ByTrent Tofte, writer at Creators.co
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Trent Tofte

Okay, the following article is the pro-Batman position for a non-responsive debate between myself and Will Cloud on who should be sided with for Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. You can check out his extremely well-written article on that here

Sure, at first glance, having a guardian angel from another planet protecting the world sounds like a great idea. But I question whether Superman really has the interests of the world at large in mind or if deep down, he only cares about himself and the few special people he has allowed into his life. Either way, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice will showcase the greatest fight of all time: the Caped Crusader versus the Man of Steel. We have seen from the trailer that the world clearly believes Superman to be in the wrong. Lex Luthor has even gone so far as to refer to him as a "devil". But why? What did poor Kal-El do to deserve such harsh backlash? Well, to answer that question, I have several reasons why Superman is clearly at fault and therefore Batman has the more legitimate standing in this battle.

1) Superman's fight with Zod caused untold destruction

When Zod deployed the World Engine, it began terraforming the planet's surface by creating an effect similar to a black hole and then reversing the polarity and shooting the objects which had been absorbed back to the ground at a high rate of speed. This effect leveled everything in its path. But how much destruction was really caused? The initial impact of the World Engine's touchdown would have caused a severe amount of damage, as it landed in the middle of a busy city. It probably flattened a few skyscrapers, destroyed hundreds of cars, and snuffed out thousands of human lives. And that was all before Zod ordered the thing to be turned on!

Image source: fanpop.com
Image source: fanpop.com

Once the World Engine was activated, many billions of dollars' worth of damage was done. As in we're talking about so much damage that even the combined total wealth of Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark couldn't pay for it. And that's not even taking into account the vast number of civilians who were killed. According to professional disaster experts, (http://www.vulture.com/2013/06/man-of-steel-damage-professionally-estimated.html), the amount of damage caused weighs in at around $700 billion, with a total economic fallout of approximately $2 trillion. As far as human lives lost, we're talking about close to two million casualties, with approximately 129,000 killed, another quarter of a million missing, and roughly a million or so wounded. All tolled, those are some pretty serious black marks against the Big Blue Boy Scout. But if the overwhelming amount of property damage and cost of human life aren't enough to condemn Superman as the "devil" and "false god" he is accused of being, here are some more reasons to side against the Man of Steel in favor of the Dark Knight.

2) Superman shows blatant disrespect of authority

Remember back in Man of Steel when Superman turned himself in to General Swanwick and his forces? He willingly turns himself in to people that he could easily defeat. He even proves this by snapping the handcuffs they place him in. Now you may ask, how is that disrespect of authority? Short answer: it's not. But here's where that comes into play. Superman declares at the end of the movie that he's willing to work with the government, but it has to be on his own terms. Swanwick disagrees, saying that they have no guarantee that Superman will keep his word and not begin to commit acts contrary to American interests.

Image source: 1080phdwallpaper.com
Image source: 1080phdwallpaper.com

Superman flippantly retorts, "I grew up in Kansas, General. I'm about as American as it gets." Swanwick is not satisfied and tells Superman that the politicians in Washington won't go for it. He says that he is unwilling to try convincing them, and that even if he was, there is no guarantee the politicians would agree to such a proposal. Superman casually blows him off by saying, "I guess I'll just have to trust you." Swanwick is unsure how to respond to this, and Superman seizes on the General's moment of indecision to make himself scarce. (Superman also shows disrespect towards Zod, his planet's military leader, though we will allow this one to slide since Zod turned out to be a cold-blooded murderer bent on mass genocide.)

3) Superman is out of control

Even in the new trailer, we hear people say that the Man of Steel is out of control. Superman himself even acknowledges this in MoS.

The trailer for Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice offers further evidence that Superman has gone off the deep end when we see a shot of several soldiers, all of whom have Superman's emblem proudly emblazoned on their shoulders, kneeling before the Kryptonian as if he is some kind of king.

Image source: moviepilot.com
Image source: moviepilot.com

An unseen figure in the trailer claims "Maybe he's just a guy trying to do the right thing." But is having a military battalion that answers only to you and obeys your every whim the right way to go about it? I think not.

4) Superman is a vigilante

It has been clearly demonstrated that Superman operates completely outside the law. Oh, sure, he may say he is trying to protect people, and if you asked him, he'd be the first to tell you that the last thing on his mind is breaking the law, but I mean, really, how can you honestly call anyone that flies around snapping people's necks and leaving half of a major city in ruins a hero?

Image source: comicbookmovie.com
Image source: comicbookmovie.com

He might claim to be an advocate of peace, but he's sure picked a strange way of expressing it. So far, he's got a one hundred percent success rate in mass destruction.

5) Absolute power corrupts absolutely

Don't let anyone tell you different. If you give someone power that is literally unlimited, sooner or later, that person, no matter how moral they are, will turn into the very thing they say they hate: someone who cannot be stopped. If Superman is truly a force for good, he will agree to have some intense regulations put on him in order to provide a safeguard for the people he claims to protect by using the fullest extent of his powers.

Image source: comicbook.com
Image source: comicbook.com

Looking at history, we've seen countless examples of men who, by all appearances, were the epitome of all things good and noble, but then, something... happened. They became greedy, power-hungry, self-serving, constantly demanding that the world be handed to them on a silver platter and doing whatever it took, no matter how violent, in order to achieve that goal.

