There is a push, you know. A push to change the list of what is allowed to entertain us.
The current movement to defund the police and get rid of anything that glorifies police work leaves me worried about one of America’s most important icons: Batman. My dear readers, after careful consideration, I regret to inform you that we must cancel Batman.
It brings me no joy to say this.
Batman is a vigilante who works outside the law to combat injustice, doing so against violent criminals and corrupt politicians. He has been a hero to Gotham City for 80 years. Everyone loves Batman, but he has a terrible secret. His alterego, Bruce Wayne, has been quietly funding the Gotham Police Department for decades.
This is very problematic. Gotham PD is notoriously corrupt and, despite the efforts of Commissioner Jim Gordon, dirty cops are still out on the streets, committing heinous acts while hiding behind the gun and badge. What’s worse is that Gordon himself tolerates acts of lawlessness by allowing vigilantes to roam the streets at night beating up civilians.
Wayne is a billionaire who is doing all of this from inherited money. His family’s corporation was built on the backs of laborers over centuries. He has benefitted from a system that was designed to keep the powerful in power and keep the powerless out of power. Sure, he has used an incredible amount of his fortune for social causes and public works through the years, but he also uses so much of it to outfit the Gotham police force in military-grade equipment.
Using capitalism to privately fund the Gotham PD’s development of a small army is incredibly problematic given the routine police violence we see today. It could inspire children to champion and worship the justice system. After all, if Batman is doing all this to help the police, and is friends with the police, then the police must be good. With everything we’ve seen recently, we simply cannot have that.
On top of that, Wayne — as Batman — forced a strong, independent woman named Selina Kyle to give up her independence and enterprising lifestyle in order to submit to his will in their relationship. Prior to that, Kyle was considered one of the most successful women in her field and was respected the world over.
It pains me to say this, but we have to cancel Batman. I call on DC Comics to announce that Batman will be canceled after their summer run of the “Death Metal” series that will see the end of Scott Snyder’s critically-acclaimed run with the company.
Please don’t cancel Batman before that, though. I really need to see that story through. And Joker War. But once those are over, we can cancel Batman. I promise.
Joe Cunningham is America’s foremost Batmanologist. He has spent 20 years studying Batman and his Rogue’s Gallery, and has written a dozen unreleased books on the subject, including the critically acclaimed (by a dude he met online) The Scarecrow And You. You can find him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham.