Is Batman the best superhero ever?

The Batman prepares to discharge the Batclaw.

Courtesy Photo

The Batman prepares to discharge the Batclaw.

Tyson Head, Editor

He is vengeance. He is the night. He is Batman. The Caped Crusader has been striking fear into the hearts of psychotic clowns, monocle-wearing dwarves, two-faced politicians, and self-proclaimed geniuses since 1939. 

He is the smartest and strongest a human can be, and most importantly the greatest tactician in the universe. Let’s pull out the wrap sheet, shall we? Over the years, Batman has beaten Superman: Man of Steel, Ares: Literal God of War, and who’s this? Darkseid: Literal physical embodiment of evil and New God of chaos and destruction. Granted, he only killed Darkseid’s physical form, no person mortal or otherwise could ever dream of actually killing the New God. Batman became the Dark Knight ever since his parents were executed by Joe Chill in Crime Alley, just behind the Monarch Theatre. He then proceeded to endlessly train himself with the League of Assassins, before being kicked out due to him refusing to kill. With the help of his butler, he created a high-tech Batsuit to fight crime in his city of Gotham.

But the thing that sets Batman apart from his teammates; Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and many more is that Batman has a contingency plan for all of them. Including himself. According to Batman, “I’ve carefully studied every Justice League member, past and present and created contingency plans to neutralize you, should that ever become necessary.” Superman replied, “None of us would ever do that to you.” Batman simply replied, “Then you’re damn fools.” Batman’s only weakness is in his name: he’s a man. And if you think Marvel’s billionaire playboy counterpart, Iron Man, is an even match, you just need to stop. Tony Stark and Iron Man are one in the same; Bruce Wayne and Batman are two different people entirely. While most superheroes’ identities are the character they put on, Batman is Batman. Bruce Wayne is Batman pretending to be someone else. According to student Landon Gall, “I think Batman is better than Superman because he has too much technology like he could just beat anyone in a fight if he wanted to, by killing them, but he refuses to kill.”

After Thomas and Martha Wayne were brutally gunned down while Bruce was eight, Wayne was raised by his trusted butler and father figure; Alfred Pennyworth. His inherited corporation, however, was orchestrated by his father’s friend Lucius Fox, CEO of Wayne Enterprises. In his third year of crime-fighting, Bruce Wayne was attending a class circus act named“The Flying Graysons”. Wayne saw something that reminded him of himself. The family comprised three members; Mary Grayson, John Grayson, and Dick Grayson. The young Dick watched as his parents died, sabotaged by the Killer Croc, also known as Waylon Jones. Bruce Wayne adopted Grayson, and Batman had his Robin; for the first time we now had the titular Caped Crusaders. While Batman has had three main Robins over the years, this was his first. So what separates Batman from his other heroes? His relationship with his villains. The Joker especially. The Joker is truly the Anti-Batman; he wears loud colors, has an outgoing personality, doesn’t try to hide his identity, and of course, is evil. The Joker is closer friends with Batman than anybody probably other than Alfred. Batman has a near personal relationship with each of his rogue galleries; he had a relationship with Penguin and Two-Face before they became villains as Bruce Wayne. The Riddler is solely dedicated to proving he is smarter than the Bat. 

But he doesn’t work alone, he has his own “Bat Family” composed of three Robins: Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Red Hood (Jason Todd), and the current holder of the Robin mantle: Tim Drake. As well as five other bats; Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley), Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), Batwoman (Kate Kane), Signal (Duke Thomas), and the son of Wayne Industries CEO Lucius Fox, Batwing (Lucas Fox). It doesn’t end there though, other members of the bat family are Catwoman (Selina Kyle), Huntress (Helena Bertinelli), Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, Butler Alfred Pennyworth, and finally trusted Wayne Industries CEO: Lucius Fox. Totalling 13 people Batman considers part of his family, 14 members of the family in total. But there’s one big problem: The Dark Knight does not play nice with others. Gotham is a big place, but it’s Batman’s place. The only members of the Bat Family that Batman works with regularly are of course Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood, and of course his three allies; Alfred, Lucius, and Gordon. Batman gets upset when the others come around as they have other cities to look after. Nightwing, for example, has Bludhaven. But Batman is a loner, he rarely opens up to people as the people he has relationships with tend to get shot in alleyways. Such cases are his parents, Jason Todd who got beat to death, and Batgirl who was shot in the spine and turned into Oracle. 

He, along with Superman, are considered the leaders of the Justice League and the faces of Justice for the people of Earth. He has had more comics made about him than any other hero in the books. But what other Hero has a total of 186 villains? In his 82 years of crime-fighting, Batman has certainly established himself as one of the world’s best- if not, The best superhero in the history of fiction.