Image Alt

Justin Korthof

It’s About Perspective

People try to tell me that Superman is simple and naive. They try to suggest to me that Batman’s more psychologically complex stories are where adults REALLY gravitate. And in many cases, they do.

But I actually do think that Batman represents a certain type of naievete. Batman is about trying to CONTROL your environment. He believes that he can STOP bad things from happening. He is forever an 8 year old boy, holding his dying parents in his arms and thinking he can stop this from ever happening again. Batman hopes to eliminate criminals from his world entirely. With his fists.

Superman, for me, has an acceptance that bad things WILL always happen. In many versions, he comes to terms very early in life with the fact that despite his immense power, he cannot stop bad things from happening. That his goal as a hero cannot be to stop bad things from happening, but instead should be about using his gifts to help those in need when the time comes. Sometimes, yes, he can stop a bullet. But he cannot eradicate the darkness that would convince a man to fire it in the first place.

One is about fighting against the dire currents of life, one is about accepting them and trying to make the ride as comfortable as possible. There is maturity and wisdom in acceptance.