Superman vs Batman — that age old argument

So, last year, at PCC (that’s Phoenix Comic Con for the uninitiated) a bunch of us geeks went out for dinner. We had paid for our meal and were leaving and as I was walking out a guy, sitting at a table, having a heated discussion with another dude suddenly looked up and pointed to me and said:

“You!!! Who is better, Superman or Batman?”

I quickly told him that Batman was better. His friend scoffed and I could tell he was clearly on the ‘Superman’ side of the line that was drawn between the two nerds, so I knew I needed to explain my ‘jumped to conclusion’.

Nerd #1:”Ha I TOLD you!!!

Nerd #2: “But Superman can fly and jump over buildings and and and…”

Me: ”Sure, Superman has all those ‘super’ powers, but he has those powers simply because of the way his alien body reacts to the environment on Earth. He wasn’t super on Krypton, his home planet. He was just normal. Something about this particular planet and our environment *grants* him ‘super powers’.

But Batman, on the other hand, he is just a normal guy. I mean sure he is all emo and such, but he is just a human. The ‘powers’ that *he* has are pure brilliance. He is clever. He is smart. He has all kinds of fun gadgets and toys that he creates to give *him* ‘super’ abilities. *That* makes him superior. If Superman didn’t have some weird alien reaction to our atmosphere and environment he would be lost. If you put Superman and Batman on planets where they were both on a level playing field with strength batman would kick his butt all day long, because he relies on his intelligence and wit and not just dumb luck of landing on a planet that makes him super strong”

The first nerd, the Batman camp one, smiles in satisfaction and I told them to have a good night and went on my way.

Now, this made my night but has been the subject of many a turmoil in my head since then.

The reason it made my night is because I was thrilled that they recognized me as one of their own. Somehow, something about me let them know that I could be the determiner of this age old argument. Sure, it had to help that I was wearing a Star Wars shirt, and had a Con badge on a lanyard around my neck, but they could have picked any one of the 20 of us leaving that night. Made me feel all good and stuff.

But, since then, I have had to think. Which one *is* better. If you look at my argument it is solid, but then if you factor in that emo-ness of Batman, well, then it gets a little shady. He really is a bit of a loner and all eyeore-ish all the time. Really moody. And that plays to his detriment. He is kind of emotionally broken and so mentally Superman has it all together and *that* makes *him* far superior to Batman.

I was talking about this today with a friend….(yeah, I don’t know…things like this come up ok? So sue me) and what came up kind of threw me. This person said: “Well, Superman is immortal”…(like this was some common knowledge or something).

I just figured all the stories about Superman were just ‘things that happened’ not ‘things that happened over the span of many lifetimes’. So there is my question to you all, all my geek friends…all you people with more ‘Superman-ey knowledge’ than I have?

Is Superman immortal?

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