Growing up, I never watched Batman cartoons or read Batman comics, so I didn’t realize just how much I was going to love the whole mythos until, about a year ago in March, I saw Matt Reeve’s The Batman in theatres, only after much convincing by my sister and fellow movie-lover. While I really enjoyed Nolan’s Batmans, and I have a special place in my heart for Val Kilmer as Batman, nothing prepared me for the Batman fixation that took hold of me after The Batman (2022).
What looked to me like another forgettable superhero movie turned out to be so very intricate! A well-executed mystery where we participated with the hero in uncovering clues, undoing riddles, discovering misapprehensions. Never before have I felt so much like I was experiencing the mystery alongside the detective, sleuthing and solving with him, experiencing that moment of ‘switch’ where he realizes he’s been viewing everything wrong until a moment of epiphany – BAM! Well done, Mr. Reeves, sir.
I didn’t even know about Batman being ‘the greatest detective’ at this point. Since then I have educated myself, consuming an outrageous number of Batman comics (especially the ten volumes of The New 52 series by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, SO GOOD), cartoons (ostensibly made for kids), movies, and even one particularly good audio adventure, Harley Quinn and the Joker: Sound Mind (a Spotify original I would highly recommend).
My conclusion is that Batman is really for adults. I mean, obviously he’s an enjoyable story for all ages, but some Batman’s most potent story devices are better appreciated by adults. Things like the Batman taking the fight straight to the corrupt, straight to the people actually responsible for evils they may or may not have directly participated in, people normally protected by money or power or the limits of modern law. Of course, this requires an unfailing sense of justice that we cannot trust to one person in real life, since no one is without fault – but it’s a cathartic idea, that Batman’s infallible knowledge of right and wrong ensures that the bad guys always pay.
That, and they will be afraid. Yes, Batman uses fear on people who have used it on innocents. It only seems right that the lowlifes causing fear and pain for dubious reasons should be made to feel a consequence for their actions. Had they obeyed the laws of society, conducted themselves properly, they would have nothing to fear. But they’re criminals, and when they see his shadow they fear him, because he knows what they’ve been doing and what they’ve done. They’re terrified! Are there not notes of deep truth here? Do you feel the rightness of these things deep in your soul??
Well, I do. I think the combination of some of these devices are why Batman has endured for so many decades. If a thing is loved by enough people, there’s usually something to it.
Therefore, in celebration of Batman, I am doing a GIF. This WIP is directly inspired by Mark Hamill’s classic Joker from Batman The Animated Series (very enjoyable), and though I would like to add Batman into this, we’ll just see if I can persist long enough to put these roughs into colour. I do love animation, but MAN does it take forever. BUT. I’m rebuilding my ‘art habit’ in preparation for down time (or, non-writing time) I’m expecting soon, while my bestest readers go through the first draft of Books 2 and 3. Eeeh!!(This is both a scream of elation and terror. Such is the writer life)!!
Don’t worry, soon and very soon I shall pry my cagy fingers from the drafts and ACTUALLY, REALLY hand them off to real human beings that are not me. SOON. No, I cannot commit to a date….. I’m sorry.
Instead, I can offer this: I am in the midst of releasing the new, revised version of book 1, The Meddler, on a few different platforms, including Wattpad and Deviantart. If you're already following along, Part 3/25 is HERE.
I’m also going to set a day imminently for the quarterly free e-book giveaway on Amazon/Kindle happening at the end of March. So if you wanna read it for free, take advantage!
Ok cheers, everyone, have a lovely week! Please do reach out, subscribe, comment, pass the story on if you’ve read it. Thank you, and good day!