Is Batman REALLY A Superhero?

Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Find more of Drew's stuff at KSK or on Twitter. Email the Funbag here. Today, we're covering whales, video games, superheroes and more.

Your letters:

Ryan:

I told my buddy, who was wearing a Batman t-shirt, that Batman is a lame superhero, mainly because he doesn't have any kind of super power. He was, to say the least, taken aback. He has told several people about my statements and all are in agreement that Batman is an awesome superhero.

Here's my position: Batman is just some rich douchebag (who, by the way, inherited his money from his family rather than creating his own fortune like a real man) who was able to train for years and fight because he has no actual responsibilities. He has his gadgets, but he can't even design or build them himself. Also, Robin is his sidekick. None of these should elevate anyone who doesn't have a superpower to superhero status.

I think most people get hung up on the fact that he is a billionaire, gets lots of women, and the most recent movies have been pretty cool. That may be so, but I'm viewing Batman as a superhero in a vacuum, ignoring everything else that may be cool about him.

Sometimes I also get a little annoyed that there's no demarcation between superheroes who have actual powers and superheroes who derives powers from a special suit or piece of equipment. By your logic, neither Batman nor Iron Man are actually superheroes, but rather Rich Men in Suits (or RMSs, for short). But tell me, is Batman really any less deserving of his superhero status than Spiderman, who was just some asshole kid who happened to get bitten by a cool spider (in the movie, at least. I'm well aware his origin story is different in the comic)? What makes Spiderman more inherently deserving of the mantle?

I grew up assuming that if you have a costume and a nickname, that pretty much ensures that you're a superhero. But Ryan is right in noting that there should be something that distinguishes people that have special powers within their bodies (like Superman) versus RMSs, who rely on external hardware to fly and lift cars and shit. It shouldn't be an asterisk. Batman deserves way more respect than that (though not the kid wearing the Batman shirt. He's a dipshit). Something like Superhero (hardware division). And where does Wolverine go? He's a man-made mutant. Does he go to the hardware division? What about Green Lantern, who's just a ponce without his ring?

I remember reading an Ebert review of X-Men a while back, and Ebert (who wasn't a comic book reader) had a hard time believing that Wolverine was a more revered superhero than Storm, given that Storm has far greater superpowers than Wolverine. Wolverine can heal quick and has sharp claws. Storm can control the fucking WEATHER. Now, everyone knows the answer to this is because Wolverine is a stogie-chomping badass and Storm is fucking lame. But someone out there (not me) has to do a thorough ranking of superheroes strictly by their superpowers. This site did a shitty job of it, what with Juggernaut somehow ranking higher than Galactus. Galactus would kick the shit out of Juggernaut.

Anyway, these rankings would prove useful in a whole who-would-beat-who superhero argument. Because I bet, on a neutral field, Magneto would absolutely PUMMEL Batman.

I would also like to voice my strong objection to any comic book heroes or villains who have NO powers of any kind, not even from a suit. What is the fucking point of Lex Luthor? Ooooh he's bald! BIG. FUCKING. DEAL. He doesn't even have a nickname. It's pathetic.

Nelson:

Do you ever open the fridge multiple times in a row, and then the fridge all of the sudden becomes extremely difficult to open, like it just sealed itself shut! What the Fuck!? Now I have to use two hands to open this bitch.

I kind of enjoy it when that happens. I'll close the fridge door and then openly it again immediately afterwards just to experience that tight seal. Makes me feel like I'm opening a bank vault. There is treasure inside this Maytag, the likes of which ye have never seen! SALAMIS BIG AS DINOSAUR TAILS!

Anyway, I checked Yahoo! answers for the answer to this, and the explanation was that, "The first time you opened the door, warm air entered and, when you closed it again the air inside cooled and contracted and caused a partial vacuum that 'pulled' the door closed tighter." Sounds good to me.

Tyson:

I wanted to share with you my 4 year olds art pen…tough to read but states "use alcohol to easily correct mistakes"

I read it and immediately starting laughing. My wife did not appreciate my commentary to my daughter that her pen is basically directing my life.

Is Batman REALLY A Superhero?S

Such pertinent life advice. I feel like that should be written on all diplomas.

Jeff:

I'm currently on a rural rotation for my Midwest medical school. I have been assigned to a town with a population of 1,300 and currently live out of a hotel room. There are no stoplights, no restaurants, a liquor store, a gas station that is also the pizza parlor, and two empty taverns. Not a lot going on here. I brought down an old Nintendo 64 system and a few games to keep me from going crazy during my down time. Here's my question, if you were in my situation, and could only bring down one game, electronic system of your choice, what are you bringing down? I'm going with Zelda for 64, mainly because it would take a while to beat again and I've worked through Madden X-number of times. Your thoughts?

