The DCCU Batman is always going to be compared to previous versions. The Bale/Nolan Batman will be a hard act to follow. Nonetheless, there are various facets disregarded by Nolan that are yet to be depicted. The new take has to be fresh in order to stand apart from the last interpretation. Even with that in mind, there is still an intrinsic and synonymous psychology that has to remain at the core of the character. Batman’s psyche has always been compelling and it is what spurs his personal brand of vigilante justice.
The subject of this article is to suggest a new version that is hopefully agreeable amongst fans. Whilst the new take has to be fresh, it does not necessarily have to be radically different, but rather relevant to the DC cinematic universe for the upcoming Justice League movie.
In order to derive an applicable delineation of Batman for the DCCU, we must look not only to various controls for comparison but also understand the psychology of Bruce Wayne.
THE PRECURSORY DEPICTIONS OF THE DARK KNIGHT
Fans were not happy when Michael Keaton, who was better known as a comic actor, was cast in Tim Burton’s 1989 adaptation. This film and its depiction of Batman were far darker and more serious than the whimsical Batman of the 1960s that starred Adam West. Burton’s foreboding noir style was a strong departure from the campy West version which was very much a product of the time. The Keaton/Burton version brought the character back to the mysterious, dark and brooding vision of Bob Kane’s early runs. This Batman is part myth and situated in a staunchly gothic world that mirrored the intense physiological nature of the film’s protagonist.
Batman is very much the Phantom of Gotham, a parallel to that of the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera, intimidating with silence and presence. Keaton’s Bruce Wayne is a reclusive, socially awkward figure who spends a lot of time in a shroud of melancholy. Likewise, his alter ego spends his time shrouded in the mystery of the shadows. Unrelentingly haunted by the murder of his parents, this Bruce Wayne is driven by revenge. At the end of the film, he kills the Joker out of revenge and takes gratification in killing more criminals in the sequel, Batman Returns. But ultimately, there is more to this Bruce Wayne than simply eking out revenge against Gotham’s lowlifes.
Keaton brings dual personas to his role with the rather mundane Bruce Wayne and the foreboding Batman persona. When Bruce enters the Batcave via an iron maiden in his study, we realise that he is haunted not only mentally but also physically. His mental state is apparently very fragile as he teeters on the edge of insanity. In one scene, after glimpsing himself in a mirror, Bruce Wayne states: “I mistook me for somebody else”. This is truly an indication that he could easily go crazy. Director Tim Burton paints Batman as a stoic hero who is seen as part myth and part villain.
If Burton’s films were a departure from the campy Batman of the 1960s, then Joel Schumacher’s attempt was a return. Burton took Batman back to his dark psychological roots whereas Schumacher elected for a much lighter approach. Schumacher’s 2005 Batman Forever saw Val Kilmer, who looked more like Bruce Wayne than Keaton did, don the Batsuit. Kilmer arguably seemed more like a natural fit for the smooth billionaire playboy persona than his predecessor did. While being less intimidating than Keaton as Batman, Kilmer still brings a lot of physicality to the role.
We also still see a lot of the conflicted Bruce Wayne character from the Burton films but Kilmer nevertheless holds back on the level of brooding intensity that Keaton did. Kilmer's incarnation had repressed memories of the event (of his parents’ murder) and was subconsciously driven by guilt he didn't fully understand. The movie showed him confronting these memories, finally deciding that he was Batman not because he felt he had to be but because he chose to be. (ComicBookResources).
"Poor Edward. I had to save them both. You see, I'm both Bruce Wayne and Batman, not because I have to be, now, because I choose to be."
This is a contradiction to Keaton’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne where becoming Batman was never his choice, but rather Batman chose him.
"Because nobody else can. Look I tried to avoid all this but I can't. This is how it is."
Batman, in these films, remains only partially defined because both Burton and Schumacher never explore Bruce Wayne’s journey into becoming Batman, nor does there seem to be much analysis into Batman’s influence on Gotham.
The vacuum that was once Bruce Wayne’s complete transfiguration/genesis into Batman is finally filled by Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. It examines the origins of Batman so that we get to see why and how Bruce creates Batman from the start. At its core, Nolan’s film is underscored with the theme of fear. This notion is the means by which Bruce Wayne, as Batman, hopes to fight injustice. He turns his own fear against others. So, he conceives of a totemic symbol to instill that fear into those who prey on the weak and innocent.
