Batman's Traumatic Origins

A wonderful account of the story behind Robert Kane's Batman, told through the perspective of child psychologist Richard A. Warshak for The Atlantic.

Here we have a boy who was attacked by a gang of Vultures in the night. He defended himself by playing Zorro, using a grappling hook to fend off his attackers. He was unsuccessful and was hospitalized, severely injured, with the possibility that he would be unable to pursue his chosen career. In spite of permanent injuries—scars, chipped teeth, and limited mobility in one arm—he went on to become a cartoonist.

Seven years after being brutalized, he created a comic-book superhero that would become a pop-culture legend—and whose appeal may be deeply, subtly connected to what happened that night in the lumber yard.

Pop-culture history, seen through a clinical filter. Great piece.