Why Batman?

Discuss the possibilities for "Batman: Arkham Knight" and the future of the Arkham series after Rocksteady Studios' swansong.

Why Batman?

Postby JakeFreeman256 » Nov 15th, 2016, 8:07 pm

Hey guys. I'm doing a big research project for college about why people like superheroes so much and could really use your help. Superhero movies dominate the box office every year, comic sales are almost double what they were ten years ago, and there are tons of comicbook/superhero shows on tv. Superheroes are pretty much everywhere these days and I'm just wondering what exactly is it about them that keeps everyone's interest so much. I've been a Batman fan for as long as I can remember, my apartment is practically just a massive shrine to Batman, and I've been a member of this site since 2010 or 2011 and checked it multiple times a day while waiting for AC, AO, and AK. I love superheroes in general, Batman just happens to be my favorite. I'm just wondering what about him appeals so much to you guys. If he isn't your favorite character, who is? And why? Any and all responses are welcomed and appreciated. This community has always been awesome so you guys are the first ones I came to for help. Thanks!
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Re: Why Batman?

Postby JordanT4021 » Nov 15th, 2016, 9:59 pm

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Batman. I find his character to be pretty flawed. He says he wants to end crime but he goads and provokes the criminally ill, causing them to lash out even more, and he's constantly putting thugs who live in financial trouble into hospital, which makes for a never ending cycle. Also, his personality is like a yo-yo. Sometimes he's a caring father and supportive friend, and other times he's a cold ally with serious trust issues.

I'm much more attracted to his villains and his allies. Characters like Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Mr Freeze, Bane and so many others are much more interesting and complex to me than Batman is. His allies are pretty complex too.

My favourite heroes are Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Flash, Nightwing and Katana. I'm a sucker for strong female characters and I like heroes with a lighter and fun side.
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Re: Why Batman?

Postby M. Malone » Nov 16th, 2016, 3:04 pm

One reason is because he is more relateable than super-powered heroes. But it's not JUST that he is relatable because he doesn't have special powers, but it's his alter-ego lifestyle as well. Everyone wishes they were rich like Bruce Wayne. Everyone wishes that they were smart like him too. In real life, humans realize that they have so little control over their lot in life, whereas Batman seems to have control over everything. He's always prepared, he's always thinking ahead, and there's little, if anything, that isn't possible for him because of that. That notion is appealing to people.

He not only has control over situations, but he has self-control as well. He beats thugs to a pulp, sure, but in comparison to his villains, and violent criminals in general, he displays enormous self-control when dealing with them. This represents the good side of humanity, and something we can relate to as well. We admire him for displaying the forbearance that we ourselves wish we were capable of.

On the note of his brutality towards thugs, I politely disagree with Jordan's comments above. Of course we are talking fantasy world here, but one things Batman's career has taught him is that crime and violence is a choice, and "rehabilitation" does not work. Whatever ideals he may have started out with, he soon had the discouraging realization that he will never be able to eliminate evil in Gotham. He therefore is more interested in containing crimes and immobilizing the criminals so as to hopefully keep them from committing crime later, but wholesale criminal reform is simply not possible. His method therefore involves physical punishment that is designed, not just to teach a lesson, but to physically incapacitate or hinder a hardened criminal from being able to perpetrate crime in the future. Should they NOT be incapacitated, the fear instilled in them from the previous meeting would go a long ways (further than the threat of jail time for certain) in making them think twice about committing crime again.

He is not a punisher. Batman physically punishes criminals, certainly, but he is far from judge and jury, and certainly NEVER the executioner. Batman turns criminals over to be processed by the justices.

He is not a champion. A champion fights for a certain cause. It could be argued that Batman fights for Gotham, therefore he is a champion of the city. But he doesn't completely fit the definition of a champion. A champion fights for a cause because he believes in that cause. Batman doesn't believe in Gotham city. While some media has portrayed him otherwise (Chris Nolan films for example - in TDK Batman believes in the good people of Gotham City to do what was right by not blowing up the ferrys, and in TDKR he is treated as a champion at the end with a statue and everything), the overreaching aspect of Batman's persona is that he does NOT believe that Gotham City will ever get it together. That doesn't mean that he doesn't love the city, much like a parent is still going to love a completely dysfunctional child. But after killing his parents, and seeing firsthand the horrors of criminality, Batman is jaded about the any possibility of Gotham becoming the noble place he wishes it was. He still defends the city, and he believes his cause is noble (and it is), but he doesn't believe in the city itself.

In light of the above, what IS Batman's role?

