Batman at Eighty.

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The Romulan Republic
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Batman at Eighty.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-03-29 12:41am

This March marks the 80th. anniversary of the Dark Knight, generally recognized as the second fully-fledged Superhero after the creation of Superman.

I've had a LOT of issues with how DC has managed Batman (and mainstream superhero comics in general)- the constant attempts to be "edgy" and grim dark, the endless sexual objectification of women (and sometimes, frankly, underage girls), the constant resets and endlessly hopeless status quo that relegates Batman to the role of a lunatic who probably causes more harm than good, and can only be a "hero" (for a very lose) definition if he is constantly miserable... in short, the sense that they are written exclusively for insecure adolescent boys, by insecure adolescent boys who never grew up.

All that said, there is something about Batman, about the core of who he is, and about the world in which he lives (or the composite of the various different versions), that deeply appeals to me. I think that superhero stories provide an excellent vehicle to explore, implicitly or explicitly, questions of the rule of law, might makes right, authoritarianism and libertarianism, when it is justified to act outside the law, etc. And Batman, as a more "ordinary" (ie, not explicitly super-powered) character often fighting mundane crime as a vigilante, provides a particularly character for examining these themes. He also has a frankly unsurpassed supporting cast, with Robin, Alfred, Catwoman, and Joker all being cultural icons in their own right, and he interacts and contrasts with the others of DC's Trinity (Superman and Wonder Woman) in very interesting ways.

And above all, he IS a hero. I have never liked dark or "edgy" interpretations that Batman is insane, that he just wants to hurt criminals, that's he's not really different from his villains, that he is the cause of Gothams' lunatic brigade, etc. Nor do I like the idea (as discussed in this thread: https://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic ... 2&t=167508 ) that he can only be a hero if he's alone and miserable. To me, that sells Batman short. As I noted in that thread, Bruce Wayne may have become a vigilante in response to his parents' murder and the destruction of his sheltered childhood, but that was by no means his only possible response. He could have responded by becoming apathetic and not giving a damn, or by drowning his sorrows in hedonism, or by becoming a psychotic nihilist like the Joker, or by becoming a vengeance-obsessed mass-murderer. He didn't. Instead, he chose (or most versions of the character chose) to dedicate their life to an endless struggle, not only to fight crime, but to save people. To protect people. Because to me, fundamentally, Bruce Wayne is a good man.

All that said, Batman can get a bit preposterous sometimes... and yet, still somehow awesome. So I'll finish by linking this video, in tribute to eighty years of Batman:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayE6IKs25J8

Happy birthday, Mr. Wayne. :)
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by GuppyShark » 2019-03-29 03:30am

On the topic of being alone - they don't call it the Batfamily for nothing. He built a surrogate family for himself, even if he didn't realise he was doing it.

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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-03-29 06:01am

Bruce Wayne is an oligarch.

The heroes you choose are the ones who rule over you.

Happy birthday, psycho fictional oligarch whose hobby is extrajudicial, above-the-law „vigilante justice“. He‘s got unlimited free time for that thanks to all the wage slaves of Gotham toiling day and night.

This is the hero our world deserves.
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Tribble » 2019-03-29 06:17am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-03-29 06:01am
Bruce Wayne is an oligarch.

The heroes you choose are the ones who rule over you.

Happy birthday, psycho fictional oligarch whose hobby is extrajudicial, above-the-law „vigilante justice“. He‘s got unlimited free time for that thanks to all the wage slaves of Gotham toiling day and night.

This is the hero our world deserves.
“And furthermore America must be destroyed!” :lol:

What’s even worse is that he’s not even all that original as he’s more or less just the American version of Zorro.Though givenbpart of Western capitalism is shamelessly ripping off ideas I suppose it fits :lol:
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Batman » 2019-03-29 01:10pm

Bob Kane flat out said one of his inspirations for the character was Zorro. Hence the movie we watch the night my parents die typically being 'The Mark of Zorro'
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'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.'
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-03-29 01:45pm

GuppyShark wrote:
2019-03-29 03:30am
On the topic of being alone - they don't call it the Batfamily for nothing. He built a surrogate family for himself, even if he didn't realise he was doing it.
Indeed.
K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-03-29 06:01am
Bruce Wayne is an oligarch.

