Paul, Denny, and I had once touched on related issues in a 2011 New York Comic Con panel that we did together with two other psychologists and retired NYPD sergeant Mike Bruen ("Batman vs. Iron Man: Can a Person Truly Become Either?"). I won't detail everything that came up during this year's panel because I ought to leave that up to Paul Zehr (whose "Black Belt Brain" blog also runs here at Psychology Today) should he choose to write it up. One of my own key points during this latest panel discussion in San Diego was that Batman has endured for 75 years largely because he seems physically and psychologically more real to us than other superheroes.
Currently, he even enjoys greater popularity than others as a video game character, probably in part because his games allow players a greater vicarious experience. Flying around while playing Superman should be fun, too, but fully grasping that such an ability is not real can make it harder to immerse oneself in it. Making incredible combo moves while tossing thugs around as Batman might pull the player in as something that feels more real and, therefore, potentially more easily engrossing and immersive.
Lawrence Brenner has posted the entire panel on YouTube, so please feel free to check that out if you'd like to learn more about what we all had to say on the physiology and psychology of nocturnal vigilantism.