DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

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DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-06 07:40pm

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/01/fash ... atman.html
Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne, two of the most prominent citizens of Gotham City, were to be married at 6 a.m on July 4. It was intended to be a quiet, intimate ceremony with just the judge and two witnesses atop the city's Finger Tower skyscraper. It was a moment that has been building since the couple first met in 1940. It was also not meant to be.

The turn of events is revealed in issue No. 50 of Batman, written by Tom King and drawn by Mikel Janin with colors by June Chung and letters by Clayton Cowles, along with almost 30 other artists who capture a moment in the nearly 80-year history of the couple. The issue, published by DC Entertainment, is to go on sale at 12:01 a.m. July 4 at participating comic book stores.

Ms. Kyle and Mr. Wayne, or rather their famous costumed alter egos, met aboard a yacht as the Cat (as Catwoman was first known) planned a jewelry heist. The plot was thwarted by Batman, but the femme fatale may have stolen his heart. In the last panel of the story, Batman remarks to his sidekick, Robin, "Lovely girl. What eyes!" and adds, "Maybe I'll bump into her again sometime." (This encounter was published in 1940 in the first issue of the original Batman series. Thanks to the elixir-like properties of comic book aging and reboots, Batman and Catwoman can still pass for 30-somethings.)

Over the next 78 years, the two have met again and again: often as enemies, sometimes as allies, occasionally with revamped back stories, as comic books do. (In one version of their story, they aged normally, married - after Catwoman served prison time - and both died tragically. Their daughter, the Huntress, would carry on their legacy.) In June last year, their relationship reached a new level when the Bat, as she calls him, proposed to the Cat.

On that night, on a rooftop and in the rain, the hero revealed that he owned the diamond she tried to steal at their first meeting. "I knew I'd need it," he told her. "Just like... I need you." He then unmasked, knelt and said, "Marry me," in the glow of the Bat signal. It was a rare glimpse of light in the dark life of Batman, whose quest for justice began when, as a child, he witnessed his parents' deaths, when they were killed during a robbery.

As the big day approached, Ms. Kyle and Mr. Wayne dealt with highs and lows, including a double date with Clark Kent and Lois Lane, the epitome of a happy marriage in the superhero community, and a murderous rampage by the Joker, who was upset at not being invited to the festivities.

Another quandary came when Ms. Kyle found her dress. She broke into a bridal boutique in the dead of the night. After imbibing in some purloined Champagne, she helped herself to a $28,000 lavender and black lace gown (which was designed by the comic book artist Joelle Jones; the groom's gray three-piece suit was designed by Mr. Janin). She then sneaked back to stately Wayne Manor, where she spooned with an unknowing Mr. Wayne. This vandal and thief was the future wife of Batman?

Wayne Manor is the setting for many of issue No. 50's emotional scenes, some of which are depicted in parallel as the couple ready themselves for their ceremony in separate wings of the estate.

Ms. Kyle is assisted for her dawn wedding by Holly Robinson, a friend and protégée who was introduced in 1987. Ms. Robinson noted to Ms. Kyle that she had never seen Mr. Wayne so happy. "He always seemed to need his misery" to serve his crusade, she said, as the two prepare to leave for the ceremony. The observation begins to stir some doubt in Ms. Kyle, who later asks her friend, "Am I a hero?"

Mr. Wayne has his own confidant, namely Alfred Pennyworth, his loyal butler for 75 years, who often wonders if his employer will survive his evening exploits. Mr. Wayne complains that his wedding suit is "too tight," and Mr. Pennyworth is quick to jokingly scold: "Every night you wear a molded leather bat suit. You will be fine." In another sequence, Mr. Wayne expresses his doubts to Mr. Pennyworth: "Can I be ... happy?"

The answers to the questions are found in letters the couple have written to each other before their wedding day. Mr. Wayne's correspondence reveals an acceptance of Ms. Kyle, who in her time has been a jewel thief, a villain, an antihero and a mob boss. "You're not someone who can be figured out. Or solved. And never will be," he declares. He also writes that he can be "more than a boy whose parents are dead," that he can be "the man who loves you. Who will always try to love you better."

