According to Twitter, today is International Superheroes day! So let’s talk about a guy who doesn’t actually have powers, has even less self-esteem, claims not to be the family type despite having 5+ kids running around, and probably could use a hug.
In this video, the vlogbrothers duo Hank and John Green argue about Batman in one of the best songs to dance to that also has the lyric “Crime is caused by systemic disenfranchisement”. It’s an auto-tuned mash up of two videos that they each did– one where John asserts that he “kind-of hates Batman” and one where Hank asserts that “we are all Bat-People”. They both have very interesting points (which I’ll get to in a second), but first, we must air our biases. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a DCAU (that’s DC Animated Universe) stan– my first real introduction to some of DC’s characters was through the 2003 Teen Titans tv show, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are my favorite iterations of Batman and the Joker, and I find that the DCAU does generally good work in terms of their writing and character development– not to mention the animation and everything else that goes into making a cartoon show, but I’m really talking about the writing here. The DCAU gave us such iconic lines as “I am vengeance, I am the night, I! AM! BATMAN!” and “I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard…” just to name a few. The DCAU gets down to the essence of its characters and even manages to make Superman and Martian Manhunter, two of the most powerful beings in the DC universe, relatable and interesting.
That being said, I heavily dislike Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice (though the latter less than the former). I am also not looking forward to Suicide Squad, and think Jared Leto needs to stop. Though Viola Davis is a great choice for Amanda Waller. So there’s that. The comics are on their way to a brand-new “not-a-reboot-but-totally-a-reboot-because-everyone-hated-the-New-52”, and some of the choices they’ve made in their books are just baffling (the Superman/Wonder Woman ship, that Harley Quinn contest, the entirety of Red Hood and the Outlaws). They are doing some good stuff– what I’ve seen of Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl is great– but overall, I feel like DC needs an enema to get rid of all that Miller left over from the 80’s. It won’t solve everything, but it’s a start.
That being said, let’s talk about Batman.