The heroes you choose are the ones who rule over you.

Happy birthday, psycho fictional oligarch whose hobby is extrajudicial, above-the-law „vigilante justice“. He‘s got unlimited free time for that thanks to all the wage slaves of Gotham toiling day and night.

This is the hero our world deserves.
I'd hardly call Batman's campaign against crime a "hobby". His actions outside the law would be unjustified in the real world, but given the systemic corruption and chaos of canon Gotham... well, when the law fails that utterly and systematically, people are going to take matters into their own hands by necessity. I haven't read a lot about the conditions Bruce's employees work under, but I'd guess that it'd be better than most anyone else in Gotham.

And I'll reiterate what I said in the OP, that reducing Batman to a rich "psycho" who beats up criminals for kicks is a stupid interpretation that cheapens the character for the sake of being edgy.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by TheFeniX » 2019-03-29 01:49pm

Batman falls so flat for me because out of all the most sympathetic villains his rogues gallery has (Ivy, Quinn, Freeze, etc) his main nemesis is the most monstrous of them all. His body count only possibly surpassed by Raz al G-whatever. And at least Ras kills for a reason. Joker literally kills anyone or anything at any time, usually for no reason or (in some iterations) only if it's funny.

If Batman's first vigilante act was to snap The Joker's neck then retire: I'd argue he did a better job than the other 100 years of Bat Punching. And it's even dumber than that really because The Joker has pissed off and murdered ALL TYPES. Mobsters, petty criminals, innocent civvies, cops, federal agent, (IIRC) active military personnel, sitting local and federal politicians.

Yet no one has walked up to him on his way to court and shot him in the head? His body count count has to be in the thousands, yet Batman still wrings his hands about the whole thing. Jesus, put him in a Mr. Freeze cryo-pod and lock him in the bottom of the Bat-Cave if you're that anti-death penalty. Whatever, the whole premise is dumb even if The Joker is supposed to be the Yin to Batman's Yang.

When it makes more sense that Superman's nemesis is Lex Luthor and that Luthor is able to continually do business by abusing the Law, money, connections, etc, you've fucked up pretty bad.

Not to mention how fucking dumb the entire concept is, even MORE SO after "gritty, realistic" Nolan Batman. "Let's drive around town in a fucking tank, rather than a car that fits down one lane, and punch bad guys."

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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-03-29 02:09pm

TheFeniX wrote:
2019-03-29 01:49pm
Batman falls so flat for me because out of all the most sympathetic villains his rogues gallery has (Ivy, Quinn, Freeze, etc) his main nemesis is the most monstrous of them all. His body count only possibly surpassed by Raz al G-whatever. And at least Ras kills for a reason. Joker literally kills anyone or anything at any time, usually for no reason or (in some iterations) only if it's funny.

If Batman's first vigilante act was to snap The Joker's neck then retire: I'd argue he did a better job than the other 100 years of Bat Punching. And it's even dumber than that really because The Joker has pissed off and murdered ALL TYPES. Mobsters, petty criminals, innocent civvies, cops, federal agent, (IIRC) active military personnel, sitting local and federal politicians.

Yet no one has walked up to him on his way to court and shot him in the head? His body count count has to be in the thousands, yet Batman still wrings his hands about the whole thing. Jesus, put him in a Mr. Freeze cryo-pod and lock him in the bottom of the Bat-Cave if you're that anti-death penalty. Whatever, the whole premise is dumb even if The Joker is supposed to be the Yin to Batman's Yang.

When it makes more sense that Superman's nemesis is Lex Luthor and that Luthor is able to continually do business by abusing the Law, money, connections, etc, you've fucked up pretty bad.

Not to mention how fucking dumb the entire concept is, even MORE SO after "gritty, realistic" Nolan Batman. "Let's drive around town in a fucking tank, rather than a car that fits down one lane, and punch bad guys."
Well, I suppose it was inevitable that this would come up, since it seems impossible to have a thread about Batman anywhere without someone arguing that he sucks for not killing the Joker. To which I'd offer five main counterpoints which tend to come up when this topic arises:

1. Bruce's defining motive is not merely to fight crime, but also to protect people. He has personal trauma that makes him extremely reluctant to accept murder as an option. So for him to kill the Joker, even if pragmatically justified, would be fundamentally out of character for most versions.

