Batman + Sweat = Batsweat

This post is inspired by a conversation with none other than @TheInsaneRobin. He insisted that my recent post about Sybok from Star Trek preventing Thanos’ mass murdering impulses in Avengers: Infinity War was the nerdiest I’ve ever written, so I want to try to pick up that vibe again.

I mean, I’d offer that my analysis of how Darth Vader’s murder of Admiral Ozzel lost the entire war for the Galactic Empire in the Star Wars saga ranks highly up there, too. You could also probably pick almost anything at random that I’ve ever written about Star Wars, if you wanted to try to construct a psychological profile of what it’s like to live inside my head.

Homer J. Simpson, the J stands for Jay so Homer Simpson who has the middle initial J in Homer J. Simpson is named Homer Jay Simpson shortened to Homer J. Simpson.
Live shot of the author’s creative thought processes.

We were discussing the different physical effects of Batman’s suit on him as he wore it.

It’s a richer topic than you’d think, due to all the variations on the suite we’ve gotten onscreen over time. Technically we should even consider the one that appeared in the 1940s Columbia Batman serials even though, as much as I might respect that Johnny Duncan was technically the first on-screen Batman, no one really cares about that era.

I’m not going to turn this into one of my lengthy series, though. This will be one post because I think that there are some baseline “physiological costs” that apply across all the costumes. It’s really the level of the effects that are influenced by the materials used in its construction.

Overheating and Hydration

Overheating and hydration are likely the primary concerns with any iteration of Batman. Since they’re tied very closely together, I’m addressing them at the same time. They still have their own headers, though, to try to delineate where specifically they concern the health and well-being of the Dark Knight Detective.

Overheating

Even appropriately-breathable materials trap heat. It’s an inescapable concern for Batman especially, as physical exertion increases body heat. If that heat can’t escape, your heat basically gets trapped.

It’s a vicious cycle; even high humidity prevents adequate sweat evaporation and can lead to overheating. Imagine the issues if you’ve got a layer of material on top of your skin, and the only way for the heat to escape is through your eyes and the bottom half of your face.

This ties into hydration because sweating is how we cool off, but as we expend that water…we need more of it.

Hydration

Hydration is an issue regardless of the era we’re examining. Every suit we’ve seen Batman wear would trap body heat. That’s not a terribly difficult hurdle for the moments we see him idling, as he can just bring a big water bottle, presumably attached to his utility belt. Given the bursts of activity he endures, though, it becomes an exponentially increasing concern as it’s paired with the concern for overheating.

Batman would have to be constantly mindful about salt imbalances, and the deleterious effects of fluid loss. Batman would therefore need to carry a lot of water with him, or have water stations hidden all around Gotham so that he could grab a quick drink when he was feeling worn down by fluid loss.

You could argue that he could carry this in the Batmobile, but then we have to parse out which Batmobile we’re discussing.

For this reason, the economy-of-motion Batman we saw in Tim Burton’s 1989 masterpiece seems a much better approach for the caped crusader than the higher-energy versions we encounter in other iterations.

Batman Adam West as Batman in a still for Batman about Batman the TV series about Batman with Adam West as Batman who could beat Craigula.
Terror: Possibly the best choice for costume is this one.

 

Chafing and Other Skin Issues

Chafing and skin issues are unquestionably more serious issue for the “rubber-suit variants” to which we’ve grown accustomed in the modern age. The aforementioned trapped sweat – a part of our overheating concerns – could easily combine with the rubbing of the material on the skin, and cause abrasions, cuts, or even infections.

Chafing

You could ostensibly avoid these sorts of things with baby powder, but we’re talking a fair amount of it. There would have to be enough that it would slow down Batman on the way out, and in cases where he was unable to slather himself in baby powder, even putting the suit on becomes a difficult task.

(I have a personal grudge about baby powder, but I promise I’m not taking that into my reasoning. It’s a weirdly personal thing, too, and I’d appreciate it if I stopped talking about it. It’s none of your business.)

You could reason that he has a suit that functions like a diving suit, but that would arguably multiply the concerns of overheating and even fluid loss/imbalance.

