Saturday, 26 July 2014

Theory of Bats

Doing my best Miller Batman face.

A big happy birthday to one of the greatest characters and series in comic book history, if you didn't know Batman is celebrating 75 years in the business. That being said, who doesn't love Batman? I mean seriously, he has some of the best characters, best villains, best moments, best stories, best cartoons and best movies. And sure he had one of the worst movies to his title as well, but does anyone really give a crap now in days about the disaster that was the Batman & Robin film? I know for me, I grew up on Batman. I would watch the cartoon religiously, I would watch and be so intrigued by the colourful cast from Gotham and Arkham. And in the later years I would pick up all the different books, I read as Batman would be broken in two by the ruthless Bane, seeing Joker get beaten to a pulp but being able to live another day, the mystery that was Hush, the battles with Two-Face and Penguin, the hallucinations of fear from the Scarecrow. I loved this world and the many different stories that we have seen in all these years. And something that was always in the back of my mind, was the concept on how all the villains in Batman truly define him. How you ask, well check this list out and see if I am on to something here...

The Joker (Chaos): Let's get this guy out of the way first. The Joker is the polar opposite of Batman, pretty much in any way possible. Granted with have seen as many Jokers as we have Batsuits, but the general idea has always been chaos, disorder and murder. Joker loves to shoot people, Batman doesn't use guns (except in special moments, Final Crisis). Joker will kill anyone, Batman will save anyone. The bond they have has been a great part of Joker's obsession with the dark knight. When does it end? When Batman succumbs to Jokers way and puts the clown out of his misery for good. But Batman is better then that, and thus will continue to always stop the Joker, no matter what without death in the cards. 

Scarecrow (Fear): Another one that is very obvious in the way of connecting with his foe, both Batman and the Scarecrow are masters of fear in Gotham. But while Batman uses his abilities to stop and prevent crime, Dr.Crane has an obsession with seeing and feeling fear in every single way possible. He wants to see what fears are in the minds of others, he wants to fall asleep to the screams and cries of everyone in Gotham. The Scarecrow has become one of the most dangerous foes in Arkham by finding more and more ways to control and scare others, he has the ability to scare others into taking their own lives. And while Scarecrow over the years has tasted his own fear toxic, it made him more sick and more frantic, becoming almost fearless, with the exception being Batman. And in a twisted way, Scarecrow wouldn't have it any other way.

Bane (Pain): Practically every other villain before Bane had tested Bane more mentally then physically, with the obvious exceptions being Killer Croc and Clayface, but for the most part there was no one who could really deliver a beating to Batman. Until Bane. But it wasn't just because of his venom increased strength, it was the timing and strategy, waiting for Batman after a long night trying to put all the inmates back into Arkham Asylum and finally putting the bat out of his misery. Up to that point, you could say Batman was untouchable in Gotham, it was Bane who really brought the beating and the pain to Batman physically like no enemy since. Bane is still a foe to be weary of, with a sharp mind and ungodly strength, the dark knight is no longer free of pain. 

Catwoman (Love): With the amount of times these two have seen each other, teamed up, revealed secrets, I would say this is the best example of true love in the crime fighting life of Batman. Now that is not to say Selena Kyle is a good girl, by no means, but Batman has a lot of respect and trust for her, even if she tends to walk the thin line of good and bad methods or choices. In a lot of ways, she can do no wrong, no matter what happens Batman will always be there for her. I get the feeling he would love to have her quit being Catwoman, but that is never going to happen, she is still needed in many ways in Gotham. Even if that means taking a little bit from those on the top. Hey, a girl has got to have hobbies. 

Poison Ivy (Lust): Attraction and lust are things that are part of all of us, some of use choose to be wild about it and others can keep it in check. But as stone cold as Batman can be at times, even he can't resist Poison Ivy. And can you blame him? I love Ivy, she is always made as the most gorgeous siren in all of Gotham and hell even in the entire DC universe of comics. Sorry about that Wonder Woman. But I wonder, does Batman let himself go wild because of her, the constant fighting and fighting must take a toll on him and maybe that weariness makes him easily seduced. Who wouldn't want to be taken by Poison Ivy? Could you resist? 

Harley Quinn (Obsession): Harley is many things; insane, cute, crazy, dangerous and mostly obsessed. Her love and affection for The Joker turned her into one of the most difficult foes for Batman. Even when fighting her, Batman sees a girl who is in love and unaware that for the most part, she is being used and manipulated. That kind of dedication and obsession is similar to Batman in the way he never stops fighting for Gotham, fighting to save others of a tragedy that happened to him many years ago. With Harley now far and away from The Joker, Batman has one less worry. But old flames don't go out easily. 

Riddler (Knowledge): The world's greatest detective for a reason, with a foe like The Riddler, you need to be. Whenever you need proof on the smarts and brain power behind Batman, look no further then The Riddler. He battles with the mind of Batman constantly, it seems like a game they both enjoy to take part in, however Nigma has been raising the stakes always higher and higher. But to this day, he hasn't found a puzzle that could stump Batman, and thus continues to challenge him to more and more games of wits and knowledge. 

Penguin (Greed): For everything that the Penguin has, Batman has probably twice if not much more then our bird looking foe. But with Bruce Wayne you see him constantly giving and using his money to help others through his company and as Batman. The Penguin wants it all, the city and everything in the skies and sea. With the wealth of the Cobblepot family, he could give up the life of crime, but why quit when you can have more. In another world, Bruce Wayne could have turned out like the greedy old Penguin. 

Two-Face (Justice): One of the tragedies in the career of Batman, in a very twisted way Two-Face still seeks to dish out Justice. While Batman chooses to stop crime, Two-Face does so swiftly and through murder. They both want the same thing, just very different ways of delivering justice to the lowlifes in Gotham. And while Dent will never be the same physically and mentally, Batman still has some respect left for the man who was known as the White Knight of Gotham. 

Hush (Identity): One of the famous quotes of Batman is of course, "I am Batman". But if you ever want Batman to doubt himself or his identity, well then you get Hush. A man who is part mystery, part ghost of the past and at times an identity thief. I always enjoyed that in Batman: Hush, you never really had a clear idea about who was who at anytime, Hush could have been anyone. Every now and then we always need to remember who we are, or be lost in the world.

So I know that there are tons and tons of other villains, but I need to sleep to you know, I am no night bat. Although that would be something wouldn't, even to be on a ride along with Batman, how cool would that be? But I am really happy to do a little something to celebrate Batman, and I know we only got tons and tons of great stories to be told, and I can't wait. So a big cheers, and to the next 75 years of darkness, insanity and justice! Keep chasing the storm!