Batman VS. Dexter College Composition * * | * ? * What constitutes a hero vs. a villain? The idea of a superhero has been changed to reflect cultural appreciations. Sensitivities and understandings have changed over time and the modern superhero reflects that. The rise of a hero vs. an antihero is now a more common theme seen in both comic books and movies alike. * * It is very clear that both heroes have victims. Their outlook is one of utilitarianism, that the benefit of the whole outweighs the benefit of the individual. The difference lies in the way they choose their victims and how they classify each villain as evil. * Dexter chooses his targets based on a code that his stepfather Harry taught him at an early age. The ‘Code of Harry’ is what keeps Dexter’s bloodlust in check. The code is very strict and involves much preparation and planning. This code allows Dexter to kill and dispose of bad guys. To Dexter, the bad guys consist of people who have been tried by the legal system, but when the legal system fails; Dexter will investigate them, observe them, and pass a judgment on whether that the person should be punished for his actions.
There is an obvious moral dilemma at play here: what gave Dexter the power and control to pass such a judgment onto these people? Would society not pass the same judgment on Dexter and thus classify him as a ‘bad guy’? However, based on this strict code of conduct, Dexter can efficiently, mentally, and justifiably select his victims. * * Batman works in a very different way. The Dark Knight considers his targets to be any form of bad guy. His enemies range from the murderer or serial murderer to a simple robber. Of course as with any hero there are always one or more mortal enemies that keep the story exciting and deadly.
In Batman’s case, there is The Joker, his most famous enemy, as well as a large set of other less famous enemies, who have become essential parts of his story and the precursors to his heroism over the course of his storyline. Unlike Dexter, he generally does not kill his enemies; however, his enemies are in many, if not all, cases indirectly threatening his life, directly or indirectly threatening the lives of people of his city, or the city itself; resulting in his springing into action, which is often accompanied by the shining of the ubiquitous “bat signal. ” * Dexter is, in many ways, a mystery. No one knows what he is or what he does in his spare time. Often as played out in the various series, Dexter is close to being discovered as a killer and revealed to the public. In the episode titled “The Bay Butch Killer”, Dexter’s gravesite under the sea is found out. This causes uproar in the city of Miami and even nationwide. The difference in opinions ranges between two extremes. Even though nobody knows that Dexter is the killer, some people consider Dexter a savior, while others think of him as the worst of the worst criminals ever born.
In a dream sequence, Dexter imagined what it would be like if people knew about his secret. If people saw and felt the way that Dexter does, then he would be a hero. In the daydream people congratulated him, and they made signs and banners. The people of Miami saw him as ‘The Dark Defender’, they were genuinely proud of him. To Dexter, this was love; this was what he needed to reassure himself that he isn’t a monster. * * The people of Gotham City, Batman’s working area, for the most part know of him and his actions.
Many of the citizens, however, view him as a negative influence. They believe that not only is he a criminal but oftentimes they try to get the government of the city and the other people to make him quit his crime-fighting ways. Many times something will happen, like his being framed for a crime or an accident during a chase or fight that will cause the majority of the populace that supports him to turn on him. Much of his life as a hero is spent being viewed as a villain, which seriously hinders his ability to help people as they are scared of him and assume the worst.
He has even been presumed to be working with The Joker on several occasions. * * Psychologically, Dexter is a psychopath, as well put by Harry. He cannot feel any emotions; he does not have any feelings or a conscience. This is all very true for Dexter, and yet throughout the seasons, one notices that these facets of his personality are all challenged as he builds new relationships and goes through different experiences. In the first season Dexter really finds out about his past, all of which was hidden from him throughout his childhood.
In the back of his mind, Dexter is always wondering about how he ended up the way he is. The introduction of a new killer, whom Dexter becomes fascinated with, helps to bring out the inner trauma that haunts Dexter. His new fascination actually turns out to be his brother. With this bit of information by the end of the season Dexter finds out the truth. As a three year old he watched his mother being slaughtered in a cargo tank and left for dead, covered in two inches of blood with his brother.
Later on, after being found by Harry, the cop in charge of Dexter’s mom and the case they had together makes Dexter question everything he had known. The trauma of his mother’s death is the seed that was planted inside of him and turned him into the psychopath that is he today. * * Batman, on the other hand, is a billionaire playboy who went through serious physical training and fighting training. His parents were murdered in front of him by a mugger as they were leaving a high-class event, which provided a seed for his need to fight crime and deal justice to the city.
He spent his childhood training very heavily to become a powerful crime-fighter. He decides in order to produce a superstition about him and to scare away criminals, he must operate at night and create a dark and mysterious persona, and thus batman was created. He slowly begins to amass powerful technology to aid him with the help of his butler, and this assists him greatly in the fighting of crime, as a normal human, no matter how strong and disciplined, cannot fight a whole city of criminals unaided.
His mind is much like a detective’s, and he has powerful deductive skills, which help him find criminals much more easily than normal policemen, and his status as a vigilante allows him to go forth and find them without procedural hindrances. * * Dexter works for the Miami Dade police department as a blood splatter specialist. This means that not only is he very good with blood, but he is also a master in crime scenes. All of this helps him to stay hidden and uncaught. As part of a forensics team Dexter has a roundabout knowledge of crime scenes and how to keep them free of any incriminating evidence.
The benefits to his job do not end there, though. Through his job Dexter is able to perform critical research on his victims and utilizes his ability to gather equipment for his kills. His methods are efficient and clean. After the initial interest in the victim, Dexter commences the slow process of research and justifying his death. After this is done, he picks out the location, most of which have to do with where the victims committed their crimes. The peculiar way that Dexter assumes to be the safest and easiest way to ensure a clean site is by surrounding him and the location in plastic.
Everything is calculated and never left up to chance, as that would be a grave mistake. After setting everything up, you find yourself watching a slowly awakening victim naked and covered in plastic wrap on a steel table, confused and dazzled from the animal tranquilizer with which they’ve been injected. Surrounded by pictures or in some cases the bodies of their victims, they are forced by Dexter to confess their actions and are left to beg for their lives. The most peculiar and fascinating part of this ritual is the blood sample that is taken from every single one of his victims.
He slowly makes a small cut on the victim’s left cheek and gathers enough blood to be saved and added to his collection. It is an inventory of some sorts. * * The notion that both Batman and Dexter are the heroes of their own worlds can be seen as quite disturbing considering the actions each has taken. Is it the morals and actions of the individual hero, or the way society passes judgment on his actions that classify him as a hero? The standard hero seems to be evolving to fit the new era of fighting crime.