The Dark Knight Batman's internal identity struggle

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Who'd like to see Batman tempted to give up being Bruce Wayne?

Superman 2, Spider-man 2, Batman Forever have all had the by now cliched internal identity struggle of the superhero wanting to give up being a superhero. This is not somehting I'd liek to see in a Batman movie again, not only because it's cliched, but also because I think that Batman is the last "super"hero who should be having this dilemma. This is because he didn't happen to receive powers that compelled him to use them to help people; rather, he worked himself crazy for years to become exactly what he wanted to become, and Batman is in essence the real character.

What I'd like to see is a reversal of this situation, where Batman becomes gradually more and more "lost in his monster" as Alfred would put it. He becomes more and more frustrated with having to go out and be social to keep up his playboy act, and instead becomes more recluse. Even in the privacy of his own mansion, he begins to lose his true human Bruce Wayne side around a concerned Alfred. Maybe his Batman voice even begins to subtly creep into his voice even when he's not dressed up as Batman. By the third movie maybe even have him consider faking his own death so he doesn't have to deal with being Bruce Wayne anymore. Not seriously consider it, just have him blurt it out to Alfred when he's angry and they're arguing.

(For the record, the one way I would like to see Batman giving up being Batman in the movies is if they do it later on to an older Batman and play it out like in Batman Beyond, where he gives up being Batman not because he doesn't feel like being Batman anymore, but because his age forced him to cross a line he loathes.)
 
I think we'll actually see something like that.

Nolan pointed out that with Batman Begins, we're rooting for Batman to win.....while rooting for Bruce Wayne to lose, so that we get to see our hero rise. And, Bruce does lose. Batman wins, his convo with Rachel showed that. Which is essentially why, at the end.....Batman Begins.

It's something worth a try, I think.
 
See, this would work.

With Superman, and Spider-Man, it's so PAINFULLY obvious that they're Clark Kent/Peter Parker. Clark simply wears GLASSES, and Peter doesn't even disguise his voice.

The great thing about Batman is... There's absolutely NO WAY of knowing that he's Bruce Wayne.... so if he were to fake his death, Batman would still exist, and there would be no connection.

Yes. It's fantastic, I think it's a fantastic idea.
 
Gotta agree with the OP. Getting lost in this monster of his would be very compelling to see.
 
TempleFugit said:
See, this would work.

With Superman, and Spider-Man, it's so PAINFULLY obvious that they're Clark Kent/Peter Parker. Clark simply wears GLASSES, and Peter doesn't even disguise his voice.

The great thing about Batman is... There's absolutely NO WAY of knowing that he's Bruce Wayne.... so if he were to fake his death, Batman would still exist, and there would be no connection.

Yes. It's fantastic, I think it's a fantastic idea.

any low rent real world store detective, could connect the dots between bruce Wayne and batman.
 
Not really. Depending on what source.......I think there'd probably be little evidence to trace any of Bruce's steps. Plus, him being so rich.....he'd probably sue anyone to high hell for "defamation of character" or some bull****.

I think it's something the comics have constantly screwed the pooch on. "Oh, he's rich......so he's Batman" thing where people have figured out who he is, is just too simple for me to accept.
 
Eros said:
any low rent real world store detective, could connect the dots between bruce Wayne and batman.

Most likely. However, no one suspects that billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne would be Batman in the least, so he would probably be the last person they'd ever investigate. It's the "Yeah Right!" factor that rules him out. That's always been one of the greatest qualities of the character and is obviously a key factor in what makes him so intriguing.
 
If anything, Batman would consider giving up his Bruce Wayne persona, NOT Batman.
 
Boom said:
If anything, Batman would consider giving up his Bruce Wayne persona, NOT Batman.

That's what this thread is about.
 
I don't think I'd like the idea of him trying to completely throw away his Bruce Wayne image. However, it would be very interesting to see him become more and more obsessed with his mission. Losing himself in this monster of his, as Alfred put it.

It's taking the same theme as other superhero movies, but adding an original spin to it.
 
I think there should be part, where we see Bruce Wayne bringing back himself as a Gotham helper like what his parents did.

We should see more of Bruce than Batman, because Batman is his 2nd face. Batman is Bruce, not Bruce is Batman.

