There are some common misconceptions about introversion and extraversion. An introvert is not someone who is shy or never puts themselves forward, nor is an extravert the person who dances on the tables or is always the centre of the stage. Whilst we all have a preference for one or the other it does not mean we never visit the other but that doing the other thing can make us feel drained.
An introvert is a reflector, someone who thinks and reflects before speaking. Their internal world is important and they are likely to have a few deep friendships rather than many. They are people who draw energy from being time spent on their own and enjoy quiet and reflective space. Introverts often have a few hobbies which they do in quite some depth.
An extravert is a doer, someone who just does it and speaks first then thinks afterwards. They often put their foot in their mouths because things just seem to take no time at all getting from a thought to a spoken word. They are likely to have many friends and hobbies and enjoy being with other people. An extravert draws their energy from interaction and action and like parties and group processes.
So in terms of a superhero or two where do they sit in the scale of things?
Batman is my choice for an introvert particularly in the graphic novels as there are countless pages where he plans and thinks before acting.
Iron Man is my choice for an extravert because he is called talking man by The Hulk at one point in the Avengers stories.
Batman – an introvert
No one who considers Batman can fail to understand that the forces which shape him are internal ones. He internalises his issues such as the death of his parents and is seen to dwell upon them. They are the core of his being and shape his activity. He has a secret identity which he guards fiercely. He has no superpowers but uses his intellect and detective skills to solve crimes and punish villains. His wealth enables him to use technology and science to create his alter ego and his martial arts skills engender fear in his enemies. He is out for revenge on criminals but is tempering revenge with justice.
Outwardly Bruce Wayne is seen as a superficial playboy but it is his internal alter ego which gives him away. Batman is broody, reflective and considered. Bruce creates a facade to protect his identity as Batman and even drinks in public although his drink is really ginger beer in order to promote his Bruce Wayne persona and fool Gotham. He is a master of disguise and can hide his feelings and abilities in order to gather information.
Most telling is Batman’s ability to create real confusion in those who write about him or try and pin him down. People who look into his sexuality or his psyche get into a muddle because as a character Batman/Bruce Wayne has depth and it is this which clearly indicates he is an introvert. Everything about him is not known he has secrets and protects them with the ability to keep things internal.
Iron Man – an extravert
Throughout most of his story Iron Man is a member of the team the Avengers. He likes to work with others. Stark is an adventurer, a ladies man and wealthy, he is an inventor and a weapons manufacturer. Whilst at first he keeps his identity as Iron Man a secret it does get out and is a known fact. Iron Man and Stark go through several periods where they are poor and where Stark gives up Iron Man due to alcohol usage. He is not as internally focussed as Batman and does not guard his secrets in the same way. His internal pain is shown in detail in his private life and his personal trials it is not hidden. Stark is constantly seen in the graphic novels through the eyes of the public and his relationships with both them and other superheroes. In the Avengers he is known for constant talking and saying whatever pops into his head. Like Batman Stark is the master of invention but is also a qualified physicist, mathematician and chemist and an entrepreneur who keeps coming back. He even wipes out his brain and then installs back ups of his memories. He likes to speak in public and interacts with government and publicity as both Stark and Iron Man. Unlike Batman his internal battles are fought in public.