At a first glance, one conclusion comes to mind on the thought of whether or not the famous vigilante is a superhero, and that of course is yes, he is. But try to take a deeper look into the question by using attributes such as “powers” and good-doing.
Let’s start with a definition. The merriam-webster.com definition says that a superhero is, “a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers.” Now, I find that definition valid only to a certain point. You see, the word superhero comes in two parts; super and hero. Super is just a synonym for awesome, amazing, great, extraordinary, etc. and a hero is someone that puts another person or thing before themselves in a way to save them, emotionally or physically.
Batman, among other things, saves people, and you can’t argue that hes not good at it. What you can argue, however, is how much good he’s actually doing. What gives him the right to blatantly disobey the law, make a mockery of the police force (like early in Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One when the police were humiliated trying to capture the Dark Knight) and expect no consequences earned by such actions? With a mere saved-life under his belt, does that make up for the mass amounts of destruction, and other problems that he may have caused on his path to “justice?” I don’t think so. Can one even call himself a hero after these situations arise? Just because you haven’t committed murder does not mean you’re not a criminal. The only real difference between Batman and any of his foes is that Batman has some sense of morality, and even that begins to fade in the heat of battle.
There’s no doubt in that Batman has the skills required to be considered a superhero. With years of massive amounts of training, intelligence beyond imaginable, and detective work only second to Sherlock himself, there’s no shortage in the “super” category. Heck, in the Tower of Babel storyline, written by Mark Waid, with illustrations by Howard Porter, Batman defeats the entire Justice League of America (consisting of Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, the Flash, Aquaman, and Plastic Man). Even with such impressive achievements like the creation of Red Kryptonite by exposing Green Kryptonite to an extensive amount of radiation, the famous Utility Belt, and every piece of technology from the Bat Computer to the Batmobile. Even after all of that, a common problem that we keep coming back to is, to be a superhero, you must either be a mutant, cyborg, or have existential powers. I think that you can have one of them, but its not necessary and they just add another interesting quality. Batman is not alone in this category. Iron Man also lacks the defined requirements to become the stereotypical, “All-American” superhero with only his suit as his . Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne both don’t have actual powers, but the money that they earn funds the doo-dads that act as their superpowers.
Therefore, although some factors lead others to believe differently, I believe Batman to be a superhero based off of his dedication, purpose, abilities, and actions taken towards crime in Gotham. I would love to hear your opinion on the topic, so leave a comment down below on what you think! Thanks for reading, and until next time, adios!