Going crazy for the Batman

Batman
Batman's logo is one of the most well recognized superhero symbols ever. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Maria Glotfelter

Features Editor

With the new “Lego Batman Movie” and what seems an endless stream of new Batman comics, MU students may wonder if the Batman craze will ever die down. I don’t think it will, and I sincerely hope I am right.

Over the years, there have been more than a few portrayals of Batman, but two of my favorites are Rino Romano’s voicing of Batman in the 2004 animated series “The Batman” and the more recent movie “Batman Begins.”

To be completely honest, my love for the early 2000s animated series comes almost straight back to childhood bias.

I remember watching “The Batman” every Saturday morning in elementary school, and I looked forward to recording it each week. Recently, I found the series again on Netflix and began re-watching it.

Romano’s voice as the Batman just seemed so familiar, and a wave of nostalgia hit me as the opening theme played. As is often the case with movies or series we watch in childhood, I noticed deeper themes now that I’m watching the series as an adult.

For instance, in one of the earlier episodes of “The Batman,” Adam Wesker, the Ventriloquist, could be an example of a villain with a real mental problem. Wesker seems like a timid man, but his puppet, Scarface, possesses a violent personality.

Wesker acts like Scarface’s lackey, so he displays two extremely contrasting personalities throughout the episode. That is not to say these portrayals are by any means accurate.

However, since they have directed my attention towards mental health awareness, I can’t help but wonder how many other viewers followed the same trail of thought.

Apparently I’m not the only one who was a fan of the series because it won five Emmy’s. I didn’t know this until recently, but I’m not surprised.

As far as “Batman Begins” goes, I am not the biggest fan of Christian Bale as the actor for Batman, but I liked the film’s concentration on Batman’s overcoming his fears.

I watched this film when I was relatively young, so it made a decent impression on me.

Whether Batman’s fear is interpreted as bats themselves or the bats as symbolic of a larger issue, he overcomes his problems and continually struggles against them.

Batman is one of the most realistically depicted superhero characters because of his struggle with darker motivations for his vigilante acts.

That is, the debate of justice versus revenge.

Regardless of the actor who’s playing or voicing Batman, Batman as a superhero has an appeal that will never really go away. Sure, he’s not the only vigilante protagonist of a relatively dark-themed superhero series, but one of the characteristics of Batman that really out to me is his overcoming his fears and his continual struggle against his “darker” side.

Batman is such a popular superhero because he appeals to the average person more so than a more alien hero like Superman.

Batman isn’t an ordinary guy, but he doesn’t have any superpowers.

The series I’ve watched portray Batman in his continual struggle, rather than a single, momentous overcoming of a large problem. This is why the Batman’s character resonates so much with me. He is very human.