Batman as a character is one of numerous contradictions. He’s a normal human but a superhero. He’s a vigilante who fights crime. He’s a hero who fights in cruel often dark and unethical ways. Batman is often criticized for not taking more systemic solutions to the problems of crime within Gotham. This is not without merit as a billionaire with virtually limitless wealth when it comes to supplying his crusade of crime and punishment. But, at the same time, what actually can be done within the continuity of DC comics to counteract the criminal element in Gotham? He’s just as likely to fight a woman with the power to control every nearby plant as he is to fight a carjacker. Even if he was able to use his liquid funds to curb homelessness and food insecurity, he’d still have a killer clown shooting poison gas. How does one reform that?
At what point does the reality of comics diverge from the goal of realism many fans and writers desire?
I would suggest the article's author expand to more than just Batman. Consider other comics' takes on "realism." In The Boys, it's almost like crimes are planned and staged by the corporation that owns the heroes, and the public perception of these crimes is carefully curated. In alternate versions of the DC universe, such as Injustice, the only way to reform crime is conquering the world, dystopia-style. – noahspud5 months ago
With the recent announcement of Robert Pattinson in yet another Batman movie, the question should be asked: how many Batman movies do we need? How many times can you re-tell the same story in different ways and it still be interesting to experience? Are movie studios latching onto fandom/nostalgia to the point of having a negative effect on the original character?
I definitely would highlight how new movies especially remakes in the Marvel Universe have a purpose. Do these new movies change the interpretation of character's story and personality? Or is because the movies are all the same it has a negative effect not only on how people enjoy the character but on the movie company (in this case DC Comics) itself? – reschilke5 years ago
I feel like there have been an excessive amount of Batman movies, but they are there to appeal to the younger people who have not watched the older Batmans. To those who have been around since the first few, it will seem like too much. To those who haven't been around long enough to be interested in the most recent one, it will be very exciting to watch a new Batman film.
I do feel like studios are latching onto fandom/nostalgia but I don't think it has a negative effect on the original character. It gives people different ways of thinking about the character. You can watch all the movies; take what you like and leave what you don't. – Maiacara5 years ago
I think you are hitting on a very important topic, namely that there appears to be a trend (at least in the western world) for safe, reliable narratives that do little to shift us outside of our comfort zone. As much as the cinema going public may ask why don't studios make new and different movies, the reality is that most such movies fail at the box office. Producing a new Batman movie, a Joker movie, more Marvel movies etc... guarantees studios revenue and ultimately those studios are answerable to board directors and share holders. If we, as the cinema going public continue to pay money for these movies, studios are going to continue producing them and we sadly will soon be bereft of original ideas and exciting stories. – davidwhite5 years ago
Yep! It sure does seem like Batman movies are getting done and perhaps overdone! – autenarocks5 years ago
I think it is interesting to see how new adaptations will change key points of stories, like the retelling of Sleeping Beauty in Maleficent, but I do think another batman movie is likely to exhaust the story itself. – KeahMurdoCH5 years ago
There are only so many sequels to a number of movies, and "Batman" is a very good example of that. More creative ideas need to be expressed, and different movies produced, rather than the constant re-makes, re-boots and sequels to films. – WSSfan5 years ago
These are wrong questions. "To Need" is an irrelevant and inappropriate verb to talk about movies or any artistic production. Do we "need" a new Batman movie? What does that mean? On the other hand, assuming that a new Batman movie is going to re-tell the same origin story is unjustifiable. If an idea is profitable, the film industry is going to exploit it as much as they can. – T. Palomino1 year ago
The very short panels first introduced the Wayne’s murder nearly eighty years ago. Despite the changes in comics and society since that time, the core foundation of a murder in an alley by a criminal has remained unchanged. Why has Batman’s origins remained the same while so many heroes have their origin stories and past drastically changed?
