I am requesting the help of all fans of the DCAU Batman...

Discussion in 'Misc. TV Series' started by TheGrayGhost, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. TheGrayGhost

    TheGrayGhost Registered

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    I am currently having a debate with a veteran poster (who will only be referred to as a veteran poster in this thread) on the SHH! concerning a character ananlysis of the Batman. After several days and nights of exchanging posts, I came to the realization that this veteran poster and I were debating about two different interpretations of Batman; he was more influenced by the comics' portrayal of the character, and I was more of a follower of the DCAU rendition. I used to think that both were virtually the same, but after this argument, I am not so sure. Anyway, he still insists that his argument remains true, even in the DCAU portrayal of Batman. This is the core of his argument:
    • There is a third persona known as "real Bruce"
    • Batman is not the true persona
    • Batman is just another mask
    • "real Bruce" is the true persona
    • Bruce Wayne did not cease to exist the moment his parents were murdered
    Of these points, the one that I disagree with the most is the argument that Batman is not the true persona. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I would like for fans of the DCAU Batman to weigh in on this. I'd appreciate it very much if intellectual posters who've been with the DC Animated Universe since the beginning and who know the inner workings of the Bruce Timm/Paul Dini vision of Batman post their thoughts here. I mean, these assertions by this veteran poster are pretty radical in my view and are very contrary to the Batman we've known for over a decade.

    I'll provide some background information and some of my very own thoughts to clarify and flesh out the argument a little bit more. I think the best place to start is with Batman: Animated, a book which was published several years ago. Here is a picture of it:

    [​IMG]

    The book explores the various production aspects of the show, but it also goes into a deep analysis of each of the show's major characters. The book itself was written by Paul Dini, and it includes many interviews from key players of BTAS. Here is an excerpt which I think explains the basics of the DCAU Batman:

    You guys can already see that the Batman envisioned by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett, and Eric Radomski comes into conflict with the argument of the veteran poster. Batman is the true persona in the DCAU portrayal. I think anyone who is a long-time fan of the DCAU knows this; there have been many, many episodes which have affirmed this, Nothing to Fear being the most powerful . In the episode, Batman delievers this already classic line:

    Most of the power of this affirmation stems from the fact that he is saying it to his own father. Yes, it was an illusion created by the Scarecrow, but it felt real to Batman. Furthermore, nowhere in the excerpt from Batman: Animated is there mention of this supposed third persona who is supposed to be the true identity according to this veteran poster. In fact, no where in the book or any interview I can find on the internet do the creators of the DCAU even hint at a third persona. If there is a third persona, despite any acknowledgement from the creators, it is a persona that is in fact Batman, but without the cape and cowl. Although I know some fans who are reluctant to agree that Batman can be Batman without the cape and cowl, the vocal patterns of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the DCAU suggest that he can...

    Throughout the DCAU, Kevin Conroy alters the pitch of his voice to make distinctions between when he is playing "Bruce Wayne" and when he is playing "Batman." True, it becomes harder to distinguish the difference as the character matures from BTAS to TNBAS to JL/JLU to BB, but the differences in pitch are still there. The "Bruce Wayne" voice sounds lighter and more forced. The "Batman" voice is deeper and more natural. Kevin Conroy uses the "Batman" voice when conversing with all of the his close allies (Alfred, Barbara Gordon, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, etc.) all of the time, regardless of whether or not Bruce is donning the cape and cowl. It's also interesting to note that Batman always refers to himself, even on a subconscious level, as Batman, regardless of whether or not he is wearing the suit. This is evident particularly in the Batman Beyond episode, Shriek. By contrast, Bruce Wayne is always referred to in the third person unless he is introducing himself to someone who is not aware of his secret.

    I could go on, but I don't think that you guys want to read anymore. I am sure that many of you Batman fans know all about the "three persona" interpretation, so I don't feel the need to go into it any further. But strictly within the context of the DCAU, does this interpretation carry over? Or any of the other points argued by the veteran poster? I personally don't think so.
     
  2. batnkevlar

    batnkevlar Registered

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    Hmm... what persona would you say was the one with Andrea Beumont, the one where Bruce was "truly happy"?
     