Other Skin Issues

When I mentioned “abrasions, cuts, or even infections,” I should also have mentioned “rashes.” Ingrown hairs would also be a potential side effect, as would boils. Basically, Bruce Wayne would be able to be a recluse because his body odor and apparent lack of hygiene would drive people away from Wayne Manor.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, it’s pretty much just fall and spring where Batman would be the most effective “on the ground” crime fighter. Those seasons alleviate some of the suit concerns by virtue of lower humidity and more moderate temperatures.

They don’t remove them completely, though. For this reason, it would follow more that Batman would be active only for short bursts every few days. Christopher Nolan seems to address that idea with an exchange in The Dark Knight that Batman doesn’t always show up for the Bat Signal, and by implication isn’t out on the streets every night.

The whole reason I write these sorts of things, honestly, is to remind myself of how absurd it is that we look for “realistic” explanations to fantastical things. He’s Batman, he’s a vigilante, and we don’t need to care about anything else. Otherwise we run the risk of becoming insufferable bores like “real life scientists” on a Twitter rant about the scientific accuracy of Star Trek.

Help us all if that’s the road we go down.

#AvengersEndgame’s Mixed-Up Messages on Loss & Death

This is the one obligatory “Spoiler Warning” you get. Disney®©™’s Marvel©®™’s trailer for their mildly-interesting Spider-Man™ sequel felt free to dive into Avengers®: Endgame© spoilers™ barely two weeks beyond the release of their latest Avengers® box office behemoth, so I feel free to do the same.

If you want to enjoy these thoughts, know that I’ll be discussing Avengers®: Endgame© and all the other Marvel©®™ properties relevant to the discussion.

If you proceed, it’s not on me. Also, as fair warning, you might hate what I’m about to say.

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in Avengers Endgame, which is an Avengers movie called Avengers Endgame with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man.
“This helmet is recording a ton of spoilers, though its existence isn’t supported by the way my  armor worked in Infinity War.”

Everything About This Franchise Exposes How We’re Unwilling to Let Go

One of the most important lessons that a human being can learn is to “let go.” The past is behind us, the present is fleeting, and the future is upon us.

Popular entertainment used to support this lesson. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is all about letting go of the past and embracing what we still have. Anakin’s fatal downfall in Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is his inability to release his attachments and understand that, however painful it is, we have to accept that we can’t control the change.

Heck, Shmi herself imparts this lesson to Anakin as he prepares to leave Tatooine in Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It’s one of the most powerful moments in the saga, truth be told.

(Of course I’m setting aside religious debates about an afterlife. That’s a different conversation. What we’re discussing here has to do with how those of us left behind deal with death as it affects us.)

Have We Regressed?

A mere 20 years later, the lesson of our most popular franchise movie hit is that our ultimate goal is to undo tragedy. This seems to work against the theme at play in the earlier part of the movie. It drives me nuts, actually.

They “undid” Thor’s lost eye in Infinity War, and then they “undid” the loss of Mjolnir in Endgame. They “undid” his maturity and actually regressed him to a point where he abdicated his hard-earned growth into leadership.

They gave Hulk a fascinating inner conflict in Infinity War, and then got rid of it with a (wait for it) snap in Endgame. Captain America is able to undo not just the removal of the Infinity Stones from the timeline(s), but the entire tragic sacrifice that defined his character since Captain America: The First Avenger.

Gamorra gets replaced with an alternate version of Gamorra. This undoes the sacrifice that “couldn’t be” undone, albeit in a unique way.

I’m completely aware that the death of Iron Man and Black Widow are supposedly  irreversible per this story. The twist is that since they’ve introduced time-travel-at-whim, and shown a willingness to bring Gamorra back from the past to use her character again despite her own “irreversible” death, I’m not willing to accept it as permanent.

As Avengers®: Endgame© winds down, it seems the ultimate goal was…stasis.

This captures a seeming cultural obsession with “death denial” that drives people to all sorts of measures to undo the aging process. It’s fascinating to me.

Fans on the one hand seem to be obsessed with progress, but only so far as that’s defined as “story beats.” Avengers®: Endgame© reveals that as a story arc, the most important thing in a modern franchise is to control life to the point where pain and death not just minimized, but surmountable and erasable.

To prove I’m not just picking on Marvel, I’ll also call out the last moment in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Extended Cuts which telegraphs that Superman isn’t staying dead. The heroic sacrifice in that movie is promised to be undone before the end credits even roll. Infinity War at least had the decency to self-contain as a story.

