Is Batman a real super hero, according to a lot of people they would say he is not and when you would ask for a reason why not; they will usually always give the same reason that he can’t be one since he has no super power. But I’m writing this paper to show that a superhero isn’t necessarily defined by his powers, but rather, his zeal for fighting crime and his innate ability to do so. Batman may not have super human powers but he shares every other trait that other super heroes have that define them.
As well another example of why we may consider Batman to be a real super hero is Lex Luthor, Lex does not have any super powers but he is defiantly a super villain, thus with him being a super villain how could we not agree to Batman being a super hero. Interestingly, the term “superhero” has been traced back to its first appearance in a 1942 story by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, when it was used to describe the costumed character “the Guardian,” who also had no “super-powers.
The term “super” is a coinage of the 1920s, when it came into vogue as a contraction of the word “superior” and should not be construed as always meaning something beyond the ability of ordinary humans; “super” does not have to be synonymous with “impossible. ” Note that in the link below, it is clearly stated that “characters need not have actual superhuman powers to be deemed superheroes. ” Batman is also served up there as an example of one of the world’s best known “superheroes,” and he is the prototype of scores of costumed heroes who have no superhuman powers.
Clearly, Batman qualifies as a “superhero” and opinions to the contrary are exactly that, mere opinions, and may be ignored with a clear conscience. Webster defines being a super hero as a type of stock character possessing “extraordinary or superhuman powers” and dedicated to protecting the public and has some visual characteristic (typically an outfit) that makes him/her identifiable. Batman defiantly fits this definition to the teeth, since he has dedicated his whole (fictional) life to the protecting the citizens of Gotham City, and everyone out there has to admit he has some pretty extraordinary powers.
But what else defines as super hero: A strong moral code, which will include being willing to risk one’s own life in order to help someone help and expecting nothing in return. Such code can also include the refusal or strong reluctance to kill or wield weapons. Batman has never killed anyone and doesn’t use guns, he uses gadgets and stealth to subdue his enemies and then make sure they are handed over to the police force.
Also a strong motivation and a sense of responsibility with a hint of some personal vendetta against criminals, like with Batman’s vendetta against the people mugged and shot his parents when they were coming out of their play they were attending. A super hero must also have a secret identity that will protect their family and friends from being the target of his enemies. Batman doesn’t have a lot of close friends but the ones he does he wants to protect from villain’s such as the Joker and the Riddler. Heroes must also have a distinctive costume in order to conceal their identity from the public.
They must also have an underlying motif that resembles the heroes name, personal effects and other aspects the character has come to represent, for example Batman takes his name obviously from a Bat, operates at night designs all of his gadgets with a “bat” prefix, and most importantly the “batmobile” tends to resemble a bat. Heroes must also have a supporting cast of recurring characters in there comic books, though not all of them will not know the super heroes secret identity which will make the heroes personal relationships with them complicated by the dual life.
One of the most important parts of heroes is their enemies they fight. Super heroes will usually start by fighting run of the mill villains with no exceptional gifts, but then later on usually super villain’s will start to appear, and in many case the hero is actually responsible for them coming into to play. Like how Batman was there for the accident that created two face, Batman may not have been able to stop it but that sure won’t stop two face for blaming Batman. Also archenemies are the most important villain to superheroes as they are usually the exact opposite and just as powerful as or even more powerful than them.
Batman’s greatest enemy would most likely have to be the Joker, as he is the foil to batman, as Batman is dark, quiet, and grim while the joker is colourful, loquacious, and very flamboyant. The hero will also need some sort of job with minimal supervision or independent wealth to fund his deeds since he keeps his identity secret there is going to be no way he’s going to be paid for what he does, Batman got the lucky end of the stick on this one since he is the richest super hero out there he will have no problem funding is exploits.
Heroes will also need to have some sort of headquarters or base of operations, usually hidden, in order to prepare for some sort of mission or to come back to store all their gear. The last thing that defines a super hero from an ordinary Joe is the back story that explains the circumstances that the “hero” acquired his or her abilities and as well the motivation behind wanting to help the public and just help themselves. Many origins will usually include freak accidents or tragic events, like batman’s parents being shot.
Now for all of you out there who still don’t believe that someone without super powers could actually be a super hero, hasn’t looked into the actual science of being batman, I’m not saying batman has super human powers but what he does and the frequency that he does it could not even be attempted by todays strongest athletes. Some question that needs to be asked is how much energy Batman uses in a day and how much food must he eat to give him that much energy.
In the book “becoming Batman” by E. Paul Zehr, Batman would expend about 4,000 calories a day which is comparable but still more than how much Tour de France racers use when competing in the race, but wait Batman does this everyday not just once a year. So in order to keep this going he must intake 4,000 calories a day in food, though it can’t just be any food it must be carefully monitored to contain 15% fat , 60% Carbohydrates and 25% protein, in order to maintain the physical fitness he needs to keep fighting crime.
Now let’s talk about his crime fighting abilities, we all know that Batman is extensively trained in the martial arts, but how long would it take you to become a master in them, and how many does Bruce Wayne know, according to “Becoming Batman” Bruce knows more than 3 different styles of martial arts. Now in order to master a skill there is three steps you must go through; cognitive, associative, and automatic.
Cognitive is the first step and this is where the Bruce would use information to develop a plan, require a high level of concentration, and unable to manage small details or changes in the environment. The second step is associative which refines the movements, gradually manages to change in the environment and doesn’t attend to every aspect of movement. The final step is automatic and here you require no cognitive attention to movement, get consistent performance, and can easily adapt smoothly and easily to different environments.
Now Batman has mastered more than 3 different styles of martial arts (by roughly the age of 20-30), that seems a little bit far from imaginable since Batman is very intelligent is shows a sign that he was well educated and with education how can you find the time to master more than 3 different forms of martial arts. Also another main aspect to Batman is the fact that he is out every night being batman and getting into fights, how can someone that fights pretty much every night keep it up.
He would have to make sure that he never broke a bone, and in his line of work that would be incredibly difficult, he would have to do everything perfectly and all regular humans are incapable of being perfect, but Batman’s not. Batman share more than enough of the commonalities of the fictional characters classified as “superheroes” to claim the pedigree.
He wears a costume and keeps his real identity a secret; he has a hidden headquarters; he uses special equipment, ranging from miniaturized devices he keeps in his utility belt to vehicles like the batmobile and the batplane; he has the legal status of a deputy; he associates with other so-called superheroes and is a founding member of the Justice League of America, a team of “superheroes”; he often fights individuals who qualify as super-criminals; he defends common people and will risk his life to protect the common man; he can be summoned by the police through the use of a special signalling device (the “bat signal”); he has special skills which he uses to fight crime, ranging from a mastery of certain fighting skills, to the use of disguises, to the mastery of certain forensic sciences, to a unique understanding of psychology of the criminal mind, and he is a very good detective. Batman also answers to a higher moral code than does the average man.