If you’re one of my friends on my personal Facebook page, then this little rant may seem familiar, since I first posted it there yesterday. After a bit I decided I’d also edit it just slightly and share it here, in order to reach a bit of a different audience.
So yeah, there’s this page from one of the 237 batman comics out today (specifically Arkham Manor #1), and it perfectly illustrates what’s wrong with our take on “heroes” today.
The criminals have surrendered, they’ve even apologized to the woman whom they (apparently) mugged, they’re completely ready to be turned over to the cops, and yet bats still proceeds to give them a beat-down that he knows beforehand will be so bad that he tells the woman to call 911 for them.
Woohoo! Now that’s what I call a hero! He’s certainly someone I want my children to look up to and emulate.
Yes, I know as well as anyone that “comics aren’t [necessarily] for kids anymore” and all that – Heck, I was around and buying comics off the racks and in the comic book shops when Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, which pretty well began the most recent “grim and gritty” take on Batman was coming out as a (kinda, there were delays) monthly series, and was one of the ones at the time cheering the more “adult” take of some of these characters on – and that this is just part of an ongoing trend, etc. etc… But really, that’s part of the point. Or maybe it’s the point.
It’s not just this comic, and it’s not just Batman. It’s that this type of thing has become the rule instead of the exception. Again, that’s what made Miller’s Dark Knight (and for that matter, his take on Daredevil, which was such a radical departure from what had come before) so much of a standout. But it’s also one of the reasons why I no longer spend any money on comics except for the very rare exception (well, that and the fact that most comics on the stand are going for $4 to $5 a pop, but that’s a completely different rant) even though I do still keep up with what’s going on with them (obviously).
Oh well, at least we’ve got the upcoming new Superman movie to look forward to. After all, he’s always been referred to as the “big blue boy scout” of comics and held up as a role model for kids around the world, so DC and Warners would never go “dark” or “grim and gritty” with him.
What’s that? Man of Steel? Oh… yeah…
Y’know, forget it… just forget it…
- ComicBook: Knightfall (tvtropes.org)
- Entertainment Geekly: The Batman Top 100 – Entertainment Weekly (popwatch.ew.com)