Do You Remember The Time Batman Got Hooked on Venom?
It would seem completely contradictory to his mission. The idea Batman would ever turn to any sort of drug could seem strange to someone who is a big Batman fan. We know things about Bruce Wayne. His parents were murdered when he was only a young child. The trauma he endured from that sent him down a path to become something more than what he was. He would not just be an ordinary business leader at Wayne Enterprises. He sought a much more complex mission for himself and one that brought a great deal of torment to the life. He would go on to lose even more people in his life and see many others injured.
Yet, nothing could be any more surprising than when Bruce Wayne decided to turn to a stimulant-like drug called venom. In the story, Batman goes to extreme lengths in order to save people. After he fails to save a young girl named Sissy Porter, he sees the girl drown right before his eyes. In the aftermath, her father tells The Caped Crusader there is a chance for him to make himself stronger by using a drug called Venom he had developed. Many people know the strain of venom more that is used by Bruce’s enemy, Bane. However, this story is set during the beginning of Bruce’s mission and Bane doesn’t come until later. It is a grand display of Batman’s obsession in every sense.
Under the influence of the venom, Batman becomes not only obsessed but he also grows in strength and agility becoming much more aggressive and soon hooked on the drug. In a great display of the new Batman, he takes on a great white shark and wins in a fight. It shows not only how strong Batman has become but also how he uses his strength to take down the menacing shark. It’s interesting long-time Batman writer Dennis O’Neil decided to go this route with the character in Batman: Venom with artists Russell Braun and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.
Image via Kotaku
It’s not unusual for the character’s villains to make use of a drug as Bane and Scarecrow both do. Yet, Batman, both before and after, never used drugs to enhance his strength or anything like that. He had sworn against using anything like that after his parents died. He sought training in order to understand why people did bad things and to see what exactly could be done to combat all of that.
For Batman, the question is who exactly is he anymore. He is fighting an addiction at a later point in the story and seems to require a stimulant addiction treatment. He had Alfred always nearby him for support. However, one of the main points to understand why Bruce allowed the addiction to take him over was because seeing a little child die was exactly what his parents sacrificed their lives to prevent. It’s one of the central things Bruce sought out to do: to prevent another event similar to his.
Bruce wanted to protect all people, but especially children from the horrible fates they may endure otherwise. Seeing another child die in front of him was the reason he became broken inside and was willing to do whatever it took to take down villains that sought to cause harm to the people he cared about and others around him.
When someone needs a stimulant addiction treatment, it’s evident there’s a big problem going on. With Bruce’s newly discovered aggression, it became evident to those in his life that he truly needed help. Eventually, Bruce ends up fighting the man who gave him the venom because the father of the little girl is actually planning to create a whole army of super soldiers. The story is a Batman tale but it’s quite interesting to look at it through the lens of one of the comic’s greatest heroes succumbing to drug addiction. The Dark Knight is usually all powerful in terms of his mind and body’s will. Yet, he is eventually able to overcome all of the issues within his mind and the physical addiction itself.
Bruce Wayne goes back to the Batman we all know and love. Yet, it serves as a valid warning for him to avoid ever turning to a drug for the enhancement of any of his abilities again.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery and the entertainment industry.