Who said it?: Narrator
The story behind the quote: While I’ve already created an earlier entry for the 1966 Batman camp-fest, that was for the movie. This time, the quote comes from the television series.
The 1966 Batman television series (starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin) followed the style of the older serial films. As such, each story arc was broken up into two episodes. The first episode will always end in a cliffhanger with Batman and Robin in some sort of jam. The episode will then end with the narrator summing up the Dynamic Duo’s predicament and advising viewers and fans to make sure to watch how they’ll save themselves.
Geek wisdom: In this ever changing world filled with uncertainty, it’s always nice to fall back on something you can rely on. It’s comforting to have something consistent.
Who said it?: Batman
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman and Robin, a sort of reimaging of Robin’s origin. In the very first issue of the comic series, Dick Grayson’s family is murdered by a hit man while performing their circus act. Orphaned, Dick is supposed to be placed in the custody of the police. However, Batman steals Dick from them (Batman suspects that the cops are corrupt) and speeds him away in the Batmobile.
The police start to chase after Batman (he is kidnapping someone, after all) and the Dark Knight starts ramming the squad cars that come after him and they eventually escape. However, Dick is afraid of everything that’s happening and he asks Batman what right he has to be doing this. Batman is apparently offended by this and questions Dick’s mental capacity before uttering that famous line.
This quote, along with the All Star Batman and Robin series, has been heavily criticised by both critics and fans alike. While there were a few who liked the new direction Frank Miller was going for, most people didn’t appreciate the fact that the characterization of Batman was too different from previous incarnations. Here, Batman is more sadistic and appears to get some form of pleasure in inflicting pain and he cares less for injuring innocent bystanders. This line has been recorded in infamy because of the idea that Batman would even refer to himself in this way.
Geek wisdom: You have to be proud of who you are and what you’ve become. You can be a badass dark knight or just an ordinary joe. It doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t matter: you are who you are. In fact, all of the events that you’ve experienced in life created and molded you into the unique individual that you are, and that by itself makes you special.
It is difficult to accept sometimes, especially if you’re in the dumps and you feel life doesn’t feel worth living. However, if you don’t respect yourself, no one will respect you. The goddamn Batman knows this, and you should, too.