Is Batman crazy?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by xortex, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Batman is the sanest man on the planet.
     
  2. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. Batman is fucking nuts.
     
  3. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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  4. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Frank Miller's All Star Batman? Yes.

    Classic, DC, Batman? No. We see Batman, as Bruce Wayne, more or less run a perfectly normal life with reasonably normal relationships with those closest to him (Alfred and whoever is Robin this year) while operating as the head of, in some capacity, a major international corporation. Even as Batman we see him have some level of a normal relationship with other members of the Justice League (most notably Superman.)

    He's just able to put on a good show of being crazy to put terror into the hearts and minds of Gotham's criminals. Batman isn't strictly "crazy" but he's able to put on a good enough show of it to make criminals second guess themselves a little bit.
     
  5. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    No, he's just godda.... I'm not going to go there....
     
  6. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Out of touch with reality, since the Joker thinks he is unreal, qualifies Batman as psychotic obsessed with revenge. It's the Joker that's simply evil mainly because he's continually pursued and aggrivated by Batman to avenge his parent's deaths which as I say might have been handled normally through the proper channels in the courts. Instead he goes on a vigilante avenger type manhunt that makes and forces the Joker to possibly be worse than he would have ever been otherwise - a super villian evil nemesis in response all for the sake of Batman's insatiable personal revenge.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that's just it -- he doesn't exist in real life. He exists in a universe where gorillas can talk, dwarf-matter costumes can shrink people to microscopic size, emotions are color-coded as cosmic forces that can be harnessed as energy sources by space cops, gangs are bankrolled by evil gods from a planet called Apokolips, and both crimefighters and criminals all over the world have been donning colorful costumes and themed gadgets for generations. It isn't Batman that's crazy; it's his world that's crazy. Within the context of the world he inhabits, his behavior is perfectly normative and adaptive.

    Indeed, turn it around. Take the most Bruce Wayne-like person in our world, a billionaire philanthropist who supports law enforcement and social reform without personally becoming a master martial artist and animal-themed ninja, and put him in the DC Universe. He wouldn't last very long there -- he'd probably be robbed blind by Catwoman or the Penguin or driven out of business by Lex Luthor or gunned down by Intergang within months. And people there might think he was crazy to think he could successfully fight crime without having a secret identity, fighting skills, or some kind of superpowers to protect him against the inevitable retaliation. By their standards, Batman's methods are the saner way to go.

    I guess the problem is that most people are more familiar with screen versions of Batman and other superheroes than the comics version, and in most screen versions, the featured superhero is the only one around. Given that, it would seem more eccentric and bizarre. But even so, a lot of those versions of Batman occupy worlds that are crazier than ours -- particularly the Batman of the '66 sitcom and the Batman of the Burton and Schumacher movies. Those were two (three?) very stylized, exaggerated, campy alternative realities full of extreme, flamboyant criminals, so a flamboyant and eccentric approach to fighting crime wasn't such a bad fit. And when Nolan gave us a nominally more naturalistic world (though still one where the physical laws that govern microwaves, nuclear fusion, spinal injury recovery, and the like are quite fanciful), he went to great lengths to explain why adopting the Batman persona was not a delusional act, but a consciously created performance enacted by a rational man in order to achieve a specific purpose.
     
  8. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't say Batman is out for revenge - he's out to stop the suffering of others at the hands of criminal.
     
  9. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    What inevitable retalliation? You're assuming his world is corrupt?
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That assumes the Joker is a reaction to Batman or that the Joker killed the Waynes. The latter is only true in Burton's film. In most other versions the Waynes are killed by a two bit nobody armed robber named Joe Chill.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  11. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    What about TDKR? The latest one.
     
  12. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What about it?
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Exactly. Thank you. That whole "I am vengeance" thing is completely wrong. If Batman were about revenge, he would've killed Joe Chill and left it at that. He's about justice. He's about stopping criminals and protecting the innocent. It's not about himself, it's about everyone else he can save from suffering the same kind of tragedy he lived through.

    This is one of the many, many things the Burton movies got very wrong about Batman. Having the Joker/Napier be his parents' killer reduces it to a formulaic revenge movie, and Batman is about more than that. That's something Nolan got right -- what started him on the path to becoming Batman was Rachel convincing him to let go of revenge and focus on redressing the suffering of others instead of just his own.


    Or by a hitman named Joe Chill, hired by gangster Lew Moxon to assassinate Thomas Wayne in retaliation for getting him arrested, and to make it look like a random armed robbery. That's the way it was retconned in 1956, and it stayed canonical until Crisis on Infinite Earths three decades later.

    Wasn't Chill hired by the League of Shadows in the Nolan version? I have the impression that the League had the Waynes killed because their philanthropy was countering the decay of Gotham that the League was trying to orchestrate. Or maybe that's just a theory I concocted.
     
  14. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    It was the attempt to make it naturalistic (such as it can be said to be so) that made Nolan's films a crashing bore for me. The more they tried to rationalize the character's world, the more idiotic and crazy Batman came off to me. I'll take 'Batman and Robin' any day over the whole of Nolan's films.
     
  15. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    interesting point, which I somewhat agree with. I wouldn't go so far as to take the awful "batman and robin" over the Nolan trilogy, but I do think that the Burton films hold up pretty well with them. The problem with Nolan's "comic book realism" approach is that it ultimately becomes absurd. You're always going to have things in a comic book story that make it painfully obvious that what we're seeing just wouldn't work.

    Heath Ledger's Joker COULD NOT have had so many different complex plans working out so well, that involve such careful timing, so many different connections, and a guy WHO WEARS CLOWN MAKE-UP IN PUBLIC AND HAS HORRIBLE FACIAL SCARS not getting noticed. You can't recover from a serious spinal injury in a few months by having it punched back into place, and then doing some prison push-ups and sit-ups. The juxtaposition of realism in terms of Wayne purchasing Batman equipment or something like that, with the absurd comic book conventions that were necessary to making the story work just came off as awkward sometimes.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the Nolan trilogy, I just think they could have toned down the faux-realism.
     
  16. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I agree with this. Nolan's trilogy was very good, but it wasn't the focus on realism that made it memorable. If anything the focus on realism was detrimental to the whole product.
     
  17. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps you'd have preferred to the story line from Knightfall where a woman with telekinetic healing powers repairs the damage to Bruce Wayne's back?
     
  18. Set Harth

    Set Harth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "I hope you can swim, Mr. Bane!" - Arnold Schwarzenegger
     
  19. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Maybe Batman is a robot created by the Gothem government to fight crime. It would explain alot of his super human strength and powers. After all he didn't get bitten by a bat or a vampire, unless he was a vampire robot - like an IRS tax worker. I once talked on the phone for twenty minutes with a robot without knowing it. We laughed and reminisced and carried on a real conversation. He even lied when I asked him if he was a robot, to which the woman who he passed me to said, 'yea, he's a robot.'
     
  20. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Don't you mean Crazy Steve?
     

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