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Old 10-06-2013, 05:56 PM   #88
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Default Re: What OTHER elements from The Dark Knight Returns could we see?

Originally Posted by Rodrigo90 View Post
Looking over my favourite stories, which are character studies of Batman...He is very much traumatised.

When Bruce is Batman, he's a different person. When not, he's a broken man, that has no other choice but to suck it up and continue.

Batman is a suppressant for his mental anguish. Miller has shown that. Look at him in retirement. He's tortured. He's traumatized when he hear's of all the crimes going on in the city. To the point of it driving him mad.
Look at Englehart's "Night of The Stalker".
He relentlessly hunts down a killer who's left a child orphaned. And by the end, Bruce breaks down in tears for the child and for himself.
When Bruce was accused of murder and subsequently arrested. He was going mad inside the prison cell, because he had no outlet as Batman.

I like it when writers play up this side, because it makes the most sense when looking at it from a psychological POV.
Even in Batman: MOTP. He pleads with his their graves. Without Batman acting as sort of a mental suppressant, Bruce is a mess.
He sits around in the cave, and fazes out in his imagination, reliving the haunting memories. That is a man, traumatized.
He's a man, living out his boyhood fantasy.
He's still a traumatized child, emotionally devastated from the sudden and harsh loss of his parents.
Where he believes that they can hear and see the man he is from the great beyond. This is also a reason why I believe he won't kill and abides by morals and rules. No religious themes has really talked about in Batman's character. But I can gather, through his mental state, that he believes, if he's a good boy, he'll one day be reunited with his parents.
I'm sure of it, since he visits and talks to their graves.

I can go on about his mental state. All what I said is my interpretation based on a lot of different writers have presented over the years.

But I think it's safe to say, consistently, Bruce Wayne is a very traumatized man. Who, in spite of that, pushes on and keeps himself strong, with every stumble or fall he has.
Personally, nobody will ever come close to how Grant Morrison writes both Batman and Superman.

Bruce retains his traumatised, fractured psyche that so many tried to emulate after Miller, but failed and pretty much ruined the 90's and 00's for Batman comics. In fact nobody has come close to such a good character study for Batman since Batman: Arkham Asylum- A Serious House On a Serious Earth. Exploring whether Bruce truly is as crazy as the villains he faces, or righteous in his quest for vengeance is better to me over Miller's version who quite clearly leans more towards deranged.

Also, he's not just a weathered soul who is resigned to being Batman. He knows he's a billionaire, a desirable philanthropic playboy, he knows that he hooks up with beautiful femme fatales, and that he gets to use rockets, flying cars, and gadgets. He knows that despite all of the bad things that accompany the mission, a lot of the things he does is just downright cool: "James Bond? Oh no, I'm much cooler than he is".

However, obviously the long lasting scars are still there, he's haunted by the death of his parents, when he realised everybody dies, the imagery of the bat and how ruthless he was when began his mission as one of vengeance over his parents rather than one of justice to prevent similar tragedies. But those aren't the things that define him, he's always defined himself by the relationships he keeps (which is why at the end of each "chapter" he is rescued by a Robin).

He's the ultimate in secular humanism and prepares his body and mind for any eventuality he can think of. That is what Batman should be.

Grant Morrison's view can best be summed up with the quote:

"Batman fights death, Superman fights the impossible."

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