Yeah, yeah, I know Batman is supposed to be the World’s Greatest Detective and all, but seriously, he’s a moron. This is a guy with nearly unlimited wealth, near-super strength, agility, speed and constitution, and the intelligence of Einstein, Sherlock Holmes and Leonardo DaVinci rolled into one good looking, debonair, suave and sophisticated package. And, instead of curing cancer, or becoming President, or becoming a judge or policeman, or inventing some life-saving new device that might have helped save his parents lives, what does he do?
He puts on a mask and fights crime with his fists.
I mean, try to imagine if Bill Gates were to do something like that. Now, I’m not saying nerdy Bill is the equivalent of hunky Bruce Wayne… Hey, stop laughing! Well, OK. I admit that was a bad example. Let’s try someone like Jet Li, instead. This is a guy who, in his early years, you’d have no trouble seeing as a kick-ass kind of guy. He’s also pretty well off, earning over $60 million in 2007. So, it’s conceivable that someone with his physical skills and wealth could have potentially become a Batman-like superhero, right? In his 20’s he could very well have dressed up as a giant bat, or snake, or panda, or something and solved crimes while kicking the crap out of criminals in Hong Kong. The Chinese equivalent of Batman, Jet Li would be a very believable, real life, Chinese vigilante.
Hey! He could be PandaMan!
Imagine it, PandaMan swinging from rooftop to rooftop in Hong Kong, his shadowy, furry figure striking fear into the hearts of criminals. The police chief’s giant panda spotlight calling him forth from his Panda Cave, the PandaMan roars out into the night in his Pandacycle to right the wrongs done to those who lacked the means to buy their own justice. Solving crimes no one else can using only his improbably ultra-clever mind, and sometimes his astonishingly super-powerful PandaComputer, the Pandarangs he throws knock the villains he’s after on their collective butts as the thankful citizenry of the People’s Republic cheer him on.
I bet you’re literally laughing at all that nonsense.
Yet, when it’s Batman in Gotham city in his Batmobile, you’re willing to believe it, right? Because he’s supposed to be fictional, not real. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How can I dislike Batman so much yet still call myself a Spider Man fan? There’s one very good reason, Spider Man has super powers, Batman doesn’t. Super powers make Spider Man, Superman, Wolverine and all the rest truly fictional. But Batman is supposed to be a “regular” guy who just happens to wear a mask to fight crime.
And to me, that makes him stupid.
OK, maybe he’s not really all that stupid, and it’s the people around him that are the true idiots, but it amounts to nearly the same thing. Batman solves crimes in the most asinine and backwards ways possible. He also always winds up having to punch someone in the face in order to stop them from doing something evil instead of figuring everything out and telling someone who could end the problem in seconds. I mean, he’s friends with all the most powerful superhero characters in the DC universe, right? Why hasn’t anyone shackled him to his Batcomputer and made him solve crimes so that the other superheroes can go stop the bad guys? Or how about having him spend his time figuring out what the truly dangerous criminals were plotting next and come up with plans to stop them before they even begin? Or how about he spends his time discovering super-villain secret identities and then tell the police so they can raid their homes and arrest them? He could change his name to AnswerMan, or The Informer, or some such nonsense and, instead of getting his butt kicked by the Joker or Mr. Freeze again, make Superman capture them and spend his time wooing the ladies instead.
Doesn’t that sound a hell of a lot smarter than what he actually does as Batman?
Plus, Batman is always getting the better of every superhero he happens to fight, yet the bad guys almost always find a way to capture him, or beat him to a bloody pulp before he ultimately triumphs. It’s so frustrating. Does anyone truly believe Superman couldn’t beat Batman in a fight? I mean, Supes has super speed, strength, invulnerability, etc., etc., etc. Sure, old Bats might have some kryptonite somewhere, but if Supes seriously needed to take Batman down he could hit him so hard and fast Bats wouldn’t ever know he was down until he woke up in the hospital missing his lower jaw. Same goes for the Flash, or Wonder Woman, or hell, even Aquaman could kick his face in without a real problem if he wanted!
And seriously, if Aquaman can beat you up, you’re pretty pathetic.
Lastly, there’s the whole secret identity thing. Batman is a regular guy who regularly and repeatedly gets his face punched in. He’s constantly bleeding all over the place, usually in the bad guy’s lair or at a crime scene and yet no police officer seems to collect that blood and try to match it up to DNA evidence to find out who it might belong to. Doesn’t that strike you as farfetched? I mean, if there’s a string of crime scenes that happen to have blood everywhere from an unknown person, don’t you think someone on the police force would take notice? His mask doesn’t hide his chin does it? So why doesn’t someone scar his chin on purpose and then figure out who he is? Or how about all his gadgets? It’s a given that those would cost a hell of a lot, right? Can’t anyone figure out that if the toys are expensive then at the very least a rich person is financing Batman?
Can’t anyone in Gotham follow the money?
And what about Bruce’s face? He’s always being beat up, right? Doesn’t anyone notice when a billionaire playboy shows up at public events, speaking engagements, dinner parties and so on with a severely beat up face? No one puts that little puzzle together? There’s no celebrity rag in Gotham hunting for a big story on The Bruce Wayne? No private detective who’s hobby is trying to figure out who Batman is? The Riddler can’t deduce who Batman is? And yes, I realize he did last year, but still, it took him for-freaking-EVER to figure that out. None of the ladies he’s been with have noticed all the scars on his body? Not one of the people from his past who found out about his secret identity ever tried to blackmail him?
See? Now you’re wondering, too.
All in all, I find Batman to be the least believable super hero out there BECAUSE he’s supposed to be the most believable. Taken one at a time, you can overlook any of these arguments, but taken together you can’t deny that he’s a horrible, horrible superhero. If they gave him a power, even a lame one like super intelligence or something, then I could suspend my disbelief and like him. As it is though, I just don’t like him because he’s… well, he’s stupid.
Of course, I’m still going to go see the movie. It’s gonna ROCK!