I wish Batman was depicted like this more often. Many of his villains are mentally ill and victims of tragic circumstances, it would be nice to see him try to help them as much as he helps the people they put in danger because of their problems.
I tear up every time I watch this show. “I had a bad day too, once.”
Best version of Batman. Best version of Harley.
I prefer Batman when he wasn’t a ultra-paranoid nutjob.
This this one thousand times this! What I freaking hate is that that crazy, joyless version of Batman is considered the “default” or even “better” version because of stuff like shitty writers (oh hi there Frank Miller) and the Nolanverse movies, which in themselves are a deconstruction of that version of Batman. Nolanverse Batman is unsustainable. Nolanverse Batman is completely without a lot of his support network for the majority of the trilogy. Nolanverse Batman pushes people away and ends up having to stop being a superhero in order to reclaim his humanity. That is practically skywriting saying “comics Batman is obviously different to this, this is an interesting AU.” I truly love the Nolanverse movies, I think they’re brilliant, but god do I hate it when they’re misinterpreted into comics canon. Also, Nolanverse Batman isn’t full-on crazy joyless Batman either; he quips, he teases people, he fucking smiles.
Bruce Wayne’s Batman is one of, quite possibly foremost of, my favourite superheroes, but not for any of the reasons that seem to be glorified about him in those psychotic versions. Yes, he gets obsessive. Yes, he is an utter control freak. And those are his flaws, not his strengths.
You wanna talk to me about Batman’s strengths? Talk to me about the fact that he’s the adopted single father of five kids (yes I’m counting Damian because the way he was brought into the family is analogous to adoption).
Talk to me about the fact half of his information networks are made up of ex-cons he’s rehabilitated into education programs where they flourish, and the other half are Arkham inmates who he acknowledges as the leaders in their field. Talk to me about the fact that most of the time, they’re willing to give him the information he needs.
Talk to me about the fact that he became a superhero out of the self-awareness that the trauma of losing his parents so mentally scarred him that he knows he can never be well-adjusted, but he wants to use his warped perspective to do some good so no child will ever have to endure what he did again.
Talk to me about the fact that he became a governor on the board of Arkham Asylum not to persecute but to protect the inmates, because even though they perpetrate utterly abhorrent acts they are still people with rights and even the capability to one day reform.
Talk to me about how many times he’s paid for Harvey’s surgery, and the fact that Harvey still refers to Bruce as his one friend who’s always stood by him.
Talk to me about him sponsoring Harley’s parole and laughing as she backflipped with joy.
Talk to me about the fact that, because he knows he can get stupidly stubborn and out-of-control, he surrounds himself with people who refuse to take his crap (Alfred, Babs, Selina, Dick, Jim, Leslie, etc) because he knows sometimes he needs to be stopped.
The real Batman is not some psychotic sadist who hates people and never smiles.
The real Batman is a grumpy socially awkward dad with badass friends, plenty of issues but also a moral compass, a strong belief in human rights and the ability to reform… with a soft spot for people as maladjusted as him.
Except no substitutes.