6 Ways Iron Man Is Objectively Better Than Batman

The Dark Knight Rises and Iron Man With Some Other Losers (aka The Avengers) prove that, despite everything they claim, the Internet loves sequels and the 1 percent. And I can't disagree with them. I've loved Batman since I was old enough to read and understand what car batteries were.

DC Comics
To this day, I consider "driving" them sort of a waste.

Both Noun-men are easily the best heroes in their universes. They prove that being smart is better than being naturally talented, and also better than being so dumb that you fall into toxic waste vats and don't even know to die from it. Batman beats Superman because when your idea of the perfect hero is "super invincible and he can do anything," you're 7 years old. Which is cool, and we're glad you love comics, but you are 7 years old. Iron Man is better than Captain America because "drug-fueled" and "foreigner-killing" accidentally became everything people hate about America since Cap was invented.

Marvel & Rob Liefeld
Still more believable than Barry Bonds.

But every time I see two heroes in proximity, I have to decide who'll win, because I've found a way to get paid for remaining a child. Anyways, I've settled on a winner, and the answer is Bat-blasphemous. We'll stick to their recent movies, because that's what most people have seen, and they have two each, so it's fair. Ignoring Batman's entire glorious comics history might seem stupid, but since that's what DC Comics has already done with the recent reboot, we're kind of stuck with it. Besides, if I wanted to be unfair, I'd include Batman & Robin.

Warner Bros
Bat-nipples presented without comment, because I don't want to use that phrase more than once.

#6. Iron Man Has a Better Plan

Bruce Wayne traveled the world for years and trained himself to the peak of physical perfection. Tony Stark had one weekend and an actual heart attack and still had time to think "I'd better not get shot in the face!" I know that mentioning headshots around Batman is the comics equivalent of farting in an elevator, but his standard defense against machine guns is back flips. Iron Man doesn't have to worry about hiding. When Batman vanishes into the night, panicked thugs have been known to spray automatic fire into the air because they can't find him. While "Haha, you can't see me" might be satisfying, Batman's primary defense mechanism is at best a pain in the ass and at worst capable of killing hundreds of Gotham slum dwellers in any direction.

Of all people, you'd think he'd know guns were dangerous.

Stark understands that a billionaire training himself to the peak of physical perfection is like a billionaire learning to grow his own organic tomatoes. The whole point of money and technology is not having to do stuff with your bare hands. And for every "Batman could design something to disable the armor," I'd raise you an "Iron Man's actual job is designing things and he knows more about the armor." Sure, if they were stripped naked and locked in a room, Bruce would utterly dominate Tony, but if that's what you want to see, there are websites you can go to.

#5. Iron Man Did More Good

OK, Tony Stark was an arms dealer. That's a challenging origin for a good guy. But his father built the company when weapons merchants were heroes, because Hitler. Howard Stark reversed the polarity of Godwin's law. His entire legacy was "No More Nazis" and "Yes More Captain America," which means he couldn't have been a better advertisement for weapons technology if he were a zombie slowly shambling toward your daughter. Tony genuinely believed that giving the good guys guns was how you fixed things and sacrificed billions to stop the very second he found out he was wrong. The very instant Bruce Wayne didn't get what he wanted, he stormed off to a remote prison hellhole, and while I'll admit that's the most badass version of screaming "I'm going to my room!" and slamming the door possible, that's still what it was.

Warner Bros
And when most rich dilettantes run off to a sweaty house full of mid-Asians to wrestle with, they have a much better time.

While he was busy writhing under Long Dong up there, amoral executives changed his father's legacy from a shining supporter of Gotham into the shadiest company not currently operating out of a volcano base. His sheer neglect let the transport system -- his parents' gleaming gift to Gotham City -- degenerate into a filthy crime-ridden nightmare. Which Batman then blew up. Meanwhile, Wayne Industries became an arms company. The evil executives talked about "getting into" weapons, but they already had military assault vehicles loaded with more missiles than an aircraft carrier, bulletproof armor and a device for vaporizing enemy water supplies in the desert. That's worse than guns! Way worse! The sort of shit they go back and add clauses to the Geneva Conventions for worse! And those weren't top secret projects, those were just a few research odds and ends they had in storage or transport during the movie. Wayne Industries must have had more military projects on the go than the actual U.S. Army.

Sure, Bruce comes back and puts Morgan Freeman in charge (the standard Hollywood solution to everything from selfish weathermen to asteroid strikes), but Wayne Industries still spent years and millions of dollars as the sort of company where "forcing people to die of thirst" was a possible revenue stream.

#4. Iron Man Has a Less Ridiculous Moral Stance

Tony Stark realizes that people have been misusing his inventions to kill people, although when you invent missiles, that's kind of stretching the word "misuse." The profiteering war merchant then blew things up for two straight movies and the only things he killed were robots or actually pointing guns at screaming women and children at that exact moment.

Paramount Pictures
Gray areas are for art-house movies and sober people.

On the other end of the spectrum is Batman, whose "don't kill them immediately" stance is about as moral as the guy from Saw. He's cruel and unusual punishment incarnate. Gotham thugs don't have employee insurance -- every time he cripples one, he is at best dooming them to dying homeless in Gotham, a city that looks like the tenth circle of hell even when you're healthily employed. At worst, it means that thug's wife or girlfriend and kids are now stuck with a bitter psychopath who can no longer be violent outside. Batman has directly caused more spousal abuse than whiskey.

You know how much custom batarangs cost? Remember when he bought at least 20,000 helmets so that his victims couldn't pick him out of a lineup? He could just hire every single mugger in Gotham City. Make the thugs night security in Wayne Industries warehouses and fill them with easily stolen crates of Twinkies and cheap beer and you'd cut the crime rate in half for a tenth of the cost. Throw in a "Thomas and Martha Wayne Foundation" educational program for their families and you'll do more to reduce future crime in Gotham than a nuclear strike.

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Luke McKinney

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