Bruce: As a man, I’m flesh and blood I can be ignored, I can be destroyed, but as a symbol… as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.”
Alfred: “What Symbol?”
Bruce: “Something elemental, something terrifying.”
Bruce Wayne uses fear as both a motivator and tool throughout the film. The Nolan Bat films are imbued with a philosophy about seeking to fight injustice and inspiring heroism in others via an incorruptible symbol.
Bruce initially blames himself for his parents’ murder but his guilt develops into anger. Revenge consumes him. Under the mentorship of Henri Ducard, and extensive with martial arts training with the League of Shadows, Bruce manages to repress his anger. He learns to turn his guilt and anger into strength. Here, he is presented with the concept of making himself more than a man. The psychology of Bale’s Batman is poignant. For the first time on film, we actually really come to care for the character. Nolan’s Batman films present us with at least 4 principal personas. First, is the angry, revenge-driven Bruce Wayne before he embarks on a global search to gain insight into the criminal mind.
Bruce Wayne is a man damaged by tragedy but learns, through his training with Ducard, that he can become a symbol for aiding Gotham in the hope of shaking it out of its apathy, a symbol shaped with theatricality and deception. He chooses to become Batman in the hope that he can show them that Gotham does not belong to the corrupt. As Batman, Bruce uses theatricality and deception to scare criminals. He uses the persona of the nonchalant billionaire playboy to cover up his double life. Lastly, we get the real persona: That of the Bruce Wayne we get to see in confidence with Alfred. When Alfred warns Bruce to not “get lost in the monster” that he has created, we understand that Batman is a blunt instrument for achieving his goals, and the real Bruce Wayne is the one we see in the confidence of Alfred. This is the introspective person between 2 facades. In comparison, Michael Keaton’s portrayal comprised only of 2 personas: The reclusive, billionaire; and Batman.
If Batman is a blunt instrument then Harvey Dent is a scalpel. In The Dark Knight, Harvey is seen as the White Knight, a man capable of bringing justice by acting within the law. Bruce Wayne is keen to give-up his life of vigilantism since it entails him always acting outside the law. This Bruce Wayne is eager to give up his life as a vigilante in favour of Harvey Dent who can dispense justice lawfully.
Through Bruce Wayne, we get to see a hero who uses a tragic event to bring vigilante justice to his city and become a symbol for hope. Batman is also a symbol for altruism. He demonstrates a will to act in a city swathed in urban decay and ruled by criminals. Yet despite all his efforts for good, we see him become a villain in order to preserve Gotham’s moral spirit at the end of The Dark Knight.
Many would agree that the Batman from the Batman animated series (BTAS) is the definitive Batman. The series ran from 1992 to 1998 and has one of the best depictions of the character in all media. The visual style of the animation, which clearly captures a retro-noir quality, and the Art Deco environment add to the dark tone and atmosphere. Batman, voiced by Kevin Conroy, was based partly on the Batman of the Burton films. Just as in the comics, Bruce Wayne is orphaned at age 8 and he vows to become a force for justice. This idea consumes him and his obsession eventually culminates in him finding the instrument that would help him strike fear into the hearts of criminals. He becomes Batman.
"I am vengeance. I am the night. I... am... BATMAN!"
Note that this version of Bruce Wayne is not about revenge. Rather, he is an avenging force. He is unable to murder his parents’ killer and so is unable to wreak his own revenge. But he does use his rather distinctive skill set to confront injustice so that others do not have to fall victim to ruthless criminals.
Through years of physical and mental training, rigid discipline and perseverance, he moulded himself into the epitome of human performance. He relies on his physical prowess and mental supremacy to defeat enemies and bring them to justice. The BTAS version of Batman is shown to be a very capable detective with mastery in many fields ranging from escape artist to martial arts. His additional skills include acrobatics, an insight into science and technology and an understanding of criminology. Furthermore, he is an astute businessman with a hands-on approach to running his company, Wayne Enterprises. The character is therefore, an admirably accomplished all-rounder.
It was Kevin Conroy’s idea to play the character with two distinct voices. The more monotone voice of Batman is the character’s natural voice whereas as Bruce Wayne the voice changes to a slightly higher pitch. The main idea for this was to show that the Batman persona is the real one while Bruce Wayne is the mask. Conroy’s Batman is not as brooding as Michael Keaton’s, yet it possesses an equal degree of intimidation and presence – something indeed notable for a cartoon. This version of Batman is utilised in the animated Justice League series and is again shown to be an intimidating force which is remarkable considering the company he keeps.
