Batman is easily the most popular DC Comics superhero, and arguably the most popular hero in all of pop culture. He’s been a staple for decades now, responsible for some of the most successful comic books, movies, cartoons and video games of all-time. Naturally, DC has always banked hard on the character’s appeal, and that’s a problem according to Tony Isabella, who created the Black Lighting series for the comics company.
The writer took to Facebook recently to make the following announcement:
Here’s a tip. Don’t ask me to join groups or visit pages that have “Batman” in their titles. He was once my favorite comics hero. Now I consider him one of the most toxic and the ruination of DC Comics. DC hurts their other characters by making Batman the center of their universe.
Strong words, but not entirely untrue, at least as far as DC making Batman the center of a lot of their storylines is concerned. When Man of Steel’s sequel was being planned, the film morphed over time from a continuation of Superman’s journey into a face-off between Supes and Batman, where the Dark Knight got most of the screen time and character development. Then, in the Justice League film, the leadership of the team, which traditionally belonged to Superman, was handed over to Batman instead.
In the comics as well, Bats is frequently shown to be the key to major victories, even if he’s seen punching way above his power level against insanely overpowered enemies to emerge victorious. This has even led some fans to derisively call the hero Batgod, as a reference to the plot armor that surrounds him in many stories making him incapable of being beaten or making a mistake.
Naturally, this portrayal of Batman comes at the expense of other heroes, who inevitably end up playing second fiddle to the Dark Knight. The place afforded to him in DC seems unlikely to change anytime soon though, with his comics continuing to be bestsellers, the origin movie for his arch-nemesis recently becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time and Matt Reeves starting work on the next Batman trilogy. And really, given all the success he’s seen over the decades, you can’t fault the company for banking so hard on him.