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.
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.
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.
Bat-nipples presented without comment, because I don't want to use that phrase more than once.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Iron Man's Tactics Are a Better Selfish Waste of Ridiculously Advanced Technology
Both "heroes" are ridiculously selfish billionaires abusing privilege like they hired it to wear a gimp mask in their basement. Note how this would only fit the actual strategy of one of the two.
And several of his villains.
Both hoard technology that could revolutionize society just to "revolutionize" the faces of anyone who looks at them funny. Tony Stark uses functional AI and a free power source to drunk drive in a way there aren't laws against yet, but at least he enjoys it. This might sound like a bad thing for a man loaded with more weaponry and alcohol than every pirate in history put together, but if a madman is burning through a thousand dollars per second, I'd prefer to know that at least he likes it.
Oh, and in the current comics, he's working on infinite free energy for the world. So there's that.
Bruce Wayne embezzles more funds than Enron and uses it to hunt poor people for sport. And he doesn't enjoy it. When you see Bruce Wayne brooding over his inability to stop crime while he could buy the entire GCPD body armor and a bigger fence for Arkham and still have change to get some therapy, it's just annoying. Don't forget The Dark Knight's total perfect anti-crime surveillance system. That thing made Minority Report look like a bloody horoscope, and Batman only used it once, to prove that a man who wears a cape and clings to your roof doesn't give a shit about your privacy. Then he blew it up, because "something something privacy."
"I only did it once, so it's OK. That's how crime and utter violation of personal space work, right?"
So to all the kids kidnapped or disappeared in Gotham from now on: tough luck, assholes. Batman never wanted to have sex with you like he did with Maggie Gyllenhaal, so you don't get to be instantly located and saved. This is the one time where Gotham children would have been safer if all those tired jokes about gay Robin child-sex had been true.
Iron Man Is Portrayed by a More Suitable Actor
If you're talking about comic book movies, you have to mention the actors. They're the Internet psychopath's favorite way of claiming something will suck months before it even exists. So it's good that both had the most perfect players possible without involving genetic engineering.
This could be a shot of the actor or the character. It's impossible to tell. And don't tell me Tony Stark wouldn't put up posters of his own suits.
Robert Downey Jr. was stuck being a boyfriend on the wimpy romantic legal comedy Ally McBeal, the exact opposite role to Iron Man, until he got fired for drug offenses and became the ultimate Method actor. Since then, he's become Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes, the two best drug abusers in fictional history. Christian Bale is also the perfect Batman: American Psycho was ideal practice for a wealthy lunatic indulging in violence every night, while Equilibrium and The Machinist perfect the emotionally deficient psychopath aspects of the exact same thing.
Iron Man Never Caused Hell on Earth
It might be a minor point, but Tony Stark never cast thousands of innocent poor people into a murderer-filled hell on Earth. Sure, he might have dumped parts of an experimental superweapon a few miles from terrorists who wanted an experimental superweapon, but he literally paid the price for that. Everything blown up from that point on belonged to Stark: the arc reactor, the F1 car, the Stark Expo. Hell, even all the terrorist weapons he exploded were technically his. The worst collateral damage was the Stark Industries bottom line.
And be honest: You'd pay just to do this if you could.
Batman discovered a legendary group of highly trained assassins led by a madman sworn to destroy Gotham, and his best plan was "Piss him off, save his life and forget about him." This directly led to the entire population of Arkham Asylum escaping into the Gotham slums. At the same time, Ra's al Ghul vaporized the fear gas on his way to the central hub. Sure, Batman stopped him from destroying the entire city, but only after the poorest section of the city was flooded with hallucination-causing fear gas and actual injury-causing rapists and murderers. The Narrows became the eleventh circle of hell. And with all the chaos in the richer parts of the city the train ran through, it'll be days before the police arrive, and even that's where you're imagining a double-fictional world where the Gotham PD can so much as wipe their asses without Batsisstance.
Make no mistake, dozens of people died during the action-packed finale.
And Batman is still the second-best hero in existence. I'm just saying that if you want someone to save your life, maybe choose the guy who likes being alive and is prepared to publicly admit that he's doing it.
Disagree with Luke? Great! Ridiculous discussions are the third most popular thing on the Internet after breasts, and he honestly only wrote this article because his wife refuses to have these discussions with him. She's also why he doesn't need the Internet's breasts. He's looking forward to counterarguments that aren't based on swearing.
For more Avenging action, check out The 5 Worst Avengers of All Time. Luke also tumbles, has a website and will discuss absolutely any super vs. super battle he understands the names of.
For more superheroics, behold The 7 Most Spectacularly Hilariously Mismatched Superhero Battles and The 8 Worst X-Men Ever.