Nick Mamatas is the author of the Lovecraftian Beat road novel Move Under Ground (Night Shade Books, 2004) and the Marxist Civil War ghost story Northern Gothic (Soft Skull Press, 2001), both of which were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for dark fiction. He’s published more than 200 articles and essays in the Village Voice, the men’s magazine Razor, In These Times, Clamor, Poets & Writers, Silicon Alley Reporter, Artbytes, the UK Guardian, five Disinformation Books anthologies and many other venues, and more than 40 short stories and comic strips in magazines including Razor, Strange Horizons, ChiZine, Polyphony and others. Under My Roof: A Novel of Neighborhood Nuclear Superiority (Soft Skull Press) was released in early 2007.
Holy Signifier, Batman!
By Nick Mamatas
from Batman Unauthorized
This is one essay from the anthology Batman Unauthorized
Batman Unauthorized explores Batman’s motivations and actions, as well as those of his foes. Batman is a creature of the night, more about vengeance than justice, more plagued by doubts than full of self-assurance, and more darkness than light. He has no superpowers, just skill, drive and a really well-made suit.
One of the most recognized superheroes ever created, Batman has survived through campy TV shows and films, through actors such as Adam West, Michael Keaton and Christian Bale. Batman Unauthorized: Vigilantes, Jokers, and Heroes in Gotham City covers expansive territory ranging from the silly to the solemn. Why is the Joker so good at pushing Batman’s buttons? What does Batman’s technology say about the times? Why are Batman’s villains crazier than average? And why is Batman the perfect, iconic American hero?
About the Author
Dennis O’Neil is a former comic book writer and editor for Marvel Comics and DC Comics; wrote the novelization for the film “Batman Begins”; and is the author of Batman: Shaman and Batman Sword of Azrael. He wrote the main Batman title in the 1970s and 1980s and is the former group editor for the Batman family of books. He lives in Nyack, N.Y.