Letters - Biff! Kerpow! Sob!

I fear I must disagree with Matthew Sweet's opinion that psychological problems are not welcome in the world of superheroes (Profile, 27 June). Such problems are what make superhero comics interesting and readable. Sure, it's fun to see Superman pummel the Parasite or Spider-Man hurl the Hobgoblin, but that stuff gets old fast. What fascinates is how Superman deals with not getting corrupted by his immense power, or how Bruce Banner tries to escape the raging Hulk within. Batman began life as a dark character in the 1930s and has returned as a cold, dark, brooding vigilante battling psychopaths, monsters and crime lords - yet all along he was just a disturbed little boy crying for his parents. Here are the basics for a classic Shakespearean hero. Hamlet certainly fought his own daemons, just like Batman.

Henry Raby

This article first appeared in the 11 July 2005 issue of the New Statesman, The ghost at Gleneagles