Over at Reformation21 I’ve got an essay in which I think about the Joker, Batman, and the nature of evil from an Augustinian perspective.
In the world of comic books, people don’t get more evil than the Joker, but thankfully Batman exists to restrain the evil that the Joker unleashes on Gotham City. The struggle between Batman and the Joker entertains us, but these stories exhibit a dark pre-Christian aesthetic which hearkens back to the myths of the classical pagans. Like those old stories, the Batman mythos tries to make sense of the struggle between good and evil that every person faces in this fallen world. In fact, part of Batman’s appeal lies in his everyman status as one of the few superheroes who doesn’t have superpowers. Batman exemplifies the classical virtues or justice, wisdom, courage, and self-control in his fight against evil, but my Augustinian pessimism doubts that he can actually save Gotham from the Joker’s destructive irrationality.
You can read the rest here.