Ms. Kyle's letter lays out the truth as she sees it: "You're still a child, Bruce. A hurt child." Their happiness, she speculates, would kill Batman, who rescues everyone and turns pain into hope. "How can I do that," she writes. "To save the world, heroes make sacrifices."

In order to keep countless innocents safe, she concludes that she cannot marry Mr. Wayne. "My sacrifice is my life. It's you."

In the final moments of their story, the bride and groom end up at different locations in the early morning hours. In a silent page, Ms. Kyle sits on a rooftop, contemplating. She discards her veil and leaps toward the street. At the Finger Tower skyscraper, after an hour of waiting for his bride, Mr. Wayne realizes she is not coming. He throws off his tie and takes a similar leap, but in the opposite direction. Theirs is a story that is forever to be continued.
Note that I haven't read the comics in question, so I'm going entirely off of this article's description (as an aside, the NYT apparently got a bit of a deserved backlash for printing a story full of spoilers for a still-unreleased comic). But this touches on an issue that is of some interest to me.

I love superheroes. I love the films, but I have a hard time getting into comics. Part of that is the shear scale and impenetrability of a decades-old universe with numerous interconnected comics, and part of it is the tendency of Marvel and DC comics (at least as I perceive it) towards cheap exploitation. But a big part of that is also the tendency to fall back on the status quo.

We're all, I expect, familiar with "comic book death", for example- wherein a character is killed, sometimes cheaply/for shock value, and then brought back in a few months or years. Or cheap twists (like "Captain America is secretly a Nazi") which we know won't last. It tends to be a problem with a long-term serialized story based around an iconic character, that the status quo can never really be allowed to change, and if it does, it will revert back. Reboots and alternate timelines at least allow for multiple different continuities, and at least theoretically for a given version of a character or world to have a clear arc, progress, and undergo meaningful, lasting changes. And this is a big part of why I am a fan of reboots, and of the more self-contained film universes. But I think we all knew, when they announced that Bruce and Selina were getting married, that it wasn't going to last.

My point is not to argue that Bruce and Selina should get together. I don't have strong feelings on that either way, though I can think of a number of pros and cons. And in fairness, the events and reasoning described in this article fit fairly well with the established themes of the franchise and the usual characterizations of Bruce and Selina. And I suppose we should be glad that they didn't derail the marriage by fridging Selina, which was my initial fear when I heard about this engagement.

But it does bother me that you have a franchise where the characters can apparently never be allowed to really grow or change in a lasting way. Just as it bothers me that DC may be sending the message that you can only be a hero if you are tormented and miserable.

Thoughts?
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-07-06 11:08pm

I thought about this in regards to Batman's War on Crime. I was thinking about writing a Batman fanfic where in he reforms a lot of the system from the inside by being Bruce Wayne, and on the outside as Batman. But then I realized, that's pretty much Green Arrow. See, in the comics before the reboot, Oliver, after a huge destructive event hurt Star City, spent the year becoming mayor and ensuring that the city got back on it's feet. When Batman faced Gotham being hit by an earthquake, he retreated into a stupor and spent the next year fighting gangs as Batman to unite the city. However, it was still a lawless mess disowned by the US government. It was only intervention by Lex Luthor that saved Gotham from being a ruin, making Bruce's actions over the past year kind of pointless in comparison.

Is that the key difference in the characters that Oliver is allowed to succeed in reforming Star City, while Bruce Wayne can't reform Gotham? Oliver gets to the root of the problem, while Bruce only focuses on the surface?(for the most part, I know Bruce has done charity). Is Green Arrow and Batman the same story, only one is a Comedy, and the other is a tragedy?(in the classical sense of those words). It might be because Batman, being so iconic, can't really move out of his role as Gotham's protector the way people in the pop culture know him, whereas Green Arrow, being relatively more obscure, can make more changes and improve his situation.

Regarding marriage, Batman has the same success keeping a woman that James Bond does. On the flip side, Superman is happily married to Lois, and has a kid. And aside from that brief stint from the New 52, he has evolved, and is allowed to be having domestic bliss. On the opposite side, Spider-man had his marriage with Mary Jane wiped away after a couple decades of being married for fear of Peter Parker being viewed as 'too old' to his readers.

