You wanna know why? I’ll tell you why. He’s not fucking crazy enough.
Sure, sure, he’s got a really dark back-story, and yes, Heath Ledger was a totally awesome villain, and yes, Batman runs around in a fucking rubber suit vaguely shaped as a bat -- which, by the way, must be chafing the shit out of him every time he goes to kick someone in the face. I’ll give him a little credit for not immediately succumbing to blisters and sweltering heat. Especially in the summer.
Still, that’s not nearly crazy enough. You want to strike fear into the hearts of men? You REALLY want to strike fear into them? Try the first two minutes of this:
So let’s be clear: he shows up, invisible, inside “The Death House”, a few feet away from some dude, insists that he “knows”, and starts cackling wildly. And -- by the way -- that’s him dealing with someone he believes to be innocent.
Dude is fucking terrifying.
He fucking killed you.
End of story.
Seriously. Dude would show up, hidden in the shadows, and fucking shoot you with a fucking gun. All you’d get is something like “Your time is up, Raymond Drugsmuggler. The Shadow knows. BWAHAHAHAHAHA (BLAM!)”
You can kinda see why criminals would be afraid of this guy. If he finds you, you’re not going to be deposited outside Commissioner Gordon‘s house so that you can buy yourself a fair trial. Actually, you’re just gonna die.
Oh and one more thing, even that radio show deal where The Shadow can make himself completely invisible via hypnosis? Never happened in the original. Actually, the best he could do is to make you think he’s actually two or three feet to the left or right of where he actually is.
Sound less scary that way? Imagine you’re standing there pumping round after round into some dude who just stares at you cackling. How scared are you now?
Good, cause you’re about to get shot from two feet to your left.