Batman Unmasked: Analyzing a Cultural Icon by Will Brooker

By Will Brooker

Over the sixty years of his life, Batman has encountered a magnificent array of cultural icons and has progressively turn into one himself. This attention-grabbing publication examines what Batman potential and has intended to some of the audiences, teams and groups who've attempted to regulate and interpret him over the many years.

Brooker unearths the struggles over Batman's which means by means of shining a mild at the cultural problems with the day that impacted at the improvement of the nature.

They comprise:
• patriotic propaganda of the second one global warfare;
• the accusation that Batman was once corrupting the formative years of the United States through showing to advertise a gay way of life to the enthusiasts of his comics;
• Batman turning into a camp, popular culture icon during the ABC television sequence of the sixties;
• fans' interpretation of Batman in keeping with the comics and the Warner Bros. franchise of flicks.

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Extra resources for Batman Unmasked: Analyzing a Cultural Icon

Example text

If I seem to labour the point that Batman can be reduced to key characteristics, it is because so much that follows will threaten any sense of consistency or constancy around the character. I feel the necessity to establish a simple collection of defining traits as a raft to cling to before embarking on sixty years during which the Batman undergoes so many transformations, and is subject to so many competing, often contradictory interpretations, that any defining essence sometimes seems eroded: the character seems to become merely a name and logo adopted by a multitude of different 'Batmen', each representing a different facet of a specific cultural moment and taking on the concerns of a period or the tastes of an audience.

Like a little man in a cloak he is with tiny hands. open with a paradox. Batman's survival as a cultural icon over sixty years can be attributed to his ability to adapt and change with the period. Yet for the first four years of his existence, the opposite appears to be true. The Batman of this period is notable more for his consistency and adherence to an established template than his fluidity; a fact made all the more remarkable when we consider that the surrounding culture was undergoing the profound changes of the Second World War.

55 The same must be said for Radway's American housewives who draw from the romance 'a strategy for making her present situation more comfortable . . rather than a comprehensive program for reorganising her life' 56 and for Morley's television viewers wrho 'negotiate' or oppose the discourse of Nationwide but whose cultural power does not extend beyond their own living rooms. 57 The point to be drawn, then, is that while any number of valid interpretations is possible — and so the celebration of these multiple readings for their o\vn sake is misguided — these various, contradictory meanings need to be argued for and supported if they are to extend beyond the microsphere of the individual reading, and certain groups are more forceful in disseminating their own interpretations than others.

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