I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why You Couldn't Be Batman, Part One: Introduction

For years I've encountered people who said, "I could be Batman with that kind of money," and for years I've just ignored them, until one day I just couldn't take it anymore, shouting, "No! No, you couldn't be Batman. I don't care what you learned in Project Charlie. I know you're smart and successful and special, but you can't be Batman!"

The "I could be Batman" trend usually intends to reflect the fact that, unlike other DC superheroes like Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, Batman is fully human. He has no super powers and yet he does as much good as any of the more powerful heroes. An unfortunate side-effect of this trend is that it reduces Batman's power to the power of money. As one of the most wealthy citizens of Gotham, Bruce Wayne/Batman simply buys his way out of trouble. This is simply not the case.

Because of the magnitude of wealth in my home town, I've had something of a chip on my shoulder for some time towards people with money, and yet Batman, one of the wealthiest fictional characters in recent literary history, is beyond my reproach. There is so much more to Bruce Wayne/Batman than his riches that I consider his money insignificant. For reasons we will discuss later, money is not important to this hero. It it is not already clear why it is ridiculous that you could be Batman, consider the amount of wealthy citizens that have arisen in the world and compare this to the complete and utter lack of Bat-people in our world.

In the next few weeks I intend to publish a series of essays explaining the precise reasons why you can't be Batman. Stay tuned. It should be fun and interesting.

Part Two: Those Wonderful Toys can be viewed here.
Part Three: Of Fists and Feet can be viewed here.
Part Four: Crime Alley can be viewed here.


  1. I agree with the sentiment, even if I don't like Batman all that much anymore. Don't get me wrong; he was a great character. However, it's a little tiring to hear about how awful it is to grow up without parents. If it's not about that, it's just a showcase of how much ass he can kick. I miss old school detective Batman. Those issues that gripped you every month as you tried to figure out which one of his rogues was taking out people close to Bruce/Batman/Gordon/etc. That was fun Batman.

    I don't know, maybe I'm just reading the crappy stuff. These days I tend to purchase Batman only if he's teaming up with someone whose JLU employee number is 00004 or higher. Everything else is just predictable.

    Side note: Michael Clark Duncan as Kilowog? Thoughts?

  2. You might be interested to know that part two of this series of essays has to do with Batman's intellect, so expect some of the discussion to reflect upon "old school detective Batman."

    As for Michael Clark Duncan, I see no immediate reason why he can't do Kilowog. What do you think?