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Sunday, August 29, 1999 Published at 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK

UK: Wales

Batman earns fan PhD

Batman has altered through the years, says Dr Brooker

A student at a south Wales university has been made a doctor of philosophy after writing a thesis on Batman.

Dr Will Brooker, aged 28, who studied at Cardiff University, chose Batman for his thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

"One Life, Many Faces - The Uses and Meaning of Batman as a Cultural Icon" was accepted as part of his doctoral studies.

"Dark and moody"

"It is all about Batman as a trendsetter and how he is depicted in the films and comics," said Dr Brooker.

[ image: The Batman symbol is recognised the world over]
The Batman symbol is recognised the world over
"For instance, in the 1960's he was a kid's cult hero so they took out all the violence and made him all camp in tights.

"But in the recent films with Michael Keaton he is dark and moody because times have changed.

"I spotted the change growing up watching the films and re-runs of the 60's show."

'Shock and joy'

Dr Brooker, of Cathays, Cardiff, has landed a job as a lecturer in communications at Richmond American University in Surrey.

He said the shock and joy of finally getting his PhD will take some getting used to.

A spokesman for Cardiff University said: "Batman is a legitimate figure for study in literature and modern culture.

"We're only too pleased that Will has got his PhD."

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