The Batman vs. The Dark Knight debate has been raging for years. With their similar looks and tough-guy personas, it’s no surprise that fans of the two heroes often get confused as to who’s side they should be on. Does the more evil and popular Batman deserve to win, or does his nemesis The Dark Knight still deserve his title as the best superhero of all time? Let’s take a closer look at the two characters and which one is the better hero. (And don’t worry, we’ll also discuss which one’s outfit you should wear to bed.)
Who Is The Better Superhero?
With his dark skin and sleek, muscular physique, The Dark Knight definitely has the appearance of a superhero. And for better or for worse, he has the talent to match as well. Able to fight off his opponents with a single punch, the crime fighter typically gets the better of duels with super villains. While most are lucky enough to be starstruck by The Dark Knight’s good looks, those who know him best say there’s much more to the superhero than meets the eye. Quoting Batman himself, the great British crime fighter and screenwriter Alan Moore said, “If looks could kill, he’d be the most spectacularly handsome man in the world.” So it’s clear that on the surface, at least, this rivalry has a lot of appeal.
Does Batman Have What It Takes To Be The Better Hero?
Batman was created by American cartoonist Bill Finger in Detective Comics #27. Having been inspired by the success of film serials like King Kong and Frankenstein, Finger originally used the caped crusader as a generic superhero type. But over the years, fans have noticed certain differences between The Dark Knight and Batman that hint at the possibility of one being superior to the other.
- Batman’s humble beginnings — As previously stated, Finger borrowed the idea of a superhero from the success of film serials like King Kong and Frankenstein. But these films were all based on true events, and their influences are visible in Batman’s early stories as well. For example, the Riddler’s obsession with chess is directly inspired by King Kong, and Batman’s early rogues were inspired by T. Rex, the big green animatronic dinosaur in the film who functions as a kind of proto-Riddler.
- The Dark Knight’s more mature style — While the Batman film series has always been known for its bright colors and campy humor, the comics have progressively taken on a more mature look as the stories have continued. One of the best examples of this is The Batgirl series, which was once considered a kids’ title but has turned into a must-read for any Batman enthusiast.
- Dick Grayson’s return as Batman’s sidekick — One of the defining characteristics of the Batman films is that they usually feature at least one member of the extended Bat-Family. Another great example of this trend is the Dick Grayson series, which depicts the former sidekick as a successful CEO who has to hide his identity from the world due to an incident that forced him to retire from superheroics. When not in costume, Grayson often wears a mask that renders his identity completely anonymous — the ultimate in privacy protection and modern anti-heroism.
- The Dark Knight’s psychological profiles — Just like real people, superheroes can have secrets. But due to his profession, the chances that The Dark Knight will be revealing any are probably higher than that of a normal person. One of the defining elements of the Batman mythology is that the Dark Knight constantly has to fight against his own psychological quirks. Something almost everyone can relate to, given the numerous dark forces that threaten the psyches of even the most stable individuals. For example, Batman’s archenemy, the Joker, often makes him question his own judgement. And what is a super villain if not someone who tries to trick you into doing something horrible?
- The Dark Knight’s sophisticated fighting techniques — With all the talk of psychological warfare and shady dealings, it’s no wonder that The Dark Knight is such a deadly foe. Beyond his raw physical talent, the Batman learns kung fu from Bruce Lee and then upgrades his arsenal with weapons and gadgets from the best science fiction movies of the 1960s.
- Batman’s versatility — In order to save the city, Batman has to be the best of all possible heroes. This means that he needs to be able to fight crime in all its forms — which at the time of writing this article, he can — but it also means he has to be able to adapt to changing situations. For example, if a new type of villain shows up, Batman needs to be able to fight with a variety of weapons, from sharpened claws to a bare fist. As the man himself would say, “What’s next?”
- The Dark Knight’s dedication to justice — No one is better at defending the city than Batman. Whether it’s putting an end to corruption or punishing the guilty, he always goes the extra mile to do what is right. It is for this reason that he is a paragon of all that is good and just. While some people may argue that Batman’s methods are extreme and not suited for this era, one must remember that he is merely following the example set by his father, Thomas Wayne, who was murdered by mobsters when Batman was just a young boy. This act led Batman to vow to fight crime and make the city a better place.
- Batman’s unwavering sense of morality — Although Batman fights criminals and terrorists, the vast majority of his stories feature ordinary people who cross his path. Due to this, it is easy for readers to relate to the Dark Knight as he gives them the opportunity to fight the good fight against the villainous forces that threaten the city’s safety and security.
- The Dark Knight’s brooding, anti-establishment philosophy — If you want to understand why The Dark Knight is considered by many to be the single greatest superhero of all time, you need only look to his backstory. The orphaned child of a murdered billionaire, The Dark Knight learned to fight for his own survival from an early age. Raised in poverty in the ghettos of Gotham City, the young Bruce Wayne was forced to fight for fun and food. This hardened him, making him even more determined to do what is right and fight the good fight. And what is the good fight, but an all-out war against the wealthy and well-connected who are responsible for the city’s troubles? The Dark Knight has declared war on these individuals, and he will not rest until justice is served. In a time when the world seems to be breaking down, it is easy to be inspired by the dark knight’s example.
- Here, let’s compare the two superhero’s weaknesses — Like most superheroes, both The Dark Knight and Batman have their Achilles’ heel. In The Dark Knight’s case, it’s not a physical weakness, but a psychological one. When the Dark Knight goes into battle mode, he not only gains strength, but also becomes very reckless. For those who know him well, this is something of a gift. However, this reckless behavior usually gets him into trouble. While Batman’s lack of self-control often lands him in hot water, it also usually lands him in hot … knees.
- What Is The Difference Between The Dark Knight And Batman?
As we’ve established, there’s a lot more to The Dark Knight than meets the eye. And that’s exactly what makes up for his weaknesses. With his rich background, the orphaned child of a murdered billionaire has had more than enough time to prepare for his grudge match against the Batman. He may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he’s definitely the meanest.
On the flip side, Batman has had even more time to hone his craft. Over 75 years and 27 films later, the Dark Knight still isn’t quite satisfied with his skills. While he has managed to fight off his enemies, the Dark Knight is constantly looking for ways to improve. And he seems to have found a mentor in the form of the Arkham Knight — the character played by Gary Oldman in the upcoming Joker movie. Impressed with his pupil’s progress, the Dark Knight decides to take him on as an apprentice. This was a smart move on his part, as it gives the latter the opportunity to fight the good fight alongside the former. But it also means that the master of all stealth has to share his secrets with someone who isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
Does Batman Deserve To Win?
This is probably the most difficult question to answer, because there’s no clear-cut right or wrong in terms of these two titans of society going head-to-head. It really depends on which one you root for. If you’re in the vein of more realistic stories, where the hero isn’t always the good guy, then you have to go with The Dark Knight. After all, he is the original and still the best when it comes to portraying the bad side of existence.