I must say that this writer’s favorite superhero is indeed Batman.
Why? Well, mostly because some of the best writing in the genre has surrounded that shadowy detective, because he solves all of his problems with his incredible analytical mind, because he holds his own with the Justice League and can best all of them (and has) even though he doesn’t have any super powers.
In my mind, I have a few things in common with Batman. I am a teacher who spends his career doing the best I can to keep the evil out of my student’s minds. The supervillains I face are laziness, apathy, self-loathing, angst, short-sightedness and the cycle of poverty. I also manage to write novels in my spare time just as Bruce Wayne manages to save the world now and again.
I know. This extended metaphor’s a stretch, but go with me here.
I watched Batman Begins and The Dark Knight with my kids last night in preparation for today’s release of The Dark Knight Rises on bluray (which we will watch tonight) and like Batman lying in a pit of mud, seemingly defeated by the leader of the Mutants in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, I rose to the challenge and wrote another 1325 words on the novel, probably writing one of the best chapters of the book. I fell into my bed beaten, exhausted, yawning through much of today, but like Batman I looked that challenge in the eye and told it “This laptop may look like an ordinary laptop, but novel, it is an operating table…and I am a surgeon.” (Those of you who have read “Returns” will get that joke).
So yes, I will watch The Dark Knight Rises with my wife and kids tonight, and after I tuck each of them safely in their own little bat caves, I will retire to my own cavern deep beneath the earth and work that novel over, find its weak spots, create new gadgets of creative prose and swing from the heights of my imagination.
Because I’m Batman, and that’s what I do.