Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why is Batman the ultimate badass?

I've already (re)eastablished that Captain America is badass.

And I've been calling actress Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman a badass beauty ever since I reviewed the teaser trailer for director Patty Jenkins' "Wonder Wonder" film.

And while there are a lot of badass superheroes around in both DC and Marvel, there's one who was a badass before the name even came into existence: Batman, that grim guardian of Gotham City who has the most badass nickname of all time, the Dark Knight.

(Did you know writer Len Wein — best known for creating another badass, Wolverine, — used that "Dark Knight" nickname long before Frank Miller popularized it? Find out when exactly Wein used that title in the Bronze Age and when Batman started calling people "punks" — another assumed Miller-ism attached to THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS by reading this post I wrote back in January 2016.)

So, without further ado, read this flashback to the May 2012 op-ed I wrote on the original home of Cary's Comics Craze: Why Batman is the ultimate badass…

May 2012 — Before anybody ever created the word “badass,” Batman was the ultimate badass. The prototype that helped define the term.

After all, Batman had little problem with the fate of Alfred Stryker, the murdering extortionist in his first printed adventure.

“He’s falling into the acid tank,” says a man who was saved by Batman punching Stryker.

“A fitting end for his kind,” Batman says.

Now, that’s not to say being ruthless is synonymous with being a badass. In fact, “my Batman” is the compassionate, yet grim, Caped Crusader who is still scary and tough as nails. Batman can just as easily reach out a helping hand to a would-be rape or robbery victim as he can intimidate someone by his very unexpected presence.

He’s also just as adept at wiping the floor with the League of Assassins. All while preserving the sanctity of life.

That’s a badass line to tow.

Even his pre-superhero training epitomizes being a badass. Bruce Wayne dedicated seven or so years of his young adulthood to learn from the very best athletes, scientists, detectives, fighters and assassins in the world before being a crime fighter.

And when he first took his war on crime to the streets, he realized he still wasn’t skilled enough. That’s a hardcore badass.

Batman’s mind alone is enough to call him the ultimate badass. Not only has he earned the title of the World’s Greatest Detective time and time again, Batman once came up with a specialized plan to take down each and every member of the Justice League — each in a unique way — if any of them went rogue.

Yikes! That’s a badass with a plan.

There’s no doubt his arsenal of resources, whether it’s housed in the Batcave or his utility belt, gives him a significant edge over everybody — friend or foe.
The Batmobile as designed by artist Norm Breyfogle
Then there’s the Batmobile. How can a badass be complete without a set of wheels? Batman has that covered — in style. No matter what the variation has been over the last seven decades, the Batmobile is the hottest ride on the planet.

And his bikes, helicopters, boats, subs and jet planes aren’t too shabby either.

Finally, there’s Batman’s most durable nickname — the Dark Knight. That’s the perfect badass name for the perfect badass.

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