The World of Batman

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Abishai100, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. Abishai100

    Abishai100 VIP Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    Batman (DC Comics) is America's most unusual and eccentric superhero/vigilante. Batman is actually a socialite/businessman named Bruce Wayne (very wealthy) who became a vigilante after his parents were murdered (when he was a young boy). No one knows Bruce's secret superhero-identity.

    Batman does not have any magical powers, but he is very valiant and equipped with all kinds of wondrous weapons and tools. He also has a very nifty weapons-enhanced car called the 'bat-mobile.' Batman's primary job is to tackle criminal-insanity (all of his nemeses are insane!). Batman fights crime in a fictional place called Gotham City which symbolizes modern fears of congestion and anarchy.

    Batman comics have been adapted into many live-action Hollywood (USA) films, making him easily the most marketed comic book superhero ever. Perhaps because Batman's enemies are so darn weird/bizarre, Americans are very easily immersed into the 'world of Batman.' Criminal-insanity (and the Insanity Defense in legal-procedure) is, after all, arguably the most complicated/tricky aspect of modern era civics/governance.

    Because Gotham City is such a brooding/ominous place of crime and criminal-insanity, it is valuable to consider the artistic weight and social relevance in modern times of Batman media/art such as the recent live-action Hollywood (USA) film directed by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises (Batman is sometimes referred to colloquially as 'the dark knight' --- since he's sort of on an urban crusade!).



    As a socialite, Bruce Wayne is dashing. As Batman, Bruce is a pensive knight of the city. Various renditions/characterizations of Batman reflect the artist's vision of Gotham City itself. That's why we might differentiate greatly between a Tim Burton Batman film (starring the pensive Michael Keaton as Batman) and a Christopher Nolan Batman film (starring the energized Christian Bale as Batman). Batman tackles criminal-insanity, so we're inspired by the complexity of modern urban governance, which makes Batman media/entertainment arguably appealing to multiple age-groups.


    Gotham City has been presented as a dirty place, a sinister place, a gloomy place, an Orwellian vision, a macabre circus, and even a sophisticated den of evil. We're supposed to think that the modern city is very complex and hence maddening, which is why Batman's nemeses are all surprisingly 'sensitive' (or intelligent), making Batman something of a 'freelance lawyer' (arguing about the gravity of crime regardless of how 'sensible' it might seem in the short-term!). Gotham City is where we start with any good Batman review.


    Batman's villains are eerie and sometimes even ugly. They're equally childlike and cunning. They include Mr. Freeze (a self-justified romance-crusader with a vengeful heart and an ice-gun), the Scarecrow (a masked fear-toxin wielding sociopath), Two-Face (a disfigured 'rogue vigilante'), Poison Ivy (a seductive eco-terrorist), Talia al Ghul (a criminal underworld 'seamstress'), Harley Quinn (a trickster and 'classic criminal'), and the Penguin (an animal-like agent of turbulence). Batman villain representations in comics, cartoons, TV series, and movies are often what appeals to general audiences. Danny DeVito's depiction of the Penguin in Tim Burton's Batman Returns, Tom Hardy's depiction of Bane (a chemically-enhanced super-brute) in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, Uma Thurman's depiction of Poison Ivy in Joel Schumacher's Batman and Robin, and Frank Gorshin's depiction of the Riddler in the 1960s Batman live-action TV series starring the great Adam West all stand out.


    Batman paraphernalia, gadgets/tools, toys, weapons, uniforms/outfits, and of course vehicles (planes, cars, submarines) are all very symbolic in the great crusade against criminal-insanity in Gotham City. How Batman's 'items' are presented/arrayed reflects the artist's vision of what tackling criminal-insanity should 'feel' like(!). Legal procedure is so darn tedious and even frustrating, and criminal-insanity is so completely hairy (and sometimes even confusing to lawyers!) that we might realize why artistic presentations of Batman's 'items' (tools, cars, etc.) reflect our understanding/appreciation of urban aesthetics. Sometimes, a Batman comic book or film might get great fan-reviews simply because the presented Batman tools/toys are so perfectly 'eccentric.' My favorite tool-accented Batman media is Tim Burton's original ground-breaking 1989 film Batman (starring Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger, and Jack Nicholson).


    Batman appeals to crime-story fans looking for an unusual type of hero who deals with crime not necessarily because he's a god or angel or 'superhuman' per-se or even a very intelligent or wise leader but rather simply a motivated 'thinker.' Batman has to deal with criminally-insane villains who are either very strong (Bane) or very smart (Riddler); but they're all maniacs! That's what makes Batman such a media-friendly superhero. Just about anyone can relate to him --- whether they like espionage tales, fight-stories, or even stories about burglary, self-defense, and basic insanity! This might be why Christopher Nolan's last Batman film (so complete in all its aspects) The Dark Knight Rises is broadly-appealing --- it has something for everyone.


    Americans appreciate why law and order maintains civilizations. Americans like artistic representations of the complexities of civilization itself. Batman (DC Comics) is a jack-of-all-trades and deals with criminally-insane nemeses who symbolize all the 'loopholes' of civics and 'black holes' of hell. Batman media (including the highly-praised 1990s animated series, Batman: The Animated Series --- featuring Mark Hamill, of Star Wars fame, as the voice of the anarchy-prone nemesis Joker) represent America's perspective on the aesthetics of crime. We might therefore review Batman media as a vehicle of/for social consciousness. In other words, Batman reviews are just plain imagination-stimulating!





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