Fandom starts young for many people, but sometimes kids catch me off guard. I know they are exposed to super heroes through comics and cartoons at an early age, but because I didn't start finding my way to the world of super heroes and villains until I was an adult, I occasionally forget that you’re never too young to be a Batman fan. With all the different mediums of storytelling at their fingertips, kids can become experts before they hit double digits. That's the case with 10-year-old Mason Fujikawa.
Mason may be young, but he's one of the most knowledgeable fans I've found this side of Gotham City. His enthusiasm for Batman is contagious. He's a veritable walking Batman wiki and has thoughtful answers for any questions you may have about Bruce Wayne—which is fortunate, because I had questions. I asked Mason about his personal history with Batman, which villain he thinks is most worthy of the Caped Crusader and more.
Art by Mason Fujikawa
How long have you been a fan of Batman? Do you remember the first Batman comic or cartoon/show you read or watched?
I have been a huge fan of Batman my whole life. I dressed up as Batman for Halloween. I collect Batman figures. I draw and think about Batman every day.
The first Batman show I watched was Batman: The Brave and the Bold when I was three or four years old. It was my introduction into the DC Universe because it taught me about obscure villains like Polka Dot-Man and Pencil Man. It also has one of my favorite theme songs.
Which version of Batman is your favorite—is there one from a specific comic or television series?
My favorite version of Batman is the art style of Frank Miller in The Dark Knight Returns. I like his Batman design with the short ears, enormous bulk, and a menacing cowl.
What aspect about Batman do you like the most?
I admire his intelligence and his detective prowess. I also like his dark and violent side, especially when he fights insane criminals.
Art by Mason Fujikawa
Which villain do you think is most worthy of Batman’s skills?
Although most people would choose the Joker, I would say Ra's al Ghul. I chose Ra’s because his physical strength and intelligence match Batman. He is an immortal eco-terrorist and a master assassin which makes for a worthy adversary.
Why do you think Batman is the best super hero?
Batman is the best super hero because he doesn't even have super powers! Having no super powers makes him more relatable than heroes like Superman. Batman has trained his whole life and he has achieved peak human strength, speed, etc. He has real struggle because he is just a human who has suffered.
If you could recommend one Batman comic or series to fans who have never read any Batman stories, which one would you pick?
I would recommend the show Batman: The Animated Series. The show includes backstory and character arcs that explore deeper Batman stories. I like how the show is a darker take on a Batman cartoon.