I think of my brother when I see any of the thousands of Batman figurines from the early 90s and when I see vintage Batman toys ala the Adam West days. He had a vintage Bat-Cave that his figurines could stand on and seemed to have a toy for each model ever dreamed up of the Batmobile. I remember him chugging around the house in Batman pajamas that had little velcro squares on the shoulders where a cape could attach. When I see the Jack Burnley Batman drawings my dad owns, I think of my brother because they remind me of my dad reading Batman books to us all at night.
|Jack Burnley cover art of Batman and Robin|
So when Friday came around and my husband wanted us to join some friends in seeing "The Dark Knight Rises" I went along thinking of my brother. The movie was good, but not an all-time favorite for me by any means. All throughout, I felt like I was really enjoying the movie because it made me think of my brother. It made me think of watching "Batman: the Animated Series" with him and it made me think of how we've grown-- kind of how Batman has grown into more of an adult story-- and maybe I don't know him as well as I used to.
I like to think I know all of my siblings well. There are six of us now and so spread out in age that it will be years yet before everyone has left my parent's house. I haven't lived under the same roof with my brother for more than a few months since I was in high school. Back then, I was preoccupied with my own drama, the angst of high school and trying to escape it, and I somewhat lost track of where he was at. He was always there in my peripherals, but perhaps not as in focus as I'd like to think.
As I think about this latest Batman series by Christopher Nolan, I realize that while I have maybe enjoyed them somewhat, I have paid attention and cared because they make me nostalgic. I care about them because my brother does, and if there was ever a person whose life has had a Batman theme running through it it's him.
So I left the theater happy enough on Friday evening and remembering all of the times I played Catwoman and he was Batman. I smiled remembering the poses he made and his serious "Batman" expression when he was fresh from the bath and stuffed into his pajamas, cape stuck on behind. I guess that is the sign of a certain kind of good movie: the kind of movie that makes you remember why no matter how many times they "reinvent" Batman, at his core he's the character we all grew up with--from Baby-boomers to kids right now. He's "The Bat." And for me he'll always make me think of my brother.