Which superhero is best? Who’s the toughest? What’s the best superpower? Truly questions for the ages – and ones that parents and kids could debate for hours.
Hundreds of millions have been spent on Marvel and DC movies. So where once their comic book characters were niche and nerdy, they are now mainstream and major box office. While stood in a queue at the hospital coffee shop recently, I even overheard two doctors debate whether Wonder Woman could beat the Hulk in a fight. As with most of these serious superhero questions, it was not resolved in any definitive way.
Also On Age Of Dad: Forgotten Movie Toys From The 1980s & 90s
It got me thinking about how much my six-year-old knows about his favourite heroes, and which side he would come down on in similar conversations. So I decided to try it out. Here are my six-year-old son’s responses to the big superhero questions.
Batman vs. Superman?
I started with a classic. He hasn’t seen the recent movie – he hasn’t done anything naughty enough to warrant that punishment – but I asked him, “Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?”
He considered the options for about a second and said, “Batman has no powers, so Superman would win.”
“OK,” I replied, “but what if Batman had some Kryptonite?”
“Only Superman can handle Kryptonite,” he replied. “So Batman would be weaker.”
Clearly my son has not been paying attention to my lectures. I decided to sweep his embarrassing failure under the carpet and move on.
Could Superman beat Darth Vader?
He may have been a little shaky on Superman’s backstory, but I still had confidence in my young Padawan.
I decided to mix things up a bit and really get him thinking. I set the scene for him. Superman is on Hoth when Darth Vader arrives, and they have a battle. Would he defeat the Sith Lord? This time my boy thought for a little longer about his answer.
“Darth Vader can destroy Superman’s eye laser beams with his lightsaber… so no, Superman wouldn’t win.”
“Ok, but Superman also has super speed and super strength, doesn’t he?” I fired back.
Of course, I know he’s only “super” on earth because of the power of our sun, but I’m wasn’t getting into all that with a six-year-old. I didn’t want to make it too complicated. It turns out my son had other ideas.
“If Darth Vader has a battlefield that has little cages so only Darth Vader can move around ‘cause he made them, then if Superman tried to move he’d be electrocuted and die, so Darth Vader would win.”
I had no idea what had just happened. There wasn’t a single piece of that logic that I could follow. I’m sure it made sense to him but I was afraid that if I asked him to explain it to me we’d fall down a very weird rabbit hole. Maybe I needed to go simpler.
Who is the best superhero?
Right then, this is an easy one. Everyone knows the answer. There is no question that the best superhero is Batman. End of. I teed up the question and waited for the inevitable response.
WT actual F?! Who in their right mind picks Green Lantern as the best superhero?! That’s like saying the best superhero movie is, well, Green Lantern. I couldn’t wait to hear his reasoning for this bullshit.
“Green Lantern can make anything so he can make millions of himself and they can make millions of themselves so there would be a thousand, one hundred million of them and they could all make different weapons,” he says triumphantly.
I could have told him that Green Lantern can’t create life, but I sensed this was the Superman on Hoth issue all over again. There were too many variables and infinite threads of arguments that we could have gone down. It’s what makes superhero arguments so interesting. I decided to believe that he meant Green Lantern could create decoys (he didn’t mean that but I was getting a headache) and moved on.
What’s the best weapon or power for a superhero?
Unlike the “who’s the best superhero?” question, I was prepared to accept any well-reasoned argument with this one. But I was forgetting that my son is a six-year-old with the imagination to match.
“The best weapon is Pikachu because he’s fast and has eloctroball and thunderbolt and the best power is fire blasters in my hands and fire breath and I would be a lizard person and my name would be Charfire.”
Give me strength. It was clear to me that like youth, superheroes are wasted on the young. I turned my weary gaze towards the window and happened to see a very thin robin sitting on the fence.
“He’s very thin,” I remark absentmindedly. “What a rare robin.”
“A were-robin? I bet he would peck your eyes out and shoot sticky slime made from the snot in his mouth and nose!”
My son is in full heroes-and-villains mode now. He spent the next 10 minutes drawing a were-velociraptor while I closed my eyes and hoped there’s a parallel universe out there where everyone agrees with me about superheroes.
I mean, Green Lantern? Really?