Some Thoughts On Batman
Batman is by far one of the most popular super-heroes around. The reasons for that vary depending upon the source. I believe that Batman’s humanity is what makes him more relatable than Superman. However, many aspects to Batman’s character have been ignored over the years, forgotten by a large number of his fans. Important parts of his character have become parody. Despite his popularity, I don’t share the feeling that Batman is the greatest super-hero. He’s great, but there are parts that people forget that make him one of the best.
He’s the world’s greatest detective.
Batman didn’t just train his body to fight crime. He trained his mind and became cognizant of clues police look for in solving crimes. I figure that early on in his preparation to wage war on crime, he realized that a large percentage of crimes go unsolved, just like the murder of his parents. This meant he had to learn criminal psychology and forensics, not to mention all of the sciences that come with them. I would imagine that he has an encyclopedic knowledge of criminal history as well.
He’s an inventor and engineer.
As he began to put together what he needed for his war on crime, he realized that the equipment that he needed he would have to build himself. Even if we are talking about simple weaponry like the bat-shaped shuriken, he can’t send out for those to be fabricated. Everything is built there in the Batcave. In the Chris Nolan trilogy, he seems to rely on existing WayneTech discarded inventions, but this would eventually be recognized by someone that worked on theBatmobile before the Dark Knight painted it black.
He’s not insane.
A lot of people want to think that Batman is being driven by an obsession that some would classify as insanity. Batman doesn’t cross that line, especially when dealing with criminals as insane as the Joker or Riddler. Batman has to be in full control of his faculties in order to effectively wage his war on crime. He recognized the need for closure, and how he can never get it. Of course his methods are a little extreme and there’s a case study to be made of his psyche, but his respect for the law and a need to see justice served helps keep him sane.
The Robins are not decoys or cannon fodder.
Bruce Wayne brought in Dick Grayson because he saw a young boy (or man, depending on the continuity) that suffered a similar loss to his own. He gave him the mentor that he never had and what we see now in Nightwing is a result of the healing and closure that he gave to Dick Grayson. Jason Todd is a young man that he caught a little later, but in him, Batman saw what he would have become without the resources of the Wayne fortune. Damien needs help in a different way, and Bruce Wayne is there to be the father he never had.
He is not perfect.
He’s one of the best, but Bruce Wayne would probably be the first to confess that there are problems that Batman can’t solve. This is why he associates with the Justice League. Whenever he has left the Justice League in the past, he has recruited another team, like the Outsiders to aid him. His many partners over the years has developed into a network of heroes that he can rely upon if the need arises.
These are the things that almost everyone seems to forget about Batman, including some of the creators behind the comics, television shows, and movies. The one aspect that I miss the most is the detective. It seems odd that the star of Detective Comics should ever have the premier detective in the DC Universe depicted solely as a fighter. Just remember these things whenever you see him depicted so two-dimensionally.