Who is Batman?
Batman is one of the most iconic comicbook heroes of all time. In his 75 years of living, he has become a hero that fights with the best of the best superheroes and supervillains out there, even though he is just human. He has overcome and accomplished many incidents where all seemed hopeless. He has done the impossible and shown us what a true hero is. He has passed down his skills to many other great heroes and made sure there would always be a Batman out there to protect the innocent and fight for justice even after he's gone. He has become a beacon of hope and an inspiration to many. But, more importantly than any of these, he has shown us readers what a normal human being can do. He has shown us that we can be heroes.
However, to be heroes, you must sacrifice. You must go through some hardship. Batman, as we all know, lost his parents at the age of eight after the mugger Joe Chill shot and killed both of them. Since then, he has been driven by their deaths to be the caped crusader and sacrifice living a normal life and showing his true affections towards the people he loves and has pushed them away to keep his identity and the people he loves safe. Even then, it does not stop people whom he considers his family meet the same fate as his parents. Four of his sidekicks he trained, raised even, are part of this group of many. One of these sidekicks he actually had to watch die (Forever Evil story arc). He has had to live on and fight these maniacs and killers, watching more and more people die because of them, fighting some of the men who took his family away from him, but never fully carrying out his revenge for the ones he's lost. For if he did kill them, he'd be no better than they are. For 75 years, he has seen the bodies pile up, made more sacrifices a person should never have to make, and face adversities that have crushed him.
But he has endured. And he has shown us the strength of a human.
He's shown us that we humans can do more than what is set out for us, more than what is believed to be. He's shown us that we can break our limits, go far beyond what is expected of us, look upon adversity and spit in its face, crush these predetermined beliefs that we can't do it, that we are not good enough, that we are too weak, that we will never be as great as these glorified giants who stand above us because of their abilities to move the Earth with sheer strength or bend a man's will by a flutter of the eyelash or create anything out of their own will. He's shown us that, to the contrary, we can be these giants, nay, stand above these giants and face the very gods these giants fear, that we can beat even these gods because of the fact that we are human. He's shown us that whatever adversity these giants or gods throw at us, we can get back up, push beyond adversity, stand above these beings, and become something greater than anything we could ever imagine.
He's shown us that humans are truly great and that we can be whoever and whatever we want to be and still be great.
I'm sure some of you readers have realized that I haven't referred to him as Bruce Wayne at all. Well, that's because he isn't Bruce Wayne. He's Batman, inside and out. His entire identity became Batman when he was eight years old. His parents' deaths have molded him to be the man he is today, some may say for the worse, I say for the better. However, becoming Batman does not stem from the major tragedies you face and overcome, but the adversities you face all your life and be great from. We all have a Batman inside of us. We are able to release this Batman inside of us when we are faced with change. This change can come in the form of a person standing in your way and the severity can range from Kiteman to the Joker, but you must not stop in front of them. Don't sell yourself short and say that you're too weak to fight back and turn away from them. Accept that you are weak and work up the Batman you want to be from there. Weakness as well as danger will always lie ahead, but that is a concept of life that is and will always be. Accept this fact. Own your weakness and become danger. Only after doing so can you grab your cape and cowl and do the work that can only be done by the unique Batman within you.
So, who is Batman? Well, in the words of Dick Grayson during Battle For The Cowl, "You are Batman."