“It’s because of people like you that I became this. And you’ll never give me a reason to become someone else.”– The Batman
The young man placed the flowers on the ground in front of the bleached white cross that had been implanted along with 11 others that awaited the same affections. His hand trembled. His eyes swollen with the hours of loss and questions that tears could not wash away. On his chest, the symbol of a bat was engulfed in a yellow oval halo.
The next day the photo of another cross being declared for someone identified in the shooting in theatre number nine was visited by yet another set of inflamed eyes. Again, the familiar symbol of The Batman was worn by not one, but two of the mourners. The pattern was growing clear. The ideology was intact and the message was validated. This all too familiar symbol for which we know its origins, was maintaining and gaining in power based upon its true meaning.
It was born of a violent act. It became a symbol of justice. It was a symbol to alert those who pedal fear and darkness that their actions will not go unpunished.
We all know the story of The Batman. Young Bruce Wayne survives the murder of his parents shot dead by a mugger and he vows to avenge their death. His parent’s murder is what now defines him. Yet, here and now as we witness reality reflect art with the horror of theAurorakillings, the loved ones sharing their grief and pain, Batman’s symbol is again a metaphor and an even more powerful symbol because of this twisted marriage of fact to fiction. It was not shunned. It was not looked upon as a reminder of what was lost but rather a symbol of the justice that must be served. It was a symbol believed in by those who died and they gathered in theatre nine to share in a principle of what Batman stands for.
The killer may have killed 12 innocent people. The madman may have thought in his twisted mind he was striking out at Batman. He didn’t think of the powerful meaning of the symbolism of what that bat on the chest stood for. In the end, he made it more powerful and meaningful in the war for justice against those that cherish little.
He played right into a major theme in the Chris Nolan films that there is a touch of Batman in all of us. “Who was Batman? He was just Batman, the person under the mask doesn’t matter, because ANYBODY can be Batman!” The symbol is eternal and cannot be killed or destroyed, and that is what Batman became — an eternal symbol for mankind and a symbol that could be worn by anyone.