Batman...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Warped9, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Steve Englehart's take on Batman was that he was the only sane man in an insane world. I tend to agree.
     
  2. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Alan Moore clearly thought Batman was at least somewhat insane, look at "killing joke."

    I think it's a valid character interpretation.

    I mean, here's a billionaire who lets the death of his parents at a young age define his life, refuses real attachments in favor of his stupid
    "mission."

    He wants to change Gotham, so does he do it through running for office or trying to create political change in other ways?

    No, his solution to the societal problem of crime is to put on a bat costume and fight criminals one by one.

    In a city the size of N.Y. Uh-huh.


    (I love Batman, just pointing out the concept's a bit silly, and that anyone who behaved like him in real life would be deemed to at least have serious mental problems.)
     
  3. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But part of Englehart's point was that the specific world in which Batman lived was insane. It wasn't the real world.

    The real world doesn't have green haired serial killers injecting fish with laughing drugs, DAs who get scarred and develop split personalities, mad scientists, etc.
     
  4. Admiral James Kirk

    Admiral James Kirk Writer Admiral

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    It does have junkies who eat transients faces off, college students who eat their room mates hearts and brains and chefs who auction off their genitals to the highest bidder and saute them with mushroom garnish. :D Don't make me mention the Canadian, cannibal porn star!
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    :techman: Well said, sir.
     
  6. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Bit late with this comment, but I think the best comparison to the 89 Batman (for me anyway) is fittingly enough given this board, the Abrams Star Trek.

    Both movies at the end of their respective decades made by then hot directors/creators, who with their own particularly unique aesthetic aimed to bring back/alter the perception of a long time franchise which had not been popular with the broader media in some time. Fun and exciting summer blockbusters, but not really emblematic of the deeper elements of the canon and the performances of iconic characters ranges from solid to "meh".

    They kick off a strong interest in the series again, and lead to a revival in various forms of media (though that's still a bit up in the air with ST).
     
  7. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    good points, but '89's "Batman" actually isn't as action-packed as you might think. There are only a few major action sequences for the whole movie. (Axis chemicals, museum, and the Batwing/final confrontation at Gotham Cathedral) It'd be considered downright slow compared to things like "transformers" or "avengers" today.
     
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Thats not a bad comparison and a similar thought did occur to me.

    The '89 Batman doesn't gel with what I remember of the comics of the 1970s and ''80s. It's a Tim Burtonesque film with Batman and related elements in it.

    Ditto ST09. Abrams film doesn't gel with TOS despite having Kirk, Spock, an Enterprise and other (somewhat) familiar elements. It isn't what (or similar to what) TOS was, but rather what J.J. thinks it should be. And it will be interesting to see if there's some sort of backlash down the road if/when Trek is rebooted yet again into something more akin to familiar like TOS.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Well, first off, the comics and films have both made it pretty clear that Bruce actively uses Wayne Enterprises and the Wayne Foundation to try to effect social change in Gotham. Bruce Wayne is a huge philanthropist, and the Wayne Foundation is very much the Gates Foundation of its world.

    Secondly -- part of the point of the world of Gotham City is that it is an exaggerated version of everything that's wrong with modern urban America. We already see how often in real life electoral politics gets corrupted by money and power; there's a very real question about how effective running for office actually is in creating meaningful change. And especially in a heightened environmental that exaggerates what's already wrong in reality, I'd sure as hell be skeptical of the idea that running for office would necessarily be effective in Gotham City.

    And while developing the economy and creating grassroots social change is certainly important if Bruce wants to save Gotham, so is being out there on the streets and saving innocent lives from immediate danger. And, remember, the other point of Gotham is that its police force is often either ineffective or corrupt. Under a normal social contract, the executive powers are delegated to an executive branch of the government (be that a President and his Army, a Governor and his Militia, or a Mayor and his Police); Gotham is a political environment without a functional social contract. Batman represents the citizenry reclaiming the executive functions normally delegated to the government as a result of governmental nonfunctionality.

    Well, obviously it's a non-realistic environment and a non-realistic scenario. It's a world of heightened melodrama; it makes sense in the context of the exaggerated worlds in which the various Batman versions play out.
     
  10. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    "Batman is an insane sociopath" is one of the things that I don't get and "follow" when it comes to Batman and is one of the main reasons Frank Miller's "All Star Batman and Robin age Twelve" sucks so much.

    For me this sort of discussion boils down to the "who's the real guy" argument that often crops up with Superman. Is Clark Kent the "disguise" or is Superman the disguise? Which is the real man. (I've always gone with Superman being the "real guy" with Clark Kent being "the disguise" but not as extreme of one as often portrayed.)

    So with Batman is the "real man" the playboy billionaire or the sociopathic crime-fighter?

