Origins of Batman

Batman's 1st Appearance - May 1939 DC / Bob Kane

In the early 1990s, after completing my first book I was eager to take a break from the world of divorce and custody research in which I had immersed myself for many years. To shift gears I gave myself a fun assignment. I researched and then wrote about the link between Batman and childhood trauma.

I presented my ideas at some psychoanalytic conferences and then let the work languish for more than twenty years. Until January 1, 2014. Having just wrapped up a two-year project working on the most difficult, and possibly most important, scientific article of my career, I greeted the new year with a sense of confidence and freedom. Knowing that May 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance, I decided that this would be a good time to dust off my file and try to get it published. I sent it to The Atlantic on January 2. On January 3rd the article was accepted. I am very pleased to announce its publication today.

DC / Bob Kane


Batman’s origin, we know, springs from a trauma in Bruce Wayne’s childhood. I had a hunch that a trauma in Bob Kane’s life inspired the artist’s creation of a traumatized Dark Knight. See if you think my hunch was correct. Read the essay at The Atlantic

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One Response to Origins of Batman

  1. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations, bravo. What a nice story about your Batman research and the Batman story. Especially your personal sharing that you did this after you recovered from the enormous amount of time you put into the consensus article. It is wonderful that you had time to revisit your past research about the dynamics of Batman, after completing your monumental global contribution to children and families–your consensus article. You deserve hip hip hurrays from everybody. FBAC :-)