Now, you may or may not have already seen William Avitt and Erik Copper's articles on why you should be on Iron Man or Captain America's side in Civil War. If you haven't, check them out! Anyway, I am working in tandem with Trent Tofte to create a comprehensive, and non-responsive debate on that epic battle: Batman vs. Superman. No matter how much you may dislike Man of Steel, or DC films in general, you have to admit that this is an amazing match-up, with what will surely be a monster battle. But, why on earth should we get on board with either side? That's what Trent and I will try to do. He will be arguing for the Dark Knight, and I obviously will be defending the Man of Steel.
1. Superman defended the Earth from certain doom.
Doom, in the form of General Zod and his dreams of a New Krypton. Superman single-handedly fought off an alien invasion, destroyed two massive ships, and saved millions, even billions of lives. While some would argue that this battle against evil was more destructive than good, what we forget is that most of Metropolis was already demolished by the terraformer. Superman also didn't intend for the chaos he inadvertently created to happen, while Zod did. And, while the collateral damage was high, the loss of life was surprisingly low. Superman was able to defeat Zod, who was a soldier and superior fighter to the Man of Steel, without much loss of life. This segues nicely into my next point.
2. Superman has the Earth's best interest in mind.
Superman is an alien. Same alien as those that tried to destroy and rebuild Earth. Now, he could very easily have sided with them, because, well...those are his people. But, he chose to stand up against Zod and for earth. He even turned himself in for the sake of those living on the planet! (We'll get more to that in a bit.) Superman did everything he could, including going against his morals in order to ensure earth's safety. Superman proved time and time again that he was more willing to side with Earth than his own people, even if it meant his possible death.
3. Superman is selfless.
Of course, we see the Man of Steel giving up his own body multiple times to save others. The picture above is when he turns himself in to the U.S. government in order to be given to Zod, in a futile attempt to save the planet. As a child, he saves his bus from sinking and killing everyone inside, and then he goes back for a kid who bullied him! It's like every other scene Superman is giving up of himself to save others, whether it's his mom, or a child, or an Ihop worker. What other hero would, or even could put his life on the line every single time?
4. Clark Kent and Superman both stand for what's right.
If anyone remembers this scene, they'll understand my point. For those of you who don't...never ever try to mess with a lady in the presence of Superman, and then decide to get smart and throw beer cans at him. I'll recap all of these points later on, but, Clark Kent is a good man, and he always stands up for what is right, no matter the cost. In this case, the cost is a humorous anecdote.
5. He's insanely powerful, and that's comforting.
Faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, Superman is pretty..well, super. But, in the last film, we saw him lift huge objects, fly (while scaring zebras), and fire laser beams out of his eyes. While some find this frightening, I say that we take this as a comfort. Are tanks and military planes scary? Yes, but, when they're on our side, we feel a lot safer. That's Superman. He's highly powerful, but he's on our side! And that really is comforting.
6. He loves those close to him.
And not just Lois. The extremely sad scene mid-way through the movie where Clark loses his father shows just how much he loved those he cared about, even if they had just fought. Then there is possibly my favorite moment where he drags Zod through a few dozen acres of corn because he messed with his momma. Two things you never do: tug on Superman's cape, or mess with his mom. But again, we see Clark being loyal to those close to him. He shows time and time again how much he cares for those around him, even in the smallest of ways.
7. Clark Kent is unwilling to kill.
Though some would argue that he is too powerful, and that he kills...Clark Kent doesn't want to. It's against his nature, against his morals (we'll touch on this next) to take a life. Zod presented him with the impossible choice: kill one, or let many die. It's a classic conundrum, and Clark went with what was really the only option, however horrible it may be. Superman's unwillingness to kill is something that is not shared by his counterparts. He's not a warrior, he's a man who wants to do what's right. And good men don't kill.
8. Clark Kent is a moral person.
Now, I'm not about to say that Clark Kent is a Christian, in either comic or movie, but...the Christian themes in this movie, and particularly this scene are very strong. Clark at least grew up in church, as indicated in the church scene. So, his morals are more old-fashioned. Right is right, wrong is wrong. Love your neighbor, and put others before yourself. Those are the sorts of things that he stands for. In many ways, he shares a moral code to Captain America. Clark has, and will always try to keep people safe, and he'll always defend the innocent.
9. Superman is Clark Kent.
In the comics, Batman once said this of Superman:
"It's a remarkable dichotomy, in many ways, Clark is the most human of us all. Then...he shoots fire from the sky, and it is difficult not to think of him as a god. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him." -Superman/Batman #3
Superman is perhaps more human than we ourselves are, and perhaps it's because he's tried all his life to be us. But just think, he's a no-name from the middle of nowhere, who just so happens to have freeze-breath. But, Clark is almost the stereotype of a mid-American guy. Simple, easy-going, and well mannered, he's the kind of person that all of us strive to be, deep down. And he's also Superman.
10. He's a symbol of Hope.
Yes, the whole "my symbol stands for Hope" shtick was a touch corny, but...beyond the Kryptonian symbol that eerily resembles an "S", Superman really is a symbol of hope. He's the guardian angel of the earth, with a flashy red cape, and a face that would make any teenage girl melt. He's the only superhero to my knowledge that rescues cats on a regular basis, and yet he can literally move mountains. He's the moral compass of the DC universe, and even his peers look to him for stability. He's unchanging, a rock, a foundation surrounded by chaos. He is hope that there is still good in the world.
So, what did you think? Now, this was hard for me at first, because I'm traditionally a supporter of the Dark Knight. But, as I wrote, I think that I might be changing my mind. Much can be said about the Boy Scout in Blue. If you want to see the other side of the coin, go check out this brilliant article here! But, now, it's up to you. Who will you pick? Was my article persuasive enough? Let me know in the comments!