After watching the excellent Skyfall yesterday this question occurred to me. Batman and Bond are two of the coolest most iconic characters ever created and I think every man at some point wishes he was one or the other. But which one would you rather be?
They’re both characters tortured by childhood trauma and they both have a determined, driven personality which compels them to become weapons. Batman does it out of a sense of maintaining justice, trying to ensure that no-one else has to go through what he did. He uses his wealth to give him extra advantages but his sheer force of willpower is phenomenal. We don’t know much about how Bond became Bond (unless you count the James Bond Jr. Adventures, which I’m not) but evidently he has honed a certain set of skills and he looks on the world with a grim detachment.
Batman does what he does out of a sense of purpose, willing to work outside the law (albeit with support from Commissioner Gordon) whereas Bond is employed by the state where he works in the shadows of the law. It’s a job to him, a profession and he seems to take some pleasure in downtime. Batman is Batman even when he’s Bruce Wayne. Everything Bruce does is to enable him to be Batman. Bond actually has a sense of humour, and it’s a bit of an understatement to say that Batman is a bit of a grim fellow. Comparing the personalities of the two I think being Bond would be more fun, they both have their demons but Bond seems to be able to suppress them while Batman actually takes the form of his.
Both characters have a vast array of gadgets; Batman has everything from Batarangs to Shark Repellent Bat-Spray while Bond is provided with laser watches and exploding pens from the Q department. Batman can store more in his utility belt and can use whatever he wants when he wants; Bond can only use what he’s been given so I think Batman has the edge here.
Bond has had so many cool cars over the years, but there’s no beating the Batmobile.
I know Bruce Wayne is labelled as a playboy, but as I mentioned before that’s just a role he plays to cover up his secret identity. He never really seems to have that many genuine love interests. Girls are an essential part of Bond’s character, and it always seems to me that he does actually care about each and every one of them. Bond is the greater womaniser of the two.
One of the things which makes Batman one of the best characters is that his villains are so memorable and dangerous. Bond’s enemies don’t necessarily have anything against him personally at first. However, even though Batman has the better villains this is trying to answer which one you’d rather be, and I’d rather be the one with the less dangerous villains.
While Batman is often described as a loner he does have quite a few allies. Alfred is devoted to him, he has the Boy Wonder, an uneasy alliance with Catwoman and help from Commissioner Gordon. Bond, being an employee in an organisation obviously has a better support network but when he’s out in the field he has to rely on his own wits, occasionally with help from someone like Felix Leiter. Given that Batman is based in Gotham while Bond travels all over the world I’m going to give this to Batman.
Okay so I just counted it and it’s 3-3, I promise I didn’t plan that! One point I just raised in the last paragraph which gives a slight advantage to Bond is that he gets to travel to exotic locations. I’d much rather see the world than be stuck in Gotham City. But then again I don’t think any man would want to live through THAT scene from Casino Royale.
Considering everything I think Bond enjoys life more. They both fight for things greater than themselves (justice for Batman, his country for Bond) and eventually it will break both of them but Bond takes greater pleasure from it while Batman is tortured. However, I think basically what it boils down to is if you want more money be Batman, if you want more sex be Bond.