It is fair to say that Batman is one of the most famous superheroes ever. Over the years, the Caped Crusader has been called by different names and has represented a symbol of hope and protection for the people of Gotham. Bruce Wayne suffered a family tragedy when he was just a boy, and that event shaped him to become bitter and angry toward criminals – seeking revenge. He is even called ‘Vengeance’ in the movie ‘The Batman,’ so let’s see why that is.
Batman called himself ‘Vengeance’ first, and the others called him that because of it. At first, he genuinely thought that seeking revenge against Gotham’s criminals would be enough to lead the city into a better future. Still, he later realized that people really needed hope and guidance to prosper together, not resentment and holding onto the past.
When we look at the overall symbolism and significance of Batman as a superhero, it can be said that he is truly special, which is why he is beloved by many. We often see Batman as a protector and leader, but in the following paragraphs, we will delve into why he is sometimes called ‘Vengeance.’
Is Batman a symbol of vengeance?
When it comes to Batman, the first thought might not necessarily be that he is a symbol of vengeance, but it is not wrong to conclude that he is. For the people of Gotham, he has been many things over the years: a vigilante, an avenger, someone who operates outside the law and places himself above the rules. However, when the city needed him the most, he was always there, which is why he started to be regarded as the Dark Knight, the protector, and savior of Gotham.
We need to understand that Bruce Wayne has gone through a difficult path from childhood to adulthood, marked by personal tragedies, a city plagued by corruption and injustice, where people simply don’t feel safe. Despite having wealth and influence as a billionaire, he believed that alone he couldn’t do enough for the city because the crime lords were too powerful to allow the city to prosper.
Because of all that, he had to become something more, something that would help the people of Gotham and simultaneously help him fight his inner demons. Bruce spent years trying to come to terms with the fact that his parents were gone, and although he succeeded in that, he couldn’t accept the way he lost them. Aware that almost every alley in Gotham was where criminals lurked, he decided to find his revenge in those places and seek vengeance for all the assaulted and hurt.
That’s why when we talk about Batman as a symbol of revenge, there was a period in his career when he embodied that. He started his journey seeking vengeance for the death of his parents, despising every low-life criminal that harmed innocent people. And even though he swore not to kill, there were other ways to make them feel fear and pain, just like he once did.
When did Batman say, ‘I am Vengeance’?
In the movie ‘The Batman’, Bruce Wayne is portrayed by Robert Pattinson, who did a great job of depicting a slightly different version of Batman than his predecessors. In the movie, Bruce is young, and it has been only two years since he appeared on the streets of Gotham fighting criminals. The public and the media called him a vigilante, but he considered himself to be vengeance.
And this is clear from the very beginning of the movie. In the usual Batman versus some low-life criminal clash, when criminals ask, ‘Who are you?’ we were used to hearing ‘I am Batman,’ but not this time. In the movie ‘The Batman’ Bruce answers with ‘I am vengeance.’
This, of course, has to do with the fact that Batman is at the beginning of his crime-fighting days and is fueled by all the bad things that happened to him in life and despise criminals that pollute the streets of Gotham. Until then, he’d already mastered all the necessary skills and estranged himself from fear.
At one point, he even says, ‘They think I am hiding in the shadows, but I am the shadow,’ meaning that he does not seek vengeance for himself but is the spirit of vengeance that defends those that can’t defend themselves. Any criminal who sees the Bat signal in the air should be scared and worried. Batman initially thought that lurking in the shadows and posing fear on those that harm others would be enough to make Gotham a better place, but after Riddler carried out his plans, Bruce realized something else.
The truth was that Batman affected Gotham, but not like he intended. He realized that vengeance is a dual sword, and even though he used it to protect, the others looked up to him and used vengeance as the tool to get their revenge on the city and the system that failed them. Batman realized that vengeance wouldn’t change the past, not his or anyone else’s.
The people of Gotham need a protector, a guardian, and someone they can rely on when things seem hopeless. In the city where corruption and destruction were part of everyday life, the people needed hope that things could be better and that they would be better.
What do you think of Batman being called ‘Vengeance’? Share your thought in the comments!