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-   -   The Miller Influence of Batman (http://www.comicbloc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15777)

Infernorhythm December 3rd, 2005 11:02 PM

The Miller Influence of Batman
 
Okay, I read DKR, and it was okay. Nothing groundbreaking or unique, just a bit bloodier. Yet everyone cites it as a major landmark in Batman's history. In my personal opinion, Miller's had a negative impact on Batman ever since DKR and Year One.

First off, the costume. I personally cannot stand the current costume. The ears are way too short, the grays and black are okay, but the way it's designed totally takes away the gothic and creepyness of the character. What ever happened to the classic desing Neal Adams and Jim Aparo thought up in the 70s? Long ears, swirling cloak, gothicy goodness. Now THAT was a Batman costume.

Then there's Batman's personality. Some people these days are always saying Batman's a paranoid jerk. Miller started that. Ever since DKR, Batman's been over analytical and has lacked personality. Where's the classic tormented soul of the Dennis O'Neil Batman, recently mastered in Batman Begins? I swear, the 70s was the Batman epitomy...

Lastly, Miller's hand in the violence. All-Star Batman is so not Batman. As Waid said in Kingdom Come "strip away all the extra parts of Batman and you get a man who doesn't want to see others die". Yet in All-Star Batman we've got him killing cops, laughing it off, and cussing to boot.

This is not my Batman. This is Miller's whacked out guy as Batman. Yeah, this is an angry rant, but jeez, I was raised on Batman: TAS. He's a gothic, creepy man with issues and a personality. I want my Batman back.

-Nicholas

superman1984 December 3rd, 2005 11:33 PM

I have been wanting a Batman more like the 70's version for a long time...I am sure I will get flamed for agreeing with you...keeping in mind I did really like Year One....the other stuff....was ok...

CapeandCowl December 4th, 2005 03:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infernorhythm
Okay, I read DKR, and it was okay. Nothing groundbreaking or unique, just a bit bloodier. Yet everyone cites it as a major landmark in Batman's history. In my personal opinion, Miller's had a negative impact on Batman ever since DKR and Year One.

First off, the costume. I personally cannot stand the current costume. The ears are way too short, the grays and black are okay, but the way it's designed totally takes away the gothic and creepyness of the character. What ever happened to the classic desing Neal Adams and Jim Aparo thought up in the 70s? Long ears, swirling cloak, gothicy goodness. Now THAT was a Batman costume.

Then there's Batman's personality. Some people these days are always saying Batman's a paranoid jerk. Miller started that. Ever since DKR, Batman's been over analytical and has lacked personality. Where's the classic tormented soul of the Dennis O'Neil Batman, recently mastered in Batman Begins? I swear, the 70s was the Batman epitomy...

Lastly, Miller's hand in the violence. All-Star Batman is so not Batman. As Waid said in Kingdom Come "strip away all the extra parts of Batman and you get a man who doesn't want to see others die". Yet in All-Star Batman we've got him killing cops, laughing it off, and cussing to boot.

This is not my Batman. This is Miller's whacked out guy as Batman. Yeah, this is an angry rant, but jeez, I was raised on Batman: TAS. He's a gothic, creepy man with issues and a personality. I want my Batman back.

-Nicholas


Ok, I think you need to take a breath bro. DKR was totally revolutionary and has had a HUGE influence on nearly every verison of Batman that followed it...including Batman TAS.

It is worth noting that Batman of the 1970s was a huge change (more of less) from what came in the 50s and especially the 60s...which was a campy, dorky Batman played for laughs. His villians were silly, his adventures were silly. Schwartz got rid of alot of that goofiness by dumping Batmans by then huge supporting cast of even dumber characters (a dog in an S&M mask, Batwoman and the equally vapid Batgirl -pre babs - Bat mite, etc. etc.) and then we got Adams and O'Neil who basicaly starting moving Batman back to something akin to what he was originally - a dark, forbidding, obessed crimefighter. The stories were darker and Adams ******* art made Batman actually look scary for the first time.

However, some of the tone of earlier years was still there. Not all the sillyness was gone, even if the stories were markedly better. Miller, in part, just took this progression even farther by basically saying, what would this kind of person really be like?

Miller's Batman decends right into the darkness Batman is supposed to exist it. The big difference is that often prior to DKR, writers TOLD us Batman was dark. You know, Wonder Woman or someone would quip something like "oh I can't stand they way Batman sneaks around all the time," or Jim Gordon would say "I will never totally get used to how mysterious Batman is." OF course, we never saw anything that resemebled Batman being mysterious. We were just told he was. Miller's Batman is dark. He is mysterious. He SHOWS us, he doesn't TELL us.