Batman is DC's biggest money maker, and there's probably a lot of concern with mucking around with their biggest moneymaker, while other properties can evolve and experiment, which they have done to a certain extent. What this means for his character is that he's stuck in a state of arrested development, and can never grow out of being the guy in tights fighting poor gang members with high tech gear.
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by Q99 » 2018-07-07 01:35pm

I feel this was a major disappointment. Like, it's part of a huge arc, but still, teased us with a good marriage then stopped. I will note 'Batman has to be miserable' is something one of the baddies convinces Selina of, it's not necessarily the conclusion we're supposed to draw, but too many DC editors have pushed it and I don't like it.

Contrast to Marvel, where they teased us with a marriage that honestly was on fairly shaky foundations... then delivered a marriage that honestly has more work under it and'll probably last awhile.

Or even in DC, where Lois and Clark are together again after the reboot had a version not-together and people were eh on that aspect.

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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by LadyTevar » 2018-07-07 06:49pm

THIS IS BULLSHIT. They should have let them get married, and THEN Showed the "Happy/Not Happy" as it played out. THAT would have been good writing.
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by Batman » 2018-07-07 07:46pm

DC and Good Writing have a VERY unsteady relationship.
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'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by Majin Gojira » 2018-07-07 07:54pm

A defense I've seen for this is that the writer has another 50 issues planned to tell the full story.

To which I say: "Why on earth would this make me want to keep reading?"
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by Q99 » 2018-07-07 09:08pm

Majin Gojira wrote:
2018-07-07 07:54pm
A defense I've seen for this is that the writer has another 50 issues planned to tell the full story.

To which I say: "Why on earth would this make me want to keep reading?"
It might even be a good story for those reading long term, maybe, in terms of villains and plans and all that, but it also scuttles it as a jumping-on point for those who are curious about the two icons getting married.


Sidenote, one indie comic I read is Gold Digger. They had a wedding planned around issue 36-some, had to deal with an alien invasion, wedding thus postponed til issue 40. Current issue: 254. Still married. Still dramatic. At one point they were separated for a couple years due to a plot by the Lich King stranding one in another dimension (with a temporary remote-contact visit in the middle), but that just made the reunification a huge moment. It works just fine to be married, long-term, with stability, in superhero-type stores. Seeing people get married and do stuff together is actually satisfying. "No, go and leave me to handle this alone, I'm a trained superhero- is what I'd like to say, but I know you're too skilled and powerful to leave behind and the only way we're going to handle this is together," -a paraphrased line.

A number of comic writers, not just limited to superheroes (and heck, let's face it, TV and movie and novel writers too. *Many* writers) but especially prevalent in DC, really underestimate the story draw of lasting relationships and family in the long run.

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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-10 07:01pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-07-06 11:08pm
I thought about this in regards to Batman's War on Crime. I was thinking about writing a Batman fanfic where in he reforms a lot of the system from the inside by being Bruce Wayne, and on the outside as Batman. But then I realized, that's pretty much Green Arrow. See, in the comics before the reboot, Oliver, after a huge destructive event hurt Star City, spent the year becoming mayor and ensuring that the city got back on it's feet. When Batman faced Gotham being hit by an earthquake, he retreated into a stupor and spent the next year fighting gangs as Batman to unite the city. However, it was still a lawless mess disowned by the US government. It was only intervention by Lex Luthor that saved Gotham from being a ruin, making Bruce's actions over the past year kind of pointless in comparison.
Write the fic anyway. I need more Batman fanfic. :D

