Let’s face it: the world is a scary place. I don’t remember a time in my life when America hasn’t been at war. In my lifetime, there have been countless terrorist attacks across the world. When I was six-years-old, the World Trade Center came down, less than an hour from where I live. Hundreds upon hundreds of people have died at the hands of mass shooters.
People often ask me why do I love superheroes so much, and more specifically, why I love Batman so much. Superheroes allow me to escape to a world where somebody can do something about these problems. When terror strikes in our world, all we can do is wait for it to end. When terror strikes in Gotham, Metropolis, or Central City, people know that Batman, Superman, or Flash will soon be there to save the day and return order. In a world with superhuman abilities, there are endless possibilities.
But what about Batman? Batman is one of the most recognizable superheroes, second probably only to Superman. He is iconic beyond belief. But he has no super powers. Why is it that this superhero, with no super powers, is so widely popular with people like me?
As I stated in my first post, I don’t remember exactly what it was that got me so hooked on Batman. I don’t believe I had any particular reason back then. However, I do now. I believe that Batman is one of the most realistic superheroes and a great source of hope for me.
Here is a man with no significant powers, who holds his own among the likes of Superman and Martian Manhunter, and against the world’s most power super villains. He is the height of human strength and physical form, but nothing more. He is only as strong and skilled as a normal man can become through physical training. Of course, thanks to his trust fund, he has an unlimited supply of high-tech gadgets and gizmos that assist him in his adventures. However, Batman would be nothing if not for his incredible wits and abilities in hand-to-hand combat.
But at the same time, as a man, he is vulnerable, just like the rest of us. While the other members of the Justice League may be risking their lives to a degree to save the day, their superhuman abilities keep them pretty safe. However, Batman is risking his life on a daily basis for the citizens of Gotham, and sometimes the world. In this way, he is comparable to the real life superheroes that we have fighting across seas at the moment, risking everything to keep innocents safe.
As a mere mortal, he often thinks things through a lot more than heroes like Superman. I remember as a kid watching Cartoon Network’s Justice League and noticing that while Superman appeared to be the leader of the team, it was really Batman that was running the show. Superman tended to act on instinct and just rush into action, often getting him into trouble, while Batman knowing his limits and risks, would think things through and come up with a more tactile plan.
Batman is a symbol of what we could be if we pushed ourselves to be the best version of ourselves possible. That doesn’t necessarily mean pushing ourselves to become superheroes though. For me, Batman has inspired me to create heroes that will inspire others like he has inspired me. I want to add to the roster of mortal heroes, the kind of heroes that us humans can relate to.
Soon I’ll be revealing how Sphynx, who unlike Batman has powers, fits into all of this.