Monday, November 15, 2010

Detective Comics #27

The caped crusader's first adventure! ...was very short and his cape didn't look right.


Ian said...

Batman riding a red car, having purple gloves, and killing people. Man, he has changed.

And Batman...the musical? Um, interesting.

Good review, as always.

deuxhero said...

I thought Crazy Steve wasn't Batman.

I was looking forward to this one, I thought Batman changed a lot more from his start than Superman

I was waiting for this one thinking Batman changed a lot more than he did (I was under the impression gun use was more than once or twice). Still good though.

Anonymous said...

was the musical number from an actual Batman TAS episode, or rather TinyToons/Animaniacs?

NickG said...

I've read some of the early batman comics and i have to admit apart from the causal use of lethal force and guns in some i like them a lot. if for no other reason than they highlight batman as a detective first. which some writers seem to forget about now. Great review of a classic character. I also love the musical at the end, i swear i remember Robin complaining about a woman playing him.

Nochi said...

Thank you, Linkara, I will now have "Superstitious Cowardly Lot" stuck in my head for the rest of forever. Why so earworm?

PickPikmin said...

Conversey in a Super-Hero Origin/ WHHHAAAAT?

√Člio Ribeiro said...

I always wanted to read a batman comic where he wields a gun, can you tell me any?

CMWaters said...

Why do I get the feeling you actually DID just splice that in insted of rerecorded it?

Bob Kane seems like a less-evil version of that guy that is credited for those Transfomers comics you did a while back. At least Kane PAID his people.

Being that this was issue 27, I wonder what the focus for the previous 26 issues of Detective Comics were.

Wonder why they continued to put Bat Man/Bat-Man in quotes.

"Lone battle" hmm? And HOW long after this issue was Robin introduced again?

Gordon seems...very enthused about that murder news.

...the hat of power, hmm? Why do I get a feeling that this will be a plot element in a future fight?

Purple gloves...*Snerk* But at least we know where the idea of changing of his cape and cowl from black came from in the 60s.

Go to Rogers...why did I get a Mr. Rogers Neighborhood image.

It's the Little Deuce "Bat" Coupe!

Wonder if they got that gas bubble from the same place as the governor's steel door from "Action Comics #1"

The "crotch attack" is actually a Fireman's Carry takedown. That's how I saw it anyway.

If Stryker were thinner and had hair, this'd be perfect for a Joker origin!


Yeah, Batman using guns is just wrong...especially how his parents died.

I KINDA get why they didn't have an origin for this story. Batman was suppossed to be a mysterious figure...and having no origin for his first story would theoretically want to bring the readers back to eventually know what's up with him. In fact, I get the feeling that it was the intentions (not sure how successful they were with this) of the creators of this story to have you make no real connection to Bruce and Batman being one in the same until the very end. Then again I could be reading into that a bit too much and missing something.

Yeah...that mugger REALLY overreacted there. And I guess he felt that shooting a kid would have only made things worse for him. making kid Bruce have the same voice as adult Bruce is as weird as that time you had a female news reporter have your standard male news reporter voice.

Eh, I figured the smoke in the scientist room was from the pipe he had from issue 27.

Hey, don't diss possums as heroes! It worked for "Rocket Knight Adventures"!

Also, the origin of Batman scene gives me an excuse to plug "Darkwing Duck: The Duck Knight Returns" the Afterword from Darkwing creator Tad Stones includes him typing up a parody of that scene with Darkwing. Go out and buy it people, it's good stuff.

God that musical number idea...I forgot all about that. Now I'll have that Supersticious Cowardly Lot song stuck in my head.

Nice look at the origins of Batman in the comics. Hard to believe how far he's come but many things have stayed the same.

We'll see if that's the same way with The X-Men next week.

Brian A. Henegar said...

Amazing work as per usual Linkara. The musical at the end made me laugh!

Now a question I've been meaning to ask you for some time. I noticed you use the 60s Batman theme at the beginning of the video. When I was a little kid I grew up watching and loving the classic 60s Batman series. It is on that new channel called The Hub, and I am falling in love with it all over again. I am wondering, as a comic book aficionado, what is your opinion on that particular incarnation of Bats? Personally, I love how over the top and hammy it is. And I remind myself it's meant for kids, and everyone involved seems to be having a ton of fun with it. However a lot of the comic book Batman fans despise it because it's so silly in comparison to the comics. I am just wondering what is your opinion?

