Bill Finger and Bob Kane created Batman in May 1939 under the name: The Bat-Man. Since then he has captivated generations of fans thanks to the psychological depth that he was gradually gaining. Today many children prefer a Batman bounce house before any other superhero.
The secret identity of Batman has always been Bruce Wayne, a millionaire philanthropist who witnessed a crime when he was just a child: the murder of his parents. This is the event that forever defines the psyche, Batman since from it he begins to design his future as an anonymous watchman, a suitable and convenient mask for his vengeful impulses. These movies combined with the mask and the Batman bounce house, are the perfect gift for many infants today.
Both Bob Kane and Bill Finger were looking for some way to justify transforming a billionaire into someone capable of fighting crime anonymously. For this, they chose the most potent trigger that exists: a severe trauma. And there is nothing more traumatic for a boy than to witness the death of his parents.
In this sense, we can think that Batman is born with the death of his parents. We are not already facing a millionaire who disguises himself to fight crime; but before a vigilant who disguises himself as a multimillionaire with the purpose of keeping up appearances and protecting his loved ones. The constituent element of Batman’s identity lies in its traumatic origin. At first, the presence of Batman has immediate, urgent purposes: to avenge the death of his parents. However, the admission of a dark personality, of another ethically qualified to fight in the shadows, was quickly gaining ground and revenge became a secondary stimulus; an additional element.
Following this line of thought, his revenge has no satiety possible as his pain is fed back into each new night raid to hunt down evildoers. Without his personal anger, Batman could not exist. His driving force comes from it.
The 3 qualities
After years of physical rigors, training, and asceticism, Batman appears with the three conditions that have given him incalculable popularity.
The first, and least important, is your physical prowess. Remember that Batman, unlike what happens with many superheroes, has no special power. In fact, he has one, perhaps more powerful than all his colleagues in the world of comics.
The second quality has to do with deductive capacity. On this feature, there is little to see in the films. However, Batman has always been characterized by executing overwhelming deductive procedures, in the style of the great detectives of the fantastic story, such as C.A. Dupin, by Edgar Allan Poe; Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle; and Father Brown, of G.K. Chesterton.
Finally, we come to the third main feature of Batman, something that in itself is not a “superpower,” at least not like Superman, but that is the engine of an unstoppable force: his obsession. In fact, the mental attitude of Batman is the most complete representation of the term obsession (Latin obsessĭo), which literally means stalking. Every obsession is composed of a psychological disturbance produced by a fixed idea, by a persistent thought that is installed in mind and refuses to disappear.
Some of this happens to Batman. His obsession leads him to explore dark aspects of his own mind, with the proviso that at no time will he try to mitigate it. If we add to that obsession a considerable physical force and an outstanding intellect, the result is a maniac unperturbed in his idea of fighting crime.
Batman’s relationship with bats has many variants. Almost all agree in affirming their phobia for these nocturnal animals, a personal horror that seeks to displace towards the criminals they face. In this sense, the Batman costume has a double meaning: the first, and most obvious, is to terrorize its enemies; and the second put him constantly under the skin of his most intimate fears.
To externalize his anger and his desire for revenge, Batman needs to manage a certain theatricality, something that manifests his inner strength in a strong, intimidating presence. The banalest purpose for the Batman suit indicates that its use is related to protecting his “true” identity and thus safeguarding his loved ones from possible vendettas. However, the real purpose of their attire is to induce their own fears to their opponents.