Movie(s): Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises
Actor: Christian Bale
Patriotism: Batman serves the needs of his city, as opposed to his country. He’s fiercely loyal to Gotham despite how many villains crawl out from its depths, and he actively partners with the police (Commissioner Gordon) and politicians (Harvey Dent) to keep the streets safe. Interestingly, however, in his rebooted origin story he got his training from the crime organizations of various countries, including Bhutan.
Self-Made Man? Yes! I think part of the reason that Bruce Wayne gets so much props is that he is one of the few caped heroes not blessed with radioactive bites or alien powers. Crafting his identity as Batman is something he does with little outside help, though Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) supplies quite a few gadgets along the way. Sure, his wealth helps things along, but it’s better that he spend it on crimefighting than girls. Oh, wait…
How He Changes: An excellent thing that Nolan did with these movies was turn Batman and Bruce Wayne into a canvas on which the citizens of Gotham project their hopes, but mostly their dark fears. By the end of the first movie, he essentially sacrifices his Bruce Wayne persona to the masses, allowing them to assume that he’s a decadent playboy who doesn’t care about life beyond his next party. At the second movie’s conclusion, it’s Batman that undergoes the same villification, taking responsibility for the Joker’s murders. We’re looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises, which will see Gordon begging Bruce to don the Batsuit once again.
Family Issues: Bruce is guaranteed to be fucked-up from the moment his parents get shot by a mugger. However, it’s also a painful reminder that even the most powerful man in Gotham (then Bruce’s dad) is still just a man.
Sex Appeal: See “decadent playboy” above. But really, his real love Rachel Dawes doesn’t make it long enough for us to see if Batman has a soft spot for romance.
Relation to Nemesis: Batman doesn’t have one specific villain who’s a mirror image of him, as is the case with other heroes. If anything, each one represents a shard: The Joker is the insanity that the emotionless Batman won’t give in to; Harvey Dent was the wholesome public figure that Bruce Wayne couldn’t be; etc.