Personally, I think that Bruce is still a pretty different guy from Oliver.
Is that the key difference in the characters that Oliver is allowed to succeed in reforming Star City, while Bruce Wayne can't reform Gotham? Oliver gets to the root of the problem, while Bruce only focuses on the surface?(for the most part, I know Bruce has done charity). Is Green Arrow and Batman the same story, only one is a Comedy, and the other is a tragedy?(in the classical sense of those words). It might be because Batman, being so iconic, can't really move out of his role as Gotham's protector the way people in the pop culture know him, whereas Green Arrow, being relatively more obscure, can make more changes and improve his situation.
I think that Batman's image has become so dependent on grimdark (partly as a backlash to the camp of the Sixties show and then the Schumacher films) that its hard for the character to ever break out of that. Of course my view on grimdark tends towards disdain at best, but its pretty clear that DC has a very narrow idea of who their audience is, and cater disproportionately to juvenile wannabe tough guys (this is also a big part of the reason for the nigh-omnipresent sexual objectification and misogyny). Basically, they write for angry teenage boys at the expense of other demographics. Or at least, that's my perception of it, from someone who admittedly doesn't read comics often partly for this reason.

I mean, dark is fine in small doses. But any trope, overdone, becomes destructive to the quality of the work.
Regarding marriage, Batman has the same success keeping a woman that James Bond does. On the flip side, Superman is happily married to Lois, and has a kid. And aside from that brief stint from the New 52, he has evolved, and is allowed to be having domestic bliss. On the opposite side, Spider-man had his marriage with Mary Jane wiped away after a couple decades of being married for fear of Peter Parker being viewed as 'too old' to his readers.
See above about the comics companies viewing their target audience as exclusively teenage boys (and a not very flattering perception of what teenage boys want, at that).
Batman is DC's biggest money maker, and there's probably a lot of concern with mucking around with their biggest moneymaker, while other properties can evolve and experiment, which they have done to a certain extent. What this means for his character is that he's stuck in a state of arrested development, and can never grow out of being the guy in tights fighting poor gang members with high tech gear.
So basically the character has to start failing before he can be fixed?
LadyTevar wrote:
2018-07-07 06:49pm
THIS IS BULLSHIT. They should have let them get married, and THEN Showed the "Happy/Not Happy" as it played out. THAT would have been good writing.
Agreed.
Q99 wrote:
2018-07-07 01:35pm
I feel this was a major disappointment. Like, it's part of a huge arc, but still, teased us with a good marriage then stopped. I will note 'Batman has to be miserable' is something one of the baddies convinces Selina of, it's not necessarily the conclusion we're supposed to draw, but too many DC editors have pushed it and I don't like it.
Personally, I think the idea that Bruce will only be a hero if he's eternally miserable is really selling the character short. Sure, the horrific loss of his parents motivated him to fight crime, but Bruce could have responded to that tragedy in any number of ways. He could have become bitter and jaded and not given a fuck. He could have tried to drown his sorrows in mindless hedonism (a very available option for a trust fund kid like him). He could have gone all-out seeking vengeance, becoming someone like the Punisher, or become a complete nihilist and ended up like the Joker.

He chose to channel his anger and suffering into something that, while not the most normal or healthy response he could have chosen, helps people. To not merely try to punish criminals, but also to save lives. That is why he's a hero. Not because he suffered a tragedy, but because he is, deep down, a good man, and that determined the way in which he responded to the horrors of the world.

I think that, for all the (largely deserved) criticism it receives for its treatment of women (and its largely-ignored but even worse depiction of people with disabilities), The Killing Joke indirectly made this point quite well (dialogue sourced from TV Tropes):

The Joker: "When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you?"..."It's all a joke! Everything everybody ever valued or struggled for... it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side?
Why aren't you laughing?"

Batman: "Because I've heard it before... and it wasn't funny the first time."

"I spoke to Commissioner Gordon before I came in here. He's fine. Despite all your sick, vicious little games, he's as sane as he ever was! So maybe ordinary people don't always crack. Maybe there isn't any need to crawl under a rock with all the other slimey things when trouble hits. Maybe it was just you, all the time!"

Or to turn that around- not everyone goes out every night to fight crime and protect people. Maybe it wasn't the fact that his parents were murdered in front of him, that he has no family, that he's never had a happy life. Maybe it was just Bruce, all the time.
Q99 wrote:
2018-07-07 09:08pm
Majin Gojira wrote:
2018-07-07 07:54pm
A defense I've seen for this is that the writer has another 50 issues planned to tell the full story.

