The meaning of Batman

by | Aug 30, 2013 | Uncategorized

AleteiaWhether Ben Affleck will be able to pull off a new portrayal of the Caped Crusader remains to be seen. But what is it about Batman that makes people so protective of the character?

Created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger in 1939, Batman has had countless interpretations across other media types, including radio dramas, books, commercials, cartoons, and, of course, live-action TV shows. And if YouTube is any indication, Batman is the most popular superhero.

What is it about Batman that gives the character such staying power across generations, and which provokes such strong reactions about the choice of actor to portray him? We asked our Aleteia Experts what they thought about Batman’s popularity.

Without entering the fray about any particular incarnation of Batman the Catholic website Aleteia offers some reflections from a panel of experts. about the meaning of Batman.

Here are some snippets from their thoughts

One of Us   

… “His real power, therefore,” Kheriaty, concludes, “comes from his character and his commitment to a good cause; not from an accident of birth, like Superman, who came from another planet and can therefore fly and see through things with x-ray vision.”…

Deeper Meanings

… “That’s exactly what Batman represents. Bruce Wayne learns to channel the power of his childhood trauma and fears, and in the process transforms himself into something greater than a man. That taps into a universal longing that each one of us is born with – the longing to grow from our innermost struggles and pain.” …

Superheroes: Friend or Foe?

Fr. C. John McCloskey, an ecclesial historian and Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute, thinks the popularity of superheroes in general is symptomatic of a sick culture. “The fixation of the American public with so-called superheroes and the films in which they are featured is a sign of the deep immaturity of adults in the culture of death, which is increasingly destroying what was once a Christian country.”…

The article concludes…
Mulholland thinks superheroes can be useful for explaining the faith to young people. “I have found superheroes to be an excellent catechetical tool when teaching about grace to young kids. In a sense, we have a secret identity, unknown to those around us… and we can draw on the secret powers of grace in moments of struggle. I find that kids connect with this.”

Be sure to visit the full article.


Tags: Aleteia


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