Everything Is a Remix
The term “original” is constantly being used. As a society, we place value on originality. How original is “original” though? If you take a closer look into something, or examine it further, everything is a remix. When the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” hit theaters in 2012, it was the most anticipated movie of the summer. Many people who went to see the movie knew that this was the conclusion to the greatest trilogy ever created. What they failed to realize was how unoriginal the whole trilogy really was. Throughout this essay one the Batman story, one will come to realize that the Batman culture is no more than a twist on other characters, a product line to create revenue, and a movie based off previous comics.
Let us consider: Batman, Batman and Robin, Catwomen, Spider Man, Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, The Hulk, Men In Black, Justice League, Superman, Wonder Women, X-Men, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What do all of these have in common? The original from each movie listed above story line came from a comic book series. Comic books were a hit during the early to mid-1900’s. Comic books were similar to baseball cards; you could purchase them cheap, and maybe trade them with your friends. They were an easy read for kids, and the pictures helped even more with the reading. Naturally, when the kids who read the comics became adults, it made sense to turn these comics into movies. The change of comics into films became very popular. As society evolved, so did the movies. Soon the “original” batman was not enough. Today, there are over ten remakes of Batman. To many young kids, the most recently released Batman series (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises) is in their eyes the “original” Batman. One can see clearly that these are not even close to originals. In fact, they are remakes of movies which were made from comic books. The idea of any comic book being turned into a movie is unoriginal. The comic books were not the only thing to inspire the Batman movies. There was also at one point a Batman TV show. The Batman show was during the 1960’s and helped to promote an even greater batman culture among fans. Could you make an argument that the idea of Batman in comic books or on a TV show was original?
Batman is your stereotypical superhero. He falls into the category of an animal being combine with a human. Although Batman has no specific bat-like powers, he does dress like a bat, and his cape gives him bat abilities. Examples of other heroes like this include Spiderman, Black Panther, Catwomen, and Wolverine. Batman also falls into the category of double life, which is another unoriginal idea. Double life is the idea of a person living their life normally and then again as another person. We see examples of this in more than just superheroes. For example, Miley is Hannah Montana, Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and Clark Kent is Superman. Batman also is a rich man who uses his wealth to help society. Examples of this include Batman, Ironman, and Black Panther. The most important sub-category cannot be forgotten: evil villains play a significant role in movies and often help to promote them even more. I am a major Batman fan, so when I ask people the question, “Which Batman was your favorite?” Nine times out of ten, the answer is something along the lines of “it is impossible to beat the joker.” This proves that a good villain can make a story that much better. The evil villain subcategory pertains to a lot of movies, including Batman vs. Joker, Batman vs. Bane, Spiderman vs. Green Goblin, Spiderman vs. Sandman, Spiderman vs. Doc Oct, Mario vs. Bowser, Harry Potter vs. Voldemort, and Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader. As you can see, the idea of Batman is far from original: the hero was created through a bunch of different sub-categories.
The creation of a sub-culture can help to lead to different combinations of things to create a “new thought.” Batman itself has created its own sub-culture among people. The movie has helped to promote the general products and sub-products for movies. Batman and Joker Halloween costumes are a prime example of the influence the movie has in society. Batman, however, has had more influence on society than the typical movie. The first major influence Batman had on society is the impersonations of characters. Three specific characters in the newest Batman trilogy separate themselves from other movie characters. Batman is known for his deep, growling voice, the Joker for his famous “Why so serious?” quote, and Bane for his voice through a mask. These distinctions have led to famous Vine impersonations, and humorous YouTube remake skits from scenes of the movie. One of the most famous YouTube videos involves the famous interrogation scene from the Dark Knight, but in this remake the Joker cannot understand Batman because of his voice. Batman also created the idea of the major superhero movie. The Batman movie created such a large buzz it caused movie producer and directors to create multiple new remakes of superhero movies. Since the start of the Batman trilogy we have seen remakes of Spider-Man, Superman, The Avengers, The Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Ironman, and Thor. Batman in itself has helped to create several remixes and remakes within society.
The Batman story is just one unique example. It was created from sub-categories to create a “original” superhero and into comic books for people to read. The comic books became popular which eventually led to the creation of an amazing trilogy. New culture and remixes were made based off the trilogy. This exploration could go on and on, as it already has throughout history. For this example, we could explore the remakes and remixes of comic books. After all where did the idea of the superhero come from? Nothing is actually as original as we perceive. Everything in society is a remix.