There is an artist by the name of Tim Sale. I’d never heard of him before, but apparently he is good at his trade. I came across him as I looked at some graphic novels in the library. This book was based on some of his early work on stories for the character Batman. It is a fairly decent collection of works and got me thinking again about what makes Batman so appealing.
One thing that goes in his favour is that although he is classed as a super hero, he is human. He has developed himself to the peak of mental and physical condition, but he has no super powers to him. The ultimate super hero for some remains Superman, but I am not a big fan of Supes. There is something about Batman’s humanity that I can relate to rather than a mutant or when given powers by various accidents.
The characterisation of the Batman as a figure in the dark looking to strike fear there is also an intriguing one. Gotham City is rarely a bright, cheery, happy place. This dark that he faces kinda reflects the dark that lurks within people that can make society a miserable thing and thus lead to acts of crime and villainy. Rather than being a beacon of justice and light, Batman is almost the ultimate fight with fire type hero. Yet the core principles he endeavours to live by keep him just this side of what’s right.
Batman’s dogged persistence and detective skills are appealing. However he solves then, he things them through, he pays attention to the clues, he follows the leads, he is awareness of danger, and he goes in anyway. The sharp intellect is a great feature of his. I also appreciate how, with a few exceptions his humour, if any, is toned down. His crime-fighting is a dark business, the city her serves is a dark place so there’s little room for gags.
It is the the stories that go a long way to explaining the charcacter. Whether it was the expansion of his support tean, or the classic stories of conflicts with his gallery of rogues. I would contend his ongoing battle with the Joker is the best rivalry in comics because both men are different sides of the same coin. I obviously prefer the grittier stories, without getting too dark and gothic.
He has been a success in the comics, he was a cult favourite in cartoons and he’s had massive crossover with films especially with the last week. He remains at his best when we are not sure who he is. It is a great story about how to deal with trauma at an early age. It is a story of loss and retributione where lifelong commitments for good in the present are born out of treachery in the past.
That is just the tip of the ice-berg referring to Batman’s appealing points!