2. Bruce is not an executioner, nor is it his place to be. If society believes that the Joker should be executed, then the justice system should carry out that sentence. Moreover, Bruce would lose many of his allies (ie Gordon, Superman) if he took on the role of executioner.

3. Why always the focus on the Joker? Plenty of other Batman villains are also sadistic killers. Hell, the DC universe is full of threats more powerful and dangerous than the Joker generally is (Darkseid, Zod, etc.). So why is Joker the go-to example for why Batman should kill? I would argue: because the Joker is notorious, is frequently used for shock value, and thus invoking the Joker as an argument for Batman killing, rather than, say, Darkseid, is fundamentally an appeal to emotion, not reason.

4. From an in-universe perspective, killing the Joker or any other villain is pointless, because the DC universe is full of ways to cheat death. Kill the Joker, and next thing you know he's resurrected. At least when he breaks out of Arkham, Batman will get a heads up that he's escaped.

Whereas if we ignored the way the DC universe works and took a more "realistic" approach, there would be no need to kill him because a federal prison would be quite capable of holding him in the real world (although his propensity for random murderous violence would likely require that he be kept permanently in solitary, which is considered a form of torture, so some might argue that death would be kinder).

5. Is the problem with Batman of all characters really that he's not enough of an edgy HARD MAN?

As to the question of "why has no one else killed the Joker", I'd argue that that's part of the larger issue I'd addressed in my OP, which is that comics tend to preserve the status quo for business reasons. Its why I favour frequent reboots, in part- because the company is never going to institute major changes on a permanent basis, so at least if you regularly reboot, then any given iteration of the story can take risks, try something new, and have clear progression, and then the next version can bring the old characters back and do its own take. Like how Nolan's trilogy was able to have Batman actually win, and move on/retire, because his trilogy was a self-contained continuity, and was thus allowed to have an ending.

On the Luthor thing, I actually think Luthor is a wonderful villain mainly for that reason. Superman has all the powers, he's the fastest, the strongest, immortal, brilliant, can fly... so rather than making his arch villain EVEN MORE POWERFUL, constantly one-upping the wank factor, they make his arch villain a mortal man, who Superman can't touch without going outside the law, because of his money, power, and connections.

Oh, sure, sometimes they'll put Lex in a suit of Kryptonite power armour or something and have him duke it out with Supes, but that's generally lazy writing and a waste of the character, to me. If you want that sort of story, put Superman up against Darkseid or Zod or somebody. Lex is a different kind of threat- a harder one to write, maybe, but a more compelling one if used well.

Joker... Joker works as a dark mirror to Batman, or just as a random disruption, but in my opinion he's probably best used in small doses. Only a few Joker stories for a given continuity.

Edit: Basically, and I'm sure I'm saying nothing that hasn't been said before, both Joker and Lex have this in common- they represent challenges to the hero, not primarily as a physical threat, but as a challenge to the hero's ideals. Joker challenges Batman's desire for order, and to preserve life (the fact that he is the go-to example for "why Batman should kill" is indicative of that), and exploits them (for example in The Dark Knight, when he offers Batman a choice that will result in loss of life either way). Lex challenge's Superman's belief in the American Way, by using the America Way (capitalism, the rule of law, etc.) to shield himself.

I will note, however, that the answer to that challenge cannot be a simple "the hero abandons his principles to defeat the hero". Or if it is, then there has to be a steep price for that. Because if the only way to beat the villain is to abandon what makes you a hero, the villain wins.
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by TheFeniX » 2019-03-29 03:07pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-03-29 02:09pm
1. Bruce's defining motive is not merely to fight crime, but also to protect people. He has personal trauma that makes him extremely reluctant to accept murder as an option. So for him to kill the Joker, even if pragmatically justified, would be fundamentally out of character for most versions.
And people die because Batman (world's greatest blah blah) can't come up with a SINGLE answer to keep a SINGLE man from harming others.

