Monthly Archives: December 2014

The NerdNumbers Podcast: the Reboot!

I had started up the NerdNumbers podcast a while back, before I ended up doing the Boxscore Geeks show weekly. Well, the NerdNumbers show is coming back. Who better to have on than E.J. Fischer, star of the infamous “lost episode”.

This Week’s Show

The NerdNumbers show is back! We have a special guest, who’s on to discuss Batman vs. Superman and everything else.




Show Notes

E.J. and I have podcasted before. In fact, there’s a “missing podcast”, I never ended up posting back in the day.

Indeed, Eugene is a popular holiday location.

We decide to talk Batman vs. Superman, which I recently wrote about. That was the plan anyway.

We discuss the depressing nature of DC comics. Also in a weird turn we actually suggest taking Orson Scott Card and Frank Miller off your reading lists!

One of my favorite series: Impulse, ended with the authors complaining about executive meddling.

We end up discussing Big Hero 6, which is amazing! Seriously, check it out! Although, as E.J. says, you could rename the movie: “Hardware solutions to software problems.”

Damon Wayans Jr. from Happy Endings and Scott Adsit from 30 Rock are in Big Hero 6 if you needed more convincing.

Ratatouille had massive rewrites in the middle of production.

Reminder, Avatar: the Last Airbender is amazing.

The Harvard Implicit Association Tests are great to make you realize how you may have subtle biases you don’t realize.

Shout outs to both Feminist Frequency and the fantastic book Delusions of Gender.

The “10% of your brain” myth infuriates me. It’s wrong. Screenwriters please stop using it.

E.J. made a map of rhetorical relationships between genres.

There are pervasive ideas in mainstream media. I feel it’s naive to think we’re immune to this.

John Boyega plays the Stormtrooper in the new Star Wars trailer and E.J. says he was good in Attack the Block.

Whitewashing the Mandarin in Ironman 3 may have been justified given the character’s racist origins. However, replacing Ricardo Montalbán with Benedict Cumberbatch though? Unacceptable.

Superman is Moses. I’m dumbfounded I never realized this. Also, we talk a lot about how Superman should be an interesting character. Sadly Zach Snyder doesn’t get this.

I wrote about why Superman is interesting a while ago.

E.J. did not like Man of Steel, at all, like at all.

Marvel’s Joe Quesada had an interesting metaphor for D.C.’s inability to make good things.

DC couldn’t let Batwoman have a lesbian wedding. However, they’re completely fine with the current storyline (content warning if you click on link.)

I have written a lot about the Mighty Ducks 2…

We originally decided to talk Exterminite, a new series by Mikey Neumann, Len Peralta, and Kris Straub. Check out the first issue here! Only the “pilot” episode is out. We agreed we liked it, but that didn’t make for compelling podcasting. We’ll talk more as the series unfolds.

E.J. has a short story coming out in the April-May issue of Asimov’s magazine. I’ve committed to reading it and having E.J. back on the show to talk about it.

E.J. won the “my move sucked” contest.

Dan O’Brien has a hilarious video about being awkward.

No, Batman wouldn’t win a fight with anyone! Just stop.


This is a popular question that comes up all the time. And internet, we need to talk. Batman is a crazy guy in a bat costume. He lives in a world with gods. He’s not taking down Superman. He’s not outwitting the Flash. If anyone’s taking down Darkseid it isn’t Batman, even if he *gasp* uses a gun. Here are some common arguments I see about Batman being able to win a fight vs. various super beings, and why they’re wrong.

Batman is Super Smart!

Smart Batmobile

Smart Batmobile

This is a common one. TV Tropes is riddled* with tropes about outwitting, outthinking, etc. that Batman is pretty much the epitome of. However, this falls flat pretty quick when we consider:

  • Superman’s main nemesis is a genius that Superman regularly trumps.
  • Speedsters like Superman and the Flash can think super fast, and more importantly, act on this.
  • There are legitimate villains that have the power of super intelligence. I mean, Brainiac anyone?

Batman is that straight A student from a small school that just showed up at MIT. Also, everyone at this fictitious MIT is on speed…and a superhuman mutant.

