Prof. Westengard | O628 | Fall 2022

Blog #9


The Batman adaptation I watched was The Dark Knight, a movie about Batman, the new district attorney, and Lieutenant James Gordon successfully beginning to round up criminals that plague Gotham City but a sadistic criminal named the Joker appears to wreak havoc. Batman struggles against the Joker as he becomes personal with him, forcing him to "realize and control everything he believes" and improve his technology to stop him before he destroys Gotham City. The visuals of this movie are depicted as dark, weary, dreary, and fearful. In scenes with the Joker, who is shown as a maniac clown from his distressed clothing to the off-putting makeup, the cartoon-like aspect of how he speaks adds to the visuals of being weary and fearful. The Dark Knight and Batman: Ego are the same in the sense of setting, and they realize that everything they believe might be a facade to keep themself from deteriorating. One gothic element they have in common is madness; in both the Joker and Batman and the people around him. From the Joker being the result of his trauma and using crime as an outlet to Batman having an identity crisis as he puts many people's lives in danger because of "morals." Contrasting the two media pieces that depict violence are very different. The Dark Knight shows violence as senseless, with the endangerment of citizens and prisoners to kill each other. The Joker mercilessly kills people in the bank in the beginning scene and the hospital at the movie's ending. Violence against people is taken seriously until it's catastrophic or it is someone the main character loves. In Batman: Ego, we see the same sense of violence, but it affects the people around us immensely; when the criminal Batman caught kills himself in front of him, Batman is traumatized by it and blames himself. Violence is seen as a "stepping stone" in The Dark Knight, while in Batman: Ego, it has a cause and effect.

Both media pieces were equally gothic, from the dark and dreary atmosphere to the gothic characteristics like madness and violence. The Dark Knight reminds me of the text Carmilla in the sense that you begin to trust someone and notice warning signs from them but are afraid to believe that the person you come to know might be evil. When Laura begins to trust her new friend but senses something weird, she thinks it's all in her head. We can compare this to when Batman trusted the new attorney in the Batman movie to help clean up Gotham City. Still, Batman started to see how the attorney acted after the accident, realizing he was becoming the criminal he despised so much.

Superheroes can represent gothic literature in modern from movies to graphic novels. Superheros can be gothic because of some of the elements they depict. For example, in the Marvel movie End Game, we see violence and death on a mass scale, from the heroes dying to them killing villains; even though it's for saving the world, it's still acts of violence, making it gothic. Also, what makes superheroes gothic as well are the villains that are in these movies and shows. For example, in the Marvel movie Infinity War the villain Thanos is complex and initially sympathetic to the superheroes to fool them with his deceptive nature to get what he truly desires. One superhero that can represent gothic as a whole is Batman from his dark and gloomy hideouts to his mysterious and dreary personality depicts him as a gothic character. All in all, superheroes can be seen as gothic figures.


  1. Savara Khan

    Hi Shaneka, The Dark Night is one of my favorite Batman movies. I think I rewatched it 5 times. I loved reading your post and the examples you pointed out was amazing. Nice Job!

  2. Balia Michelle Melendez

    Hey Shaneka!!

    You did a nice job comparing both Dark Knight and Batman:Ego. That’s what I say superheroes can be seen as gothic cause we see violence and death but its like 50/50. 

  3. Laura Westengard

    Great analysis!

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