    I sort of wish a "reboot" of Batman would be done in comics or the future movie series takes on a slightly different tone where Batman is basically an act. Not a representation of Bruce's inner rage for the death of his parents or whatever he just wants to fight crime and do it in the most frightening way possible while at same time have Bruce be more of that "playboy, billionaire, philanthropist." That's one of the things I liked about the Nolan movies is how Bruce is portrayed though I'd like to see a version with a little less naive Bruce to the real world. (How he acts when he wrecks the police car with his Ferrari to save the narc's life.)

    Maybe The Avengers is too fresh in my mind but I'd like to see Bruce being a bit more like Tony Stark is in that movie. Batman is just something he does to "do good" and he has to make it extreme because he lives in an extreme world with real nut jobs and sociopaths out there. But he's not a brooding, miserable, loner with PTSD and needs to let it out by enjoying punching criminals to within an inch of their life.

    Part of what I liked about the first few issues of "Batman" in the New52 is that it seemed to be going this way with Bruce/Batman in how he was being used.
     
  11. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If Gotham were really so bad that the police and government were irredeemably corrupt, then maybe Bruce Wayne should have packed his bags and moved somewhere else, because if that were the case, one guy fighting criminals on the streets won't make a difference.(We see that with the criminals who always escape from Arkham-what's the point of Batman putting them away then?)
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I felt ST 2009 handled the full cast of characters much better than Burton's Batfilms did. In the comics, Commissioner Gordon is a major, central role, one of Batman's closest friends and confidantes, but Pat Hingle's Gordon was a peripheral player who rarely had any direct interaction with Batman. The equivalent would've been a Trek movie where Dr. McCoy only had two short scenes and barely knew Captain Kirk. The short shrift Gordon got was one of my biggest problems with the Burton movies even back when I kinda liked them.
     
  13. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Agree to a point, though I do think McCoy got a bit short changed as it seemed like Uhura took his role of third lead character, but that's neither here nor there.

    Really the character example that stands out to me is Pike who does make sense as a mentor character I suppose, but its odd seeing him highlighted so much when his role in the original series basically amounted to (an albeit important) one shot.
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Not gonna happen. Bruce's entire mission in life is to just try to keep what happened to his parents from happening to anyone else in Gotham. That's never gonna change; he is unconditionally dedicated to his city.

    Except that's bullshit, because Bruce has made a difference. Batman and his allies have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives in Gotham. They literally brought Gotham City back from the dead during the No Man's Land crisis.

    Yeah, sure, his mission to prevent any murders from ever happening again in Gotham is quixotic -- but so is the mission of any police department, to try to fight crime. You don't give up on something like that because it's impossible to completely solve; you keep doing it and make it your life's work.
     
  15. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I do find it amusing that if you view Burton and Schumacher's films as in continuity, its hilariously the most optimistic view of the character's work as it suggests his war on crime is working. The city really does seem much better from where it is is in Batman to B&R.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's true -- but Bruce could make a lot more difference fighting crime just by paying to put up streetlights and security cameras, funding an expansion of the police force, etc. Though I guess you could argue that as long as Gotham's government was corrupt, he couldn't be sure the money would be spent appropriately. And we do often hear about the Wayne Foundation's charity efforts. But they don't seem to make much of an impact on the state of Gotham, since the city needs to stay dark and dangerous so Batman can continue to have adventures every month.


    Well, Gotham in The Dark Knight has definitely improved since Batman Begins, with more law and order, more hope among the public, etc. Once Batman and Harvey brought down the gangs, the city was in the best state it had been in since Bruce's boyhood -- until the Joker came in and waged his anarchic campaign to tear down all the stability Batman and Harvey had created.

    But yeah, I guess I kind of see your point. Certainly between Returns and Forever there must've been one hell of an architecture boom, with an emphasis on gigantic Art Deco statues and neon lighting.

    Although if they are in continuity, that does leave the question of how Harvey Dent turned from a suave African-American into a craggy-faced Caucasian.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, this, like many things, is a function of the fact that the Batman story -- like those of all comics -- is trapped in the Eternal Middle, with no true beginning or end.

    Personally, I interpret things such that his campaign has improved Gotham, and noticeably so -- but that it's also led to the rise of more unstable elements like the Joker, Two-Face, etc.

    Exactly.

    "My gosh, that was really powerful acid they threw at his face, wasn't it?"
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which is pretty much the premise of The Dark Knight. Batman defeats regular crime, but that creates a void that the supercriminal rises to fill. They even set this up at the end of Batman Begins when they spoke of escalation.
     
  19. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Well, since we're treading to the topic....

    LINK

    ;)
     
  20. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At the time, ...Forever was viewed as the third Batman film, the sequel to Batman and Batman Returns. But I think that had it been made today, then it would have been described as a reboot - different actor, different director, different tone, different look for Gotham, different soundtrack, different Batmobile, different costume, etc.