My last console was a Nintendo 64, which makes me feel impossibly old. I haven't played video games since, and I used that particular console every weekend to get stoned and play Mario Golf (Solid Gold Mario was a fucking pimp). I still play it once in a while, but if I were you, I'd spring for the PlayStation 3 or whatever and get Madden. You'd be able to waste tons of time learning it, then days and weeks more playing new seasons and learning to master it. You have the time. May as well do it. One of the downsides of parenthood (there are many) is that my video game acumen has been virtually destroyed, so much so that once my children begin playing video games (and Lord, that can't happen soon enough), I'll be the clumsy old man who can barely work the controller. It's fucking depressing. I was never a great gamer, but I did just fine at NHL '94 and what have you. Once I finally resurface in the video game world, I'll be utterly helpless, though the hiatus means the graphics will blow my fucking mind.

But really, you have better things to do in a small town than play games. Why not befriend the daughter of the local tavern owner, who is surely beautiful but might harbor ulterior motives you won't learn until she's your betrothed and she's convinced you to murder her former lover? I've always wanted to be caught in that kind of situation.

Guy:

Here's the situation: You have to bang two girls of your choice, but their two ages must add up to 20. Do you make one legal at the expense of the other? Or somewhere in between?

/going to hell

Jesus, that's the worst question I've ever been asked. I want to go throw up, it's so morally repugnant. I'll take the nineteen-year-old and the toddler.

John:

If there's a better feeling than seeing the delivery man pull into your driveway, I'm not sure I want to feel it.

The polar opposite of that is waiting for the delivery guy to come and seeing a car that you think is the delivery guy but is in fact a delivery guy from a DIFFERENT restaurant whizzing past your house. God, you feel so empty. It's like waiting at the airport and seeing a car that's the same make as the car of the person picking you up, only it isn't that person but someone else giving some other fuckface a lift home. Completely destroys your spirits.

Or when you're waiting for a subway and an out-of-service subway speeds through the tunnel without stopping. Why is the car out of service? Looks perfectly functional to me. Do they run out-of-service cars through the entire system just to make you angry? I feel like they do.

There's also a unique problem if you ride the New York subway where, if you're waiting a local stop on the Subway, an express train will go through your station at least seven times before the pissant local train finally comes sputtering in. It's anguish.

Last example: Waiting for dinner at a restaurant and then seeing the busboy come out with a tray of food that LOOKS like what you ordered but is, in fact, the order of another table. Sometimes, every dish matches up with you. So not only have you been cruelly teased, but you're also being told you have no originality when it comes to ordering. It's a really demoralizing experience. Then the busboy comes out again five minutes later and unfolds the tray stand near your table and you realize your food is finally here and all that bad blood goes away. Seeing them undo that tray stand near my table makes my dick hard.

Jake:

I remember a guy a while back said he fucked his mom in a dream once, which is bad. But I say I've had a worse dream. I dreamt that I performed an abortion with my mouth. Yes, in my dream I had an aborted fetus in my mouth. To make matters even more horrifying, I accidentally bit down on the little thing while it was in my mouth. I dream-vomited. I then woke up and actually vomited. Now, you said the other guy wasn't fucked up because he was horrified by his dream. But I ask you, how can someone have an oral abortion dream and not be completely screwed in the head?

Yes, but was it your MOM'S abortion? Because that would be the tops. Anyway, I say that there is NO dream so repulsive that it's a clear sign of mental illness. Your conscious thoughts and actions are a far more telling indicator than whatever fucked up brainstorming your subconscious does on a nightly basis. According to this site:

If a man is having this dream it usually means that he is experiencing guilt feelings and he may be anticipating failure in love or money.

You see? It doesn't mean you're fucked in the head. You're just going broke. So much better.

By the way, I have never had an abortion dream of any sort, much less one where I eat said abortion. But now that Jake has introduced the concept, I'm terrified of having it happen. Because it WILL. There's no stopping it. I'mma go to sleep one night, and there will be an abortion burger waiting for me. God is so, so cruel.

Bootsy:

Part of my job requires having email conversations with people I've never met. Whenever I receive an email from a girl, I immediately look her up on Facebook to see if she's hot. That's normal, right?

Oh, sure.

HALFTIME!

Jim:

If you had to guess, how much would gas have to be per gallon here in the U.S., for violence and crime to start rising to almost Mad Max-like levels for the "precious juice"?

Probably $40 a gallon or so. And the thing is that it WILL get that high at some point. And personally, I can't wait. Because that will allow me to get out of virtually every social obligation. Listen cousin Jethro, I'd love to come visit you in South Dakota sometime. But, you know… THE GAS WARS. Not happening. Looks like I'm staying in and drinking for the 75th consecutive weekend!

