Superman Inspires Good, Batman Inspires Terror

“Superman wants to be seen as an example of all that’s good about humanity. A beacon of justice and morality. He inspires people to be good, and part of that is not using his power to crumple some two-bit criminal into a little ball. He’s restraint personified. Take some hostage situation: Supes busts in, melts a few guns with his heat rays, zips around the room and grabs the scumbags and drops them off at Metropolis PD. It’s scary in the same way that a roller coaster is scary – you know that you’ll be safe in the end cause he ain’t gonna hurt you TOO bad and the worst you have to look forward to is some jail time. Now Batman ain’t like that. If there’s anything Batman wants to inspire, it’s terror.  Ever watch him work? I tell ya – even I get a little scared.  See, he picks them off, one by one. He sits in the shadows, waits until you turn around, and next thing you know, your buddy is dangling out of a window and it all happened in the blink of an eye. While you’re trying to get him down, suddenly another guy is lying on the ground with a bashed in head. Then another, and another, and then soon you’re all alone.  And the room is so dark. … See, that’s what Batman is after.  He ain’t interested so much in throwing you in jail. Jail actually keeps you safe from him. No, he wants to break you. He wants to trigger that primal terror you got buried deep inside, that animal terror. He wants you to remember that terror, that horror, so that when you get out of the joint and you think about getting that pathetic little up you get when you hold your dinky .22 to some woman’s head and have your way with her, you see some curtain in a window fluttering and the shadow over there looks like it’s getting a little bigger, then that terror takes over and you turn into that terrified little prey animal again, knowing he’s in the shadows. Watching. You ain’t a criminal anymore, kid. You’re a scared little girl jumping at shadows. You’re broken. And that’s just how he wants you. Superman wants people to be inspired by him. Batman wants people to be terrified of him. I’ve seen the hardest goddamn crooks in Blackgate start whimpering like puppies when the Commish turns on the Bat Signal.





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