“Batman: A Visual Analysis” adapts Malcolm Collier’s photo elicitation method to drawn visuals to explore how reality is reflected in artistic method and subject material. Examining various Batman comic book covers from 1940-2008 in the context of American cultural history, this digital story uncovers a startling social commentary on the violent nature of the United States through the increasing sophistication of artwork and the appearance of violent real world events. Never just a child’s hero, Batman, as a representation of America, faces the same increasingly disturbing challenges we do—only he faces them, as Jack Nicholson’s Joker says, with “wonderful toys.”
This digital story was created for Dr. Michael Coventry’s Researching the Visual course at Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture and Technology M.A. program in the spring of 2008. The author remains faithful to Tim Burton’s Batman.
Editor’s Note: Regretfully, the text in this piece is somewhat difficult to read, but we are unable to provide the video at a higher resolution. Our apologies.