Did you know that Batman was created by Bob Kane? Of course you did. Everybody does. So why does Batman of all superheroes need an origin story? You know the hero – a pop culture icon. But Batman Begins isn’t an origin story for a superhero. It’s an introduction to one of the most iconic mythologies of the twentieth century.
The Batman lore is enormous. I tried in my late teens and early twenties to make a dent in it. I even tried my hand at writing a comic book that was to Batman what Mac and Me is to E.T. (but we don’t talk about that). Sure, if you ask people to name a superhero, they’re most likely to name Superman, but if you were to ask the same person to talk for five minutes about a superhero… they’d probably choose Batman.
And yet, in Christopher Nolan’s hands (which stink of money, by the way), the origins of the caped crusader are brand new. And not because they’re “grittier” or more “21st century” (have you read Year One?), but because of the vast scope of Batman Begins.
Perhaps this film can be traced as the catalyst for my interest in comic books. Batman Begins took something that everybody believed they knew, and told us: that’s just the surface.
As Elijah Price so eloquently suggests in M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable (still my favourite superhero film):
I’ve come to believe that comics are our last link to the ancient way of passing on history. Egyptians drew pictures on walls about battles. Countries all around the world still pass on knowledge through pictorial forms.
Batman Begins is a myth for modern times.