  3. TheGrayGhost

    TheGrayGhost Registered

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    Yep, I've considered those flashbacks in Mask of the Phantasm many times. It's a very difficult psychology. Here is the way I break it down:

    I'm more inclined to believe that Bruce Wayne died the instant his parents were murdered. From that blackness of death, the Batman came into being, just like what Kevin Conroy said in the excerpt. However, it wasn't the fully realized Batman we know today. Young Bruce Wayne was just a wandering, lost soul with the mantle of the Batman embedded deep within his psyche and with no means to adjust to or express that dramatic change of consciousness. So for 12 years he travels the world trying to temper and strengthen his new identity, not quite fully aware of who he is. At the end of his journey, he is still a wandering, lost soul, not fully aware of himself and without physical means of expressing his transformed psyche. And it is during that period of time that he meets Andrea and falls in love with her. So, it is this wandering, lost soul (that is still "marked" by the Batman consciousness but not quite fully aware of how to express it) that finds what he thinks is an immediate solution for his sorrow, guilt, anger, etc. He's kind of taking the easy way out. So you see, it is still Batman but not a fully realized one. It is only until he puts on the cape and cowl for the first time that he seals the deal. When he's staring at that cowl for a few seconds in the flashback, he finally sees himself.

    I could be wrong, but what do you think?
     
  4. Warhammer

    Warhammer Half Monk, Half Hitman

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    From a fan who grew up with the DCAU Batman.
    I completely agree with you Grey Ghost.
    Batman is the true persona of DCAU Batman, not Bruce Wayne.
    Bruce Wayne, like you said, is a disguise to the public.
    I think that Bruce Wayne died when his parents died, but not fully like you said, Gray Ghost. He didnt fully realize exactly who he was yet, but was searching. He went and traveled the world searching for who he was. Andrea Beumont was someone he met during his long transformation into a full 100% Batman. He finally realizes it later on and it becomes his true personality.

    My Opinions to the Arguments above.

    I dont believe that. There are two personas, Bruce Wayne (to everyone else) and Batman (true persona).

    Wrong. Batman is the true persona. It's the way he acts all the time, even when he is by himself in the Batcave.

    Nope, He is Batman.

    There is no "real Bruce"...at least not in the DCAU.

    Bruce Wayne did cease to exist. The Batman persona didn't completely consume Bruce yet.

    :cool:
     
  5. TheGrayGhost

    TheGrayGhost Registered

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    Glad someone else agrees with me.

    I've been able to find essays on the matter, and I want to post them. But I want to see what everyone else thinks.
     
  6. Mister J

    Mister J Whatever It Takes

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    I believe that this 'real Bruce' phenomenon started with Batman Begins. Nolan stated that he would portray three facets of Bruce Wayne: billionaire playboy, the Dark Knight and Bruce as he is around Alfred and those close to him. In all actuality, especially concerning the DCAU, there's a hybrid of the latter two roles.

    Batman is the true face of Bruce Wayne. It's obvious that the billioinaire playboy schtick is a facade to discourage attention to his nocturnal activities. Batman is what he grew into after the trauma he experienced when he was eight. I think back to the 'Over the Edge' episode, where Bruce, sitting in the Cave after Batgirl's death, tells Gordon "The only way I could hold on to my sanity was to take matters into my own hands." If I ever had any doubts that sealed it for me. Batman is what he worked to become ever since that night in Crime Alley. Naturally, he didn't complete the journey until he donned the cape and cowl. However, all the years of training, traveling, education and self-discipline all went toward something. That obsession resulted in Batman.

    He doesn't know how to be any other way. Even when he's not in costume, he's still Batman. I believe the 'real Bruce' argument stems from his difference in behavior when he's around those close to him (Alfred, Dick, Barbara, Tim, Gordon, etc.). He's not going to approach them the way he approaches criminals because they don't represent why Batman was born. However, those close to him do see that he's not anything close to being happy-go-lucky or carefree. The fact that he's not actively scaring the crap out of people doesn't mean it's a different face. The personality traits are still there. He's always focused, driven and obsessive. He only turns it off when he needs to keep up his public face.

    Because of who who is, he needs to act out against the evil that claimed his parents. Evil is a constant. It doesn't matter if it takes the form of psychotic comedians, racketeers, theives or eco-terrorists. It's the same thing that robbed him of his childhood and he needs to stand against it. He took an oath at his parent's grave to eliminate that evil. That's who he is.
     
