"My understanding is that Bob Kane created this character in 1939, which being from England, right, that's the beginning of WWII," Bale explained to Hitfix.
"It was an answer to the uselessness that individuals felt against this humongous tragedy, and what could you do? So it was topical in its inception, that's how Batman began.
"It began as a very topical character, and I think Chris returned it to that."
Bale went on to discuss his fight sequences in The Dark Knight Rises with Tom Hardy's villain Bane, describing the level of depth and character development that occurs during what might otherwise be straightforward action set-pieces.
"They're never just knock-down fight sequences," he said. "You learn something more about each character throughout each fight, which is the mark of a good fight.
"You learn about what Batman has had to go through from the beginning of the movie to the end in order to be able to defeat this man. And you're learning about Bane as well, and the changes that have come over him. And that's always essential in any fight."