Thursday, December 4, 2008

Batman RIP

So, Batman is dead. It seems that the comic book publishers pull this card every few years to try and boost sails and get people reading again. It might work if they actually meant it. But everyone knows they don’t. Superman died… no wait he’s back. Batman had his back broken… no wait he’s better. Green Arrow… you get the idea.

This time the publishers themselves covered their backsides as they published the issue where Wayne buys it, and told the world that they didn’t really mean it. Bruce Wayne is not dead. Batman will continue in the form of one of the previous or current Robins, and we all know that Bruce Wayne will eventually be back in the bat suit. So no one really cares. (...if you had even heard about any of this to begin with.)

It is a bit of a shame really, because the medium of comics is a rich, American art form. Commercially it can be a bit unwieldy and there is too much junk being published for anyone to try and keep up with it all. The important stories—the origins of many of the characters, iconic figures and storylines, and certain series are a rich source of myth and meaning. Batman is a good example. Everyone knows the story of how Bruce Wayne became Batman, seeing his parents die and turning his life into a quest for justice. But there have been other good storylines in the 70 year history of Batman: Year One, Knightfall, and Hush just to name a few. Some of them have insights worth exploring.

For now suffice it just to say that it is a shame that so many seek to have a voice by taking the easy route of destruction rather than building onto a legacy. Here’s hoping they retcon this story fairly quickly.

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