Secondly, the look in DKR in terms of the costume was NOT Miller's invention. Batman starts out with a pretty different suit that we see today. The ears were off to the sides, and swept back (the ears of the TAS suit are a bit a homage to this) and the cape is more like folded wings. He wore little gloves. Through most of the 50 and 60 and even into the 70s Batman's ears are short. Adams Batman with the longer, thinner ears was awesome, but it is by no means the only verison of the character. Adam west batman had short ears, but the Micheal Keaton verison did not. The BB verison is somewhere in the middle. But the varition in DKR is just that - a variation on several different styles that came before. It's the classic batsuit, plain and simple.

Now, is Miller's batman the same as the verison from the 70s or in conintuity today? Not at all, but you are not trying to read into what Miller's story is about. There is a great discussion in another thread here which points out that Miller's Batman is essentially a social revolutionary who wants to change society, by force if he must, in order to wipe out corruption and crime. The more common verision of Batman is more like a fire fighters, putting out the flames as they pop up, but essentially not changing the status quo.

And really, as much as Miller's stuff has influenced writers after him, so he is obivously influenced by O'Niel's stuff. Miller's Batman is harsher, more brutal and more pro-active compared with O'Niel's Batman who is more of a thinker and detective. But there are many, MANY points of contact between them that if you read both Miller and O'Neil you'd see. There likely would never have been a DKR without the deep body of work O'Neil did on Batman.

The great legacy of Miller's work is that it proved you could write a story about a dark, obessed and not even particularly likeable Batman and still write an amazing story. It also showed that Batman can be written dark, without the corny ball and the camp. He didn't have to be silly, even if the world Miller writes is over the top. It could be dark, in a way that even O'Neil didn't write.
Saddly, too many writers have tried to copy Miller without understanding what he was doing, resulting sometimes in inferior stuff because writers kind of wander half way between the current Batman and Miller's verisons.

Oh and a couple of things: Batman Begins is actually rooted more in Miller (year one) and the Long Halloween (loeb) than O'Niel's work. There is a TON of stuff in Begins taken right from Batman: Year One, so you might want to reconsider your criticizm there.

Also, Batman does not kill any cops of All Star. In issue two we find them alive but unconicous. he blows up their cars. Miller's use of violence is always and deliberately over the top. And I would suggest re-reading All Star so far, particularly issue #2, because if you read it you'll see there is more going on than the almost comical violence on the surface.

There is WAY more going on in DKR, in All Star and Year One than a guy who is violent and a "jerk". You just have to be willing to read it.

CapeandCowl December 4th, 2005 04:04 AM

from wikipedia:
Upon its publication, The Dark Knight Returns turned the comic book industry on its ear. It helped to introduce an era of more adult-oriented storytelling to the mainstream world of superhero comic books, and it received media attention the likes of which had never seen before in a medium long believed to be little more than children's entertainment.

This story, along with Alan Moore's Watchmen (published in the same year) and Art Spiegelman's Maus, helped to raise the medium to a more mature level of literature, and it ushered in the popularity of graphic novels as a form of literature that truly differs from "child-oriented comic books." Critics have accused this story of giving birth to the era of "grim and gritty" comic books that lasted from the late 1980s through the early 1990s, when comic books took many adult-oriented themes (especially violence and sexual situations) to "the limits of decency." Although the Batman has rarely been as obsessive and powerful a figure as Miller depicts him here, The Dark Knight Returns was tremendously influential; since the work was originally published, Miller's portrayal of the character as a dark and compulsive figure has dominated most Batman projects to at least some degree.

Another innovation is the way in which the superheroes address one another by name (i.e. as "Bruce", "Clark" or "Oliver"). The U.S. officials always refer to Superman as "Kent". The name "Superman" is never even used in the story. The super-heroes look upon their relationship with humans as a "them" and "us" situation, and Batman is criticised for not realising "how they've changed"!