Great job as usual


Author-Man said...

Batman Beyond was an excellent show.

That is all.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing about superheroes is that they have blood on their hands no matter what they do.

A super-villain appears and kills hundreds of people.
The superhero comes and captures him, sending him to jail.
The super-villain escapes, killing another hundred people.
Process repeats.
After a while it becomes obvious to even the most naive individual that prison is in no way a solution to the problem.
Every time the hero lets the villain live, he becomes responsible for every single atrocity the villain commits, since he already KNOWS this will happen.

Why? So that they wouldn't tarnish their spotless reputation.

Seriously, someone who is willing to sacrifice their moral "purity" for the greater good is more of a hero than someone who allows bad things to happen to keep his hands clean.

Ironically, the no-killing policy would certainly be the right thing if the prisoners actually stayed behind the prison walls.
However more than 75 years worth of story-telling has shown us that this just isn't working

I'm not saying one should put down every single crook one encounters, but there are certain individuals who merely by being still alive cause the hero a moral even horizon

With great power comes great responsibility indeed

Anonymous said...

"What was up with fashion in the 1930?" Yeah, well, 70+years from now, they be looking at what we're wearing now and find it equally as stupid.

My favorite bit added to Batman's origin story is that the bat that flies into his windo is actually the Martian Manhunter in a bat form for some reason. (I guess I should really say that I've heard of, because I don't have the comic to verify it)

Mountain King said...

Well that was interesting. First of all I didn't know that first villain Batman was seen facing ended the same way the Joker was supposedly created. The Axis/Apex chemicals bit must have been a head nod to this bit.
It certainly puts the Tim Burton origin in some sort of perspective.
Moving on, I've always seen Batman as one of the last pre-superman comic book heroes. Much like Zorro and the Shadow he didn't have any powers, relying on the extreme edge of what what was physically possible. This comic (well two) pretty much proves that. Much like the Sprit and most other comic book vigilantes he is a lot more human than his counter parts.
Now while Zorro has faded into the same mock historical context as Robin Hood and the Shadow was ret-conned into a magical hypnotist Batman has reached the point where the fan outcry from giving him powers would deafen me, even here. You mention that the origin hasn't changed that much and your right. It never could, much like all reviews this month (so far at least) they're so well know to pop culture that you could stop a random person in the street and they'd probably know about it. While Elseworld novels have played with the formula (I can think of three off hand) Unlike the tinkering with others Batman had remained more or less intact.
Still looking back; were all the golden age heroes arseholes inside? At one point or another they always seem to be the wrong side of common sense.
Good fun and loved the mock Batman impression, have to ask though, were you channeling Cap'n Hammer at one point?
Never mind, good review

AKA Mountain King

Toby said...

@deuxhero: Are you dense? Are you retarded or something? That wasn't Crazy Steve...THIS IS THE GODDAMN BATMAN.

(no offense, bro, just j/k :3)

areoborg said...

Of course Batman's first batmobile is going to be red. Everyone knows that "Da red wunz go fasta!" and Batman doesn't have a jet engine in his car yet.

Did Commissioner Gordon remind anyone else of Mayor Hill from Batman: The Animated Series?

I think that throwing people into a vat of chemicals is his signature move. But the only time it worked out in his favor was when he did it to Robin in Batman and Robin.

Frankie Addiego said...

Purple gloves, man, no wonder Prince did the soundtrack for the first movie.

Also, while the origin hasn't changed from that point, if you read "The Untold Tales of Batman" (the definitive pre-Crisis retelling of the B-Man's origin) and "Batman: Year One," the post-Crisis version which was written by Frank Miller, but was still pretty good. There is one substantial difference between the two, though neither is really inconsistent with the two-pager we covered here.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

I say we make Linkara wear a clown nose or something next episode so we know it's original. Who's with me? :)

One thing I never noticed but now find interesting is that Spider-Man started out as "Spiderman" while Batman started as "Bat-Man". Also, Spider-Man & Batman is my favorite DC/Marvel crossover.

