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Sorry this is a bit late. I'm also realizing I didn't post one for Understanding Comics partly due to not knowing what to say about it. If anyone wants me to give it a go at this late date though, lemme know.

Anywho. Dark Knight. An influential work, as everyone "into" comics knows. But as was brought up in a chat I was having last night, "influential" doesn't necessarily equal "good."

So what about this work? Well... I can see why it had an influence, especially if the main image of Batman before this point was leaning more toward the light side - I mean, he IS a Vigilante, he is driven by demons, it makes sense for his books to have at least a bit of a noir and serious feel.

But at the same time... frankly, everything's steeped too much in testosterone for me, especially since the book seems to want to pile on the "manly things" at the expense of other things like characterization, keeping *in* character for long-time established people in the DC Universe, logic, focus, resolution... you know, little things like that. Which I guess is fair enough, it's sort of the comic equivalent of a summer popcorn-and-explosions flick, but I wouldn't consider it "great" in a lasting sense. And, in this case, not as much "my thing."

I am at least happy though to have read it, and basically know what all the hullaballoo is about. Especially since, as mentioned before (and also seen before with Frankenstein), something can have lasting impact even without being necessarily "great." (Which is a bit of a tricky thing to quantify anyhow, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who would consider this work great... I'm just not one of them.)

Anyhow, the strengths of this work I'd say would be in shaking Batman out of his niche, spotlighting the fact that he's not all that normal mentally, that he's violent to at least some degree (although I think it was overboard here), and that like it or not, he's working outside the law, which opens its own can of worms, and possibly an interesting discussion. Unfortunately, we don't see many sides of that interesting discussion here, since all of the various proponents of theories are crackpots and lunatics themselves, and instead of decent positions, we get straw men and rhetoric.

The weaknesses, well, we've gone into those in detail I think, and I'll leave it to others to bring them up again if they care to. ;) Anyhow, please comment! Discuss! What did I forget? What are your own views?

And remember, Sense and Sensibility starts in less than a week!

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stormfeather
Oct. 31st, 2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm lenient as well to some extent on total "other world" versions or what have you, but this is supposed to be (as far as I can tell) a possible future of the Batman of the time. Yeah, it's considered not-in-stone, but they should at least keep to the characterizations that are established.
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