Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by Soontir-Fel, Jul 15, 2008.
[link=http://www.dccomics.com/media/excerpts/9922_x.pdf]Batman 680 preview[/link]
Why is the Joker all Marylin Manson now?
"So how about one straight answer? Are you really an alien hyper-imp from the 5th dimension... or just a figment of my imagination?"
"imagination is the 5th dimension. Some world's greatest detective you are"
I was actually a little sick while reading this week. The Joker scared the **** out of me.
As per Morrison way back in "Arkham Aslyum: A Serious House On A Serious Earth", the Joker tends to reinvent himself. This is used to explain the different interpetations of the character over the years. At the start of Morrison's arc, the Joker is shot by one of the fake Batmen created by Dr. Hurt. As a result of this injury and the efforts to fix his face, the Joker's grin is now frozen on his face. This lead to the Joker to reinvent himself as "The Thin White Duke Of Death" which happened in "The Clown Strikes At Midnight". He's now totally depraved rather than comical. And like in the Arkham graphic novel, the Joker's attire has changed to best suit his new persona. In AA, the Joker wore high heels and other makeup. Here, he's dressed like a mad surgeon.
I obtained the comic through somewhat legal means. The Joker didn't impress me much. He feels like an entirely new villain. This new villain calling himself the Joker has a decent design, and would probably make a decent villain in his own right, but isn't nearly as scary as traditional Joker. He's not someone you'd want to get locked in a room with. But if he was locked in a room with the Joker of The Dark Knight or the Joker from The Killing Joke, I can't see this Joker as being the one to walk out.
This guy is like Green Goblin II from Spider-Man. Probably a very good villain in his own right, given a good writer. But not as good as the original.
I don't see that at all.
Course I was a little busy peeing my pants
Is any of that in the text story in Batman & Son? Maybe I should read that... haha.
It's all in the Batman and Son trade.
Yes, it's the prose story. Morrison was doing it similar to another comic that had come out in the UK, several years earlier and also to a 70's Batman tale by O'Neil and Rogers.
The Joker's transformation is reflective of how he's changed over the years, by various writers. This is why Batman's tried to understand who the Joker is and how he functions, but the problem is that it is not as simple as he thought all those years ago. And because he tried to understand, he's left himself vulnerable. As the Joker said, this is where he loses his soul. It's always been Jezebel Jet. Even her name gave it away. Jezebelle is said to have worn red and jet is used to describe the darkest black. The goal is to destroy that which Batman is. The problem is that Bruce will survive and continue as Batman until he's captured by Granny Goodness and that's when the Black Glove's plan comes to fruition.
I think I see what Morrison is trying to do with the Joker and Batman now.
See Batman has been boiled down to his base elements. His tech is gone, his family is gone, his mind is gone. When you peel back the layers, all you are left with is a man who will never, ever quit. A man who will not stop fighting for the soul of a city he has sworn to protect. That is the core of Batman, even without Bruce Wayne to give Batman a purpose.
The Joker is undergoing the same thing. Take away the pomp and circumstance, take away the gags and the jokes, what are you left with? A man who wants to murder the world. More than that, he would find it funny and expects everyone else to.
The two of them are exact opposites of each other. Black and White. Good and Evil. Dour and Serious Light and Laughing. Order and Chaos. The latest issue had the Joker talking about how even with everything that has happened to him, how he is dressed in a purple outfit and talking to a crazy Bat-mite, how he insists that everything has to make sense, that there is an answer. This is us, the audience. Throughout RIP we have stated "This is crazy, I don't understand." And we, like the Bat, demand that there has to be an answer, that deep down there is logic to it. We look for it, we analyze the issues for clues, we see things in the checkerboard pattern, because we have to. The Joker, he's telling Batman and by extension us, that we are wrong. Things do not have to make sense, that they can never actually make sense. We see evidence in the patterns because we want to, we need to, not because they are actually really there. There isn't some hidden message in the text, no symbolism in the Joker who splits his tongue (the devil with the forked tongue) or the Jezebel with red hair. The Joker wants Batman and us to give up trying to make sense of it. "DO YOU GET IT NOW?" He wants us to let go, to stop. He wants Batman to realize that he can't rationalize this, to drop his belief of order and logic and just get the damn joke.
And Batman, even without a mind and dressed in purple, because of who he is, cannot do this.
that's an interesting take.
i was thinking about this purple batman last night and i noticed a thing.
he's become sort of like the maxx now, batman has.
not through any means of his own, or on purpose or anything.
but they're both delusional crime-fighting hoboes, propelled onward by unseen forces and wearing purple.
maxx has his outback and bruce wayne has his shopping cart + bat-radia.
All I can say Soontir is bravo.
Well I can say more. I just re-read Batman and Son, and it's so amazing how this has all come together. I've said over and over that Morrison is a writer you almost NEED to read in trade. It all works when it's over.
True, except Bruce is no longer Batman after "Final Crisis".
Well then he either dies or becomes a New God...
IT'S THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE TRUTH!
It's neither one. I'm thinking that he winds up being broken to the point where he cannot continue on as Batman. Either by way of insanity or just plain emotionally broken. Morrison has long said that Bruce is not going to die. But he will suffer a fate worse than death.
So, wait, are they really going to kill off Bruce Wayne??!!!
/slams head repeatedly against desk.
Er, yeah. I haven't really been following the conversation.
[link=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/110804-GothamCancellations.html]All Batman titles not starring Batman will be canceled.[/link]
Well there was a LitG rumour of Robin being relaunched into 'Batman & Robin' and Nightwing into 'Red Robin' because honestly the sales of these two books were pretty high for b-list characters, especially the RIP tie-ins.
First look at the covers to "Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader?"
The final issue of Birds Of Prey and Robin.
Final Nightwing solicitations says that Batman is dead granted that says nothing about Bruce Wayne.
[link=http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2008-11-17-batman-gaiman_N.htm]USA Today has a talk with Gaiman about WHTTCC. Spoilierific though.[/link]
I reread batman and son, the resurection of ras alghoul, the black glove, and all of the issues of rip that are out, over the course of two days. It's awesome. I'm really not able to say much more than that. I think it's been really well thought out and well plotted. If anything would do batman in, it would be the fact that his father was really a bad guy.