It's too bad we never got more of the Batman musical, but I wonder if Bruce had it shut down because Terry kept singing from it too often. :D One of my favorite episodes, since before an excellent Bruce/Terry team-up it has Ra's Al Ghul kissing Bruce.

I've now ensured many of you will track down that episode to figure out the context. :D

TV's Grady said...


Puddle Jumper said...

Very interesting to see how the bat started. Still loving Secret Origins month.

Thanks for that, Linkara, I really enjoyed this video review. Now I can go to bed! See ya "A superstitious cowardly looooot!" Ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffrack, that's gonna keep me up all night innit?

Oracle said...

My sister would like to point out that obviously, Commissioner Gordon is secretly Cornelius Fudge.

Very cool. A little strange and still developing, but still feels like Batman. Maybe it's the voice ;) It's funny, I'm fond of it being "The Batman" just as I love Ras al Ghul calling him "Detective".

I was beginning to think I'd hallucinated the Batman musical once upon a time. Poor Bruce hehehe

Edifying and fun as ever!

Mario said...

Interestingly, Jim Lee did an almost frame-by-frame retelling of the origin:

I rather like how he got the funky cape to work.

Anonymous said...

Man, between this issue and your Spiderman review last week, Secret Origins month is a lot more hilarious than what I expected. I nearly choked laughing when you used the growling Batman voice for young Bruce Wayne.

Batman continues to be one of my favorite superheroes of all time, so it's nice to see his pulp detective origins.

Radar said...

I do hate that "The Bat-Man" thing. Nobody calls Superman "The Superman!" When is the 60's Batman coming out on dvd? Argh!

ladygem91 said...

Best. 19th. Birthday present. ever!
ok, I know it wasn't for me personally, but still, great review.

Kevin "Jester" McGill said...

You used it! Hooray! One of my favorite bits from Batman Beyond. Who knew Kevin Conroy could sing?
Terry: It's "sway".
Bruce: It's "swarbage"!

Jesse said...

Nice touch putting the Batman Musical in the end.

I find it funny only saying "I'm Batman" would be enough for everyone to just assume he's right. Heroes are always turning to him got answers, so that can work.

I wish at some point someone would do a Batman movie/tv show/comic where Bats find Joe Chill but realizes he's not a bad person and always regretted what he did (it'll be a way to explain him not killing Bruce). That'll be a character intriguing moment.

Anonymous said...

Good as usual Linkara.

Also, reading the comments shows some anons arguing that superheroes should use lethal force.

Have you guys ever seen the Justice Lords arc? It really is worth a watch if you are arguing that point.
Hell, I am sure they have gone over the idea multiple times in other Batman and Superman stories too.

The general argument has always been that heroes with power of some sort beyond all others have to maintain a moral purity because otherwise they will be corrupted by their power and be judge/jury/executioner. All heroes act only as a police force really, stopping and apprehending criminals. They still leave judgment to the law.

Jer Alford said...

To the bright red Studebaker!

Curtis said...

I actually stoped the video after Bruce says ""Superstitious Cowardly Lot" looked up that Batman Beyond clip (I had it favorited on youtube).

Little did I realize you were just going to play it at the end of the video, I felt rather foolish.

SchweitzerMan said...

What was with the purple gloves? At first I thought it might have been a colouring error but hey, if Gordon can wear a bright green hat with a grey suit, why can't Batman wear purple gloves.

Very glad that you added the "Superstitous Cowardly Lot" scene from Batman Beyond in there. Was honestly expecting it when Bruce was having his monologue but I think that would have been too obvious.

SchweitzerMan said...

Oh and was that Kevin Conroy playing Batman in the musical?

Chris said...

Wonderful use of the musical. XD I was really hoping you'd include the bit where Bruce says "You hate me, don't you?" But I suppose you can't get everything.

TimeTravelerJessica said...

Wow. It is really jarring to see Batman using lethal force because the "no killing" thing has been a part of the mythos for so long.

And am I bad for thinking that Commissioner Gordon looked like a pimp with the pinstriped suit and the bright green hat? The recoloration included some very weird coloring choices, and when you add that to the fact that pre-Depression fashion was rather flamboyant, several of the characters ended up looking like pimps.

Octo7 said...

