Monday, May 19, 2008

Is he strong? Listen, bud... he's got radioactive blood!

So.. Sonvar is now blogging. The poor poor bastard.

As far as things go... here's some advice... try to have a small list of crap to blog on... and keep it updated. Me... I got Melvin, the gift that keeps giving.

But ya never really know when yuir gonna wanna vent on something. As things stand... I've been meaning to do a comic/sf/geek post for a while... and the whole spiderman costume kinda gives me an excuse...


K. Ima big batman fan. The comic book, not the crap they make movies outta. Batman Begins was, at best... acceptable. The camera work, I thought, really detracted from the fight scenes, but the story was pretty good. However, I have a really big problem with the series... and it goes like this.

The whole comic book thing goes two ways... either batman, or superman. Either you a fan of sherlock holmes, or you a fan of SWAT. Smarts or power. Batman is the avatar of the spirit of the vigilante. If you've never read Alan Moore's Watchmen, you owe it to yourself before hollywood manages to butcher that one as well...

What does it mean to be a vigilante? On the one hand, he's outside the law. He's dirty harry... someone who's use of force is bound not by regulation, but by a moral code (the more psychopathic, the better...)

He's also a detective... the keeper of the panopticon. In a community where evil does what it will in full view of all, the Batman archetype is the one who watches and remembers what everyone else, outta fear or apathy, choses to ignore.

So what is my problem with the movies? Batman gets turned into James Bond. It stops being about a semi divine madness and becomes about the toys. A crappy outfit. A rigged out car. A friggin personal plane. Oh lord, I have to fight the Joker! Better get into the fighter jet! From dramatic violence to cartoon violence.

So ima watching the trailers, and what are they emphasizing? A new stupid bat motorcycle. The worst parts of the first movie had to do with that moronic tank he was driving.

Batman does not drive a tank into your neighborhood to kick your ass. You know how batman works? You turn around, and see him right behind you, and realize he was there all along....

He really should be played as dark and obsessive as possible. McGuyver with a body count.

Which is why I was pleasantly suprised by Superman Returns. True, it was 90% drek. And Kevin Spacey really really blew. I hate camp in my superhero movies. But there was a great bit about the whole point of superman. You have this guy who can do anything, and he still busts his ass trying to save the world. Which inspires others to greatness.

Of course, at the end of the day, the message is mixed in all hero movies. "Good guy makes evil people stop being evil via judicious use of fisticuffs."

Force cannot make people better human beings. All it can do is terrorize them into acting the way you think they should. And if the world view of the one using force is a bit askew... the result can be tragic. There are few fates worse than having to live in a world of your own making.

Which is one of the reasons that Watchmen is such a great work. The whole point of Watchmen is various people saving the world. And in the process doing insane harm to it as well.

One of my favorite batman story lines... his old enemy Ras Al Ghul hacks into his computers... and what does he keep there but his notes and strategies on how he would defeat every other superhero on the planet.

Armed with all this info, Ras goes hunting the Justice League...


Anonymous said...

I'm a poor bastard eh? I'm not the one who has to deal with Melvin.

My idea for my blog is to just stand on my own soapbox and talk about what I want to. Most of it will probably be wow related but I want to mix it up with a bit of personal/funny stuff too that isn't necessarily related to wow.

And if don't think Batman ever used a tank you didn't read the Frank Miller Batman. Granted I'm not a fan of it though that's mostly due to the layout of it. Made me feel like I was reading a news story through most of it instead of a comic.

I haven't read much Batman as much I've seen just the cartoons they had. Which depict more of just an action oriented Batman compared to doing a lot of detective work.

Dagashai said...

Actually... Dark Knight Returns sparked the great batman renaissance. Frank Miller was offered any DC title he wanted, and claimed Batman.
At this time, Batman was one of DC's worst selling titles, and everyone wondered what Miller, who was widely seen as an eccentric, was up to.

The result was Dark Night Returns which caused a revolution in comic writing, and led the labels to publish darker and more adult fare.

The tank is a bit of a joke. In DKR, batman introduces it with a joke... (Robin took one look at it and called it "the batmobile") and uses it while fighting an army of mutants. So... its not his normal ride. Diff circumstances and all... like the crap he broke out on Superman. My basic point is that Batman does not exist insulated from the world, riding his tank hoopty thro the hood.

DKR is actually a bit complicated. The argument in the book involves the basic and brutal insanity of the Bat, apposite the disintegration of civil society. Miller deliberately made batman very unlikable... the sympathetic characters are Carrie (new robin) Alfred, and the two police commissioners... unfortunately, they can't save a world in which the Mayor of Gotham is stupid enough to "negotiate" with the leader of the mutants... who ends up killing and eating the Mayor.

It takes Batman, both monsterous and insane, to confront the problems of the "brave new world" as it were... so yes, in this context, Batman has a tank... and prob a nuke. And then batman becomes such a monster that Wayne ends up "killing" him, to be replaced by a new identity that is less a hero and more a leader.

Anonymous said...

Yeah you definitely know alot more about Batman then I do. I read DKR sometime ago and remembered that tank. But yes in Batman's incarnations he doesn't run through the streets in a tank or pseudo tank. Overall you have to think of the comic movies as a relaunch of a character and separate from the comics themselves. Think of it as "Ultimate Batman" much like the Ultimate lines from Marvel that relaunched characters.

Dagashai said...

Actually, there was a very interesting batman cameo in a series called "Planetary."

Planetary is a group of superhero, er... for lack of a better word, Archeologists. While tracking down someone with a seriously harmful power, they go to gotham... and encounter batman. Now the thing about the guy they're tracking is that he switches things through various realities... and can't control the power... so when planetary runs into batman... they end up running into several different versions of him, including DKR.

Best line is outta the encounter with the campy 60's tv batman...

"There appears to be a transvestite dressed as a bat running this way..."

The most shocking Batman was the one packing heat.

Which goes to show... in DKR, Batman has a tank with some limited weaponry... but still eschews guns. Another of Miller's jokes.

Oh, and I can geek off like this about most titles... feel free to start a "the ultimate meaning of spiderman" thread :)

ArmsandFury said...

I think there are two ultimate meanings of Spider-man. The first being Original Sin concept. The other is that Pete, unlike many, is one of the most relateable superheroes in that he is always getting shit on.

I enjoy your Batman obsession and think you are spot on most of the time. Problem is, I ain't Superman and ain't anywhere near close imo.

You remember working with me at the K. I am a headstrong idiot with a temper. Not sure how the relates into being like Superman.

I ain't got no claws or no healing factor so Wolverine is out. Blade of the Immortal is out too although I really liked that character til it raged outta control.

I'm just one of those idiot guys that becomes collateral damage by not running when the supers decided to get into it.

I will make my case for why I am like Goku tomorrow.

Merckx said...

Great post.

"Oh, and I can geek off like this about most titles... feel free to start a ""the ultimate meaning of spiderman"" thread"

This should be done.