In the first installment, we talked about how strong, smart and wealthy Batman is. In the second installment, we discussed how Batman is making Gotham city a worse place to live. To wrap it up, let’s talk about how crazy Batman is, and what drives him to continue being a masked vigilante.
There’s one famous Batman comic, titled ‘Arkham Asylum – A Serious House on Serious Earth’, where Batman is lured to Arkham Asylum. His arch nemesis, the Joker, has brought him there, to convince Batman that he belongs in the Asylum with rest of the psychotic criminal scourge. He’s right. Batman absolutely should be locked up in Arkham.
The death of Bruce Wayne’s parents scarred him for life, to such an extent Bruce never grew up. Even with all of his strength and his genius intellect, he’s decided to confront the problem the same way a child would. Watching his parents die in front of him terrified young Bruce Wayne so badly that he’s been emotionally stunted, locked in a promise he made to himself to “get stronger and make the bad guys go away.”
Genius doesn’t grant perspective, only time and self-reflection can do that. Between the dozen of university degrees he’s earned, the handful of languages he speaks, and the hundred or so martial arts he’s mastered, how much time has Batman had to reflect on his choices? His character is known to be stubborn, a loner, and difficult to work with.
Remember, Batman grew up insanely wealthy, before his parents died. He lived a sheltered, privileged life. What if Thomas never had the opportunity to explain to young Bruce that the bad guys aren’t always on the streets? That there are also those who take advantage of other while wearing a suit? The truth is, all three Wayne’s died that night. Bruce died and became Batman.
Even though he’s an adult, he’s still emotionally a child. This can be seen from the fact that his partners, or his ‘wards’, are young children. His inability to connect with adults is apparent. His only known true friends, those who know his true identity, are limited to a handful. Even then, he chooses to keep his distance.
Then there’s the case of true identity. Other superheroes use a disguise and an alter ego to protect those they love from harm. Who exactly is Batman protecting? Himself. Remember, Bruce Wayne acts like the one percent the poor tend to despise. He does so to give a wide berth between himself and Bruce Wayne. What would happen if people found out that the crime fighting hero known as Batman was the rich asshole Bruce Wayne?
People would hate him. How many of the working poor have been sent to Arkham do to excessive force? How many families broken up? Why wasn’t Bruce Wayne creating more wealth in Gotham? That’s what he was doing with his fortune, playing dress-up as a superhero? Bringing more chaos and violence to Gotham city? There would be riots in the streets, Bruce Wayne would have the book thrown at him. His entire empire would crumble around him.
That’s what the citizens would do. His villains? They would have a field day! The Joker would put up posters all over Gotham of the crime scene. He’d have loudspeakers playing the last known recorded voice of his parents. And that’s just the Joker. Every single enemy Batman has ever made would be using this information against him. Batman has confronted every villain in Gotham, but has he ever faced the demon within himself? I’m pretty sure Batman would start beating his enemies to death while sobbing and screaming.
To top this all off, let’s look as his counter part, Iron Man. Batman was created by DC comics, and Iron Man by Marvel. They’re both rich, both industrialists, both crime fighting heroes. Batman lives in crime riddled Gotham, Iron Man lives in New York city, one of the greatest cities on the planet. Batman keeps the population poor in Gotham so that he can deliver justice, Iron Man is too busy fighting alien invasions and false gods to worry about street crime, he leaves that to the proper authorities. Batman keeps his identity a secret, while every knows that Iron Man is the famous mechanical genius Tony Stark. You know what demon Tony Stark had to face? Alcoholism. And he beat that by quitting the hooch.
Bruce Wayne should have seen a damn psychologist after the death of his parents. I’m guessing the only psychologists in Gotham are from Arkham Asylum, and I’m certain the sessions had the therapist screaming at Bruce that this was his fault while collecting his tears for some bizarre experiment. Batman is a lame super hero. I rest my case.
The Illustrious Mr. Charlton
p.s. I’m outta things to say about Batman. If you still think he’s the best superhero around, then I can’t help you.
p.s.s. The Batman video games still kick ass, though.