I'm tired of people saying 'Batman using guns is wrong' Like they know the character better than the creators. It was an editor at DC who insisted that Batman shouldn't kill anymore, not Kane or Finger. The Batman comics of the 40's are still the best to this day. The best modern takes on Batman are Miller's Year One and Dark Night Returns, both of which are far more similar to the original Batman than anything else since or before. It's annoying because people lap up Grant Morrison's urine and call it Nectar, while criticizing the original creators.
I'd rather have a more aggressive Batman than the absurdly camp, space-travelling, 50's throw-back crap, which Morrison has been churning out for the last few years.

RaginCanadian said...

I always thought it was a little interesting that later the acid fall thing would be used as one of Joker's origin stories.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I knew this might happen. Somebody posted the "why doesn't Batman just kill the Joker" argument.

Many reviewers of this type of fiction love to point out times where the hero has the villian defeated but lets them live, and calls the hero stupid because of it. The Nostalgia Critic has done it. Film Brain I'm sure has done it. Phaleous has done it. (Geez has Phaleous done it-actually to the point where its annoying and is one of the reasons given up watching his reviews)

If your wondering why the hero doesn't just kill the villian its this:


Let me repeat that

There' actually a report I recently learned about called "The Greater Good" where it was discoverd that many soilders would often intentionally miss enemy targets because of our innate resistance to killing another human being. Professional Soliders would intentionally miss firing on enemy targets because they didn't want to kill another human being.

Then there's the psychological damage that comes from killing. For example, police officers (another group trained to use lethal force if nesseccary) are mandated to see a psycharitrist if they have used lethal force on a suspect.

Need one more example? When people would be put to death by firing squad. Only one gun was loaded with a live round. The rest where givin blanks. Why? So it made it easier for the executuioners to do their jobs. Nobody wanted to be the one to actually kill the prisoner, so they wouldn't tell them which gun had the live round, so they believed there was a chance that the shot they fired wasn't a kill shot. Plus, there is anecdotal stories of firing squad members dropping their rifiles and refusing to shot prioners.

So there are reasons as to why the hero doesn't kill the villian. And some probably extend to why villians don't kill the hero at opportune times.

And if it seems like I'm angry and ranting, well I think I am. It's just that I've heard this complaint sooooooo many times that its starting to get on my nerves.

Anonymous said...

Batman's about 37 if you wondered Linkara.

Next Year's Theme:
Heroes That Premered In Showcase
Flash: Wearer of Bow-Ties
Green Lantern: Tom Cruise of the Silver Age
Atom: Mini-Macguffin


LordOrion said...

Another great video Linkara and very interesting to learn some of the history of Batman.

maninblackreviews said...

Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight? ;)

Nameless One said...

Hah, the pipe ash scene made me think of this motivational poster:

Jaebird said...

Thank you, Linkara. Thank you for adding the clip of the Batman Musical at the end of the review. It helped me get over the stink that is "The Return of Bruce Wayne."

Michael said...

My two cents on the "lethal force" issue:

I suppose this issue is in part a result of the weird blending of comic book worlds and the real world.

The penal system in the real world is a lot more successful then the penal system of comic books. I know there are a lot of stories about people that escape, but for the most part people that are locked up stay locked up. In comics though, you want the heroes to capture the black hats, and you want the better villains to come back for more good stories. As a result, the villains must escape.

Since comic book writers usually try to have the justice system in the comics intimate the justice system of the real world, the heroes usually act as if the justice system is as reliable in their world as it is in ours. (That is, they send the badies to jail and call it a job well done.)

As an outside observer, we can easily see that they are using flawed logic, but if we are reading comic books then we have already agreed to put reality on hold and accept the story on its own terms. That means pretending we don't believe the criminals will escape. We are asked to accept the "no kill" motto the same way we accept Clark Kent's glasses.

However, I usually advocate the "kill the Joker" school of thought.

If we adhere to closely to the philosophy of no lethal force we invariably end up with some rather jarring mischaracterizations. For example, suppose you had a bad-ace character and he was in a situation where a stupid but serious enemy held him at gunpoint and all but stated that he was going to kill the character and take everything that he has, and the only tool at the characters disposal was a gun in his pocket. How would you feel if the character had to wait until the enemy had tried to shoot him before using his own gun?