Touch on also the appeal of the orphaned child - a very strong trope in children's literature and quite common in origin stories. – SaraiMW5 years ago
Good topic! I guess it comes down to the result of the murder - would he have ever become Batman if he hadn't experienced such tragedy? I also think it shows he truly is a hero. Where others are mutants or born gifted, what makes Batman a hero is his reaction to tragedy and the attitude he adopts. He's a hero because he uses his trauma to protect others, rather than just standing by and watching criminals hurt others. You could maybe even talk about new supers vs. older supers (in relation to the movies): do the morally questionable actions of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool really allow him to call himself a hero? Or is he just a mutant? Since when did the lawfully good attitude of Batman become irrelevant to what it means to be a superhero? Are the characteristics of an individual even part of what makes them a hero anymore? – Gemma Ferguson5 years ago
It could be helpful to address how spin offs have also taken the origin for granted and built upon the character based on that. How does a movie like Batman Ninja (2018) fit into this mix? – Kevin5 years ago
Analyze the aspects that make Batman and Superman inspiring, and then aim to understand which of these aspects could be beneficia, and which may be harmful. For example, Batman is one of the most self disciplined characters of all time, but at the same time, he goes against the law and constantly breaks the rules. How much of this should youth today aspire to be like?
I believe in order to better understand and determine the moral values of both Superman and Batman, there has to be a set universe parameter. Is this an analysis of the cannon comic book versions, alternate universe versions, or the cinematic versions? I feel that anything from the movies and television shows have some influence directly from the comic books, and draw off of the source material. Therefore for a strong argument for discussing who has the moral high ground and how that relates to today's youth. – BigSam786 years ago
A more important question is: Why choosing specifically Batman and Superman to discuss moral values? Or why did you elaborate ideas on Batman but not on Superman? Very inconsistent. – T. Palomino2 years ago
A superhero is defined as a "benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers." Batman essentially has no super powers. He can’t fly, run abnormally fast, or anything spectacular. There is clearly a very distinct line between Batman and what is defined as a superhero. On the other hand, he can perform better than an average human. Batman is a great character because people can look up to him and realize that its possible to be like him. It gives hope to the readers of the comics. He inspires the audience to believe that they can have a great impact on the world, even if they don’t have any super powers. Regardless of his impact on his fans, Is he really a superhero or not?
I would describe certain aspects in order to develop your topic further.
– BMartin437 years ago
Great idea for a topic. I think it depends on the criteria of the definition of "super hero". Finding a definite definition of the term might help to influence how the topic proceeds from here. I don't really think that there is a right or wrong answer to this question, but just depends on how you define super hero and other terms related to the character. Great topic! – SeanGadus7 years ago
I think if you narrow the criteria so much for a superhero (i.e. superpowers, benevolence), it'll become harder to see a character like Batman as a superhero. Heroes like Batman blur the lines of good and evil. He certainly does good things for Gotham - cleaning up crime, stopping murderers, etc. - but he is also a vigilante that the police (the other "do-gooders") hate. He is very much human but is also created and thriving under special circumstances. He's a complex character and I think that definitely needs to be considered here, as well as a more definite definition of what exactly a superhero means, as suggested above. – karebear77 years ago
In Watchmen there was a lot of distinction made between the costumed heroes/vigilantes' and the one 'superhero,' Dr. Manhattan. This prompt is mainly definition-based, so I might go into the word's etymology? 'Super' typically means above, literally or figuratively, so you could discuss the grounds for superiority? – m-cubed7 years ago
If a superhero is based on the willpower to kickass and save the world, yes, but if it's based on having super abilities then no. However, that brings into question Hawkeye - who, essentially, has no superpower. Can just kickass at archery haha. Same with Joker, he's just a maniac and super psychotic. This is a cool topic, for sure! If I was a DC fan I would totally try my hand at it, but I don't have enough knowledge about Batman! – scole7 years ago
