Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Batman, Having Officially Run Out of Fictional Super-Villains To Beat Up And Turn In To The Police, Turns to the Real Thing.

Hope everyone's having a good Valentine's Day.

The Cheney thing continues to unravel -- some folks are wondering if maybe Cheney was slightly inebriated when he did the deed -- but I'm thinking Cheney shotgunning other old people is not so hot a topic with the Inanity faithful, so I'll switch to something that may skew closer to our hearts, namely Batman.

Who doesn't love Batman? I know I do. (Here he is kicking Superman's ass -- because sometimes Supes needs Batman to set him straight.) So whenever Batman makes it into the mainstream media, I'm interested. So here's the story: Frank Miller's next Batman story is called Holy Terror, Batman! and in it, "Batman kicks al Quaeda's ass". I actually read this story originally over at Aintitcool the other day, thought it was kinda cool, but not THAT cool given how bad the sequel to the Dark Knight Returns looked, but now all of the major news organizations have picked it up. I think this story appeals to them because it a) features two names recognized worldwide whom one wouldn't necessarily expect to hear uttered in the same breath, and b) the idea of an American icon meeting the great villain of the day to exact some righteous justice feels homespun, timely, and kind of edgy all at the same time. Provided Miller's style doesn't slide too much further into the abstract, strictly representational style he's evolved into, this sounds like it could be pretty fun.


blankfist said...

I always enjoyed it when Batman was at odds with Superman, and ultimately would seek to settle it. But images of him cracking Superman across the jaw, and worse, Superman taking a spill from it really doesn't sit well with me. I'm about to go total geek here, so bare with me. I promise my 'un-geek-like ninja' will return. Batman is a human. Nothing more. Unlike Superman, he has no super-human strength, that's why he developed the utility belt to even the odds with his formidable foes. Still, a couple 'Battarangs' will do little to the Man Of Effin' Steel! I know, I know, DC can come in with the typical McGuffin of all McGuffins and trump my comic-reading dilemma with the introduction of Kryptonite or something like that to even the odds, but isn't that really a cop out?

And, I don't think comic makers are strangers to the ways of the 'cheap escape'. Marvel was notorious in the '90s for killing someone off and bringing them back with the all-to-pedestrian 'clone' McGuffin. And, even back in the '80s I remember (if memory serves) the GIJOE comics doing the same thing sans clones. I am sympathetic to their plight, being that they must create month-to-month serials, but if Batman's back is broken, then it's BROKEN and Azrial is the new Batman! End of story! If Superman dies, he DIES!

By the way, the ABC article read, "and helping launch the series of Batman movies in the 1990s", and I'd hate to inform them that the first Batman movie came out in 1989. Okay, enough geekdom. I'm all NINJA again!

[in ninja voice] What's up with all this nerd crap. Pffft.

JudgeHolden said...

Kryptonite is no McGuffin, Ninja. It is an integral part of Superman's character. Without kryptonite, Superman is just an invincible dude who can do anything and beat anyone. Kryptonite is the one thing that makes Superman stories interesting, though just barely.

Also, sure Bruce is just a human, but one thing he has over Superman is smarts. Not to say Superman's an idiot, just that Bruce is a genius in his own way. In that shot of Batman slamming Supes across the face I included with my post, Batman's got on big ole' Kryptonite gloves. Nothing much Superman can do against those. In fact, to geek out a wee bit more, Superman actually entrusts Batman with kryptonite in case Superman should succumb to some super-villain's influence and start doing bad things (like he did in the recent Hush storyline) and actually require Batman to give him a beatdown until he returns to normal. So yeah.

blankfist said...

Ninja, please!

Look dude, Kryptonite is a very important part of the Superman universe, but you act as if no way it hasn't (and isn't) being used as a source of quick escape. It is! It really, really is.

And it has been for a while. It's as if everytime a writer sits down to 'up the stakes', and every time they seem to 'write themselves into a corner they need a quick escape from', they choose Kryptonite. And, Kryptonite is not an integral part of Superman's character... that doesn't even make sense. Superman's character had nothing to do with Kryptonite until one day the writers at DC looked to each other and said, 'damn, you know what? We don't have a way to put this guy in real jeopardy. Apparently in our rush to create the greatest American hero in our desperate time of need for a patriotic figure (1938, red cape, blue suit, white dude), we forgot about that thing called drama and conflict that's so important with story enthusiasts. We really must come up with something that can weaken him so he's not so... perfect.'

Yes, it was a very long monologue they had back then, leave me alone.

Anyhow, it's a big fat McGuffin. A big fat afterthought. Eat it.

Speck said...

When someone died in GIJOE they stayed dead...even during the comics 2002 revival.

blankfist said...

Then memory didn't serve, but for some odd reason I thought I remembered them bringing them back. I could be wrong.

Did you ever read the '80s GIJOE comics, Speck? Do you remember one called 'Silent Interlude' that followed Snake-Eyes around and there wasn't a single printed word (outside of credits, the title and advertisments) in the book. It was 100% visual. And it was 100% cool.

Here's a link to a write up about it (just googled it). Apparently it was GIJOE #21:

There was also a great Daredevil comic that stood out to me from back in the day where Daredevil chases this girl without a heartbeat into a mansion filled with traps. Someone wrote about it here: http://daveslongbox.blogspot.com/2005/04/daredevil-208-marvel-comics-1984.html

Ninja back.

Speck said...

I still have pretty much every single gijoe comic from the 80's cept for like the last 20 and a couple missing ones.

I am almost postive I have the silent one...because I know I've read it.

They are all at my parents house.