  7. blksuperman2

    blksuperman2 Deadly Akuma

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    I agree with this arguement the most. I think that he is in his own element when he is Batman. He's most comfortable as Batman even among friends. The DCAU Batman rarely takes his cowl off even when around Robin or Nightwing who obviously knows is identity. Or even when he's with Supes or Diana he keeps it on. BBegins and the Batman cartoon show Bruce in costume without the cowl alot. It makes you think that their version portray the mask as just that "A Mask".

    I also think that there is a split personality when it comes to Bruce Wayne. You have the billionaire playboy with all the women, and then you have the Bruce who is a martial artist, a chemist, a scientist, a philospher, a detective (which includes the Matches Malone character), etc.

    My 2 cents.
     
  8. Rowen

    Rowen Registered

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    WOW! this was a good intregal post :up: . i think you got alot of the facts down.

    i to belive that batmans dark gritty loner attiude is the definate batman/bruce wayne.
     
  9. TheGrayGhost

    TheGrayGhost Registered

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    Incredible post, Mister J! I'll address it later, but you touched on something that started this debate between me and The Guard. Batman Begins. Here is how it started:

    A poster on the Untitled Batman Begins Sequel forum stated that he knew the ending to the planned sequel to Batman Begins. Supposedly, Batman, towards the end of the film, "realizes" that he still needs to live a normal life as Bruce Wayne. Accordingly, he intentionally goes out on a date with Ms. Selina Kyle. The mention of Kyle got me excited, but I was ultimately outraged that Batman would intentionally try to "revive" Bruce Wayne and try to live a normal life. It's completely out of character. Like the excerpt from Batman: Animated stated, "the costume is his normal life." Naturally, I found an opponent in The Guard. If any of you guys know him, try not to get into an argument with him. The debate began there and eventually turned into a sweeping character analysis.

    Interestingly enough, I didn't see that at all in Batman Begins. I just figured that the character featured in BB is something very similar to the Bruce Wayne in the flashbacks of Mask of the Phantasm (and I already explained that.) But then again, I do realize that the Batman in BB is in his early years and is developing.

    Also, I interpreted Nolan's statements as a model of how Bale should act in three distinct scenarios (public, private, and Batman.)

    Agreed. I believe that both "roles" are really the same.

    Agreed.

    I've never thought of that. Very insightful.

    If you don't mind, I am going to quote what you said here and use it in my debate. Or, if you would like to, you can post it in the thread yourself:

    http://www.superherohype.com/forums/showthread.php?t=226963

    Please let me know soon.

    By the way, did you agree with the analysis I offered so far?
     
  10. Dread

    Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    There have in the comics been all sorts of depictions of Batman, from muderous vigilante (yes, he DID knock off vampires and the occasional mobster in the Golden Age without nary a thought) to goofy "costumed cop" with a sidekick, to back to Dark Knight, to being a all-around "prep time" hero and back again. The benefit of the cartoons is that they have offered a more stable, grounded, "Ultimate" version of Batman that has homages to all of these (as Batman has, for instance, engaged in daylight superheroics occasionally, even before JL/U).

    The cartoons favor the more recent depictions, in that "Bruce Wayne" is the mask, and Batman is who Wayne became when his parents were shot. But to that end, who was Wayne? He was 8 years old when his parents were murdered; hardly a fully functional adult being (even if he had to "grow up fast"). All we know is that as a child, before his parent's murder, he was a fan of THE GREY GHOST television series, which was about a masked vigilante and his arsenal against crime, which led to him choosing that response in his own life. In ROTJ, the Joker, upon learning of Batman's identity, called him "a little boy in a playsuit crying for Mommy and Daddy", and that likely bodes some sort of truth. The notion of wanting to instill fear into criminals with a garish outfit and arsenal is an emotional, somewhat immature response, but one that Batman has molded into maturity, efficiency, and accuracy. But he still was not really "Batman" until he had finished his travels abroad. He needed to travel the world, such as learning martial arts (jujitsu has been outright mentioned in MOTP as a skill he has mastered) in Japan to escape tactics from Zatara the Magician (under the alias "John Smith", where he romanced Zatanna). He was still a young man, not nearly as grizzled and mature, even despite that tragedy (Rorshache from WATCHMEN sort of went through this phase, mentioning his younger years as "Wasn't Rorshache; was only PRETENDING to be Rorshache").

