How depressed is Bruce Wayne?

So over in another thread elfkin477 posted that Bale played Bat,an like he was depressed.

That’s one he’ll of a thought.

Think about it.

He’s had terrible trauma in his life.
He’s never attempted to deal with that trauma constructively.
He has trouble forming mature adult relationships.
He shields himself from other with, literally, a mask.
His response to his ongoing issues is a violent lashing out.
He’s overcommitted to the thinking part of himself without regard to the emotional part.
He clearly has trouble sleeping and avoids it other than through exhaustion.

I’d say Batman is in need of some sit down time with a therapist and some antidepressants.


Most superheroes have some kind of mental illness, don’t they?

Batman/Bruce Wayne is most definitely depressed. The Val Kilmer movie even had that shrink tell him so, didn’t it? (I’ve only seen it a couple of times.)
Spiderman has a saving-the-world complex. So does Superman.
Ironman - megolamania

Needless to say, I agree. But again it still makes Bruce Wayne/Batman one of the more interesting of figures. Out of all of them he’s the man closest to us. It’s probably why Iron man is pretty interesting, too. Except for the money*, we could see ourselves in that position. Of course both of them are probably part of the 1%!

*I saw a funny comic. In it was IronMan and Batman, throwing money madly at each other. In between, Spiderman, furiously picking up the money. :smiley:

Depends on the version you’re thinking about. The Adam West Batman, f’rinstance, had no such hang-ups. :slight_smile:

Heh, granted. He was kind of awesome.

If you’re talking Dark Knight Batman, as depicted by Frank Miller, yes and no. He’s almost flat-out-crazy by real world standards – but the rest of his world is so nuts he’s pretty “normal” by comparison. Miller took a darker view of everything, not just Batman.

Bruce Wayne/Batman is clearly mentally ill. Depression? Doesn’t seem to be it. Compulsive behavior, delusions, paranoia, yes. We don’t even have to get into his sexual problems. He should be taking heavy doses of thorazine. If Gotham wasn’t the most corrupt city on the planet (why do you think it’s the Mecca of second rate super villains?) he would have been hunted down and killed as a dangerous criminal himself.

I can only recall him mentioning his parents and their murder once, which kinda surprised me. It was in the first episode. He also referred to his father’s “law books”, which is odd since Thomas Wayne is typically depicted as a doctor.

Also, Robin is really on his game in that episode, figuring out the Riddler’s clues and whatnot, and generally being a lot sharper than in later episodes.

Well, yeah. That’s why I’m always more than a little confused when people talk about how dark a character he is in these new movies. Batman has always been a dark character, even if previous depictions have chosen to try and lighten him up. The dude had his beloved parents gunned down in front of him as a child, and he is so deeply, fundamentally scarred from that experience that he has poured years of his life and Og only knows how much money into getting ready to spend his nights roaming the streets beating up bad guys. That’s not exactly a story that is, or ought to be, a laugh riot.

Bruce Wayne is clearly mentally ill. Obsessive compulsive, abandonment issues etc… I remember one comic (maybe Kingdom Come?) summed it up as he doesn’t want to see anyone die.

I don’t think depressed is the word for Bruce Wayne. He’s deeply troubled and almost incapable of healthy relationships; I liked the way, a few years back, that it was clear that, outside the Batfamily, his only friends were Superman and Commissioner Gordon, both of whom loved him but could just barely stand him sometimes.

I don’t think Iron Man has megalomania. He’s a douche in many ways (unlike Bruce Wayne, Stark doesn’t pretend to be a womanizing alcoholic), but in some ways his motivation for becoming a super-hero is far more rational than most. Unlike Parker and Wayne, he’s genuinely guilty of the sin he is trying to atone for. The second-best moment in the first Iron Man movie was Robert Downey Jr. tinkering with his armor while staring at the television, looking at the terrible human suffering he had made possible with his tech and allowed through his inattention. Damn skippy he has an obligation to try to fix it.

I’d call Spider-Man’s issues more survivor’s guilt than save-the-world syndrome. Superman, in some incarnations, has the same thing, on a much bigger scale. There was a period in the Silver Age when he actively remembered Krypton, and his biggest fear was something similar happening to Earth. I wouldn’t even call his fear irrational in his world. He does live in a world where planet-shattering cataclysms can happen, where interstellar armadas occasionally try to conquer pre-starflight worlds, and so forth, and he is uniquely capable of dealing with threats like that. He’d be a douche not to be a super-hero, frankly.

Nor did the comic book Batman before the Dark Knight.

He rarely mentioned the death of his parents and it never was a major issue. It made him want to fight crime, and, if anything, you got the impression that he was avenging their deaths by doing so (he eventually found the killer and got some revenge by causing him to be killed). But the Golden and Silver Age Batman was a dedicated officer of the law (he was a member of the Gotham Police), inspired by his past, but not obsessed by it and certainly not depressed about it.

I dunno, Chuck.

If a persons response to ANY situation is to dress as a bat and punch people then regardless of other circumstances…there’s some time due on a couch.

In our world, yes. But in the DC universe that is a valid response, because there are a select number of people who dress in costumes and be effective in fighting crime; because there are menaces sufficient to warrant their skills; and because there’s a long historical tradition of people doing that. At bare minimum, Batman was the second or third costumed super-hero in his world; post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, there had been dozens if not hundreds. (Bear in mind that the Greek myths aren’t fiction in that world; they’re history.)

Maybe. I agree with some of it, and some of it I don’t know enough about it to answer. Here is a cookie for the effort, though. :slight_smile:

:: eyes cookie ::

Didn’t I bake this?

Nope, I baked this batch.

I question that he has trouble dealing with his issues constructively. Dude has flat-out saved the world on multiple occasions. Doesn’t get much more constructive than that.

If he were clinically depressed I think he’d have trouble leading one life, much less two.

The idea that wanting to save the world when you actually have the ability to do so is somehow not just a fault but a mental disorder really, really disturbs me.

Also, the current Batman predates most other superheroes, so the argument that dressing as a Bat is sane because of that is silly. It’s sane because he had a rational reason to do so–to create an alternate identity to protect himself, and for it to be themed on a night-time creature. It’s just a freaking hat/mask and cape, after all.

Also, Zorro.