To which I say: "Why on earth would this make me want to keep reading?"
It might even be a good story for those reading long term, maybe, in terms of villains and plans and all that, but it also scuttles it as a jumping-on point for those who are curious about the two icons getting married.


Sidenote, one indie comic I read is Gold Digger. They had a wedding planned around issue 36-some, had to deal with an alien invasion, wedding thus postponed til issue 40. Current issue: 254. Still married. Still dramatic. At one point they were separated for a couple years due to a plot by the Lich King stranding one in another dimension (with a temporary remote-contact visit in the middle), but that just made the reunification a huge moment. It works just fine to be married, long-term, with stability, in superhero-type stores. Seeing people get married and do stuff together is actually satisfying. "No, go and leave me to handle this alone, I'm a trained superhero- is what I'd like to say, but I know you're too skilled and powerful to leave behind and the only way we're going to handle this is together," -a paraphrased line.

A number of comic writers, not just limited to superheroes (and heck, let's face it, TV and movie and novel writers too. *Many* writers) but especially prevalent in DC, really underestimate the story draw of lasting relationships and family in the long run.
This is a common perception, I think. IIRC, this was Joss Whedon's approach on Buffy the Vampire Slayer- they flat-out admitted that they derailed Buffy and Riley's relationship in season five because they found depicting a healthy/happy relationship uninteresting.

Which to me says more about the writers than anything else- either that they do not know how to write a healthy relationship, or do not understand what a healthy relationship is (granted, I'm probably throwing stones in glass houses here as a writer- I steer clear of writing romance for the most part because its something I find very difficult to write well).

Edit: By the way, this whole issue is pretty much why I defend The Dark Knight Rises so strongly. Because it actually allowed Batman's journey to end, for him to have some sort of victory, and move on. At the same time, though, it also kind of plays into the idea that he cannot be happy and also be Batman- it is only by retiring as Batman and leaving that behind that he is allowed to find a happy future for himself.

I really wish that there had been a DCCU based off the Nolan films, where we could have seen a Bruce who was both in a relationship with Selina, but still acting as a hero.
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by Q99 » 2018-07-11 11:35pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-10 07:01pm
Personally, I think the idea that Bruce will only be a hero if he's eternally miserable is really selling the character short. Sure, the horrific loss of his parents motivated him to fight crime, but Bruce could have responded to that tragedy in any number of ways. He could have become bitter and jaded and not given a fuck. He could have tried to drown his sorrows in mindless hedonism (a very available option for a trust fund kid like him). He could have gone all-out seeking vengeance, becoming someone like the Punisher, or become a complete nihilist and ended up like the Joker.

He chose to channel his anger and suffering into something that, while not the most normal or healthy response he could have chosen, helps people. To not merely try to punish criminals, but also to save lives. That is why he's a hero. Not because he suffered a tragedy, but because he is, deep down, a good man, and that determined the way in which he responded to the horrors of the world.

I think that, for all the (largely deserved) criticism it receives for its treatment of women (and its largely-ignored but even worse depiction of people with disabilities), The Killing Joke indirectly made this point quite well (dialogue sourced from TV Tropes):

The Joker: "When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you?"..."It's all a joke! Everything everybody ever valued or struggled for... it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side?
Why aren't you laughing?"

Batman: "Because I've heard it before... and it wasn't funny the first time."

"I spoke to Commissioner Gordon before I came in here. He's fine. Despite all your sick, vicious little games, he's as sane as he ever was! So maybe ordinary people don't always crack. Maybe there isn't any need to crawl under a rock with all the other slimey things when trouble hits. Maybe it was just you, all the time!"

Or to turn that around- not everyone goes out every night to fight crime and protect people. Maybe it wasn't the fact that his parents were murdered in front of him, that he has no family, that he's never had a happy life. Maybe it was just Bruce, all the time.
Well-said. One of the more popular- if often not acknowledged as such- version of Batman was Adam West's, and he was pretty darn happy. Heck, even Batman the Animated Series Batman, was hardly *miserable*. Serious, yes, but that's a different thing, and like you say, he's highly focused on helping people. He spent a lot of time empathizing with villains.

