Batman is basically an existential nihilist.
He looks into the abyss. The “why do I do or keep doing this?” kinda of thing.
The abyss looks back. “What you do is pointless. You know you will never end crime, stop every wrong doing, or stop every tragedy. You are holding back the ocean with a broom. Tonight, tomorrow, next week, next year, you’re going to die doing this and when you do, Gotham will continue to be a crime ridden cesspit.”
In the face of that knowledge, Batman doesn’t “blink”. He accepts the ultimate futility of it, and yet still goes out and does what does. (Can he not understand this and still do what he does. If he believes what he does matters, that he is “not holding back the ocean with a broom”, he is crazier and more delusional than all the inmates in Arkham combined.)
In Owlman’s case, he blinks. The truth of the abyss overwhelms him and he is consumed by the abyss.
That is what makes a hero, well…a hero. Knowing that even if it is all ultimately pointless, you still try and do what you do.
I think this type of moment happens to most superheroes and why I’d argue that most superheroes are existential nihilists, if you peel back the layers of their philosophical onion. You sort of have to be. Kinda comes with the whole superhero territory.
What’s your “hot take” on that quote?