12 Things No Batman Movie Can Agree On

  • Batman is a loner crusader for justice, but he also has allies and teams that play important roles in his story outside of Gotham City.
  • Batman's lack of superpowers makes him a realistic character, but stories that embrace his unrealistic side also offer fresh narrative possibilities.
  • Batman can be seen as a troubled, self-righteous vigilante with a penchant for violence, but he's ultimately a selfless hero who fights crime wisely.
Batman has starred in so many different DC movies, shows, and comic books that a definitive version of the Dark Knight is difficult to define. Since his debut in 1939's Detective Comics #27, Batman has been known for his wealth, gadgets, brooding personality, thirst for justice, and lack of superpowers. However, some versions of Batman have presented very different takes on the hero, ranging from realistic portrayals all the way to the supernatural.
Batman is quite a dynamic character, as he can be just as grounded, heroic, young, and vulnerable as he's unrealistic, morally gray, experienced, and superhuman. Sometimes Batman is struggling to deal with crime and corruption in the grimy streets of Gotham City, and sometimes he's defeating Darkseid himself on a far-off planet with the help of the Justice League. Every actor who has played Batman in live-action has explored the character from a unique angle. Therefore, when describing the key characteristics that define Batman, certain aspects may divide fans of the Dark Knight.
12 Batman Is A Lone Wolf Hero Batman's crusade for justice makes him a lonely character, as he can't maintain personal relationships as Bruce Wayne or as the masked vigilante. Relationships only distract him from his heroic goals and can result in more pain for everyone involved, as shown in the Death in the Family comic book storyline, where the Joker kills Jason Todd; in The Dark Knight, where Joker kills Rachel Dawes; and in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where the DCEU's Robin is implied to have died years before. Most Batman movies have focused on this side of the character, with Batman's only allies being Alfred Pennyworth and James Gordon.
However, Batman's allies and teams have been an important part of his lore since as early as 1940's Detective Comics No. 38, which marked Robin's first appearance. Batman has developed a fatherly bond with all Robins since then, and he has mentored other members of the ever-expanding Bat-Family. Outside Gotham, Batman has also found a sense of community in the Justice League — a team where his intellect and wisdom shines over most metahumans' superhuman abilities. Live-action movies have mostly overlooked this aspect of the character, but comic books and animated shows have explored it thoroughly.
11 Batman Is DC's Most Realistic Character Batman's lack of superpowers tends to pull him into the more realistic side of the DC Universe. He's a character that relies on his wits to defeat similarly grounded villains in a city that's more populated by gangsters and terrorists than by aliens and monsters. Grounded Batman stories like the Dark Knight trilogy fulfill the fantasy of real-life human beings taking matters into their own hands by fighting evil without the need for fantastical enhancements. In order to maintain the suspension of disbelief, they have also set the expectation that peak human capabilities are Bruce Wayne's limit.
But focusing exclusively on Batman's realistic portrayals is quite restricting. Batman stories that don't worry about breaking the illusion of realism have the freedom to explore new villains, fight scenes, character dynamics, and even Batsuits that grounded adaptations cannot. For instance, villains like Mr. Freeze and Killer Croc are inherently unrealistic, but they offer fresh narrative possibilities that are often overlooked. Likewise, Ben Affleck's cloth-like Batsuit make less sense than a heavily armored Batsuit, but it provides a breath of fresh air from most other live-action costumes.


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