And especially when dealing with Selina- it can be said that each of his main rogues represents some part of him (Two-Face, his split identity. Penguin, his upper-class background. Scarecrow, use of fear, and so on), and with Catwoman? It's that dressing up and running around on rooftops having adventures is fun as heck. They chase, they flirt, etc..

Oh, and he has a sidekick who cracks puns as his first partner. Miserable people don't hang out with Dick Grayson for most of the night!
This is a common perception, I think. IIRC, this was Joss Whedon's approach on Buffy the Vampire Slayer- they flat-out admitted that they derailed Buffy and Riley's relationship in season five because they found depicting a healthy/happy relationship uninteresting.

Which to me says more about the writers than anything else- either that they do not know how to write a healthy relationship, or do not understand what a healthy relationship is (granted, I'm probably throwing stones in glass houses here as a writer- I steer clear of writing romance for the most part because its something I find very difficult to write well).

Yes, Buffy's definitely a major example. The Xander breakup with Anya was especially bad- it made Xander come out to look horrible, and it was purely a drama thing.

And I will note the difference between finding romance hard to write, and actually doing a lot of romantic plots and then breaking 'em up 'cause drama. I find it especially egregious when someone 1- can write convincing romance, and 2- can write convincing friend-partners, but 3- never put those together.

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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-13 07:20pm

Q99 wrote:
2018-07-11 11:35pm
Well-said. One of the more popular- if often not acknowledged as such- version of Batman was Adam West's, and he was pretty darn happy. Heck, even Batman the Animated Series Batman, was hardly *miserable*. Serious, yes, but that's a different thing, and like you say, he's highly focused on helping people. He spent a lot of time empathizing with villains.
I wonder if the time is right for a lighter adaptation of Batman. Going hyper-dark didn't turn out to be a huge recipe for success for the DC films.
And especially when dealing with Selina- it can be said that each of his main rogues represents some part of him (Two-Face, his split identity. Penguin, his upper-class background. Scarecrow, use of fear, and so on), and with Catwoman? It's that dressing up and running around on rooftops having adventures is fun as heck. They chase, they flirt, etc..
What part of him does Joker represent, then (personally I'm more of the view that Joker is his mirror)?
Oh, and he has a sidekick who cracks puns as his first partner. Miserable people don't hang out with Dick Grayson for most of the night!
Heh.

I do think that sort of dynamic works best with Bruce as the serious one, the straight-man to Grayson's wit and humor. But as you noted, serious and miserable are not the same thing.
Yes, Buffy's definitely a major example. The Xander breakup with Anya was especially bad- it made Xander come out to look horrible, and it was purely a drama thing.

And I will note the difference between finding romance hard to write, and actually doing a lot of romantic plots and then breaking 'em up 'cause drama. I find it especially egregious when someone 1- can write convincing romance, and 2- can write convincing friend-partners, but 3- never put those together.
Yeah, Xander and Anya was completely unnecessary, plot-wise, and it added pretty much nothing to the characters but to make them more unhappy and bitter. Well, we eventually got "Selfless" out of it, which was a good character examination for Anya, but I don't know that it was worth it.

Back to Batman, I don't think misery adds much to Bruce's character. We know he's all dark and has a tragic backstory. That's never going to go away, but just constantly piling more misery on top of that just makes the character more one-note, I think.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by B5B7 » 2018-07-13 11:24pm

NY Times wrote:n the final moments of their story, the bride and groom end up at different locations in the early morning hours. In a silent page, Ms. Kyle sits on a rooftop, contemplating. She discards her veil and leaps toward the street. At the Finger Tower skyscraper, after an hour of waiting for his bride, Mr. Wayne realizes she is not coming. He throws off his tie and takes a similar leap, but in the opposite direction. Theirs is a story that is forever to be continued.
This is totally irresponsible of DC Comics, as it promotes suicide, in a Romeo and Juliet fashion, which some teenagers are actually capable of.
Of course, we can be sure that they will survive their falls, but nevertheless the acts are there.
The defense can be made that they have all sorts of terrible things happen in the comics, and that their specific audience won't be imitators.
The Romulan Republic wrote:Note that I haven't read the comics in question, so I'm going entirely off of this article's description (as an aside, the NYT apparently got a bit of a deserved backlash for printing a story full of spoilers for a still-unreleased comic). But this touches on an issue that is of some interest to me
As a general rule it would be deserved to criticize the NY times for spoiling an unpublished source, but if the quoted part is real then they are justified for exposing the bullshit.
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-13 11:37pm

