I could identify with Batman. He lost his parents at a young age, I lost my father at a young age, and it turned us both dark and broody.
I had vigilante leanings, in my heart at least, and he became a true vigilante, ridding Gotham of bad guys on a regular basis.
I got a job at the Warner Brothers Studio Store when I was at my height of Batman love, and I was totally enraptured when I saw the animation cel that you view at the left. It totally captured the feelings I had on a regular basis at the time. My rage, my hopelessness, my absolute despair.
I bought it. For $500. I got an employee discount on it, but it didn't take THAT much money off of it. My mom totally wigged on me. I told her it was an investment, but that was a crock. I would never part with it.
It currently hangs on the wall in Livvie's room, along with a cel of the Joker using a hand puppet in the Christmas episode. THAT cel makes me laugh out loud every time I look at it. It's a wonderful piece of art, but it's not the same as the Batman cel that I lost my heart to.
I then went on a comic book kick, buying every Batman that came out weekly, and I had a standing subscription at the local comic shop. The boys who ran the store developed a deep love for me, and they even bought my weekly subscription for me as a going away present when I moved down to NC. They were nice guys. They also used to give me back issues at their discount, so that was helpful in working on my collection.
Batman The Animated Series became Batman and Robin to appeal to the younger set, and it was never the same after that. I used to think that the original animated series should have seriously come with a parental warning, as it was a very dark program. Batman never killed, but the bad guys did. The Joker did. It was a blow to me when they revamped it. I stopped watching.
I hated the movies that came out. I hated the casting, I hated the costumes. I hated everything about them, and by the time they got to casting Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl I was pretty sure I'd never see another Batman film again.
Then came Christian Bale. And Batman Begins. I fell in love again. HERE was a Batman who was real and true to the character. He had the rage. He had the disappointment. He had the feelings of hopelessness, even though he persevered. I am waiting desperately on the new Batman movie that's coming out this summer, as it's based on one of the darkest and most dreary comic story lines of all time. Yes, the Darkness still appeals to me. I'm no longer filled with the same rage, I don't have the same amount of disappointment at life, but I do still have the dark side.
I am the night.