A few friends of mine love to ask for my opinion as to who would win if Batman fought Superman. Now that the trailer for the upcoming film epic has been released, I’m sure they’ll ask again soon. These knuckleheads also enjoy asking me whether the Flash is faster than the Silver Surfer and whether the Hulk is stronger than the Thing. They don’t ask me these questions because of my vast knowledge of fictional superheroes. They ask to annoy me, and because they seem to enjoy my stock answer:
“I’m a grown-assed man, ferchrissakes! Why would I waste my time even considering such an idiotic question?!”
Like most kids of my generation, I watched Superman and Batman on TV. By Superman, I’m referring to a character played by a paunchy George Reeves on a snowy, black and white screen.
By Batman, I mean a character played by a paunchy Adam West – shot in color but viewed on a Sears black and white TV with an antenna clad in wads of aluminum foil.
By the time Hollywood started making special effects-laden blockbusters about these characters, I had already outgrown men in capes and moved on to women in tights (not necessarily super heroines, just women – and not necessarily in tights for that matter). I went through a brief transitional period which my therapist often refers to as my “Julie Newmar as Catwoman” phase.
Despite my ardent attention to Ms. Newmar, I don’t think I ever considered whether she would win in a battle with Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. Irrespective of who would have won, I would have paid my entire allowance for a year to have had a ring-side seat for that clash.
I know that the world is full of unanswerable questions; things like the meaning of life, our fates after death, and why Donald Trump’s hair looks like it does. These are all things we’ll never truly know. Despite their unanswerable nature, we’re destined to ask them again and again.
As for Batman versus Superman, my answer is a shrug of the shoulders accompanied by a roll of the eyes. I’m just amazed that so many people seem to truly care enough to even have an opinion. My only guess is that whichever superhero wins the first battle will lose in the sequel.