Forensic Psychiatrists Analyze Batman Villains

Dr. Vasilis K. Pozios is a forensic psychiatrist and reader of superhero comic books. He's spent his career studying dangerous criminals and is now applying that knowledge to comic book villains and the way in which Batman interacts with them:

"As a mental health professional, Batman comes across as insensitive," Pozios told HuffPost Weird News. "He could definitely use more training in that area."

Pozios's colleague, H. Eric Bender, would also like to clear up a misconception about the Joker:

Bender uses the example of the Joker, the most famous Batman villain, as a character who has incorrectly been called "psychotic" many times throughout Batman's 72-year history.

"Someone who is 'psychotic' is experiencing symptoms of psychosis, a mental disorder, which can include auditory hallucinations, such as hearing voices; visual hallucinations, where they see objects that are not truly there; or have delusional thoughts, despite evidence to show that such beliefs are incorrect -- such as believing that one's movements are being tracked by deep space satellites -- or disorganized behavior," Bender said. "In the vast majority of depictions, the Joker is not experiencing such symptoms; rather, the Joker has shown symptoms of psychopathy."

Link -via Glenn Reynolds | Image: deviantART user MZ09

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This may be a clarifying comparison:

"I can't dislike you, but I will say this to you: you haven't got long before you are all going to kill yourselves, because you are all crazy. And you can project it back at me ... but I am only what lives inside each and every one of you.” - Charles Manson

"My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system.... I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.” - Charles Manson

I believe the "Dark Night" was a highly realistic interplay between two abnormal psyches. Abnormal but not necessarily unproductive. Both Batman and the Joker were a cut-above the mindless masses, but they dealt with their pain differently. Batman directed his vengeance toward the one-off criminals that lurk in the night; whereas the joker directed his animus toward the entire social structure and the false-morality that prevails in Gotham City. Gotham is like any modern metropolitan which values material wealth and monetary value over and above all else. Virtuosity is dead and the highest attainment is within the heirarchical social structure and not in Love or Compassion. As a consequence; Joker, like Manson, is a victim not of some random act of violence, but of a society that is too afraid to be good. So the Joker sets himself up as a mirror reflecting societies ills back at itself.

"Why don't we cut you up into little pieces and feed you to your pooches? Hmm? And then we'll see how loyal a hungry dog really is. It's not about money... it's about sending a message. Everything burns! " - The Joker
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It won't be long before psychiatrists are dragged through the streets and hung from tree limbs or at the very least laughed at and shunned by society.
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