“A sharp and stealthy essay that meticulously investigates and eventually unmasks the most secret of superheroes.”
The black knight, the caped crusader, the greatest detective of the world… these are some of the nicknames given to Batman, one of the main superheroes of DC Comics’ universe. All of these namese mphasize the dark, mysterious and complex aspects of the character. Since his creation in 1939 by artist Bob Kane and scriptwriter Bill Finger, Batman has been at the center of countless debates and many paradoxes: violent crimefighter yet refusing lethal weapons, outlaw yet cooperating with the police, lonely soul yet surrounded by numerous companions, super powerful superhero yet lacking powers… Comic book heroes rarely confess such malleability or endlessly support the kaleidoscope of innumerable reinterpretations as suggested by the multiple artists in charge of his never-ending adventures.
An orphan traumatized by his parents’ assassination as well as a melodramatic figure born in the world of pulp literature and dime stories, Batman has become the most feared superhero thanks to his multiple characterizations. He permanently blurs his own image, apprehending a myriad of imaginary projections, allowing his own chimeras to develop. This obscure hero is a prodigious, phantasmagorical construction who questions the way fiction fashions its own idols. Perhaps Batman is nothing else than an urban legend.