11 June 2020 775 Views

TBT. That time BATMAN worked with the POLICE. Oh yeah..that’s EVERY SINGLE BATMAN FILM. Heroes stand with Cops. Not against them.

by James Murphy

The Dark Knight is not an agent or employee of the Gotham PD. Indeed, his whole career is based on a need to fight corruption. But NOT to fight ‘Police’. 

 

 

BATMAN ’66: Batman and Robin actively work with the Police in their offices, even urging support of those authorities and deputised work over vigilante justice.

BATMAN 1989: ‘HE GAVE US A SIGNAL!’. Yes, there were bad apples in the Police. No, the barrel and tree themselves were not beyond help. Batman gives them HIS tech, his tools, his signal to call, at will, should evil rise again after the Joker is defeated.

BATMAN RETURNS: Bruce Wayne sits, trance like, akin to Michael Corleone at the end of Godfather 2? He is lost in thought and cold and dark. Only a library and polo-neck as company. And THEN..Bang..signal flashes..he is awakened and so is Batman. To FIGHT BADDIES..WITH THE POLICE! Dark yes. Anti cop? Never.

BATMAN FOREVER/ BATMAN AND ROBIN: Simple, clear, encouraging relationship. Yes, Batman does his own thing. But the Police help him and vice versa.

 

BATMAN BEGINS /THE DARK KNIGHT: Are there corrupt cops? Damn sure there are! Are there bureaucratic opportunist leaders? Course, it’s a Nolan film and we get a civics lecture. But for every bent baddie (bent nb meaning morally malleable not some coded sexuality jibe; before the Twitter Police get me..)..there is a Jim Gordon. You can be a pragmatic, decent, determined force for good in this scheme. And an ally to Batman. ‘I never thanked you’ says Gordon. Batman: And you’ll never have to! 

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES: My personal fave, just for that rising from the pit / cafe in Florence. But this is every bit as much a love letter to policing as it is a Batman adventure. Our hero is called to action by a young cop (John Blake). The breakdown of society under Bane is signified by the capture of all Police. That symbolism coincided with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Now, whilst director Chris Nolan maybe was not targeting that specifically? The message is clear. You do not get the luxury of a protest movement without the civil defence measures offered by an infrastructure that includes military, economic and yes, Police. It is THEIR resurrection that helps to rally Gotham back to action and save the day with Batman fighting alongside their ranks. Do they still have some careerist politicians in the ranks? Sure! But so does every trade, including those which are not (as yet) under relentlessly aggressive social media microscopes.

 

Be careful which franchises you appropriate with imagery you claim is in service of an uprising. 



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