"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Film, Comic Books
With only five days to go before the Breaking Bad series finale, there’s a lot of spillover between the beloved, critically acclaimed series and the comic book world — including a Vulture essayby Lost co-creator and Star Trek Into Darkness co-writer Damon Lindelof that makes the seemingly unlikely comparison between DC Comics icon Batman and morally-questionable-at-best Breaking Bad lead character Walter White, as played by Bryan Cranston in multiple Emmy-winning seasons.
The thrust of Lindelof’s argument is simple: Much like the way in which Batman is frequently considered the character’s true persona and billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne is the facade, Walt’s meth kingpin alias, Heisenberg, is who he always truly was. To illustrate his thesis, Lindelof points to the period of the show where (Breaking Bad spoiler follows) Walt’s cancer was in remission as evidence.
This is the equivalent of Bruce Wayne’s parents suddenly reappearing to him and saying, “We had to fake our deaths when you were a kid and we’ve been in witness protection all this time, and we’re so sorry, but the guy who shot us was actually an FBI agent helping us and he wasn’t even a criminal and we love you, so can we have our pearls back and NOW YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE BATMAN ANYMORE!!!”
But would Bruce stop being Batman?
No. He would not. Because he is Batman.
This isn’t the first time the worlds of Breaking Bad and Batman have collided — artist Jeff Matsuda drew a well-circulated sketch of Walt as Batman and Jesse as Robin in 2011, and last month Cranston was the subject of unconfirmed reports that he might be playing Lex Luthor in 2015’s live-action Batman/Superman film.
Plus, Walt and Bats do have a fairly similar soliloquy style: