The Batman

I’m a Superhero kinda girl.

After Superman, my next love is Batman.

They have the whole mysterious thing in common, and they both hide behind rather caricature ‘normal’ types in their everyday lives.

He gets the sympathy vote because let’s face it, a young boy watching his parents die is tragic.

He’s seen as something of a vigilante, and I think that is part of the fascination. To uphold the law Batman can and does break it.

Batman is darkness. He is frightening.  Or he’s not.

Adam West as Batman

My first taste of Batman was Adam West. His portrayal of Batman was neither dark nor frightening.

It was more a camp fest of farcical moments and I loved every one of them.

The show had great villains.

Burgess Meredith (The Penquin), Frank Gorshin (The Riddler), Julie Newmar (Catwoman),Cesar Romero (The Joker)

Julie Newmar as Catwoman and Frank Gorshin as The Riddler were my favourites.

All that was exciting stuff.

Burt Ward as Robin

And Robin. Dear sweet, funny Robin with his wonderful lines.

  • Holy oleo!
  • Holy priceless collection of Etruscan snoods!
  • Holy atomic pile, Batman!
  • The way we get into these scrapes and get out of them, it’s almost as though someone was dreaming up these situations; guiding our destiny.
  • Holy bill of rights, Batman!
  • Holy New Year’s Eve, he has me in his famous trick streamers!

But Robin wasn’t the only one with great lines. The writers must have been tripping I think…

Robin: You can’t get away from Batman that easy!
Batman: Easily.
Robin: Easily.
Batman: Good grammar is essential, Robin.
Robin: Thank you.
Batman: You’re welcome.

****

Catwoman: “Felix, you can brush my pussy willows before you leave.”

****

Robin: Where’d you get a live fish, Batman?
Batman: The true crimefighter always carries everything he needs in his utility belt, Robin.

Okay – from there I went in search of the true Batman.

Ahhhhhhhh…

Although I did not know it at the time – the comic book writers had made a deliberate attempt to move away from the ‘campy’ portrayal of the television series.

Enter my introduction to a darker side of the Batman.

Batman for me became more than a farcical hero – here was a tortured hero. Any young girl can relate to that.

Unlike Superman, the Batman has to rely on gadgets to aid his crime fighting.

The Batman's utility belt

An interesting fact is that Batman does not carry a conventional gun, due to the manner of his parents’ death. The Batman has principles.

He does have the Batmobile,

and the Batcave.

I loved the Batcave. Correction – I love the Batcave.

Batman also has Alfred.

Alfred - the quintessential butler

As butlers go Alfred is probably in a class of his own. I know that a butler is supposed to be able to cope with any strange behaviour on the part of his employer, but really. This man doesn’t blink at his boss putting on a mask and cape, causing havoc in the pursuit of villains, all the while behaving like a rich ninny for the rest of the world.

You rock Alfred !!!!

Batman is sexy. Not in a Superman way, but dangerously sexy. A girl just knows that this guy would be trouble. No wonder Catwoman, despite her dastardly ways, feels the heat whenever the Bat is around.

Which makes the debate regarding homosexuality interesting. Academic study of Batman arose after one psychologist stated that Batman stories are psycho-socially homosexual.

Admittedly the TV series probably did not help. But really?

For me, it is a bit like the rubbish spouted about Noddy and Big Ears being gay, because they slept in the same bed. Most Batman writers will tell you that they never wrote Batman as having homosexual tendencies.

However in the interests of full disclosure there are instances in the comics that could be interpreted as leaning that way. Here are 3 of them.

  • Detective Comics #43, Sept 1940: Batman’s new relationship with Robin sparks a flashback to Wayne’s early life when he was at the Gotham Academy for Boys. He and four other boys, with the assistance of large rubber bands and a jar of cold cream, explore their sexuality. Many collectors suppose that one of the boys was Harry Dent. (See DC #52).
  • World’s Finest Comics #18, May 1956: Batman becomes obsessed on seeing Superman naked and his proposal is unkindly rejected.

  • Batman #44, Nov 1968: Batman gains access to a communist worker’s association but is uncovered by the Green Arrow, who sympathizes with their cause. Forced to consume LSD and rum, Batman generally acts inane and is entirely out of it for the duration of an orgy.

DC Comics can get pretty protective of the Batman TM. Painter Mark Chamberlain painted a series of water colours that were suggestive of some homosexual tendencies in 2005. The art dealer involved was given a cease and desist order from DC Comics regarding the exhibition of them.

The question at the time was – are the paintings protected under ‘Parody’? I’m still sorting out my feelings on that. What do you think?

I don’t really care – I think the Batman is sexy. And he can swing me up on his Batrope any time he wants. Especially

Christian Bale’s Batman.

Yummy…

Just one more ‘eh???

More about him later.