Also, insisting that the heroes do not kill takes away a great source of drama. The characters are going to let the villain live and they have no choice in the matter. They can pretend they do, but the audience knows that this is not the kind of story that would allow that to happen.

Finally I would like to address a comment that Anonymous made: "IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE AND EASY TO KILL ANOTHER HUMAN BEING!!!"

This is true. This can be used as a reason for a lot of superheros to not kill. I can really see Peter Parker avoiding lethal force for this very reason. However, we are not talking about Peter "the professional wallflower" Parker. We are talking about Batman. His entire character is structured around doing what he must. If he decided that killing someone was immoral he would never kill anyone. However, if he decided the right thing to do is kill someone they would be as good as dead. The idea that killing someone is hard does not make the act right or wrong. It just makes it hard. Batman can handle hard.

I suppose that I can see both sides of the issue. As long as the creators are consistent and are aware of what they are asking the audience to accept the issue can go either way.

Anonymous said...

Pretty much agree with Michael on this one.
The urge to keep the hero pure (which is nothing more than a remnant of the Comic Code Authority that ruled most of the Silver Age) while at the same time keeping the villains returning has caused more than one wallbanger for people with common sense.

I fully agree that killing someone is indeed a very hard thing for someones psyche and it may very well be the reason why heroes and even some villains are avoiding it.
However actually being able to overcome this for the sake of a greater good and then taking the full responsibility for it is a form of heroism onto itself.

A very good example of this would be Trigun of all series with it's pacifist message, especially the final confrontation between Vash and Legato in the anime.

The 7th Kara no Kyoukai movie, Murder Speculation part 2, did this along with it's ruthless deconstruction of the Heroic Sociopath (even intensified by the fact that it was also a self-deconstruction of the series)
The idea being that by killing you'll loose your humanity and can never go back, but it can also be the ultimate sacrifice one makes to protect what you care about

Dorothy Stachowiak said...

Wait- Edgar Allen Poe's house? Which one? The one in Baltimore? (Relevant solely to my selfish desire to have another paltry thing to feel pride about. Living in Maryland, it's pretty boring.)
I love your work, and I'm really enjoying Secret Origins Month. I'd be lying if I said the Batman origin wasn't the one I'd been looking forward to the most! Thanks for giving us both Detective Comics 27&33!
Re: The pipe-ashes-on-floor thing, I'm surprised Sherlock Holmes didn't pop into existence and smack Bruce- you'd think the World's Greatest Detective would have read Holmes' monograph on tobacco ash! :P ...I'm a geek.

Octo7 said...

If Batman had just killed the joker he'd have saved 100's of lives, including his teenage sidekick whom he constantly put into life-threateneing situations (which seems to sit fine with the moral standards of these same people saying he shouldn't kill). Bottom line, you guys are saying how Batman should act according to your own comic-reading experiences as imposed by the pre-comics-code DC censors.
Batman allowing the Joker to live is far more immoral than just shooting him in the face execution style. Batman, being a highly intelligent scientist and detective, would probably realise this instead of putting human life above his own metaphysical 'moral code'. Batman incarcerating the Joker knowing that he's going to escape again in a few months and kill a bunch of innocent people, now that's psychotic. Killing Joke addressed this exact point.

What it comes down to is this. Is it right to kill one man to save 100, especially if the man is a murdering psychopath? YES. YES IT IS.

Serj said...

Oh god, your Batman voice. It was hilarious :)

JosephRipken said...

Batman's original creator may have envisioned Batman using guns, but Batman has been not using guns for over 50 years at this point and to have him use them again is very jarring. This as one of my main problems with Batman Begins. Batman bringing a gun to courthouse to kill Joe Chill rubs me the wrong way.

The "the creator's vision should always be followed" argument always bugs me more than defending a later iteration. This got especially urksome for me hanging around the Star Trek fandom who thinks Gene Roddenberry was a writing god. No matter how you spin it Gene Roddenberry believed that women couldn't be starship captains. Would you argue that that should be followed?

What the creator originally conceived is NOT always whats best for a character or a story.

On a lighter note, did you know that there were actually plans for a broadway musical based on Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns?

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you'll be going to Wisconsin for Daisho Con 2010. Good luck!

Octo7 said...

I agree with Michael.

