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Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,881 ratings  ·  235 reviews
A journey behind the mask and into the mind of Gotham City’s Caped Crusader, timed for the summer 2012 release of The Dark Knight Rises

Batman is one of the most compelling and enduring characters to come from the Golden Age of Comics, and interest in his story has only increased through countless incarnations since his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 1st 2012 by Wiley (first published May 22nd 2012)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,881 ratings  ·  235 reviews

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Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Superman wants to save the weak little human race. Spider-Man is just a nice guy with some guilt issues who happens to spin webs. Thor is some divine being thrown to Earth and does some nice stuff for us. Captain America is just too good to be true. Iron Man... I just don't like him so he doesn't count. Batman, compared to them, is one of the most human and flawed of the superheroes -- this, in my opinion, makes him a cut above the rest.

I'm a huge Batman fan so “Batman and Psychology” was extrem
Ernesto F.
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any psychologist, anyone who considers him or herself fan of Batman
I just finished this one, on a recommendation by my best friend, who is far away right now.
It's very well written, science communication, comic books, psychology. All rolled into one single file (as I have the Kindle version).

It's very interesting, and engaging, trying to be low on technical terms, and explaining those that are necessary, as it was written not for psychologists, but for general public. And as such, it is an excellent way to understand a bit more about the science of mental healt
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
3.5 Stars

”We don’t scoff at the accumulated effects and logical impossibility of one man having thousands of adventures, as long as we can accept him as the man in the adventure he’s having right now.”

This may be the geekiest thing I’ve ever read. Go ahead and judge me.

In all honesty, Batman has never been my favorite superhero. (With that much money and influence, weren’t there more long-lasting programs he could devote himself to besides masked vigilantism??) But this did allow me new
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight and I know I'll read it again. It's that good. Greatly superior to Batman and Philosophy. This author really knows his stuff, for both the psychology and the Batman history, and explains it all well, clearly, smartly, sometimes wittily. There's lots on Batman and lots on the villains. The Joker gets a little more attention than most (how could he not?), but other villains get a fair shake too. Stuff on the Scarecrow and Ma ...more
Jacqueline O.
I loved this book. Often "pop culture and academic subject" books are great 101-level introductions to whatever the academic subject is (Philosophy, Physics, Science, etc) but the pop-culture references are shoved in with a shoe-horn, almost as if a research assistant summarized Buffy or Star Trek or Doctor Who for the author who didn't really understand it, and the book was written with few, if any, good examples -- though the 101-level analysis is good.
Batman and Psychology, however, is differ
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight and I know I'll read it again. It's that good. Greatly superior to Batman and Philosophy. This author really knows his stuff, for both the psychology and the Batman history, and explains it all well, clearly, smartly, sometimes wittily. There's lots on Batman and lots on the villains. The Joker gets a little more attention than most (how could he not?), but other villains get a fair shake too. Stuff on the Scarecrow and Mad ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, psychology
This book looks at the psychological aspects of Batman and his cast of villains and supporting characters. It references academic studies in the field of psychology without being a dry read. I think this book really helped me to think about Batman in a different way, which has increased my enjoyment of reading Batman comics.
Jovany Trujillo
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it

Is the Batman crazy? Not for the world in which he lives.
Michael E.
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
(for the full review please go to (

By using pop culture characters, the author is able to give examples of various "illnesses" through using not only DSM-IV standards, but also the various Counseling Theories you'd learn about in Psychology 101. The book is filled with foot notes that refer back to the works of Freud, Jung and Skinner; while mixing them with notes that cover various comic book issues in the characters 70+ years in comics, novels, movies,
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I may write a longer review later but I wanted to make sure I got a few words in.
Very well written outlook on Batman. Whether we like him or not, he moves through our minds one way or another. It's only natural to start to wonder about him and his foes psychological profiles. They are all supposedly human who have been damaged in some shape or form. But at least for most of his enemies, they seem to need Batman, even admire him. While the joker is the only one who will admit it, they surround th
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Psychoanalysis of Batman/Bruce Wayne, as well as the many colorful and crazy adversaries he faces was a fun, brilliant idea. Assuming you are into the more scientific side of understanding the details that make key characters in the Batman universe tick, you will not be disappointed. Every angle of Batman/Bruce Wayne's life and psyche are covered in great detail in order for us to have a deeper understanding of who he is, why he does what he does, and whether or not he's crazy for doing it. I pa ...more
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it, I wish I would have done it with book club but I got caught behind in school. I thought it was an interesting approach to look at some psychology issues! I will read this again.
Entertaining and educational at the same time. Covered all topics in psychiatry and psychology there is in a fun, enjoyable way.
It was a really pleasant surprise. Loved it!

Some of my favorite topics the book discussed:

~ Alfred Adlers research on birth order effects
~ cognitive developement of children
~ Lawrence Kohlbergs stages of moral developement
~ the Case Files of: Scarecrow, the Joker, Catwoman, Harley Quinn
~ criminal profiling
~ criminal personality characteristics
~ Maslows Hierarchy of Nee
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it

I loved the book! It reminded me of college and when i started to learn about abnormal psychology. And i really like batman too so it's a win!
Alecia Gardner
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great information passed along in the form of batman and his foes.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Love love love this book. So fascinating.
Gamal Hennessy
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
There are few pop culture icons that are more well known than Batman. His popularity transcends comics, TV and movies and has been built up for more than 80 years. While there have been many books written about the cultural impact of this character, the most recent one explores the underlying psyche of Batman and how readers relate to him. Batman and Psychology isn't an overly technical book, but it does shed some new light on this well known shadow.

