Ever since I saw that famous signal in the sky for the first time as a kid and till today, The Dark Knight or better known as Batman; has always been a character that I’ve been fascinated with. He is arguably one of the three greatest super heroes of all time, alongside Superman and Spiderman. The affinity I share with his character is largely due to two key elements. The first element being that Batman unlike all the other super heroes is the only one who does not possess any supernatural powers. He does not fly, spin webs, shoot laser beams from his eyes, turn invisible or have razor sharp blades coming out of his hands. Batman instead relies on sharpening his own intelligence, physical ability and knowledge on various subjects in order to stay one step ahead in defeating the criminal forces at work. As a parallel example, he reminds me of a lot of many ordinary people, who although they were not given a lot of advantages like so many of their peers, rose up and relied on their own inner determination to succeed and earn their rightful place in history e.g. Helen Adams Keller, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln etc. The inner message in Batman’s legacy is that even though we may lack what others have, it doesn’t mean that we should stop or settle for less. We must be all that we can possibly be. For only by doing so, would we really begin to change the world around us.
In relation, Batman is a hero who has exhibited the most human traits and guarded his inner self with the outmost care. This is the second element that makes me relate with his character. His mysterious persona elicits feelings of curiosity, fear and ambiguity about him. For those who know the actual comic book story, he is a character in deep pain. His emotional wounds have never healed from first witnessing the murder of his parents at a young age to his string of romance failures to being unable to stop many around him from falling prey to the dark forces he swore to fight and defeat. These circumstances have all acted as catalysts that drive him to bring justice to where it is needed as well as led to the creation of his dark and mysterious image. For the world, who include criminals, citizens, the authorities and yes other super heroes, all view him with a sense of awe and suspicion. Similarly, I feel that for those of us who are private by nature and who do not disclose many aspects of ourselves to the people we may know, they tend to regard us in the same way.
In addition, a part from Commissioner Gordon and few others, no other person can bring themselves to openly admit their sense of gratitude towards Batman. To them, his motives are not clear and they often wonder if he will turn out to be a villain, who will cause greater havoc. Indeed, for all of us who have seen the last Batman movie, we witnessed that in the end in order to ensure that “hope” was not lost; The Dark Knight took the blame for a string of murders that he did not commit, so that people would not lose their faith in the authorities who were supposed to change things. Their district attorney Harvey Dent or Two Face was their White Knight and who the public thought would create a more egalitarian society. To know that he had become a villain would mean that no one could be trusted and that sooner or later everyone would be corrupted, which would spell doom for Gotham City. Batman knew this and had to keep Dent’s clean image intact. But by doing so and shifting the blame to himself, the suspicion that people had was supposedly confirmed.
But we know the truth don’t we? And so, with bated breath and extreme anticipation, we all await to see how “The Dark Knight Rises!” Next Take please!