This conversation went in a different direction than I was thinking since Robert Pattinson stating that Batman isn’t a hero seems to bring up the moral issue of what the dark knight does and how he continually operates outside the law. But no magical powers? Yeah, I didn’t really think about that one much since that’s a huge ‘duh’ moment for a lot of comic book fans. Of course Batman doesn’t have magical powers or anything even remotely like a super soldier serum that enhances his already impressive physique, but he also has a slew of mental issues that keep him from being one of the more stable characters in the DC universe. Pattinson did have this to say per Kevin Burwick of MovieWeb:
“Batman’s not a hero, though. He’s a complicated character. I don’t think I could ever play a real hero – there’s always got to be something a little bit wrong,”
It’s easy to see how DC fans would react to this since for decades now Batman has looked out for Gotham and done his best to wrangle the criminals that are beyond the scope of regular law enforcement agents. But at the same time he’s taken the law into his own hands, becoming a vigilante more or less, and using his vast family fortune to create a persona that many would use to call him a very damaged human being. When you look at Batman’s track record a lot of fans would gladly stand up for the dark knight and claim that he’s done more good than bad, but at the same time the whole underlying truth of his character is that he’s only ever accomplished anything because of his fortune and because of some guilt-ridden need for justice that was initially based on the need for revenge against the man that shot his parents.
It would seem that Batman is a unique product of his upbringing since without his parents, being raised presumably by the family butler, and having no one to tell him otherwise, the hurt, the rage, and the sense of revenge that turned into justice (somehow) became the reasoning behind his donning the cape and cowl and the name. Let’s face facts, criminals don’t really cower at the fact that he’s wearing a costume, they cower because they know that the moment he shows up they’re going to get a beatdown, and the dark color of his costume is really more or less an intimidation factor, nothing else.
Arguments for Batman not being a true hero have been ongoing for a while now since when you step back and look at this from a realistic perspective, anyone doing such a thing in the real world would be operating beyond the law, just as Batman does, and they would be interfering with the laws that officers are sworn to uphold. While Batman does have his own moral code that normally doesn’t allow him to kill anyone, that code has been slipping in recent years as it’s been seen that each new Batman is willing to go just a bit further and push the boundaries a little more in an effort to do the most good. With Batfleck the vigilante hero was finally killing people and using guns on the regular, which seems to have upset a few people since the Batman was known throughout the years to refrain from killing when he could.
Looking back though, even Keaton’s Batman likely killed a couple of people since he did toss one of the Joker’s henchmen down the stairwell. All in all Batman isn’t much of a hero since in truth he’s a rich guy that eschewed having a regular life to hone his body into a weapon and use the rest of the time to become the world’s greatest detective. And yet for all that he never bothered to take a police exam or possibly find an avenue that would allow him to operate with some semblance of true authority. The problem with superheroes is that it usually seems to come down to the idea that the villains they take on are so far beyond the norm that they’re the only ones that can save the day. And in Gotham, it would seem that Batman is the ONLY smart person there most times and the ONLY one equipped to handle the heavy hitters. Seriously? Wouldn’t you think that eventually someone would think that it would be a good idea to find a legal representative or two to hone into their own weapons? Some special task for perhaps that are basically an entire team of Batman-like officers? There are task forces in the DC universe, but it would seem to avoid stepping on Batman’s toes they don’t ever seem to be trained to the same level.
One reason why the Batman isn’t a hero, out of all of those that could be listed, is that he’s basically a rich guy with a lot of time on his hands and nothing better to do.