AVENGERS-EndCraig
I admit I’d be distraught about losing that face, too, though.

Even The Transformers: The Movie Had the Courage to Wipe Out Old Characters

The Transformers: The Movie (1986) was a virtual bloodbath (oilsport?) that slaughtered so many old characters in the first half of the movie that the remaining cast was almost unrecognizable at the end. Kids were traumatized by the death of Optimus Prime (spoilers!) and disoriented by the transformation of Megatron into Galvatron. Everything was the same, but never the same again.

That is, until the outcry from kids and parents was so great they brought Optimus Prime back from the dead in the television series (spoilers!). Kids couldn’t handle the idea that their heroes were gone forever.

Naturally, terrified of losing their viewer base of children, they felt they had to bring him back. Far be it from them to teach kids that the farewell of death, as painful as it is, is something that we have to accept. Far be it from the parents to teach their kids that, as much as they cried at the death of Optimus Prime, it was a lesson to learn about treasuring life and legacy.

Optimus Prime teaches the same lesson that our elders always have. That we die is not the important part of this material world; it’s what we leave behind. Hot Rod became Rodimus Prime when he realized it wasn’t anyone’s duty but his own to accept these things and move forward.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it appears that when comparing Disney®©™’s Marvel©®™’s Avengers®: Endgame©, it seems that Transformers: The Movie had a healthier approach to the themes of death and farewell.

I remind you that I liked Disney®©™’s Marvel©®™’s Avengers®: Endgame©. I’m just pointing something out.

If you think I’m wrong, feel free to leave a comment.

‘Til all are one!

Optimus Prime dying in The Transformers The Movie a Transformers movie with Optimus Prime in 1986 that's a Transformers movie called The Transformers The Movie which was released in 1986 with Optimus Prime.
Spoilers.

The Only #AvengersEndgame Review You’ll Ever Need

This week will be awash with “Explainer Videos,” podcasts, think pieces, reaction blogs, and hot takes to celebrate the release of #AvengersEndgame. Cutting through this virtual crop of digital reaction will consume more time than the movie’s actual, three-hour run time.

You will be surrounded by qualifiers like “for me,” Statements of Epic Import like “over a bajillion movies and umpteen years,” and “I’ve been there since the beginning.” These qualifying statements will let you know that each piece is to be taken with an implied thoughtful gravity.

We all didn’t just watch a movie, we were part of an experience.

Some people will argue finer points. Each critic will offer a token flaw to prove they’re not blinded by the hype. They can tell you Iron Man’s waist size, and recount the emotional import of Movie A that impacted Movie B to be paid off in Movie C, but they’re not clouded by minutiae.

I promise you something more. Follow along with me.

Avengers Endgame #Avengers #AvengersEndgame #Endgame #AvengersEndgame is an #Avengers movie with the #Avengers in #AvengersEndgame.
“Watch what you say.”

The Only #AvengersEndgame Review You’ll Ever Need

For this part, I want you to walk to the mirror. Look in it.

While looking into your own eyes, give voice to what you thought of #AvengersEndgame. Say it loudly, and say it proudly.

There you go. That’s the only #AvengersEndgame review you’ll ever need.

Have fun discussing it. Get carried away dissecting it. Allow the monumental achievement of watching 22 movies in 11 years give you pause.

Each person’s reaction is their own. It’s not anyone’s responsibility to defend the movie against those for whom it resonated less. It’s not anyone’s mandate to hack on the movie to prove their point with those who liked it more.

I’m not saying anything that anyone doesn’t know. I think I wanted to write it out because sometimes I wonder. As a veteran of the Star Wars Prequel Slap Fights, and various other movie reaction debacles over time, it seems like we’re poised for problems with every event movie that’s released.

Even after seeing #AvengersEndgame, I’m avoiding discussions of it. I’ll participate in a few. One will be recorded. There are a few friends where I’ll talk it over, one-to-one. I just don’t see anything good coming out of online participation anymore.

I just don’t ever see it going “well” anymore in the larger conversations. Every review becomes a personal battlefield. If it’s in disagreement with yours, it’s important to attack or defend as the case may be.

It becomes a battle of comparisons, where the temerity of someone who dis/liked [a Movie] to try to [praise/defend] this movie is a high crime worthy of rhetorical scorn. It’s also a joy as people say that “anyone who dis/likes X is a dope…but don’t take that personally.”