Kevin Conroy provides the voice for the Rocksteady’s Arkham Verse Batman who is very much a derivative of his BTAS counterpart. This version of the character possesses an extraordinary and enviable skill set. It includes martial arts; expert in criminal psychology; master detective; arsenal of gadgets and other advanced technology such as night vision; and escape artist. Like with all previous on-screen incarnations, this Bruce Wayne also lost his parents to an armed mugger. This event spurred Bruce into becoming Batman to apprehend criminals the guilty and protect the innocent.
The Arkham Verse Batman is extremely fit and tenacious. When Batman faces off against Slade Wilson AKA Deathstroke, the latter wanders if Batman is actually human. This serves to remind us that Batman is a tireless force and that he no mere human being. He is much, much more. In one scene in an episode from the 1997 Superman/Batman animated series crossover, the Joker commandeers Lex Luthor and his limousine to discuss a deal. The Joker tells Lex that he will kill Superman for Lex in exchange for one billion dollars. Lex replies: “What makes you think you can kill Superman when you cannot even handle a mere mortal in a Halloween costume?” The Joker’s retort to that comment is “There is nothing mere about that mortal.”
In essence, Batman goes beyond the limits of a normal human being. We know this because the Joker has never been able to kill Batman. However, the real significance in this outlook of Batman being no mere mortal in the eyes of the Joker is that it is impossible for the Joker to break Batman’s ethical resolve, or rather more specifically, for Batman to break it himself no matter how much the Joker goads him to do it. In other words, the Joker knows that any other mere human being can be easily manipulated to contravene their principles, but Batman cannot because his resolve is unbreakable.
THE GENESIS OF BATMAN
Batman’s genesis is engendered from the trauma of Bruce Wayne seeing his parents murdered in front of him. In practically all recounts of the Batman origin, from panels to film, the tragic event is always told through memories and repetitious flashbacks and never in continuous chronological order within the framework of the medium.
The event initiates Bruce Wayne’s proclaimed mission to fight crime and the Batman persona is the method by which he does so. The murder of his parents is the basis for his actions as Batman. The creation of the Batman persona is, therefore, a causal response to the trauma. He experienced tragedy as a child and he uses that tragedy to find his true calling – being Batman gives Bruce Wayne’s life purpose.
THE SHADOW OF THE BAT
The entire concept of Batman is about shadows. His world has always been enveloped in shadow, literally and figuratively.
Psychologist Carl Jung postulated a dichotomy or duality with his premise of the existence of a conscious and an unconscious centre of personality, which he called the ego and self respectively. The ego is the centre of the conscious and the self is the totality of personality, an amalgamation of the conscious and unconscious. He further proposed that the collective unconscious is composed of various archetypes that can be understood by examining behaviour, images, art, myth and dreams. These archetypes are components inherently operating within the psyche. In Jungian theory, the self is not only an archetype; it is also the quintessential archetype.
Jung conceived archetypes as psycho-physical patterns existing in the universe, given specific expression by human consciousness and culture (Wikipedia). In addition to the psyche, archetypes are also derived from the outside world. There are various recurring archetypes such as the shadow, the animal, the hero and the trickster.
The shadow is a representation of the personal unconscious as a whole and usually embodies the compensating values to those held by the conscious personality i.e. in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognised as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else (Wikipedia). It represents the dark side to a person and can be negative or positive. Batman is a shadow archetype; he is a constituent of Bruce Wayne’s unconscious. Bruce Wayne is thus the ego.
According to Jung, "Everyone carries a shadow”. “And the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” He further asserts that the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognised as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else (Wikipedia).
