May 7, 2008

Relatability is Overrated

I was watching, earlier today, a special feature on the New Frontier DVD about the Justice League, and they talked about the core members one by one.

Upon getting to Batman, one of the people said, "I could always relate to Batman more than Superman because he was just a real guy with no powers."

Ex-CUSE me?

How does one "relate" to Batman?

When tragedy befalls you, does it consume your life to the point of training for every single martial art and known tactics of criminology and hard science?

No powers? How the hell do you think he's able to master EVERY form of martial arts by the time he's 30? You're lucky if you know ONE.

By that logic, you find Green Arrow more relatable than Spider-Man.

I know that I relate more to the nerdy kid who can't get a date in high school much more than I relate to some rich guy who got stranded on a desert island and hung out with a teenage boy.

Are powers all that matter?

Does RELATABILITY matter as much as it's made out to?

SHOULD we be proud that we relate more to the guy who's driven by tragedy, rather than the guy who does good just because it's the right thing to do?

Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, is completely fearless and completely honest. He's incapable of so much as a white lie. Why would you want him any other way?

Especially in a genre such as superheroes, where they're supposed to be role models, isn't it just as important, if not moreso, to be able to look up to them more than to relate to them?

Are we all actually admitting that we're not really going to do good unless something pushes us into it, and unless guilt KEEPS pushing us into it?

Well, that just makes me sad.

Especially when you say you relate to Batman.

Here's a guy who can't function past his 8-year-old self, who is so obsessed with that one night, that he can't move on with his life.

Compare it with someone like Jack Knight (Starman), who was driven by the death of his brother, but is still able, in his exploits as Starman, to work with a smile on his face. While his brother's death was what drove him into the life, it's not what keeps him there.

Just my $.02.