Debating Batman

Elizabeth Young, Staff Writer - The Mustang Messenger

Batman is one of the most notable D.C icons, making his first appearance in the Detective Comics (May 1939), the Dark Knight has taken pop culture by storm. Batman’s heroic actions and storyline are featured or referenced in various movies, video games, books, television shows, and even so far as in McDonald’s Happy Meals . However, throughout the last 84 years, there has been an ongoing debate about Batman’s legitimacy as a hero. 

Bruce Wayne’s life was forever changed at the ripe age of eight. After pressuring his parent’s, Thomas and Martha Wayne, into taking him to see “The Mark of Zorro”, they were killed in a simple mugging gone wrong by Joe Chill. That night, young Bruce Wayne made an oath to the endless crusade of criminals that preyed on the innocent. Even though Bruce didn’t know at the time, that night Batman was born. Using the inheritance of his late family, Wayne traveled the world far and wide to seek the tools for crime-fighting, got intensive education on technological gadgetry, learned from criminals how to race cars in life or death situations, trained with masters of martial arts like Shihan Matsuda, studied criminology, chemistry and even acting to perfect himself into what many call, a superhero. But many others disagree with that statement. According to the Oxford Dictionary a superhero is a “benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers, such as Superman.” Opening up an old age comic book debate: is Batman a superhero or a vigilante?

When Batman fanatic, Eduardo Soto, was asked his take on the matter he fully heartedly agreed that Batman is a vigilante. “The reason why I would consider Batman a vigilante is because Commissioner Gordon calls him a vigilante. The reason why it’s so controversial for Gordon to be partners with Batman is because Gordon isn’t supposed to work with vigilantes. He’s supposed to arrest him, and there are multiple comics where others in the police force tell Gordon to arrest Batman and they refuse to work with him.” Soto went on to say, “Batman is as much of a superhero as a cop is a superhero.” Another Batman fan, Tashia Alexander, has a different opinion on the matter. When asked what made Batman a superhero, Tashia responded, “ Because he gets rid of bad guys. In the modern world, money is power…yeah, they don’t have any superhuman powers, but they have all this money and still use it for good. That’s a superpower within itself,” but even Tashia agrees that the Caped Crusader is deep-down, just a rich white man with a savior complex.