Bruce Wayne is, at his core, a conflicted character. His life shaped by a horrific tragedy in his youth, Bruce spends his adulthood torn between his two identities: billionaire owner of an inherited conglomerate and a masked vigilante called Batman. But that’s a hell of a lot easier said than done. And Matt Reeves’ upcoming film, The Batman, is a very dark, gritty examination of Batman’s difficult early days. The film, which stars Robert Pattinson as Batman, finds the Caped Crusader as he fights crime while “struggling to balance rage with righteousness.” In short, Pattinson’s Batman sounds pretty emotionally fraught. One could practically call it emo. And any good emo superhero needs a playlist to help them fight crime, especially Batman.
To add to this need, even Reeves admits he used music to seek out the right headspace when creating The Batman. He specifically cited Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” as a moody tune he listened to while writing The Batman. As anyone with a blackened, emo spirit would, we took Reeves’ admission to heart and created this emo playlist inspired by The Batman. Get out your eyeliner everyone, here’s Now That’s What I Call RBatz.
Now That’s What I Call RBatz: Batman’s Emo Playlist
- “All Apologies” — Nirvana
- “Welcome to My Life” — Simple Plan
- “Behind Blue Eyes” — The Who
- “Welcome to the Black Parade” — My Chemical Romance
- “Animal I Have Become” — Three Days Grace
- “Down with the Sickness” — Disturbed
- “Black Me Out” — Against Me!
- “Know Your Enemy” — Rage Against The Machine
- “I’m So Sick” — Flyleaf
- “Liar (It Takes One to Know One)” — Taking Back Sunday
- “If You Want My Blood (Be My Guest)” — Red City Radio
- “Lua” — Bright Eyes
- “Until the Day I Die” — Story of the Year
- “Disaster” — Hawthorne Heights
- “Bring Me to Life” — Evanescence
- “This Is Our Town” — We the Kings
- “The Downfall Of Us All” — A Day To Remember
- “I Will Not Bow” — Breaking Benjamin
- “Vindicated” — Dashboard Confessional
- “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” — My Chemical Romance
- “I know The End” — Phoebe Bridgers
- “Living After Midnight” — Judas Priest
- “Something In the Way” — Nirvana
The Batman’s Beginnings
The Batman isn’t an origin story for Bruce Wayne. However, it does showcase Batman’s early days. Before he really has his crime-fighting feet under him. In interviews, Reeves has shared all kinds of insight into the state we find our Batman in this movie. He’s a loner. He’s hanging out in an abandoned train car under the city. A Batcave which Pattinson himself referred to as “the gutter.” His suit is all pieced together and so is his Batmobile. (which may or may not be a distant relative of Horror icon Christine.) He wants to kill, but he refuses to… Which may not necessarily be better. Honestly, who could understand Batman, really?
We imagine that in this portion of his life, Bruce just wants to feel understood. But in true emo form, Batman simply can’t connect. He’d get kicked out of the club if he could His car is blood-thirsty, his bangs are long, and he’s all alone. And tracks 1-4 of Bruce’s playlist really capture that feeling. Batman may secretly “wish [he] was like you, easily amused,” but in his heart he knows, “No one knows what it’s like…To be the sad man, behind blue eyes.” And that “no one understands [him.]” He is however pretty certain that his “love is vengeance that’s never free.”
All alone is all emo Batman is… as he tries to fight the evil growing in his city.
The Batman’s Relationship with Gotham City
Bruce Wayne is in a pretty f***ing dark place during his early days as a vigilante. He’s desperate to help the people of Gotham, but they view him as an extension of the problem, not their savior. As Pattinson notes in a GQ profile, the crime rate hasn’t dropped since Batman’s been on the scene—it’s gotten worse. How does one give to the city he loves when its people resent his presence–and even worse, view him as another danger? Tracks 5-11 hone in on this struggle, the relationship between Batman’s duty and the people of his city—and what his legacy will reflect. “Animal I Have Become” represents the obsessive tendency, the desperation to bring down those bringing harm to Gotham. Potentially to the detriment of himself. Batman is trying to save the city, but instead, he’s only turning himself into something worse.
The subsequent tracks feed on this anger: Batman’s, the residents of Gotham’s, and the former’s resolve to take down those who wish to inflict harm. Tracks like “Down with the Sickness” and “Black Me Out” speak to the rage Pattinson’s Batman feels as he continues his fraught journey towards bringing the Riddler (among his enemies) to justice. Or at least his version of it.
A Hopeful Future for Emo Batman
Although Bruce Wayne seems like he is truly struggling for his soul in The Batman, we like to think he will find a light at the end of the tunnel. After all, one can only hold onto their fully emo phase for so long. And if Batman doesn’t evolve throughout The Batman, what’s the point of the movie? We imagine Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne will see himself tested through the film. Perhaps as the Penguin and Riddler tempt him towards more rage and darkness. But in the end, every night ends.
After all, we’ve already seen him interact with Catwoman in promos for The Batman. Who brings a much different and needed energy to the table. In the trailers, Bruce isn’t sure what their relationship is exactly, but we hazard they may find kindred spirits in one another. Possibly romantic, but definitely meaningful. As Bright Eyes suggests in “Lua,” sometimes, you just need someone else to help you survive the darkness. “I got a flask inside my pocket / We can share it on the train / And if you promise to stay conscious / I will try and do the same.”
In songs 12-19, Bruce’s BatPods shift him to his final headspace. Loneliness, anger, and finally maybe he can “be made real” as he’s “brought to life.” He may never lose his pain and unhappiness completely, as “I Will Not Bow” suggests, because he is, at the core emo Batman… Hope, we know, dangles on a string. (And a special shout-out to Spider-Man for letting Batman generously borrow his music.)
Bonus Tracks from Now That’s What I Call RBatz:
We dug through a lot of emo—and emo-adjacent—tracks throughout this musical emo Batman journey. And many of those who didn’t make the final tracklist live forever on an even longer version of this playlist. However, in creating the playlist, a deluxe edition, with bonus tracks, felt right. Batman, after all, never does anything by halves, especially not Robert Pattinson’s Batman. As such, each of the songs captures part of The Batman‘s overall ethos.
“I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” is the second MCR track to make the deluxe cut because it represents so much of the overarching conflict between Bruce Wayne and what he’s trying to achieve as Batman. Meanwhile, Phoebe Bridgers’ “I Know the End” is one of the great moody anthems of our time. It evokes the despair and darkness plaguing Gotham City and its residents as the Riddler descends upon it. Tacking on the Judas Priest banger “Living After Midnight” at the end is intentional. It might be one of the most hopeful tracks on the playlist. It’s where we hope to see Bruce Wayne at The Batman‘s conclusion. Things aren’t perfect, sure, but things are looking up.
And finally, we’d be remiss to omit the song that started it all. “Something in the Way,” we bow down to you. This warbling tune is truly Emo Batman’s theme song.
Listen to Batman’s Emo Playlist Now:
To listen to Batman’s emo soul, you can check out the Spotify playlist below.
You can also check out the YouTube playlist below. Just click the three lines with a triangle to skip to your favorite song.
Of course, feel free to copy it to whatever your preferred music service happens to be.
An important note: As of this playlist’s creation, neither of us has actually seen The Batman. We’re operating purely on Reeves’ thoughts, the marketing, and Robert Pattinson’s general energy when it comes to his version of Batman… And, of course, our aforementioned emo spirits. No thoughts, just desolate vibes.
The Batman broods into theaters on March 4, 2022.