Saturday, July 19, 2008


The Dark Knight.

The World's Greatest Detective.

With the recent movie (hype) over The Dark Knight Returns, it occurred to me that Batman has always been one of my favorite characters ever since I started reading comic books. My brother was the Superman fan and I was "relegated" to the "lowly" Batman. Over role play, he was always Superman and I was Batman.

But what makes Batman such an attractive character (if not to you, it is to me)?

What has been left out from the movie is Batman the detective. Movie fans drool over his brooding personality, his "darkness" and the way he dispenses of criminals. In the DC comic books, Batman is one of the better thinkers of the DC Universe. Not exactly the wisest man, but intelligent and witty enough to solve even the toughest crime puzzles. He is known to be away from the other heroes as he works undercover (a third disguise, Malone, a gangster). At the end of the story, he pops out with the puzzle already solved a la Sherlock Holmes.

And then, it just dawns that he is only human. A bit superhuman because he has trained his body to be like an Olympic athlete but nevertheless just a normal human being with the cool gadgets and transportation. I might look at him as a dark James Bond in a cowl and cape. He lives the life as a millionaire playboy but goes into the night saving people.

And that I think is one of the reasons why the character is a favorite among comic book fans. His being human takes him closer to all of us. We are more likely to become Batman ourselves, one way or another.

As for the new movie, I haven't seen it yet but I plan to do so. Thankfully, the DC Comics company have transformed their movie characters into what they really are. No more cheesy comic book-like dialog that sucks too much (I'm talking to you, Joel Schumacher).

By the way, Batman comic books (especially the limited series) are always a good read. There are a rich set of characters that are involved in Gotham City, a city that doesn't seem to run out of criminals, especially the loony ones. And if you're a fan of psychology, you will notice that there are always psychological aspects to what happens in Gotham.

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