Transitioning from the invincible Superman to the somewhat human Batman has been interesting to say the least. Where Superman at most played along with getting drugged by Lois for a few minutes, Batman gets knocked out in almost every early issue. It’s a wonder that he can still operate as a detective at all when he suffers more concussions than the average NFL player. He is hit with trophies, clubs, fists, feet, bags of rocks and more. And while he gets knocked down, he does get up again – it seems that they can never ever keep him down. Equally impressive is that he never seems to be out for more than a few moments, in spite of the surely compounding effects of this infinite head trauma.
In some ways, Batman’s the fact that Batman can be (momentarily) defeated humanizes him. He is, after all, the non-super powered superhero. We are informed that his powers come from studying really hard and working out a lot, but obviously his abilities go far beyond that – I study pretty hard but I can’t create laser repelling bat-plane spray (or for that matter, a batplane). Aside from that, he is able to snap leather cords by simply tensing his muscles which is above and beyond the “I work out really hard” level of strength. But that’s okay, I can suspend my disbelief since we aren’t talking about the sun. Batman is certainly more relatable than Supes, because of his human limitations.
I think it’s also important that Batman is not sold separately – Robin appears pretty early on and remains an important accessory to the Batman franchise to this day – although it’s not always the same Robin, of course. But even more than his sidekicks, Batman’s villains are essential to the character and story. Robin shows up in issue 38, and the Joker in the next issue (at least, in the Batman Chronicles - I’m not sure what the actual issue number is). The Cat (who seems like an early iteration of Catwoman) appears not long after. Both Catwoman and the Joker is still prevalent as one of the main figures in Batman mythology and at least for me personally the villains are the most interesting part of Batman stories. In Superman, it took a really long time before we got a reoccurring villain and, although I have about the same level of passing familiarity with both characters, I can name a dozen Batman villains but only maybe 2-3 Superman ones.