The Psychology of Comic Book Characters
psychology of comic book characters
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Having always had an interest in philosophy, psychology, and a huge passion for comic books, it’s no wonder why I’ve always had an interest in the psychology of comic book characters such as Batman and super villains such as Thanos.
There has always been this fascination with digging out the motivation that make these characters who they really are. Sure it’s simple to say that Bruce Wayne’s alter ego was created during a time of loss and desperation, but there’s more to it than that. You may also say Thanos is only after absolute power in order to win the heart of death herself, but there’s something to be said about the deep-rooted need to impress at all. In both these characters for instance, you have a deep-rooted need to impress with Thanos, which is quite the opposite in bruce Wayne’s case, especially prior to his (loving) parents’ tragic death.

Thanos

the psychology of comic book characters

If you recall in Aaron & Bianchi’s “Thanos Rising”, Thanos’ mother separated herself completely from Thano’s life subsequent to giving birth to the soon to be “Mad Titan”, and his father was never there, even when he was. As brilliant as Thanos was, and even after procuring his power and immortality, at the end of the day, all Thanos wants is to be accepted as the greatest villain ever to exist. As evil as you may portray the mad Titan to be, he managed to befriend the hero in Adam Warlock after he assisted him in defeating his future self (The Magus).

Is Evil Capable of Knowing Friendship & Love?

Evil is incapable of knowing true friendship, but yet here we have Thanos and Warlock. He was was very short when it came to love in his home, but even so, he was a happy boy despite his disfigurement. Boys and girls accepted him as a friend, but he was still missing the sort of love he wanted most of all, which explains why he decided to find it elsewhere in the form of a female, which brings to question whether or not this all stemmed from his mother abandoning him. could Thanos have mommy issues? It most certainly is a powerful emotion and can indeed run a muck if unchecked.

Batman

psychology of comic book characters

In the case of Batman, you’re talking about something totally different in terms of human emotion, but at the same time not as polar opposite as you may think… Here we have a young boy (Bruce Wayne) who wants to see a movie or experience a play late at night in a theater located in a place considered the Narrows in Gotham. A few minutes into the performance or film, he gets scared and wants to go home. Upon leaving the theater, both his parents are held at gun point by a desperate homeless man demanding Dr. Wayne’s Wallet, but when he notices the pearls hanging from Mrs. Wayne’s neck, the homeless man goes to snatch them off, which ensues a domino effect no way back from. For a young boy to witness this and blame himself for the tragedy is enough for any child to become a permanent resident of Arkham Asylum where he would either rot or be reborn a villain.

Is Batman The Alter Ego or Is It Bruce Wayne?

At the moment of Dr & Mrs. Wayne’s death, an alter ego was born, which took over. Although, the alter ego went nameless for many years, it would later be known as Batman. Many claim the Dark Knight to be the real persona utilizing Bruce Wayne as the alter ego rather the other way around, and I tend to agree. The Dark Knight only needs the mask or face you know to be Bruce Wayne.
In the end, Batman is Batman through and through. He was able to do what Bruce Wayne alone was unable to accomplish, which was take the pain and fear, and put it to good use. He utilized all the pain and all the fear as fuel to drive him to learn the criminal element better than any one else could; to learn problem solving, science, and the art of invisability. He used it to learn all forms of martial arts and keep his body in optimal shape. Many would say, the dark Knight is the ultimate super hero as he’s all human as opposed to being from Krypton, the Amazon, or Ocean.

In Conclusion

Unlike Thanos, which I’ve come to the conclusion of him missing a mother’s love for her child, Bruce Wayne didn’t. In fact, young Bruce was loved by both his parents. As a child, Bruce was universally made to trade the front row seats of a show for the front show seats of Gotham Violence where the price of admission was too much to bear, and where young bruce was left holding the check. From that moment on he vowed never to be afraid again, and as his father Thomas grew to become a Doctor in order to help the less privileged in Gotham, Bruce became something totally different to later do the same on a much larger scale. Bruce became something else born of that night. He became Batman.
There are hundreds of other comic book super heroes and villains (especially villains) we can talk about, but for me these are the two that come up as most fascinating.

Feel free to leave any comments or add any findings of your own in the comment box below.

Burt B

About

Burt B is an editor at Geek Swaggah... You'll find him most of the time testing technology, game controllers and playing lots of video games... Right now he's knees deep into iOS 13 & Gears 5!

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