Edited 7 months, 10 days ago

Poll: Is Batman Earth One realistic? (27 votes)

Yes 33%
No. It is more parody than honest character study. 52%
Both 7%
I can not decide 7%

As a person who liked history and suffered from mental illness, I found the entire society of Batman Earth One to be too much of a nightmare of corruption and weakness than actually exists in the real world. We have entire nations revolting against centuries of Orwellian dictatorships in the Middle East. US presidents forced to resign in the middle of wars. And near miraculous drops in crime rates in less than a decade because people have had enough.

Then there is Earth One Gotham. It is less a city than a repository of fantasies and stereotypes of hopeless corruption and the foolishness of anyone stupid enough to stick around. Is there anything redeeming about Gotham, besides the unexpected absence of diversity(if you are Into homogeneous urban areas)?

There is also the matter of Batman/ Bruce Wayne. He has no training, no aptitude, no protection for his eyes, no sense of his own physical limits(to comedic effect), and a refusal to check and test his own equipment. This would be enough incompetence to make someone who spends almost two decades getting ready for a simple task of revenge killing someone he just felt like had his parents murdered seem a send up of another character, not a legitimate effort of one.

And then there is the vague catch all of mental illness. We know that he was the child of Martha Arkham, making severe mental illness more believable. The choice to become Batman occurring in his early adolescence also makes it seem more realistic. But, the decade of steady progression of an already severe mental illness should make it impossible for him to function even in the controlled environment Alfred constructs for him.

It is not that each part is unreal. My opinion is that the total picture is too much to be real.

There is no legitimate connection from the first nights as a Bat to the last bits of surprising martial competence. None. And the Bruce that decided to be Batman as a ten year old would be too lost in fantasy and delusion to know where he was, let alone what he should do.

#1 Posted by redwingx (1037 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman is not realistic. The things he do is superhuman.

#2 Posted by JakeN7 (13970 posts) - - Show Bio

No, it's just dumb.

#3 Edited by entropy_aegis (15748 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a story about how Johns perceives Batman. He thinks Batman is a moron and a tool.

@redwingx said:

Batman is not realistic. The things he do is superhuman.

Thank you captain obvious but that wasn't his point.

#4 Posted by Longshadows_Eagle (16 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it's a more realistic depiction of what a man who doesn't have super powers would really be like going up against a criminal underworld.

In fact, I think it's the most realistic depiction to come out in over 20 years. What's been done to him in that time, you'd almost swear he did have super powers. I've never had to suspend my disbelief so many times for a fictional character as I've had to do for Batman. In this book, not so much.

It's one of the few Batman stories I enjoy.

#5 Posted by dagmar_merrill (11297 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it's a more realistic depiction of what a man who doesn't have super powers would really be like going up against a criminal underworld.

In fact, I think it's the most realistic depiction to come out in over 20 years. What's been done to him in that time, you'd almost swear he did have super powers. I've never had to suspend my disbelief so many times for a fictional character as I've had to do for Batman. In this book, not so much.

It's one of the few Batman stories I enjoy.

But how is realistic better?

#6 Posted by Longshadows_Eagle (16 posts) - - Show Bio

@dagmar_merrill:

I dunno, I assumed that's why most Batman fans liked him so much. He's so cool because he's so realistic. I've been told this more times than I have skin cells on my body.

But no one outside of Johns has really put that theory to the test over the 20+ years I stated. I would think that anything that depicts Batman even more realistically than he supposedly already is would be a good thing, but given the other threads I've seen where people who are fans that hate this story, I guess it's preferred by most people that Batman be allowed to be a little unrealistic.

#7 Posted by dagmar_merrill (11297 posts) - - Show Bio

@dagmar_merrill:

I dunno, I assumed that's why most Batman fans liked him so much. He's so cool because he's so realistic. I've been told this more times than I have skin cells on my body.

But no one outside of Johns has really put that theory to the test over the 20+ years I stated. I would think that anything that depicts Batman even more realistically than he supposedly already is would be a good thing, but given the other threads I've seen where people who are fans that hate this story, I guess it's preferred by most people that Batman be allowed to be a little unrealistic.

That's mostly fans that just watch the movies. Comic book fans know Batman isn't realistic, but Batman gets the best writers, artists, inkers, colorists, editors, movies, games. If your're a fan of Batman you get the best stuff.

#8 Posted by entropy_aegis (15748 posts) - - Show Bio

@longshadows_eagle: Except there was nothing realistic about Earth One or the criminal underworld,it's not like there was hidden commentary or sub text about crime,violence,politics etc. It was a standard by the book super hero story written by a man who thinks Batman needs to be humbled every 5 minutes cause he's far more popular than the writer's own favorite characters.

#9 Posted by THEOCITYLEGEND (1359 posts) - - Show Bio

@redwingx said:

Batman is not realistic. The things he do is superhuman.

