Back in my youth, I used to get into passionate arguments with my friend Wesley about a multitude of topics. We were both fairly skilled at the art of argument (I more so of course), so we had some nice battles. However, as much I hate to admit it when it came to the thing that was nearest and dearest to my heart (Batman) Wesley managed to argue circles around me. He had the audacity, the unmitigated gall, the intrepidity, the valorousness and [insert another word I found using a thesaurus] to question whether or not Batman is a superhero.
So now, five years later, I come back to this argument stronger and wiser and finally ready to defend the honor of my beloved Batman.
The crux of Wesley’s blasphemous argument is that Batman cannot be a superhero because he is not super. To be super, one must defy human limits like Superman or get a magic ring like the Green Lanterns. But here is the problem with that line of thinking, Wesley defines the word superhero to fit his paradigm and not using the actual denotation of the term.
Which is a problem because contrary to popular belief words mean very specific things so we can’t bastardize the definition of a word to fit our world view (which should come as a surprise to many). So I took the liberty of looking up the word for you guys.
At first glance you guys are probably on Wesley’s side right now because to be a superhero one must have superhuman powers and Batman doesn’t have any superhuman powers right Zein?
Wrong voice in my head, Batman has superhuman powers, and I’m going to tell you why. In the definition of the word superhero, the operative prefix super and the word superhuman are defined like this.
I would argue that compared to an average person Batman shows exceptional ability or powers. He’s the only person who’s managed to dodge Darkside’s Omega beams (they’re very fast), he’s one of the few beings in the universe who bested Superman, and he’s the greatest fighter (in my opinion) in the DC universe. To be a superhero one must be super and to be super one must be significantly better than the average man in certain respects which I feel fairly safe in claiming Batman does.
The word Wesley is looking for is supra from the Latin word supra (creative) meaning above. See Batman is not above human he can’t run near the speed of light or punch dimensions together, so he is by no means a suprahero. But he is the best goddam superhero the world has ever seen.
Batman is the real Superman, and I don’t mean in the Speeding Bullets comic where Superman was raised by the Waynes. I mean that Batman is the true Übermensch and that Superman is actually not super at all. This is because of course if you take any loser Kryptonian and put him on earth he’d be the GOAT. So calling Clark Kent a superman is like calling a Bugatti a super skateboard. We should call Kal-El perfectly average Kryptonian if we want to be pedantic.
Also, Wesley I apologise for putting you on blast like this but the people had to know the truth.