Batman is a cultural icon.
However, there is difficulty with a hero like Batman. Did he rise to meet the adversaries, or did he create his adversaries? Let me explain, Batman wanted to create something that would stand. In Batman Begins, Bruce says “…as Bruce Wayne, as a man I’m flesh and blood I can be ignored I can be destroyed but as a symbol, as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.”
In order to make a significant difference, Bruce had to create such an extreme character. But in response, other extreme characters felt compelled to rise up against him. In the Dark Knight Alfred told Bruce, “You crossed the line first. You squeezed them, you hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation, they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand.”
What Alfred was telling Bruce was that he turned into something so extreme that only something equally extreme could oppose him. The Joker only existed as a threat because the Batman existed. Frank Miller, a writer of Batman comics once wrote a story where the Batman disappeared for many years and in this time the Joker went catatonic. The Joker needed Batman.
So what does this have to do with the gospel?
You see as literature (ultimately a work of art), it reflects the worldview of the writers who created it. Therefore it says something about how they understand life, death, humanity, and the order of things. With this in mind, there are insights throughout the Batman canon in which we can reflect upon, provoke discussion, and draw conclusions with a Christian perspective.
As Christians, we strive to make a difference in the world. We are called to be Radical, to have Crazy Love for the world and it’s people. But when our influence grows, there will always be someone or something that grows against us. Whether it is the devil himself or the devil cultivating what is already inside someone, being on God’s side means there will always be opponents.
Becoming radical means you will face radical opposition.
Being a Christian isn’t easy, being a Christian doesn’t mean all of a sudden life will start going our way. The devil wants to create selfishness, hate, mistrust, and chaos and he will do it through other people or through your own worldly desires. If we are not ready or prepared for this battle, we can fall victim to our enemies.