How to Stop Writing Batman Wrong

I think if they leaned in more towards the worlds greatest detective angle, it would move these stories more inline with many of your items. Prep time and what to prep come be much more grounded in deducing items and using that skill set to prep the right things.

The deduction angle for zingers makes sense. See both Cumberbatch’s Sherlock & Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes for examples of how this integrates into the character,

@BatJamags you are certainly on a good path here to make the Bat far more interesting and fun to read:


Just had to sneak in for a quiet, off-topic squeal because I’m so happy whenever people acknowledge this exists. Love me some Cumberbatch, but Brett is my definitive Sherlock.

Anyway! For you more seasoned readers, when did Bruce’s personality begin swaying toward the constant condescension and arrogance?

I just finished Murderer/Fugitive for the first time. Im not sure how to access the spoiler blur thingy from mobile, so I won’t drop details, but that story was one of the first times I felt unsettled, as a Batman fan, to have him loose in the streets. I didn’t think he was guilty of the crime in question, but his reaction to it, and those journal entries, were unsettling.


I like your breakdown and passion! It’s nice to see that on here, but I think it’s important to remember that there is not a “right batman.” He is a versatile character that can work under any tone. Maybe all the thing YOU hate about some interpretations are what other people love. I know you don’t intend to come across this way, but by writing this (especially in such an agressive tone) it can be mean spirited to those who like other aspects of the character. Someone who disagrees could feel like “less of a Batman fan” because they disagree. Just something to consider in the future and maybe upon reflection of this post.


I dunno. I think it’s perfectly fine to be passionate (or aggressive) in an OP post, if that’s how someone feels.

If it’s offensive to someone, all they need to do is move on. The only time I see aggressive positions as problematic in regard to editorial/cinematic critique is when someone intentionally attacks another community member’s opinion. E.g. I think the Snyder movies are pretty but garbage, so I’m not going to hop into the Snyder fan threads to poo on their fandom.


I guess I see what you mean, but as someone who very frequently engages in criticism, I make a point to avoid personal attacks. I bear no ill will to anyone who disagrees with me, and am happy to debate the subject. If that got lost in this essay, then I’ll take the blame for that. However, I stand by my position and I think that sometimes, critical perspectives should be at least somewhat aggressive.


I’m gonna throw my $0.02 in on this because this item seems to keep cropping up. But I’ll throw it into the Office Hours thread.

My specific post can be found here

1 Like

Once again, I fully love the passion OP has, but we do need to take responsibility for the weight of our words. We can’t just say someone needs to move on. That being said, OP has done that. I just felt like mentioning it :slight_smile:

1 Like

Once again, totally respect your passion and opinion. (And I agree on most of you points.) I just wanted to make sure that in general we all understand that there isn’t a “right way” to do a character that has been around for 80 years in so many different forms and mediums. Whether or not we like something doesn’t make it the right way of doing it. That’s all :).

But sometimes you do. And I put the onus of that on the reader, not the writer. Part of being a community, online or off, is understanding that people are going to have very different opinions, and that these will sometimes be expressed in ways we don’t agree with. To say that we always have to choose our words based on the reactions of others is borderline censorship, imo.


As both a Starfire fan and a female reader, I was extremely bothered by this panel when it came out. If I were to make a post about how this is an offensive take on Starfire, would I have to be kind about it for those fans who thought it sexy?

I’m not trying to be argumentative for the sake of pushing my opinion, but there’s a huge difference between mutual respect (and the responsibility that goes with it) and a passionate editorial.

Edit: And apologies for hijacking the thread. I’ll keep quiet from here.


I agree that we are going off topic. So should you want to keep this convo going, I’m happy to DM :).

1 Like

Well, my purpose with this topic in the first place was to make my own case that a certain way of writing Batman produces better stories than the way which has become commonplace in modern comics. And to the extent that it does so, I’d contend that it is a right way. Not in the sense of a moral judgment, of course, but I take the perspective that writing can be a better- or worse-crafted work of art for specific reasons and there is a greater complexity to it than personal taste.


@BatJamags All very good points. I agree that Batman should lighten up, be a detective, and in general be less “Snydery©.”

To me a good example of a good balance is a BTAS (I think) where Nightwing is talking to Tim about why he broke from Batman when Bats went full on Snyder© on a two-bit hood in front of his wife and kid. Dick thought it was too much, but later we find out Batman had scared him straight and Bruce gave him a job as a security guard and the hood was happy and thankful. This shows that Batman knows when to turn on the “I am vengeance, I am the night!” to scare the crooks, but he knows he’s doing it and it’s not his total personality.

Frank Miller had a little too much influence on a generation of writers. The Dark Knight was Bats going over the edge to full on sociopath. That’s not the “real” Batman. This also came up during the Englehart/ Rogers run. I remember reading in The Comics Journal an interview with Marshall Rogers where he stated Bruce Wayne is the mask and Batman is the “true” personality. Again, that’s taking it a little too far. For a good parody see the Cockroach in Cerebus the Aardvark. Batman knows the Snyder© persona is an act to scare the crooks, but he is truly interested on justice which is why he gave the job to the two-bit crook and keeps hauling all his rogues back to Arkham to try and rehabilitate them.


Love the passion. I wish I had my laptop. I strongly disagree with many points. I wish I had my laptop to highlight each one. While some notions do resonate, not all do.

I.) Superman is NOT a better Spider-Man. Spider-Man is a better Spider-Man than Superman. Superman is a better Superman than Spider-Man. They are two different characters.

II.) I feel, if writers focused so much on Batman (e.g. Detective, MMA, humor, etc.) there would be no point/tension/reason/suspension to have stories. It’s like, Batman 's perfect but… … … it’s cool cuz… … cuz. Yeah?

Having him be a jerk or overly aggressive at times makes him flawed/human. But, whatever. We disagree. I respect your point of view. Thanks for reading. Stay blessed. [×]


BTAS was definitely the best representation of Batman, in my opinion. Yeah, he took down villains and did his usual Batman stuff, but he also sympathized with these troubled people, like when he told Harley “I had a bad day once too.” or in the comic adaptation of the series where he let Freeze mourn his wife before taking him back to Arkham.


@Nightroia One of my fav representations of him, too. He had his hard headed moments, but they often felt like they were from a place of concern and protection more than superiority.


A lot of good points here. I especially agree that Batman should be more of a detective and less of a vindictive meathead. Also, creativity is key when it comes to using gadgets. It’s not about giving him every made-up gizmo known to man, it’s about using what he’s got in a way that gets him out of a jam. I mean, a person could go out and buy a tool kit the size of a refrigerator, or they can stick with the dozen or so standard tools and learn how to use them for everything. Same goes for Batman. He could carry whatever the plot requires in his utility belt, or he could be forced to improvise and in so doing form a much better story.


There’s a huge difference between a complaint about writing Batman as a metahuman jerk and a critique of sexism in comics, though. Only one of those things is overtly related to systemic societal problems. (And yeah, you could argue that Bruce is prone to toxic batmasculinity, but there’s still room for the characters inside the universe to criticize him for his behavior, while Cheesecake Starfire doesn’t lend herself to much more than ogling and objectification.)

And I really get irritated when people start arguing about power levels with a passion more appropriate for politics. Not that BatJamags did so.


@AlexanderKnox Bad example on my part, but same stance. The conversation continued at the link DeSade provides above.


I read it, but I didn’t want to clutter up Office Hours. I prefer to keep that thread for inane questions. :wink:


I totally agree with point 3, I feel like their this big misconception that batman can’t be happy or be funny, I agree with the other points but 3 the one I agree with the most