However, Miller's innovations were not solely limited to characterization. He adopted visual styles and "tricks" from noir novels and movies. These included dividing pages into many, many frames to give the impression of slow motion (possibly the best comic interpretation of Thomas and Martha Wayne's murders is achieved by this). Also, Miller contrasts many smaller frames against grand backdrops of Batman leaping or brooding over the cityscape; creates "montages" of fast-paced events through rapidly changing commentators, alternated with snippets of the actions being described; and builds suspense to the appearance of classic characters by hiding their actions and appearance in shadows (not just the first depiction of Batman, but Superman and Green Arrow as well). Numerous public figures were blatantly lampooned, including Ronald Reagan, Dr. Ruth, David Letterman, and the hosts of "Crossfire," all of which add to the suspense of disbelief that made the comic not realistic, but an example of the hyperrealism that would later reach its peak in Miller's "Sin City." While there is a generic and omniscient narrator, the most important narration comes from inside various character's heads: Batman, Jim Gordon, Robin, Catwoman, Alfred and even the Joker all are opened up to examination.

Matches December 4th, 2005 06:28 AM

Miller isn't responsible for the way other people have poorly imitated his work. Miller re-defined Batman in a way that went *way* beyond surface elements like the costume. DKR is about a fundamental change in who Batman is; the violence is incidental.

Infernorhythm December 4th, 2005 10:33 AM

That's YOUR opinion. I simply want the return of a gothic, noir Batman, not a paranoid guy who lacks the creepy part.

Lundonj December 4th, 2005 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infernorhythm
That's YOUR opinion. I simply want the return of a gothic, noir Batman, not a paranoid guy who lacks the creepy part.

Well, not all opinions are created equal. These guys are quoting more than opinion, DKR is the best selling superhero graphic novel of all time (Watchmen could catch it over the long haul) -- because it was groundbreaking. It snapped an entire industry out of a long time slump, financially and creatively.

Love or hate DKR is totally cool with me either way, but the impact of the book, which is still being felt decades later is impressive.

Now, with that out of the way, I agree that Batman's deconstructionist take has become rather stale. I don't think he has to have a sidekick who says the word "Holy" all the time or crack jokes, but his interaction with the DCU has become one dimensional. He has become the Fox Mulder of the Universe and adopted the "trust no one" attitude for way too long now.

Batman is too smart to be a one note character. There are heroes and people worthy of trust and some not.

I don't like the long term character results of DKR for Batman as the brooding, look over his shoulder guy. He can be that way with the bad guys, that makes sense, but not his friends. And as Matches noted, all the weak attempts to recapture that DKR lightning in a bottle over and over again have not helped. However, it was a story that continues to draw a crowd because it took a harder, more serious look at what superhero fiction could be.

-Don

allanf December 4th, 2005 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches M. Malone
Miller isn't responsible for the way other people have poorly imitated his work. Miller re-defined Batman in a way that went *way* beyond surface elements like the costume. DKR is about a fundamental change in who Batman is; the violence is incidental.

Agreed. Miller's Batman was, despite my distaste for where it's lead the character, a landmark for the character, the company, and comics in general. It's the creative teams that followed that seemed to be unable to get out from Miller's shadow that I think infernorhythm REALLY has a beef with.

Infernorhythm December 4th, 2005 12:41 PM

I don't see how it was groundbreaking. So he was a bit more violent and less creepy. Yeah, so? Nothing overly interesting.

allanf December 4th, 2005 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infernorhythm
I don't see how it was groundbreaking. So he was a bit more violent and less creepy. Yeah, so? Nothing overly interesting.

Well, it was the first time a narrative structure like that had been applied to Batman, with the interpolating tv screens and the kind of apocalyptic Eighties-pastiche. Batman hadn't dealt with the then-pressing political and geo-political aspects that overshadow the book. Look how prominent U.S./Soviet relations are in DKR, that sort of thing, more common today, wasn't addressed in mainstream books at the time, certainly not by any of DC's crown jewel characters. The violence and tone, while not usual for Batman at the time, isn't what people reacted to.

More important than all that, however, was it's mainstream success. The coverage in almost every major media outlet led to the greater public recognition of the more serious Batman, finally driving away Adam West's interpretation for good. DKR made it possible for the character to be taken seriously again in fields outside comics, and allowed comics to inch towards what mainstream success we see today. Without DKR, there wouldn't have been a Batman movie in '89, without which we would have never received the animated version, that you so rightly see as important.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't love DKR. I think it's vastly inferior to YEAR ONE, which is in itself flawed. I don't think DKR is the best Batman story. Heck, I don't think it makes the top ten. But to undercut it's importance is a disservice.

CapeandCowl December 4th, 2005 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infernorhythm
That's YOUR opinion. I simply want the return of a gothic, noir Batman, not a paranoid guy who lacks the creepy part.

Perhaps you can explain what you think "gothic" is and what "noir" is beacuse nearly all of Miller's work on Batman has a HUGE noir influence on it. Miller goes whole hog into noir with Sin City, but his Batman stuff is probably the cloest Batman stories get to the classic noir, sam spade kind of story telling.

