Why are audiences so obsessed with Batman? Film critics Robert Ebert and Christopher Orr dive deeper into what makes superheroes movies like The Dark Knight and Man of Steel so compelling. Joey Esposito analyzes the reasons behind the fascination of the Dark Knight and how he appeals to our inner desire to use the pain in our lives for good. Audiences often have an easier time relating to Batman while they have difficulty relating to Superman. Batman’s tragic past and human traits make him more relatable to audiences of current superhero films than superman who was born with his godlike abilities.
The caped crusader, guarding Gotham’s streets and citizens, is in reality just a man-the “Optimum Man” as Grant Morrison has pointed out in his six year study of the character(Esposito). Batman has the resources and abilities to do what is necessary to fight injustice; even with no superpowers he uses self-motivation to become the solution to every problem (Esposito). Batman is the secret identity of Bruce Wayne who, as a child, witnessed his parents murder right before his eyes. In Nolan’s film Batman Begins the mob boss Falcone tells a young Bruce “You think because your mommy and your daddy got shot, you know about the ugly side of life but you don’t. You’ve never tasted desperate.” This leads Bruce to face a turning point in his life were he now realizes his purpose and has the drive to restore Gotham from its crime filled state.
Audiences of current batman films can easily deduce from Batman’s actions and behavior that his past was one of tragedy and loss. Batman poses a more complex puzzle than most other superheros because he can accept the criticisms and distrust of the citizens of Gotham City who call him a vigilante, and still fight his mission for justice (Ebert). This is clearly evidenced in Nolan’s film The Dark Knight quoted from Batman “Im whatever Gotham needs me to be.”(Wenzel). Seen in current Batman films are Batman’s fighting techniques and master detective skills which all come from his years of training himself to be the ultimate weapon against crime in Gotham. Bruce Wayne was first driven by revenge against his parents murderer but, denied his revenge, he made a self pledge to restore the broken down city of Gotham.
The past of Bruce Wayne and his desire to fight injustice is one reason that makes the character of Batman so relatable to us. Numerous people come from broken families or tragic childhoods and so they can easily identify with the feeling Bruce Wayne felt after the death of his parents. There are many examples of people who had to deal with tragedy as a children and later in life they raised money or started programs to fight the causes of those tragedies. Lopez Lomong, an olympic athlete in the 2008 olympics, was one of the refugees known as the “lost boys” and was kidnapped from his parents in South Sudan as a six year old child. Using his fame and success, he has now started a found for the the people in South...