Better to let it settle, remember opinions on movies are subjective, and keep the conversations small. I can promise you a more in-depth review on Letterboxd later. After the dust settles, we’ll see what everyone thinks of it there.

I still wish I didn’t have to give a star rating. But that’s the world in which we’re livin’, amirite?

We’ll see how it goes.

A Question About How It Was Determined Who Lived and Died in #InfinityWar as I Prepare to Watch #AvengersEndgame

This post is timed to launch on the first day that normal people can see #AvengersEndgame, because I figure why not try to do something like that to ride the #Marvel wave of #Disney marketing that commands we pay attention.

As a warning, I’m attempting to hashtag everything that might be worthy of a hashtag on #Twitter in the coming days, as regards #AvengersEndgame. If you’re wondering why, it’s because I do this to entertain myself. It entertains me. Everyone else leans into hashtag culture, so I will, too.

My own growing apathy about the #Marvel franchise as a whole is well-documented. It’s been a long time, I’m tired, and I’m ready to get off this ride. It’s not them, it’s me. They’re who they’ve always been, I think that I’m just in a different place. It happens.

Yes, I admit that I’ll likely change my tune for #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy Vol. 3, but those have always been outliers in my opinion. However, I have to admit that by the time it’s released, I won’t even care about that.

movie theater screen in a movie theater which has a screen which is what movie theaters have, which is movie theater screens.
They could release an #Avengers movie that was just this blank screen for three hours, and at least 48% of #Marvel fans would tear apart the first critics.

Why Were Specifically Half the #Avengers Wiped Out at the End of #InfinityWar?

When #Thanos snapped his fingers, an event “cleverly” referred to by #Marvel fans as the #Snappening, why were specifically half of the #Avengers wiped out? Couldn’t the mathematical probabilities have impacted them disproportionately in some fashion?

To be clear, I’m not fuzzy on the storytelling decision-making that spared them. I understand the marketing reasons that certain #Avengers had to survive as well. I mean, heck, they couldn’t even fit all of them into one movie last time. They had to be expected to thin the ranks after hitting critical mass.

It just seems that #Thanos constructed a very specific mathematical formula in his brain to wipe out half of each population down to each subset affected. This is opposed to a flat half, which would have left open the potential for the #Avengers to be reduced by any variable from zero to one hundred percent.

I understand #Thanos had all six #InfinityStones at his command, and was able to see myriad possibilities. I guess above all else I’m impressed with #Thanos’ presence of mind to “tell” the stones, specifically, to wipe out the half the #Avengers, then half the remaining population of the each country on each planet on the universe.

Maybe it’s the lazy side of me, which is an admittedly dominant side, that just would have told the stones to wipe out half and leave it at that. I wouldn’t care if all the #Avengers survived, or if all of them were destroyed completely. If I’m #Thanos, “my goal” is simply a gross reduction of 50%. If one planet survives and another remains untouched…it shouldn’t really matter.

I guess what I’m saying is, it’s too precise. I’m also saying that these are the sorts of reasons I’d be even more dangerous if I were #Thanos. I’m just kidding, of course. I’d be less dangerous, because I’d use the #InfinityGauntlet to ensure endless resources and mitigate damage…instead of seeing mass murder as a viable option.

Crazy me!

It’s a Reasonable Question Leading into #AvengersEndgame

This is a reasonable question about #AvengersInfinityWar. I don’t think it’s even that nerdy. It’s a little bit nerdy, but not as bad as some of the other things I’ve written.

I’m graciously setting aside the entire idea that #CaptainMarvel would be guaranteed to survive, too. I’m completely ignoring the fact that somehow #NickFury knew in his core being that there was a zero percent chance that #CaptainMarvel was going to be turned into toxic ash.

For that matter, I’m ignoring the fact that #Thanos the “environmentalist” turned half of everyone into nothing in an instant. From an environmental standpoint, this would almost guarantee cataclysmic results on industrialized planets! People working nuclear power plants would disappear, guaranteeing at least one Fukushima-style catastrophe. Airplanes would plummet from the sky, unless he further delineated that only one of any set of pilots disappear from an aircraft unless there was only one pilot, in which case an extra passenger would disappear, unless there was…

…and so forth. I mean, I’m just sayin’.

