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Howard Chaykin says "Batman is a 15-year-old boy's idea of what a rich guy would do when he was eight"

Howard Chaykin has strong thoughts on Batman, and superheroes in general

Image credit: DC Comics

Howard Chaykin does not hold back, whether it's in the work he produces or the interviews he does to promote them. The mind behind American Flagg frequently critiques not just popular culture, but specifically comicdom, a habit he kepts going with even now.

In an interview with Chloe Maveal, available now to Popverse members, Chaykin took the idea of Batman to task, referring to the concept as immature.

"I've said it more than once," said the artist and author, "Batman is a 15-year-old boy's idea of what a rich guy would do if he had a bad day when he was eight."

The quote was in line with his thoughts on mainstream superhero comics, which Chaykin refers to as a "Mobius strip of pursuit and no capture with a moral standard that is that of a 15-year-old boy's misrepresentation."

And if you think that's coming from an outsider's perspective, you couldn't be more wrong. Chaykin is a storied comic book veteran, in fact, he's even taken his turn at the Caped Crusader.

All the way back in 1998, DC Comics gave Chaykin a shot at his own Batman story. Bringing the Dark Knight back to his pulp roots, Chaykin's Batman: Dark Allegiances sees a 1930s Bruce Wayne go up against fascist and communist agents operating in the US, along with altered versions of his typical rogues gallery. The Batman of Dark Allegiances is arguably more grim and less stable than anything Frank Miller produced, concerned not with a righteous crusade but a violent and, one might even say, childish lifestyle. Here's a quote from this Batman:

"Everyone needs a hobby. Some people sail. Some people play tennis. Some people play polo. My hobby is dressing up like a masked maniac and beating the living daylights out of people I don’t like."

You have to hand it to Howard Chaykin; the guy is consistent.

Chaykin's thoughts on Batman are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all he discussed at GalaxyCon this year. If you want to read more of his insights and opinions, you can read the full Q&A by becoming a Popverse member right now.


Want to form your own unique opinion on DC's premiere vigilante? Why not start with Popverse's watch guide for every Batman movie?

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About the Author
Grant DeArmitt avatar

Grant DeArmitt

Contributing writer

Grant DeArmitt (he/him) likes horror, comics, and the unholy pairing of the two. He has written for Nightmare on Film Street and Newsarama, despite their better judgement. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner, Kelsey, and corgi, Legs.
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