My avatar is a combination of the bat symbol and Gotham’s silhouette, resembling a searchlight that shines into the dark sky. Batman has been one of my favorite superheroes since my childhood. After I grew up, I found the philosophical meanings behind the stories very interesting. They pose serious questions on human nature and the concept of justice.
Despite the multi-universe setting of the Batman series, the character of Batman always has multiple facets – a crazy rich, blithe playboy during daylight, an invincible superhero ruthless to villains, but also a soft and melancholy soul due to his traumatic childhood. Like most kids, I was first fascinated by his physical prowess and his dedication to justice. Being one of the few superheroes that do not have inherent superhuman powers further excited my admiration. Back then, Batman was perfect in my mind. However, with the timeline of Batman’s life rolling out through various productions, such as comics, films, and video games, Batman became less a hero or an idol to me, but more a concrete human being. As my age grew, I started to understand and empathize with the conflicts inside him. These conflicts are the philosophical questions that people have been trying to answer for thousands of years – about family, society, justice, and the best approach to it.
The combination of the bat symbol and Gotham’s silhouette reflects a philosophical thought I hold – the world is about balance. Gotham was founded to buttress more wealth and supposedly a better life, but too much wealth eventually led to corruptions and crimes. Excessive evil then contributed to the emergence of Batman (Bruce Wayne created the Batman persona and committed to justice after he witnessed the murder of his parents.) and his allies like James Gordon to balance out itself. On the other hand, the superior power of Batman was more than enough for mobs and corrupted police, resulting in the appearance of super-villains like the Joker and Mr. Bloom. These super-villains do not focus on material benefits but commit crimes because of their pessimism towards human nature, the antithesis of Batman’s belief in good humanity and justice. Batman and the Gotham City shaped each other and cannot be separated. As said by an ancient Chinese philosopher, harmony, or a more modern word, sustainability, is the balance point between good and evil.
“Where there is darkness, light.”