With Batman V Superman a few days from the grand opening, it is time to make a case for why The Dark Knight is such a fitness badass. Since I was a kid, I have loved Batman more than any other superhero. I watched the crappy Adam West series, all the SuperFriends cartoons, plus the Batman movies and animated shows. I cried when Robin died in the Death in the Family graphic novel. I love Batman.
We all know the story. After his billionaire parents were murdered, Bruce Wayne inherits their wealth but is self-tormented by being an orphan. He embarks on a lifelong mission of learning martial arts, criminology and every other aspect of crime fighting. Bruce is a gymnast, acrobat and ninja all rolled in one; all in an effort to protect Gotham City.
According to dccomics.com, “Batman is the most feared superhero of all, because he’s pushed himself to the absolute pinnacle of human achievement. He’s a brilliant detective who’s mastered fighting techniques the world’s barely heard of. An Olympic-caliber athlete with a plan for every occasion, Batman’s seemingly always five steps ahead of his foes.”
It is this exact dedication that makes Batman the most fit superhero. Batman is an Olympic-caliber athlete that chose to fight crime. If he chose sport, he has the mental discipline and physical skill to compete in gymnastics, boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo and fencing. “Olympic-caliber” means “best in the world” and few of us are fortunate enough to be best in the world in anything. Batman is Olympic-caliber in six sports. These are skills he has put the work into; the skills he spent decades physically learning. There were no shortcuts; no magic pills; no special treatment. He went out and got it.
Sure, all the superheroes are fit (as superheroes should be). But, Superman is an alien from another planet. Spider-Man was bit by a radioactive spider. Captain America was injected with a super serum (aka steroids). Wolverine is a mutant. All these other guys were either born with or “accidentally” found their skills. Batman went out and earned his and he is alone in this category.
Batman is self made (aside from his inheritance). He is just a normal dude that decided to be great. Batman has no super powers — he just works harder than everyone else. His drive to constantly push himself is inspirational. Anyone, with enough grit and resources, could be Batman. Anyone could seek out instructors that push their pupils to the physical and mental edge of perfection. Anyone could choose to channel their pain into an obsession. Anyone could apply Batman’s discipline.
**You could argue that The Punisher is in the same fitness category as Batman. For those that don’t know, The Punisher is also a superhero with no super powers; but honed his skills as an elite USMC. However, while The Punisher has many similar physical attributes, he is constantly drawn and portrayed smoking a cigarette or cigar. This automatically disqualifies him from being the most fit superhero.