And I think that part with Bruce loosing himself was settled enough, so there is no sense to show this again.

Maybe in third movie it will again become intersting, but I think in TDK Nolan should show Bruce trying to help Gotham not only as Batman, but also as Wayne.
 
Leon the Professional said:
Who'd like to see Batman tempted to give up being Bruce Wayne?

Superman 2, Spider-man 2, Batman Forever have all had the by now cliched internal identity struggle of the superhero wanting to give up being a superhero. This is not somehting I'd liek to see in a Batman movie again, not only because it's cliched, but also because I think that Batman is the last "super"hero who should be having this dilemma. This is because he didn't happen to receive powers that compelled him to use them to help people; rather, he worked himself crazy for years to become exactly what he wanted to become, and Batman is in essence the real character.

What I'd like to see is a reversal of this situation, where Batman becomes gradually more and more "lost in his monster" as Alfred would put it. He becomes more and more frustrated with having to go out and be social to keep up his playboy act, and instead becomes more recluse. Even in the privacy of his own mansion, he begins to lose his true human Bruce Wayne side around a concerned Alfred. Maybe his Batman voice even begins to subtly creep into his voice even when he's not dressed up as Batman. By the third movie maybe even have him consider faking his own death so he doesn't have to deal with being Bruce Wayne anymore. Not seriously consider it, just have him blurt it out to Alfred when he's angry and they're arguing.

I really like this idea and think that its very possible that Nolan may explore this.
 
This is tied directly to the idea that Bruce Wayne is suffering from a psychological disorder of some sort, an idea that I strongly oppose.

Is he driven to an ultimate degree by his chosen crusade; is he obssessed with his chosen crusade, absolutely, but that doesn't make him a psychological mess. In fact it is his indomnitable will and strength of character that allows him to fight his battle, without tumbling into an emotional abyss.

Bruce Wayne uses many disguises and weapons in his crusade, The Batman personna, tho certainly the major (and coolest) one, is but one among many.
 
Eros said:
any low rent real world store detective, could connect the dots between bruce Wayne and batman.

The Batman with all the "wonderful toys" certainly would lead one to conclude that he is an individual with considerable resources, which arguably would put any wealthy males squarely on the list of suspects.
Adding the age of The Batman certainly would narrow the field further, and the inevitable search for a rational motive might put the spotlight entirely on Bruce Wayne.
Take away the "wonderful toys" however and the trail to Wayne becomes a cold one indeed.
 
I like the idea that in TDK he starts out as both Bruce and Bats, but as Joker's crimes escalate Bruce begins to disappear until only Batman, completely obsessed with bringing Joker to Justice, exists.

Then in 3, after Dent becomes Two-face and Batman sees his ally get lost in a monster of his own, will he realize that he needs to step back and strike a balance between his alter-ego.
 
Adam West said:
I like the idea that in TDK he starts out as both Bruce and Bats, but as Joker's crimes escalate Bruce begins to disappear until only Batman, completely obsessed with bringing Joker to Justice, exists.

Then in 3, after Dent becomes Two-face and Batman sees his ally get lost in a monster of his own, will he realize that he needs to step back and strike a balance between his alter-ego.

This? I definitely see happening. :up:
 
yeah, i do as well. One question does batman have multiple personality disorder.
 
COMPO said:
yeah, i do as well. One question does batman have multiple personality disorder.


No he doesn't. Bruce has stated that he could quit being Batman at anytime.

Various writers over the years have suggested that Bruce does have some type of psychosis.

DC at this point portrays him as a man driven but in full control of his mental faculties.
 
Internal struggles by superheroes is always interesting to watch and I like to see that done with Bruce Wayne because its one factor that will make me relate to him. Let's face it Bruce and I have nothing in common from his loads of money, his childhood and Im a Playboy alright.
Ive been to some comic conventions and the majority are more like Peter Parkers as in regular Joes not the hunky playboy billionaires.
If they include this internal struggle they better not overdo it to the point of demonizing Bruce Wayne.
 
COMPO said:
yeah, i do as well. One question does batman have multiple personality disorder.

No, he does not.

