Batman can solve crime and right all wrongs. Batman’s batmobile will take him speedily. But Batman can’t do it with a driving record.
The recent announcement that Ben Affleck will play the part of Batman has brought up concerns that Batman cannot be impersonated by an intelligent, good looking actor. We love our superheros but we are nervous when anthropomorphizing them by choosing a Hollywood star to play the role. Change.org, an online site that allows passionate people to petition, has garnered nearly 70,000 signatures calling to remove Affleck from the role. It seems unlikely that this passionate outpouring will result in any changes. With 58 movies and a slew of prestigious awards in his pocket, Ben Affleck is probably a good replacement for Christian Bale. Except for one thing; a 1999 traffic record gives us cause to question his ability to drive the Batmobile. Our new Batman was charged in Manhattan for driving his car with a suspended license. Fined $135, he still owns five motorbikes, but Batman is no bat-mobiker.
Batman is unique in that his fight for justice uses no magic. No webs jump from his hands. He cannot fly, nor kill his enemies with his light-sword, but Batman ultimately wins each case with wit, martial arts and an animalistic ability to hide in the smallest of shadows. Batman is a testosterone hero. His popularity has grown because he is the simple man who believes in justice. Meanwhile, Batman’s martial arts skills are pure mastery and it is unlikely that any other super hero, or even Cat Woman herself, could be his match. Blogs are active with support for Batman’s superhero skills that catch those dastardly crooks with daunting vision. As the website The Most Ten states-“Super strength, super speed, heat vision, x-vision, ice breath, the power of flight. He’s like every other superhero rolled into one.” But, Batman can’t do it with a driving record.
DC comics have presented Batman since 1939. Over the years he has been otherwise named as The Bat, The Dark Knight and more. The hall of fame for comic book characters has always placed Batman, otherwise known as Bruce Wayne, in the spotlight. No fewer than 12 movies, including feature films, TV series and radio programs have already been produced. In whose footsteps will Ben Affleck be walking? In the footsteps of manly men whose very names ooze the masculinity that is “pure Bat”.
The first movie starred the full-chested Adam West whose strength seemed to power the screen. Still on through the years, Batman has presented himself in different ways. Michael Keaton gave a challenging charm, and Christian Bale serenaded us with a ton of testosterone.
Batman’s bataclysmic charisma is so strong that his vehicle of choice is as famous as his cape. From comic book to TV series, Batman’s Batmobile has been the icon of elegance, energy and excitement. It is through these images that Ben Affleck has to journey with just a traffic offense to keep him company. He’d better take care. There are other superheroes that are treading on his cape.
Who could supersede him with their charismatic all-consuming powers? There are many waiting a few steps behind him in the darkest shadows. There is Spawn who wears cape and mask and was spawned from Hell. There is Thor who wears a cape but no mask and has superpowers drawn from an ancient Nordic world where his power was granted to him by his father, the G-d of Thunder. And don’t forget Iron Man, with a body of armor. Or the Incredible Hulk, with more green muscle power than Batman will ever know. The journey to superhero stardom is arduous and eventful. A cloak will help but Batman can’t do it with a driving record.
By: Vicky Judah