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Why Christians love batman.

January 26, 2024

This is why we can’t have nice things.

In the late 80’s Warner Bros. announced that Batman was going to be played by Michael Keaton, a comedian. Upon hearing this, fans went nuts. Calling the decision insane. Fast forward to 2006, and it’s announced that the famously kind aussie, Heath Ledger is going to play the Joker. Once the story broke, fans exclaimed that he was a terrible fit for the role. In 2013 Zach Snyder cast Ben Affleck and the internet freaked out, and in 2019 Matt Reeves announced Robert Pattinson, and well you get the point.

But here we are… in 2024, and over the last 35 years the character of Batman has appeared on screen (live-action) about 12 different times.. And with each director giving his take on the caped crusader you tend to get some good mixed with some bad. For instance, Jack Nicholson is a terrifyingly great Joker but, Tim Burton is a pretty lousy director. Bane is a fearsome and compelling villain, but the plot of The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t make a ton of sense. Robert Pattinson plays a very moody and conflicted Batman, but I had to hear that Nirvana song about 91 times that year. It’s a give and take.

Despite the pressure of creating a new Batman, the character seems to attract the best story tellers in the world. The part that I find most odd, is that for someone like me, who grew up in church, read the Bible, went to youth group, yada yada yada, I found myself unable to put down Batman stories. But why? Why not Superman, Spider-Man, or Captain America? Why is it more interesting to read about The Dark Knight, than it is to read about the boy scout? More importantly (and here’s the title of the blog), why do Christians like Batman?

There is a scene in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises where Bruce Wayne attends a charity event, and after being asked “who are you pretending to be” his response is “Bruce Wayne, eccentric billionaire”. Now this is a fun line, but something else pops out here. He is the only person in the room not in a mask. Bruce Wayne is the mask. In fact, in nearly every iteration of Batman, the writers always address the idea that he is no longer the eccentric billionaire. Bruce is a façade.

I think there is a connection between the dichotomy of Batman and the calling amongst Christians to be in the world, but not of it. To deny oneself and be born again in Christ. I personally have never been swept away by the stories of the perfect hero, or the soldier who can do this all day. I’m more interested in the hero who’s entire conflict stems from the need to be his true self, while also being what the world needs. As Christians we adopt a higher meaning. One that is greater than simply being good, kind, or helpful. We adopt a calling to live Christlike and preach the gospel to all creation. We do not operate in our own sense of morality, but do so according to the framework of our Creator.

Batman cannot return to being solely Bruce Wayne, any more than I can return to a life outside of my relationship with Christ.  The lifestyle and temptation will always be there, but no one can take us out of the Father’s hand.

In my very most humble opinion, this is why Christians like Batman. At least it’s one of the reasons why I do. If you are lover of all things batman, we are hosting a Batman Movie Marathon on January 26th and 27th in the Vines Center at 7PM. On Friday we are showing Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, (what 50% of fans consider the best Batman movie ever made), followed by 2022’s The Batman (best car chase of the last decade IMO). On Saturday we are showing Batman: Under the Red Hood (Lately Tik Tok has been showing this movie some love) and The Dark Knight (what the other 50% consider the best Batman movie ever made).

Most importantly, what is it called when Batman doesn’t go to church?

Christian Bale.


Written by Cort Comfort, Director of Student Activities.