Why I Don't Trust Batman

Imagine that you live in a city of villains.

Your city has a billionaire playboy. He lives on top of the hill. You don't know much about him, other than what you read in the papers about his romantic exploits and elaborate black-tie parties. You had a gig once offloading decorative antique suits of armor at his mansion up on the hill. You wanted to sign up for the gig offloading slabs of marble to be installed in his ballroom, but you hurt your back and got fired.

You met the billionaire playboy once. You grew up in one of his orphanages, after your Pop was killed by a villain and your Ma ran off to make her fortune robbing banks in a souped-up mech suit. The orphanage was nice, nicer than home even, because nobody there was squirreling away your lunch money to pay for mech suit parts. You met the billionaire playboy when he came through the orphanage to inspect the place. There was a woman with a clipboard trailing behind him, and she smiled at you. The billionaire ran his hands across the rows of bedposts and looked into the distance, and you couldn't catch his eye.

After you hurt your back, your buddy tells you about a job he's got working in-house security at some guy's warehouse downtown. You live downtown. It would be nice to work close to where you live -- you wouldn't have to sit on the half-the-time-broke-down trolley that goes from just outside the slums to the canning district, which is your other employment option.

The billionaire playboy owns a lot of real estate in the city. That, you learn through your buddy as you walk together to the security job, is how the billionaire playboy's family amassed their fortune. They owned all the land before the city became a bustling urban metropolis.

You're not sure whether he owns the slum where you live. You wonder if your rent money pays for decorative antique suits of armor.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , ,

8 Responses:

  1. vand says:

    Would be bitterly ironic if Batman after defeating all the costumes, is taken down by a popular revolt against the 1%.

  2. Nick Lamb says:

    The fact that this sort of thing still counts as insightful is why it's a damn shame that somehow we still don't have the end of Miracleman, even after the Mouse sent all those attack lawyers to make it legal.

    Moore's run of Miracleman basically posits that if you actually have super-powered aliens who are forces for good (so, basically Superman) then they'll get rid of capitalism and institute something better in its place. Punching masked villains is not bad it's just irrelevant says Moore, much more clearly here than in Watchmen. If you want to stop crime, stop the causes of crime, like poverty and mental health problems.

    But then Gaiman's run sets off to show that this utopia is not everything we might hope after all. He spends the first entire third showing us the details, zooming in on little aspects, what happens to the spies? What does a counter-culture look like when the only thing left to rebel against seems to be paradise? And on showing us that individual people can be unhappy despite everything, you can have a failed marriage in paradise pretty easily it turns out. Having a baby doesn't fill the void, even if she's a super-baby able to fly and offer critical appraisal of your new play.

    But the next two thirds were supposed to show the cracks forming, and then how it all falls apart, which is much more interesting than fragments of a vision of paradise from the 1980s. And instead of coming out this time last year as scheduled they slipped, and slipped, and are so far as I can tell essentially cancelled altogether.

  3. Tim says:

    See also:

  4. Michael V. says: