I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t stand Batman. I realize this puts me at odds with most of the geeks out there, but I can’t keep this to myself anymore. And don’t get me wrong, I loved the Adam West series, The Dark Knight, the Tim Burton movies, and the animated series from the nineties, but the character himself, particularly in the comics and the DC Animated Movies, is a truly terrible character, and he’s most of what drove me away from DC Comics.
It comes down to the fans, who say that Batman is more realistic and relatable than the other superheroes because he doesn’t have powers. Really. Batman is a billionaire so wealthy that he can siphon money out of his publicly traded company to buy tanks and submarines, and the IRS and his shareholders don’t notice. And let’s consider this: Batman is a master of martial arts, all disciplines, something you’d have to train for every day, all day, for your whole life to be. But he doesn’t have all day because he’s also a genius engineer who designs and builds all of his gadgets and vehicles for every occasion, sometimes even thinking them up and constructing them mid-fight. He’s an expert crime-scene investigator (so that means a solid understanding of chemistry and physics, just to start), as well as a doctor who performs expert autopsies. He’s also a master of linguistics. All without going to college. It’s said that, with thirty minutes preparation, Batman could defeat Galactus (for those not in the know, Galactus is a hundred-foot giant who eats planets), and I don’t doubt that Batman, as characterized in the comics, could.
So I need someone to tell me who they’re hanging out with that this is relatable and realistic. When I hear douchebag fanboys complaining about how Rey from Star Wars is a Mary Sue, I roll my eyes, knowing with reasonable certainty that these same fanboys worship the ground Batman walks on, despite the fact that he is the ultimate Mary Sue. Batman is never wrong. Batman doesn’t make mistakes. Batman never loses a fight. Batman attracts the hottest women. Batman has the fierce, undying loyalty of everyone around him despite the fact that he treats them like garbage.
Is Batman cool? I guess. Is he badass? Most definitely. Is he relatable? Realistic?
As for me, I like my heroes to make mistakes. I like to watch them get their asses kicked. That way when they get back up or they make the right decision, it’s a triumph. I like my heroes with a little meat on their bones, not a two-dimensional wish-fulfillment fantasy. I want a hero I can relate to, and Batman’s not it.