Pandemonium reigns when the theft of a molecular mass divisor signals the first domino to fall in a nefarious crime wave to topple the noble city of Gotham. Who will rescue the fair citizens of this great metropolis?!?! Holy obvious set up, old chum!! It’s none other than that dynamic duo Batman and Robin, the caped crusaders of justice, freedom and tortured aphorisms! Written and directed by Jim Fourniadis, this play spoofing the 1960s television show had a 2005 run at San Francisco’s Darkroom Theater.
Posts tagged “joker”
Like any of us, Batman has had both up and downs in his life. Each is depicted on these covers to Batman 682 and 683 by Alex Ross, during which Batman was forced to reflect on his career.
In the left image we see Batman in his heyday. Clearly an homage to the 1960s TV series, with the fight sound effects in bright neon lights (Biff! Bam! Pow!). Grant Morrison imagined this to be an era of “popcrime”, with his foes being more akin to quirky performance artists than hardened criminals. The worst crimes were a penguin or cat themed theft, littered with childish riddles or bad puns leading them exactly to their hideouts, and the only backup he ever needed was a pair of wisecracking teenagers. Also note that Batman is wearing his cheery bright blue and gray costume with large yellow chest logo.
But in the right image are the darker times that would come from the 1970s on. From Robin turning his back on him and leaving as Nightwing, to the vicious crippling of Batgirl, to fathering an assassin with the daughter of a global terrorist, to the Joker beating Jason Todd to death, to the frustration at filling Arkham Asylum with murderous lunatics, only to see them escape again and again without hope of rehabilitation, it is no wonder Batman now wears the mournful midnight blue and dark gray costume.
Part of the reason behind Batman’s bat motif was to tap into a primeval fear within all people, giving him an advantage in hand to hand combat. That inherent intimidation factor, in addition to his nonstop training has led to a well deserved reputation as an unbeatable fighter. As such, he can now occasionally skip a fight, as seen above; as the Carpenter simply surrenders.
Unfortunately, Batman also has other traits, which to put it politely, don’t elicit the same level of respect. Below are just a few examples. Perhaps it is telling that the only people who would dare mention anything can’t be physically intimidated.
Dustin Nguyen gives us this awesome group shot of the major characters in the Bat universe. It must have been a blast to put together. The only character I had trouble identifying was the little girl sitting on Clayface’s shoulder. It turns out she’s Annie, Clayface’s “daughter” from the animated series. For such a loner, Batman sure does have a lot of people in his life :)
If the death of Jason Todd is Batman’s biggest regret, then a close second has to be Barbara Gordon’s paralysis at the hands of the Joker. Another young person caught in the crossfire between himself and the insane clown. To harm Batman, the Joker senselessly attempted to drive Batman’s greatest ally, Commissioner Jim Gordon, insane by injuring his daughter. Thus ended the career of the high flying Batgirl.
If there was one positive, it was that Barbara reinvented herself as Oracle, and in doing so, became a much more effective crimefighter than she ever was as Batgirl. But as iamww illustrates below, Barbara must occasionally have quiet moments of regret for a life taken from her. And for allowing another friend to be hurt under his watch, Batman can only drive himself harder.