This has nothing to dude with what OP is saying.

Back on topic, aiming for a realistic interpretation of a character is one thing, transforming him into something he is not is another. You can make Batman realistic while maintaining who he is. Batman at his core is an extremely tactical and analytic individual with some emotional scarring. Instead of taking these essential character traits and applying them in a more realistic fashion, Johns transformed Batman into a bumbling buffoon with the maturity of a 10 year old. Johns is well known as a crappy Batman writer for a reason.

#10 Edited by Longshadows_Eagle (16 posts) - - Show Bio

@dagmar_merrill: That's fine and all, but at the end of the day, he's still a man without super powers. And he should be written as a person who isn't always the smartest person in the room or the greatest at everything, which is exactly what hasn't been happening for years now.

At least, not until Batman: Earth One.

#11 Posted by Anjales (670 posts) - - Show Bio

Though obviously it's aiming to be realistic, I don't think it is, Bruce actually had some impressive strength feats, but I also don't think it was a parody, even if in some panels, a case can be made.I thought it was contained a very strong narration but Batman's characterization was little off. Hopefully, in volume 2, things will improve.

#12 Edited by manwithoutshame (654 posts) - - Show Bio

It's so highly stylized how could it possibly be realistic? Honestly how could anything involving Batman be viewed as realistic? It's a comic book! If Batman were truly realistic nobody would enjoy it, the idea of a Batman in reality is sad or even pathetic. But on the comic page it is something great and entertaining. Though realism may be an element Batman tales may touch upon, we don't want it to be realistic. As fans of comic books we must understand and come to terms with this.

That said, I cannot vote on this poll. My vote would be no, however I disagree that Batman Earth One is a parody. Therefore I find the poll itself be a form of loaded question.

#13 Posted by Jayc1324 (14700 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes but I don't think that was Geoff Johns point. He just wrote batman as incompetent

#14 Posted by senglord (2069 posts) - - Show Bio

@longshadows_eagle: my opinion was that Johns story made an unrealistic Batman and an unrealistic world. At least with Year One we had a Gotham city that resembled New York at the height of the crime wave. Johns Gotham was a despair inducing whitopia.

There is also the nature of Bruce Wayne's mental illness in this situation. I honestly felt that it was used as a catch all to prevent people from saying that he ruined the character on purpose. And, as any catch all in fiction, it relies on the ignorance of the readers to justify its use.

I have lived with mental illness since my early teenage years (anxiety induced depression) and felt the need to read a lot of abnormal psychology in my youth. The result was that I had a handle on myself, and an idea of when other people may be struggling with some issues of a comparable nature. It is that intimacy and knowledge that made his characterization of Bruce Wayne seem insipid and asinine. There is no DSM classification for cut and dried dumbass.

The most common mental illnesses in fiction are anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive, and schizophrenia. And Earth One Bruce showed nothing consistent with any of these. If he were truly obsessive compulsive about being Batman, he would have been thorough about it; making sure that everything were executed to the best of his or anyone else's ability. Johns Batman treated being Batman more as a hobby with important consequences. Depression would actually leave him less likely to actively do anything to avenge his parents at all. Anxiety would have had him simply try to shoot someone he felt had done the deed t feel that he had done something. Bipolar would need some honest manic activity followed by a much longer depressive period, a false lead. The most sensational diagnosis for all incarnations of Batman has been schizophrenia, and the reasoning has always been that he wears a suit to conceal his identity. Ignoring the similarities of his decision scene to become a bat with a similar scene from Birth of a Nation(America's first mega hit movie about the KKK), the diagnosis of a split self needs there to be a part of Bruce Wayne that feels that he actually becomes a bat when he wears the suit. For Bruce to be schizophrenic he must believe that the suit wears him, not vice versa. And that is never the case.

All we get from this is a very stupid person doing very stupid things for reasons they are not quite sure of, a stereotype of rich kids without real problems trying to save the world. Don Quixote tilting at giants in Westeros, more pathetic than parody.

P.S. The first year of Batman in Detective Comics was and is the most realistic take on Batman ever printed. The entire thing is more legitimate than anything written afterward, even by Bob Kane himself after 1942. IMHO.

#15 Posted by ULTRAstarkiller (6907 posts) - - Show Bio

Its Johns letting out his jealousy of Batman like the little trolls that come to this forum to do the exact same thing.

If you want a GOOD realistic take on Batman, the Nolan trilogy is your best bet.

#16 Posted by I3IO_HAZARD (403 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman should never be too realistic

#17 Posted by HighlyEvolved (327 posts) - - Show Bio

No. I hated that book. Though I loved Earth One Superman.

#18 Posted by RustyRoy (14597 posts) - - Show Bio

No. Birthday killer, Arkham Manor etc. are very unrealistic. And the plot is unoriginal and predictable.