Batman is beloved because he actually had to work to turn himself into an icon. He was born into favor but had everything taken from him. That traumatizing event made him realize that even all the money in the world couldn’t give him control, but instead, all he could really control washimself, his own focus. He turned that focus on exacting revenge, and doing his best to never let anybody else feel the pain and heartbreak he experienced. He soon recognized that it was going to take a level of dedication and discipline that required work no one else would be willing to do. The fact that he’s a normal human being, who bleeds like everybody else is something that everybody in America can identify with, respect and above all, appreciate.
America, though, also appreciates the dominating success stories, just look at all the New York Yankees fans around the nation. So take a minute to consider Superman. Saved from his planet Krypton, he wound up on Earth. He never had to work at fighting crime. When you have the power of flight, possess x-ray vision, can bend steel, and deflect bullets with your well chiseled pectoral muscles… well, crime fighting just comes naturally. In fact, how upset would we be with Superman if he didn’t fight crime? “Look at all that God-given talent that went to waste,” we would say.
While all of us can be fans of somebody like Superman (and wish we could fly), how many of us could truly relate to being born with such powers? Nobody. On the other hand, everybody in life values hard-work and recognizes the rewards that such work can bring. Batman’s history of work represents America’s creed: work as hard as you can, and you can be anything you want, regardless of what that is. We all can’t be Superman, but if we work hard enough, we could be Batman.
Next: Why LeBron James is the NBA’s real Superman…
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