There's an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal today in which the writer tries to make the case that Batman is obviously a stand-in for George W. Bush (still president of America)—which, let's face it, is definitely true because [insert joke about how they both have "W"s in their names…oh wait]:

A cry for help goes out from a city beleaguered by violence and fear: A beam of light flashed into the night sky, the dark symbol of a bat projected onto the surface of the racing clouds . . . Oh, wait a minute. That's not a bat, actually. In fact, when you trace the outline with your finger, it looks kind of like . . . a "W."

There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society — in which people sometimes make the wrong choices — and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.


I can't argue with the W thing. You're right: both Bruce Wayne and George W. do have Ws in their names, which is totally, totally crazy and obviously means they're one and the same. I'm sure that when Bob Kane and Bill Finger first created the character of Bruce Wayne back in 1939, they knew somewhere in their hearts that one day a man known as "W" would be elected to the highest office in the land, and so that "W" parallel would make a killer intro for a WSJ op-ed piece. You should probably write Kane and Finger's descendants a Thank You note.

But as for the other stuff, Batman sidestepping civil rights, and dealing with terrorists according to a different standard, I would say that the main difference between Batman and Bush in those cases is that one of them is a leather-clad vigilante superhero, and the other one is the President of the United States. Batman never swore to uphold any laws. Bush did. When a guy in a cape has his manservant wiretap a city to catch an evil clown, that's vastly different than when a president sidesteps the laws he's supposed to be upholding.

But, hey, you still have the "W" parallel. No one can take that away from you. I can, however, diminish it. Here's a list of other people who share an uncanny alphabetical resemblance to Batman:

Willa Ford

Walt Whitman

John Wayne (bonus points for having the same last name)

Bette Midler (Well, if you turn the "M" upside-down, they have the same initials!)

Prince William


Ralph Wiggum (And they're both fictional characters!)

Christopher Walken (Also, he looks kind of like a bat. I think he wins.)