Although I teach older students (grades 5-7), I believe that this type of application is appropriate at any level. Batman is a thinker — unlike many super heroes of the comic books, he has no special powers. Batman is not an alien, has not fallen into a vat of radioactive goo, and has not been bitten by a rare insect or animal. Batman is fully mortal and has to problem solve to discover the truth.
How does Batman figure out who stole the secret files? He uses the scientific method; he asks appropriate questions and builds on that line of questioning. Batman INVENTS tools to solve problems. The utility belt was not a gift from a strange and alien life form — he invented each item through problem solving and trial and error with a creative flair (especially when it comes to incorporating bat shapes). This is a higher order thinking skill – creating a tool and then analyzing the results.
Batman is also a model for physical fitness. He is athletic and moves a great deal. With the high levels of inactivity and obesity among our children, he is a necessity.
Lastly, Batman is a defender of the weak and downtrodden. He never calls names or says mean comments to others.
I guess my final comment is that if we eliminate Batman, we must also eliminate all others who represent these aspects – Firemen, Policemen, Detectives, Inventors, Scientists, and Dads.
By the way, I use genetically based superheroes (mainly X-men, etc) when we are learning about genetics and mutations – beneficial and adverse.