The Goddamn Batman

One of Frank Miller’s most current and popular contributions to the Batman mythos is not the Dark Knight Returns but rather one panel from All Star Batman and Robin #1:
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Batman has now added another sobriquet to his long list. In addition to being the “World’s Greatest Detective” and the “Dark Knight” he is also “the goddamn Batman.” The phrase has caught on and become an internet meme. Richard Dawkins coined the term meme in his 1975 book The Selfish Gene, describing memes as “ideas that make up the building blocks of culture[,] spread by imitation.” These are “snippets of information [that] are copied, improved or discarded as they travel along social networks” (Gerson). In this day and age the internet is one of the largest social networks, and internet memes (usually images or phrases) circulate until they die out.

The “goddamn Batman” meme has spawned some interesting images, such as these parodies of Law and Order and the Bayeux tapestry (click to enlarge):
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Or this animated .gif file of a Christian Bale interview (caution: strong[er] language):
The panel (and indeed the entire All Star Batman and Robin run) is over the top and quite funny. One gets the sense that Miller is parodying himself and what he’s created (the hyper-real, gritty Dark Knight character). He’s poking fun at the seriousness his Batman has created. Everyone else just thinks they’re making fun of Miller. One can’t prove it for sure, but a writer such as Miller cannot be unaware of how his work is perceived.

 DC has even poked fun at this particular iteration, as seen in this panel from Superman/Batman #51 in which Batman meets a miniature Batman who proclaims himself to be the “Gosh-Darned Batman.”
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