Friday, June 01, 2007

The Many Faces of Batman

One of the many things I love about superheroes is how versatile they are. They are multifaceted, slipping easily from one story type to another while retaining their inner core. Just look at the many faces of Batman.

Batman the Detective: Sherlock Holmes in a funnier hat, Batman can be the genius detective Commissioner Gordon calls in when the crime is too brilliant or bizarre for the average investigators on the police. This is the Batman that loves gathering mud at crime scenes and running it under a microscope.

Batman the Vigilante: Batman can also be the untouchable crusader who takes on the criminals the cops won't investigate, the powerful, the connected, the rich. This Batman threatens corrupt politicians in their very bedrooms.

Batman the Spy: James Bond in a cape, Batman uses his stealth, disguises, and sophisticated gadgets to sneak high security bases and sabotage weapons of mass destruction. This Batman gets his kicks hijacking enemy communication technology to his advantage.

Batman the Adventurer: Batman travels the globe, charges in to right wrongs and saves damsels in distress. And there's nothing he loves more than swinging in on his bat-rope.

Batman the Horror: Batman sometimes scares the hell out of his enemies. He stalks them like the killer in a slasher film, striking from the shadows and picking them off, one by one. Greatest pleasure: leaving one behind, knocked out and tied up, for the rest of his enemies to find.

Batman the Asskicker: And sometimes he drops all subterfuge and just beats the holy hell out of the bad guys. Whether using Asian martial arts, old fashioned fisticuffs, or hitting criminals with other criminals, sometimes Batman is just about hurting people.

and finally,

Batman the Superhero: The Batman in the Justice League, who fights colorful, gimmicky supervillains, trains apprentices, occasionally goes to other planets and fights aliens and dinosaurs and robots and shape shifting mud puddles, THAT Batman isn't any of the ones above, and yet he's all of them.

Which is what's so great. You can tell almost any story with Batman, and still he remains, at his core, Batman.

2 comments:

universalperson said...

Well, that's cause he's Batman.

Now do one showcasing the different aspects of the Joker.

Bloodybastid said...

Superman can kick his ass anytime...well not really. Because th e times they've fought. It was always even. Something I can never get over.