When the character of Batman was first created, is there any indication that it was inspired or influenced by vampires?
“Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot”, Wayne remarks, “so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible...” As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to assume the persona of Batman.
A creature of the night, black, terrible; a man who could become a bat: this sounds familiar. The same description could apply to Dracula.
Other similarities between Batman and vampires:
- They both rely on illusion and fear.
- If you allow for Batman’s technology, they both have superhuman strength.
Batman stated that he was trying to play on criminals’ superstitions, and assuming a vampire-like persona could be a good way to scare a superstitious person.
One of Batman’s first enemies, in Detective Comics #31, was The Monk, a vampire, so the early authors were at least thinking about vampires near the time of Batman’s introduction.
Are these similarities coincidental, or was Batman conceived partly as a human, crime-fighting analogue to Dracula?
Perhaps the idea for the character was simply to choose a symbol which could scare his enemies. Still, lots of animals are potentially scary, and he became Batman rather than, for example, Snake-man.