Batman is not my favorite DC superhero (that’s Superman followed by Firestorm) but he is #3. I grew up with Batman as sure as I did Superman and have enjoyed the exploits of he and his crew. However, DC specifically and Warner Brothers in general can’t seem to stop themselves from putting out as much Bat-material as possible. Most of the direct-to-video movies are Batman stories. Their most recent movies have either starred or cameoed as much Batman as they could. And if they couldn’t BE about Batman then the character would be reworked to feel like Batman, like they’ve done with Superman recently. This isn’t just in the movies as the comics themselves are very Bat heavy or at least Bat inspired. Look what they did to Barry Allen for example. A hero inspired by another hero is now one dead parent and one parent framed to make him darker, and then they ruined poor Wally when Rebirth brought the original Wally West back.
Recently Tony Isabella called out DC for their overuse of Batman. Now this could just be because he’s pissed off that Batman is leading a team with Black Lightning in it rather than Black Lightning leading the Outsiders without him (he’s said as much so that’s not total speculation) but he may actually be right about that. Ewan Paterson and Zoë Miskelly from What Culture examined Isabella’s comments and noted that the DC universe may be overloading on Dark Knight goodness.
Catch more What Culture Comics on their YouTube channel.
I think the best comment was that Batman himself isn’t toxic but his over-saturation is a symptom (one of many) of what’s been going on at DC lately. It’s been taking on more and more of a darker approach and Batman himself has suffered for it. However, the DC Universe isn’t getting the best of it either. “Dark Knight: Metal” was all about alternate EVIL versions of Batman. I mentioned the Flash getting the Batman treatment and the hosts mentioned Arrow (not Green Arrow, just Arrow) also undergoing Batmanification. (Some other stories have tried to make it look like Green Arrow was trying to be Batman, like in Batman: The Brave And The Bold and what I’ve seen of the Batman Unlimited direct-to-video movies.) They’ve even made TV spinoffs of Gotham City (yeah yeah, Bruce Wayne is there but he isn’t Batman while all his villains are already being made), Alfred Pennyworth, and just recently Batwoman. Even the Joker got his own poor adaptation by someone who hate comics. I like Batman but there is too much Batman out there right now.
For the record there was a time when Superman was in too many places, which as a Superman fan I partly enjoyed but at the same time was overdoing it. You can have too much of a good thing before it becomes mundane or even unwanted. Then it’s no longer your favorite thing. The more Batman you get the less people are going to care. It’s better to steer the lightning than just ride it. Maybe give Batman a bit of a breather and just have the one Batman comic, one for each of the Bat-Family, and Detective Comics as the team up book that may or may not have Batman front and center and gives other Gotham guardians a chance to shine as well. At the very least stop turning everyone into Batman while giving Batman a mental breakdown and talking about his ability to beat God with enough “prep time”, making him fluent in every living and dead language in Earth history, filled with every martial arts technique out there, and somehow being the best because he isn’t overpowered. Can we start there? I love Batman, I don’t want him go away, and I want more good Batman stories, but you do have other heroes to focus on as well.