I believe that superheroes, despite all their extraordinary grandeur, have never been about showing us all that we are not. They reflect the good that is within us, and for what it’s worth, the bad too. I believe that despite having abilities that are a far-cry from our own, what makes them who they truly are is their underlying sense of humanity.
A prime example, perhaps clichéd and overused, but relevant nonetheless, is Gotham’s Dark Knight. Possessing intellectual prowess far beyond most, physical ability at peak human condition, and an absolute crap-ton of money to boot, Batman is a force to be reckoned with. Such a force, in fact, that the Man of Steel himself calls Bruce Wayne “the most dangerous man on earth.”
But, in his essence, what makes Bruce Wayne… Bruce Wayne? ln a world with demi-god amazons and super-powered aliens, Bruce could just be seen as another obscurity. As someone that’s, ultimately, increasingly ordinary in a world full of extraordinary. Counter intuitively, that’s precisely what makes him so special.
Batman is someone that is constantly struggling with his own sense of morality. Always walking the fine line between his uncompromising sense of justice and truth, and his bottomless pits of rage and anguish, he very much represents a human struggle, one of risk. Constant vulnerability. A wrong turn, a single miscalculation, a minor emotional slip up, and Batman is sure to feel its consequences, in a way that many of us perhaps would. For all his preemptive measures, Batman has no safety net where he desperately needs it, much like we do – for the battle within. A battle that he will continue fighting till his last breath, much like we will.
But despite being more like us than some may care to admit, Batman has accomplished wonders. He may not fully understand his own struggle. lf anything, I’d argue that’s the one thing he probably can’t figure out. But much like many of us do, much like the rest of us should aspire to do, Bruce finds a way. He copes, he doubles down, and he does what he has to do. He shows us that despite all our shortcomings and human flaws, despite all the “ordinary” within, we do indeed have the ability to make something extraordinary out of ourselves.
So, why is Batman special? Because he’s Batman
Written by: Adel Naqvi