In Frank Miller’s graphic novel Batman: Year One, we are presented with the character of Bruce Wayne who has a clear and distinct mission: avenge the death of his parents by fighting Gotham’s criminals. He has the skills for doing so but not devised the means. One night, he embarks on a reconnaissance mission into a crime-ridden part of Gotham. He returns to his study in Wayne Manor after being beaten up, stabbed and shot. There, he broods over his near fatal experience and the tragic night when his parents were murdered. He finds himself unsure as to what method to use to fight crime and implores his dead father, Thomas Wayne, for advice. Suddenly, a bat crashes though the window and perches atop a bust of Thomas Wayne. Inspiration strikes Bruce at the moment of seeing bat and man (the bust) become one. He conceives the form he must construct for himself to carry out his mission – Batman. Bruce Wayne thus assumes the physical form of Batman because it provides him with both the symbol and psychological weapon he needs – because “criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot”
Both the ego (Bruce Wayne) and shadow (Batman) share the same goal – fight criminals – but Batman, being the shadow, can use methods that Bruce Wayne as Bruce Wayne cannot. In other words, Batman is both the symbol and the tool that the Bruce Wayne needs in order to be effective in fighting criminals. But Batman is not just a symbol to be used against criminals; he is also a representation of Bruce Wayne’s logic and good sense in that he, as a tool, is what is needed so that Bruce Wayne can accomplish his mission. It also of course provides him with the anonymity required for a masked vigilante.
Batman is a projection of the idealised, integral shadow of Bruce Wayne. It is an identity that is a unity of the trauma of his seeing his parents murdered, that bat that scared him as a boy, his desire for justice and the idealised hero Bruce Wayne would like to be. Batman becomes the physical embodiment of Bruce Wayne’s shadow. Bruce Wayne identifies with the Batman persona as his own. Hence, his shadow becomes a real physical manifestation. His ego no longer denies the shadow part of his psyche.
Bruce Wayne undergoes a psychological process of self-definition called individuation. The online Free Dictionary defines individuation as the gradual integration and unification of the self through the resolution of successive layers of psychological conflict. The self is realised through individuation. The conscious personality (ego) integrates the shadow. In the end, Bruce Wayne and Batman are one person - an integrated, balanced personality where neither Bruce Wayne or Batman is the controlling persona.
THE DICKENSIAN CORRELATION
Batman: Noel is a story about redemption by artist and writer, Lee Bermejo. The narrative appropriates Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol whilst interchanging the miserly Scrooge with a very sullen Batman. Noel’s story, which takes place on Christmas Eve, recounts Batman embroiled in a feverish (literally and figuratively) hunt for the Joker.
In the beginning of the story, we see that Batman has become an increasingly relentless force who has unwittingly brought about more harm than then good he once sought for the city of Gotham. The comic depicts how social disparity and lack of empathy for the downtrodden breeds victimisation. Bermejo’s version of Bob Cratchit is the surname-less Bob, who along with his son, Tim, are victims of the very same system that created the desperate man who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents. The unfortunate Bob has become affiliated with the Joker in desperate need to find a means to provide for his son.
It is clear that Batman has experienced a change in attitude because of the death of his partner, Robin (Jason Todd). The Joker is responsible for Robin’s untimely end about 25 years before and we realise its affects on Batman’s efforts in his crusade against crime. Through a series of flashbacks or memories, we see Batman depicted in a much more content temperament in the past than at the present in which the story is taking place. This notion is epitomised in the form of his costume. In the past, his costume is shown to be simpler, signifying a more relaxed demeanour and one that is in a similar spirit to that of the Adam West Batman. In contrast, his present costume adopts a utilitarian militaristic style, acting to exhibit how insensitive and dour he has become. It is quite palpable how Batman shakes down the pitiable Bob who he intends to use to ensnare the Joker. He does this without any regard for the welfare of Tim.
Robin’s demise combined with Batman’s very black and white outlook are contributing factors in intensifying his negative emotions and methodology for the worse and his present costume is a reflection of it. Many comics usually depict Batman as being obsessive, but Noel takes his obsessive-compulsive disposition to a higher level. So much so, in fact, that it is pathological. He is exhausted and exerted himself in freezing temperatures in his relentless compulsion to nab his target. The very fact that it is Christmas Eve has not even halted his pursuit. As he coughs and splutters in his confabs with the ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, Catwoman and Superman respectively, it becomes quite apparent he has contracted a cold because of his OCD and his refusal to back down.
Undeniably, Bermejo’s work shows how Batman almost loses his humanity in his incessant campaign against crime. Batman ultimately does redeem himself because it has always been Batman’s morality that prevents him from lowering himself to the level of the Gotham’s criminals. It not only compels him to be a force for good, but it also keeps him sane.
THE KILLING JOKE
Whether the Joker is sane or insane often depends on the writer of a given comic book. Allan Moore’s 1989 one-shot The Killing Joke seemingly indicates that the Joker is insane. But is this actually what Moore is saying? Moore’s graphic novel ventures to disclose an origin to the Joker. At the same time, it also intriguingly lends itself to subliminally highlight one of the most compelling aspects to Batman: his humanity.