    MOTP naturally is the best look into "young Batman", where his studies abroad were nearly complete but he hadn't yet figured upon his monniker. He wasn't Batman yet because he hadn't figured out to use a bat as his avatar; he was going out in a ski-mask and a leather jacket to take out robbers. However, like most young people, he was distracted by love, which isn't uncommon for Wayne (he was presumably younger when he was dating Zatanna, after all). Like most young people, even despite his emotional response to his victimization, he was not yet set in his ways as an adult, and if at any time he would have been willing to lead a normal life, it was then, when Andrea Boumont was his fiance. She gave him something POSITIVE to look foward to instead of a never-ending battle against crime (which was made personal for him by Joe Chill). Hence why he was very conflicted, even to the point of begging on his parent's tombstone for them to "release him from his promise" to avenge them. "I never counted on being happy", he mentions. The sudden loss of Andrea (unbeknowst to him, but ironically, due to crime, as her father was running for his life from the mob) likely symbolized that Wayne could expect to have no happiness, so it was the FINAL push to him becoming Batman. Once again, a prospect of a family life of happiness was taken from him. Plus, it hadn't helped that he'd discovered the area that would become the Batcave with Andrea, and a series of bats had once creeped out and scared her off. That final loss cemented his life as Batman. And as Batman, he has sought to prevent what happened to him to happening to someone else, as well as essentially looking for "the mugger" his entire life, and basically seeing him in other criminals, the mob, and even his own gallery of psychotic rogues. FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING easily cemented that Batman's still full of anger over his past; his "happy fantasy" is a world where his parents live, and Joe Chill is beaten MERCILESSLY, almost endlessly.

    Ever since, in the cartoon, Wayne has been the mask and Batman the core persona. Naturally, he needs to be Wayne for business and social life. Exactly who Batman is of course changes; Batman was a lot less "brooding" in TAS than he would become in TNGK, where he had his falling out with Grayson. Batman is capable of many things, though, more than fighting people or making an arsenal. He is capable of compassion for people who have experienced his sort of pain, and even an empathy to want to help an enemy (like Harley Quinn, who he clearly has little romantic interest in, but wanted to genuinely free from Joker's thrall). And he has a strict "no killing" policy, which has usually been tested by the Joker, as SEVERAL times, Batman has left Joker for dead and done little to save him (nor did "Old Man Wayne" chide Terry much for doing the same to the man who killed his father in "REBIRTH"). Unfortunately, because Batman fears losing anyone he connects with, like his family and Andrea, it makes his ability to attach to someone new as friend, family, or lover VERY difficult. This has actually been showcased very well by his time with the Justice League, alongside fellow heroes, many of whom are FAR more powerful than his sidekicks/past lovers and could easily defend themselves (like Wonder Woman), as well as fellow heroes.

    Thus, it doesn't seem at all strange that without Batman in his life after he "retired" from the role at middle age, that Wayne sunk into being an isloted hermit. He never even bothered to show much interest in his own company, because he didn't need "the act" anymore. He was content to remain holed up in his mansion of memories until Terry came along and essentially PULLED the legacy of Batman from the grave and gave Old Man Wayne something to have vigor for again.
     
  11. TheGrayGhost

    TheGrayGhost Registered

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    Dread! I was waiting for you to show up. If I had as much patience as you, I would probably be able to argue with The Guard without losing my nerve.

    Anyway, great post. From what I gather, you do agree with the points I have outlined, do you not? You also agree with some of my analysis of the character and of MOTP? What do you make of the Kevin Conroy and Paul Dini excerpt I quoted in my first post? I'm full of questions as you can see. Psychology is always fun.:)

    This isn't relevant to the topic at all, but I thought you should know this as a little piece of triva: the BTAS episode was entitled Beware The Gray Ghost, with an "a" in "gray." And it was later replaced with an "e" in Epilogue.

    It depends on which episodes you're talking about, but, yes, I have to agree that the Batman in the original BTAS was overall less brooding than in TNBAS.
     
