The Pearls, The Bell, and The Gun

It's Sunday, November 14, 2010, and this is The Side. This post started out pretty simple and then I read a comic.

There are times where writers through fiction validate you. I've theorized about a lot of stuff involving storylines. I've made a lot of insane predictions, and some of them actually panned out. A lot of them were off the mark but sounded good at the time.

This weekend I got a lot of my thoughts about the superhero genre validated. So, I'm feeling pretty darned spiffy.


What makes us human?

Is it straight up biology that can be learned about through study. Is it creation by God, or or whatever creation story your religion subscribes to, being made into a human. Science or myth? Or both?

The three dimensions of the superhero genre are science fiction, mythology, and humanity. In BATMAN THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #6, Bruce Wayne has been hunted through time by the curse of the Space God of Evil. Time, mythology, and weirdo science all of which that has been wrapped up in the Omega Sanction and turned loose upon Batman to turn him into a weapon to destroy the world. Two of the three dimensions converging maliciously upon the representation of the third.

Boy, did they screw with the wrong guy.

It all comes together here. Bruce Wayne's plan against something bigger than anything he's every faced. Darkseid tried to use Bruce as a template for an army of weapons in FINAL CRISIS. When that failed he tried to use the man's own history to destroy him. Batman's own memories were taken from him which I thought was part of the trap, but was really the key to eluding his pursuer through time The Hyper-Adapter which meant to use Bruce to reincarnate Darkseid. The game of cat and mouse went from the dawn of man to the end of time, but the chase ends here. A weaponized Batman returns to the present and the world is at stake.

So how can one man, even Batman, survive and attack by science fiction which creates mythology at every turn? Batman struck down Darkseid, but that has brought upon him a hell that seemed inescapable. Batman faces the Darkseid's most dangerous weapon, the Anti-Life. Resisting it was described in FINAL CRISIS as "trying to beat back an ocean". If he submitted that was it, time was going to come undone, and Darkseid would return bringing with him a Fifth World created in his image. How can a human, or humanity stop this?

What makes us human?

We flash back to Frank Miller's BATMAN:YEAR ONE. There is Bruce Wayne staring at the bat that inspired him. But we know what that bat really is now. We now see this turning point in Bruce Wayne's life as the crossroads it really was. He didn't give into the darkness. He used it as inspiration, and then made the most important decision of his life:

He asked for help, from someone he loved.

THAT is what makes us human. Our relationships. Love. Family. That was how Barry Allen freed Iris from Anti-Life in FINAL CRISIS. This is how Bruce Wayne triumphs here. It's not from being something inhuman. Its not from being "The Goddamned Batman". Its by being a man who during his life has accumulated an incredible group of family and friends around him, and his willingness to protect them, and through that their willingness to trust and help him.

Humanity faced ultimate evil, and kicked its ass.

Now we have a Batman that is a truly balanced character. He's accepted himself and the truth of his life. We've seen storyline after storyline about him pushing his family and friends away. It never lasts. It can't last. Morrison has completed his epic examination of the humanity in the genre. "The Once and Future Batman" is now complete. I wondered why this issue was released after BATMAN AND ROBIN #16 since the events of that comic take place after the events of this one. Now I know. A lot of things that had been going on in this story over the last few years have been explained recently, but this was the issue that showed us the point to it all.

Its a point well worth learning.


Paragon of class and wise beyond her years Megan Fox is in a bit of hot water for calling Wonder Woman "lame". Now you may be wondering to yourself how could Megan Fox, in her infinite wisdom, say such a thing about such an important character in the superhero genre. Was not recently that the village rejoiced over the mere notion that Fox would perhaps play Wonder Woman in a live action movie to make our little nerdling lives perfect and complete? Was it not the glorious Megan Fox who would finally solve the problem of there not being a live action Wonder Woman movie? How could she say such a thing?

Pretty damn easily actually. Face it kids, the only reason anyone was excited about the prospect of of Megan Fox playing Wonder Woman had absolutely nothing to do with her acting ability. It was all about a lot of guys think she looks hot, and Wonder Woman's outfit shows quite a bit of skin. She probably got as annoyed with rumors as I have, so, yay, I may have something in common with Megan Fox.

Its really not hard to say Wonder Woman is lame. DC has always had a problem keeping that book popular. Its like they don't know what do with her from an editorial standpoint. When Greg Rucka came onboard to write the comic years ago he was told that the only reason people would buy the comic is for the covers which were at the time done by Adam Hughes. This is pretty damn insulting and once the dust settled Hughes wasn't doing the covers anymore. Not terribly pleasant, but Rucka made WONDER WOMAN and really incredible comic. So everything was great until the book got canceled due to INFINITE CRISIS and continuity shake up. They relaunched the comic with an issue 1 and a new creative team and everything seemed alright. But the creative team quickly shifted and Jodi Piccoult was tapped as writer. She may write great novels, but she wrote a horrible Wonder Woman. After a couple years of being awful, Gail Simone got her hands on the book, and made it a lot of fun. There was so much to enjoy and be excited about. And then that got shifted off to the side for the JMS nonsense. So whenever things start looking great for our Amazon Princess, it just doesn't seem good enough and things get changed and turn sucky. I understand it to a degree. There was a big company wide shift around INFINITE CRISIS and a lot of books got canceled, launched, or re-launched and comic companies still like have #1 issues to try to lure in new readers. They brought in Piccoult because she's a very successful novelist. They brought in JMS because he has an excellent reputation as an excellent comic writer. So, really its no one's fault that these things, which seemed like good ideas at the time, didn't pan out.

But still there a lot that the character has to overcome from readers. A lot of readers write her off as a Superman knock off. Just there for eye candy. And yes, plenty have called her 'lame'. I've made a case repeatedly as to why the character is important, and really great. So, does Megan Fox deserve to be in a bit of hot water for stating her opinion, which is one that has been echoed by plenty of comic fans? Absolutely not. Would it be nice if she sat down and really read some of the comics and got a better informed opinion on the matter. Certainly.


That's it for today. I reserve the right to revisit this entire Batman thing, because frankly, we could start a book club and discuss this whole thing for a solid week. For now though, I think I've shoveled enough nerdom upon you. BEGONE!!

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