Don’t be distracted by the powers of Superman versus the hi-tech weapons of Batman… for this is mostly a tale of super miscommunication, or rather, lack of communication. In one corner is Superman, a ‘god-like’ figure so powerful that he is able to destroy the world. And in the other corner is Batman, a most resourceful human, able to keep Superman in check. Mistaking each other’s good will for humankind as terrorism, thus the battle.
It began with Supe, who created accidental collateral damage when fending off a super villain. Bats saw this as to mean that Supe has potential to be a super-terrorist. In the mean time, Supe saw Bats’ above the law ‘taking out’ of criminals to be terrorism. Well Supe was just doing what he had to, with no intention to harm, while Bats was also doing what he saw fit, as the legal system was weak. Of course, both could had been more mindful? (What’s with Bats’ firing? Has he lost his shoot-anything-except-deadly-bullets policy?)
Both kind of had the Messiah complex, thinking oneself to be the only one capable of saving the world. The self-righteous always find it hard to see themselves as wrong. Think actual terrorists. They have the ‘Messiah complex’ too, thinking their wrecking of chaos will hasten apocalyptic coming of their ‘Messiah’. They even glorify mass-murder with suicide, assuming this brings about selfish eternal heavenly rewards. Yes, some believe there is a deity coming to destroy the world amidst chaos, while saving some selected ‘tribes’, sending most to eternal hell.
Lex Luthor delivered much wit on this – ‘Devils don’t come from hell beneath us. They come from the sky… God is tribal, God takes sides! No man in the sky intervened when I was a boy, to deliver me from Daddy’s fist and abominations. I figured out way back that if God is all-powerful, he cannot be all-good. And if he is all-good, then he cannot be all-powerful. And neither can you be.’ He was referring to the belief that demons are fallen angels banished from heaven, as created by an ‘all-good’ and ‘all-loving’ creator God, who lets them wreck havoc on earth. He was hinting that such a God is evil, being evil’s creator and sustainer.
His lamentation of not being helped when helpless was proof that there is no all-powerful and all-good God, for if he was so powerful and so good, he would have been helped. Not being helped meant God was  not all-powerful, or  not all-good, or  not all-powerful and not all-good, or  does not exist. Buddhas however, are all-good, all-wise and have the utmost spiritual power, yet not all-powerful, for if so, karma’s natural functioning that causes suffering such as Luthor’s would had been prevented entirely! This is why the Buddha taught there to be no omnibenevolent, omniscient and omnipotent creator God. Buddhahood is as perfectly good, perfectly wise and as super powerful as we can get!
Some saw Supe to be ‘false god’ and of course they were right. He was just an alien trying to leverage on his powers for greater good. Some saw Bats to be a ‘demon’, and they were kind of ‘right’ too. He was just a human still demonised by his earlier inability to save his parents, and the law’s inability to prevent their deaths. He thus demonises criminals. None claimed to be perfect, while they do slide on a scale of goodness (not godliness). Problems arose from trying to see absolute evil or good in their relative natures. May this be a lesson not to demonise or deify any unenlightened being.
According to scriptural records, the Buddha was the only real and perfect one who walked the Earth so far… Why the fuss over movies with fictitious heroes and villains then? And why are they are able to rake in hundreds of millions at the box office? Deep down, we probably wish to see dramatic moral dilemmas being played out for our reflection… okay, and sheer entertainment. Supe and Bats have become deeply rooted contemporary mythological heroes for our times. Though unreal, they have real messages to convey.
The true questions to ask are what we would do in either’s shoes. And though we are not super powerful or super rich like them, what can we best do to be as super and skilful as we can for greater good? Although heroes do work in teams against common foes, heroes mostly do not wait for other heroes to come. They simply inspire more heroes to arise. Think Wonder Woman here. (Spoiler next… Truce was called when Bats clarified with Supe that he was fighting him to save his mother, with her name as his. Empathy softened his heart.) May we not fight one another, and save one another’s mother (Martha) sentient beings instead!
A Bodhisattva ‘Man Of Steel’
Are Buddhas Omnipotent, Omnibenevolent & Omniscient?
Can A ‘Creator God’ Be ‘Created’?