In Defense of Superman v. Batman (Cuz it needs to be said)
Or: In Which LewaLew Impersonates Kraagh
Of course, I already posted this in Kraagh's Blog, but it needs to be said louder.
A. Inherited Powers
Batman is the richest guy in the world. And he inherited all of his assets. The intensive training he underwent would be impossible without all that dough. Superman's abilities were inherited genetically. Both were born with great power. Batman's was just more indirect.
B. Clark Kent v. Bruce Wayne
Clark Kent has human problems. A romance, an actual job. A life. Bruce Wayne's life is a farce, to throw off suspicion. He would rather just be Batman all of the time. Kent is far more human than Wayne, even if he is from another planet. He was raised as a human, whereas Wayne has been little more than a empty shell since his parents died.
II. Rogues Galleries
A. Why Superman Sticks to Metropolis
And then you can compare the kind of trouble Metropolis gets in comparison to Gotham. Gotham gets rampant street level crime, while Metropolis gets scattered attacks by intergalactic conquerers, and untouchable white-collar criminals like Luthor. And Superman could bring world peace, but it would end up being something like Justice Lord Superman rather than Boy Scout Superman, and that's not something Superman is going to do.
B. Why Superman's Villains are Still a Challenge
It does take skill for Superman to take on the threats he handles. How would you trick Mxysptlk into saying his name backwards? Even Superman is weaker than Darkseid, so his skill is what wins him the fights there. And speaking of overpowered,
BTW, Batman is a perfect physical specimen, a supergenious, a multi-billionaire, and knows everything. And he accumulated all this skill, knowledge, ability, and resources before he reached the prime of his life. How realistic is that?
Vulnerability is one point I will give you.
Except for the fact that Superman's top villains are evenly matched. Darkseid is stronger, and has Omega Beams, Brainiac is smarter, about as strong, and more invincible, and Luthor is not well known as a criminal, or his crimes can't be proven in most stories, which makes him untouchable, a la Al Capone. And Superman is also vulnerable to magic, which means he has to outsmart people like Mxysptlk and other magical beings.
And let me throw in the Parasite for good measure, who can drain Superman's power, or General Zod, who has all of Superman's powers, or Amazo, who has Superman's powers, as well as those of the rest of the Justice League (which actually makes him more of a JL villain, but whatever). For what he goes up against, Superman is just as vulnerable as Batman.
C. Coolness of Villains
You can argue that Joker is an amazing villain, but you can't say that Darkseid, Luthor, or Zod aren't on his level. Zod is basically Hitler from Krypton, Luthor is a more realistic villain than anybody in Batman's bunch, and Darkseid is... Darkseid. He's what Zod and Hitler wish they were.
III. Gotham v. Metropolis
Honestly, if there was actually a town like Gotham, who would stick around? It is portrayed as having a ridiculous crime level, and yet it remains a city comparable to Chicago or New York. No one in their right mind in the middle class would willingly live there, particularly when the far more realistic city (and higher standard of living) in Metropolis is so nearby.
Metropolis is essentially NYC, except with a few more alien invasions, which is about the same of what Spider-Man gets in Marvel's version of NYC. As realism goes, Superman's hometown wins.
Given the choice between NYC and one giant slum, which is the more interesting?
Apparently, Gotham's sports stadiums are so insecure, terrorists can sneak explosives underneath it. Which makes for a really cool movie scene, but probably also the least realistic movie of Nolan's trilogy.