How Batman Became Indebted to the British

Batman isn’t quite the American symbol as Superman, but his determined vigilante, crime fighting ways are as much a part of the American ethos as the Man of Steel.  So how did Batman become dominated by British writers over the ensuing years?

So what’s the reason for this British Batman invasion? It could be merely coincidence but I have a theory (for what its worth); of all the major DC properties it is perhaps Batman and his adventures permeated as they are by cynicism, pessimism and darkness that are closest to the British psyche. A cursory glance through 2000AD – the proving ground for many of the creators mentioned above – is testament to the British penchant for the bleaker side of science fiction and fantasy. Of course Brits don’t have a monopoly on these traits. For example I have long thought that the Batman mythos owes a great deal to Edgar Allan Poe’s mix of gothic, horror and detective fiction. But when it comes to the major comic book heroes, it seems to me that Brits are by nature, more comfortable with the ambivalence of Batman than the iconography of Superman or Spider-Man.

Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale and Michael Caine’s British-ified live rendition is just the tip of the iceberg.

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  • @GalactusHelmet August 31, 2010, 10:42 am

    Hey, thanks for picking up my Batman post. Hope you enjoyed it! Justin.