Shawn’s Advice to Tom King on Writing Batman:
Stop writing Batman like a SIMP.
I recently took a look at Batman #50 and Batman #51. And the way Batman is being written by Tom King is completely out of character for Batman based on his 80-year history as a character and as a man.
Bruce Wayne grew up in a home with a father. And for the first 8 years of his life he learned lessons in manhood from him. It was the core values that Bruce learned from Dr. Thomas Wayne before that shaped the man he would grow up to become.
Bruce also grew up in a home with Alfred as his butler. Alfred’s wisdom taught Bruce patience and understanding. That understanding gave Bruce a perspective on the bigger picture of life and his future mission as Batman.
In addition, as he trained to become Batman, Bruce worked with men like the Sensei. It was the Sensei who taught Bruce discipline and self-control. Through the meditation techniques he learned from him as he trained in the Martial Arts, he understood the need to be able to control himself so he could be able to look out for Gotham City.
Men who grow up in homes with fathers in them and around strong male figures conduct themselves differently than those who grew up in gynocentric environments like the single mother household Tom King grew up in.
It’s clear to me King is projecting his life experiences from his single mother household onto Bruce. Only men who grow up in single mother households like Tom King did are the ones who are emotional like the way King writes Batman. Only a guy from a single mother household is going to get emotional and act out to the point where they’re losing it over a breakup with a woman like Selina Kyle.
Bruce Wayne hasn’t acted like this in his 80-year history. And the reason why he hasn’t has to do with the 2-parent household he was raised in. A man who grows up in a household with a father in it knows how to have discipline and self-control because he saw his father model that behavior for him.
This is why Bruce is known for keeping his cool and maintaining strong self control in the most stressful of situations. Over the last 80 years Bruce has dealt with breakups with Vicki Vale, Silver St Cloud, Nocturna, and Selina Kyle by being able to navigate through his emotions. While Bruce feels pain, he knows he can’t act on his feelings. Because one rash action by him could have long-term ramifications on others like when he made Jason Todd Robin and Jean Paul Valley Batman.
If Bruce could grieve the death of Jason Todd and still manage to keep his composure enough to work on numerous cases as Batman, he should be able to deal with the breakup of an engagement to Catwoman.
When I saw Bruce ripping a urinal out of a bathroom in Batman 51 it was just out of character for him. Bruce would NEVER act so rashly when he sat on a Jury.
Moreover, it showed King had no understanding of how courts work. As a guy who has done Jury Duty every 4 years here in The Bronx and Federal Court in Manhattan, I know security is TIGHT in a courthouse. There are guards EVERYWHERE. A guy ripping out a urinal (ridiculous even with Batman’s peak human strength) and tossing it across a bathroom is gonna make noise. And courthouse security is gonna find out who did it by checking the cameras that are in the halls of the courthouse. With Bruce’s years of training as Batman he would NEVER be that sloppy to put himself or Batman at risk by destroying property in a courthouse.
Especially when he’s on a trial for one of his arch-enemies like Mr. Freeze. Bruce would know that he’d have to keep his composure to ensure justice would be served. Bruce’s actions in Batman 51 would have led to a MISTRIAL, and led to Mr. Freeze escaping justice. That’s just a mistake Bruce would never make.
Yeah, breakups are tough. But men who have a strong foundation in family know how to get through them. They know that there’s a bigger picture and that there are more important things they need to focus on than a woman. Only a SIMP who comes from a single mother household would be so in his emotions over a woman that he’d be willing to risk everything because his feelings are hurt.
As a writer with over 20 years of experience I see the numerous mistakes Tom King is making in his run of Batman. And the main one he’s making is getting emotionally attached to the character. He’s turning Batman into a cipher for his own life experiences, something a first-year writer does.
A seasoned writer like myself knows that they have to detach themselves from the character and let them tell their own story, not project my personal issues onto them. That way the reader can experience the character’s stories and hear their voice in the writer’s words. While I’ve drawn on my life experiences for some chapters in stories like The Temptation of John Haynes, I’ve learned to step aside and let John have his own experiences and as the story progresses and let him tell his own story.
Tom also really needs to do his research into the family unit before he writes any more Batman issues. He needs to understand that that there’s a clear difference between the way a man who grew up in a single mother household acts and the way a man with a father in the home acts. Before I wrote novels like Spellbound I did research on the family unit, the hierarchy of children, and the relationship between an eldest child, a middle child, and a youngest child in addition to coming to an understanding about the role of a father in a child’s life. From that research I was able to give readers a balanced picture of Matilda Crowley’s life and why she became a part of the Goth subculture. If Tom did a bit more research and understood Batman’s family dynamics He’d stop writing Batman as like a SIMP and start writing him like a Superhero.
When I write a story I take myself out of the picture and do my best to put my readers in the room with the characters. I want the readers to enter that world and be right there as the action is going on. And as they’re imagining the action going on in their imaginations, I want them to make observations and draw their own conclusions about the story. A good Batman story should have readers focused on the mystery the motivations of the criminal, and the reason why Batman needs to bring them to justice.
Tom, if you want to learn more about SIMPS and their dysfunctional behavior, pick up my book STOP SIMPIN- Why Men Don’t Need FinanceTo Get Romance on Amazon.com And if you want to learn more about Men, check out some of the Men’s groups on Youtube or on Facebook. They’ll give you some perspective on men, Manhood and masculinity and will help you write a more balanced Batman.