Travis Langley's book serves two audiences ver
Amanda Messerlie
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I found this book immensely enjoyable to read. Travis Langley obviously knows not only his comics, but also his psychology.

Recently, I have taken a great interest in books that use popular culture to relate to more complex psychological and philosophical concepts. This book did that in a very successful way. The Batman phenomenon in general is explained very well, and the inclusion of the thoughts and feelings of people integral to the creation and execution of the Batman stories lends credibili
Nick Mcmanis
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I just finished Batman and Psychology A Dark and Stormy Knight by Travis Langley. It is a nonfiction novel discussing the characters of the Batman series and psychological disorders. It covers villains and the hero alike, also it analyzes whether or not their crimes are worthy of the definition of insanity. It takes a minimum amount of prior psychology knowledge and progresses through almost all aspects of psychology.
“Batman wears two masks: the Dark Knight’s cowl and Bruce Wayne’s public faca
Jyotika Varmani
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the most recent book that I have read and the writer has certainly done a thorough job of reviewing each and every aspect of batman. This book produces the batman stories as case studies, critically analyzing the psychology of all the major characters seen across the years. It makes for a good read, because the writer has assessed fictional characters as if they really existed. The research into this book is remarkable. It is easy to read if you have a background in psychology for the te ...more
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
The only real problem occurs during the latter half of the book. The psychology seems to dwindle only to be replaced with more references to the character's (admittedly by this point, rather convoluted) history. That said, as a fan, it was still pretty entertaining. ...more
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Extremely fascinating. I loved the break downs of each character that the author went over. Great read, if you're into that sorta thing. ...more
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was my History of Psychology class taught through the examples of Batman and his world. Since I am interested in both Psychology and a fan of Batman, I thought this was a fun, interesting read. If I had only liked one or the other it would probably get a 3-star, but since I like both I am boosting up to a 4.
José Francisco Dávila
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was looking for a book about video games when I found Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight. Even though I did a quick search on Google for some reviews and impressions it was kind of like a blind buy. Now it is safe to say that it is one of the best books I’ve read about comics, but let me start from the beginning.

Batman is my favorite (super)hero. He has always been. He is the character that got me into comic books and it has a lot to do with my love for reading. Batman Year One an
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Marvelous. Not only does Langley offer thoroughly-sourced, in-depth analyses of the characters that populate the streets of Gotham, he has also written a text that can act as a refresher course on general psychology. Since I'm both ridiculously into Batman and constantly intrigued by the human mind, this book lit my brain up in a big way.

The highlight of the book for me was the chapter on Arkham Asylum-- I've long been fascinated with Gotham's favorite institution for the criminally insane (an i
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Batman, may be the single most clear choice for anyone to write a book exploring the psychology of superhero's about.

Numerous people have voiced opinions in countless chat-rooms, conventions, and fan-boy (and girl) bull sessions, about the sanity of The Dark Knight and his enemies. Travis Langley takes a pretty good shot at exploring every angle possible (or humanly possible in a normal sized book) and guess what? He hits it out of the park.

A blow by blow exploration of nearly anything and eve
Gilang Danu
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Batman's universe is always closely related to psychology world. After all, every Dark Knight's story is centered around this one traumatized guy, dressed in bat suit, running around at night, beating bad guys and later send them to mental institution named Arkham Asylum (though most likely they will run away again some other time).

Langley's book reads like a detailed psychological profile for Batman. He got Batman all covered: the trauma, the motivation for suit up as bat, the kids (every Robin
Zack Dixon
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Audio book
Narrator: Mike Chamberlain

This is a great analysis of Batman and refresher of psychology. The writer is able to convey psychology in a way that allows the reader to learn or relearn topics without feeling under or over informed. Being a technical book it was easy for my mind to wonder at times but I do not fault the writer or narrator for this. Through this psychological analysis I was able to see the Bat from another angle that was enlightening. The end chapter Case Studies of the rog
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed that this book was written as if the reader had little to no understanding of psychology. I would say this book is almost a good intro to psych for those interested in learning. I was also pleased that the author was not implying that all of the characters within the Batman comics/films are mentally ill, however many of them do show traits of various disorders. In my opinion, most people do. I couldn't agree more with the authors final conclusion.

The only negative thing I have to say
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, psychology
This book was great. If you like Psychology, and if you like super heros, This is the book for you. The novel covered many psychological concepts from humor, Fear, Pathology, emotion, and growth. Whats more, Langly explores a wide range of great thinkers. He often speaks of Adler and Erickson. however, He mentions Frued (obviously) Jung, Joseph Cambell, among others.

the comic book aspect of this was equally impressive. He's conducted case files of the riddler, Ra's Al Ghul, Two Face, Cat woman,
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