Being More Like Batman Would’ve Saved Superman’s Life


DC’s newest issue of Superman reveals that the Man of Steel put himself in a potentially fatal situation by not being more like Batman.

Warning: major spoilers ahead for Superman #31!

Being more like Batman would’ve saved Superman’s life in a new comic. The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel have very different approaches to dangerous situations. Superman #31 reveals that Superman’s go-to strategy may prove to be his undoing.

Superman #30 and #31 have featured a team up of Superman and his son Jon Kent. The two have been investigating the Shadowbreed on a distant planet where the Thrakkamite alien species live. The previous issue revealed that the Shadowbreed were a threat to the planet, while the newest issue shows just how dangerous they really are. Jon Kent is finding himself at the forefront of the conflict, as he learns how to be the best hero he can be from his super dad.

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Created by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Scott Godlewski, Norm Rapmund, Gabe Eltaeb, and Dave Sharpe, Superman #31 reveals that the Man of Steel’s compassion and tactics have gotten him into fatal trouble.  Superman is dedicated to saving people of all species in the galaxy and his predominant tactic is to swoop in ready to help. He jumps right into battle even if he doesn’t fully know what he is up against. This tactic, based on the events of Future State and recent Action Comics issues, could prove to be Superman’s undoing.

The Thrakkamites and their planet have been taken over by the Shadowbreed. As soon as they prove to be a real, ongoing threat, Superman does what he always does. He charges in to save the innocents. The problem is that this time there aren’t any. Superman is too late since the Thrakkamites have all been taken over, creating a trap for the hero. Luckily, there’s still hope in Jonathan, who had split from his father. Based on Future State and Superman’s potential upcoming death or disappearance, it may not be a large amount of hope, however. This occasion provides an interesting look at how Superman’s typical fighting and confrontation style can be turned into a major weakness for the hero. His desire to save people causes him to jump in, without necessarily scoping out the situation and without making a thorough plan.

All of this is in stark contrast to Batman, who plots out his moves before engaging. The Dark Knight has a tendency to scope out situations from a distance before jumping into the fray. He makes plans, trains his backup to be able to account for changes in plan, and often goes in rather well-prepared. This is most likely in part due to the analytical approach that Batman just has as a result of being a nonpowered vigilante over a superpowered hero. Batman stakes out his enemies, collects intel, then prepares his arsenal to take on a variety of threats. While this may seem like overkill at times, it keeps him alive.

Bruce Wayne is not naturally bulletproof and therefore is highly aware of his mortality. Superman on the other hand doesn’t have the same problem. He is bulletproof and has very few weaknesses, the most obvious being kryptonite, though his big heart is easily another worth targeting. Had Superman taken the time to scope out the situation better, he wouldn’t have flown straight into a trap designed especially for him – no kryptonite required – and he may be further from death than he is. Being tactical and cautious like Batman is something that Superman should consider if he survives the Shadowbreed.

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