A lot of nerds celebrate Superman as the greatest hero ever created because of his unmatched power. Others might argue for Spider-Man and his wisecracking personality. But deep down inside, we all know who the best comic book character is.
Even the geekiest tattooists in the world acknowledge the Caped Crusader’s unparalleled appeal. Ben Ochoa, a color portraitist who specializes in nerdy iconography, vouches for Batman’s supremacy. “Both DC and Marvel are cool, but let’s just be honest. Batman is the best,” says Ochoa. “He can stand toe-to-toe with any other superhero while having no powers at all. If that isn’t inspiring, a sign that anything’s possible, I don’t know what is.”
The Dark Knight has an extremely dark backstory. You know — the whole seeing his parents murdered when he was a child thing? He’s also the best detective in the world, and he drives the most badass car ever. The list goes on and on but the number-one reason why Batman is the ultimate vigilante of all time? He has no superpowers. His lack of superhuman abilities is what sets him apart from of the droves of flying and laser-beam-shooting characters.
A large portion of tattoos that Ochoa does are of Batman or the other colorful figures who inhabit Gotham. His depictions of the iconic superhero are mostly based on the various stylizations found in comic books, primarily versions created by Greg Capulla and Todd McFarlane. Some of the less celebrated incarnations – Ben Affleck in BvS, or the criminally underrated, futuristic cartoon Batman Beyond – are among the versions of the Bat that appear in Ochoa’s portfolio.
While the artistry of comics is a large part of what attracts him to using them as subject matter, the life lessons that they convey are what draws Ochoa to stories about superheroes. “Besides Batman, it’s kind of hard to say who my other favorite characters from comics and movies are, but I’d have to say that I admire the ones who strive to become better and overcome the obstacles in their way,” Ochoa explains. “Tattooing them is like reliving my childhood all over again.”
To see more of Ochoa’s tattoos of superheroes and villains from comics, cartoons, and movies, swing on by his Instagram. He tattoos at Black Anchor Collective, one of the best shops in the world when it comes to color portraiture, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for appointments if you want your favorite version of Batman on you body.