Christmas Tree Story #5: Batman. Sock! Pow! Zok! La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La, La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La, Batmaaaaan! Okay, admit it. You sang along with the theme song as you read the words. Batman was my own personal super hero. Every day after... school at 4:30, the Burt Ward/Adam West version of the TV series was on. Every day, I made sure I was in front of the TV to see what mess Batman and Robin had gotten themselves in to once again. One Christmas I got my first record player and two albums. One was “It’s a Small World After All” and the other was the theme song to Batman. I wore that thing out. I would shut the door to my room, put my Batman cape on, play the record, and proceed to beat the crap out of my pillows (a.k.a. the villains).
In the summer of 1989, the first of the “new” Batman movies came out. My buddy Cüneyt and I stood in line at midnight on Wednesday night before the opening to be the very first people in the theater to see it. This was the first and ONLY time I’ve ever done that. Michael Keaton was Batman, and Jack Nicholson played the Joker. Certainly I have seen every Batman movie since on opening day.
I’ve tried to reflect on why this specific character made such an impact on me. I suppose it might have something to do with a normal guy with no super powers doing what he does. He uses his mind and skill. I always admired that quality. The latest Batman movie “The Dark Night Rises” has a brutal and dark scene in which he is fighting the villain Bane inside a chamber. That scene really affected me because it showed precisely what makes Batman so special. He’s human. He has flaws. He overcomes with pure will, intellect, stamina, and discipline. That specific scene made the movie very special; not at the time, but later. It was the only Batman film that actually made me cry. Batman will always be my hero in fiction.
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