by Sharoon Yasir
November 25, 2017
You do know who Batman is, right? I think if 10 people come across this, 9 of them do know who Batman is. The Dark Knight, as most of the Generation Z know him, is one of the most famous superheroes of all times. Equipped with his self-created gadgets and wisdom, this superhero is strong and genius enough to fight all sorts of evil. His strength knows no boundaries and this everyone is aware of. Keeping this in mind, Gordon, the police officer in The Dark Knight says, ‘Because we have to chase him. Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now, so we'll hunt him. Because he can take it, because he's not a hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector, a Dark Knight.’
While The Dark Knight is one of the most powerful and successful versions of Batman, this is not his only version. In 1939, National Allied Publications asked Bob Kane to create a new superhero after the success of Superman and so Batman was created by Bob Kane and writer Will Finger.
Batman made a fantastic debut in 1939 and was soon a massive hit. Following the success of Batman, his creators came up with his sidekick Robin. As time passed by, more characters were introduced into the series and so we came to know Joker, The Riddler, Two-Face and Catwoman. In 1960, the Justice League of America was created which was a group of superheroes featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Flash, among others.
More allies and nemeses of Batman kept entering his life and this superhero cladded in black had many extraordinary adventures. He even teamed up with Scooby-Doo, traveled back in time, went to the future and fought with aliens. I know this is quite startling because Batman was never perceived as someone who would take interest in inter-celestial beings, but yeah, there are versions of him doing exactly that.
The deeper you dig into the history of Batman, the more fun, startling and weird facts and trivia you will find out about him. When such facts are brought into the limelight, one does begin to question the true identity, the authenticity and the genuineness of the character Batman. Who was the real Batman? Why was he created? What was the true story behind him? What really made him turn into Batman? Nobody will ever know that because the very first creator of the Batman is no longer with us.
Now some of you may be thinking about the importance and need of digging deeper into the matter and wasting your time on a fictional character after all he was just a fictional character- someone that was a fabrication of someone’s imagination and does not hold any real, true identity. So what if he had many versions and none of the version made sense? So what if he went to Mars or traveled back in time to meet Cleopatra? None of that really matters, right? The reason why it does not matter much to you is because you don’t hold Batman in great reverence and he isn’t auspicious enough for you to spend hours and hours questioning its legitimacy and authenticity. That’s alright- it is quite a sensible manner to handle this issue. One only spends enough time exploring things and finding the real truth behind them if those things are of real importance to him or her.
If that’s your stance on Batman’s history and authenticity, would it change if he was backed by religion? If Batman was a religious character, would you still leave this issue aside especially if you are a believer yourself? If his existence had been mentioned in the Bible or in any other religious book for that matter, would you still leave this matter alone especially if Batman’s name was mentioned in your holy book? I guess not.
Religion is an extremely delicate subject- one that is special, meaningful and important to the hearts of all those who believe in their God or a special power. Whenever religion sneaks up in a discussion, the discussion is bound to turn from cordial to a heated one in no time, especially if someone brings up an argument that the majority in the group disapprove of. We would take out our swords and Kalashnikovs and would make certain to kill that person till he breathes his last if not with actual bullets than at least with the verbal ones fired from our mouth.
Why is religion such a difficult topic to discuss? Why aren’t people more open to accepting different things related to different or even their own religions especially when almost everyone says their religion promotes love, compassion and tranquility? If that is really true, why cannot the followers of a certain religion bring in themselves the openness, the strength and the courage to listen to a viewpoint that contradicts theirs?
I guess, one major reason why this is so because for all the believers (those who believe in a specific religion), their religion and the power they worship is the highest, most authentic and wisest being of them all and to question anything related to its existence would be equivalent to question their own existence.
This is precisely why few Christians ever question the existence and genuineness of Jesus Christ. Oh God, what did I just say? Did I in any way insinuate that Jesus did not really exist? Did what I wrote imply I do not believe in Jesus? Oh no, I cannot believe I suggested that. Now, I fear if I’ll be banished from the society I live in or allowed to live in it but with disgrace? No, I am not exaggerating things, but this is mostly what happens to people who dare to question the authenticity of the holy beings they and those around them believe in.
The fear of being adorned with shame, disgrace and embarrassment is precisely what keeps us from questioning many of our beliefs and the validity of many things we believe vehemently in. This is why most of us bury our questions, ambiguities and confusions deep down inside us and keep following the league of our ancestors without ever thinking that what we may be following did not even exist.
Fortunately, times have changed to a great extent and while there are still communities and societies that would burn people alive for even thinking of going against their religious or spiritual beliefs, people are generally becoming more open to different ideas, viewpoints and concepts. Not only that, but people are now more concerned about nothing but the truth more than ever. They want to find out the real truth behind things and want to know the genuine foundations of most of their beliefs.
Keeping this need in consideration, director Jozef K. Richards created Batman & Jesus which is a thought provoking documentary wrapped in humor and wit to question the genuineness of things starting with the two icons that are dear to the hearts of most people- Batman, a pop culture icon which is deemed as a fictional character and Jesus- a Jewish religious leader and preacher who is the central figure of the religion Christianity and is believed to be Son of God by the Christians and his character is one many Christians cannot ever question.
In the posts that follow this one, I aim to dig deeper into both the characters mentioned above so you can better understand the authenticity of both these figures and then settle the matter of their authenticity on your own. Basically, the aim of Batman & Jesus is not to disregard your beliefs and disown your religion. It does not aim to stray you from the path you righteously believe in. It just has an innocent aim at heart- to make you open to new approaches so instead of accepting everything that’s thrown your way, you start to question things on your own and accept only what you feel and know is right.
I am a Muslim and firmly believe in my religion. I believe that our Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the last messenger of Allah and Jesus Christ (Prophet Isa as we call him in Islam) was one of the prophets of Allah so I do believe in the existence of Jesus. That being said, if someone asks me to give them valid proof of their existence, I won't be able to provide them with that instantly. Why? Because sadly, I don't have sound knowledge of what I believe in which is sad. When I saw Batman & Jesus, I felt disappointed in myself for not having valid proof to prove the authenticity of the messengers I believe in and that pushed me to know my faith better. Then I understood that the main aim of Batman & Jesus was to do precisely that- make us more concerned about the things we know so instead of accepting everything that's told to us, we start digging deeper into things so we know the genuineness of what we believe in and can easily convince anyone when he or she tries to bring forward a contradictory theory. I am grateful to the creators behind Batman & Jesus for making me realize this.
If you are intrigued about the documentary and wish to learn more about it, visit spadeheartclub.com as it is the official site for King's Tower Productions - all of Jozef's work is listed on there and the official Facebook page of Batman & Jesus: https://www.facebook.com/BatmanandJesus/
Limited access to Batman & Jesus will begin on November 24 (Black Friday). But don’t wait! Access to this first run will be extremely limited and will become unavailable quickly. If you wait, you may not be able to see Batman & Jesus until it hits Amazon or similar platforms, sometime in the later part of 2018. (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/batman-jesus-the-movie#/)
I hope you enjoyed the article and do share your thoughts on it in the comments below. Looking forward to some exciting discussions on this one.
Love and light,
Sharoon Yasir is an independent blogger on Steemit.com living in Pakistan contracted by King's Tower Productions to cover its films.
(Pictured: Andrea Ivy as Margaret in Batman & Jesus attempts to defend the historicity of Batman in a theoretical future)