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Old July 29 2012, 11:28 PM   #56
Lapis Exilis
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Re: Your favourite Batman...

stj wrote: View Post

Some people see things differently.
I'm sure many people see things differently than Anders does in this article.

1. The triumph of the will is nonsense, commonly pernicious nonsense. The notion that there is some sort of divine gift, a charisma, that enables heroes to overawe all and sundry also is nonsense. There's always a Thersites. If Homer knew it, so should we all.

What I saw in Batman was brains over brawn, and the victory of heroism against brutality.
I think you're arguing semantics here. No one said anything about a divine gift or charisma - the way I see it, will here is the courage common to anyone who can lay down at the end of a horrible day and say, I will try again tomorrow.

Also, could you elaborate on what you mean by heroism versus brutality?

2. No, I'm pretty sure that the real target is street criminals.
And it's possible to interpret Moby Dick as just a crazy dude obsessed with a white whale. But that's not really how stories work - at least not when they're good.

And I'd put it that it's that Bruce has to make up for the deaths of his parents. But the important thing is that Bruce can't win. There's no making up that.
I'd agreed that a fundamental part of a good Batman story is the futility of his basic quest.

3. This is by far the most comic-booky thing about Batman, motivated solely by the desire to keep it from being too real for kids reading the funny book. A vigilante who doesn't kill avoids all the serious moral questions of vigilantism. That's why Burton's more serious take dropping this didn't bother me greatly.
You've got a real point here - it's a contrivance in many ways. Anders elaborates on the point as having to do with Batman challenging himself by seeing how close to that line he can get without crossing it, but his point is a little tortured. As for Burton's Batman, the thing that seems to bug him about how that Batman kills is that he does it in a rather cowardly way.

4. Bruce Wayne, millionaire playboy, certainly isn't the real man. But then, Batman is not really a character. It's a costume and a symbol. Those aren't, and can't, be a real man. If Batman is still yet the core, then the core is hollow.
Some stories have tried to get at this idea - that ultimately there isn't really anything at Bruce Wayne's core, except a kind of obsessive self-pity, thus making his story even more futile, and not particularly heroic. Sam Hamm wrote a comic that was all about that, but I forget the name of it at the moment.
Because I have found I can tolerate being judged far better than I can being of no consequence. - Spock, World Enough and Time, Star Trek: New Voyages
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