It honestly didn't even occur to me to take that as glorifying or promoting suicide, because anyone who is even vaguely familiar with superheroes knows that jumping off roofs does not mean death.

Although DC does have kind of a shitty track record when it comes to suicide. From Wikipedia:
In September 2013, DC Comics announced a contest for fans and artists, "Break into comics with Harley Quinn!", in which contestants were to draw Harley in four different suicide scenarios. This contest drew controversy not only because it was announced close to National Suicide Prevention Week, but because some artists did not like the sexualized portrayal of Harley in the fourth scenario, in which Harley attempts suicide while naked in her bath tub. After seeing the reactions to the contest, DC apologized, saying they should have made it clear that it was a dream sequence that was not supposed to be taken seriously. In the final version, the bath tub scene was cut and replaced with Harley sitting on a rocket while flying into space.
So, to summarize, they held a fan contest to encourage fans to draw art of a domestic abuse victim trying to commit suicide, in a manner that could be seen as sexualizing said suicide, and timed it right around National Suicide Prevention Week. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

There is something almost impressive about failing that hard, both from a moral and a PR perspective.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by Majin Gojira » 2018-07-14 01:03am

Never forget there was a website with a counter of "it's been X days since DC did something stupid."
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by Q99 » 2018-07-14 04:28am

Post-nu52, DC editorial was a mess. There's been a lot of shakeups since then but yea, they micromanaged things stupidly, made bad decisions, alienated creators, offensive moves.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
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What part of him does Joker represent, then (personally I'm more of the view that Joker is his mirror)?
Yea, Joker is much more his opposite than an aspect. He does share a level of brilliance and obsession, and has a tendency to change just as Batman changes.
I wonder if the time is right for a lighter adaptation of Batman. Going hyper-dark didn't turn out to be a huge recipe for success for the DC films.
I think audiences aren't ready for that yet, but something more in the middle at least.

There was Batman the Brave and the Bold a number of years ago, which was good.

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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by ray245 » 2018-07-14 07:38am

This is why I like The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan is one of the few directors that wanted a finality to Batman's war on crime and allow him to retire in peace.
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-14 12:05pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-07-14 07:38am
This is why I like The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan is one of the few directors that wanted a finality to Batman's war on crime and allow him to retire in peace.
Agreed, though as I've noted before, it still perpetuates the idea that Batman cannot both have a happy/fulfilling life and be Batman.

But this is an advantage to film continuities, and to reboots- they can tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-07-14 12:50pm

That may have been the intended idea, but in execution it's more of a 'Bruce Wayne retires to Malta with his hot girlfriend rather than deal with an irradiated coast and the upcoming power vacuum in Gotham'.
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by ray245 » 2018-07-14 12:59pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-07-14 12:50pm
That may have been the intended idea, but in execution it's more of a 'Bruce Wayne retires to Malta with his hot girlfriend rather than deal with an irradiated coast and the upcoming power vacuum in Gotham'.
That's the job of the next Batman. That's the main theme of TDKR. Batman is not a one-man job. It cannot be. But it can be an idea that passed down from person to person.

(And the whole irradiated coast doesn't seem to be an issue in a lot of movies).
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-14 12:05pm
Agreed, though as I've noted before, it still perpetuates the idea that Batman cannot both have a happy/fulfilling life and be Batman.