  12. TheGrayGhost

    TheGrayGhost Registered

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    In retrospect, the writing of this is a little sloppy. I would like to revise it:

    When I bring up this subject with other fans, they usually bring up Mask of the Phantasm as a place where this third persona might exist (because of Wayne's romance with Andrea.) It's a very difficult psychology. Here is the way I break it down: I'm more inclined to believe that Bruce Wayne died the instant his parents were murdered. Everything young Bruce Wayne had to live for died along with his parents. From their deaths, however, the Batman came into being, just how Paul Dini and Kevin Conroy said in the excerpt. However, it wasn't the fully matured and realized Batman as he exists now. He wasn't a creature of the night yet, but a transformed being with a purpose. That purpose, that vow he swore to his parents, is the core and essence of the Batman. Young Bruce Wayne was just a wandering, lost soul with the mantle of the Batman buried deep within his psyche, waiting to be fully realized and manifested into physical being. So for 12 years he travels the world trying to temper and strengthen himself, not quite fully aware of who he is. At the end of his journey, he is still a wandering, lost soul, not fully aware of himself and without physical means of expressing his transformed psyche. And it is during that period of time that he meets Andrea and falls in love with her. So, it is this wandering, lost soul (that is still "marked" by the Batman consciousness but not quite fully aware of how to express it) that finds what he thinks is an immediate solution to escape his sorrow, guilt, anger, etc. He's kind of (there's much more pyschology going into this, so please forgive the simplification) taking the easy way out. So you see, it is still Batman but not a fully realized one. It is only until he puts on the cape and cowl for the first time that he "seals the deal." When he's staring grimly at that cowl for several moments in the flashback, he finally sees himself.
     
  13. Dread

    Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    Yeah, I agree with it. And of course psychology is fun, I've taken a few courses of it. ;)

    The quotes from Dini and Conroy are of course helpful to this discussion, as both are experts on creating the very character involved in said discussion. I rarely read any Batman or DC comics as a kid so most of what I know and like about Batman came from B:TAS. I probably appreciated Conroy's words a little more because while Dini aided in the writing, he's the one who has to sort of "experience" the character in order to play him well. And he's gotten to play Batman at nearly all stages of his life; MOTP gave him a chance at "young Batman" (a Wayne who was college aged), naturally the 12+ years of normal Batman, and Wayne in the twilight of his life in BEYOND and "EPILOGUE".

    Speaking of psychology, I think it may be helpful if we draw a line regarding one constant word, and that is "identity". While Bruce Wayne/Batman is hardly the picture of "ideal mental health" (and given his traumatic experiences, it is understandable), I don't believe him to be a psychotic "multiple personality" like Two-Face/Harvey Dent is. Simply because his "Wayne" facade is often an act does not mean it is "another personality" in that LITERAL sense. It is an act. We all perform an act in a given situation; few of us would act the same way at both a friend's bachelor party and standing before a judge in court (at least most functional people wouldn't). Old Man Wayne alluded to calling himself "Batman" mentally in BEYOND, but note that at this time Wayne was in his 80's and his mental outlook on himself and his life naturally would be at a different stage than when he was, say, in his prime in his 30's.

    What Dini says about him I believe, that Batman was "born" when Wayne was 8 and his parents got shot. But it didn't have a name then. It was an emotional response, a drive to survive and get vengence on Joe Chill and all criminals like him (in THE STRANGE CASE OF BRUCE WAYNE, Wayne pretty much admits that his cause as Batman as as much to do with vengence as anything else). It was an evolutionary process that caused Wayne to spent much of his youth travelling the globe preparing for his battle against crime, with only Alfred being his main support system (and sole remaining father figure). Naturally as a younger man it was not as "set" in stone as it would have become by the time he was jumping around rooftops. And naturally he'd spent YEARS away from Gotham for periods at a time, whether travelling with Zatara or learning in the Orient. "Detachement" from a scene of trauma is not uncommon for something like that, but it can also hinder development or "healing". By the time Wayne is a young man in MOTP flashbacks and meeting Andrea, he likely had not been in Gotham for a stable period of time since he was very small, and his "new" set of ideals and motives were being tested by what he was experiencing in reality, and that was a budding romance with Andrea. He wanted to find a way to avenge his parents while at the same time contemplating a life with her. Losing her likely convinced Wayne that attempting to attach to anyone in a "normal" way was futile, and that he had little left but the cause that remained, that he'd trained for. And by then, he'd found the name of his avatar, "Batman". Naturally years as Batman would cement his transformation and make it complete, to the point where he could be a retired man at 80 with a pesky dog and still call himself that.

    I see. That's why I was adopting the change in the spelling. Yeah. :p Thanks for the tidbit. Interesting. I'll bet this won't be nearly as debated as Nightwing's appearence in "Grudge Match" though.