Another side note here is the fact that Batman’s “foes” are often stupid, even if we’re told they’re smart. In the Princess Bride, the only reason Wesley defeats Andre the Giant is because Andre wants to have a one on one fight. He quickly shows he could have just beaned Wesley with a rock from far away. Why Superman would ever bother fighting up close to Batman is beyond me. And yet, we see “smart” villains/heroes engage in strategies against Batman that a five-year-old would consider ridiculous.

Batman has Advanced Technology


Where does he get those wonderful toys? Batman is chocked to the brim with technology. He’s got Batmobiles, Batwings, his utility belt, etc! He invariable has just the gadget to solve any problem. That’s all well and good, except…

Various heroes have alien technology that trumps Batman’s. Superman’s fortress of solitude, Green Lantern’s ring, etc. So many people in the DC universe are aliens with advanced technology that Batman being able to just buy stuff isn’t that impressive.

Also, in general advanced technology isn’t that impressive because others can catch up. There are secret labs, like Cadmus that are working on similar technology. The military and other forces can get it too. And in the DC universe being able to just make advanced, powerful technology doesn’t seem that hard. Remember Steel? He just whipped up his super-suit in a basement in one day.


The same amount of time they spent writing the script for Shaq’s movie version.

Batman has Money!

Batman Money Clip

This kind of ties into the technology part, but I think needs some elaboration. Batman is a billionaire. However, the reason he’s a billionaire is because of his company Wayne Enterprises, which sells defense technology. In the Christopher Nolan movies, we basically see that Batman gets his gadgets via the research and development from his company. This poses quite a few problems.

Essentially, Bruce Wayne is embezzling from his company. Any half-decent audit would eventually notice that a lot of resources just going to Wayne’s side projects. Also, shouldn’t various groups, like the military, notice that various technologies they’ve been demoed are being used by Batman? Also, shouldn’t the same groups have technology as good or better than Batman’s? If Batman’s in-world wealth is to be believed, the following things have to be true:

  • Wayne Enterprises is a successful, multi-billion dollar firm that Wayne controls a majority of.
  • Bruce Wayne can take technology and resources from Wayne Enterprises with no one noticing.
  • Wayne Enterprises develops great technology, but they don’t sell it. They sell inferior technology and keep the best for Batman. Somehow, no one at Wayne Enterprises notices.

In essence, Batman’s wealth in the DC universe makes about as much sense as him winning a real fight with any major power.

Batman knows Everyones’ Weakness


Despite this post, awesome movie, check it out!

Many heroes have weaknesses. Superman has kryptonite; the Green Lantern has the color yellow; Martian Manhunter has fire; Wonder Woman has misogyny. And, of course, Batman knows them all. If push came to shove, he’d exploit them to win, which is the premise the series/movie Doom.

Here’s the problem, every single weakness of every hero applies to Batman. Kryptonite is a rare and radioactive mineral to Superman. Well, there are tons of radioactive substances to humans, and Superman can safely handle all of them. Yellow things are ineffective to Green Lantern’s ring? That’s objects of every color to Batman! Batman is hurt by fire, and can be tied up. Batman doesn’t have an edge on any hero/villain because of their weaknesses. At best he starts on the same page before being knocked back a hundred feet due to no super powers.

But, the Authors Love Batman!


Perhaps the start of the most bizarre fanfic ever.

Batman is the Wesley Crusher of the DC Universe. I said it! Batman’s major edge is that the authors like him. Here’s TV Tropes take on “The Creator’s Pet”

Sometimes, however, the creator(s) have become so attached to this character for whatever reason, whether because they see something of themselves in the character or the character reminds them of someone they were close to or the character represents something they admire, that they decide to increasingly focus on him, magnifying the importance of his role…

I can’t actually argue here. This is Batman’s gift. To be fair, Batman comics have understood the importance of the audience being able to empathize or even place themselves in the story. The whole reason Robin worked is that it allowed children to pretend they could adventure alongside Batman. As Kevin Smith regularly says, he knows he can’t ever be Superman, but with enough money and training, any of us could be Batman. It makes at least as much sense as the plot to Chasing Amy. There’s a reason that this “normal” guy being able to triumph over gods in the DC universe resonates with so many. But seriously, Batman would beat few if any in the DC Universe. I mean, come on, his biggest nemesis is literally a clown!


To be fair, clowns are scary.


*Pun intended.