Heroes in Culture: Batman – Why He Does What He Does

Bryan Rodriguez-Velazco, Staff Writer

Batman is one of the most well-known characters in the history of superheroes. The thought of someone lurking in the shadows, watching and waiting for a crime is fascinating. He’s not the fastest like the Flash, not the smartest like Cyborg, not the strongest like Superman, and he’s not vengeance like he claims to be. Yet, he does have his morals that set the foundation for who he is as a character, with the most infamous one being that he won’t kill. Then again, why doesn’t he kill? It would be far easier to take the life of a monster like the Joker, a sinister menace who horrifically tortures the innocent people of Gotham. His morals make him different from other superheroes besides not having powers.

Ever since his parents died (so many times) in both the comics and movies, Bruce Wayne changed forever. We all know his story yet, we never question how he can go against horrific and powerful villains. He fights with literal beings with powers that can do more harm than good. So why do all this when he can get himself killed, why not let the “real” superheroes deal with the battles? It all comes down to him as a person, and what’s inside of him. He knows that the corruption and crime in Gotham won’t end. Heck, even the cops are corrupt besides Jim Gordon, the only real cop. Villains like Darkseid (DC’s Thanos) will be powerful and ruthless, but they will eventually be defeated. Yet, the idea of crime will live on forever even if it’s a harsh reality. Even Batman knows the truth, not even the strongest hero can face that. 

That’s what is seen in the Batman Beyond series where Bruce Wayne is an old man and has to give up being Batman in the future. Gotham is then left at the hands of crime while Bruce just watches helplessly as he can do nothing. Yet even with that grim future, he keeps pursuing justice. He does it so that no person will have to deal with the pain he faced in that alleyway. He wakes up and decides to fight in the night so no one else has to. To fight against villains over and over so that no one else gets hurt. He even shows mercy to those who want to torture and hurt others. He’s never killed a villain (with some exceptions) just for the sake of them harming another soul. It seems logical to kill them because they deserve it for what they’ve done. To kill them so it won’t happen again, and no family will have to suffer from the pain. 

After all that, he still won’t take their life away. He won’t kill because if he did, he would be no better than them. He’d become one of them since the villains in the end are just broken people who are hurting inside. If he did kill, it would shatter everything he stands for. It’s also why he doesn’t use a gun when fighting on the streets. The memory of the night in the alley would come back. He’s no god among men like it seems when he’s with the Justice League. He went through vigorous training to get to where he’s at. All for the sake of another person not doing what he feels he has to do. Deep down Bruce is still hurting and grieving the loss of his parents. Nevertheless, he became Batman so he can channel his loss into strength. 

Bruce Wayne is just a man yet, being Batman has proven that people can be more when they believe in a purpose. A person’s morals affect their actions in certain situations. Bruce is a living example of it with him becoming Batman in the night. Even though crime will never end, Batman will always strike fear in the eyes of a villain. What we should take from Batman’s story is that we as ourselves have the potential to do anything we set our minds to. Yet, only we will succeed if we genuinely believe in our thoughts. Image if he didn’t have his morals in place? He’d be the same as any other hero or villain he’s met, in both comics and movies. His morals though, make him one of the most influential characters in superhero history. So like him, we should strive to achieve things we genuinely believe in. In the end, life’s not easy but Bruce shows how one can take their hardships and make life better.