Saturday, 27 April 2013

Na na na na na na na, na na na na na-na, Batman.

After covering Superman in his all-powerful red caped glory, I feel it appropriate to cover his dark counterpart, Batman.

Batman is probably the most popular and recognizable superhero on the planet, eclipsing all others with his popularity, badassery and cultural relevance. Batman is nearly always in more than one media, at the same time he appears in comics, he is also in a video game or a TV show or a movie or a cartoon. Only Spider-Man has as consistently appeared across so many platforms over the decades, although I would argue that after the ginormous critical and commercial success of The Dark Knight trilogy (not to mention the Arkham Asylum game series), Batman has surpass the Wall-Crawler, who unfortunately has never had an absolutely perfect video game, although he's had some good ones, and had his movie trilogy unnecessarily rebooted with a rehash of his origin story, despite the fact everyone and their granny knows it already and can we just see him shoot some web and punch some bad guys whilst dealing with existential teenage 'why does nobody love me?' angst?

But Batman has become the ultimate and most perfect superhero since he simply radiates awesome just because HE IS BATMAN. Over the years Batman has accumulated so much cool, so much pop cultural relevance, and so much pure badassness over such a layered and conflicting history spanning nearly 8 decades and all forms of media, that the mere fact that he is Batman serves as the reason for why he so amazing. There is no real need to compile a list of why Batman would beat Superman in a fight or why Batman can do any of the many things that no normal human being could do no matter how much training they did or natural ability they may have, you just need to state that "He is BATMAN." Conversation over.

This has become a running joke on "How It Should Have Ended" where Batman repeatedly stays his name or states, "Beacause I'm Batman!", as seen here in this compilation clip somebody, who I'm sure is legitimately named Dick Grayson, put together:

However, David Willis, the author of the webcomic, Shortpacked, has taken this conceptualisation of Batman's innate badassery to sensational and hilarious heights.
He's Batman.

This is the joke is its purest and simplest form. Note how the simple reiteration of Batman saying, "I'm Batman" over and over again produces humour by drawing on the fact Batman is awesome because he is Batman.
He has. He can.

And why can Batman breathe in space? Because he is Batman, that's why.

And as Shortpacked has proved time and time again, because of this accepted cultural agreement Batman can immediately make any situation funny. Instantly.
Bat Ballet.

No more needs to be said about this.

But this cultural agreement that Batman is amazing because he is Batman has filtered back to the medium that birthed him as illustrated in this page from an actually honest-to-Buddha DC comic after Batman came back from being lost in time:
Well, duh...

Of course he's right. He's Batman.

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