By Professional Development team, British Council in Singapore

20 September 2016 - 15:52

We all know Batman, the alter ego of billionaire Bruce Wayne and recent nemesis of Superman. Batman' cinematic exploits however, reveal him to not only be a match for the Man of Steel, but a brilliant thinker, strategist and problem solver.

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Here's a list of different ways Batman applied lateral thinking (in his cinema incarnation) to crack cases and outsmart his rogues gallery.

1: Batman Begins - The League of Shadows

In the pivotal scene where Bruce Wayne, having joined the League of Shadows, has to complete his training by combating his master, Ra's Al Ghul, Ra's Al Ghul, Bruce's arm is cut, rendering him unable to hide his identity among his fellow disciples. Bruce wisely considers his distinguishing mark, and then cleverly slits someone else's arm, allowing Ra's Al Ghul to mistake a fellow disciple for him, thus gaining a tactical advantage.

By changing his environment to blend in with him, instead of blending into his environment, Bruce succeeds in camouflaging himself just as effectively 

2: Batman Forever - Coin Toss

In a climactic battle within a chasm with the iconic Two-Face, played with much enthusiasm by the talented Tommy Lee Jones, Batman takes advantage of his adversary's obsessive compulsion to make all his life changing decisions via coin toss. As the villain with the vivisected visage throws his coin into the air, the ever-resourceful Batman hurls a handful of coins straight into his face, confusing the sharply dresses criminal with dozens of coins, all glittering through the air.

Instead of foiling the vial lain' split head on or using brute strength, the Caped Crusader disrupts Two-Face's decision making process instead, finding a solution that is economical, creative and effective.

3: The Dark Knight Rises - Supercar Crash

When Coleman Reese, Wayne Enterprises lawyer threatens to reveal Batman's secret identity, the Joker threatens to blow up a hospital unless someone kills him, his reason being that the revelation would ruin his fun. As Reese and his police escort arrive at a traffic crossing, a few more anxious policemen consider killing him to save the aforementioned hospital.

In order to save Reese's life while still preserving his secret identity, Bruce Wayne runs a red light and crashes his sports car into Reese's convoy, causing security to tighten around the lawyer and preventing his murder. Bruce emerges and plays the oblivious billionaire, secret identity intact.

Bruce Wayne successfully saves the day without even putting on the Batsuit, proving that with a little creative thinking, causing a distraction can be just as effecting as stopping a crime.

4: Batman Himself

Batman as a superhero is himself an inversion of what superheroes were perceived to aspire to. Created in an age where heroes fought in the daylight, as shining beacons of hope, Batman was a symbol of terror and darkness, using fear as his primary weapon. The idea of the superhero was forever changed with Batman, whose brooding imagery, tragic origin and stoic existence became a new hero archetype, one that was closely followed by many other superheroes.

By inverting the hero archetype from a knight in shining armour to the Dark Knight, Batman sparked off a creative revolution in comic book character development and heavily influenced the comic book industry.*

*the exception to this fact being the period in the 50s and 60s where the CCA (Comics Code Authority) imposed stricter rules on violence, sexualisation and darker themes in comics.

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Lateral Thinking 

To learn more about 'Lateral Thinking' and other skills for the workplace in small, manageable sessions, visit the British Council's Bitesize 90 programme and send us your details, and may the Force be with you, always.