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Well, now that that's established maybe we can go on to Meta?
On today's agenda, you ask.
A wee bit more on The Dark Knight, as I'm eagerly awaiting my Iron Man DVD Ultimate Edition to arrive and will probably watch it over and over for in order to write a more cohesive mini-thesis about Tony Stark's Gender Fluidity in the movie.
And as soon as I have the Nolanverse Batman DVD's I'll be able to write a more comprehensive comparative analysis of Iron Man and Batman.
Hopefully deeper than this Player vs Player strip: ( under the cut )
My brother however, sent me two interesting articles about the nature of Batman and the Joker as they've been presented in the Nolanverse which, as most comic books readers know, is quite different from the sequential art mythology.
The two articles, written by two of the members of the Vulpes Libris collective, one of whom (the one who wrote the Joker article) admits to being a newcomer to graphic literature, a "noob" in their words. Both have some very interesting insights on the Hero and the Nemesis.
Having read those two reviews I feel compelled to comment, not on the articles themselves (which are worth reading, hence them being linked above), but on the implication of Batman and the Joker being, oppositional forces, forced to do this danse macabre(1) until one of them dies, which is the comic book myth is unlikely.
I think it's very simplistic and reductive to say that Batman is a Hero in the archetype sense of the word. The articles details various incarnations of "Batman" in myths and stories - including Hercules, Odysseus and Harry Potter.
While modern day Super Heroes have certainly replaces the heroes of old mythology in their function of (re)telling the Way of the World, I don't feel it's right to compare them in their characters.
While Bruce and Odysseus certainly have the an ingenuity that gives them an edge on their enemies, they are two quite different personality types.
Also Bruce Wayne and Harry Potter *snort* and I like Harry Potter!
And yes, I know, niggling.
Functionally and archtypically they share characteristics and when it comes to myth that is probably the most important bit.
But then, why is Batman so popular? Ridiculously so.
I mean The Dark Knight went on to be the highest grossing movie of the summer, I mean hype dies down after the first two weeks and there's usually an sink after the first ebb.
But this was just a cinematic phenomena!
I went on to see it five times, which is a hell of a lot for me (and earning crazy looks from my family, films are not cheap, especially if you want to go to a good cinema).
This is not just movie wise, Batman is still DC's best seller in monthly issues and in trades and if I'm not mistaken, it's also the best seller in mainstream comics over-all.
There's something compelling about a man, who pretends to be a monster, in order to avoid becoming one.
In Arkham Asylum: A serious house on a serious earth, Grant Morrison and Dave McKean take this idea and expand it in a horrific (effing fantastic!) way.
The Joker isn't so much a Nemesis, but a guide; The Cheshire Cat to Batman's Alice.
Regardless, Batman is pinned against his greatest fear, becoming The Monster.
This is similarly done in the film, mainly through the Joker's own sense of grandeur. He truly believes that his "games" will free humans of their measly societal constraints.
Too bad he's a psychopath.
Do you like that?
There shall be more.
Alas, my train of thought has been slightly severed.
Worry not loyal readers, I shall write more on this oh so interminable subject.
(1)a musical piece I always associated with the Joker, and is especially apropos for Nolan's Joker.