Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Definition of Superhero

A "Superhero" is defined as anything that Stan Lee came up with for Marvel during his tenure there. This means that if Stan Lee came up with "Walking Man," who heroically strolled across traffic in a slightly gay skintight outfit, then walking is a superheroic act.

I'm writing this because someone asked for my opinion, and whenever that happens, I am compelled to give it. Leave aside the fact that I am often compelled to give my opinions when no one has asked, too.

So, is Batman a superhero? Let's take a look:

  • Batman prances about in a costume. Check.

  • Batman fights evil. Check.

  • Batman has a sexually dubious relationship with an underaged boy. Check.

  • Batman has powers that are uncommon among the average people of the world. Check.

  • Categorizing stuff is silly, and it's easier to just say Batman is a superhero than it is to quote line and verse to exclude Batman from the genre he helped popularize. Check.

  • Yeah, Batman doesn't shoot skunks from his eyes or fly about, but he is quoted as being at the very pinnacle of human capability, mentally and physically. That sounds like a superpower to me, considering that he has had no more time to hone himself than the average other person obsessed with revenge. He also has the power to grant gadgets Plot Immunity, which means that his gadgets and stuff don't have to be explained. Basically, you can say, "It's because he's a bajillionaire!" as you would say, "It's magic!" or "Radiation!!!!!!" for any other hero.

    He's also larger than life and fights villains that are the same. A regular hero would be a soldier in the army or a cop/firefighter/paramedia. A superhero fights dudes in purple spandex who show up and claim to be the ruler of the world.

    Thus, Batman = Superhero.