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On Daredevil's latest costume change

Never change, Matt, you beautiful insane person.

He has either the best or worst secret identity management skills in the business.This has lead to some of his friends suffering, but, to be fair, this also happens a lot to his more secretive colleagues. In a world full of cameras and databases, there's much to be said for the open, humorous approach.

I mean, can you imagine Clark Kent doing that? Granted, he has much more powerful enemies, and it wouldn't be compatible with either Superman or Clark's public images as they currently stand — you can't really be Superman (I thought about using words like "the world's most beloved superhero", "iconic", etc, but, no, the right phrase is "you can't be Superman", which is both all of this and more) if people know you have a day job and lived in Smallville, USA. Hell, the US would reinstate mandatory military service just to get to give him orders.

So, really, there are practical issues to this idea. Bruce could be an open Batman more easily. He breaks the law every night, but have you seen his lawyer pool? If Luthor gets away with trying to take over the world every other week, Wayne would definitely get away with saving people all the time. Plus, most of his big enemies already know who he is, so that cat (pun not intended) has left the bag.

But Bruce, professional trinity-level badass that he is, doesn't have the kind of godlike power Clark does. Nobody particularly wants to use him, either as weapon or for propaganda; if anything, they'd like him to go the hell away.


Going by the released images, post-Convergence Batman is going to wear a small-sized mecha suit (complete with shoulder-mounted missile openings) and, I swear I'm not making this up, a gun.

I can't bring myself to believe that even DC would rise to this level of insanity (it makes Az!Bat positively traditional), so this has to be somebody else than Bruce Wayne. Damian has powers, and League of Assassins training and preferences in any case, Dick's been using guns but he wouldn't be a guns-using Batman, ditto for Tim, Jason loves guns but he'd neither use a suit nor be Batman, not really, we know it's not Barbara from leaked covers of insane!"Batman" "targeting" her, Cass needs neither a suit nor guns. Maybe somebody out of left field like Jason Bard. Or maybe it's a robot instead of a suit; Hiro could easily build one, and in fact built a suit for Bruce in one of the recent futures/continuities/whatever (I think Earth 2 after the first invasion from Apokolips), but not with weapons.

I don't know. It's just too insane to get angry about, although, frankly, the last reboot is where DC lost me as somebody investing any canonicity in what they publish. Using Bloom's agonistic critical framework, it's too aesthetically weak (mostly from a character point of view) to win against what they have published previously — being published later doesn't make it more authoritatively, regardless of what DC might commercially need. (E.g., recent versions of Shiva are so generic and uninteresting that they don't even *begin* to compete with, say, the Shiva from The Question.)


My (very) short pitch for a Gotham series

True Detective, except that always inside the city, and it's always night. (Oh, and no bats ever, human or otherwise).

Of course, I realize that this misses the whole business point of a Gotham TV series, which is Batman, but, look: the main point of the Batman-Gotham relationship for me it has always been that they are *two* distinct entities (for lack of a better term --- embodied concepts? chaotic semi-stable systems?). There's Gotham, which is a city locked up in an almost supernatural cycle of crime, violence, and evil, and there's Batman, which is a *something* Bruce came up with that is locked up in an almost supernatural cycle trying to save Gotham. Bruce loves Gotham like nobody has ever loved anything (to steal a phrase I once wrote), and in a sense Bruce is a natural product of Gotham as much as anybody else, but Batman, icon that he is, isn't. Sure, he's dark and violent, but that's because he has to. He's not the kind of thing Gotham naturally produces --- it's the kind of thing Bruce created to *counter* Gotham's darkest tendencies. That's part of what makes him so important/inspirational to me as a concept. He might seem shaped by his environment, but he's actually the most radical counterpoint to it you could imagine. (This is also why I get so mad with any plot that hints at Bruce being pre-ordained to become Batman, and so on; that completely misses the point of Bruce's achievement. And it's part of why I liked Morrison's storyline of Bruce coming back in time --- it mostly explained away all historical bat-hints as *Bruce* himself leaving clues and setting up things, which is neat.)

Anwyay. For me, there's not Batman before Crime Alley, and there never was, not even remotely close. That's the achievement of what Bruce built. Before that, there was only Gotham. So forget the bats. Let Bruce be the regular kid he was. Forget those that will be his foes. Tell the story of a city so rich and dark that people thought it was insane before Batman and the Joker.

Tell the story of Gotham. It's more than interesting enough.


Beware the Batman 1x01: Hunted

I began to write a things I liked/things I didn't post, but then I realized that, to be honest with myself, what I wanted to say was this: Mild spoiler(?)Collapse )


I've got buttons, alright?

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness S02E15 was totally a Batman: The Animated Series homage-slash-spoof. Not only the title and and premise (The Midnight Stranger) but also the Stranger's voice, some of the music, some of Po's movements... I mean, it wasn't a Batman knock-off episode. It was an explicit Batman homage thing — and unequivocally a Batman: The Animated Series thing.

I laughed my ass off, and it was beautiful.

Bonus-ly and not coincidentally: the writer also wrote ten episodes of Darkwing Duck.
Yesterday I read a Miami Herald article about some of the medical issues of active NFL players: chronic use of painkillers, an athlete who played multiple games with a hidden catheter pushing antibiotics next to his heart, regular brain and nerve damage, and 24/7 pain. Players aren't healthy, and they aren't well-conditioned in any generic sense of the word. They are biological wrecks optimized to perform one specific set of movements without any regard for integrity or sustainability; they can only perform during games thanks to highly specific chemical help, and the rest of the week they aren't much better (I'm overgeneralizing, but not, I think, too much; when an active, professional athlete cannot bend enough to put his kids to bed, we are far from anything the Greeks had in mind).

There's much to think and write about this (its ethics, its economics, what it says about american culture that this is the dream, the impossible contradiction between the ideal "warrior" male body and lifestyle and the realities of physiology, and so on) but my first thought was, unsurprisingly, of Bruce Wayne. Somebody should write an AU where Batman trains Robins since year one, because a Batman's career cannot last more than two or three years on the outside, and half a dozen intense, crippled-to-semi-crippled men meet every night in the Cave to work on cases, be the current Batman's backup eyes and brains, and train the next ones.


I reread Final Crisis yesterday

I guess I just wanted to feel confused and didn't have access to LSD *g*.

Anyway, I realized that Final Crisis isn't the first time that Batman is killed/"killed" by Omega Beams in a Darkseid-controlled Earth; that had happened before in the alternate future of Rock of Ages.

A quick googling later and, yep, that was Grant Morrison's. As a matter of fact, both Darkseid and the universe are destroyed at the end of that alternate future, too. And Batman was tortured for a long time before he escaped and was killed by Darkseid (although not before he hurt him).

A first observation would be that Rock of Ages could be read as a sort of draft of Final Crisis.

A second observation would be that everything seems to happen an infinite number of times in Grant Morrison's comicsverse, and never in chronological order.

A third observation: is Rock of Ages Batman still drifting through the timestream? We now know that the Omega Beams can be survived if you're bloody-minded enough, and that Bruce's future was destroyed, so it could make (comics) sense for him to be alive, but not able to return anywhere.

Not that it's likely that DC will return to that, but I'd like to think that there's an old-but-still functional Bruce somewhere in the everywheren, crazy and Gothamless, falling hard on those who think there's only one Batman to worry about.


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