If by "noir" you mean detective mystery (which does not encompass the totality of noir fiction) then no, Miller's stuff so far has not been detective stories. But that isn't his aim either. What I am confused about with your desire for a "noir" Batman is your dismissal of Miller on the basis of his use of violence. One of the characteristics of noir fiction is a totally unsentamental, almost dissmissive portrayal of violence and sex. Violence in noir is often extreme, yet the characters are not often horrified by it because violence on that level is part of the world they live in. So really, I don't understand by what you mean by getting a more noir Batman because Miller is often as noir as you get in comics.

Whats more, Miller's Batman is immensely creepy, albeit in a different sense than many other intreptations. His Batman has all the stealth and intelligence of other verisons, but with an amped up intensity and he is driven by somewhat different goals than the more standard verison of the character.

CapeandCowl December 4th, 2005 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infernorhythm
I don't see how it was groundbreaking. So he was a bit more violent and less creepy. Yeah, so? Nothing overly interesting.


Well I think you are missing alot in Miller's stuff then.

For one thing, Miller did what very very few comics writers had done at the time, which was to take the subject matter completely seriously. He kept all the crazy superhero stuff - the cave, the costume, the kid side kick - but framed it with an adult sensibilty - hence the heavy noir style, the political overlay to the stories, the retired Bruce Wayne's descent into self destructive behavior before finally allowing "Batman" to completel overtake his "Bruce Wayne" persona he used in public for years....

Whether one prefers DKR Batman to another verison is one thing. To say there is nothing interesting in one of comics most seminal works is little strange.

rex December 4th, 2005 04:01 PM

The only problem I have with DKR is how dated it is. I didn't read it until about two years ago and to really understand it you have to know what was going on in the world at the time it was written. Sure it was revolutionary back then, but since it was revolutionary, it changed everything after it.

Year one is in my opinion the greatest Batman story ever. Period. Thats how Batman is supposed to be.

CapeandCowl December 4th, 2005 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rex
The only problem I have with DKR is how dated it is. I didn't read it until about two years ago and to really understand it you have to know what was going on in the world at the time it was written. Sure it was revolutionary back then, but since it was revolutionary, it changed everything after it.

Year one is in my opinion the greatest Batman story ever. Period. Thats how Batman is supposed to be.


well like all comics it is a product of its time. It is very much a Cold War story. Even the president is obivously Ronald Regan.

And honestly, Year One batman and DKR Batman are the same guy. As Matches has pointed out in another post, even in Year One, Batman has this revolutionary, fight the system bent to him. In the standard continuties Batman either fights to protect the status quo like a fire fighter, or he (earth 2) becomes part of the system.

Lundonj December 4th, 2005 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infernorhythm
I don't see how it was groundbreaking. So he was a bit more violent and less creepy. Yeah, so? Nothing overly interesting.


I think you mentioned being a writer, or wanting to write. If that is the case, DKR is a really good story to analyze, whether or not you liked it. Based on your feedback so far, you seem to be glossing over a lot of material into one or two lines.

A corporate Superman hadn't ever been addressed in detail before, as a foil for a system gone wrong. In addition to Kal vastly undersestimating Bruce as a potential foe, it was really the first time such a stark contrast had been explored between the two characters. And, it was classic underdog, against all odds kind of stuff, set in an interesting potential future timeline. Batman has always been plenty violent, I don't think DKR pushed the envelope on violence, the story did make the stakes higher for that fight...which is nearly impossible in regular ongoing series. The darker future and the resolve to face it is the ongoing influence felt today.

As I said before though, it seems like 99 percent of Batman's existence since then has been dedicated to the "threat" of an evil Superman/JLA. That has created the void between supposed allies that some DC readers are tired of outside of the Batbooks.

-Don

Trespasser December 4th, 2005 05:15 PM

Here's where the problem lies, Infernorythm is fifteen, right? And this is in no way an insult to your age, it's just a fact, you weren't around for what was there before and you can't take it in context to what happened when DKR was released. It was a totally different comic world then, not just style wise but business wise as well.

All you can see is how Batman is portrayed now and when you look at DKR, you can't see the difference because that's all you've known.

Beyond the comics though, DKR was influential in bringing life to the direct sales market. Back then, the comic shop wasn't the norm. You got your comics at the grocery store or maybe a book store, but the comic shop was a relatively new thing and the publisher's were just toying with the notion of exclusive books for those shops that were operating. DKR blew the doors open for that market and made huge waves throughout the industry that this was possible.

