So, I’m finally getting to the big guy himself, aside from Superman. (But after Man of Steel, doesn’t Superman have a lot less fans anyway? Maybe I’m wrong.)
The JLU version of Batman is my favorite. Though I’ve watched the sixties Adam West show, and seen a few clips of the Dark Knight saga (ugh.)
But I think the show’s version of Batman was the best for a variety of reasons.
The first was that Batman had a more balanced personality, he was still too far on the dark side for my own taste, but he also had moments where he loosened up. The Bruce Wayne part of him was not totally absent from the Batman part.
And the brilliant reason behind this was that the other members of the League (the seven original ones I mean) knew who he was. We see that Superman knew already, (which is explained in the show that was specifically about Superman from the same creators.) But what I loved was how the other characters found out.
We’re never told how Hawk Girl or Green Lantern knew, and the martian man-hunter either read his mind, or else just found out when Flash did. (In the middle of Starcrossed, it’s one of the funniest parts of that super serious episode.)
But we do see how Wonder Woman knew. It’s in that all time favorite episode Maid of Honor, early on. Diana and Bruce both happen to be in Paris, at the same party, which seems to be a complete coincidence. And Diana is getting harassed by a lot of fans…and the press it looks like (pause to acknowledge the sad fate of every superhero if they were real.) Then a handsome stranger steps in to ask her to dance and she jumps at the chance. What’s fun to watch is how through the ensuing conversation she’s slyly looking hard at his face and insinuating that they already know each other.And Bruce (of course it is him) isn’t really denying it. The golden part is that Diana actually doesn’t know his name, but you can tell she recognized the voice.
Can we all just applaud her for a moment? I can’t be the only one who gets annoyed when superheroes meet people they know and the person can’t even place their voice. I can recognize my family’s voices. (Though sometimes they sound so alike I get the wrong person, but I know it’s one of them.) And even if you allowed for the fact that some people just sound alike, the superheros are always dropping hints. Till you want to bang your head on a wall at the stupidity of the person they’re talking to.
Diana subverts that stupid cliche in one conversation! You can see why I like her now.
This is also one of the things that make me think she was the best match up to date for ol’ Batman. None of his other (and often evil) love interests have ever recognized him without his help.
There’s more heated debate about this than you would beleive, but I’m moving on.
So, why this whole secret identity thing is important is because it denotes some measure of trust. BAtman is always critisizd, even by the otehr characters, for one thing:Not trusting nayone.
Superman is actually pretty chill about it in the origin story episode, and explains to the martian, who says “A wise policy.” (I found that idiotic from a guy who could read minds and ought to know how important trust is to our psyche.) But Batman does trust the league, to an extent. I reviewed the JL movie Crisis on two earths several months ago (It’s in a series called “Earth crisis” if your’e interested) and at the end of that when Batman faces off with Owlman, Owlman ribs him for not trusting anyone else to do something, though, he confesses with a laugh, he feels the same way.
I disagree that Superman would have been the better choice in that situation, but the point remains that even if he were, Batman would probably not have trusted him.
And Batman says on the show to Diana “Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me, real hard.” But that was an early episode.
I really have to appreciate how Batman interacts with Superman even so. He’s about the only one who will tell Superman to get over it, and stand up to him. Which amazes people since he’d arguably the least powerful and Superman could crush him. But Superman wouldn’t. Though he does shove him aside pretty hard in the same episode I just referenced, and Batman doesn’t even hesitate after that.
It’s clear to see that despite how often Superman and Batman disagree, Superman deeply respects him. And Batman admires Superman more than he will ever show. They’re relationship was pretty much summed up by a brief exchange after Superman came back from the future.
Wonder Woman: Don’t let him fool you. He’s just as glad to see you as the rest of us. (I apologize if I remembered her line wrong.)
Batman: No, I just never believed you were actually dead.
Superman: (nonchalantly) I…guess that’s a compliment.
There you have it. They get each other. Actually, it’s partly because of their friendship that I think the League is so good for Batman. He actually gets to help people who are more his equals and who won’t listen to everything he says because they all are just as used to calling the shots as he is. (Versus his relationship with Robin and Alfred and the other kids.)
You think I just mean the idea of it, but there is seriously a difference with how he acts.
He’s actually so complex I’ll have to split this part into two. Sorry, it’s character discussion after all.
Hope to see you then–Natasha.