A witty, clever cultural historical past from NPR ebook critic Glen Weldon explains Batman’s rises and falls through the ages—and what his tale tells us approximately ourselves.
Since his construction, Batman has been many stuff: a two-fisted detective; a planet-hopping gadabout; a campy Pop-art sensation; a pointy-eared grasp undercover agent; and a grim and gritty ninja of the city evening. For greater than 3 quarters of a century, he has cycled from a determine of darkness to at least one of lightness and again back; he’s a bat-shaped Rorschach inkblot who takes at the a number of meanings our altering tradition initiatives onto him. How we understand Batman’s personality, even if he’s supplying dire threats in a raspy Christian Bale growl or buying and selling blithely homoerotic double-entendres with companion Robin at the comics web page, speaks to who we're and the way we want to be obvious via the realm. It’s this without end mutable caliber that has made him so enduring.
And it’s Batman’s primary nerdiness—his instruments, his obsession, his oath, even his loss of superpowers—that uniquely resonates along with his lovers who think a fiercely protecting love for the nature. this present day, fueled via the net, that breed of ardour for parts of pop culture is in all places. that's what makes Batman the precise lens by which to appreciate geek tradition, its present recognition, and social significance.
In The Caped Crusade, with humor and perception, Glen Weldon, ebook critic for NPR and writer of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, lays out Batman’s seventy-eight-year cultural background and exhibits how he has helped make us who we're at the present time and why his legacy is still so robust.