If Batman had just killed the joker he'd have saved 100's of lives, including his teenage sidekick whom he constantly put into life-threateneing situations (which seems to sit fine with the moral standards of these same people saying he shouldn't kill). Bottom line, you guys are saying how Batman should act according to your own comic-reading experiences as imposed by the pre-comics-code DC censors.
Batman allowing the Joker to live is far more immoral than just shooting him in the face execution style. Batman, being a highly intelligent scientist and detective, would probably realise this instead of putting human life above his own metaphysical 'moral code'. Batman incarcerating the Joker knowing that he's going to escape again in a few months and kill a bunch of innocent people, now that's psychotic. Killing Joke addressed this exact point.

What it comes down to is this. Is it right to kill one man to save 100, especially if the man is a murdering psychopath? YES. YES IT IS.

And believe it or not. I'm not a republican and I don't believe in the Death Penalty. However, I actually think that cheap schlock known as Allstar Batman and Robin is a more accurate portrayel of Batman than anything Grant Morrison has ever written for the character. The same Morrison who has been getting off far too lightly from the likes of Linkara and other comic book critics, online and off. Final Crisis? Bruce Wayne's Death? Grayson as the Batman? *pukes*

But I guess Morrison is 'cool' in the eyes of the masses and people fear to criticise him because of his inexplicable popularity.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Final Crisis? Bruce Wayne's Death? Grayson as the Batman? *pukes*

But I guess Morrison is 'cool' in the eyes of the masses and people fear to criticise him because of his inexplicable popularity."

Noooo, I just don't think Batman RIP is that bad. Final Crisis is just weird. And Dick Grayson as Batman has been fantastic from the 99% of writers who have written it.

Yogurt said...

So throwing people into vats of chemicals isn't exactly a new thing for Batman, eh?

Calls into question how much of an "accident" the event which resulted in the birth of the Joker really was.

As for the whole "lethal/non-lethal" argument I turn to an interview with Bruce Timm about one of the original backstory ideas he had when he was working on "Batman Beyond".

Now bear in mind, this was before the idea of "Return of the Joker" came to pass. The original idea that Timm had, was basically an alternate ending to "The Killing Joke": Barbara was crippled and Batman chases Joker out of an amusement park and into a busy street in Gotham. The struggle, combined with the horrors done to Barbara, and the Joker's constant mocking laughter and disregard for life, result in Bruce Wayne finally snapping and beating the clown prince of crime to death in the middle of the street.

The sheer horror and violence unleashed by the Batman traumatized numerous people (including children) watching him and led Bruce Wayne to retire his cowl.

Several years later, some of those traumatized children formed "The Jokers".

In the end, there is only escalation. You kill a man and suddenly the hate, the rage, the desperation finds purchase in another. So you kill another, and another. Each one becoming more perverse, violent, and irredeemably evil. By the time you have a moment to catch your realize that you've become them. You realize that you proved Nietzsche's warning:

"Beware you who fight monsters, lest you become monsters yourselves".

Even the Punisher realizes that killing criminals hasn't made the world better or saved that many lives. In his darkest moments, Frank Castle realizes that he as much a sociopath as the men he kills and that in the end there will always be more, "Fed on the blood I have spilled, nursed on gunsmoke, brought to maturity by our war, living only to kill and then be killed, to start the cycle over again".

Perhaps there is no satisfactory answer. Perhaps there are only small victories, and the hope you give others of a better way to live.

Dustin A. Nguyen said...

Awesome review. Yet now the fact that Batman used to do purple punches of justice will forever be etched into my head...And it's hilariously amazing.

Jannet_Jazz said...

Purple gloves?

So Joker and Batman have the same fashion sense?

Well, marinade me and call me a steak!

Michael said...

"In the end, there is only escalation."

Not really. This only happens when either the creators want to keep a story going when after it has reached its logical conclusion or the creators want to make a fable against using violence.

Within "civilized" society (the society that most of us live in) escalation is apparent because we cannot take a conflict to its conclusion. In life and death situations that is no longer true.

Violence has historically been used in lot of situations (for both the better and the worse) without any escalation.

Yogurt said...


I don't know about that. The Crips and the Bloods have been killing each other for years, to the point where entire generations have kept up feuds (ie: a brother or sister is slain and their sibling joins the gang, hungry for vengeance). Each year, the hardware they have seems to get bigger and badder and each year the conflict seems to grow by leaps and bounds. Death, it seems, is unable to stop rage and vengeance.