Justin:

Appropriately enough, my cable company's logo looks like anal beads being ripped out of an asshole.

Is Batman REALLY A Superhero?

They have Logo1 AND Logo2!

Tim:

Take the person you are most attracted to (celebrity, friend, cousin, whatever). Now let's say this person looks exactly the same as they do now, but they are mentally retarded. You have the opportunity to have sex with this person. Do you do it?

Do they have the tard breath and everything? Because the tard breath changes the game. Tard breath is tard strong. The answer is no.

Matt:

Have you tried Snickers peanut butter squares? If not, get to the nearest store/vending machine ASAP. I ate my first one ever today. They taste like a combination of Snickers bar (the best candy bar on the market) and Reese's peanut butter cup (the best non-bar candy on the market). They are heavenly.

I had one the other day and enjoyed it, but it made me yearn for the old peanut butter Snickers. Because that was an awesome candy bar. But then it was discontinued for years until it resurfaced again now, only in square form. Why the two squares? Is that specifically just to compete with Reese's? The product couldn't stand on its own as a bar, so it had to be split in order to have a reason for marketing? I don't get it. The old bar was excellent. Companies are fucking weird.

Paul:

The other day I got stuck at a railroad crossing as an endless train crawled by for what must have been about 15 minutes. Agony. Anyway, mid-way through the train there were 4-5 top-loaded cars very clearly marked "FRITO LAY." It immediately got me thinking, "what's in those train cars?!?" The rational side of my brain said "corn;" the side of my brain that isn't a total fuckwad said "FRITOS!!!"

I immediately pictured the logistics (and absurdity) of a train car filled with tasty, unpackaged corn chips and eventually came to the conclusion that I wanted to swim around a train car full of Fritos Scrooge McDuck-style. Bringing me to my question: if you could fill a train car/vault/vat with anything and swim around in it like Scrooge, what would you pick? Money? Beer? Fritos?

I think money is probably at the top of the list. But not just money. TREASURE. Gold coins and emeralds and sapphires and stuff. And jade daggers lying over in the corner. My kid makes me watch Aladdin sometimes, and there's a scene where Aladdin discovers the lamp inside the treasure room at the Cave of Wonders and the treasure room looks fucking awesome. Just once in my life I'd love to sit on a giant pile of treasure and hurl gold coins up into the air. Plus, treasure is much cleaner than swimming around in say, a vat of chocolate. Would you REALLY want to swim around in a vat of chocolate or beer, letting it get in your hair? I don't think I would. I think I'd like to remain nice and dry. Now, a vat of caviar? That I could maybe go for. If I'm gettin' dirty, I'm gettin' fancy dirty.

Tom:

While pontificating on the john, as we are all wont to do, I started to think about how expensive this shit was, in terms of the food put into it, the toilet paper used, how expensive the toilet was etc. Though I was unable to come up with a satisfying number, it got me thinking, what's the most expensive poop ever taken? Did someone eat a Dodo egg and shit into a solid gold toilet, and use $100 bills as toilet paper? Or was it bald eagle meat on a diamond toilet using fine Indian silk?

Well, it's pretty much the same as asking what's the most expensive meal anyone has ever paid for. Someone once paid $1.8 million to have lunch with Warren Buffet, so that would be an expensive growler. Charity aside, here's a $30,000 tasting menu from a restaurant in Bangkok. Mmmm… supremed pigeon. Anything you take in is gonna come out the other end at some point, so those are expensive shits.

Danny:

I'm a junior in college, and NONE of my friends are coming back home over the summer. They're either staying at their schools to work, and in some cases, to stay with their girlfriends. Now I know, this is just life, and it happens, but what's a good way to tell them to come home once in a while? I never see some of my best friends, and they're hanging out with people they get to see 3/4 of the year. Is it too much to ask that they come back and want to see me? I don't really know how to bring it up.

Also, since I'll basically be alone at home this summer, what the hell should I do here?

You're gonna have to get a job. We moved right as I went away to boarding school, which meant that any time I came home from boarding school or college, I knew exactly NO ONE in my home town. You will never feel like more of a loser than when you have to spend consecutive Saturday nights hanging out with your parents during your peek teenage years. About the only way to alleviate the problem is to get a shitty job that you hate but that connects you with equally disgruntled people your age who will happily go behind the dumpster during a shitter break to smoke weed with you. Who knows, you may even find yourself getting to know the hot busgirl.

I bussed tables just about every summer until I graduated from college, and there's no shortage of people to go get loaded with when you're all working in the same kitchen and some dickface Austrian chef is barking orders at you.

You can't really ask your friends to hang out with you more, because you'll feel like an even bigger loser. Take it from me. I know from experience.

