Batman: Sad & Tender Warrior.

Via Kate Bartolotta
on Dec 19, 2011
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Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman.

(Photo: Wikimedia)




Always be Batman.

Bonus: DC on Twitter: “This Superman poster from the 1950s is just as relevant today as it was nearly 70 years ago. There is still hope.”




I’ve always had a soft spot for The Dark Knight. I have an ongoing debate with one of my brothers about who is the better superhero–Superman or Batman.

To me, it’s Batman, hands down. (You could have another debate about Marvel vs. DC comics in general, but that’s a whole separate blog; possibly a whole different website.)

So why Batman?

  • 1. Batman is human. He isn’t from another planet, wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider, doesn’t have mutant DNA. He’s just a guy doing what he believes he should do.

  • 2. He is committed to being of benefit to others. It does help that his parents left him lots of money. But he has no hidden agenda, no desire for accolades–just one man being the change he wants to see in the world.
  • 3. He is permanently brokenhearted. Between the loss of his parents at a young age, to the various brief romantic entanglements (or longer, more complicated attachments if we’re speaking movies rather than comics) Batman is fundamentally alone. If anyone knows the genuine heart of sadness, it’s Batman.
  •  4. People hate him; he’s okay with that. When he’s Bruce Wayne, people see him as a rich playboy. They might envy him a bit, but he’s more or less disliked. When he’s Batman, people are constantly finding fault with the way he chooses to help society. Does he let it bruise his ego? Nope. Batman refuses to give up despite constant opposition.
  • 5. His true superpowers are his mind, his broken heart, and his indomitable will. Batman isn’t a hero because he’s strong; he’s a hero because all of his personal suffering and all of the suffering he sees in Gotham City inspires him to dive in and change things.

I’m going to guess the Caped Crusader never read Trungpa. Still, you have to admit he’s a great example of the warrior archetype Trungpa describes:

“The ideal of warriorship is that the warrior should be sad and tender, and because of that, the warrior can be very brave as well.”

and also:

“The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything.”

or in other words:

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

~ e.e. cummings

It’ s good to be yourself. Fight for it. And don’t forget about being Batman.

Always be Batman.


About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven. She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. Kate's books are now available on and Barnes & She is passionate about helping people fall in love with their lives. You can connect with Kate on Facebook and Instagram.


33 Responses to “Batman: Sad & Tender Warrior.”

  1. Love this, Kate! What an incredible introspective. Hearts of a feather….and only those as tender and fierce as yours could see the beauty in this character the way you so eloquently describe. Gorgeousness.

  2. Thanks Diane! May have to wear my Batman bracelet today…feeling a little tender myself.

  3. Andréa Balt says:

    Oh la la! Thanks for ruining my super productive day and making me fall in love with Batman, now I’m dreamy. Add e.e. cummings and I’m lost! You’re evil, Kate. 🙂

    I'd never analyzed Batman in depth before, but I've always preferred him to pretty-boy-superman or cute-boy-spiderman.
    “His true superpowers are his mind, his broken heart, and his indomitable will.” Ok. Calling the Joker right now, let’s see if I can get kidnapped.

  4. Haha! But you don't have to wait & be rescued by Batman…you can BE Batman! (Batwoman? Batgirl? 😉 Wonder Woman is overrated…I want to be Batgirl!

  5. Andréa Balt says:

    Well, I'm already Batgirl – or more like Nice Cat with Bat wings… Bat-like in any case. El murciélago interior. 🙂

  6. skavinger1984 says:

    Yes! I'm Batman! Well, in mind and spirit, that is :).

  7. And that's what counts;)

  8. skavinger1984 says:

    Excellent. I guess that means I can retire my costume. the citizens of gotham can stop staring now, :).

  9. Great piece. I'm making my boyfriend read it. But I mostly wanted to comment on your bio: I, also, am a chronic over user of exclamation points!! In fact, I am concerned by those people that don't use exclamation points enough ….


  10. You are so right!!!! (I am steadfastly trying to curb my parentheses and ellipsis abuse though…)

  11. Thank you Skavinger1984 for my biggest laugh of the day! Awesome!

  12. And just to add for the record, in order, best Batmen

    1. Christian Bale (my fave by far)
    2. Michael Keaton
    3. Adam West (Classic Campy Batman)
    4. George Clooney (Love Clooney, but he was a bit too happy to be Batman)
    5. Val Kilmer (Yeah…Blonde Batman…not so much)

  13. skavinger1984 says:

    my pleasure! feel free to call me Richard, btw. Or Batman, if that fancies you more :).

  14. Via Facebook from Charles Christian Fields

    "First off, Kate is right. End of argument, superman, while a great story, is just a rehashed version of the savior story which has been retold since thousands of years before Christ. Batman is just that, a man, who used his biggest fear to work to empower him, which is a lesson in itself. Secondly, the Chris Nolan series shows Bruce throwing off the wealth, and living as a pauper, in order to better understand his advisory. Another lesson in itself. Lastly he didn't get praise, he was considered an outlaw, sorry superman, love you but Bruce wins!"

    Thanks Bro…love you! xoxo

  15. Gotta love Batman! 🙂 Well, that and the fact that this movie was filmed in Pittsburgh. The "Ravenstahl" jersey is our mayor. *giggle* He HAD to get into the movie.

  16. Huh! I had no idea!! Thanks:)

  17. BrajaSorensen says:

    You forgot to mention, he's kinda hot….

  18. BrajaSorensen says:

    Like totally….

  19. Yeah, I always hated those ludicrously powerful superheroes like Superman and Thor, far preferring those with human weaknesses. That may fit with my views on spirituality, influenced by my Quaker upbringing: you can keep your infallible gods and perfectly enlightened gurus; give me wounded healers and teachers struggling along the path with the rest of us.

  20. Christian Bale, really?
    I still haven't forgiven him for talking more like George W. Bush than Bob Dylan in I'm Not There.

  21. Haha! True, but he makes a great Batman!

  22. Agreed. Thanks Jay!

  23. […] or her own strength. It’s because of our sad, tender broken-open hearts that we can be brave. It’s not about armor. It’s not about keeping your shield at the ready to protect yourself. It’s the opposite; […]

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  25. […] Talk to me, tell me what you are thinking, even if you are thinking what it would be like to be Batman. […]

  26. […] These experiences with men put some cracks in my armor. I couldn’t hate these men, just as I couldn’t hate any race or nationality. They call yoga a practice because it is. It took a lot of practice loving so I could stop hating men. I needed a more balanced and honest view of maleness. It didn’t come easily. […]

  27. jhepstein says:

    every little boy, batman or superman.

    every little girl, wonderwoman or shira.

    I have the power of greyskull!