Batman's fucking dumb.
2. Bruce is not an executioner, nor is it his place to be. If society believes that the Joker should be executed, then the justice system should carry out that sentence. Moreover, Bruce would lose many of his allies (ie Gordon, Superman) if he took on the role of executioner.
For killing The Joker? The man who crippled (and in some versions, the one where Batman DID kill The Joker) rape his daughter? Also, because comics suck shit knowing anything, The Joker would have been scooped up by Federal Agents for any number of reasons. Shit, the animated cartoon even had him terrified of the IRS and would rather deal with Batman instead. But in the DC universe, they'd probably put him on a team full of other idiots with powers like "has a baseball bat."
3. Why always the focus on the Joker? Plenty of other Batman villains are also sadistic killers. Hell, the DC universe is full of threats more powerful and dangerous than the Joker generally is (Darkseid, Zod, etc.). So why is Joker the go-to example for why Batman should kill? I would argue: because the Joker is notorious, is frequently used for shock value, and thus invoking the Joker as an argument for Batman killing, rather than, say, Darkseid, is fundamentally an appeal to emotion, not reason.
So... you just left out the point where I said other villains kill for a reason? Or just wanted to harp on the "Batmans don't kill bad guys." And your counter examples are motherfucking DEMIGODS? You'd have been better off with Bane since he kind of just wrestles people because "tough guy."

Batman makes more sense if The Joker is literally The Luck God and/or God of Chaos which explains why he can consistently alienate and murder everyone and get no comeuppance. This is my actual head canon for The Dark Knight Nolan movie because it is such a shit movie.

Literally one of my points is: "At some point, since the Joker is NOT physically intimidating (outside cu-RAZY shit like Batman Ninja): SOMEONE would have killed him. Is there a single group of people he hasn't murdered notorious members of? BEST CASE: Waller would have thrown him in a hole and thrown away the hole. Or he gets shanked in prison. Or he dies on the way to court in a "tragic accident." Or, since guns STUPID easy to get, even full-autos, in Gotham: some parent of a murdered child shoots him at the steps to the court house.
4. From an in-universe perspective, killing the Joker or any other villain is pointless, because the DC universe is full of ways to cheat death. Kill the Joker, and next thing you know he's resurrected. At least when he breaks out of Arkham, Batman will get a heads up that he's escaped.
You mean unlike all those times he DIDN'T get a heads up because AA is run and staffed by morons. Batman is basically pumping water out of a boat without plugging the holes.
Whereas if we ignored the way the DC universe works and took a more "realistic" approach, there would be no need to kill him because a federal prison would be quite capable of holding him in the real world (although his propensity for random murderous violence would likely require that he be kept permanently in solitary, which is considered a form of torture, so some might argue that death would be kinder).
Yea man, that's why shit's dumb. Darkseid can fuck off back to whatever shithole planet is currently his base of ops. Zod rarely makes a comeback IIRC. He's like the Superman Origin dood. He comes back really rarely. Joker is out, at most, in about 2 months.
5. Is the problem with Batman of all characters really that he's not enough of an edgy HARD MAN?
Yea, that's the takeaway from it. I want Synder Batman just ending doods left and right. Got it in 5. You're my everything. You complete me. etc etc.
As to the question of "why has no one else killed the Joker", I'd argue that that's part of the larger issue I'd addressed in my OP, which is that comics tend to preserve the status quo for business reasons. Its why I favour frequent reboots, in part- because the company is never going to institute major changes on a permanent basis, so at least if you regularly reboot, then any given iteration of the story can take risks, try something new, and have clear progression, and then the next version can bring the old characters back and do its own take. Like how Nolan's trilogy was able to have Batman actually win, and move on/retire, because his trilogy was a self-contained continuity, and was thus allowed to have an ending.
Translation: "we write stupid shit because we got comics to sell." You think you're telling me something I don't know? Dumb shit with a dumbshit explanation is still dumb shit.

