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  1. #1
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    Default Am I the only one who feels like this?

    I want to preface this by saying I have no issue with how Batman is interpreted as this grim, brooding figure; it works damn well. It’s who he is and who I think he should continue to be. Batman, at his core, is a being created by darkness.

    But, to quote the legend himself, “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”

    I believe that the common iteration of the Dark Knight is flawed, not because it is too Dark, but because he is not acting like a Knight. He has one rule, but knights lived by a whole code that kept them true to their goals. In my opinion, Batman’s code should be Gotham’s law.

    There is some precedent for this; Adam West was a ‘fully deputized agent of the law’, meaning that despite not being a cop, swore to uphold the same rules the police did. This has fallen away in favor of focusing on his vigilantism, which, again, I don’t have a problem with— after all, what he does is very much taking the law into his own hands... but he can’t be above the law or else he’s just Two-Face without the coin.

    I’m not saying we go back to the Silver Age where a campy man-child galavants across Gotham with a grapple being too rough for a grunt or goon. What I /am/ saying is Batman, at his core, should strive to be better than the criminals he defeats.

    There’s a moment from “Batman: Hush” I particularly take issue with; when referring to Superman, Batman says he’ll win against him because deep down Clark is a good person, but Bruce is not. Maybe he sees himself that way, but for him to go out to the streets and protect people at his own risk is not something a bad person does.

    Batman was created by cruelty, but should not be cruel. He was born of violence, but should not be violent. In a way similar to how he refuses to carry a gun or kill people, to give into that darkness is to become what made him. In my opinion, and what I hope to discuss with you all, is how Batman could be that symbol of justice again, instead of a spotlight highlighting how the system doesn’t work and not doing anything to prove his way does.

    Thank you for your time. Can’t wait for the movie, the games, etc.

  2. #2
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    You're definitely not alone in this in fact I'll say that this has been one of the biggest complains from Batman fans when it comes to his modern characterization. I think some writers focus too much on the trauma and flaws of the man and forget all about his motives and beliefs, I believe that Bruce Wayne loves Gotham above all else or we wouldn't be doing what he does. I hate when it seems that he hates crime more than he loves helping people and hate even more when he's depicted as some of kind of lunatic that couldn't possibly live without his costume and his colorful villains. Sure his crusade is a big part of his life one that would be extremely hard to let go but is that any different to any other person and their and their life occupations, we all have things that defines us and we almost can't see ourselves leaving without it. Most if not all of super heroes would feel lost if they had to suddenly stop fighting crime and we constantly get stories tackling that scenario so I don't know why Batman gets the reputation of being unable to move on. Speaking of moving on, writers need to stop making it seem that Batman's mission is forever only motivated by his parents death, we all understand that was the major event that put Bruce Wayne on this path but at some point there's more to his mission than just trauma, by now Batman should understand that his work in important and that he himself loves helping people. This may be unpopular but 5/6 years into his career his major motivation for crime fighting should be Gotham itself instead of his parents death.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    his major motivation for crime fighting should be Gotham itself instead of his parents death.
    If his motive is 100% about Gotham then he wouldn't be a crime fighter.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by prepmaster View Post
    If his motive is 100% about Gotham then he wouldn't be a crime fighter.
    I guess I wasn't clear. I'm not saying Gotham should be his only motivation but is should be the most important. His parents death should serve more as a catalyst.

  5. #5
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Batman should never be cruel. He's a superhero with a big heart. Sure he's a dark, mysterious, brooding detective- but a lot of that is for aesthetics. He's a Dark Knight.

    His parents' death was the catalyst for becoming The Batman but it is not what continues to drive him at 40. He's driven by the thrill of the 'cases', like most detectives are. He's also not nearly as much of a loner as people seem to think- the guy loves having pals and allies of all different walks of life.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 09-16-2020 at 06:25 PM.

  6. #6
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    I remember one old comic back when he was still in the gray and blue where he said his costume was intended to be a symbol of fear to criminals but a symbol of hope for the innocent.

    I think somewhere along the lines, that symbol of hope thing was lost.

  7. #7
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    I remember one old comic back when he was still in the gray and blue where he said his costume was intended to be a symbol of fear to criminals but a symbol of hope for the innocent.

    I think somewhere along the lines, that symbol of hope thing was lost.
    The Bat symbol should always be that sign of hope. The Bat signal up in the skies, letting people know the Batman is out there for 'em.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Gordon View Post
    His parents' death was the catalyst for becoming The Batman but it is not what continues to drive him at 40. He's driven by the thrill of the 'cases', like most detectives are.
    I don't find the thrill of the solving cases being a better motive than the pain of losing loved ones. He is vengeance, not only for the death of his parents but also for the death of other innocents against criminals. He understands the pain of losing loved ones and wants to prevents others from suffering the same pain that he went through. Its not simply about getting over the pain but understanding the pain.
    Last edited by prepmaster; 09-16-2020 at 01:00 PM.

  9. #9
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prepmaster View Post
    I don't find the thrill of the solving cases being a better motive than the pain of losing loved ones. He is vengeance, not only for the death of his parents but also for the death of other innocents against criminals. He understands the pain of losing loved ones and wants to prevents others from suffering the same pain that he went through. Its not simply about getting over the pain but understanding the pain.
    Sure- he understands the pain of losing loved ones...but that was also a long time ago. He's an adult man who's kinda/sorta quasi-40. He can understand that pain from his childhood, and use his understanding of it to help others- but he's also got other stuff going on now. His parents died a long time ago. Sure their lives were cut short and that was the catalyst for the begining of his journey- but it's not the be all and end all.

