The Bat

So I finished Batman: Arkham Origins a few days ago. Despite some game-crashing bugs which have now been resolved, it is my favorite of the Batman: Arkham games, mostly because the villains, as numerous and crazy as ever, have some decent social critique of the Bat to share along the way. As Anarky would say, the Bat would seem to be part of the problem.

The plot of the game revolves around Black Mask hiring eight super-villain assassins on Xmas Eve to kill a young, more physically direct Batman, and while some of them confine themselves professionally to just trying to kill Batman (Deathstroke comes to mind) others seemingly go out of their way to cause civilian causalities (Firefly) or simply don’t care either way (Mad Hatter). This antiapathy forces Batman to start to acknowledge he is responsible, in more than one way, for the overall situation in Gotham. His refusal to take life has consequences, by allowing individuals like the Joker, who arguably need killing, to continue to go on spree after spree. Batman, for all his super-competence, has resigned himself to the role of super-villain janitor, sweeping them again and again into Blackgate or Arkham.

That’s why Batman is my favorite superhero – he places some real limits on his actions that are not based on being a Boy Scout, like Superman. He won’t kill you, but thinks nothing of sending you to the hospital first. He won’t shoot you, but he will break your legs. He won’t break the law capriciously without reason, but he is a vigilante.

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