Blogging A to Z Day 2: Batman

Good day, everyone! It wasn’t easy coming up with something to say on this topic today, given how much I’ve already said about Batman over the past year or so. That said, I decided to go broad, give an overview of Batman’s appeal to me personally, discuss the Batman of my heart (as we’ve spoken of our personal versions of Batman before), and open up discussion. Let’s dive right in!BatmanKungFu

Since 1939, Batman has gone through dozens, if not hundreds, of creative interpretations under hoards of comic book creative teams and film producers. Extrapolating from that, there may be as many personal views of Batman himself as there are fans of the character. My own view of the character is manifold.

In his youth, he was as Frank Miller presented him in Year One, and as he grew older he became Denny O’Neil’s adventurer of the late 60s and early 70s. As he approached middle age, he became Grant Morrison’s version of the character, and that is roughly where he stands in my mind. I prefer to imagine Batman as gruff and angry, perhaps in his early to middle 40s, still possessing the strength of his youth but tempered by experience and the harsh education of his mythic role. His later years, to me, have always been a convoluted mixture of The Dark Knight Returns and Batman Beyond. Oh, and through all of this he always speaks with Kevin Conroy’s voice.

While all of that is well and good, why do I attach myself to Batman with such fanboy enthusiasm? No, he does not have any superpowers. No, I cannot identify with his wealth or the depth of his early personal tragedies. So what is it?

I believe it is his fearlessness, his ability to direct his own fate. For someone of meager origins, those aspects of the character are enough, but everything else on top of that makes Batman effectively godlike. He is the example to strive toward, the dark and troubled soul with the means to do so actually fighting back against the night itself. How could that not stir that little bit of heroism that lives within all of us? It’s certainly worth thinking about.

***

Thank you for stopping by during your A to Z Challenge perusals. I am honored that you chose to read some of my work. Please come back later in the month to hear more from me on fear and fearlessness. Be sure to strike up a conversation in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

.ed — Read more Jeremy! 

Batman image by Chip Kidd, from Death by Design, via KungFuKriticism. Characters, their likenesses, and images thereof © DC Comics or original authors.

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62 thoughts on “Blogging A to Z Day 2: Batman

  1. I like the Batman from Batman returns and the Dark Night. That actor brings a certain charm to batman, that I really like.

    Are you familiar with the TV series Birds of Pray? Here we had the daughter of Batman and Cat-woman, which i really enjoyed while it was still airing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there – You seem to have summed up Batman very well. I actually didn’t realize he had his start in 1939. BTW, I gave a shout out to your blog on FictionZeal.com this morning. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks very much for that! I looked at it earlier because I saw your referral.

      Jeremy blogged about Batman every week for like eight months last year. This blog is built on Batman. The night before the first Batman post ran, I hit the comics tag with a teaser that just said “Batman Tomorrow” and had an image of the Bat Signal.

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  3. Yesterday The Avengers, today Batman, can’t wait for the ‘C’ of the challenge tomorrow.
    Batman is so fascinating, he has hero and anti-hero qualities, no ‘superpowers’ as such, just his battered psyche and gadgets.
    I loved what you said about his fearlessness and ability to direct his own fate – those are the qualities that keep us coming back over and over…and the gadgets. 😉
    Thank you for another awesome post, can’t wait for tomorrow. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think Batman is my favourite superhero. There is nothing really “super” about him, but he uses his brain to get around that. I also like that there is a detective component to him too. Excellent choice for “B”!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post Jeremy! I grew up the television Batman of the 60’s with Adam West. While somewhat farcical and cartoonish compared to the movie Batmen of today, I feel that my Batman has a gentle, forgiving, yet firm nature. I’m sure partially due to the times, the Adam West Batman did not show much if any of the dark nature of Batman’s life. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I just called someone a name for putting Iron Man ahead of Batman (all in good fun, the name calling), so I am glad to see this. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. C hmm, what could C be? I know it would be Captain America for me, but I don’t know. The short lived Champions? Catwoman? One thing about comics, you have so many choices.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No more superheroes until F, but that is a good guess. The original topic I brainstormed for A was either Avengers or Captain America. We had a bit of fun with some Winter Soldier reviews. There is a roundup of them somewhere in Sourcerer’s poderous archive.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh how I LOVE Batman. I tend to be a fan of the anti-hero. I am more of a films version with Batman I did really love the Dark Knight trilogy. I love that he is a hero but that he is troubled and sometimes dangerous. The green arrow from the show Arrow reminds me a lot of batman. well done. We have similar themes for the challenge. We are going through our favorite geek characters come see us.

    Teresa
    @icecoldpenguin
    fangirlnextdoor.com

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved the somewhat campy Batman played by Adam West in the TV show and Michael Keaton in the Batman movies of the late 80s and early 90s. I know many people hate the camp, but I for some reason like it.
    I like the back story being developed in the show Gotham, which has young Bruce before he becomes Batman. We learn of his dedication, perseverance, and almost obsessiveness with overcoming his own weaknesses.

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s an interesting description. I have never been a Batman fan because all the materials I came into contact with were very dark. But I do appreciate what you say about his strengths.

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary – Epics from A to Z
    MopDog – 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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    • The darkness is an artifact of post-cold war western culture, I think. Batman was different in the 60s. Thank you so much for stopping by and ohhh! Did you just say “Epics from A to Z?”

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  11. Sometimes Batman seems like the superhero with the most agency. He chooses to make himself what he is, instead of a sudden lab accident and he has no choice. On the other hand, some writers go the opposite route, and make it a compulsion or hereditary quality he can’t stop (cough curseyouGrantMorrison cough).

    Liked by 1 person

      • Morrison just added a lot of weird mysticism to the whole thing. Generations of Waynes as bat-people unbeknownst to Bruce, that sort of thing. With other writers it can be more a psychological compulsion instead of a mystical one, but I don’t usually like those Batmen either…

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  12. Kevin Conroy’s voice IS Batman. I loved watching Batman go toe to toe with everyone in the animated Justice League animated series. Here he is, the only one in the room without superpowers, and he’s taking names. Him and Flash, ooh! What a contrast. Great times.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I must say that I really like your take on the true heroism of Batman. To overcome the meager AND brave the dark makes him a hero, but also gives that heroism as a possibility to us all. Everyday heroism. No wonder he has so many fans. Thanks for sharing this, I didn’t know so much bat-history. Oh, and btw, in case you don’t recognize the handle there, we met on #azchat earlier. Happy A to Z!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I recognise the handle, no worries there! Thanks for commenting on @quaintjeremy‘s Batman post.

      Batman touches something deep and emotional for a lot of people — at least in the Western world. I have not polled the East yet. This blog is built on weekly Batman blogging.

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  14. Pingback: Sunday Post – Best of A to Z Week 1! | Things Matter

  15. Batman had always been my favorite super hero. My son tried to woo me to the Wolverine; no dice. My sixth grade class tried to get me to like Spider-Man. I do like Spidey but no one beats Batman in my book.

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  16. I didn’t read his comics much. Don’t hate me, but I liked Michael Keaton Batman. I think he had the right amount of humor and disdain mixed with privilege and believability to pull off such a complex character.
    Heather M. Gardner
    Co-host: Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
    Blog: The Waiting is the Hardest Part [http://hmgardner.blogspot.com/]

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  17. Pingback: Ten Bloggers. 26 Blogging A to Z Posts. All on One Blog. | Sourcerer

  18. I began with Batman as a child watching the old TV series. I adored our capped crusaders and hung on every twist of the plot. I haven’t seen all of the movies. But out of the ones I have seen, I liked the one where he is pitted against Iceman the most.

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