark, braced sleeves to beat the crap out of every single one of them. Even if that person is Superman.

 This happened, though.


The aforementioned statement came from the movie Angus, a run-of-the-mill and easily forgettable teenage comedy. Angus’ grandfater uttered those lines. But since that movie ranks very high in suckage, we won't further discuss that here.



Pictured: Not Batman. Not even close.


But if Batman is only human, just like the rest of us, that means everyone can dress like a bat, learn some karate, start jumping off rooftops, and beat the shit out of the every criminal in the streets? Right?




You can put down the cape and cowl now, dude, and give those batarangs back to your little brother. Because the answer is a resounding no. This is one of the biggest misconception lingering in the comic book nerdom. That if you have a crapload of money, and has a knowledge on some neck-breaking martial arts, then you can be Batman. After all, we belong to the same type of species. Homo Sapiens. Nothing special.


Now, we're busting that myth here. Because being Batman is well... not hard. No. Not even difficult. It's hellishly impossible. As freaking impossible as the rest of the DC Universe. And that includes the all-powerful Kryptonian Superman, the lightning-fast Flash, the Amazonian princess Wonder Woman, and Martian Manhunter, who is, well, a martian. Not to mention the Green Lantern, who is some kind of a cosmic police.


Hollywood-worthy Space Police.


And why? Because it will take more than a human being to wage war single-handedly on crime, corruption, and violence that had overtook and rooted deep for decades in a city that is trailing it's way straight to decayville, and at the same time juggling a lot of equally malevolent and trigger-happy villains. And did I mention he's running a multi-billion company and doing a lot of detective works with very minimal crime samples?


Yes. It will take more than just a man to be Batman. Liam Neeson already said that. And man, you don't argue with Liam Neeson. Not ever.


Because he's a Jedi. And you don't want to mess up with a Jedi.


And how badass in detective work Batman is? Let's take DC seven-issue comic book series Identity Crisis for example. In this critically- and highly-acclaimed series, Sue Dibney, the Elongated Man's wife, is mysteriously murdered inside her home by an unknown suspect. Take note that this is a superhero, the equally badass Elongated Man's, wife that we're talking about here. And she's living in a house protected by Kryptonian (Superman's race), Martian (Martian Manhunter's species), and Thanagarian (Hawkman's people) technology, folks who are millennias ahead of us. Which means that even Death himself will have a freaking hard time just to get past inside that house. Let alone murder the superhero's wife.



But shit still happened. 


One of the saddest moments in comic book history.


Meaning that whoever did this must be one hell of an exceptional murderer. Someone that can go through all levels of security that League's combined technology can put up. And not only that. After the murder, a barrage of death threats came over to the super heroes' loved ones, meaning that the killer not only knows who they are without their masks, but is serious as shit in targeting the people close to them.



After spending the entire day in sincere mourning, the entire DC world hunted down villainville, while the others scoured the crime scene, doing the autopsy, looking for clues for the suspect's identity. And we're talking about the CSI of superheroes here; Doctor Mid-Nite, Mister Terrific, Oracle, the Elongated Man himself, and other clusterfuck of super dudes helping out to piece this puzzle.


And Batman? He's locked out in his cave, doing his own investigationHell, he didn't even bother to attend the funeral. He went straight on tracking down the killer, probably with gnashing teeth and all.


The Batcave. Where Batman knows where you live (and what are you having for breakfast).


And while the others are examining physical evidences, and interrogating other criminals, desperately trying to reach a conclusion but failing time and again at each turn for the past six issues, Batman spends the entire time staring on a bunch of pictures, that includes photos of the crime scene, and a gallery of villains. Possibly acting out in his mind how the whole goddamn thing happened.


We don't know who the guy on the upper-right is, but we're pretty sure he had molested somebody.


And after a few pages more, shit start turning creepy.


"And after that, please make our suspect's head explode."


Yep. That's right. He just freaking figured everything out. While the rest of the other guys are connecting their brains and holding their scalpels and criminal records and magnifying glasses and all, and arriving at virtually nothing, The World's Greatest Detective conveniently zeroed in on the real offender of this complex whodunit, with only a stack of pictures on his table, and probably a few cups of Batman Sugarless Coffee. So what the heck happened? Did he developed psychic power over time? Called God? Asked Alfred? We'll all be damned if we know. Just remember, he's the goddamned Batman.


Thus he alerted the entire League, igniting their anger and vengeance to hunt down the culprit (which they did) and at the same time making them feel miserable and stupid for being a pile of useless investigators, and probably having thoughts of entering "Batman's School of Bad Ass and Very Useful Detectives" for good.






If you enjoyed this article, check out the continuation in Only Human Second Part: A Guide On How To Become Batman. Also, check out which weapon should Batman have with him in Goodbye Earth, or what his enemies facing him could be feeling in First Call.


Anonymous said...

good job.... bruce

Anonymous said...

green latern is also a mere human. he was just given the ring.. while batman owns a billion dollar company and a set of anti - weapons. while on the other hand batman winning against superman and talking about the kryptonite is just a load of crap. And i think that what your going to reply with would be the instances that batman beats superman on some issues of comic books on those comics that is how they want it to appear but on power basis he is still a mere human.i think the most probable title for this one would be The Egoistic perspective of Batman.