Bruce Wayne isn’t Crazy – Book Review of “Batman and Psychology”

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  • Title: Batman and Psychology A Dark and Stormy Knight
  • Author: Travis Langley
  • Format: Trade paper

I loved this book. Often “pop culture and academic subject” books are great 101-level introductions to whatever the academic subject is (Philosophy, Physics, Science, etc) but the pop-culture references are shoved in with a shoe-horn, almost as if a research assistant summarized Buffy or Star Trek or Doctor Who for the author who didn’t really understand it, and the book was written with few, if any, good examples drawn from the pop culture source — though the 101 academic info is always good.

Batman and Psychology, however, is different — Batman, the dark, complex alter ego of Bruce Wayne is a deeply psychological character that begs for serious analysis. Langley is obviously a fan of Batman comics, graphic novels, and the Christopher Nolan films (even including the third film of the trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, though this book pre-dates the film’s release. Langley gives a detailed history of the Dark Knight, and some of his companions (such as the Robins) and different versions of his rouges’ gallery villains (such as Joker). Plus this book introduces basic concepts of theorists and founders of psychology: Freud, Jung, Adler, Maslow, Erikson, etc.

If you would like an introduction to psychology, a history lesson (an interesting history lesson) about DC Comics and one of it’s most enduring heroes – Batman, and to read a good psychological analysis of Bruce Wayne/Batman and his friends and enemies, buy or borrow this book. You will most probably enjoy it, I did.

This review previously appeared on my Goodreads page, and on my Live Journal blog.

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