Turn on the bat signal for capitalism

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This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Robert Pattinson in “The Batman”. (Warner Bros. Photos via AP)

For readers who don’t care about Batman, I implore you to give the iconic American hero a chance, because to understand that the evolution of the story of one of the highest-grossing movie characters of all time also reflects our cultural attitude towards wealth and success.

Superheroes in TV and movies are important, they teach children simple cultural norms and can serve as a hopeful escape for people who want to live in a more just society. Every superhero is a misfit who discovers that their differences are actually strengths.

Even as we get older, we are still looking for heroes in entertainment. Movies from the Marvel and DC franchise are largely profitable, the Law and Order series fulfills our need for justice and understanding, as does the enduring popularity of crime shows and, to some extent, true crime documentaries explore the how justice is done.

Batman is a troubled guy, and every director and writer adapts the dark knight’s tragic story of the rich, orphaned boy in a new way. The last Batman, played by Robert Pattinson, was truly iconic. The eye black Pattinson wore was appropriately emo, and the writers even managed to somehow involve three classic villains without overwhelming the audience. The film was two hours and 56 minutes long and in the end I only wished it was longer.

Batman as a character must be extremely wealthy to fund his gadgets, as he is an existing human in a world of alien heroes and villains. Batarangs are not cheap. The stories of other heroes like Superman and Flash don’t have to tackle their relationship to wealth, as their position in the tax bracket doesn’t impact their heroic abilities. But in every Batman storyline, viewers struggle alongside their hero about how he should relate to his wealth and the moral decay he sees in the upper class.

In previous storylines, the capitalist success of Wayne Industries was needed to maintain a good society with stable jobs and industry, and Batman was needed to fight the evil of the underworld. Bruce Wayne understood that people want security as well as the ability to thrive and produce through work, so he fought to provide both.

The strong character deviation in the last two Batman film franchises not only damaged Bruce Wayne’s integrity, but also shows how anti-capitalist sentiments distort the heroic and superhero fairy tales we use to communicate American values. important.

Pattinson is a very efficient brooder. He sulks, barely kisses Catwoman once, and has to be looked after by her butler-turned-babysitter, Alfred. The Bruce Wayne of 2022 hates his life, he doesn’t participate in his company, Wayne Industries, at all, and is completely indifferent to the corporation that funds his lifestyle.

In the 2005 film Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale, returns from his ninja training to run the family business in order to gain access to his high-tech crime-fighting tools. This Bruce Wayne engages in intense capitalism to fund his activities as the Caped Crusader, understanding that participation in Wayne Industries is necessary.

Seeing the corrupting power of money, which The Joker highlights in The Dark Knight (2008), Bruce decided to direct his resources into clean energy that ends up bankrupting investors. This is characterized as a noble pursuit, conveying that Batman’s existence as a sinful billionaire has been forgiven through his moral, but doomed, investments.

Today, wealthy people and corporations are doing everything in their power to communicate that they are “the good guys”. Fly gay and trans pride flags in every storefront, highlight the importance of hiring women and non-white employees, and donate millions to Black Lives Matter. “Capitalism” has become a dirty word that companies try to mask with progressive marketing.

We have lost sight of the communal good that comes from capitalist success in the free market. Bruce Wayne, CEO of Wayne Industries, once realized that good jobs and shareholder success allow people to live respectable lives, and that’s nothing a company or businessman should apologize for. or be ashamed.

Patricia Patnode is a member of the editorial staff of the Gazette. Comments: [email protected]

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