Batman: 10 harsh realities of rereading comics

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Definitely Batman, who recently returned to the big screen The Batman, is one of the most iconic superheroes in history, and thousands of comics are written with him and his allies. He is a dark and brutal hero with a large rogues gallery, and many of his comic stories are considered the best that DC Comics has to offer.

Many readers have enjoyed reading the Batman comics, especially if it’s the first time. However, if these readers decide to re-read these comics, they will encounter several harsh realities that can ruin the overall experience.


Unstable continuity

Cover of Batman Prodigal

Considering Batman has had comics for decades, there’s a lot of information to keep track of. As such, there are many continuity issues that readers will have to deal with as you reread the comics.

Related: 10 Batman Retcons That Annoyed Redditors The Most

This is because Batman’s story has been altered and changed many times over the past few decades. Whether it’s rewriting minor details of Batman’s life to completely changing major elements, many comics can give conflicting stories of Batman and his actions. Some of these continuity errors are of course due to the entire DC Universe changing due to events like Crisis on Infinite Earths or flash pointbut others seem to be due to the sheer number of Batman comics out there, making information hard to keep track of.

Poison Ivy joins other Batman villains in the Gotham by Gaslight comic.

Many heroes have a significant amount of villains to fight in their comics. Batman’s rogue’s gallery is particularly massive, with many different villains rising up to challenge The Dark Knight.

To fit Batman’s street style, his villains are mostly street-level, many of whom rely on equipment and gadgets rather than superpowers. The problem with so many villains is that it’s hard for readers to keep track of them all, even when you reread the comics. What’s even worse is that some great villains are often pushed aside in favor of more famous villains like the Joker and the Riddler, relegating lesser villains who could have been very insignificant and easily forgotten to the pages of the past.

Joker is brutal

The Joker watching with glowing eyes as he arrives to paralyze Barbara Gordon.

People who watch iconic Batman cartoons like it Batman: The Animated Series can see the Joker as a goofy comic who was an accidentally created villain. But re-reading the comics shows that this is far from the truth.

In the comics, especially the later ones, the Joker is a brutal, sadistic and insanely insane villain who kills anyone who gets in his way. His horrific deeds range from mass murder to paralyzing Barbara Gordon in the famous graphic novel The killing joke. The more people reread Batman comics, the more they realize that the Joker’s humor is sick, sadistic, and easily makes him one of the most brutal and violent villains in the entire comic book industry.

Batman doesn’t do it alone

Bruce Wayne in DC's Batman #129

A great fantasy that some might share is that Batman is a lone warrior who needs no one’s help in his one-man crusade to bring justice to Gotham. But that couldn’t be worse.

Batman has multiple different allies helping him on his crusade, from proteges like Robin and Batgirl to his butler, Alfred, to even Police Commissioner Gordon. These people do a lot to help Batman when he needs it most and have even taken on the role of the Dark Knight himself when Bruce Wayne is unable to fulfill his duties as a famous hero, a reality that is becoming more common as more people re-read the comics.

The first comics were dumber

Kite Man Batman Comics Silver Age

Superheroes weren’t always as serious as they are today; in their early days, they were much dumber. And Batman is no exception.

Related: 10 Ways Batman Is Really a Coward

The early Batman comics were undeniably silly, especially in pre-80s comics. Part of that silliness was due to the Comic Code Authority cracking down hard on comics, especially superhero comics, and force to avoid excessive violence and grotesque images. Because of this crackdown, comics had to change and put in a lot more humor and silliness, which unfortunately almost killed the comic industry entirely and can make re-reading these older comics an experience exciting because they are ridiculous.

Batman is still human

A battered Batman with owl claws that get him.

Despite beating many of DC’s most powerful characters in a fight, one thing that becomes increasingly clear when rereading the comics is that Batman is still only human.

He may have trained his body to the peak of human capability, but he still has no superpowers of any kind, relying on his wits and utility belt to defeat his enemies. He still has his failures and faults though, and there have been several times he hasn’t been able to win, like when Bane broke his back. This helps build Batman’s character, showing that he is far from perfect and therefore more relatable as a character.

The bat family is massive

Many iterations of the Bat Family have Catwoman as a member.

When people think of the Bat family, many only think of characters like Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and Alfred. But the BatFamily is much bigger than that and contains some truly powerful members, a fact that becomes apparent the more you reread the comics.

The Bat-Family consists essentially of everyone who constantly assists Batman in his crusades, including various Robins, Batgirls, and other vigilantes who generally operate on the streets of Gotham. Even Commissioner Gordon is considered a member of the Bat-Family due to his closeness to Batman. All of this quickly becomes apparent with new re-readings of the comics.

Batman is one of the smartest people on Earth

Batman standing over the bodies of members of the Justice League at the Tower of Babel

Batman is much more known for his stealth and fighting skills, but one thing that becomes much more apparent in the comics is that he is incredibly intelligent.

Related: The 10 Smartest DCEU Heroes, Ranked

Batman is the greatest detective in the world, and sometimes he is able to figure out the whole mystery from a single clue. He’s smart enough to come up with ways to incapacitate the entire Justice League despite having no superpowers. His intellectual capacity is so great that even Lex Luthor has admitted at times that Batman is smarter than him. Batman’s intelligence isn’t talked about as often as his other traits, but it’s still something that those who reread the comics will realize is one of his best traits.

Miller’s Batman remains the most iconic comic book Batman

Batman on horseback from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns

There are many different versions of Batman in the comics, but the one that fans have agreed time and time again is the most iconic is Frank Miller’s Batman. The return of the dark knight.

This Batman is darker, more brutal, and even more dedicated to saving Gotham despite his actions being illegal under new government regulations. However, despite his more brutal nature, he still refuses to kill anyone, proving that he is still Batman no matter what. The way Miller writes Batman in this story is simply phenomenal, and even those who re-read the comics will have to admit that no other Batman can become more iconic than Miller’s.

Batman doesn’t kill

Batman emerges from the shadows on the cover of The Return.

A fundamental part of Batman’s character becomes increasingly clear once people reread the comics: Batman doesn’t kill anyone.

In his eyes, killing makes him as bad as the bad guys he fights. Not killing prevents him from becoming a villain himself. There are many other heroes in the killing industry, and it seems that more and more heroes are willing to kill their opponents if they have no other choice. Batman, however, remains steadfast in his belief that killing a villain shouldn’t be up to him, a reality that the comics have clearly shown in the past and will continue to show in the future.

Next: 10 Times Batman Did More Harm Than Good in the Movies

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