Writer’ note: This is an exercise in satire. I was watching “Batman vs. Supeman” and had a lot of ideas run through my head. This movie really changed my perspective of Batman and got me thinking about who Batman is and what he represents.
Batman is Patrick Bateman.
The American psycho is Bruce Wayne — quite literally.
I mean both of these guys live double lives and suffer from dissociative identity disorder. One is a rich bachelor who has a hard time feeling powerless and the other, a vigilante who has his own twisted version of what justice means (how does punching and beating your way to answers really accomplish anything? How did torturing terrorism suspects help the US with the War on Terror and capturing Osama Bin Laden?).
Mr. Wayne is violent, a bachelor at a job where there are many replicas of himself, he’s constantly trying to one-up the competition to send a message, he treats all women like he’s entitled to them and he marginalizes the marginalized (has an old person as his butler, who does a lot of his dirty work) — among other things.
Bruce isn’t even a genius like Tony Stark or T’Challa. He can’t make any of the products or machines he constantly uses in battle and needs technology in almost every situation he’s in. He was also given his money through inheritance (though the circumstances were horrible), so he didn’t even work for his wealth.
He fights the ills of capitalism (a criminal underground funded through illicit trades) through capitalism (he throws a lot of money at his problems), which can work if done right. But he’s fighting criminals that are literally funded through a lot of shady government contracts and trades he and his business partners participate in.
The weapons, gear and vehicles he gets are military materials from actual wars. This concept is part of the reason why police have become so militarized in the real world. Local police departments get unused military equipment and end up using it on their citizens.
Batman is literally bringing war to our streets.
The people he deals with build our cities and our lifestyles and they do it all behind the scenes, through funding from arms deals, privacy violations (stealing data without warrants), torture (Batman branding the accused), and a failure to have any remorse toward collateral damage (why do you think Batman v. Superman and Avengers: Civil War focused on accountability and sovereignty of the people?).
Look at Hobby Lobby for instance. A corporation who has political, economical and religious power, and they got caught stealing artifacts from war-torn Iraq?
These vigilantes and representatives of capitalism use the cover of war and darkness (secret societies) to cover their greedy, deceiving decisions.
Batman can only happen in a capitalist society. A tall, rich, good-looking, white boy who feels that even though he’s on the top of the world and the most privileged, he has something to prove. He’s a vigilante when he doesn’t need to be. And he goes about it in a way that other demographics could never get away with (would the police allow a person of color to get away with what he does?).
He’s misogynistic and treats the women around him like his possession and he doesn’t even bother to give a shit about the inheritance his parents left him. Remember when he fell asleep during a board meeting? If you’re so mad about your parents dying (which you should be), why not respect them by respecting their money?
And really, what is Batman mad about? What does he hope to accomplish by not following the rules in such an obvious way? He allows his anger and pain to negatively affect him which, in return, adversely affects the people around him.
Batman is just another privileged white guy with deep pockets, who has deep mental issues he needs to address, but instead he takes out his frustration of being powerless on the weak and downtrodden (does he ever consider the “criminals” he attacks might have come from bad homes and just need a chance to succeed? Or what if those criminals he hates so much also had their parents killed?).
He is a reflection of the psychotic, profit-driven and dehumanizing world that has been created around him and he has no idea how to fix it or himself.
But Batman is honestly still one of my favorite comic characters because of his flaws (though they may be pretty overwhelming lol).