Fox is doing it. They’re giving us the World before Batman in their new police procedural show, Gotham. The show is still a fresh pick, with only the story being a work-in-progress with the general idea of how the world might be before Batman emerges to the surface. So is Batman a tortured hero or demented soul as we all see him to be? According to the recent Christopher Nolan creations, Batman is just another guy who happens to be wealthier, more physically adept but having the same twisted moral compass as we all do. I personally prefer the more humane Batman with all his flaws and complexities, his weaknesses and triumphs and how the changes around him allowed him to question his sanity as well as his audacity.
Batman maybe a hero, but he is far from reluctant. He is probably the only hero with the gift of choice that the gods deprived Superman, Spiderman and all the likes of them of. Batman is still Bruce Wayne, the wealthy ladies-man who swoons women just as fast as he drives his “Batmobile”. But setting all that aside, who is Batman really? And is his quest for vigilantism a form of revenge for the death of his parents or is he simply being the best, like he has always been?
To young audiences, Batman is the coolest hero with gadgets and leather, the bats being his sacred soul keepers and the wealth being the driving force behind his heroism. To a more mature audience, Batman is a shady character. The tortured hero quality is of Greek origins and it is quite apparent in most of Batman’s choices and actions. They way he fights with his own demons, struggles with the concept of right or wrong and carries about his shady business of saving the world, makes for one demented soul on the precipice of forgetting his own identity. Batman fights for who he is and what his purpose in life becomes. He is capable of murder in cold blood, he is just another guy who gets to shoot and yet announced a hero. He plays on his very own moral agenda which may or may not be totally righteous. But there is no absolute righteousness anyway so when some see Batman as this savior of the unfortunate citizens of Gotham, others see him as just a rich, asshole playing with toys and adding to the already shady, bloody history of a doomed world. So Batman may not be different from The Joker after all, huh?
With or against, Batman’s legacy will never end. Tortured hero, demented soul, ruthless murderer or downright mental, he’s still the cool guy with superior motifs. He is what we all aspire to become. In the morning you get to roll in money, dine and flirt yet at night you get to save the day with just a gun. So to discover how the world might be before Batman, would lead to the most interesting of interpretations and conclusions, so Gotham is one hell of a series to look forward to.
Written by: Jaylan Salah