Have you ever been interested in the psychology of your favorite superhero, Batman? Then, you will love this book called Batman and Psychology: Beneath the Cowl. Travis Langley digs deep not only into Batman, but also his friends and foes. Pretty much, Langley goes deep into how the people around Batman have affected him emotionally, psychologically, and mentally. Probably, by now you are asking yourself  “Why would I even care about this? I know Batman and his rich boy issues. It stems from his parents, duh?!” I would agree with you immediately, but Langley gives you a deeper observation and explanation about Bruce and how their deaths impacted his development as an adult:

“Bruce Wayne gets to treasure his parents’ memory forever. At Bruce’s age when the murders happened, between the ages of six and ten [depending on the writer], he’d have recently passed through his Oedipal crisis — according to Freud, not me. He’d (Freud) have said that the mugger reminded Bruce, at least unconsciously, of his own previous desire to eliminate his father and have his mother — or her pearls — to himself and that Martha Wayne’s death would have reminded Bruce of any anger he’d ever felt toward her for choosing his father over him and would therefore have aroused guilt in himself. Freud would probably say Bruce wages his war on crime because he feels guilty for any resentment he’d ever felt toward either of his parents, as if his own Oedipal conflict had gotten them killed. Their deaths rerouted him from whatever path he might have taken and he’ll never know what kind of person he might have been otherwise.

Bruce relates better to each of the Robins when they’re younger, but he has trouble knowing how to deal with grown sons, probably because he only saw how his parents raised a younger child. He didn’t see how they’d handle a teenager. He didn’t learn new ways of relating to them as he matured, and so he doesn’t really know how to treat a Teen Wonder or a Nightwing. He doesn’t know what to do with his 10-year-old son either, but that’s because Damian, raised by assassins, isn’t like any other kid he’s ever known.”

This exploration is sickly twisted and I do enjoy a good conversation on this subject. However, I do not know how far I would go with Bruce’s desire to be his mother and kill his father. I personally think that Bruce had more of relationship with his father than his mother. This discussion would definitely become very controversial, immediately. Let’s not forget that Freud although infamous, had his funny moments! I do believe in the Robin bit, I do see that in comics and on screen. Especially, now that recent Batman and Robin is exploring Bruce’s relationship with his ten year old assassin son, Damian. Langley’s observation of Bruce’s connection with the Robins hits perfectly in the ballpark there.

Langley is heavily in depth with his exploration of Bruce/Batman. The book gives new Batman recruits a jest of who Batman is, his motivation, his foes, and allies. It is a nice crash course for those who have just got into the Batman trend for The Dark Knight Rises movie. For those who have been up on Batman, this book may or may not be for you. This book would probably cloud or frustrate your perception of The Dark Knight. For some, it brings up more questions or it smothers other questions. I find the book highly interesting because it explores the regions of Bruce/Batman that may explain unanswered questions. Also, it is nice ice breaker to leave on your coffee table or to show off during lunch time with colleagues or friends.

The book is coming out June 19th, a month before the movie.

Would you buy this book? What do you think about Langley’s exploration of Bruce/Batman? Langley’s exploration of Bruce accurate with his raising of the Robins? Leave your comments below or on DKN Facebook.

Source- Amazon  and Comic Bulletin 


  • EBostock

    Honestly i dont think you can psycho anyalize a fictional character !

    • Kristina

      Why not? Lol.

      • EBostock

        Well it s simple Do you want to know why Bruce Wayne became Batman because if he hadnt Bob Kane would of had a realy short story = )

        • Kristina

          Ok, I see that. So…since we already know Bruce’s motivation to be Batman which clearly stems from his parents’ murder does not play into a bit of psycho analysis?

          • EBostock

            I guess we will agree to disagree , if people want to play make believe by delving into Bruce Waynes Psyche using Freudian techniques go for it , but its not for me Bruces origin is great dramatic story telling no more no less !

            I tell you what though i would pay to see this shrink tell Batman to his face his theory of why he is Batman = ) KAPOW , LOL !

          • Kristina

            LOL! Bruce in a Shrink’s office gets told why he’s Batman. Bruce quietly leaves. The shrink focuses on bs work, then Batman breaks thru the window saying “YOU WANNA TELL ME HOW I CAME TO BE!” In Christian Bale’s Batman voice. Hilarious!

            Here’s my bit, I don’t believe too much into Freud because his work is very questionable. The whole bit about Bruce and his desire to be w/ his mother is going too far there.

            Psychology gives reasoning behind something that has very little understanding. It takes evidence and tries to make sense of it all. Some psychology will be reasonable and others will be full of crap like Bruce’s relationship w/ his mother (straight up bull crap). I think a fictional character can be analyzed b/c it was based upon a real person’s experience. Writers have a way of taking art to mimic life. There have been additions to Bruce/Batman’s life story and it leaves unanswered questions about the character. I do think that psychology can answer some of those questions giving some reasonable explanations.

            Personally, I don’t think Shrinks help. They create more problems than a simple solution. So I think Bruce would definitely destroy a Shrink’s reputation and break his face while he’s at it.

          • Only one chapter contemplates how Freud would have viewed Batman: “The Psychodynamic Duo: Freud and Jung on Batman and Robin.” Believe me, the author is not Freudian and neither is the rest of the book.

  • I guess you got the uncorrected proof copy? The final title for the book is actually BATMAN AND PSYCHOLOGY: A DARK AND STORMY KNIGHT. Thanks for the writeup!

  • anda

    make a nightwing movie

  • anda

    you guys r nerds lol jk

  • Brandon “Batman” Watson

    holy crap are we nerdy lol