Review: Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight by Travis Langley



Title: Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight

Author: Travis Langley

Pages: 352

Genre: Psychology, Comics

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary: Batman is one of the most compelling and enduring characters to come from the Golden Age of Comics, and interest in his story has only increased through countless incarnations since his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Why does this superhero without superpowers fascinate us? What does that fascination say about us? Batman and Psychology explores these and other intriguing questions about the masked vigilante, including: Does Batman have PTSD?  Why does he fight crime? Why as a vigilante? Why the mask, the bat, and the underage partner? Why are his most intimate relationships with “bad girls” he ought to lock up? And why won’t he kill that homicidal, green-haired clown?
Gives you fresh insights into the complex inner world of Batman and Bruce Wayne and the life and characters of Gotham City
Explains psychological theory and concepts through the lens of one of the world’s most popular comic book characters
Written by a psychology professor and “Superherologist” (scholar of superheroes)

This is my first pop culture/academic mash-up read, and I have to say I am pretty into it. I have a mild interest in Psychology, and an intense interest in all things superheroes so I figured why not give this book a whirl. It was interesting to peel apart the various characters of the Batman series, and see how and why they act and react the way they do. Though I knew from reading the comics and seeing all the different incarnations of the characters via movies and cartoons that a lot of the characters had traits related to many mental diseases. Even Batman himself is taken apart and examined, and we look at his traumatic childhood event and see how it molds him as a man and his response to the villains and life around him.
I wish that when I took my Film classes and a few Psych classes in college that they would have made us read this or even something similar as I feel it would have definitely lead to a lively discussion and would have caught the interest of most if not all the students. I do look forward to reading more books like this.


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