Friday, March 25, 2016

Why Batman Wins

Well, here we are at last. Batman and Superman - along with a highly-anticipated Wonder Woman cameo, thus cementing the sacred DC Comics cinematic trinity - are set to square off in the epic of legendary heavyweight comic book superhero showdowns. Critics and naysayers ballyhoo it as an inevitably disparate affair that favors the last son of Krypton over Gotham’s own caped crusader. And why not have such a biased attitude? After all, Superman, rightfully so, is the one by which all other superheroes are measured given, in archenemy Lex Luthor’s terms, his near omnipotent superpowers. On the other hand, Batman is merely a mortal human being prowling the dark, night. Alas, therein lies the former’s greatest weaknesses and the latter’s greatest strengths. As renowned military strategist Sun Tzu maintained, make your enemy’s strength their weakness and your own weakness your strength to achieve victory.

And so begins the battle for the epic stare-off championship...

Yes, Superman is formidable due to his superpowers. This also makes him vulnerable, because, naturally, he relies on them the most to subdue his opponents. Strip them away - perhaps with any of the innumerable varieties of kryptonite that limit/terminate those powers - and he is simply an intelligent yet affable farm boy from Kansas. For the most part, this also makes him righteously reserved in using them to their fullest - minus [*spoiler alert*] a certain incident in the cinematic universe; equally, he has minimal fighting skill, because when you are powerful enough there really is no need for such. His fight(s) with Zod and the other Kryptonians - highly trained in such matters, and intensified when their own powers manifested - demonstrated this numerous times during their confrontations. He is brute superhuman strength aided by supersonic flight, coupled with an ever-expanding list of other powers: x-ray vision, heat vision, freezing breath, etc. All of which can be thwarted if you know how and have the ability to utilize that knowledge to your advantage.

Enter Batman. He is shadow, he is stealth. And although no man of steel, he is no slouch when it comes to his physical attributes. Having trained himself to be an Olympic-level athlete both mentally and physically, he incorporates various forms of fighting styles and techniques from around the world. He also possesses a genius-level intellect, thus earning him the moniker of the world’s greatest detective; who better than him to learn about and exploit the strengths and weaknesses of Superman’s powers? As Sun Tzu stated, “victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” Aptly, Batman invariably has contingency plans on top of other contingency plans...for example, measures to (non-lethally) incapacitate and/or neutralize every Justice League member should they ever become a threat. Paranoid worse than a doomsday prepper? Maybe. Prepared for any situation? Absolutely. Even more, he has an arsenal of high-tech equipment and gadgets at his disposal with which to confront at will any opponent. His greatest asset, however, is his indomitable, very human never-quit attitude, distilled with a code of justice to protect the innocent from any danger. 

Frankly, it almost seems unfair to Superman.

Besides, if nothing else...HE’S BATMAN!

Gun?!! early Batman stories. Plus, this connection.

 ©2016 Steve Sagarra