Despite being the most iconic superhero in history, not everybody resonates with Superman. He stands for truth, justice, and the American way. The ideal image of a boy scout. However, humans aren’t naturally that perfect or idealistic. That’s why Batman has surpassed the Man of Steel as DC’s most popular character. Mattson Tomlin, the writer of the upcoming The Batman film, recently had a chance to describe what makes the Caped Crusader such a compelling character to write.
“This is a stupid thing to say,” Tomlin told Inverse. “But when I’m running — at the end when it gets tough physically — if I think to myself, ‘I’m Batman,’ I’ll make my goal.”
“Batman represents a level of sheer human will and determination,” he added. “There’s something about the guy that made me go, ‘Wow, he’s for me and I’m for him.’”
Obviously, the biggest difference between Batman and Superman is that one is human and one is an indestructible superhero. One is dark and brooding while the other is colorful and idealistic. In these cynical times, it’s easy to see why Batman resonates with so many. Simply put, Tomlin just can’t relate to the Last Son of Krypton.
“I wish I could be the guy who fully relates to Superman — just be a Boy Scout and do the right thing,” Tomlin said. “That’s not who I am.”
Tomlin isn’t the first writer to have trouble relating to Superman. Steven T. Seagle wrote an entire graphic novel tackling the issue in 2004’s It’s A Bird…. Seagle eventually learned to appreciate the character and wrote several comic books featuring Superman.
It’s clear that DC and Warner Bros. are having issues figuring out what to do with Superman. Ta-Nehisi Coates has been tasked with developing a new take on the character but it remains to be seen if that will be what gets Superman back to the forefront of the pop culture zeitgeist.