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Batman wins the super hero smackdown

Submitted by on Monday, 2 June 2008 No Comment
Originally published March 14, 2008, thehive.modbee.com

For about six months, there’s been a Super Hero smackdown at our house.

SpiderMan was the early winner, claiming the Halloween costume contest in October. Then Superman pulled ahead, as flying trumped web-slinging.

Now there’s a new favorite, courtesy of a long-forgotten trinket from a fast-food meal almost a year ago.

“Hey, Mom!” Big Guy yelled after a rousing session of toy-box trashing unearthed the toy. “Look! It’s Batman! I love him.”

Good. Because I'm crazy about him, too.

Batman, you see, is the only real Super Hero. The others rely on supernatural powers – emphasis on super, not natural – bestowed either on a strange planet or by dumb luck.

Not so Batman. He does what he does purely by hard work, physical and mental. He can outsmart you or flat kick your butt without resorting to web work or leaping tall buildings. Even Superman once called him “the most dangerous man on Earth.” No word as to who wins on Krypton.

Granted, Batman’s a little obsessive, but you can’t exactly rid Gotham of crime on a part-time basis.

And he’s unlucky in love, as evidenced by his on-and-off relationships with anti-heroes such as Catwoman and Talia al Ghul. It happens: If you think your marriage is tough, imagine a partner who can’t decide whether to kiss you or kill you.

Still, the flaws merely add interesting layers of humanity the other two lack.

SpiderMan: Teen-age twit who owes everything to a bug bite. Plenty of spiders on the patio, guys! Go catch one and you, too, can be a Super Hero. Just look out for the ones with the red spots on their backs.

Superman: A tribute to inherited wealth. And did anyone ever check him for a green card? I’m not even sure he’s in this country legally. Sorry, guys! Mommy’s not from Krypton, so you’ll never be able to fly.

Batman, though, is attainable. He also backs up some of the basic values I like to harp on. Work hard, study hard and you’ll do OK. Oh, and you need to eat your asparagus. Batman did not get those muscles from Rice Krispie treats.

As a result, Big Guy has changed his career goal. He now wants to be Batman when he grows up. I’ll have to admit I’ve encouraged – no, shamelessly pushed the Batman thing in the days since Big Guy rediscovered his toy. I’ve started taking a break every night to watch “Batman: The Animated Series” with the guys, and it’s quickly become my favorite part of my day.

Granted, the cartoon doesn’t come close to the campy 60s television series I remember, but it’s pretty good. It even has enough double entendre to make it interesting for adults, but not in a way that the guys catch onto.

Yesterday, for example, Batman rescues a fevered Catwoman, who had fallen ill after stumbling into a plot to start an epidemic. “You’re so hot,” Batman says. “I thought you’d never notice,” Catwoman replies.

I worried at first that the cartoon was too dark for the guys – I know kids older than Big Guy who can’t handle it. Big Guy seems to take comfort, though, in the idea of Batman prowling around at night, protecting our city.

Anyone know where I can get a used spotlight for cheap? I think I need to rig up a Bat Signal.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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