The Darker Facets Of Batman's Character

by Rob Knight - Date: 2010-09-16 - Word Count: 549 Share This!

Batman is possibly one of the most successful comic book characters ever created. He is also possibly one of the darkest.

The origins of Batman are shadowy and unsettling. As a child, Bruce Wayne (Batman's alter-ego) watched as his parents were murdered. After this terrible experience, Wayne made a conscious decision that he would avenge their deaths by fighting back against crime. After creating the guise of 'The Bat Man' he begins his new life of adventure, danger and double identity.

Aside from the normal life of a super-hero, Batman has always had undertones of melancholy and brooding. His heart is as dark and mysterious as the outfit that he wears. Indeed, Sigmund Freud could quite happily have spent months trying to unravel this deeply troubled individual.

These aspects have become more apparent in recent years. The ongoing string of Batman films that began in 1989 have concentrated on the darker facets of his character. In fact they have gradually become ever more sombre. If we think back to the Batman television series of the sixties then the differences are enormous. The Batman of then was light-hearted and funny. Yes, the Batman of today still contains humor but now it leans more toward the dark and the cynical.

The whole concept of Batman is full of shadows. Gotham City (fittingly similar in name to 'Gothic City') is a place that is full of darkly styled buildings and myriads of unlit streets. Several of Batman's foes have a distinctively dark feel about them and The Joker (probably his most famous enemy) is so dark and ominous that he is downright scary. This was most apparent in the latest movie release, 'The Dark Knight' where he was played in such a frightening and realistic a way by the late Heath Ledger that there was even talk about whether or not the film was suitable viewing for children.

So, if the character of Batman were real then how would he fit into today's society? He would most definitely be a loner and most probably an outcast. Mixing and interacting with other people would prove to be difficult for him. Opening up to others about his inner turmoil surely wouldn't be easy for him. In my opinion he would more than likely be a diagnosed depressive.

Therefore we have a depressed, Prozac-popping social outcast with an introverted personality. And what of his crime fighting side? With his personal problems would it not be easy to imagine him having vigilante and anti-social tendencies? He could even, ironically, become a criminal.

And so, after thinking it through we have a very different Batman from the one who is so widely known and loved. We are left with a disturbed and depressed individual who is drug dependent and unable to communicate with anyone. He could quite possibly be a dangerous repeat offender with his own ideas of right and wrong (maybe even having sociopathic tendencies). And, to top it all, because of his antisocial thoughts and behaviour he may have been awarded with an ASBO.

Thank goodness that Batman is only a fictional character. Whilst he is fighting evil in comics and on the big screen the world is a safer place. However, if he was a real person then the world would be even more of a dangerous place than it already is.

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