T he dark k night

Bat­man writer Scott Sny­der on why t he Dark Knight re­mains eter­nal…

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Batman V Superman -

Bat­man is en­dur­ing be­cause at the core of the char­ac­ter Bruce Wayne’s money doesn’t mat­ter, or any of Bat­man’s gad­gets. All of that stuff is re­ally fun, but ul­ti­mately it’s a story about some­body who faces tremen­dous chal­lenges, some­one who faces this in­cred­i­ble ad­ver­sity in child­hood. The worst thing that can hap­pen to a kid hap­pens to him. And yet in­stead of giv­ing up or see­ing life as some­thing that is mean­ing­less, he turns it around and creates this en­gine for him­self to be­come the great­est hero of all time. And he creates mean­ing for other peo­ple in the world. He takes a ran­dom, mean­ing­less act of vi­o­lence, and turns it into this fuel for him­self, to be­come the pin­na­cle of hu­man achieve­ment, and to be­come some­one who in­spires other peo­ple to mat­ter and to do things that mat­ter. While he strikes ter­ror into the hearts of evil­do­ers in Gotham, he’s also a source of in­spi­ra­tion for any­body that is fac­ing chal­lenges. To me, that kind of folk hero is for­ever a pow­er­ful em­blem. Es­pe­cially in Amer­i­can folk­lore. That fig­ure who over­comes his great­est fear to be­come this hero and tells us not to be afraid is ever­last­ing.

That is what pri­mar­ily in­ter­ests me about the char­ac­ter. But I’m also in­ter­ested in where that starts to be­come patho­log­i­cal. I love how Bat­man him­self is al­ways sort of at odds with him­self. On the one hand he’s out to in­spire peo­ple, but he also is out to ter­rify cer­tain peo­ple. On the one hand, he sort of puts him­self out there and sac­ri­fices him­self ev­ery night; but on the other hand that also leads to in­cred­i­bly self- de­struc­tive be­hav­iour. He’s mor­tal, he’s im­mor­tal, he’s all of those things at once. He kind of ex­ists at this in­ter­sec­tion of hero­ism and self- de­struc­tion. I think there’s some­thing richly in­ter­est­ing there. Joe McCabe

In­spir­ing… yet also ter­ri­fy­ing.

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