This is doubly so in the world of comic books, with it's clones, demonic doppelgangers, robot duplicates, previously unmentioned healing factors that would make a certain canuckle head jealous, and reality warping punches. Not to mention the fact that when people come back from the grave in comics, they tend to become stronger and develop new wacky powers.

I'm just saying...

Bad Finisher said...

hilarious your review
good work, and as everyone says it's awesome your batman voice (lol at the little bruce talking as batman)

Batman sure has changed since that.
And about what you said about batman R.I.P, yeah maybe it's not perfect but sure i saw batman as something else.
At first i thought batman (although i love it) was only a good fighter with detective skills, but R.I.P, with all the exaggeration was awesome, every plan for everything.
His mind is like nothing else.

Also i would like to know what is your opinion about the return of bruce wayne and the upcoming batman inc.

Carlos said...

"What it comes down to is this. Is it right to kill one man to save 100, especially if the man is a murdering psychopath? YES. YES IT IS."

You should not address this to Batman, because Batman is the one who stop the Joker, but is not his decision if he must live or must die, the ones who put it into an asylum and let him live knowing that he will scape are part of the Justice Sistem, judge, jury and lawyers; is her decision if he must be in a cage in jail, in a room of Arkham or must die.

I surely believe that if the jury and/or the judge find it guilty and ask a dead penalty "Batman" will not do something for stop it for hapening, unless he think the joker is inocent for the crime he is sentence of dead, like in the comic of "Joker: Devil advocate"

Anonymous said...


Escalation only happens if one looses track of the original purpose
One should always remember what was the thing that pushed you over the edge
Establishing boundaries so to say.

Let's look at our average superhero
Chances are that the majority of regular, every-day crooks they capture actually STAY in prison.
No need for lethal force here.
Then there are super-villains. People who basically won't stay in jail no matter what.
There are those who will rob banks, steal jewelery, occasionally injuring some guards or bystanders and cause collateral damage.
These can be a major annoyance and make quite a mess if they are ranked high enough on the power scale, but a quick interception can prevent most of the damage.
Lethal force not requited.
Then there are those who want to take over the world (OF COURSE!). Most villains of this sort generally play by the rules. They usually refrain from getting their hands dirty, and instead rely on goons who are basically your everyday crooks on a paycheck.
Stopping their plans has usually the same results as arresting them. One way of the other, they'll be back the next week.
The issue of lethal force with these people largely depends on how far they are willing to go.
Some of them only cause huge inconveniences, while others can leave entire cities in ruins and hundreds dead, and are willing to do it again.
And then there are the complete monsters. Those who kill, torture, rape, mutilate and disfigure because they think it's funny.
Each of their gigs is one huge killing-spree. Unlike the previous two types for whom death and destruction may be just side-effects, to these it's the main purpose.
A super-powered burglar may kill someone because he doesn't control his strength, a world-conqueror may see it as an obstacle, but to these people it is a goal unto itself. While the previous two might show regret, these never do.
If a hero can capture them before they can kill anyone, respect to him/her. But more often than not, by the time the hero gets them, they have left a trail of dead bodies behind them. And it will only repeat itself the next time they escape.
Unless you can catch them every single time before they can cause any serious damage, lethal force is fully justified!

Benjamin J said...

"Violence has historically been used in lot of situations (for both the better and the worse) without any escalation."

But then again, capital punishment (as it stands in the United States, anyway) and the threat thereof has pretty much been statistically proven not to have any adverse effects on the rate of violent crime for which it is supposedly used against. Look at the world around you. There's just as much (perhaps more) historical evidence of violence only ever leading to further violence.

You could argue that in terms of a vigilante like Batman, it's not the same - the justice is swifter and more immediate. But if we think purely in terms of character - because we're all fairly aware of the real world reasons why DC Comics will never allow a villian as marketable as the Joker to die and a hero as marketable as Batman to kill him - might that not set an ill precedent for just how far Batman is willing to go?

