Incorruptible & Everlasting: A History of Batman


While not a traditional military history topic, my recent lecture on the history of Batman to an Cumann Staire (NUI Galway History Society) is still an interesting read. Not just for those of you interested in comic books/film, but also as a social commentary on man’s desire for a retributive justice that is truly just and that goes beyond the traditional (many would say non-effective) forms of justice which exist in our society today.

Batman is a complex character. There is not simply one Batman, but indeed many incarnations of the same character and he is all things to all men without seeming trite. Batman is a character which has become truly everlasting and is incorruptible. He has transcended time and can and is regularly refashioned to face the particular challenges and issues facing whatever society he emerges onto. In the 1940s Batman was a stark and brutal counter to criminals; in the 1960s he changed to a lighter and perhaps more tangible example of how crime fighting didn’t have to be so extreme; and in the present era, Batman has evolved into a one man army in the crusade against crime.


The paper draws upon classical research but also explores the mythology and philosophy (the Taoism of the Bat) and the duality and themes which permeate the entire consciousness of the canon literature. It also explores lesser known aspect of Bat culture such as the concept of the Heroic Quest/Journey of Enlightenment and allegations of Homosexuality/Pedetarism. Thanks again to the society for inviting me and letting me present my paper to them!


To view the slides used during this presentation, please go to the following link: Batman Powerpoint.draft4.nosound.22.10.2013

About eamonntgardiner

I am a PhD Student at the National University of Ireland, Galway. I am conducting research into links between wartime traumatic-neurosis and evidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder amongst British First World War veterans serving as Auxiliary Policemen in Ireland during the Anglo-Irish War 1919-1921. I have previously conducted research into local Irish Volunteer/Old IRA units in Munster as well as British responses to popular insurgencies in areas they administered. I have previously published a book on the British Counterinsurgency responses to the IV/IRA conflict in Ireland, 1919-1921, entitled 'Dublin Castle and the Anglo-Irish War: Counter Insurgency and Conflict.' I have also published papers on various aspects of that war and also on other insurgencies. I write a regular blog on those and other related matters, which can be read at My research interests include Feminism and De-Colonialisation/Post-Colonialism, Insurgency, Police and Military Histories, Institutional Histories. Subaltern Studies, International History of the 20th Century, Modern Irish History, Historiography, History of Conflict, Peace Keeping/Enforcement/Protectorates, Spheres of Influence, Hegemonic Theories, Old and New Terrorism.
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5 Responses to Incorruptible & Everlasting: A History of Batman

  1. formyfrog says:

    It’s interesting how two Superheroes seem to stand the test of time – Batman and Superman.

  2. Batrepreneur says:

    That’s an interesting read. Would you mind sending me your presentation via mail? I lead the website According to your about-description I could imagine having a feature with you on my site. Let me know what you think.

  3. Batrepreneur says:

    Thanks. I finally made it to look through it.
    It is a nice and comprehensive review about the whole franchise, well done.

    Are you keen about having an interview with me focused on the character of Bruce Wayne and learning effects for humans in the real world that are transported by him?

    • Hi there,

      Yeah I’d be happy to give an interview about the subject, but I will stress to add that I am not an expert in the field (my primary area of study is counterinsurgency/military).

      Get in touch about times and format and perhaps a selection of topics/questions you’ like to cover and we can try and hammer something out.



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