Since Christopher Nolan’s seminal interpretation of Batman came to life in 2005’s “Batman Begins,” the Caped Crusader has slowly turned into the embodiment of dark, brooding superheroes. And, while in Nolan’s hands, the Dark Knight managed to become and then stay a worthy representation of gritty and realistic comic book films, Zack Snyder’s bleak and misguided stab at the character in “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” all but turned him into a brooding bachelor (though to Ben Affleck‘s credit, he was a highlight of the otherwise painfully low film).

READ MORE: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice,’ ‘Daredevil’ And The Problem With Tone In Superhero Stories

But, as Glen Weldon explains in his new Talks At Google lecture, Batman wasn’t always such a bummer, and assuming so is to ignore a whole lot of history. In fact, Weldon contends in his new book “The Caped Crusade: Batman And The Rise Of Nerd Culture” (and this lecture), Batman is the “ultimate nerd.” The video, for the most part, skips over the discussion of nerd culture, and instead focuses on the long and textured history of Batman and his origins. Weldon, of course, is one of the most authoritative figures around on the subject of Batman (and a plethora of other superheroes, not to mention comic history), which makes the talk a fascinating one for anyone interested in the seven decade-long transformation of one of America’s most iconic figures.

Check out the talk and weigh in with your thoughts on the Batman in the comments below.