Batman acts as a guardian first and foremost. A Guardian defends something - he is not the aggressor, but rather, the defender. In Batman's role, he defends the people of Gotham against evil, heinous deeds. His role is almost always reactionary. So while he is aggressive towards individual criminals, it is only spurred by situations. He reacts to situations, much like a police officer or fireman reacts to situations that require their expertise. The rest of the time, they are getting donuts or target practicing, polishing the firetruck and working out, or in Batman's case, working out and designing amazing new gadgets. All three roles are that of a guardian; a defender.

It is this role that gives Batman and Superman a common ground. Despite the difference in personality and in methods employed, and even different ideologies, they are both guardians at heart.

The reason why Batman has surpassed Superman in popularity is because of what I stated at the outset of this wall o' text: Batman is more accessible. He represents the common man as well as the common man's dreams and aspirations.

Another quite valid reason has to do with the villains, but I've talked enough. :lol:
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Re: Why Batman?

Postby JakeFreeman256 » Nov 17th, 2016, 8:22 pm

M. Malone wrote:One reason is because he is more relateable than super-powered heroes. But it's not JUST that he is relatable because he doesn't have special powers, but it's his alter-ego lifestyle as well. Everyone wishes they were rich like Bruce Wayne. Everyone wishes that they were smart like him too. In real life, humans realize that they have so little control over their lot in life, whereas Batman seems to have control over everything. He's always prepared, he's always thinking ahead, and there's little, if anything, that isn't possible for him because of that. That notion is appealing to people.

He not only has control over situations, but he has self-control as well. He beats thugs to a pulp, sure, but in comparison to his villains, and violent criminals in general, he displays enormous self-control when dealing with them. This represents the good side of humanity, and something we can relate to as well. We admire him for displaying the forbearance that we ourselves wish we were capable of.

On the note of his brutality towards thugs, I politely disagree with Jordan's comments above. Of course we are talking fantasy world here, but one things Batman's career has taught him is that crime and violence is a choice, and "rehabilitation" does not work. Whatever ideals he may have started out with, he soon had the discouraging realization that he will never be able to eliminate evil in Gotham. He therefore is more interested in containing crimes and immobilizing the criminals so as to hopefully keep them from committing crime later, but wholesale criminal reform is simply not possible. His method therefore involves physical punishment that is designed, not just to teach a lesson, but to physically incapacitate or hinder a hardened criminal from being able to perpetrate crime in the future. Should they NOT be incapacitated, the fear instilled in them from the previous meeting would go a long ways (further than the threat of jail time for certain) in making them think twice about committing crime again.

He is not a punisher. Batman physically punishes criminals, certainly, but he is far from judge and jury, and certainly NEVER the executioner. Batman turns criminals over to be processed by the justices.

He is not a champion. A champion fights for a certain cause. It could be argued that Batman fights for Gotham, therefore he is a champion of the city. But he doesn't completely fit the definition of a champion. A champion fights for a cause because he believes in that cause. Batman doesn't believe in Gotham city. While some media has portrayed him otherwise (Chris Nolan films for example - in TDK Batman believes in the good people of Gotham City to do what was right by not blowing up the ferrys, and in TDKR he is treated as a champion at the end with a statue and everything), the overreaching aspect of Batman's persona is that he does NOT believe that Gotham City will ever get it together. That doesn't mean that he doesn't love the city, much like a parent is still going to love a completely dysfunctional child. But after killing his parents, and seeing firsthand the horrors of criminality, Batman is jaded about the any possibility of Gotham becoming the noble place he wishes it was. He still defends the city, and he believes his cause is noble (and it is), but he doesn't believe in the city itself.

In light of the above, what IS Batman's role?

Batman acts as a guardian first and foremost. A Guardian defends something - he is not the aggressor, but rather, the defender. In Batman's role, he defends the people of Gotham against evil, heinous deeds. His role is almost always reactionary. So while he is aggressive towards individual criminals, it is only spurred by situations. He reacts to situations, much like a police officer or fireman reacts to situations that require their expertise. The rest of the time, they are getting donuts or target practicing, polishing the firetruck and working out, or in Batman's case, working out and designing amazing new gadgets. All three roles are that of a guardian; a defender.

It is this role that gives Batman and Superman a common ground. Despite the difference in personality and in methods employed, and even different ideologies, they are both guardians at heart.

The reason why Batman has surpassed Superman in popularity is because of what I stated at the outset of this wall o' text: Batman is more accessible. He represents the common man as well as the common man's dreams and aspirations.

Another quite valid reason has to do with the villains, but I've talked enough. :lol:


Dude, this was awesome. Thank you so much! This should definitely help me!
"Enjoy yourself out there... in the asylum. Just don't forget -- if it ever gets too tough... there's always a place for you here."
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