    Not that Batman was ever a "costumed cop" like in the Dick Sprang era, but once TNBAS started, he seemed more "intense", and actually usually had shorter, simplier dialogue (no more puns like "giving him a taste of Bat-magic!" most often). Dick Grayson would sometimes make fun of Wayne for being a bit "stiff", but by TNBAS Batman was more than that, to the point where he and Grayson had that "break". Naturally, even though Grayson would visit Wayne and aid him at times as Nightwing, the severing of that partnership likely didn't do anything to help Batman as it was yet another person he'd "attached" to leaving him in some way, only this time he had more of a vital role to play in it (Grayson was starting to feel Batman was at times too harsh, but the final straw was letting Barbara Gordon "in" on the Bat-Family without consulting Grayson, especially regarding her identity as Batgirl -- a trust issue). During that time Batman also became less "sympathetic" towards Catwoman and Harley Quinn, seemingly content that they'd never change their ways and even EXPLOITING Quinn to save his life from a trap in "Mad Love". Of course, Catwoman had hardly been much of a theif before she was becoming a psuedo-ally of Batman in B:TAS, so I probably didn't mind that as much. Many times in B:TAS Batman had more sympathy for some of his rogues; that continued in TNBAS to some degree (for Dent or Ventriloquist), but not in others. He was more "intense" there. Of course, it is worth mentioning that in TNBAS, the creative staff were free of some of Fox's censorship rules (Fox is notoriously stricter on that stuff than Kid's WB, especially during the 90's), although the execs still wanted more "kids", hence the reliance on Batgirl and Robin for many episodes. But, with less censorship, perhaps the writers simply got to extablish a Batman they'd wanted to do for a while.

    Of course, B:TAS still had its share of Bat-brooding and deeper stuff, why we all liked it so much ("I AM THE NIGHT" is one of those great classics). But I did sense a shift, and the loss of his "son's" full approval likely could have helped cause it.

    Despite that shift, though, Batman still is what he is, which is someone who has his drive against crime and to be all he can be to achieve it (both mentally and physically, despite having no powers), and while he can appear stiff, threatening, and so on, deep down he does have a compassionate heart. JUSTICE LEAGUE/JLU has actually aided in depicting that at times with Batman interacting with peer heroes. I could list a half dozen examples if I wanted to. And that's good, because a Batman without some of that somewhere is simply a *****ebag, and seems more "inhuman" and thus boring. The cartoons actually have managed to maintain that balence better than the comics at times.
     
  14. Rowen

    Rowen Registered

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    EPOLOUGE was IMO the best epsidoe that showcased batmans emotional sympathetic side. when he was carrying ace in his arms & the expression on his face:( was priceless.
     
  15. TheGrayGhost

    TheGrayGhost Registered

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    Great post, Dread. I had a nice response typed up which addressed all of your points (and how I agree with them), but my internet provider crashed and all was lost. I use a laptop computer with wireless capabilities, but the wireless card itself is not very reliable. But I hope you can share your thoughts on what I am about to post; I was exchanging PM's with a poster who discovered this thread, and he had some interesting things to say. Needless to say, I think he is a little bit flawed in his analysis, but it is worth noting. Input from Mister J is also highly valued...

    Isn't this description essentially the reality of Batman, not his desires? I have to disagree if he is implying that Batman wouldn't want to see his parents again.

    Any thoughts?

    I want to provide my take on the matter, but it is growing much too late, and I have to get done with some other work.
     
  16. Prognosticator

    Prognosticator Registered

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    Wow! These are some in-depth interpretations! Mister J continues to exude 5-star Batknowledge...kudos to all on this fantastically deep thread!
     
  17. Mister J

    Mister J Whatever It Takes

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    Bruce Wayne didn't want to be Batman; He became Batman. Of course, he wishes Batman didn't exist because that would mean that his parents were never murdered. The purpose of the machine was to offer the ideal existence. Unquestionably, for Bruce that means that his parents weren't taken from him. However, even when faced with that apparent setting, he knew it wasn't real. He was unwilling to accept it because he knew better and ultimately revolted against this supposed utopian life. Batman was present in the 'dream world' because it's his true identity, not a happy and content Bruce Wayne. I always viewed Batman's presence as the subconscious fighting the illusion. Batman being there was the only thing that made real sense to him, which is why Bruce sought him out. He followed the only semblance of reality in a false world to escape it.

