View Single Post
Old 10-07-2013, 11:50 AM   #30
Tempest's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,729
Default Re: Team Bats or Team Supes / Team Clark or Team Bruce

Originally Posted by TheOneWhoKnocks View Post
I'm not saying every Batman villain or criminal is insane, just as you said that would be a very broad statement that simply doesn't hold true when you look at all of them. I'm saying this for the criminals who are referred to as having mental issues of some kind, which is what the OP was referring to. In that case, the analogy to picking on odd kids is inaccurate, unless they are the bullies doing bad things to other kids.
Oh yes, I agree. I did say that I thought I had potentially strayed from the OP's original thought, and you did clarify for me that I had. -grin-

I don't know that Batman beating up bad guys is necessarily opening kids up to be physically aggressive towards people who are different -- but it might make them more aggressive in other ways. That's pure speculation, I have nothing to back it up -- and I feel necessary to use the disclaimer that I do love Batman dearly. I'm just pondering one aspect of his comics that bothers me.

I agree with you about the the actual characterization of mental illness; the writers of Batman comics have clearly not always gotten it right. I think a lot of the time the characters described as having some kind of mental illness are simply showing a potential symptom of a disorder, but there's not enough information to classify the character by the DSM-IV. Even the Joker has been misclassified at times. Or they are displaying a personality type that isn't socially agreeable, but still wouldn't be considered a mental illness. At the same time, I've never gotten the sense that the writers have blatantly made "mental illness" synonymous with "bad," rather that "some people with mental illness doing bad things is bad." Batman doesn't go around at night punching people in the face or harassing them just because they look like they might be a little strange. And Batman himself is routinely described by other citizens of Gotham (and sometimes authority figures) as crazy or insane, yet we identify with him as a hero because he stops criminals. The writers have also made it so he has shown serious signs of depression, OCD, PTSD, among other things though we probably can't classify him as having those conditions.
I would point out that at the same time he's been called crazy, he's also been referred to as a criminal, which simply reinforces the "insane = criminal" analogy I was referring to. It is absolutely certain that the writers have used mental illness as a plot device. I have to tread carefully, since I don't know much about Batman's history, but I would assume that most of the 'mentally ill' characters came at a time when there was little to no public information on the matter.

As with Superman's powers, I realize there has to be a good deal of hand-waving to let things slide with Batman. I'm just curious about the development of this particular subject. -wanders off to Wiki in search of answers-

They say… "What an unusual person. What a smashing bonnet!"

Come play at Fallen London, Delicious Friends!

Tempest is offline   Reply With Quote