Spiderman and Batman face off this season

Jen Weddle

Batman prowls Gotham. Spider-Man uses his spidey sense to defend New York City. Both are essential protectors, but is there one who is the ultimate superhero?

The release of The Amazing Spider-Man DVD is just days away (Nov. 9, in fact), and The Dark Knight Rises comes out on Dec. 4. I’m more excited for the release of Spider-Man’s movie than for the presidential election–I’ve never seen a president capable of saving the world.

I love both movies, but they leave me with a nagging question: Who is the better superhero?

Spider-Man has superpowers, but they were created through science; he wasn’t born with them or anything. He just shoots a web out at criminals, makes a wise-crack and prances away when the cops show up for the bad guy.

Batman, on the other hand, had to train vigorously to reach superhuman status, but he lacks super powers. He knows multiple martial art forms, and he was trained as a League of Shadows ninja assassin. This training gave him the ability to be “invisible” through a mastery of stealth and escape artistry.

Comstumes are an important factor, too. Spidey’s mask is creepy. Why does he have to cover his whole face, and can he even breathe with that thing on?

Batman is obviously a human because he doesn’t cover up his entire face. Someone who doesn’t know what Spider-Man looks like may wonder what is underneath the costume. It could be anything: a toxic pile of super-fighting sludge or a billion tiny, crime-fighting spiders. It’s possible, but what is really hiding underneath the costume isn’t scary at all; it’s just Peter Parker, a seemingly normal teenager with the ability to save an entire city.

Batman’s one rule is he will not kill others. He watched his parents being murdered and swore revenge. He refuses to use guns because they were used to kill his parents. His personality may seem cold and aloof, but he has a humanistic outlook on justice that other superheros lack.

I’m not saying Spider-Man kills every villain and henchman on sight, but in the comics he has killed more characters than Batman. According to SpiderFan.org, Spider-Man has killed 17 different characters, ranging from major characters like Gwen Stacy to minor ones like sentient robots; most of these were ruled as “accidental” deaths.

Batman wins overall as the ultimate superhero. Why? Because he’s Batman. Does it need a further explanation? Probably. Batman has a cooler costume, he can fight crime without any superpowers and he wears a utility belt full of endless possibilities. Batman is essentially a crime-fighting ninja with really cool gadgets, which beats out a super genius with teen angst any day of the week.