    The thing that drives a lot of great detectives isn't 100% about stopping crime, but the actual thrill of the case. The puzzle and the chase. Batman loves helping others, but he's also very much addicted to casework and groovy detective stuff. Who can blame him? All that stuff is rad.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 09-16-2020 at 01:38 PM.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    For me it will always be these pages that describe his motivation.

    untold_legend_of_the_batman_01_justice.jpg

    untold_legend_batman3_BatmanGordon-e1505096514705.jpg

    He wants to fight crime and his goal was to become a policeman and do it legally... till he realized just how much a difference there is between upholding the law and Justice. He works with the cops when he can, and bends the law when he can't.


    As for his parents... yeah, That should be his origin, but he's had worse stuff happen since. That's why I love Joe Chill eventually being revealed as teh killer. The whole ' spending every night avenging his parents' was stupid. He's not trying to avenge his parents... he's trying to make sure no OTHER kids go through what he did. That it never happens again. He's thinking forward, not always locked in the past. Between losing Robins and Batgirls and Alfred, and sometimes all of Gotham itself... His parents being killed 20-30 years ago should NOT be what's going through his mind any more.

    Another reason I liked Dead Jason better. He had a NEW trauma that fresher and more raw that he would unleash on some bad guys as opposed to his parents.

    Parents are great starting motivation... but he has to evolve past it.

  11. #11
    Not a Newbie Member JBatmanFan05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudahMyles View Post
    There is some precedent for this; Adam West was a ‘fully deputized agent of the law’, meaning that despite not being a cop, swore to uphold the same rules the police did. This has fallen away in favor of focusing on his vigilantism, which, again, I don’t have a problem with— after all, what he does is very much taking the law into his own hands... but he can’t be above the law or else he’s just Two-Face without the coin.

    He was born of violence, but should not be violent.
    I think you're definitely alone in thinking Batman shouldn't be violent. Even Bill Finger and Bob Kane disagreed with that. This is comic books, where law enforcement by colorful heroes is violent.

    I think Batman already is what you want regarding the law: Mostly believing in "the system" in Gotham. Joker Devil's Advocate and other Dixon stories really reinforce Batman's idea on keeping (mostly) to the system, like Batman not letting Joker be executed for the one murder he didn't commit. Being about justice and being a symbol of justice while inescapably being a bit of a vigilante.

    I kind of think of Batman like a Dirty Harry quote (from the second DH film Magnum Force): "I hate the damn system, but until someone comes along with changes that make sense, I'll stick with it."
    Last edited by JBatmanFan05; 09-16-2020 at 05:34 PM.
    Thank you AMericA for votinG for chAnge.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    His parents being killed 20-30 years ago should NOT be what's going through his mind any more.

    The whole ' spending every night avenging his parents' was stupid.

    Parents are great starting motivation... but he has to evolve past it.
    The funny thing is that avenging his parents' death is not that great of a starting motivation if you think about it. If he had been a reasonable person then he would only need to go after the few criminals that were responsible for his parent's death instead of training himself to be crime fighter. His insanity in blaming crime for the loss of his parents instead of the ones that were directly responsible for his parents' death.

    Without the pain of losing his parents driving him insane, he would have not chosen to become a crime fighter but something else. If it had been a stranger or a distant relative that had been murdered in front of him, he wouldn't have felt much pain and become something else. Its the great pain that makes him blame crime for the loss of his parents instead of just the one criminal that shot them and choose to become a crime fighter. The pain was too great to ever be overcome with just the arrest/death of the one criminal that shot his parents. The understanding of such pain is what makes him feel compelled to protect innocents from criminals.
    Last edited by prepmaster; 09-18-2020 at 12:45 PM.

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    I can get on board with this sentiment. I think it's valid to have him be dark and vengeful, but I do appreciate when he shows himself to be more noble and less driven by anger. Superman often has the father figure thing on lock, but there's no reason Batman can't be a comfort in the dark from time to time as well.

    And I also hate that line in Hush. How could you possibly say you're not a good person while trying to be a superhero?

    As for the legal issues, they're complex, but I saw a recent facebook thread that made a good point - in stories where the villain is not specially equipped or the mystery is not incredibly difficult, Batman's "superpower" just becomes being able to run afoul of due process laws and the rules that ordinary cops have to follow. The message implicitly becomes "if only cops didn't need warrants, bad guys would get caught quicker." That's kind of inherent in vigilantism, but it's worth thinking about.

    I'm not sure if it makes much sense, but I'd like to think that Gordon facilitates warrants whenever Batman is investigating people's homes and warehouses. But it is difficult to imagine that happenening every time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning Rider View Post
    And I also hate that line in Hush. How could you possibly say you're not a good person while trying to be a superhero?
    He is not a bad person but his crime fighting motive is not as 100% altruistic as Supes. Clark genuinely wants to help and save people while Bruce is partly motivated by pain.

  15. #15
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prepmaster View Post
    He is not a bad person but his crime fighting motive is not as 100% altruistic as Supes. Clark genuinely wants to help and save people while Bruce is partly motivated by pain.
    Bruce also wants to genuinely help people.

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