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The Appeal of the Dark Knight of Gotham

Image Source: Batman Wiki Fandom

Recently, I was asked by a friend, “Why Batman?” She asked in an inquisitive tone, wondering what was so intriguing to me about the character developed by Detective Comics so long ago. How did this superpowerless, rich prick, dark and brooding character resonate with me? To this day, I am still reeling over the question. I’d argue that her question was one of the most vulnerable questions asked of me in a friendship/relationship context.

A little dramatic but hear me out. I think we all have these odd quirks and intimate aspects of ourselves. Superheroes, specifically Batman, are one of those odd quirks about me. I have always been a nerd when it has come to superheroes. I was thoroughly unenthusiastic about anybody knowing it about me too. I was embarrassed about it for most of high school and did not let a living soul, other than my two friends I’ve had since kindergarten, know that I had comic books on my shelf.

The only thing I can equate the feeling to is showing someone your Spotify or Apple Music playlists. So, back to Batman. I felt genuinely connected to the character for as long as I can remember. I think unconsciously, I slowly made the connection with him as I too had something happen to me at around the same age of eight years old. Something inside me changed that day. Batman was the ultimate role model. He took the things that broke him and used them to fight crime so that no other eight-year-old would ever have to face the loss of seeing their parents gunned down in front of him.

If only I could say the same.

I wanted what he had. To be able to take all those emotions and instead of shoving them where they can no longer be found, turn into the World’s Greatest Detective… the Dark Knight. Yet, as I’ve gotten older I recognized that Batman sucks at hiding his feelings. Yeah, I mean everyone thinks he’s this prick of a human being who keeps everyone at arm’s length. But, when you watch how he reacts when he thinks he’s lost someone or indeed someone did die. He is the biggest bit of mush, an absolute menace to society. Punching criminals through tears in his eyes as he can’t control the enormous amount of guilt, rage, grief, and sadness tumbling down his cheeks into his fists as they collide with the substitute of the perpetrator.

Batman represents what all men find themselves in. Unable to properly vent their emotions, they turn to other areas of allowing some semblance of feeling through their actions. At least, that is where I found myself when asked the question, “Why Batman?” It took me aback and mumbled the lame response of… “uhh. I don’t know. He’s. uh. Dark and brooding. Yeah, that’s it.”

I stole that from The Lego Movie.

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