As we look back at some of the most popular films of the past few years, and as we look ahead to movies in production, it is clear that superheroes have captured the imagination of our culture. If we’re at all into it, we have our favorites. My nine year old son has thought a lot about superman in particular, and he has concluded that the Man of Steel is, to quote him precisely, “a pansy.” This is just one of the many reasons I am so proud of my boy.
Superman has it so easy that it’s hard to respect him. He’s got ridiculous strength, x-ray vision, the power of flight – and to top it all off, a full head of perfectly placed, silken black hair. (Some of us are particularly envious of that last attribute.) Batman is more like it. There’s a Gothic grittiness to the dark knight; he works in the shadows and only pretends as Bruce Wayne to like the limelight in order to keep criminals from discovering his secret identity. And forgive me if this offends you, but the quasi-realism of Batman is precisely why he and Superman should never be in the same story. […]