Grant Morrison (and for all his flaws and hit-or-miss stories, I honestly believe his heart's always been in the right place regarding Batman) had an interesting sidenote in the supplimentary material of Arkham Asylum, stating that his protrayal of Batman in that book was a bit of a critique on the creepy, borderline psychotic character that the grim and gritty 80s had made him, and that his later Batman stories painted a picture of the Dark Knight as someone honorable and very clear-minded as a *result* of what he'd done to avenge his parents' deaths.

I'd argue that psychologically, Batman's refusal (inability?) to kill has become the lone (but strong, and very vital) thread to sanity that sustains him - and yes, has created a walking contradiction. He has turned his life completely upside down to seek a measure of vengeance for the murder of his parents that he will never fully realize because he will not willingly kill another human being, for the fear that to do so would be to forefit the last bit of humanity he has left, and would make him into something dangerous to the world beyond criminals (whether or not that would or could happen is debatable, but allow, for a moment, the premise that he believes it).

I'd argue that he KNOWS this, and perhaps knows that it may ultimately be his greatest flaw, that for all his skill and power, for all the lives he has saved, that the one thing he cannot do could (and has, and probably will again) lead to the deaths of others. It would actually explain quite a few other common aspects of Bruce Wayne's/Batman's character: someone driven just as much by guilt as by vengeance.

I'm not saying that's *RIGHT*, but I'm saying it's a damned interesting bit of characterization, if you're inclined to apply it.

shikome kido mi said...

It's interesting that they ripped of a plot from the shadow considering that Batman was a millionaire playboy who was friends with the police commissioner (like the shadow) and in the next few issues they gave him twin automatic pistols (like the Shadow uses) and a gyrocopter (like the Shadow has).

On the other hand, Batman traveling in a normal looking car actually makes a lot more sense to me if he's a vigilante that's trying to be stealthy. I mean, how do you hide a parked Batmobile from the police consistently? That thing has to stand out like a sore thumb, in any of it's forms.

Hasker said...

Saying that the origin story remains unchanged, was that a subtle jab at Morisson's arc?

Since he did change a lot of Bruce's Origin. Or atleast made it more ambigious.

Still, great review!

Night said...

Well, aside from Batman's hat looking silly, this is actually...pretty good. Seriously, the old bat-ears. Awful. I'm actually impressed on how familar this Batman looks, though, the under-the-cape is pretty much unchanged from the more iconic versions like the Batman TAS one. About the only thing that didn't happen in this one that is iconic of Batman is hitting someone coming up behind him.

He's a Bond Villian, of course he has an acid tank.

Hey! They fixed the ears, only a few issues but the origin story fixed the ears!

\o/ The Batman Opera. I remember that.

le-messor said...

Waaait a second... This story is from the 30s, and it's about a contract?
Let me see that thing...
"The party of the first part shall henceforth be known as the party of the first part."
I don't like that part.

('scuse me, my Marxist tendencies are showing.)

Anonymous said...

Wow. David Willis is probably still laughing from all of this.

Anonymous said...

Was the Possum Joke a reference to that Animaniacs sketch where Pinky and the Brain impersonate a parody of the Adam West show?

PS Did you also know there are Animaniacs comics?

datasnake said...

Regarding the "Why doesn't he just kill the Joker?" argument, I think Under the Red Hood summed it up nicely.

Batman: You don't understand. I don't think you've ever understood.
Jason Todd: What? What, your moral code just won't allow for that? It's too hard to cross that line?
Batman: No! God Almighty, no! It'd be too damned easy. All I've ever wanted to do is kill him. A day doesn't go by when I don't think about subjecting him to every horrendous torture he's dealt out to others and then... end him.
Joker: Awwww! So you do think about me.
Batman: But if I do that, if I allow myself to go down into that place, I'll never come back.

You see, that's the thing about Batman. Batman thinks of everything. He's read up on serial killers, and he's smart enough to realize how easy it'd be for him to end up like Victor Zsasz. He refrains from taking even one life for the same reason someone with a family history of alcoholism would refrain from taking even one drink: once he starts, he's not sure he'd be able to stop, and given just how dangerous a man he is, that's a risk he's not willing to take.

Robert Woldt said...

Huh. The concept art for Batman actually looks a bit like Tim Drake's second, far less liked Robin outfit. Coincidence?

LucasChad said...

Happy 75th Birthday to The Dark Knight!