Illustration for article titled Whos Cooler? Batman or Superman?

It's the question that fandom has been debating since 1939 - even though we all secretly know the answer. Is the Man of Steel cooler than the Dark Knight? For all the similarities they share, whether it be their orphan status, their crush on Wonder Woman or their fashion sense, the struggle over which of the two characters is the better has raged on for decades. Now, Grant Morrison - who's written both characters for years in All-Star Superman, Batman and JLA, amongst other books - has weighed in on the subject, suggesting that your answer depends on how old you are.In an interview about his recently-completed All Star Superman series, Morrison compared the first superhero with the star of everyone's favorite box office smash:

We’re all Superman in our own adventures. We have our own Fortresses of Solitude we retreat to, with our own special collections of valued stuff, our own super–pets, our own “Bottle Cities” that we feel guilty for neglecting. We have our own peers and rivals and bizarre emotional or moral tangles to deal with... Batman is obviously much cooler, but that’s because he’s a very energetic and adolescent fantasy character: a handsome billionaire playboy in black leather with a butler at this beck and call, better cars and gadgetry than James Bond, a horde of fetish femme fatales baying around his heels and no boss. That guy’s Superman day and night. Superman grew up baling hay on a farm. He goes to work, for a boss, in an office. He pines after a hard–working gal. Only when he tears off his shirt does that heroic, ideal inner self come to life. That’s actually a much more adult fantasy than the one Batman’s peddling but it also makes Superman a little harder to sell.


So, is Superman the dream of grown-ups, while Batman speaks to a more adolescent idea of coolness? And if so, what does that say about the huge success of The Dark Knight this summer? (In the interests of full disclosure, I've always preferred Superman - but then, ) All Star Memories: Grant Morrison on All Star Superman, 1 [Newsarama]

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