Wednesday, January 06, 2021

31 Days of Believe Care Invest, Superhero Week: Batman Begins

Bruce Wayne dreams/remembers being a boy, falling into an abandoned well on his estate, and landing into a cave where he’s attacked by bats. He wakes up in an Asian prison camp where everybody wants to kill him. A man named Ducard comes to him and tells him that Ra’s Al Ghul can help him find what he’s looking for. After he goes to Ra’s Al Ghul, he flashes back to his parents being killed, then begins his ninja training. 

Why Bruce might be hard to identify with: We can guess from the intro that he’s really rich. We then see that he’s chosen a life of beating up people of a different race than himself, which is, y’know, problematic.

  • He’s got a motto: “I seek the means to fight injustice. To turn fear against those who prey on the fearful.”
  • He remembers getting another motto from his father, “Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
  • He gains entrance to Ra’s Al Ghul’s world using a specific object, a blue flower he had to track down.
  • We begin with Bruce being traumatized by being attacked by bats as a boy.
  • Someone is his prison camp then tries to kill him.
  • Ducard diagnoses his existential crisis: “You have become truly lost.”
  • In this version, his parents die because Bruce got scared and asked to leave the opera early, making the whole thing far more painful. “It was my fault, Alfred, I made them leave the theater, if I hadn’t gotten scared…”
  • The man who attacks him says, “You’re in hell, little man, and I am the devil.” Bruce responds, “You’re not the devil, you’re practice.” The guards throw him in a cell “for protection.” “I don’t need protection.” “Not for you, for them.”
  • He then gets bad-ass ninja training, of course.
Strength / Flaw: Badass / Emotionally blocked


Harvey Jerkwater said...

Part of the appeal of this beginning too is how it differs from the usual tellings of the Batman origin without contradicting anything vital. Batman is in no small part a fantasy about self-control, self-perfection. Bruce Wayne's trauma causes him to forge himself into a perfect weapon, we all know that going in. To see him only halfway there, flailing and lost, not only makes sense, it makes us care more. It humanizes the almost inhuman Batman without lessening him in any way. We don't just admire him, we empathize with him.

Admittedly, Batman Begins doesn't hold a candle to its brilliant predecessor, 1966's classic Batman, starring Adam West, but what does?

Matt Bird said...

Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!

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