Many comic book characters extol Satanic virtues, but none so much as the Batman. Since Bob Kane created Batman in 1939, the character has become a worldwide icon representing justice, vengeance and order. As we see in his alter-ego of Bruce Wayne, Batman is a master of lesser magic. Who’d think the bumbling playboy Wayne could ever be the spirit of vengeance that haunts Gotham City? The character as he’s been portrayed in recent years is also a tribute to self improvement. Batman is one “super” hero with no super powers whatsoever. Everything he’s capable of is due to his focus on training in the skills needed to track down and eliminate his enemies. Add to that his dark aesthetics to his costume, weapons and that oh-so-cool car, he is truly the Satanic hero.
Tim Burton’s Batman was the first movie in recent years to take Batman as a serious character. The tale revolves around the origin of the Joker, played to the hilt by Jack Nicholson. Batman, in a wonderfully surprising turn by Michael Keaton, is shown as the essential Dark Knight. The movie, while lacking a bit in the story department (city at risk, generic female is kidnapped, villain must be thwarted), is a wonderfully fun ride and an aesthetic pleasure to behold, even after all these years.
Tim Burton took great care in the set designs to create a science fiction noir environment full of beautiful gothic architecture and futuristic gadgets. The score is yet another turn of genius by the inimitable Danny Elfman. Even without the movie, Elfman’s score stands on its own as one of the best ever written.
A classic in every sense of the word.
[- Warlock West]