Who’s your favorite Batman?
For some of you, that’s an easy question to answer. Kevin Conroy and Ben Affleck probably popped up in your head immediately. For some of you, I’m sure Adam West is the clear winner while Will Arnett probably stole the show with his recent outing. And I would be damned if Michael Keaton didn’t make at least a dozen or so lists. Personally, it’s hard to say, especially since I’m a massive comic book geek that has a wide array to choose from. Not only do I have movies and shows to go through, but there’s about 75 years of comics that I don’t think I’ve even made a dent in. I was initially very confident in who was my favorite interpretation of the Bruce Wayne character, I mean I made an entire post about who I’d want to replace him a few weeks earlier so I must know which version of the guy I like most, but I’ve come to discover that the decision is not an easy one. And for many of you reading this now, I’m sure you’ve had the same problem with your own favorite superheroes.
We take our choices for our favorite interpretations seriously because, in the end, they reflect not only the environment it inhabited but the type of person we are. Adam West shows that you may admire a person that can bring levity into life while Ben Affleck could shine a light on the fact that you enjoy seeing a more brutal hero that truly inspires fear in criminals. Most of the time, I’m sure that our favorite interpretation comes from a major moment in our life that we can mark with the release of the certain show,comic or movie that the character appeared in. Personally, the Dark Knight movie series arrived when I was entering into my final year of middle school. After it came out, everyone from the students to the teachers were singing its praise. I finally felt that I could talk about the things I was passionate about without getting weird looks from some people. And, I’m about 99% sure that I’m not making this up, I must have watched the movie when it came out on DVD once a weekend nonstop for two months. As much as I like the film, I don’t think I ever questioned why I liked Christian Bale as Batman. He just seemed right in my mind. Not satisfied with this answer, I decided to go deeper into my interest with an ex-Newsie’s performance of the Caped Crusader (sadly, not a lot of singing or thrusting).
There just had to be a reason that this hero was sticking with me other than the time he came out. I mean, I’ve read a good number of Batman comics and they haven’t stuck with me as much (that said, I do greatly enjoy both Snyder and King’s recent interpretation). What is the key? And then, after some moments of silent consideration while drinking tea in a fancy robe by a fireplace, it hit me:humanity. I love Batman to death, but a major flaw I see in his character is how unrealistic and perfect he can be at times. Let’s just say that there is a reason why one of his nicknames in the comic is “Bat-God”. This Bruce Wayne, especially in the Dark Knight Rises, is fallible person that doesn’t pull solutions out from nowhere or deal with loses on his chin. He feels real fear when the Scarecrow sprays him, genuine anguish when he loses Rachel, and gains a real triumph when he crawls out of the Pit to defeat Bane. And it all culminates with him doing something that he would never do in the comics: let go of his hate so that he can move on to live a life that those who care about him wanted him to live. To me, that can be a just as inspiring lesson as using tragedy as inspiration or rising up after being broken down.
It’s seems that I prefer more human characters as opposed to larger than life ideas that are embodied in a person. It just comes down to my personal belief that the more human the character the more I want to follow them because seeing an imperfect human succeed despite all pressures in life is a sign of true heroism. What about you? Why do you love your version of Batman? There must be more of a reason than “I grew up on this version of him”. There needs to be more to it than that. People are endlessly complex creatures and the journey of discovering why we love what we love is fascinating. That’s the reason why I wrote this blog post! Comment below and get everyone engaged in some meaningful discussion. Before that though, let me leave some final words…
No matter what happens, remember the core theme of Batman’s story: your tragedy does not define you. What does define you is how you get up and fight against the cruelty of the world. The best part is that there is no set path to do this. Be yourself and solve problems in your own special way because, know it or not, you’re strong enough to take on any task. Just like Batman, you can take down the “mad gangsters with crazy chemicals”, “ex-Jedi that kidnapped your sidekick” or any other figurative threats that populate your life. With all that in mind, let me ask again:
Who’s Your Favorite Batman?
I’ve been Superguy, and you’ve been awesome. Never stop fighting the good fight and see you next week at the same Bat-Blog.