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In Shazam!, Billy Batson doesn’t know much about superheroes, but his new foster brother Freddy Freeman is an obsessive fan of the DCEU’s heroes like Superman and Batman, both of whom exist in the world of the film. Freddy, like so many kids, debates which superhero is the coolest and those debates don’t stop when you grow up. Shazam! director David F. Sandberg and star Zachary Levi both believe that Batman is cooler than Superman, with the latter explaining why, saying:
Yeah, like a playboy. The whole Bruce Wayne thing is really cool and he’s a billionaire. Yeah, he’s got issues. I mean, Superman’s got issues too but Superman is the ultimate boy scout.
Zachary Levi hits on one of the many points about Batman that makes him cooler to you as you get older, even surpassing Superman despite having none of Big Blue’s powers. Batman has that Tony Stark quality, he’s a billionaire and a playboy and although he doesn’t enjoy that lifestyle as much as Stark, he still has the means. Despite most of us not being billionaires, we can all say with 100% certainty that being one is definitely not not awesome.
Just consider the scene in Batman Begins where Bruce Wayne rolls up in a Lambo with a model on each arm and proceeds to buy a hotel. That playboy lifestyle tends to look more appealing than Clark Kent’s Smallville upbringing or journalist career. Of course, with his powers, Superman could be rich whenever he wanted if he were willing to bend on that boy scout morality. As Zachary Levi also mentions to Fandango, Batman has issues.
The Dark Knight is a notoriously brooding individual but that lends him a cool, dark, almost anti-hero vibe. The older you are the more you appreciate the flawed heroes and although Superman has issues too, he isn’t as broken as Batman and deals with them much better. That results in Supes looking like a bit of a boy scout though and that can seem lame at times. Zachary Levi further elaborated on The Man of Steel, saying:
He will always choose good and he also has that almost like Spock meets boy scout. Because he’s an alien so he sees things much more logically and less emotionally than humans do. But, that also kinda makes you a bit of a square, right?
Sadly, Superman does sometimes get branded as a bit of a square, a definition that he’s had a harder time shaking than Captain America. That definition may not always be fair, but he does seem more even-keeled as his humanity is nurture, not nature. He’s more likely to rescue a cat from a tree while Batman is busy using his fists to let out his no parents rage on some criminal’s face.
As cool as utility belts and Batmobiles are though, Superman still wins hands down when it comes to powers. Not only does he actually have some, but he has the best powers, including flight. In a new video from the film, Freddy Freeman tells Billy Batson that he’s “almost as cool as Superman” so clearly Superman is the be all end all superhero for the kids in Shazam!
Shazam! tries to show why he’s cooler than both The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel when David F. Sandberg’s film opens in theaters on April 5. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the year’s biggest movies and let us know in the poll below who you think is cooler.