4. Batman Is A Vigilante
The idea of Batman as a vigilante was a key focus of Christopher Nolan's recent Dark Knight trilogy. If you haven't seen the films - shame on you - then you may not know that at one point Batman assumes responsibility for the many crimes of Harvey Dent to protect the reputation of the deceased ex-do gooder. As a result the Dark Knight becomes a wanted man and as you can see from the above image becomes hunted for his 'crimes' against Gotham City which included murder, kidnapping and assault. Despite his outlaw status Batman remains a heroic figure to some. With the exception of Jim Gordon the people of Gotham are unaware of Batman's innocence and yet still secretly hope for his return. A hero of the people but wanted by the police? If you ask me that makes him more of an anti hero than a superhero. The people who contest the idea of Batman as an anti hero seem less ready to argue over his status as a vigilante. Have you ever looked up the definition of the word vigilante? According to the dictionary a vigilante is any person who takes the law into his or her own hands, as by avenging a crime. Then if you go even further and look at the American legal system it becomes even clearer that Batman is not what you would call a straight up hero. The United States is a nation of laws and those laws state that no man is above the law and must never act according to their personal preferences or private agendas. Bruce Wayne's alter ego sees himself as a proponent of good - as do all of us - but it cannot be refuted that he operates outside of the law thus making him a vigilante and as such an anti hero. It is my firm belief that a vigilante in the real sense can be nothing other than an anti hero. What's that you say? What about Spider-Man? Well if you ask J. Jonah Jameson I'm pretty sure he'll be quick to tell you where the web slinger fits in to the argument. And before you start going on about Superman just remember he's not of this Earth so the same rules do not necessarily apply.