The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 74: “Batman Returns” (1992)

Our special holiday episode this year is dedicated to the film Batman Returns! It’s the sequel to Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), which ushered in a more serious and mysterious incarnation of Bruce Wayne/Batman and a generally darker tone to on-screen superhero characterization.  In the film, Bruce Wayne contends with the Penguin, a monstrous outcast who was raised in Gotham City’s sewers, and Catwoman, the newly empowered temptress with a rageful vendetta against the man who mistreated her, the businessman Max Shreck.  As we explore each character’s psychological motivations, mental states and even shifts in identity, we consider the possibility that the core theme of the film — its focus on the downtrodden, the deviants, the disparaged — draws us directly back to Batman. If he had not had Alfred’s support and care, would he have ended up like the narcissistic and callous Max Schrek? Would his vigilante ideals become more extreme and unforgiving like Catwoman’s?  Is he capable of descending toward the isolated, dismal and lonely lifestyle of The Penguin – is a batcave no different than the sewer?

Celebrate our 2-year anniversary with us as we debate these issues and shed light on the darkness of Batman Returns!

The Arkham Sessions is a podcast dedicated to the psychology of the show, Batman: The Animated Series.  Have psychology related questions about Batman? Write to us via twitter @ArkhamSessions or on Facebook. Or visit our official website.

And don’t forget to subscribe to The Arkham Sessions on iTunes to get all the latest episodes!

One Response to “The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 74: “Batman Returns” (1992)”

  1. Julia Arsenault says:

    As I said I love Tim’s take on Batman. I always like how they protrayed the Penguin; who I considered his birth a curse on his family for their sins

Leave a Reply