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The Dubious Origins of the Batman

By Alan J. Porter


from Batman Unauthorized

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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.

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About the Author

Alan J.  Porter

Alan J. Porter is a writer on various aspects of popular culture with a few books and a variety of articles published in magazine titles in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. He knows way too much about the Batman and is the author of The Unauthorized Batman Collector’s Guide. He also founded Gotham Gazette—The Batman Magazine on the Web and the long-running Gotham Weekly News e-mail newsletter, which were published between 1997 and 2006. He is currently researching a full-length biography of Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Read more online at

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