In actual fact, the Joker’s origin is never really truthfully revealed at all. He confesses that every time he tries to remember his origin, he remembers it differently:
“Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"
We therefore cannot entirely trust the Joker’s version of the events that lead to his origin in the story. He is an unreliable narrator. One thing is certain though, and that he is a victim of tragedy, finding an outlet in self-imposed madness.
The part of Moore’s graphic novel most relevant to this editorial comes right at the very end in the form of the Joker’s joke which even manages to elicit a laugh from the poker-faced Batman.
See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum... and one night, one night they decide they don't like living in an asylum any more. They decide they're going to escape! So, like, they get up onto the roof, and there, just across this narrow gap, they see the rooftops of the town, stretching away in the moon light... stretching away to freedom. Now, the first guy, he jumps right across with no problem. But his friend, his friend did not dare make the leap. Y'see... Y'see, he's afraid of falling. So then, the first guy has an idea... He says 'Hey! I have my flashlight with me! I'll shine it across the gap between the buildings. You can walk along the beam and join me!' B-but the second guy just shakes his head. He suh-says... He says 'Wh-what do you think I am? Crazy? You'd turn it off when I was half way across!'
One common hypothesis most often derived from the joke and the story within the story insinuates that the Joker is insane. After one bad day, the Joker snaps and crosses the gap into insanity to escape all the unjust, irrational, randomness of the world. He loses self-control and his madness helps to subvert his mental pain.
The first inmate is Batman whilst the second is the Joker. In the comic, Batman offers the Joker a chance for salvation and rehabilitation – symbolised in the form of the gesture of the flashlight that the first inmate proposes to use to help guide and support the second inmate across the gap. The Joker fundamentally knows that he is far beyond salvation. It is quite poignant how the Joker realises that he and Batman are doomed to play their game indefinitely.
The resonance within the story of The Killing Joke and the implication behind the joke can also be interpreted to mean that the Joker is not insane. The first inmate is the Joker whilst the second is Batman. Anyone under the sincere belief that they can walk across a beam of light is clearly completely irrational. The first inmate stands atop a roof of a building that is not part of the asylum. The second inmate is still standing firmly on the roof of the asylum; too scared to make the jump across the gap for fear that he will fall into it. The very fact that he is still standing on the roof of a mad place means that he is standing on madness. In The Dark Knight, the Joker tells Batman: “Madness, you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push”. Hence, the gap also represents madness. Moreover, it is a perpetual abyss of madness in the sense that it is dark and the bottom cannot be perceived. If the second inmate falls into the gap, he will, in effect, be continually falling into madness. The first inmate is on a roof on the other side of the gap. He has transcended the gap. The city and freedom stretches out directly in front of him. He is irrevocably free. The Joker is thus free.
Consequently, the second inmate is not free. Batman therefore is not free. He, like the second inmate, is shackled by fear; fear of becoming like the Joker. Batman is effectively restrained by his morality. The Joker is free to act and behave without restraint since he has completely purged himself of morality. He no longer allows himself to be inhibited by guilt, remorse or sympathy. He is not restricted by any ethics and so he sees himself as free. Batman “stands on madness” with a bottomless descent into insanity veering before him. With nothing more than a little coercive push, the Joker hopes that Batman will fall to his level. Batman’s moral code is unbreakable thereby preventing him from descending to the Joker’s twisted level of morality. The Joker is very much existential villain. There is never any real justification for what he does, only flagrant nihilism. The Joker and Batman each represent what the other hates the most.
THE DELINIATION OF THE DCCU BATMAN
Batman has a code.
And it is not confined to a do not kill policy. The whole basis for who Batman is and what he does hinges on his code. His code is his guiding principles. It is his humanity. The DCCU Batman must possess this resolute code. Batman is inherently good and righteous. Unwavering compassion needs to be a necessary characteristic of the new Batman. His unbreakable code makes him an indomitable force for good.
