A place to file your complaints. Submissions welcome.
By Leonardo De Walnut
Editor’s note: Apologies to the author of this piece for not publishing it in a timely manner. Modern Disappointment received this prior to the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but did not publish it promptly. Had it been published in a timely manner, the comic book information contained in the piece would have only been widely known by comic fans. Instead, the information about Gwen Stacey specifically is thought now to be common knowledge in the Spider-Man narrative. Anyway, we hope you are engaged by the rant Leonardo De Walnut has provided, as he lets his hair down and gets candid about superheroes.
Superman is not a pussy. No, really, everyone thinks he’s like a boyscout or something, whereas Batman is cool because he’s dark and shit, and when he was starting out he fucked a Japanese chick on a bus and this turned him into a ninja. Plus, they say, Superman won’t kill. Uh… neither will Batman, you fucktard. Oh wait, Superman never rode on a Japanese subway so he didn’t have the opportunity to engage in Japanofrottage thus ensuring his entry into ninjadom. (This is all based on Wernheim’s Law: If you fuck an Asian, you become a ninja. This is why you see so many gamer/comic nerd types with Asian girlfriends. It’s all part of the plan.)
Anyway, let’s take a minute to compare Superman to Spider-Man. Spider-Man is the classic tragic figure archetype. No matter how hard he tries to “do good,” he always gets fucked in the ass in the end. The Green Goblin throws Spider-man’s girlfriend off a bridge. Spider-Man catches her with his web before she hits the ground, but when he pulls up on the line he accidentally snaps her neck. I’m not shitting you, this is how Gwen Stacey died in the comics. In the movie Spider-Man 2, Peter (Tobey Maguire) tries to watch Mary Jane’s performance, but he’s late and so Bruce Campbell won’t let him in and Spider-Man is forced to leave all sad.
This wouldn’t have happened to Superman. Superman doesn’t take shit from nobody. He ALWAYS gets back at your punk ass. You see, in the comics, especially in the ’70’s, one of Clark Kent’s co-workers was always playing pranks on him. Usually Superman would use one of his powers invisibly to super-breath his shit or something, and make it backfire in the dude’s face. Remember that scene in Superman 2 where he lost his powers, and he goes into the diner and that trucker beats the shit out of him? Then General Zod takes over the world. So Supes gets his powers back, wins the day, tells the president he won’t fail him again, flies off into space and salutes the camera. By all rights the movie should be over at this point. OH FUCKING NO IT’S NOT. One more scene before the credits… Clark Kent walks back into that same diner and beats the FUCKING SHIT out of that trucker and throws him into a pinball machine. Roll credits.
If Bruce Campbell had tried that “I’m not gonna let you into the theatre because you’re late” shit on Clark Kent, he would have heat-visioned his belt buckle until it fell off his pants and cauterized his nutsack. Then while he’s screaming and jumping he would have just walked in. What scout merit badge does he get for that I wonder?
Not that I dislike Spider-Man. I never really appreciated him until I realized that in a hero death-match, Spider-Man would beat Batman. What’s Batman going to do, have a one-armed Green Arrow shoot him with a kryptonite bolt? You see, when you consider these things, most people only weigh in on two variables. They either consider powers and abilities or they look at popularity: who’s the cooler character. Usually people go with the latter if their favored hero would lose in the first category. And that’s usually how it works with Batman.
Batman really can’t do shit on the cold hard numbers, but they have a huge boner for the character, so they fall back on the deus ex machina of “given enough time to plan he can outsmart anyone” bullshit. Plus they bring up the fact that Batman beat Superman in the Dark Knight graphic novel all by himself (with the help of Green Arrow), and he keeps a kryptonite ring in his utility belt. Oh, fuck! Batman is smart and has kryptonite! Superman has never fought a smart adversary with kryptonite! Lex Luthor is a fucking community college dropout with a Glock, I guess.
BUT I DIGRESS… There is a third variable that doesn’t get considered in these matchups. That is the degree of RIDICULOUSNESS of the character. If you are going to pit two characters against one another, you have to agree on how much slack you are going to give towards the stupidity of the character to begin with. Like, “are we going to allow shit just because the character has done it?” If that’s the case, then He-Man (a totally fucked up character) is stronger than the Hulk because even though in Secret Wars the Hulk once held up a mountain. In his cartoon, He-Man threw a moon. HE THREW A FUCKING MOON. I’m not shitting you, he’s that strong. And he’s that stupid. If we are going to allow shit like this, then Chuck Norris beats all of them. Fuck it. I’m going to say that Batman is the Chuck Norris of the comics world.
So if we just go on the first variable, then Spider-Man beats Batman. If we go on the second variable then it’s whichever character you like better. If we consider the third and allow whatever stupid shit you want so long as it’s defined in the character, then Batman loses to Chuck Norris. Spider-Man makes me happy.
And, if it ultimately rests with hero worship, then it always comes down to the comic book money-shot of when the girl finds out the dude’s secret identity. If you are male, you picture yourself as the hero, and the potential love interest is oblivious to your real secret. “She thinks I’m just Joe Schmo, if only she knew who I REALLY am!” Then it’s all about the sublimated fantasy of showing off, and saying, “look at me! I’ve actually been Superguy this entire time!” Now consider Batman. He’s like this creepy stalker guy hiding in the shadows. What’s he going to do? Kidnap her and take her back to his batcave, pop out a bat-wedding ring and say, “I’m Batman”. Batman, by the way, gets off on saying that. In Smallville, Clark Kent takes Lana with him to an Indian archaeological site, teleports them both to his Fortress of Solitude, FLYS her up to a precipice, CRUSHES a lump of coal into a diamond and then WELDS it onto an engagement ring with his heat-vision and proposes. Now that’s style.
So fuck Batman.
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