Hey man, PowerGirl has her sweet boob window because "she respects SM so much, but doesn't feel worthy of the logo." See, that explanation for "PEOPLE LIKE BOOOOOOBS" is dumb. But since I like boobs, I let it pass. The Joker is literally carried by Mark Hamil. I have no idea how comic readers tolerate him.
On the Luthor thing, I actually think Luthor is a wonderful villain mainly for that reason. Superman has all the powers, he's the fastest, the strongest, immortal, brilliant, can fly... so rather than making his arch villain EVEN MORE POWERFUL, constantly one-upping the wank factor, they make his arch villain a mortal man, who Superman can't touch without going outside the law, because of his money, power, and connections.
Yea, because even in the context of of ALL THE BULLSHIT that encompasses Superman: Lex Luthor makes more sense as a recurring villain. In fact, IIRC The Joker WAS supposed to just be a one-shot villain because he was such a dumb concept, but fans like him so much they kept him around.
Joker... Joker works as a dark mirror to Batman, or just as a random disruption, but in my opinion he's probably best used in small doses. Only a few Joker stories for a given continuity.
Can I take a page from you? Please? "Well, I suppose it was inevitable that this would come up, since it seems impossible to have a thread about how fucking dumb the Batman/Joker dynamic is anywhere without someone arguing that he's <insert whatever term for "opposite" you want here>."
Edit: Basically, and I'm sure I'm saying nothing that hasn't been said before, both Joker and Lex have this in common- they represent challenges to the hero, not primarily as a physical threat, but as a challenge to the hero's ideals. Joker challenges Batman's desire for order, and to preserve life (the fact that he is the go-to example for "why Batman should kill" is indicative of that), and exploits them (for example in The Dark Knight, when he offers Batman a choice that will result in loss of life either way). Lex challenge's Superman's belief in the American Way, by using the America Way (capitalism, the rule of law, etc.) to shield himself.
Lex has, as stated, connections, money, power, patience, intellect, etc, etc. In the situations Superman puts him in at the end, he can use these to weasel his way out. At the end of the day, the only REAL ally The Joker has is a psychiatrist just as fucked up as he is.
I will note, however, that the answer to that challenge cannot be a simple "the hero abandons his principles to defeat the hero". Or if it is, then there has to be a steep price for that. Because if the only way to beat the villain is to abandon what makes you a hero, the villain wins.
If your principals are dumb? This whole "if I kill this guy, EVEN IN SELF-DEFENSE or defense of others: I'm just as bad as him" is the single DUMBEST fucking idea that permeats so much fiction. On the opposite end, killing bad guy mooks left and right is almost as dumb. Also, Gotham cops stupid crooked right? The Joker has killed dozens if not hundreds (who the fuck would work in Gotham) and not a single instance of "shot while trying to escape."

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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-03-29 03:26pm

Eh. The Batman vs Joker question to me is pointless because of the nature of comic books and how they pretty much can't ever have closed timelines, so nothing ever has lasting consequences. It's the nature of the beast. If things had lasting consequences... Batman would be retiring at fifty a mass of broken bones and scar tissue.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Batman » 2019-03-29 04:04pm

At 50? I likely wouldn't survive to become Batman thanks to the stupid shit I pull.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'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: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-03-29 04:17pm

Batman wrote:
2019-03-29 04:04pm
At 50? I likely wouldn't survive to become Batman thanks to the stupid shit I pull.
Let's be real-- a rich dick can probably pretty much buy as much training and gadgets as he likes, relatively safely. So he could probably become Batman, teenage wanderlust aside, without too much trouble.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Batman » 2019-03-29 04:34pm

I was talking about the initial hapless vigilante phase immediately after finishing the training/wanderlust phase and before the actual Batmaning.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'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: Batman at Eighty.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-03-29 05:02pm

Batman wrote:
2019-03-29 04:34pm
I was talking about the initial hapless vigilante phase immediately after finishing the training/wanderlust phase and before the actual Batmaning.
Don't worry, the affluenza will ensure that you're okay.
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-03-29 05:12pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-03-29 05:02pm
Batman wrote:
2019-03-29 04:34pm
I was talking about the initial hapless vigilante phase immediately after finishing the training/wanderlust phase and before the actual Batmaning.
Don't worry, the affluenza will ensure that you're okay.
Affluenza won't save you from a bullet to the face.
Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-03-29 03:26pm
Eh. The Batman vs Joker question to me is pointless because of the nature of comic books and how they pretty much can't ever have closed timelines, so nothing ever has lasting consequences. It's the nature of the beast. If things had lasting consequences... Batman would be retiring at fifty a mass of broken bones and scar tissue.
This.

