It’s the holidays…again…and in the midst of all the typical crap like breaking out the decorations for the house and erecting the false trees or buying the real ones and scrambling to get out the Christmas cards to people we don’t ever talk to anymore, we here at the Sewer are once again taking stock of the many gifts we’ve gotten from the movies over the years and celebrating them in the form of our own demented little Christmas carol we like to call the 12 Days of CHUDmas.

Over the next 12 days we’re going to be counting down – in reverse order, cause screw the original carol, counting up sucks – these gifts and tying in the entries with some gift ideas to help take the sting out of that last minute trip to the store to snag something for that cousin who decided to be a considerate douche and send you a present after five years of non-communication.

On the eighth day of CHUDmas my true CHUD sent to me…

Eight-Year-Old’s trauma

Franchise: Batman
Director: Various

Through a shload of incarnations across all possible media, we have feasted on Batman like never before in the last three decades.  The batpundits and the diehards can debate the appeal of the franchise ad nauseum.  Batman was a character that waxed and waned in popularity until key moments in his history brought him back to the forefront.  These include the seminal 1960s TV show, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, the original Tim Burton film and Batman: The Animated Series among others.

It seems that we just can’t get enough of Bruce Wayne these days.  Hell, the main Wikipedia article gives over 11,000 words on the subject with 150 notes and innumerable links.  There’s been a frenzy over the recent The Dark Knight Rises trailer, the Batman: Arkham City video game has done well, and Warner Bros has been cranking out the cartoon versions and animated films depicting the character for 20 years now.  Feasting may not even be the right word.  Gorging is probably more apt.

And at the heart of it all, the wellspring of the character is an eight-year-old boy kneeling at the feet of his fallen parents in a dark alley.  Every hero needs an origin story and it doesn’t get much more iconic than this one.  And it’s had it representations, in all of the incarnations of the character.  Tim Burton gave us a red herring of it to open Batman.  Then he linked it to Batman’s greatest enemy with a dance, a devil and pale moonlight:

Joel Schumacher and Val Kilmer repressed and emo-ed over the whole thing in Batman Forever.  And Christopher Nolan gave a classic yet modern rendition of it to kick off his fantastic version on the character.

Volumes can be – and have been – written on the tragedy.  But of the whole phenomenon, Batman’s take on the consequences of the event can probably be summed up most succinctly with an exchange with Wonder Woman in “Kid Stuff”, an episode of Justice League Unlimited of all things:

Wonder Woman: “Circumstances aside, it was kind of… enjoyable to be a kid again”
Batman: “I haven’t been a kid since I was eight years old.”

CHUDmas Gift Ideas

Buy It From CHUD!

Buy It From CHUD!

Buy It From CHUD!