Setting aside the horrible reviews for Batman v Superman, the numerous questionable decisions made about the tone and direction of the film, and the vitriolic reaction of fans on both sides of loving or hating the film, one thing is for certain: it was a movie designed to make you think. True, it’s not as focused as any of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies, but Nolan never had to deal with the demand of making his movies connect to the larger DC pantheon, either. The most overt theme in the movie was God vs Man and how man should react to the presence of a nearly invincible race of superhumans. What I found more intriguing was this interpretation of Batman. He was obviously more heavily influenced by Frank Miller’s interpretation (almost to the point of him being a straight adaptation), but what I found more important was trying to suss out his reasoning for wanting to go full murder mode on Superman, and it’s not really about Superman at all.
It Can’t Be What it Looks Like on the Surface
Batman is a detective first and foremost. He solves crimes using logic and reason. He’s basically Sherlock Holmes in a batsuit. This Batman was the opposite of logical. Every motivation he had against Superman ran counter to every bit of information Batman had. Sure, he was involved in the destruction of Metropolis, but he didn’t cause it, and specifically he wasn’t the one to destroy the Wayne Enterprise’s office either. We know this because this scene syncs up to this one:
If Batman can pull a super encrypted record from another company basically using a flash drive, he can find security camera footage of this happening. Zod destroyed the building, not Superman. Secondly Superman has done nothing but help people, and has in no way shown himself to be a threat to humanity. In every other interpretation of the character Batman prepares a series of contingencies in case Supes ever goes rogue, but with the hope of never having to use it. This Batman says something to the effect of, “He has the power to destroy the world. If there is even a one percent chance of that happening then we have to take it as an absolute certainty.” These are not the words of someone using logic and reason, these are the words of someone reacting out of emotion. It’s someone who has gone into survival mode, but why would he do that?
So Batman plans to murder Superman, someone with vast super strength, who’s fast, and can fly. Logically you’d want something that is equally fast and allows you to keep your distance, so maybe a kryptonite bomb, or a magazine of bullets? No. He even devises gas grenades to release a kryptonite gas that weakens Supes, but doesn’t kill him. Instead he chooses a spear (a weapon that Batman has never used on screen, and to my knowledge in the comics either). A spear is an intimate weapon that he can get close with, and is used to penetrate the body. It also is phallic.
So yeah, bear with me here for a little bit, but based on evidence from the movie, I think this version of Batman is gay.
Why He Hates Superman
So this theory is nothing new. People have been drawing implicit links between Batman and his latent homosexuality for years, granted most of that stuff would actually suggest he’s a pedophile and not a homosexual because those are different things. Gay men don’t hang around with underaged boys, pedophiles do. Anyways, Clark Kent is a very attractive man and no doubt if Bruce Wayne is gay it would stir up these emotions in him, and combine that with the emotional awareness of an eight year old, and Batman will project his own homosexual desires on Superman. In a way, by him killing Superman it’s a way for him to battle himself and slay those desires within him. It would also explain his silly choice in weaponry and his irrational hatred of Supes.
I’m going to go point by point here because there’s a lot to unpack:
- Bruce Wayne is concerned about his legacy. He talks about it shortly before he goes to wreck Superman and explains that killing him is the most important thing he’ll ever do. He even says “Criminals are like weeds; you pull one up and another takes its place.” Clearly, if Bruce ever believed Batman would be his legacy to the world, then that ship has sailed. Generally speaking, most people see legacy in a much more tangible way — through children. Bruce doesn’t have any of those. Clearly it’s because he can’t maintain a stable relationship (I’ll get into this further down), but it’s partially because the string of women he hooks up with are a way for him to deny his own identity (like the one drunken tryst they imply him having in the movie). Even Alfred makes a joke about how there will be no Wayne children to carry on the name.
- Bruce doesn’t have a good excuse for not having a woman. Okay, so we know that you can have a monogamous hetero relationship in this universe as Clark and Lois have that, granted, it’s dangerous, but if you want something bad enough you take it. Bruce doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who doesn’t take what he wants.
- He overcompensates to validate his masculinity. So Bruce is no doubt from the generation of men that believe being gay is less manly. His parents died in 1981, so he was an eighties kid. These were kids who used gay as a derogatory term and haunted you with it if you bothered to wear pink to school. As a result he used a suit that accentuates his manliness, and he uses the most manly workout routine. No elliptical or weight machines for him. This batman is a cross fit aficionado who beats up tires with a sledgehammer.
- Martha. So all Superman had to do to keep from getting killed was mention his mother’s name, which is also Bruce’s mother’s name. The fact that the two men had mother’s with the same first name changes nothing about the purported reasons that Batman wanted to murder Supes. Superman is still the same threat level going out of that fight as he was in that fight. The most feasible way to explain it, in my view, is that Batman didn’t really want to kill him in the first place and was searching for some reason not to. There’s a reason the Step Brothers meme has started...
- Robin. Okay. Let’s go here. I personally can’t stand the Robin thesis, but lets go there. So based on the suit we can infer that this Robin could have been a young adult (18-24). We don’t know how long he’s been dead, but if he began superheroing at around the same time Batman did then there’s maybe a ten year age difference. They could have been lovers, but more likely Batman would have harbored some feelings for him but never voiced it.
So Why Can’t Batman Come Out
Well, aside from the fact that he’s the second most popular comic book character after Spiderman (based on merchandising sales figures) and the studio doesn’t want to take any further risks with the franchise, it’s because Bruce Wayne is psychologically/sexually/emotionally stunted. His parent’s were murdered before he hit puberty, and seeing as he uses this as a reason to dress up in a bat suit to beat up criminals, it’s reasonable to assume that this could have an affect on his emotional development into a mature adult. Hey, there are grown mature men who have a hard enough time coming out, much less someone who’s been through real trauma and has apparently had zero counseling.
Add to that the fact that Bruce Wayne already lives a double life. He has two very different identities that prevent him from real introspection, add to that a sexuality that he’s repressing and you’ve got a recipe for someone who’s in desperate need of soul searching, but can’t.
Anyways, sound off with your thoughts. Am I off base here?
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