I think it's really quite simple. The real Bruce Wayne is the man you see in the batcave in a black t-shirt spraying a coat of latex onto his ninja gauntlets while Alfred cracks wise. He's a Bruce Wayne who has no interest in being rich or a socialite; a Bruce Wayne who is very serious and haunted and seems largely humorless - betrayed at times by the wry smile when Alfred busts out with a great one-liner, as Alfred is known to do. That's the real Bruce Wayne.

Bruce then has to divide his public time into two halves. One half is Batman. Batman is absolutely a mask. He's basically an amped-up version of the real Bruce. But he's Bruce playing for scary. Bruce dressed as a bat, acting like some sort of beast, trying to scare the crap out of the bad guys. Theatrical.

The other half is playboy Bruce -- the ineffectual, largely inept socialite who is good for nothing but wooing young, beautiful ladies and spending large sums of money. He's a bit of a twit but basically a good guy, as evidenced by his philanthropism. This is also a mask, a disguise to draw attention away from the darker side of Bruce Wayne.

He uses Public Bruce to help those less fortunate in those humanitarian ways that only the very rich can, if they are of good heart. Meanwhile he uses his more violent urges - the stuff in the basement, as Rocky would put it - to fight crime and make the city safer, so that in that guise he also helps people and performs humanitarian work, in a completely different way.

This is the correct way to portray Batman - and regardless of what one thinks of Batman Begins, the three faces of Batman were perfectly realized in that film.

So, no to MPD. Yes to disguises.

With that said, it absolutely would be great story fodder to show Bruce growing weary of juggling his masks and getting sucked into the Batman guise -- which is probably his favorite mask, as it frees him from much of the baggage of being Bruce Wayne and allows him to just be... well, the Batman.
 
Keyser Sushi said:
No, he does not.

I think it's really quite simple. The real Bruce Wayne is the man you see in the batcave in a black t-shirt spraying a coat of latex onto his ninja gauntlets while Alfred cracks wise. He's a Bruce Wayne who has no interest in being rich or a socialite; a Bruce Wayne who is very serious and haunted and seems largely humorless - betrayed at times by the wry smile when Alfred busts out with a great one-liner, as Alfred is known to do. That's the real Bruce Wayne.

Bruce then has to divide his public time into two halves. One half is Batman. Batman is absolutely a mask. He's basically an amped-up version of the real Bruce. But he's Bruce playing for scary. Bruce dressed as a bat, acting like some sort of beast, trying to scare the crap out of the bad guys. Theatrical.

The other half is playboy Bruce -- the ineffectual, largely inept socialite who is good for nothing but wooing young, beautiful ladies and spending large sums of money. He's a bit of a twit but basically a good guy, as evidenced by his philanthropism. This is also a mask, a disguise to draw attention away from the darker side of Bruce Wayne.

He uses Public Bruce to help those less fortunate in those humanitarian ways that only the very rich can, if they are of good heart. Meanwhile he uses his more violent urges - the stuff in the basement, as Rocky would put it - to fight crime and make the city safer, so that in that guise he also helps people and performs humanitarian work, in a completely different way.

This is the correct way to portray Batman - and regardless of what one thinks of Batman Begins, the three faces of Batman were perfectly realized in that film.

So, no to MPD. Yes to disguises.

With that said, it absolutely would be great story fodder to show Bruce growing weary of juggling his masks and getting sucked into the Batman guise -- which is probably his favorite mask, as it frees him from much of the baggage of being Bruce Wayne and allows him to just be... well, the Batman.


Key's got it folks...

thats why, IMO, it'd be just as bad to use the crazy psycotic "Bruce Wayne is dead" Batman as it is to use the campy version of batman
 
I like the idea of Bruce "getting lost in this monster of his" and threatening to go over the edge because of it. That way he can see the problems that come from going to that extreme, and he is forced to rain himself in before he does something that he will regret.

Batman/Bruce Wayne is human like everyone else, and he is still realitively new to being Batman, and Nolan talked about "things getting worse before they get better", and I think it would be very interesting for that to also apply to Batman and his state of mind, because the pressure of the Joker threat and everything else getting to him.

It would be boring as hell to have it so clear cut and defined. Let Batman get put through the ringer for a bit emotionally and mentally, I say.
 

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