Batman at 75


#1

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#4

Batman keeps getting remade because it reflects the ideology of the kind of people who fund movies, ie that crime is caused by feral poor people, and if a billionaire would just punch them hard enough then crime would stop.


#5

At the core he’s an aspirational figure. When kids dream of being superheroes, stupid reality dictates that they’ll never grow up to be a superpowered alien or a demigod or a shape-shifting mutant. But working out and studying hard? That’s something they could really do! At least, if they really wanted to!

Heck, in his original origin story he spends twice as many panels trying to decide on a theme for his costume than he spends actually developing the skills he’ll need to fight crime.


#6

Yeah that’s one of the problems I have with Batman. He is some kind of “super” and that’s super-rich.

Wealth is seen in the US (AFAIK) as an entirely positive trait. Someone has lots of money so he must be doing something right and that’s often equated with being right/good. This probably springs from the puritan ideology thats dominant in US society even today.
But here where I live wealth is often seen as slightly suspicious, knowing that money is not a judge of character in itself but the source of the wealth can be an inheritance or the suffering of others.
Batmans wealthy background is a narrative necessity (he needs those expensive toys) - I get that, but I would’ve preferred a different explanation.


#7

Nothing to do, of course, with the people who pay to watch those movies.


#8

I like Batman, he was always my favorite superhero and he is certainly archetype material.
But I’ve never thought that batman keeps selling for any other reason than “they” keep making things to sell. (They being DC comics and anybody who bought a license to make stuff)

I mean, even transformer sells and its not objectively good by any other measure than money.
Junk food sells really well but we don’t need to elevate it to a status of iconic in order to explain why we crave deliciously empty, gloriously fattening calories.
And of course the reason that Batman is relevant to the pop culture, is that its the only culture around.
Caveat emptor?


#9

I am looking forward to the Google Doodle on July 23.


#10

They seem to have dropped the “Sherlock Holmes” aspect of the World’s Greatest Detective.


#11

Penguin: blue-blood kingpin of a criminal empire.
Riddler: manicured genius-for-hire
Catwoman: cultured jet-setter
Ra’s al-Ghul: immortal aristocrat
Two-face: Former District Attorney
Poison Ivy: scientist
Mad Hatter: scientist
Mr. Freeze: scientist
Scarecrow: psychiatrist
Harley Quinn: psychiatrist.
Joker: unknown, but doesn’t seem to worry about money.
Killer Croc: “feral poor person.”

That’s one for twelve, off the top of my head. Can someone reference a storyline where “feral poor people” cause more than their fair share of crime, or get more than a fair amount of snot beaten out of them?


#12

It was a “feral poor person” who killed Bruce’s parents in the first place, and Batman does spend a certain amount of time busting the heads of no-name thugs who are always shown as being ill-dressed and inarticulate.

You do have a good point, but it’s also true that the unnamed “poor thugs” themselves make up a group on par with one super-villain.


#13

#14

I’m no expert but I suspect dealing with the criminal escapades of the “feral poor people” forms his quotidian routine and that the more ‘aristocratic’ crime lords, if you will, are the more interesting (interesting because bigger value crimes) that actually make it into print. Feral poor people are not only ‘with us always’ but they’re also boring and monochromatic.


#15

What hit my ear wrong was the notion that Batman operates in a world where crime is “caused” by a tribe of the contemptible unwashed. Sure, goons are employed, and they get their skulls cracked plenty, but are they the “cause” of the elaborate calamities Batman is most famous for preventing? Seems to me Batman’s Rogues Gallery is second only to Columbo’s in its number of moneyed and cultured antagonists.

But a fair point about the mugger that killed the Waynes, tho I think they’ve made efforts to give that guy some dimension over the years.


#16

Superman: Hercules

Batman: Odysseus


#17

The real heart of Batman’s enduring appeal lies in something that Neal Stephenson wrote in Snow Crash: that every American male, up until about the age of twenty-five, believes that, if he really wanted to, he could be the biggest badass in the world. Even though he inherited a fortune and had the genes to become a world-class gymnast and martial artist, Batman’s real superpower is his motivation.


#18

I can’t say I care too much about the silly debate going on above. He’s a great and appealing character and it is no surprise that he has continued to be re-adapted. Sure, it’s always nice to see fresh content, but in Batman’s case I’m happy to see him keep being remade, because each remake take has genuinely been quite different from the past. Although there have certainly been some appalling adaptations created (I’m looking at you Joel Schumacher, why you were ever allowed to create a second Batman film I’ll never comprehend).

Also, I was intrigued by the variations on the Batman logo there and discovered the artist had created a great poster.

Unsurprisingly, the my two favourite logos also happen to correspond with Joel Schumacher’s “contribution”. That may be an inherent bias against the films, but they’re also crappy logos.

Personally I think the 1977 New Adventures of Batman logo (which as a show was awful, so maybe I’m not too biased re the logos), and the Batman Returns logos are the best two. The Dark Knight is also very strong.


#19

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and state that I don’t believe that’s the original soundtrack.


#20

Batman at 75???


#21

I’d’ve had the left ear folded over, but can also well understand why you didn’t.


#22

Not my art… (the pic links to the artists deviant art page)
I would probably make him more broken and fatigued.
I think artofwei captured the determination that folks mentioned in previous comments - I’m sure that his hypervigilance would not waver with age.

(Perhaps an “old batman” sketch would be a good subject to get me to finally use the new drawing supplies I received last xmas)