#Thanos in #InfinityWar which is a #marvel movie with the #avengers in the #mcu which is a prelude to #AvengersEndgame and filled with enough #hashtags to make the sanest man #mad.
Turns out, he’s not as good a planner as people thought.

I’m Already Tired of #AvengersEndgame

I’m sure that headline is going to get as much attention as it can, given that I don’t put much effort into pimping this blog. It’s not as evocative and troubling as Naked Yoda, and not as potentially problem-causing as the republishing of my letterboxd review of Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.

Despite my self-imposed absence on social media right now, there’s still something that’s made it through the veil of silence. Advertising and hype for Avengers: Endgame. Or, as seems mandatory to type it now, #AvengersEndgame.

That spins me off in a different tangent, but I’ll save that for another time. I’m still trying to maintain my streak and make it to 30 unbroken days of blogging, and I have to squirrel away as many topics as I can.

Don’t Worry, I Still Want to See #AvengersEndgame

Let’s be perfectly clear here. I am looking forward to seeing it, but largely because I think I’m ready to close the Marvel®™© franchise chapter of my life.

I am a fan of Marvel®™© movies. I’ve seen the majority of them in theaters. I have seen all but three of them, even Iron Man 2, which…was Iron Man 2. I’m a fan of certain movies more than others, and downright dislike a few, but I’ve been a casual fan.

I know I am openly critical of the way people approach their “reviews” of Marvel®™© movies. It’s with good reason: people who are fans of the franchise view the movies through distorted lenses. Their perceptions are colored by each entry’s place in the larger narrative. Excuses are made.

Being off social media for the time being, I’m largely unaware of how hard the push is for #AvengersEndgame. I know that it was quieter than expected because of various speculated reasons, as they gamed their SEO strategies to funnel all the curious questions into site traffic.

Yet I’m tired of all the hype already. It’s partly residual burnout from the run up to Avengers: Infinity War. But this marketing behemoth is so unstoppable, it reached me during my social media sabbatical. I saw each poster, got links about when tickets were going on sale, got updates until I didn’t want any more.

Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark who is Iron Man in Iron Man 3 where Tony Stark is talking about Iron Man in Iron Man 3.
“To be fair, most of my dialogue is simply a bunch of one-liners like an Arnold Schwarzenegger role.”

The End of a Marathon

What complicates it all is that I’ve been with the Marvel®™© machine as long as everyone else. I got hyped for early releases. As boring as it is to recite now, I still think Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a magnificent work with important things to say.

I also think that the intended audience doesn’t care half as much about what the movies have to say as the simple segment of the larger arc they represent. That’s one thing that really jumped out about Black Panther; it had something interesting to say.

To its credit, Avengers: Infinity War also had something interesting to say, but everyone was so caught up in sharing their emotional turmoil from the end of the movie that it seems lost by the wayside. That’s not the movie’s fault, though, so no points deducted there.

#AvengersEndgame is known to be the closing chapter to an enormously well-managed larger story arc. Each piece has been hand-crafted with the sole purpose of coming together like a big puzzle. This is the final piece in that puzzle.

This is the reward for sticking with it. Then new movies will come along. But for at least one set of these characters, this is the end of a long, long race.

It’s the end of a marathon for those of us who’ve watched since the beginning.

man running at marathon event
“Loser has to buy everyone’s tickets!” Photo by Lukasz Dziegel on Pexels.com

The Sun Also Sets

It’s just that I’m ready to stop caring. Whatever happens will happen, and this “era” in Marvel®™© movies will end. The next “phase” will begin and I’ve given over so much attention and money that I’m coming to realize how much other quality film gets lost in the wayside.

I’m legitimately curious to see how things play out in #AvengersEndgame. I want to see them work their way out of the corner, and if my guesses – or anyone’s – are right about what the solution is.

Then, once I’ve seen it, I’ll gladly ride off into the sunset as a fan. I’m sure I’ll catch the ones that intrigue me more than others, whether in the theater or on home video.

There’s been some real entertainment along the way. But as far as hype machines, advanced ticket sales, and other things…I’m out.

brown and green grass field during sunset
Photo by Jonathan Petersson on Pexels.com

P.S. This is not an invitation to try to have me transfer excitement to the DC movie universe. That’s not how this works.