He overcame the darkness in his heart through the world of fiction and the help of one of the most well-known superheroes in the world, Batman.
In the story, his life was terribly ruined by a teenager who threatened and raped him, which is shown in page 4, panel 1 and 2. Even though his mother prosecuted the culprit, he couldnt go back to being a normal kid again. The rest of his childhood was miserable.Even though he tried as hard s he could in order to escape the world of reality by wallowing in comic books, his burden still wasn’t lifted until he watched a Batman film in a lesson in a class, which is shown in page 5, panel 4.
This is the most vital panel in this Story since from now on, his life has changed. There are a large number of superheroes, so why does Dean choose Batman? After watching Batman, he realized they both shared a childhood trauma. However, Batman overcomes his sadness and becomes successful. For kids, superheroes are usually their idols. They always dream to become strong like one of those in the future.Therefore, this character not only saves Dean from the darkness in his heart, but also makes him mentally stronger. In page 7 and 8, Dean keeps growing up and he isn’t as timid like before because he knows his admired hero will always stand by and protect him.
Nevertheless, his happy life doesn’t last long. After watching a crime show on TV, hearing about the “cycle of abuse”, the darkness in his heart comes back to haunt him again. It’s stronger than before and in the form an invisible hand with a gun pointed at his head, which is shown in page 9, panel 4. It keeps on following him through his adulthood.In page 10, panel 3 and 4, I see that even though Dean loves his son, he isn’t able to help with bath time. He is afraid that he’s going to follow the road of an abuser.
So the phantom hand is like a warning for himself that if he commits the crime, that hand will become real and end his life. However, once again, Batman has come to the rescue. At first, he meet the young little Dean, which is his past, to completely annihilate his dark past.
The pictures in page 3, panel 3 and 4, is the same as page 12, panel 1 and 2, which means t’s exactly right just before the time when the little boy was raped.Batman shows up right at that time to rescue Dean from being abused by leading him to the world of fiction. In this world, every cartoon characters are gathered and Batman says ‘You’ll be safe here. ” This is indeed an ideal world for every kid, where the little boy no longer worries about anything, and no abuser can harm him ever again. Everything that happened is the authors wish as he draws it on his comic and cries, which is shown in page 15, panel 1 Then, Batman comes back to finish the rest of his job.In page 15, panel 3, Batman snatches the phantom arm away and simply says “No guns”. From the moment the arm is gone, Dean Trippe no longer bears any burden. At last, he is no longer haunted by any trauma or the fear of becoming an abuser.
He finally can come in contact with his son without fearing anything. As shown in page 16, he put his hand over his son’s shoulder, reading a bedtime story with a happy expression on his face. Behind him, the symbol of Batman appears. He knows that whenever the trauma returns, his hero, Batman, will always come to the rescue.