Monday, August 15, 2011

Blogathon 25: Put on Your Tights and Give Them Hell Part Four

[Continuing my discussion of The Dark Knight Strikes Again.]

I get the feeling that Kingdom Come is an induction speech to a Hall of Fame or for a Lifetime Achievement Award, while The Dark Knight Strikes Again is a roast. Both tributes that show affection and love, but do so in different ways.

Take the use of Captain Marvel. In DKSA, he's a little goofy and old fashioned -- then again, that's who Captain Marvel is. He's always been a little goofy and old fashioned. Here, he has a wisp of grey hair and wears little reading glasses. He eventually sacrifices his life and it's a truly heroic moment. He gets a similar moment in Kingdom Come, but, before that, he's treated like an evil Superman almost. A manipulated, drugged manchild that's struggling with what's right and able to stand toe to toe with Superman. Both treat him with respect; one pokes fun and the other takes him seriously. Neither is right or wrong.

The biggest difference is the fundamentally different views on Batman. That goes beyond the jokey/serious differences of the two books. In both, Batman doesn't necessarily trust the guys with superpowers, he thinks himself better and more capable than them. But, that's a universal aspect to Batman. Where they differ is their willingness to take control and change things. That's his main issue with Superman in Kingdom Come: the unwillingness to change things. He doesn't like the idea of Superman and the Justice League rounding up bad guys and won't join up. He's content to sit in Gotham and have robots police the streets. He's a fucking old man that's become set in his ways and is afraid to go outside almost. When he does go out, it's in big battle armour that makes him feel tough and scary. No one noticed the irony of that being a book attacking the '90s and their Batman wore fucking armour.

Frank Miller's Batman can't just sit at home. He has his soldiers, but he likes to get his hands dirty. He's the one to organise people and start fucking things up. And it doesn't take a big inciting event. It just takes him looking out his window and noticing a corrupt world that needs fixing. Then again, The Dark Knight Returns covered the whole 'coming out of retirement' bit that Superman goes through in Kingdom Come. Would a more accurate comparison be DKSA and The Kingdom? Ha, oh god, that would awesome. Someone get on that.

The kiss between Superman and Wonder Woman in Kingdom Come seems like a Frank Miller moment. But, Batman bossing around their kid in DKSA is funnier and more entertaining then the three adults sitting in a restaurant and talking like boring folks.

In 30 minutes, I'll continue this, I imagine.

[Don't forget to donate what you can to the Hero Initiative! (Details in this post.) After you do, let me know via comment or e-mail (found at the righthand side) so I can keep track of donations -- and who to thank.]