Do you believe that any of the people that Batman saved from imminent peril would say, "Well, that was nice. But he isn't a superhero, he's too rich." IN a way, I think that your strict definition of what makes a "superhero" might be pigeon-holing your argument quite a bit. For past generations, the mutant human with super strength or the ability to fly may very well have been the norm for what makes a superhero- as you stated, with "superhuman powers." IMO, Batman doesn't fit your definition as a superhero, he REDIFINES it. In a modern, capitalist world, someone could easily become a "superhero" strictly through financial means. – AndyJanz7 years ago
There's how we define the "super" part of the word, but there's also how does one define a "hero". Is a hero a literary hero, someone who follows particular narrative arcs, someone who upholds a particular morality, or just the protagonist of a work? Are they a hero because they save people, or because they fight crime? Then are emergency response personnel and police also their own type of hero? – sk8knight7 years ago
This question is pointless because the discussion should not be focused on the possession of super powers nor should it be focused on the distinction between “hero” and “superhero.” The author is really interested in the perception of heroic acts by society, and the battle against semantics, I guess. – T. Palomino10 months ago
An extremely popular and successful franchise, the Batman Arkham series is yet another universe added to the Batman canon. However, the latest addition to the series brought in the controversial role of Jason Todd — the former "second" Robin who had been murdered by the Joker — as the "Arkham Knight" and main antagonist of the game. Most fans expressed their outrage for the use of Todd’s character and the way it was conveyed within the Arkham Verse, along with (yet again) using the over saturated Joker trope, and Batman’s decision with the "Knightfall Protocol". Was this addition to the gaming series poorly plotted out? And most importantly: was the characterization of these iconic characters destroyed by the Arkham verse canon?
I would argue that another reason there was disappointment with the "Arkham Knight" was not just that he was Jason Todd, but that it was so painfully obvious that he was Jason Todd. I think a lot of people were hoping for a brand new baddie to add to the Batman franchise but received a variation of the Red Hood instead. – Logan8 years ago
Analyse the methods/extent of effectiveness of the use of the ‘bat-voice’ by the likes of Michael Keaton, Kevin Conroy, Christian Bale etc. and how it plays into the different dimensions and tones of their respective series.
Maybe include not only how the different voice techniques play into the stories but also how the voice helps define Batman within that story. – TheLegendofPie8 years ago
Maybe focus on how certain Bat-voices are treated in pop culture at large. – FantasticMrMac8 years ago
What do you mean by "bat-voice"? – T. Palomino2 years ago
What do you mean by "effectiveness"? – T. Palomino2 years ago
What do you mean by "dimensions and tones"? – T. Palomino2 years ago
What about animated characters? Do they still get to be analyzed? – T. Palomino2 years ago
Batman has been such a big staple in comics and has remained that way for decades, why is there such a resonance with audiences? Also, the audience for comics has largely changed, as well as what people expect from their comics. What has Batman done to remain captivating for people and fresh after so long?
I think half of the appeal of Batman is the fact that he's ordinary. He has no powers, he's not from another planet- he's a man trying to do the right thing. – SomeOtherAmazon8 years ago
I agree, most of his appeal is that he's an ordinary guy. He's wealthy and a business man so you have an "American Dream" aspect there but he uses his money for good. Batman has also evolved a lot through the many adaptations and I think part of the appeal is that audiences are excited to see what spin a new director will put on him. – Kathryn8 years ago
I personally love how dark the Batman universe is. Batman goes through some pretty heavy stuff, and DC isn't afraid to press their luck with how dark things can get. I think this makes it relatable in a way, because we don't always face our problems in life with a BOOM! POW! WHOP! superhero attitude. Bruce Wayne faces his problems as a regular home being, which makes it easier for us to identify with him. He also has faults, which we see regularly. He's just like the rest of us (except for the billions of dollars). – Christina8 years ago
A major draw for me was that Bruce Wayne also went through plenty of childhood trauma, how though others saw him as wealthy and a rich spoilt brat, he had very few people to truly call his own, an issue to circumvent which he immersed himself in science and became the legend we all know him to be. – Dr. Vishnu Unnithan4 years ago