Beauology 101: On The Couch: The Psychology Of Batman

Crazy?? I’ll Show Ya Who’s Crazy—Your Host Beau Smith

Crazy?? I’ll Show Ya Who’s Crazy—Your Host Beau Smith

by Beau Smith

I’m not a psychologist, never claimed to be, yet when I read comic books, I unconsciously find myself thinking like one (or at least what I think they would think like in the comics).

I did this a lot growing up reading comic books in the 1960s. In my personal opinion, I’m very pleased we didn’t have the internet during my youth. It left me to my own imagination and I formed my own thoughts and opinions. (Right, wrong, or insane.)

This past week I was preparing for the San Diego Comic Con, and in doing so, I came across a few long boxes of the above mentioned Silver Age comics of my youth. It got me thinking about how I perceived some of the characters from those past issues, iconic and not so iconic.

As social media tells us to do, I thought I’d share a little of this with you. You can then determine if you did/do the same and register just how crazy you think you are for doing so. These were the collected thoughts of me, as a kid ,ages 6 through 15. 1960-69 was my most formative decade with comic books.

On the couch is today’s subject: Batman

Batman #171 Riddle Me This, Batman….

Batman #171 Riddle Me This, Batman….

I always felt that there was only Batman. I never really believed there was the alter ego of Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne was kinda like the snooze button until the Bat Signal went off. I always thought of Batman being really smart. Not a know it all smart, but more of the smart like the one kid in your class that truly studied and worked hard at playing sports by actually paying attention to what the coach said as well as remembering plays. I wasn’t that kid. I knew I should be, but fun always over-rode my sense of justice. Even as a kid, I knew it was kinda weird for a grown adult to hang out with a kid, even more so to let him get in fights with other grown adults, aliens and big robots. I figured that was a little TOO dedicated. Plus, nobody ever called him on it. That, as a kid, was strange as well. Granted, as a kid, I didn’t really care, I was there for the action and the weird crime fighting. Plus, I never cared for kid characters. Never related to them. I WAS a kid, I read comics to pretend I was the adult, busting heads, shooting ray guns and fighting monsters.

Gorilla Boss—Is There Any Other Kind?

Gorilla Boss—Is There Any Other Kind?

The Batman TV show in 1966 didn’t throw me off like it did some of my comic book reading buddies. Some of them were pretty outraged that the show was campy and played Batman for laughs. Didn’t bother me at all. I was used to the early ‘60s Batman that wore multi-colored costumes, fought a giant ape called Gorilla Boss, and tussled with aliens in flying saucers now and then. The late ‘60s comics had him fighting crime a little more realistically (key word LITTLE), but the show presented no big shock to me. I was happy to have some superhero stuff on the screen period. When all you have is three channels, you don’t really complain. In a way, I kinda shudder to think about if I had been exposed to the more modern Frank Miller Batman, or The Joker we all see today. Being a good guy was a gray enough area for me as a kid, I didn’t need an extra shove to the darker side.

Batman-Crazy About Fashion.

Batman-Crazy About Fashion.

What the ‘80s through present time versions of the Dark Knight have made me do is appreciate the weirder, campy, far out versions of Batman from the ‘60s. I know it’s not nostalgia, because Batman was never one of my top favorite superheroes as a kid. At DC Comics, I favored the more obscure and underdog heroes, like B’Wana Beast, Eclipso, Hawkman, and Aquaman. Batman and Superman were just too easy. Too formula with their personality or lack of it. Batman was never someone that I thought would be great to hang out with. Batman would get you killed and Superman was too busy telling you what you shouldn’t do. Look where it got Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane. (Giant Turtle Boy & Bitter husband chasing-Play Misty For-Me Psycho)

Batman: “And Beau doesn’t think you’re crazy??” B’Wana Beast: “Uh, No….Why would he?”

Batman: “And Beau doesn’t think you’re crazy??”
B’Wana Beast: “Uh, No….Why would he?”

Here in 2019 I still can’t really tell you what Batman’s personality is. Bruce Wayne is still the holding pattern until it becomes night. You’d think as smart as Batman is supposed to be, that he would really make Bruce Wayne an amazing alter ego, but nope. Still pretty much a flatline. Batman today is as crazy as he was in the ‘60s, but now it’s a dark, full-throttle crazy. He’s bitter, grouchy, angry, and quite happy to be dark and hang around folks darker and seriously twisted as can be. When there’s fire, most heroes run to the fire to put it out. Batman runs to it to see what new degree of burns he can endure. A well-adjusted Batman would’ve killed the modern Joker a long time ago.

“I’m not crazy…You’re crazy! You!!"

“I’m not crazy…You’re crazy! You!!”

When you live in a cave full of Bat crap, you become as crazy as Bat Crap.

So as a kid, I thought Batman was crazy. In my opinion he still is.

And he’s still entertaining.

Until our next session….

Beau Smith

The Flying Fist Ranch

Follow Me On Twitter and Instagram @BeauSmithRanch


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