Batman cares as little for nature as he does for the impropriety of disrobing with teenagers.
Batman is, at his core, a traumatized orphan: two descriptors never followed by "... and that's why he's adapting so well, socially." He surrounds himself with women he barely pretends to like at fundraisers he doesn't even pretend to manage. He does pretend to get drunk so other people will think he parties hard, but the only folks who do that are well-behaved tweens.
Say, wasn't Bruce a well-behaved tween when his life was ripped asunder?
These are not the secrets of a man with a healthy social network. If Bruce Wayne were on Facebook, he'd have 75 friends, and 55 of them would be utter strangers sending relentless FarmVille invites.
The only things he cares about are kicking ass and family ... and he's all out of family. Everything else is peripheral. Even when Nolan's Batman saves a life, it's a woman he plans to sleep with, or a rampaging murderer like the Joker, or that twerp Joffrey.
All of Westeros' problems can be blamed on Batman.
It's clear that the sanctity of human life is not Batman's prime motivation, which is researching new places to bend the human body. Sure, there was that time he rescued a couple boatloads of people, but he was also trying to salvage his reputation ... so that he could resume beating people with impunity.
The end result of this total withdrawal is that he's obligated to no one. Here's his idea of a coy exchange:
Your palpable disdain has been registered, Mr. Wayne.
Our hero didn't even have the good manners to think up a convincing lie. He just laughs off the man's worry for his well-being. "Gunshot wound? Which one? I'm always doing crazy stuff to myself. Maybe someday you'll know more, but for now, I have what I need from you." It's a lot like that girl I cared about who used to say juuuuust enough to let you know she was a cutter, then act like it was none of your business when you tried to help.
Although come to think of it, I've never seen Susan and Batman in the same filthy alley.
Ah, never mind. There they are.
What This Means for the Movie:
There's a great advantage in disinterest. It's why an athlete can be great in practice, and then choke at bat.(Though it's also because he's a football player with no idea what he's doing in a baseball stadium, but that's circumstantial, and shouldn't impact this metaphor.) Ask any live performer: Caring enough to get psyched up is a hair's breadth away from caring enough to get psyched out.
Bane invests all his energy in rewriting Gotham, whereas at the start of the film, Batman cares so little that he's retired. The only thing that can hope to defeat Batman is more Batman, or in this case, Batman's apathy. With nothing to lose and nothing to gain, he's in a perpetual zen state, whereas Bane's stacking decent odds on a choke.
Bane, are you sure Batman didn't lure you to the city and make you think all this terrorism was your idea so that he'd have the green light to batter you around?
DC, you kooky fun-factory, don't ever change
He'll solve a crime even if it ruins his chances with a dame.
You cannot stop Batman. Entire planets have tried. When Batman crosses railroad tracks, the warning lights are for the train's safety. The four fundamental interactions in physics are gravity, electromagnetism, weak nuclear force and Batman getting what he wants. In fact, the Large Hadron Collider was a waste of money, because scientists could have just as easily observed a Higgs boson particle every time Batman's balls clap against his knee.
What This Means for the Movie:
We have confidence that Christopher Nolan intends to break the Bat and show that, one way or another, a Dark Knight will always rise to defend Gotham. But as we've seen, Batman is fueled by adversity. The world's greatest detective will figure out who directed the hit on his parents, decided to murder his true love, helped the Joker devastate Gotham and pointed Bane to paralyze him. What's Nolan going to do when -- inevitably -- Bruce Wayne comes after him?
Oh, you're laughing, of course. Batman can't hurt Christopher Nolan; he's just a fictional character. Hang it all, haven't you been listening?
This is a real panel that a real editor really approved.
He's the goddamn Batman. He changes personalities more often than clothes. He can resolve any challenge without taking his hands off his belt. He kills whenever he feels like it. He does not care, and he does not stop. What, among all those traits, makes you think he'll let not being real delay him for one second from taking vengeance? If you strike him down, he'll only come back with more dimensions.
And I, for one, am looking forward to it.
Brendan McGinley tweetles on the Twooter. When voting for who played the best Batman, he stuck to his belief that Craig Ferguson kicks more ass than the Dark Knight.
For more from Adam, check out 7 Comic Characters Who Outlasted the Trends That Made Them and 5 Ways the '90s Made Us Strong .