    This poster asserts that Bruce's perfect life would have him as Batman. That's counter-intuitive. Why would Batman exist if Bruce Wayne's life was perfect? The fact that his life was shattered when he was eight is the sole reason Batman exists. 'Perchance to Dream' nailed that aspect of the character and is why it's such a revered episode.
     
  18. TheGrayGhost

    TheGrayGhost Registered

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    Wow. Why don't you post more often on these boards?

    But I do disagree with one thing. In the first statement, instead of saying "he doesn't want to be," don't you think it would be more appropriate in this discussion worded "didn't ask to be" or "didn't want to be" ?
     
  19. Mister J

    Mister J Whatever It Takes

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    I imagine because I'm too lazy to think and rather crack jokes all the time. Though I have been lessening my Community time as of late.

    You're right. I started to say one thing and then decided it better to phrase it another way. I didn't go back and look at it.
     
  20. TheGrayGhost

    TheGrayGhost Registered

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    Well, you certainly have my respect.


    :up:
     
  21. Dread

    Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    Naturally if Wayne had his way, he wouldn't be Batman. He's working to create a Gotham that isn't overrun by criminals or corrupt officials and doesn't NEED Batman. This is depicted in "TRIAL" from B:TAS Season Two. "FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING" also cemented what Mister J mentioned about "Perchance to Dream" -- given yet another "perfect dreamworld", Wayne's parents survive their mugging, Joe Chill is seemingly pummeled, and there seems to be no need for Batman because the tragedy and torment that birthed him never occured.

    Of course, as an intellectual, Batman surely knows that his "goal" -- to rid Gotham of all crime and ensure that no one else will be victimized as he -- is impossible. Especially when you take into account that Batman's crusade isn't limited to Gotham. JUSTICE LEAGUE/JLU have naturally followed Batman being willing to tackle criminals in other cities (such as Metropolis or Central City), other nations (Casnia or "Gorilla City"), or even other planets (New Genesis). Hence the pain of the character, and in a sense the nobleness; he's basically sacrificed his own personal happiness for a life spent protecting others and bringing the wicked to justice. Batman's a scourge of the underworld that even supervillians fear (or wish to build "rep" by killing). Batman is there to make up for the shortcomings of the law and society that "allow" crime to happen (I put that in quotes because the root causes of crime are another debate, and of course offer a myriad of reasons from poverty to aggression to so on), yet he does not abandon the law because he does not act as judge and jury, allowing that to the system (of course, given what a "revolving door" Arkham is for plot purposes, fans constantly seem to feel Batman should tighten his screws a little, especially when Joker builds his body count). Thus, why Superman's banishment of Doomsday in "THE DOOMSDAY SANCTION" worried Batman, even in the face of no other alternative.

    Van Dorn in TRIAL also offers this quote: "I used to believe Batman was responsible for you people [THE ROGUES GALLERY IN ARKHAM] but now I see nearly everyone here would have ended up exactly the same, Batman or not. Oh, the gimmicks might be different, but you'd all be out there in some form or another bringing misery to Gotham. The truth is, you created him."

    Batman is a persona that arose out of response to a trauma and the will to want to "do" something about it. If Wayne had a choice, of course he would have preferred his parents to have lived and him to have some sort of happiness, but that is not what fate had in store for him. Granted, there IS a way for Batman to be both the Dark Knight and have some personal satisfaction via personal relationships, but he limits them because he fears losing them (hardly uncommon). That was where Waller wanted Terry to go as he evolved into an adult Batman (with sideburns) in EPILOGUE, to not follow in the path of Wayne's one mistake, and not cut off from those he loved.
     
  22. TheGrayGhost

    TheGrayGhost Registered

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    I hadn't noticed your post at first, Dread; I thought this thread died and didn't bother to keep checking on it. Anyway, good post. You touched on something that I have been debating in my mind about the origin of Batman. That is, the issue of fate...

    Batman has said before that he doesn't believe in fate (If You're So Smart Why Aren't you Rich), but he has also said that he doesn't believe in coincidence (Starcrossed.) The latter would suggest that he does believe that things happen for a reason and perhaps that there may be some design in the lives of human beings. Consider Epilogue. Although Amanda Walher's attempts to enegineer another Batman in Terry McGinnis failed, Terry became Batman anyway. What do you guys think this means? Keep in mind that fate is very different from destiny.

    I for one like the idea that there is some "divine" hand in the making of the Batman.
     
  23. TheGrayGhost

    TheGrayGhost Registered

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