The DCCU version of Bruce Wayne is not content to sit in a boardroom all day. He eagerly waits for the setting of the sun. Night time means Knight time. He would rather prowl Gotham’s alleyways looking to pounce on evildoers than engage in social endeavours. He has no friends except for his trusty butler, Alfred. His mission to fight crime is almost all consuming to the point of him being obsessively compulsive. Like his Noel counterpart, the DCCU’s Batman would rather endure exhaustion and exertion because he simply cannot rest knowing that villains like the Joker are free to roam Gotham’s street. He continues to work his body to maintain a peak physical condition in order to be as efficient as possible in achieving his mission. In fact, he has worked his body far more than it needs to be – his fitness and physique are clearly signs of OCD. Even when at times the crime in Gotham is at an all time low, Bruce finds an outlet for not being needed as Batman in the form of his exercise regime.
His OCD points to another notable quality – Batman never gives-up.
Noel Batman did not back down on Christmas Eve and a fever was not enough to opt him to take a break. The DCCU Batman cannot afford to give-up or back down, as the consequences of do so would be to risk allowing crime and evil to prevail. Furthermore, Bruce Wayne cannot refrain from being Batman because he is Batman. Bruce Wayne and Batman are one and the same.
His code, his OCD and his resolve to never give-up makes it clear to us what his real superpowers are. It is not so much the indispensible resources of Wayne Enterprises, or as much his considerable wealth. His super powers are his will power and capacity of self-control. He maintains his principles unequivocally and irrevocably.
In the comics, Batman is called the world’s greatest detective. He did debut in 1939 in Detective Comics. The DCCU Batman is not all about physicality. Brute force and fear are not the only tricks in his proverbial bag. In the same vein as BTAS Batman and his Arkham Asylum offshoot, the DCCU Batman employs deductive reasoning, forensic science and psychology. He spends more time tracking and unravelling clues than beating up bad guys. The Bale Batman is more vigilante with plenty of repressed rage than he is detective; the DCCU Batman is a methodical detective with his role as vigilante being more secondary and supplementary to his role as a detective. His enviable skill set further includes the ability to speak several languages, proficiency in computers and a mastery of various martial arts disciplines.
Despite such an impressive array of talents, he is not a very amicable person being more of the strong silent type. The military style of his costume matches that of Noel’s Batman, indicating that he has become more grim in his approach to fighting crime. Years of gritty experience have reduced him to a deadpan mien. His experience has strengthened his ability to perceive people. The public views him in a very cynical light. To them, he is a myth as well as a man of questionable repute. Yet, beneath the tough exterior beats an honourable heart even if Bruce has become disillusioned and world-weary. As a result, he has major trust issues. What Bruce Wayne needs is a friend who can help restore his faith. This will be difficult at first considering the potential friend has x-ray vision.
Noel Batman’s outlook to crime and justice becomes so embittered that he becomes more menace than hope, with his attention entirely focused on getting the bad guys than helping people in need. The DCCU Batman’s attitude is not quite as bleak as Noel Batman’s. Despite being world-weary and somewhat disillusioned, he is never that disillusioned that he can no longer see integrity within people. His OCD nonetheless still plays a major role in governing his actions, from warring on injustice, ensuring villains are apprehended, to helping those in need. This Bruce Wayne is a very charitable man, extending his wealth and resources to the needy. He pursues these philanthropic and charitable endeavours by way of the Wayne Foundation. So, Bruce Wayne looks to better society even when he is not wearing the Batsuit. Unfortunately for him, all this means he is obliged to make public appearances – something he is not keen to do.
The media and the rest of the world, though aware of his generous contributions, see Bruce Wayne as a bored, superficial billionaire with a glib smile. But that is only who he pretends to be. Bruce Wayne also plays an active role in running his company, Wayne Enterprises, choosing a more hands-on approach.
The DCCU version will never be completely differentiated from previous ones because it will definitely need to assimilate some of the traits and qualities that past incarnations so magnificently managed to encompass that were in true spirit to the character. Christian Bale’s is arguably the most popular live-action portrayal to date followed by that of Michael Keaton. But those are only part realisations because there is still a multitude of directions that have yet to be explored. BTAS and Rocksteady’s Arkham Verse have a lot to offer in terms of showing a side to Batman that has, for the most part, been under utilised on the big screen.
Ultimately, the new portrayal will have to be above and beyond a synthesis of Michael Keaton’s stoic myth, Christian Bale’s morally righteous hero, BTAS’s unyielding detective and Noel’s obsessively compulsive driven vigilante. Resilience, determination and tenacity are the core qualities that the DCCU Batman requires. We want to see where this not-so-mere mortal gets the fortitude to not only stand with a team of super powered gods, but also take them down if he ever needs to.