From my experience, comic lovers or nerds in general can be separated into two categories: Batman or Superman. They’re the people you see walking the streets sporting an over-priced t-shirt from their local Hot Topic with either a big red S or an elongated yellow bat across the front, a keychain (or two) of the same logo dangling from their lanyard and at least three other items at home of the same breed. Of course, as any stereotypical statement, this can be disproven. I’m sure there are a couple people out there that stray from the norm and share an equal amount of nerdy love for both of the superhero pop culture icons, but even they probably feel more inclined towards one or the other. Why is this?
I believe it has something to do with what the two supermen embody. Superman was created in the 1930’s by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and since then has been morphed into a soft-hearted character that stands for everything good and just. Daily Planet reporter, Clark Kent, is the classic “nice guy” from a well-to-do, all-American family with great morals almost to a fault. Using his alien Kryptonian powers for the good of humanity, he transforms into Superman, sporting brightly colored spandex, and a red cape to boot, to help those in need against evil villains.
Batman, on the other hand, is often referred to as an anti-hero. Also created in the 1930’s by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Batman, or Bruce Wayne as his true identity is named, seems to embody the dark side of justice and human nature. After all, he started his fight against the evil of Gotham City as an act of revenge rather than for the mere good of humanity, like his golden boy counter-part. Even the color palate of his suit reflects that of his darker nature, and while Clark Kent came from the all-American farming family, Bruce Wayne was born into high class with extremely wealthy parents. This immense wealth was handed down to him after their unfortunate deaths, making him one of the richest bachelors in Gotham City, and allowing him the resources to create his Batman persona: weapons, Bat Mobile, and all.
There are these differences and more between Batman and Superman, two of the most popular superhero icons in all of comic book history, and while it’s probably not as cookie-cutter as all that to determine why one fan would prefer one over the other, it’s safe to say that these big differences between them play some kind of role. Either way, both of these superheroes have been kicking villain butt for over fifty years and deserve all the unconditional nerdy love they receive.