Comic Book Epidemic: Batmans Capabilities: Overpowered?

The Situation


Batman and Superman trading punches in The Dark Night Returns

Over the past few decades fans have molded Batman into more than just an ordinary man wearing a cape and cowl.  The writers and audience have built Bruce Wayne into an unstoppable force that has overcome alien races, supernatural settings, and the whole Justice League, including the Man of Steel, with nothing more than prep time and inexhaustible funds. This “Bat god”, nickname donned by the frustrated comic book buffs, has been written and portrayed as invincible and matchless.  The origins of this notion may be found within the pages of Franks Millers The Dark Knight Returns when Batman, with the help of Oliver Queen and a Kryptonite headed arrow,  “defeated” Superman, humbling him by proving there is someone, namely Bruce Wayne, out there who can make a god-man submit.  Do we sometimes allow Batman’s faculties to become embroidered to the point where we no longer have justification in saying he is only a man?  Or is there validation behind Batman being able take on Darkseid and come out on top (excluding Batman: R.I.P. obviously)?

My Stand

I have to take the politically correct stance here and play both sides of the field.  Being a Bat-fanatic myself, it absolutely pains me to write this, but I believe in leaving, if not just a morsel of, the sense of plausibility in comic book story lines.  I am filled with a sense of uneasiness every time a writer throws Batman into a supernatural setting.  A mere mortal not only, somehow finding himself thrust into these situations, but supposedly now he is obligated to flawlessly escape, solving each issue he encounters along the way.  I metaphorically plead with the writer as I read; please do not make this corny or unrealistic! But this is not possible!  Other than exaggerating his capabilities!  Rendering the story, in most cases, unrealistic, even considering this is a comic book.  How else can you explain Bruce Wayne, a man, handling these conflicts other than in an unrealistic fashion.  Unless we as the readers begin to either re-create the character of Batman or lower our standards of plausibility in comics.

Now on the other side of this, I completely understand why there may be some call for this embroidering with Batman’s skills.  I doubt the writers provide Batman with such capabilities and technologies just so they can overpower him, but, in my opinion, so they can include him within the Justice League story lines.  Otherwise, Batman becomes the child left behind because he is too young to go to space with the big kids.


Geoff John’s and Jims Lee’s run on Justice League

Those Who Oppose: Why?

One reason so many of us became infatuated with this character, so much so, court ordered restrictions may have been necessary, was for the simple fact that we could be Batman.  Yea, martial arts training, schooling, and a tailored cape and cowl may be necessary, but that’s not to far-fetched, right?  This sense of potentially becoming a hero is luring to us as children because we could never be Green Lantern, unless selected by the Guardians of OA.  The odds of us having midi-chlorian in our bloodstream making us Jedi is, sadly, impossible.  None of us came to earth on a rocket-propelled ship landing in Smallville.  And I would never even imagine entering the grounds of a laboratory filled with scientifically modified spiders, yet alone regular ones!!!  But I could be Batman!

But this notion is destroyed, the exact moment Batman is considered to be affiliated with the other, unobtainable, demigods.  Fans resent story-arcs that ruin the likelihood of our ability to be Batman.  We love that he is just a man in peak physical health because this is obtainable.  Also not to mention the irritation that festers as you argue with a bat fan who, instead of using comic book facts and realism, pulls “because he’s Batman” out of his utility belt–most likely a yellow fanny pack.  Keep it real!  Or as realistic as possible.

breatheinspaceAll in Favor: Why?

Batman being punched in the face by Superman would result in him being obliterated, leaving behind, only his ashes and mythos in Gotham.  Now, I understand that Superman, being the nice country boy that he is, would restrain from using all of his force–unless the writer is Zack Snyder–making certain to not kill Bruce Wayne, but I doubt this considerably when the case involves the Justice Leagues’s villains.  So why does the audience root relentlessly for these types of conflicts to arise? And even more, why are they so relentlessly reluctant to admit that Batman would, realistically, meet his emanate death.  I think the answer lies in the fact that Batman is the original representation of a mortal hero within the DC universe.  Offering us mere men a sense of hope.  Witnessing Batman take Superman to his knees with intellect and technique imparts a sense of pride within us, not only as fans, but as humans as well.  Established in the origins of Bruce Wayne is a moral, most of us, overlook; we don’t need to be born with powers.  Yet, if we apply ourselves, generate self-discipline, and work effortlessly with what we hold at our disposal, we can overcome, even, unimaginable obstacles.  This includes titans that have the might to shake the foundation of the Earth!  Not only are we able to stand alongside these gods, but we are able to compete with them.


 Do you have some time to speak about Bat god?

Does this so-called “Bat god” exist?  An argument some fans pose is Batman has not actually been played up.  Being Gifted with an IQ at 190, mastering 127 styles of martial arts, and holding degrees in an array of different fields including forensic sciences, biology, criminology, and a plethora in addition;  not to mention his bank account being continuously maxed, making it, for the most part, probable to purchase the vehicles, labs, and technologies that he owns.  Why would it then not be considerable that Batman could use his intelligence and peak physical health to beat these demigods in a conflict?

So, Does “Bat god” exist and the writers and fanatical fans are giving Bruce Wayne way more credibility then he should receive?  Using this “Bat god” as a means to create scenarios where Batman is capable of bringing Superman to his knees and ultimately run circles intellectually around all those in the known DC Universe.  Or is “Bat god” a word created as a by-product of foot stomping, temper tantrum, toddler sized raged Superman Fans who grow tired of hearing about Batman winning?  Discuss in the comments below.


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