November 08, 2006
into the dark knight
I'm not what you call a fan of Batman, at least not in the generic sense of the word. I don't own any merchandising (T-shirts, toys, posters, candy, action figures or trading cards) in his likeness, I can't really remember all people that have been Robin (Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, arguably Carrie Kelley), but most of all...
I can't stand to watch Batman movies.
Unfortunately there's going to be another one, The Dark Knight is scheduled to appear sometime in 2008. To refresh your memory, there was "Batman", "Batman Returns", "Batman Forever", "Batman and Robin", "Batman Begins" and now "The Dark Knight"...yeah, I don't really see a pattern.
I feel a certain sadness because the Batman fights and triumphs against so many super-villains, but he is powerless to stop his own commericialism. Batman movies are terrible, except for the one with Val Kilmer. That one was okay.
There is a confusing lack of continuity between all the movies...different directors, different actors playing Batman, different villians...if you watched all the Batman movies in a row you'll probably not be any closer to understanding anything about Batman.
For the impatient, this is the short introduction to Batman. There won't be much discussion on why he does it, its pretty much accepted that one dedicates their lives to secretly fighting crime once your parents get murdered.
The tight outfits, large inheritance, loyal man-servant and teenage sidekick are just perks that come with the job.
So is striking fear the motivation for wearing the mantle of the bat? There are lots of scary things out there, he could have very well been named "Clownman" (Coulrophobia : fear of clowns), "Big Walk Man" (Ambulophobia : fear of walking), "Elevator Man" (Claustrophobia : fear of enclosed spaces) or "Naked Man" (Gymnophobia : fear of...nudity).
Some have argued that Batman is just nuts. Mental illness is a prevalent theme for Batman, from his inception, his villains, his methods and his social interactions (or lack of).
While he has no extraordinary powers to begin with, he is still a force to be reckon with with his investigative skills, physical prowess, technology and use of fear and intimidation.
With these has has been able to defeat Superman (The Dark Knight Returns), dared to love the daughter of his enemy (Talia al Ghul), helped out the Justice League, walked again after his back is broken (Knightfall), there is much more to Batman than just fighting bad guys.
You could do yourself more of a favour by enjoying what the real Batman has to offer. Essential reading would be : The Killing Joke, The Dark Knight Returns, Tales of the Demon, The Long Halloween, Year One. There's plenty more...but these would be a good place to start.
I'll probably still go watch the movie. I mean...how else can I complain about it? :pNovember 8, 2006 04:47 PM