Looking through my figures collection, I realize that I have a softest spot for three characters, Batman, Spider-Man & Cyclops. Head to head the character diminish into 2 characters, Batman & Spider-Man. Then I realize that these two characters are the guilty parties that make me falling in love with comics in the first place (even until today!). So, out of nowhere I just thinking, which one is better? I know it is pointless to ask something like this (it could starts a brawl if I post this in of the threads on net), but somehow I just wondering why I was so fond of these two & to find out why I willing to find out, somehow I travel into these area of which one is better between the two.
Let’s get the facts straight, in raw power there’s no way Batman could beat the
enhanced physic of Spider-Man, maybe if Batman could surprise him…but there’s not what I want to compares, but in terms of popularity Batman rules! No contest here. Batman has always been everyone favorite, even in Marvel Universe (check some image of how Spidey itself is a big fan of Batman here). As a kid, I don’t have a role model, let’s just say that my parents aren’t the best character that I could look up to. So my role model is comic book character, X-Men taught me about family (dysfunctional as it is) & accepting the difference between us, other heroes taught me how to holds to your value, pride & dignity but Batman & Spider-Man? They are special, they are my role model that taught me how to live my so called life (though I can’t say I live a good life he he).
Back to the question, which one is better? Let’s start with the origin, what drives them to be super hero. Batman, or Bruce Wayne, becomes the Batman early while he stills a kid. Some robber killed his parent in front of his eyes while he can’t do a thing about it. There he made a pledge, an oath that he will fight crime, he will punish the guilty. Thus he became the Batman later on. Peter Parker becomes Spidey when he was a teenager. He got bit by radio-active spider & he gained enhanced physic & spider ability & agility. He doesn’t become super hero at first, he abuse the gift of power for his own gain. He became a wrestler, collecting money. He become hero cuz he had to learn the hard way, his uncle killed & some share of mistakes is because of him. After lost his uncle he pledge to use his gift for the good of mankind, he learns his uncle word “with great power comes great responsibility”.
The origin itself is tricky. Batman or Bruce becomes Batman in early age while he still has his purity (though personally I think a child is time bomb, he can either be pure good or pure evil depends on the circumstances). His early age also his weakness. He only has one goal & one goal only, avenge his parent’s death with becoming a crime fighter, a vigilante. Simple & plain, as if he never had any other option (besides to walk away & deny everything ever happens). Peter Parker on the other hand, he already a teenager when he gains his power. Just like every other teenager, he abuse his power, he have fun. Hell, he doesn’t even know what to do with its power. His Uncle Ben told him “with great power comes great responsibility” but he had to learn it the hard way, with his uncle death he knew he have to use his power, his gift, his curse for greater good.
I know that sometimes (most of the time) we could strayed from our path, lost & don’t know what to do. The two heroes showed me that sometimes it’s OK to make mistakes, its part of the learning curve, it’s a rite of passage. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s normal, but if we make the same mistake twice, it is a choice, that even we have to take sometimes (like trust someone or make a wrong decision). What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, or even will try to kill you again so deal with it (OK, this is wrong & only Batman deals with this, Spidey probably just forgive & forget)!
So far the two heroes share the same ideal right? Well Spider-man is more relate-able since he is not rich (unlike Batman), he was born under a bad sign (though Batman also share some hard-time, but at least he is rich) & society hates him (Batman is being feared & respected at the very least, Batman was considered as vigilante while Spidey is a menace). Then came the moment of truth, Batman is too tough, too cool, too awesome to be relate-able, he is like the best anti-social person can be, perfection by definition (for me at least ^_^). Almost as inspiring as Superman for some. Spider-Man? Like I say, he is one of us.
Peter is a genius, like Batman, but he never fully utilizes or maximizes his brain.
If Batman first action is to exploit enemy weakness, Spider-Man is relying heavily on random attack & insult. Spidey is notorious for his hobby to make fun of everything, including his life & that’s why we all love him ^_^. Spidey always crack a joke, even in the most inappropriate time. Spidey is more down to earth guy that we all can relate. I mean, when we face super villain, can we just use our head? I think we must be out of our head, freaked out, panic. That’s why Spidey can’t use his brain he he. Great example is when Spidey face The Unstoppable Juggernaut. Sure he’s not the strongest, the fastest, or even the smartest, but his combination of will power and resiliency wins the day (Batman also, but we’re talk about Spidey at the moment ^_^).
Oh, Spidey is also more optimistic than Batman, that’s for sure (though this also makes Spidey more kid friendly). But this traits also what makes him more relate-able than Batman. Batman grim tone & dark atmosphere is so…dark it makes him a very noir, grim that makes him really fits the role of lone wolf (though Bat family is getting more bigger these days). Yes Batman is makes me believe that “if Batman can make it through the day, my problem ain’t shit compares to him” but sometime the darkness is too thick for us mere mortal, that’s when Spidey shines. Spidey taught me to see the bright thing in every dark event, though Bat-Spidey combo makes me “for a pessimist I’m quite optimist” he he.
With all the facts, I cant’ believe I said this, Spider-Man is actually a better character than Batman. We can relate to him, he have this underdog persona & to sum it all, he is one of us, he made me believe that what matter most is that who we choose to be (or strive to be, well Batman also taught me that), rather than what we are or we used to be & he also more grounder, down to earth & lovable, plus he is more optimistic & see there’s always rainbow after rain & sometimes it’s OK to hope for the best (Batman is more expect the worse while the best thing, that if it ever happens, is a plus, a reward for the preparation). Another win for Marvel against DC for me he he (I still can’t believe I state that someone can actually better than the God damn Batman!!!).