Bruce Wayne or Bruce Wane?

BatmanThe reclusive playboy who stays on top of a dark and damp cave in a splendid Victorian Mansion with no end to his personal wealth as the only heir to the Wayne industrial empire… It is slightly difficult to ignore the existence of Bruce Wayne. But pouring through the many, many pages that brings to life this enigmatic character, we are led to wonder: is that all there is about him? Is that all that attracts us to his, dark brooding and Byronic charms? Probably not, for he is the face that hides much darker truth(s) about all of us, about our personal failings, our fears and doubts about the deep and unconscious urges that we suppress to come out into the light of civilization. He is a mortal hero, one who reflects our human frailties.

In Batman and Psychology (2012) Travis Langely asks a very important question: Which Batman? For since his birth at the pen and pencil of Bill Finger (writer) and Bob Kane (Artist) he has taken on multiple avatars within the DC Comics Universe and outside in different media, on TV and in Cinema. Most of all he has reflected over time the personal subjectivities of numerous writers, filmmakers and artists. There is not one Batman but many, most recent to be on the public mind is the Dark Knight of Christopher Nolan’s vision. For he is the Caped Crusader who has captivated our hearts since 1939, and it is his weakness that is his greatest strength, his phobia of bats and his fear about the abject and banal evil that hides in the human heart. He is archetypal modern hero, whose greatest challenge is not outside but within him, in the Byzantine tunnels of his own self.

But we choose to deal here with the archetypal Batman, the one who drives his million dollar Bat-Mobile through the streets of Gotham in a Bat-Cape fighting the criminal shadows of a capitalist society crumbling on it self. If we look at the villains and anti-heros who act as foils to our crusader, it will become clear that in a way they are the reflections of the id of the modern society, dark and horrid monsters who have returned from the bowels of the collective unconscious like the flipper handed Penguin, or grinning Joker. So, does Batman play the conscious and judgmental super-ego to the raging id of these violent criminals. The jury is out on that, but considering the tenuous sanity of a man, who deals with the ghastly conflict of his childhood that has transformed itself into a Freudian phobia for bats by dressing up as one, is debatable.