But this is an advantage to film continuities, and to reboots- they can tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
The argument Nolan is pushing for in his movies is that Batman is not exclusive to one person. It's a mantle or idea that can be passed on. No sane person will carry on fighting crime for all eternity. They simply cannot do so. What they can do is to create an ideal, or a set of expectations that their successors can carry on with.
Last edited by ray245 on 2018-07-14 01:01pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-14 01:00pm

The intent was that Bruce had stopped the League of Shadows and moved on, and entrusted Robin and the GCPD to be able to clean up the rest. Whether that trust is well-placed is a matter for debate.

But as I've already said, I'd have liked it if they used the Nolan trilogy as the basis for the DCCU. Have Bruce no longer Batman, have him with Selina, let the character's evolution stick, but have him still acting as a supporter/mentor to the heroes behind the scenes like in Batman Beyond, and maybe helping put together the Justice League- setting up new heroes to continue what he started, like he did with Robin.

If I had the rights to Batman, I'd try to do at least an animated Justice League series in the Nolan continuity.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by ray245 » 2018-07-14 01:03pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-14 01:00pm
The intent was that Bruce had stopped the League of Shadows and moved on, and entrusted Robin and the GCPD to be able to clean up the rest. Whether that trust is well-placed is a matter for debate.

But as I've already said, I'd have liked it if they used the Nolan trilogy as the basis for the DCCU. Have Bruce no longer Batman, have him with Selina, let the character's evolution stick, but have him still acting as a supporter/mentor to the heroes behind the scenes like in Batman Beyond, and maybe helping put together the Justice League- setting up new heroes to continue what he started, like he did with Robin.

If I had the rights to Batman, I'd try to do at least an animated Justice League series in the Nolan continuity.
That would require the writers to actually explore what does it meant to be a new Batman without all the grim-dark childhood tragedy of Bruce Wayne. They have to make the new Batman interesting as a character for the readers. But that is something that will require actual work from the writers so they just stick to the old formula and make the fans happy.
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-14 01:08pm

Eh, Batman Beyond did it alright.

And I probably wouldn't blame the writers as much as the execs, personally. Same old Bruce is a safe financial bet. But its a shame.
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by ray245 » 2018-07-14 01:26pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-14 01:08pm
Eh, Batman Beyond did it alright.

And I probably wouldn't blame the writers as much as the execs, personally. Same old Bruce is a safe financial bet. But its a shame.
The team that produced BTAS were quite willing to explore and build the Batman mythos. It doesn't help when there's always a loud fanbase demanding for the status quo. If fans can't imagine a happy and married Bruce Wayne in the 21st century, why would execs want to think any differently?

Part of the blame should be directed at the fandom as well.
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-14 01:36pm

Yes. Particularly the angry misogynist male virgin part of the fan base. Both the constant over-sexualization and the aversion to healthy relationships are no doubt an attempt to cater to that audience, in part.

But its also on the execs and writers for catering to that portion of the fanbase so heavily, rather than trying to broaden their appeal.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by ray245 » 2018-07-14 04:15pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-14 01:36pm
Yes. Particularly the angry misogynist male virgin part of the fan base. Both the constant over-sexualization and the aversion to healthy relationships are no doubt an attempt to cater to that audience, in part.

But its also on the execs and writers for catering to that portion of the fanbase so heavily, rather than trying to broaden their appeal.
They're the ones that buy the comics though. There's still a stigma associated with the whole comic books fandom that I'm not sure the execs and writers can successfully broaden the appeal.
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Re: DC Comics, Batman, and the power of the status quo (MAJOR SPOILERS for recent Batman comics).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-14 05:43pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-07-14 04:15pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-14 01:36pm
Yes. Particularly the angry misogynist male virgin part of the fan base. Both the constant over-sexualization and the aversion to healthy relationships are no doubt an attempt to cater to that audience, in part.

But its also on the execs and writers for catering to that portion of the fanbase so heavily, rather than trying to broaden their appeal.
They're the ones that buy the comics though. There's still a stigma associated with the whole comic books fandom that I'm not sure the execs and writers can successfully broaden the appeal.
I wonder if that's somewhat a self-perpetuating cycle though. Comics are seen as something only anti-social teenage boys buy, so they market predominantly to anti-social teenage boys, so anti-social teenage boys are most of their readership, rinse and repeat.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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