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Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight

Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight

Paperback

By (author) Travis Langley

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  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 228mm x 26mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 13 June 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Hoboken, NJ
  • ISBN 10: 1118167651
  • ISBN 13: 9781118167656
  • Sales rank: 54,510

Product description

A journey behind the mask and into the mind of Gotham City's Caped Crusader, timed for the summer 2012 release of "The Dark Knight Rises" Batman is one of the most compelling and enduring characters to come from the Golden Age of Comics, and interest in his story has only increased through countless incarnations since his first appearance in "Detective Comics" #27 in 1939. Why does this superhero without superpowers fascinate us? What does that fascination say "about" us? "Batman and Psychology" explores these and other intriguing questions about the masked vigilante, including: Does Batman have PTSD? Why does he fight crime? Why as a vigilante? Why the mask, the bat, and the underage partner? Why are his most intimate relationships with "bad girls" he ought to lock up? And why won't he kill that homicidal, green-haired clown?Gives you fresh insights into the complex inner world of Batman and Bruce Wayne and the life and characters of Gotham CityExplains psychological theory and concepts through the lens of one of the world's most popular comic book charactersWritten by a psychology professor and "Superherologist" (scholar of superheroes)

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Author information

TRAVIS LANGLEY is a professor of psychology at Henderson State University. An organizer for the Comics Arts Conference, he is a psychologist who speaks regularly on the psychology of superheroes at conventions like San Diego Comic-Con--especially the psychology of Gotham's Dark Knight.

Review quote

*"As a result, the book is much less dry and much more entertaining than many of the others which populate the ever-growing field of texts about pop culture and the sciences. Rather than just telling us what we should know or think about Batman, the book supplements our own interest in the hero, and provokes us to think more about what's going on in his head." ("Starpulse.com," 28 July 2012)"Each book up there is worthwhile reading, and I heartily recommend every one. Pointing out that they're either not about psychology or not specifically about Batman does not detract from any of the great things they have to say." ("Geek Nation," 12 June 2012)"Simply speaking, this is my pick for the best book of 2012. A fantastic look into the inner workings of one of comic book's most compelling, dynamic characters; a masterfully written analysis/love note to the Dark Knight."" ("MoviesWithButter.com," 21 July 2012)"Langley's excellent book is interesting in that -- unlike most writers who've written about Wertham and the Comics Code, he allows that Dr. Wertham was, in most respects, quite a valuable member of society. Wertham did a lot of good -- he was a civil rights advocate whose work was cited in the landmark Supreme Court case "Brown v. Board of Education".""" ("Blood, Dirt & Angels," 21 July 2012)

Back cover copy

Does the Dark Knight have bats in his belfry?Why does Batman "really" wear a costume to fight crime?Why are his most intimate relationships with "bad girls" he ought to lock up?And why won't he kill that homicidal clown?Batman is one of the most compelling and enduring characters to come from the Golden Age of Comics, and interest in his story has only increased through countless incarnations since his first appearance in 1939's "Detective Comics #27." Why does this superhero without superpowers fascinate us so much? "Batman and Psychology" examines the complex inner world of Batman and Bruce Wayne and the life and characters of Gotham City. What would Freud, Jung, and other professionals say about how childhood trauma spawned his life's mission? Is Batman neurotic? Psychotic? Does he have PTSD, OCD, or any other mental illness? Why the mask, the bat, and the underage partner, Robin? What psychopathologies lurk in the minds of supervillains like the Joker, the Riddler, Two-Face, and Catwoman? Are they really rogues and villains, or simply misunderstood victims of a heartless society? Do Batman and his foes depend on each other?Combining psychological theory with the latest in psychological research, "Batman and Psychology" takes you on an unprecedented journey behind the mask and into the dark mind of your favorite Caped Crusader and his never-ending war on crime.

Table of contents

Acknowledgments: My Bat-Family vii Foreword by Michael Uslan, Bat-Films executive producer xi Introduction by Dennis O'Neil, comic book writer/editor 1 1 Beneath the Cowl: Who Is Batman? 5 2 Which Batman? 8 Case File 2-1: King Tut Case File 2-2: Mr. Freeze 3 The Trauma 35 4 Why the Mask? 54 5 Why the Bat? 67 Case File 5-1: Scarecrow Case File 5-2: Hugo Strange 6 The "Superstitious, Cowardly Lot": Criminal Nature 90 Case File 6-1: Bane 7 The Halloween Party: Why All the Costumed Crooks? 110 Case File 7-1: The Riddler Case File 7-2: The Penguin Case File 7-3: Poison Ivy 8 The Madhouse: What Insanity? 130 Case File 8-1: The Mad Hatter Case File 8-2: Harley Quinn Case File 8-3: The Joker 9 The Psychodynamic Duo: Freud and Jung on Batman and Robin 158 Case File 9-1: Two-Face 10 The Kids: Why Robin? 178 Case File 10-1: Red Hood Case File 10-2: Dr. Fredric Wertham 11 The Women: Why the Cat? 211 Case File 11-1: Catwoman 12 The Fathers: Why Do We Fall? 237 Case File 12-1: Ra's al Ghul 13 Why So Serious? 257 14 The Assessment: Bats in His Belfry? 266 Notes 272 References: Comic Books and Graphic Novels 291 References: Not Comic Books or Graphic Novels 304 Index 332