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ALWAYS BE BATMAN
UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
TEXTS & TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL MEDIA
It is in the mundane world that the media operate most
significantly. They filter and frame everyday realities, through their
singular and multiple representations, providing touchstones,
references, for the conduct of everyday life, for the production and
maintenance of common sense. And it is here, in what passes for
common sense, that we have to ground the study of the media.
ROGER SILVERSTONE, WHY STUDY THE MEDIA? (1999)
Superman is the way America sees itself,
but Batman is the way the world sees America.
ATTRIBUTED TO MICHAEL CAINE, AUGUST 2008
ORIGINALLY RELEASED: 1943
RE-RELEASED 1966 AS “AN EVENING WITH BATMAN AND ROBIN”
I am Dr. Daka, humble servant of his majesty Hirohito, Heavenly
Ruler and Prince of the Rising Sun. By divine destiny my country
shall destroy the democratic forces of evil and the United States to
make way for the new order…an order that will bring about the
liberation of the enslaved people of America.
The CCA outright destroyed horror comics…it also heavily regulated
crime, criminals, and even the justice system itself. Authority figures
could not be depicted as anything but virtuous. Empathy could not
be so much as hinted at any criminal…their crimes “sordid,” and
never going unpunished. From a storytelling standpoint, this put
the writers of Batman in a tight spot.
DAN BLACK, THE BATMAN OF THE 1950S: CENSORSHIP AND NEW DIMENSIONS, 2014
For some fans, ABC’s Batman borders on the profane. Its frivolous
aesthetic constitutes a blot on the character’s past.
Others…celebrate it as a camp classic. Either way, it’s impossible to
deny the constitutive role played by censorship. Had the anti-
comics campaign been more effective, comics would have
disappeared entirely…and had the industry not capitulated to self-
censorship…we might never have seen a campy Batman who
exaggerated everything he was trying to deny.
SHAWNA KIDMAN, “HOLY CAMP BATMAN!” THE LEGACY OF CENSORSHIP IN COMICS, 2010
The post Vietnam syndrome confronts us with the
unconsummated grief of soldiers – “impacted
grief” – in which an encapsulated, never-ending
past deprives the present of meaning.
CHAIM F. SHATAN, “POST-VIETNAM SYNDROME” THE NEW YORK TIMES (MAY 6, 1972)
“Same job, same employer means
equal pay for men AND women,”
Batgirl reminds Batman as the bomb
ticks. “It’s no joke; it’s the federal equal
I regard it as a symbolic resurgence of
the common man’s will to resist…a
rebirth of the American fighting spirit.
LANA LANG ON THE REAPPEARANCE OF BATMAN IN THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS (MILLER 1986)
In his essentially personal struggle, nevertheless aimed at
change in society as a whole, Batman seems to embody
fundamental contradictions so massive and complex
that…one can be neither for him nor against him in the
CHRISTOPHER PIZZINO, ARRESTING DEVELOPMENT: COMICS AT THE BOUNDARIES OF LITERATURE
I pushed Batman as far as he can go and after a while, he stops
being Batman. My guy carries a couple of guns and is up against an
existential threat. He’s not just up against a goofy villain. Ignoring
an enemy that’s committed to our annihilation is kind of silly. It just
seems that chasing the Riddler around seems silly compared to
what’s going on out there. I’ve taken Batman as far as he can go.
FRANK MILLER ON THE DECISION TO CHANGE “HOLY TERROR” (LA TIMES 2010)
DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #22
DAVID HINE AND KYLE HIGGINS
The man in custody for allegedly killing 12 people at the
screening of the latest Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado
told authorities after the shooting that he "was The Joker,"
NYPD police commissioner Ray Kelly said today.
Of course you want Batman to beat this officer up, and be
like, ‘how could you?’ But the point of the issue is that
wouldn’t solve the problem. Batman throwing the officer
off a roof, or throwing the officer in jail, it wouldn’t get to
the heart of the matter at all. And that’s the thing I think
is ultimately infuriating.
SCOTT SNYDER IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NEW YORK DAILY NEWS (SEPTEMBER 17, 2015)
Alfred Pennyworth: Sir... I've seen you go through
similar phases in 2016 and 2012 and 2008 and 2005 and
1997 and 1995 and 1992 and 1989 and that weird one
Bruce Wayne: I have aged phenomenally.
LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2017)
You can’t be a
hero if you only
The Lego Batman Movie is an out-loud critique of
the brooding, angry, hyper-masculine, loner
Batman of modern film, from his cut abs to his
REVIEW BY SUSANA POLO, POLYGON (FEBRUARY 4, 2017)