What If…? Batman Edition
The Dark Knight Detective. Batman is almost every fanboy’s wet dream. Go to any comics message board or fan site and you are bound to find one person posting “Batman wins!”, “Batman vs anyone is Batman FTW!”, or “With time to prepare, Batman always wins”.
I like Batman, I think he has had some great storylines, villains, and weapons and vehicles throughout his career in comics. Colorful characters, powerful team-ups, and some interesting costume changes have been what has kept Batman a fan favorite character forever. But, the die hard fans sometimes have a problem sprinkling the world of Batman with any reality.
The question for this week is: What if Batman never had time to prepare?
Many times I have seen the posts on Facebook or fan sites that start like this; “Who would win in a fight between Batman and Galactus?” Most people would look at this and think for about 2 seconds before they blurted out “GALACTUS, duh!” Not the die hard Bat-Mites. They seem to believe that with the appropriate amount of time, Batman could defeat anyone.
Let’s look at this as a math word problem. We will say that Batman’s time to prepare equals x and the strength, fighting ability, superpowers, and overall toughness of an opponent equals y. The graphed mathematical expression would look like this. As you can see, the tougher the opponent does not at all change the fact that Batman will win, it just means he needs a little more time to prepare. You can extend this graph to say that he might need 10 minutes to prepare for a fight with Superman, 12 minutes to prepare to battle Chuck Norris, and a full 20 minutes for a battle with God.
As you can see, according to the mathematical proof set forth by fanboys everywhere, with great prep time comes great Batman wins. And just clarify, Batman, Bruce Wayne, whose only superpowers are a bottomless bank account and a penchant for little boys and masks, can defeat anyone with the right amount of time to prepare. He is the world’s greatest detective, but he has also had his butt kicked more times than I can count. He is a man. Sure he has all of this cool martial arts training and has unlimited access to amazing weapons…
In sci-fi and fantasy stories or stories about superheroes, there is a writing mechanic called the suspension of disbelief. This is how we can read about a man from space that can fly and shoot lasers from his eyes or a herd of colrful horses that use friendship to battle evil or a flying cat with a pop-tart body that farts rainbows. We need this to escape sometimes. When does a healthy amount of disbelief really become an unhealthy obsession and fanboy love affair? That is for you to decide.
I hope I offended you or at the very least got you to think about who Batman is and why you like him. Please comment and get some discussion started. Why is Batman so great? Why can he beat every opponent? Why has he not been killed in his sleep by any number of things? Does he deserve sainthood? Let’s talk about all of this and more and, until next week… Keeping asking What If…?