There is an interesting issue in this thread, though, about whether Batman is out of step with today's issues due to being an affluent, aristocratic hero. Now, personally I think that, vigilantism aside, Bruce is pretty much the model of what a wealthy person should do, investing a great deal of his wealth in charity, in improving his city (which fails only because Gotham Sucks and the status quo must be preserved), etc. It's hard to make a case for Bruce Wayne as oppressive oligarch, unless your starting position is "being wealthy is innately evil" and you refuse to see any nuance to the issue.

That said, it might be interesting to explore a lower-income Bruce, and what sort of person he would turn out to be. Would he die young? Would he be stuck as a more small-scale/street-level hero? Or pursue some other means of making a difference? Etc.
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-03-29 05:44pm

I think the main issue is that Batman is fighting an unwinnable war, and that status quo that's needed to make Batman recognizable is the problem, along with the fact that the necessary side to Batman's war on crime isn't given as much limelight as possible, giving a skewed version of the character. After all, how many comic fans want to read a story about Batman funding a new infrastructure project and getting that past the City Council, as compared to reading about him stopping the Joker from bombing City Hall?

And what sells is what they'll write stories about, for the most part.
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-03-29 05:50pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-03-29 05:44pm
I think the main issue is that Batman is fighting an unwinnable war, and that status quo that's needed to make Batman recognizable is the problem, along with the fact that the necessary side to Batman's war on crime isn't given as much limelight as possible, giving a skewed version of the character. After all, how many comic fans want to read a story about Batman funding a new infrastructure project and getting that past the City Council, as compared to reading about him stopping the Joker from bombing City Hall?
I think that's a false dilemma there. You can have Bruce engaging in political and financial efforts in the background, while also fighting the more direct threats in the foreground.

The whole issue with Gotham being an endless unwindable cycle of grim dark basically comes down, as you noted, to DC's refusal to allow any lasting change to the character. I've offered my solution to that (more focus on making each individual continuity unique, with a clear beginning, middle, and end).
And what sells is what they'll write stories about, for the most part.
Actually, I would argue that DC has needlessly limited its own audience by pandering almost exclusive to the angry insecure young man demographic, at the expense of appealing to any others. Its a vicious cycle: "Comic books are only for adolescent boys!" "Well, we'll pander to adolescent boys!" "Comics are only for adolescent boys!" And so on...

They probably also need to move away from focussing on print media, to focussing on web comics.

And for the love of God, fire Zach Snyder.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Batman » 2019-03-29 06:05pm

It should be noted that while they're not at the core of the story (for reasons FaxModem1 mentioned) there are semi-frequent mentions of Bruce Wayne supporting charities, trying to get other oligarchs to make their projects ones the public benefits from ('So what are you going to do with that property anyway?' 'Starbucks Coffee Shops. *snip* 'Uh-huh.' 'What?' '*snip* It's just...well, when I do buy property, I like to put my mark on it, you know? Nice thing about libraries and community centers is that you get to name them after yourself. You know the 'Fritz Manning Recreational Hall or something' ), supporting infrastructure/seeing to that this infrastructure is safe (guess who built most of the quake-proof buildings in Gotham?) and WayneCorp employees getting a lot of benefits-full medical coverage, pensions, full tuition coverage for college ...
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-03-29 08:05pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-03-29 05:50pm
FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-03-29 05:44pm
I think the main issue is that Batman is fighting an unwinnable war, and that status quo that's needed to make Batman recognizable is the problem, along with the fact that the necessary side to Batman's war on crime isn't given as much limelight as possible, giving a skewed version of the character. After all, how many comic fans want to read a story about Batman funding a new infrastructure project and getting that past the City Council, as compared to reading about him stopping the Joker from bombing City Hall?
I think that's a false dilemma there. You can have Bruce engaging in political and financial efforts in the background, while also fighting the more direct threats in the foreground.

