Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Batman Day! (Or why I love the Caped Crusader)

Happy Batman Day!

Of course if you're a Dark Knight fan, every day is Batman Day.

DC Entertainment has declared July 23, 2014 as Batman Day. As part of the festivities, fans who visit participating retailers receive a free, special edition of DETECTIVE COMICS No. 27, featuring a re-imagining of Batman’s 1939 comic book debut, designed by Chip Kidd with a script by THE NEW YORK TIMES No. 1 bestselling author and one-time JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA writer Brad Meltzer. (A super sweet guy, for the record!)

Here at Cary's Comics Craze, I'm celebrating Batman Day with saying why I love the Caped Crusader.

Batman has a mission: Bruce Wayne has dedicated his life to fighting crime and making sure nobody else has to suffer the ugliness of seeing their loved ones (in this case, his parents) murdered before their eyes. That has translated into Wayne's lifelong mission as Batman to fight crimes of all sorts.

He's committed: Some would say Batman should be committed -- as he's borderline obsessed with his mission. Of all the superheroes dedicated to fighting crime, no one is more committed.

Batman doesn't kill and doesn't use guns.

He has the best cast of supporting characters in any comic book universe: For a guy who has a reputation for being a loner, Batman has a lot of intriguing characters In Gotham City who make his life more
interesting, add depth to his stories and help him fight crime. Commissioner Jim Gordon, Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Alfred Pennyworth, Robin III/Red Robin/Tim Drake, Batgirl and Huntress are just a few characters who make the Dark Knight's world such an interesting and delightful place to visit time after time.

He has the most intriguing relationships: Name a character in the DC Universe and the way Batman interacts with him or her is decidedly unique. Gordon, Alfred, Catwoman, Superman and the various Robins -- they all know the Caped Crusader but relate to him (or attempt to) in their own unique way.

Who else has such a memorable Rogues Gallery of Villains?: Sure, other superheroes have their own set of archenemies, but in the end, they are all are a weak reflection of the foes Batman faces.

Batman is open to a wide variety of interpretations: Writers have added their own flair to the Dark Knight over the last 75 years and each one of those interpretations have been plausible and been undeniably Batman. Do you like your Batman as the cunning detective? Adam West's "Bright Knight"? The controlling and complicated protege? Do you prefer a psychotic brooder? The vigilante who doesn't take any crap off anybody? The list could go on and on -- yet each and every one of them are a valid take on Batman. (Want to know the definitive takes on "my Batman" over the years? This Batman-only op-ed is in a five-part series in the previous CCC about the definitive takes on my favorite comic-book characters.)

Related to that, Batman translates well to a wide variety of mediums: Whether it's an animated series, the comic books, films, TV or video games, the Caped Crusader has been a hit in them all. There is a reason Batman is DC's cash cow and main money-maker.

Bruce Wayne is one smart guy: There's a reason he has the reputation of being the World's Greatest Detective.

Batman is one tough dude: He has trained his body to Olympic standards and studied and mastered every known form of self-defense and martial arts. Basically, when you're in a fight -- whether it's slugging it out with some muggers in a Gotham alley, a horde of dangerous ninjas or assassins or even aliens from another world, there's only one superhero I want to make sure is fighting at my side: Batman.

Or another way to say that same thing: Batman is a badass. (Read this link in the previous online home of CCC for why that's the case -- in case it's not already obvious!)

He has the greatest gadgets: Two words -- utilty belt. When you're multi-billionaire Bruce Wayne, your crime-fighting alter-ego can afford to have or create whatever gadget he needs in whatever situation he faces.

Batman has the best set of wheels on the planet: The Batmobile has had as many incarnations and variations as its driver. It's the Batmobile so what else do you need to say?

So given all that, there's no doubt in this lifelong Batman fan's mind that there is only one logical conclusion: Batman. Is. The. Coolest. Character. Around. It's obvious why the Caped Crusader has survived and thrived for 75 years.

And when people say they don't dig Batman -- especially comic book fans -- my reaction is exactly like Dr. Sheldon Cooper's:

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