Disclaimer: Batman, Lego, and the Lego Movie are all the properties of their respective creators.
He is vengeance. He is the night. He is Batman!
Now that that’s out of the way, time for a quick crash course on Batman with a bit extra on some of his fandom.
Now, for those of you not in the know somehow, Batman is one of DC’s biggest characters and arguably the most famous non-powered superhero. Motivated by the tragic death of his parents, young Bruce Wayne dedicated his life and his multi-billion dollar fortune to fighting crime. Because apparently, therapy was out of the question.
Pictured: The Batman everyone would really be.
Batman has no superpowers. He is, however, a genius at the peak of human ability and has a wealth of knowledge about martial arts, crimefighting, subterfuge, and science who uses cunning, stealth, intimidation, and sheer brute force to overwhelm his opponents and hit them where they’re weakest. He knows how to escape any prison, sneak up on any opponent, master any technology, and strategise for a large number of situations. And when you inhabit a COMIC BOOK WORLD, that gives you A LOT of potential situations to face. If there’s a crisis out there, Batman likely has a solution for it. Over the years, he has fought street thugs, supervillains, aliens, eldritch beings, and demigods. Which is great, unless he fails to properly protect his files. People catch on fire that way.
But don’t think that this makes Batman some weirdo with no life who lives in his basement. Well, alright, not JUST that. Although it’s true his mission and obsession are key parts of his character, Bruce Wayne is a bigger part of the Bat than you think. The whole idea of whether he could ever retire or find happiness are long-running themes. It depends on the writer and time period, of course, but Bruce Wayne does recognise his own worth as an influential member of the wealthy and powerful elite, whether it’s in spearheading city reforms, dealing with ex-friends of the Waynes who became half-shark people, or dealing with whether his father could, in fact, keep it in his pants outside the sanctity of marriage.
While some might write him as extremely paranoid, antisocial, and ruthless, Batman greatly values his family and allies. Chief among those are his butler/guardian Alfred, his ally Commissioner Gordon (unless the story draws attention to how vigilantism outside the law is a bad thing), and his partners/sidekicks. More than just a mentor, Bruce has been family to the assorted Robins and Batgirls under his wing (heh) and has a surprisingly close friendship with Superman. Teamups that once started as cheap cash-ins of DC characters would later blossom into actual dynamics of respect, largely stemming from Batman’s hidden but uncompromised moral compass and understanding of misfits and victims. So while he’s not exactly the guy you’d pick to lead, he’s the guy you’d pick to plan and have your back.
Batman has been written in a number of ways, but I can mention the three main ways he’s depicted. First, there’s THE DARK KNIGHT archetype, Batman at his most serious, facing the grim, horrific face of crime. This is how he started, and it’s been fleshed out so that he’s one of the poster childs of comic books being taken seriously. Second, however, is THE CAMP CRUSADER, for faced with flagging sales and disapproving parents, Batman entered the Silver Age with a sidekick, a brighter costume, renewed optimism, a legal partnership with the police, and some weeeeeiiiiiird adventures. These two worlds, the light and dark, would come together into the JUSTICE LEAGUE, combining elements of the grim, strategic Dark Knight with the fantastic and more benign Caped Crusader. In those scenarios, Batman is part of a team ensemble, and usually plays the straight man or planner, adapting to outlandish situations with frightening speed and an unflappable demeanour.
But as always, the ‘seriousness’ of the premise is no indication of quality, and each writer could focus on a number of different things. You could write a ridiculous comedic situation on the grimy streets of Gotham, or present Batman with a deeply personal and philosophical dilemma from a hot Neptunian warrior princess. Because like any good character, Batman doesn’t have to be just any one thing.
Now, here’s a curious thing I’ll close with. Although a large part of Batman’s charm came from his LACK of powers, his skills have sometimes been taken to virtually omniscient levels. It got to the point where Batman could NEVER be defeated because, according to fandom, he’ll always win as long as he has prep time. And according to them, he ALWAYS has prep time. His utility belt and any particular area of the world would become a hammerspace storage, a pocket dimension like the Looney Tunes use, filled with whatever solution he needs at the time, be it kryptonite deposites, Nth metal weaponry, a spare Sinestro Corps power ring, or one of many, many, many Batbot powered armours.
No matter how esoteric it may seem, Batman knows the right Tibetan heart-slowing meditation to trick the Thanagarian heat sensors so that he can strike the right nerve cluster to knock out the Gordanian mercenary and deploy the Kysmarian techno-virus to sabotage their superweapon which he has been saving for JUST such an occasion ever since he bested that technopath in Kysmaria. And then he makes a sacred salt circle to stop the ancient mystical Thanagarian demon.
Well, given that the guy usually has no major social life to speak of, I can understand why people might expect that of him. I mean, it’s not like he ever goes out for a night of karaoke-