6) Batman recognizes that Superman is a legitimate threat

Batman clearly recognizes that having someone like this out there poses a serious problem to society. A person who cannot be stopped and whose motives are questionable certainly is not a good thing. Batman understands this and knows that even those believed to be unstoppable have a weakness. No one is completely perfect... not even good-looking bulletproof aliens who can defy gravity.

Image source: tvguide.com
Image source: tvguide.com

General Zod thought that he too was doing what was best for his people. If that meant obliterating the indigenous population, then so be it. He had bigger plans. He was willing to destroy the Earth to give Krypton a second chance. Superman, sooner or later, no matter how moral he is, will have some quarrel with the established moral code, and then woe betide whoever gets in his way.

7) Batman is humanity's only real contender against Superman

Another reason to side with the Dark Knight is that, if it truly came down to pitched battle, he is really the only person (with the possible exception of Lex Luthor) who would genuinely stand a chance of defeating Superman in one-on-one combat. The animated film, The Dark Knight Returns really sums it up when Batman manages to inject kryptonite into Superman's lungs.

Image source: superman.wikia.com
Image source: superman.wikia.com

Suddenly, Superman begins to understand what it means to be truly human.

"You're feeling it now, aren't you? What the rest of us live with every day. Your own mortality."

And then comes possibly the most famous Batman quote of all time...

"I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you."

8) Superman agreed to work with the government, but only under his own rules

At the end of MoS, Superman tells General Swanwick, "I'm here to help. But it has to be on my own terms. And you have to convince Washington of that." He never states exactly what his terms are. But it's reasonable to assume that they include not attempting to determine his secret identity and allowing him to fade back into the woodwork when the crisis is over.

Image source: dc.wikia.com
Image source: dc.wikia.com

Any person who has that much power should not be allowed to simply disappear, only to be called upon as a last resort in situations of grave danger. They need to be watched, kept under careful observation, to make sure that they do not decide to stop following the rules and start making them. And if the trailer for DoJ has shown us anything, it has shown us that Superman has begun to do exactly that.

9) Batman is proof that superheroes work best without government intervention

Based on the fact that this incarnation of Batman is somewhat older and in a state of semi-retirement, it is logical to assume that he has been operating as Batman for years already. And in that time, he clearly has had little to no contact with government officials bent on keeping superheroes from becoming a threat. He has his own methods and his own moral code and has clearly proven that regardless of government involvement, superheroes can be virtually self-sufficient.

Image source: dcmovies.wikia.com
Image source: dcmovies.wikia.com

If Superman agrees to act as a pawn of the government, he is effectively giving up one of his fundamental rights: freedom of choice. Without this freedom, Superman becomes a slave to the whims of the state and is not free to live his own life or to forge for himself the destiny which Jor-El and Jonathan Kent hoped he would. Batman, by contrast, has no such restrictions, and is therefore able to do whatever he thinks is best in a given situation. As a government agent, Superman will be forced to play the government game and operate under whatever restrictions they may place upon him.

10) Batman knows that heroism involves sacrifice

Give Superman enough time in the public eye, and eventually, he will grow to love the limelight. He will become no longer a superhero but a super celebrity. He will forget his roots and how he had to make his mark on the world by overcoming a greater obstacle than any human. Human beings inherently strive to better themselves and push themselves beyond their limits. Superman, having powers far beyond human capacity, has the reverse dilemma: he must struggle with trying to seem just as flawed as the people around him. He knows that he is better than them, but in the end, he secretly regrets that he is not "normal". Batman, on the other hand, is just a regular guy, a man who is not free from his flaws, but a man who does not allow his flaws to define him. He has risen above his flaws, conquered them, used them as a springboard to achieve better things. Batman has lost a lot to get to where he is today. He saw his parents brutally gunned down before his eyes at the age of eleven. He has struggled with living up to his father's reputation.

Image source: www.geeksandcleats.com
Image source: www.geeksandcleats.com

No matter how good he is as Bruce Wayne or as Batman, his greatest fear, the one thing that can truly terrify the Dark Knight, the thing that keeps him awake at night and gives him nightmares when he finally falls asleep, is the thought of being unable to live up to his father's legacy. Batman fears that if his father could see what Bruce has become, he would say that Bruce has failed him. The important people in his life, and Alfred in particular, have assured him that if Thomas Wayne were to look down on Bruce from the great beyond, he couldn't be more proud of what his son has accomplished. Superman has no such problem. He's never met a challenge he didn't have the means to overcome. Bus falls off a bridge? Gotcha covered. Hot reporter lady has internal bleeding? No biggie, I've got laser vision for that. He's never met an obstacle he couldn't get over. Sure, it may have been a tough fight, but in the end, he has always succeeded. Batman has had his failures, time and time again in fact, but he never allows these failures to define him. He just picks himself up, dusts himself off, learns from his mistakes, and becomes a better person because of it.

Bonus reason: HE'S THE BATMAN!

This reason may seem superfluous, but it's actually the most important. Bruce Wayne is not the Batman to achieve personal glory, but rather to rid the world of the evil which claimed his parents. Everything he does is an effort to further this goal.

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