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  1. #1

    Default Batman as Urban Myth - the Debate

    As posters here may or may not know, Around the late 1990s Batman was regarded as an “urban myth” roughly until . . . “War Games”?

    In any case, feel free to discuss this subject.
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  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Batman as urban myth is part of the mystique of making criminals scared so it's good

    Up until the Justice League goes public and the criminal elements see the little bouncy pixie boy

  3. #3
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    Batman as an urban myth only works for the characters first, maybe second year as a hero. He's far too high profile to be a myth for long.

  4. #4
    Beyond Good. Beyond Evil. Gaius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    Batman as an urban myth only works for the characters first, maybe second year as a hero. He's far too high profile to be a myth for long.
    You're being generous, first couple of nights at most.

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    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    You're being generous, first couple of nights at most.
    I think the first couple of nights would establish the urban myth. He probably wouldn't become public knowledge until either he joins the JL or when he starts fighting Supervillains.

  6. #6
    Not a Newbie Member JBatmanFan05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    Batman as an urban myth only works for the characters first, maybe second year as a hero. He's far too high profile to be a myth for long.
    Yeah, this is more or less my reaction to Denny's post-Zero Hour editorial tweak in the 90s. It was a mistaken direction because it just didn't make much sense given the continuity of the time. Thankfully, DC soon enough ignored or downplayed that tweak.

    It's certainly fun to read "urban myth" Batman stories, or simply stories where an individual criminal is kinda ignorant or partially disbelieving of Batman, but it's always a mistake to overemphasize such a thing as city/nation-wide perception after Year One or Two or so.
    Last edited by JBatmanFan05; 06-22-2022 at 08:16 AM.
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  7. #7
    Spectacular Member Micael's Avatar
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    He stops being an urban myth the moment he starts driving bat shaped vehicles.

  8. #8
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    He stops being an urban myth the moment he starts driving bat shaped vehicles.
    I think for a bit the Batmobile can probably be on the down low unless it's involved in a dramatic chase where people/cameras can see it.

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    You're being generous, first couple of nights at most.
    Arguably. But what about the Batman of London? A real dude who beats the crap out of wannabe muggers in one of the city's suburbs? That guy is largely an urban legend even in his own country. Plenty of things in real life maintain a certain "urban legend" feel, even after it's been proven to be legit. Hell, real people still think the world is flat, it's not hard to believe that a big segment of Gotham would look at blurry photos of Batman's cape and just say it's all a hoax. People have said the same about things much easier to prove.

    I agree that Bruce just being an urban legend has a relatively short shelf life. But I think it's something that can withstand the debut of Robin and the League. With Robin, if Bruce is sticking to the shadows and avoiding cameras and audiences, so is Robin. And what criminal is gonna admit they got beat up by a child in pixie boots? When the League does press conferences, Batman isn't there and no Leaguer acknowledges the Bat is real, much less part of the roster. When the League is fighting some big huge battle in the middle of a city, Bruce shouldn't be on the front lines anyway, he should be doing something sneaky and smart instead.

    Eventually people would learn that Batman is real....but unless Bruce purposefully goes public it's quite possible that it would take years for most people to believe it.

    Personally I like the idea that even after Batman is proven to be real, there's still conspiracy theorists out there who argue it's just Superman in a mask, or some kind of deep state cover up by the GCPD, or even a scam the mob is pulling.
    "We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

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  10. #10
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    I like the idea that the aura of urban legend never really leaves him, even if it was only his definitive public status for a few months at the beginning.

    Frankly, there should be a point where totally rational and usually non-superstitious people still express belief at some of his activities, and where the rumor and hearsay around him get hilarious - especially when it’s true.

    Y’know how particularly tough guys have memes told about them that can get gradually more crazy, but sometimes remain startlingly true? That’s hold kind of be where Batman is for the non-cowardly lot, while the cowardly lot themselves are just overflowing with poor rationalizations (“he’s an army, not one guy!” “he’s got superpowers!” “he died years ago, and just refused to stay dead!”) remain defined by superstition.
    Like action, adventure, rogues, and outlaws? Like anti-heroes, femme fatales, mysteries and thrillers?

    I wrote a book with them. Outlaw’s Shadow: A Sherwood Noir. Robin Hood’s evil counterpart, Guy of Gisbourne, is the main character. Feel free to give it a look: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asi...E2PKBNJFH76GQP

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Begins as urban myth. Then gravitates towards known entity late in the first year or early in the second year when super villains starts showing up. Part of the reason costumed villains start showing up is do in part to Batman’s presence. That only makes sense if Bats is a known entity.

  12. #12

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    Didn't make sense when the idea was first introduced and it makes even less sense now.

    I think Batman works when he has a degree of anonymity but not to the point where they question if he even exists. I enjoy episodes like TNBA's 'Legends of the Dark Knight' and Gotham Knight's 'Have I Got A Story For You' short where they know he exists but every body has a different 'version' of who he could be.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Venus View Post
    Didn't make sense when the idea was first introduced and it makes even less sense now.

    I think Batman works when he has a degree of anonymity but not to the point where they question if he even exists. I enjoy episodes like TNBA's 'Legends of the Dark Knight' and Gotham Knight's 'Have I Got A Story For You' short where they know he exists but every body has a different 'version' of who he could be.
    And in the original comics version, he revealed his secret identity to the kids!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    He stops being an urban myth the moment he starts driving bat shaped vehicles.
    That's why I think that stuff like the Subway Rocket and the Bronze Age Batmobil made a lot of sense.

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