Published by DC Comics in 2000, Batman: Ego is a one-shot comic which places the spotlight on the fragile psyche of Bruce Wayne. Written and illustrated by the late Darwyn Cooke, the story sees Bruce wrestle with the darker aspects of his alter-ego, to determine whether he should continue to fight crime as Batman.
Batman: Ego was originally published as a solo story, but has also been released as a trade paperback, incorporating other stories from Cooke.
What happens in Batman: Ego?
After an encounter with a mobster ends tragically, Bruce Wayne begins to question his place as Gotham’s defender. Returning to the Batcave, mentally exhausted, Bruce is greeted by a dark vision of Batman.
This nightmarish version of Batman tells Bruce that it represents his fear and has been with Bruce since he was a boy. It also blames Bruce for the rise in super villains in Gotham City – in particular, the arrival of Joker.
Believing that Bruce is unable to do what is necessary to eradicate evil, the dark Batman suggests Bruce should mentally split himself in two. He can have a happy life as Bruce Wayne, so long as when the Batman is needed, he will give himself over to the darkness.
Bruce refuses, realising if he gives into his dark desires he will be no better than the criminals he fights. What separates him from the likes of the Joker, Two-Face and the rest of his rogues gallery, is that he refuses to cross the line.
Eventually Bruce comes to an understanding with his dark side. He will balance both sides of his psyche, so that he can be both Batman and Bruce Wayne, thus remaining the protector that Gotham needs.
Is Batman: Ego worth reading?
At just under 70 pages long, Batman: Ego is relatively short Batman tale, but certainly one that is worth reading. The story provides a fascinating journey into the psyche of Bruce Wayne, while the eye-popping imagery is beautiful to look at.
Darwyn Cooke had a distinctive art style, which favoured a more cartoonish aesthetic. It was this style which made his characters leap off the page and this is very evident in Batman: Ego, which is filled with larger-than-life figures.
Those who like the work of Jack Kirby or Bruce Timm will find much to enjoy with this story. In fact, fans of Batman: The Animated Series will really like what is on offer, as Ego feels somewhat spiritually linked to the show – even though it is its own thing.
Has Batman: Ego been adapted for film?
Batman: Ego has not been adapted for film – nor is it likely to be. Due to its short length and its subject matter, if it was to be adapted to another medium it would most likely be as an episode of a television show rather than a feature film.
As noted above, Ego feels very much like an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. If the show ever gets revived, perhaps Ego could be adapted for the series.
I hope this information on Batman: Ego has proved useful. Should you want to read more posts about Batman, please take a look through I’ll Get Drive-Thru, or alternatively check out one of the recommended reads below.