The whole issue with Gotham being an endless unwindable cycle of grim dark basically comes down, as you noted, to DC's refusal to allow any lasting change to the character. I've offered my solution to that (more focus on making each individual continuity unique, with a clear beginning, middle, and end).
The thing is, that's at most, what it will be. A background detail. Batman doesn't really do 'The Wire' style deep involvement of the problems of society that make the city so problematic. Gotham Central is the closest we ever came to it.
And what sells is what they'll write stories about, for the most part.
Actually, I would argue that DC has needlessly limited its own audience by pandering almost exclusive to the angry insecure young man demographic, at the expense of appealing to any others. Its a vicious cycle: "Comic books are only for adolescent boys!" "Well, we'll pander to adolescent boys!" "Comics are only for adolescent boys!" And so on...

They probably also need to move away from focussing on print media, to focussing on web comics.

And for the love of God, fire Zach Snyder.
Well, as discussed before, Batman is a victim of his own popularity. Superman has actually grown, and is allowed to be a husband and father. Batman got engaged, and has adopted children, but it's all waiting to be torn away in some fashion, and in making Batman this problematic person who can't grow.

The one time we do see Batman grow, go through therapy, and become more okay with himself as a person, to my knowledge, it's when he was played by Val Kilmer, and then George Clooney. Aside from that film being horrible for other reasons, Batman, as a character, was also considered dull and bored.
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-03-29 08:08pm

Well, I think we can agree that DC is wasting the character. But that's not due to any intrinsic limitation of Batman as a character- its due to shitty writing and management by the current PTBs at DC.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Tribble » 2019-03-29 08:52pm

The definitive Batman for me is always going to be the DCAU version (with Mask of the Phantasm as the best Batman movie IMO). A lot of this is because we got to see Batman from his childhood all the way through his entire career, retirement, and eventual training and mentoring of his successor. This is the Batman we saw more of than any other on screen, by a long shot. Also, the writers put quite a bit of effort into making DCAU Batman a fully fleshed out and believable character, and just as importantly they weren't afraid to explore some of the consequences of what actually being Batman would do to someone physically and emotionally (within the confines of a kids tv show). Plus of course the awesome voicework from the likes of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. It's always their voices I hear whenever I read a Batman comic.
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Batman » 2019-03-29 09:02pm

Actually for me the best Timmverse Batman movie was 'Mystery of the Batwoman'. 'Mask of the Phantasm' was too deep into the 'grimdark' aspects of Batman. 'Mystery' had both a brighter Batman AND Bruce Wayne. All in all I consider it a much more fun movie.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'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: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Tribble » 2019-03-29 09:20pm

Batman wrote:
2019-03-29 09:02pm
Actually for me the best Timmverse Batman movie was 'Mystery of the Batwoman'. 'Mask of the Phantasm' was too deep into the 'grimdark' aspects of Batman. 'Mystery' had both a brighter Batman AND Bruce Wayne. All in all I consider it a much more fun movie.
Too each their own, though I liked that movie a lot too. :D
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Re: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Batman » 2019-03-29 09:26pm

Part of it was no doubt 'Mystery' using the TNBA visuals while 'Phantasm' went with the TAS ones (what with TNBA not existing at the time) and I vastly prefer TNBA visually.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'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: Batman at Eighty.

Post by Tribble » 2019-03-29 09:30pm

Batman wrote:
2019-03-29 09:26pm
Part of it was no doubt 'Mystery' using the TNBA visuals while 'Phantasm' went with the TAS ones (what with TNBA not existing at the time) and I vastly prefer TNBA visually.
Whereas I prefer TAS visually, especially with the Joker (though I'd say the best version of DCAY Joker was the "Batman Beyond" and Justice League style, which combined elements of both). Again, that's not to say I dislike TNBA.

Overall I think DCAU Batman is generally superior to the comics or other movies. At the very least he didn't go on murder sprees and/or get totally confused because there's more than one mother named Martha :P
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