Light vs. Dark, Day vs. Night, God vs. Satan, all very intriguing conversations to never mention on a first date (the same goes for politics and your stance on zodiac signs). But it’s definitely okay to it mention here on this blog, yes sir. Superman vs. Batman.
In an excerpt from Grant Morrison’s Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero, Morrison discusses the origins of both of these famous superheroes and how they are similar and how they contrast. Superman was first introduced as the unstoppable force that was yet to be declared a hero or villain, we go on to meet his alter ego, Clark Kent, a seemingly insecure and weak journalist who pines after Lois Lane, his coworker, who thinks even less of him. His origin story of being a hero for the people, coming from a different planet, being nonhuman and superior, and fighting less menacing criminals compared to Batman, all come into play when the idea of him being a sort of Messiah and figure of light is contrasted against the brooding Batman.
Batman fights at night, is a sort of vigilante, fights darker villains, is a human and has a more powerful playboy type alter ego who comes from old money, Bruce Wayne. He couldn’t be more different from Superman and that’s why they’re pitted against each other. The God vs. the Devil or even, God vs. Man.
Morrison’s comparisons were at their peaks when bringing into play the idea of the two heroes shadowing as God and Lucifer, but along with the contrasts came the author’s similarities. Similarities such as the idea of superheros not being two dimensional and having alter egos, the mystery that came along with their presentation to the world, the need to have such heroes in order to escape our reality, and their fight for justice that eventually brings the two together when the Justice League is formed.
In Morrison’s excerpt, a lot was said about both heroes and interesting facts and concepts were formulated when exploring two of the biggest comic book figures to ever exist, but the most interesting focus was that of the two heroes being on completely different ends of the spectrum and how this correlates to our ideas of God and Satan.