goComics
 

« THE EDUCATION OF HOPEY GLASS | Main | SOCIETY IS NIX: GLEEFUL ANARCHY AT THE DAWN OF THE AMERICAN COMIC STRIP, 1895-1915 »

BOOKER AND BATMAN

Mental floss coverWill Brooker did a Ph.D. on Batman, and in the bi-monthly magazine Mental Floss for September/October, he’s interviewed by Jeff Rubin, who asks “which Batman” Brooker wrote about. To which Brooker said:

“I regard Batman as a concept. He’s like a mosaic. Batman is everything that Batman has ever been. You might not like the 1960s Batman or the 1939 Batman or even the Joel Schumacher Batman, but without that, the character would not be the kind of rich, multifaceted, complex thing that he is. If Batman had carried on the same as he was in 1939, I don’t think he would have continued — he’d be kind of a flat, pulpy, plastic character. To me, Batman is interesting because he’s so many contradictory things — he’s very, very complex.”

Rubin asked what makes Batman more interesting than Superman.

“Batman is more interesting because he is not a god, but he walks with gods. Batman is a mortal — a normal guy who’s trained himself up since his parents were killed to the absolute pinnacle of physical strength and agility and intellectual power. So he’s a good model for someone doing a Ph.D. I think he’s an amazing figure of what humanity can do. Superman is basically the big blue Boy Scout, and he’s been pretty much that since the 1940s. He’s just, to me, pretty bland. He’s too powerful. He’s too good.”

Worth a look in this connection, is Bob Hall’s 1999 opus, Batman: I, Joker, a stunningly ingenious Elseworlds Batman story told by the Cowled Crusader's arch enemy. But the plot is laid far in the future by which time Batman is a god-king called "The Bruce." Incorporating elements of the Fisher King myth, Hall constructed an artful parable that parallels the relationship between the comic book hero, Batman, and his faithful readers, before whom Batman (like the Bruce) re-enacts periodically the ritual conquest of a roster of arch villains in successive issues of his comic books.

Having set up the resonances of this situation, Hall then proceeded to explore its implications. I did a review of this book ‘’way back at the beginning of Rants & Raves, in Opus Two, at the Usual Place; and there, you’ll find “Batman comic books as religious ritual” described in more detail.

Hall, who also wrote and drew the series Armed and Dangerous, hasn’t done much since, and that is the medium’s profound loss.

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c5f3053ef01a5116d8d7e970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference BOOKER AND BATMAN:

Comments

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

FEATURED SERVICES:
MOBILE SERVICES:
GAMES & PUZZLES: