January 26th, 2017

cass, can you not

Justice League: Constantine

As Zatanna would say, hem. I liked a couple of bits at the beginning, but (a) it became much more traditional as it progressed, (b) Doylean reasons aside, Batman shouldn't have been there, and (c) I'm a bit done with John Constantine. I like conmen (conpeople? confolk?) as much as anybody else, but once you've got a reputation for it you're just a sort of sad sonofabitch people deal with when there's no other bloody option, and trust at their own idiocy and peril. Which, by the way, is how I feel about the more abrasive and fuckedup versions of Batman. A Bruce Wayne who's a workaholic who tends to mismanage personal relationships — totally in character. A Bruce Wayne with trust issues and close to about half a dozen people at most? Understandable. A Batman who every now and then does a carefully planned offhand piece of badassery to remind superpowered enemies and allies that he's the Bat? Probably part of his job; he wouldn't be quite so effective if people remembered he's just a terrifyingly capable and resourceful human being (although, as plan B, I wonder what'd happen if a Bruce Wayne decided to go the other way? He makes people underestimate Brucie as a way to protect his identity, and fear Batman as part of his strategy, but a Booster Gold strategy where there's no Batman, Bruce Wayne is a bumbling idiot, and yet things go better than people would have expected, had they known how bad it could've gone... It'd be the opposite of "make criminals fear me", but it'd be interesting, a sort of pre-reveal reverse-Moriarty). Anyway, I buy those Batmans and Bruce Waynes, but not one that's positively aggressive with his allies. Scary doesn't need to mean asshole, and in fact the latter reduces the impact of the former.

Oh, and a Batman who's skeptical of magic is just stupid. Wary of magic, sure. Bothered by the fact that there's a whole field of knowledge that comes up in his work now and then he has no handle on? I bet. Personally offended by the very existence of magic, why not. As Homer remarked, Batman's a scientist. But he has fought whole grimoires of supernatural stuff. And if there's one thing Batman isn't, is somebody who refuses to follow where the evidence leads.