Nick:

If you were going to be executed and were being served your last meal, do you think you'd be allowed to send something back?

Like, say you ordered a steak and wanted it medium rare, but it arrived well done. If you raped a baby or something, they'd probably tell you to shut the hell up, but if you just got stabby once or twice, I gotta think at least one guard would be on your side. It wouldn't be fair to have the last meal you ever wanted to eat be horribly overcooked.

I agree. But I also think the average death row inmate lacks the refined palate to complain about such matters. I mean, look at this list of actual death row last meals. The uniformity is pathetic. Steak, chicken, pork chops… there's no creativity at all:

Valle had a final meal request of four hamburgers (almosted burned), potato fries (almost burned), mexican rice (almost burned), fresh onion, jalapenos, tomato, cheese, and salad dressing.

That's awful. You want four ruined hamburgers? You should be executed TWICE for that kind of request. Last meals are wasted on the condemned.

And I really don't get the guy who asked for coffee in his last meal. WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU NEED TO BE ALERT FOR, KIDDO?

Mike:

What is with basketball referees getting to near full on embraces of each other every time they collectively make a decision? They are constantly touching each other's sides or backs when deliberating a play. Is this something they teach in ref school? Does this help them to make their decisions easier? I work in an engineering office, I'm thinking I should give this a try for the real brain busters and see if me and my colleagues can work more efficiently by huddling up and putting our hands on one another's hips to solve problems.

Well, they obviously have to huddle in order to hear each other over the crowd noise. But it's true, they do get a little handsy with one another. Perhaps you're more affectionate with your colleagues when everyone else in the building hates you and assumes you're a crooked gambler who calls a touch foul any time David Stern sees fit to yank on your string. Might cause a group of refs to circle the wagons.

But maybe they're just creeps. I've been to a few NBA games and the refs always look like shady lechers. A lot of them slick back their hair. I could easily see them strong-arming their children's babysitters for a handjob on the ride home. They're a very questionable bunch.

Sn's:

What is the more crucial cow-produced foodstuff: Cheese or butter? Most people I assume would say butter. Imagine everything you'd be missing out on with no butter... there goes anything resembling good toast, garlic butter, and pretty much everything they serve at Houston's (I worked there, trust me, EVERYTHING is cooked in butter at that place). Then again, no cheese means no cheeseburgers, no quesadillas and no pizza.

I think it's butter as well. Because butter is crucial to so many other good foods: cookies, cakes, sauces, frosting, and all that. And substituting margarine isn't the same. Cheese's big selling point is pizza, which I'll readily admit is something of a trump card. If I had to go through life knowing I couldn't have cheese on my pizza anymore, I'd probably hang myself. Then again, there are so many things in the cheese world that I don't care for. Like brie. I find brie repulsive. My brother loves runny cheeses and I go out of my way to avoid them. It's an impossible question you've asked, almost as hard as the bang-two-ten-years-olds question.

Time for your email of the week. Samantha?

Samantha:

Last July, I went on vacation with my family to Florida. By the middle of it I was so miserable I started swimming out as far as I could in the ocean. I'm a strong swimmer, so I was really far out there. So, I'm just hanging out in the ocean relaxing counting down the hours until I get home (they flew me back home a day early). I look up and I see a large sea-dwelling animal poke its head out of the water. I'm like OH FUCK. Because that's what happens when you see something bigger than you in the wild. I've watched enough "Life" on TV to know it's not a shark, and it's a fucking whale. I'm looking at a goddamn whale.

I also know enough to know that this whale should not be here, and it's sick or wants to eat me. I've been to vacation bible school I know what happened to Jonah. I'm starting to swim as fast as I possibly can, because I'm not a snack. Then the lifeguards blow the whistle and I'm trying to get the fuck out of the water like everyone else. I finally get on the beach and the lifeguards come straight to me. I'm thinking I'm going to get banned from the ocean for seeing a whale or something. They were like "WHAT DID YOU SEE?" and I said, "a whale I think, I've swam with dolphins it wasn't a dolphin." They confirmed that I had seen a whale. I'm still freaked out, so I sat on the beach with my parents, who now think I'm awesome for seeing a whale (and walking away with all limbs intact, unlike Captain Ahab). The first thing I want to do is tell EVERYONE I know or meet. The problem is that no one believes me! It's not fair.

So now all my friends think I'm a delusional liar. Except my boyfriend, I'm pretty sure he believes me.

I believe you, Samantha. But did you fingerbang its blowhole? That's the real question. And kudos to you for swimming way out into the ocean. And want to do that every time I hop in the surf. Then I get a hundred yards out and I start thinking about sharks and then I go paddling back to shore like a little bitch.