***

Later has arrived…

The Batman – Christian Bale Style

The Batman and Robin…old school style

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

35 thoughts on “The Batman”

  1. Batman and Robin!! Ah, the memories. In 7th grade, my best friend was Batman and I was Robin. We signed notes to each other with little Batman and Robin logos (our own, of course). To this day, I give Robin as my fake name when talking to strangers or when you have to give a name while waiting at a restaurant. Holy caesar salad! Thanks for this post as it brought back some great memories.

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  2. Excellent info piece about the character! I first got into Batman because of my brother’s comics and I’m so glad that Hollywood finally showed us the Dark Knight side of his character. I mean, yeah, Michael Keaton was really tough to beat, but his Batman didn’t have enough TRUE darkness. Anyway, I soooo agree that teh Batman is SEXY! Love the darkness – somehow women just love that ‘bad boy/tortured soul’ charisma thing, eh? 😉

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    1. Dark is like a beam drawing you in. Maybe that’s why I favour Batman over Superman. I liked Keaton’s Batman. I always thought he came closest to portraying all the sides of the character, but Bale’s Batman has so many layers that I am, and have been a fan since the first of this series. 🙂

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  3. Kerpow! Fab article, Jo. Thanks for reminding me of how sexy men in masks and apes can be. Christian Bale is up there with the best but I’ll never get over Val Kilmer’s lips when he was the man behind the mask.

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        1. Hahahahahaha – I missed it too – but it’s so funny I am going to leave it in – SORRY…
          It comes out this month – the 16th I think…whoo..hoo.
          I know what movie is next on MY LIST !!!!!!!!!
          🙂
          I need a good one – went to see Breaking Dawn recently with The Daughter – OMG !!!!!!! So…there are no words. NONE. Terrible just doesn’t do it justice.
          😦

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  4. Hilarious post, ROFLOL.
    Philosophically speaking, though: I’m so old I grew up believing unquestioningly in comicbook superheroes —
    and never even hearing the word Homosexual. Who knew? It was an innocent world —
    And that’s where Batman comes from!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That world. He’s just your ordinary everyday superhero kinda guy.

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  5. I was never a superhero fan – I was more of a Starwars kind of gal but I did shuffle in my teenage skin when Michael Keeton put on the muscly batman costume. He was fine. But then again I liked him in Beetlejuice! What does that say about me……

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  6. Fantastic post, Jo!

    I grew up a frequent comic book reader, and I am a lifelong Batmanophile. Sure, others are hardcore by comparison but I’m still pretty dedicated.

    I’ve always liked superheroes but identified more with antiheroes which is what Bob Kane and Bill Finger intended for the character’s persona.

    When Christopher Nolan’s film Batman Begins was released, a film critic in my town slammed it saying that it was “too dark”. This nearly set me off on a rampage. The critic was hoping to see something akin to the 60’s TV series. He had no clue that if it wasn’t for the censorship body established in the US to control . . . no . . . CRUSH the comic book industry, Kane and Finger would have ensured that the series would be very dark and even adult oriented; way ahead its time. Nolan’s film was homage to that idea.

    The homosexuality thing went into overdrive in the 80’s when Frank Miller produced The Dark Night and The Dark Night Returns graphic novels (they and other Batman comics were reportedly actual inspirations behind Nolan’s Dark Night sequel). In the GN’s, Miller exploited the psychology notion by making Batman and Robin secretly lovers. No, despite his nickname as “The Boy Wonder”, Robin is not a boy. He is a youthful adult male. Leave it to Frank to push the envelope and come up with one of the best reads ever (I’m particularly most impressed with his series Ronin which he also did for DC but years before The Dark Night).

    Oh, as for the film critic; he reportedly enjoyed Nolan’s adaptation of The Dark Night.

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    1. I love Nolan’s interpretation !! It is so wonderful to see The Batman as he should be portrayed on the screen. He was always (in my eyes) a tormented soul, full of demons, and a dark psyche. I’ve not seen the series (comics) you speak of but they sound perfect. Thanks for your wonderful comment !!!!!!
      🙂
      🙂
      🙂

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  7. Up there with the finest Bat writing – Way to go, Jo.

    “…a camp fest of farcical moments..” – indeed it was. Adam West wanted the film role, but was turned down. And that is a loss for us all.

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  8. What an incredibly interesting post. There is a lot about Batman I never realized. Truth be told, I haven’t thought of Batman in years, so this whole post, including the video took me back to earlier days. I can see where some people might question batman’s sexuality, especially after reviewing some of the comic book entries you mentioned. I never really thought about Batman as being gay. Hmmm… He might be?

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      1. LOL, I don’t care either way. To each, their own. “Holly Cow Chronicles, don’t people have enough problems of their own to worry about, without worrying about what other people do?…. especially cartoon characters” 😉

        Like

There are two things I know for certain. One: Bert and Ernie are gay. Two: I want to hear your opinion.

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