Dr.Strangefate December 4th, 2005 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rex
Year one is in my opinion the greatest Batman story ever. Period. Thats how Batman is supposed to be.

That's interesting, because Bruce isn't really the main character in there... it's Gordon.

syko60 December 4th, 2005 08:39 PM

Miller's batman is a batman at least fifteen years younger then the current batman. He's arrogant, full of himself, and young. He hasn't lost any comrades, there's been no Jason, Stephanie, Bane, etc. so he's bought into his own hype and believed that he's above the law. When he comes down it'll be a massive blow to him.
Although the Last All Star Batman and Robin went too far I'm still a miller fan and like his noir, pulp style stories.

CapeandCowl December 4th, 2005 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by syko60
Miller's batman is a batman at least fifteen years younger then the current batman. He's arrogant, full of himself, and young. He hasn't lost any comrades, there's been no Jason, Stephanie, Bane, etc. so he's bought into his own hype and believed that he's above the law. When he comes down it'll be a massive blow to him.
Although the Last All Star Batman and Robin went too far I'm still a miller fan and like his noir, pulp style stories.

Dude, outside of silver age camp, and Earth 2 stuff (which is pretty much silver age camp) where Batman becomes part of the sytem either as police comission or a duley designated deputy of the law, every verison of Batman sees himself above the law. He is an outlaw after all.

syko60 December 4th, 2005 08:45 PM

For a long time he worked side by side with Jim Gordon, who led the police, so he was more like a UC then an outlaw, now he's an outlaw again.
At least that's my opinion.

bat_610 December 4th, 2005 09:16 PM

first of all, trespasser i'm 14 and I appreciate DKR alot. I had to do a history fair project on DC Comics last year. When I was doing the report I read some earlier batman stuff like batman in the 60's and 70's. In the sixties batman was a joke. You can see why people thought he was a homo. In the 70's with the O'Neil and Adams stuff you can see batman become the badass character he is today. O'Neil's batman just needed a tiny kick in the as s to get to where he is today. DKR was the kick in the as s. And since DKR indirectly led to B:TAS I love it even more as I grew up with that
show.

CapeandCowl December 4th, 2005 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bat_610
first of all, trespasser i'm 14 and I appreciate DKR alot. I had to do a history fair project on DC Comics last year. When I was doing the report I read some earlier batman stuff like batman in the 60's and 70's. In the sixties batman was a joke. You can see why people thought he was a homo. In the 70's with the O'Neil and Adams stuff you can see batman become the badass character he is today. O'Neil's batman just needed a tiny kick in the as s to get to where he is today. DKR was the kick in the as s. And since DKR indirectly led to B:TAS I love it even more as I grew up with that
show.

Did you ever catch the TAS show that did "legends of the dark knight" thing where they did the DKR battle between the mutants and Batman?

Trespasser December 4th, 2005 09:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bat_610
first of all, trespasser i'm 14 and I appreciate DKR alot. I had to do a history fair project on DC Comics last year. When I was doing the report I read some earlier batman stuff like batman in the 60's and 70's. In the sixties batman was a joke. You can see why people thought he was a homo. In the 70's with the O'Neil and Adams stuff you can see batman become the badass character he is today. O'Neil's batman just needed a tiny kick in the as s to get to where he is today. DKR was the kick in the as s. And since DKR indirectly led to B:TAS I love it even more as I grew up with that
show.

As I said, it's not an insult or insinuation of any kind, you and Inferno simply weren't there. And while I'm sure you can appreciate it, you just cannot understand what it was like or how much it changed everything about comics at the time. It was the beginning of multiple printed books and, later, collected graphic novels. It paved the way.

I made my mom look for a shop in Dallas while she was on a trip with my dad to find it because there was no internet, there were no comic shops to speak of.

And, yes, you can go back a read the old stuff and compare it to DKR and todays DKR influenced version. But you'll never have that feeling of, "Holy Crap! What is this?!!" when it was first thrust upon us because it was so radical and different of an interpretation at that time. The influences are so far reaching now that it would be impossible.

Again, no offense to anyone.

rex December 4th, 2005 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr.Strangefate
That's interesting, because Bruce isn't really the main character in there... it's Gordon.


Thats one of the reasons its so great.

Matches December 5th, 2005 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infernorhythm
I don't see how it was groundbreaking. So he was a bit more violent and less creepy. Yeah, so? Nothing overly interesting.

Respectfully, if that's all you got out of it, you missed the point of the story.

DKR is about Batman coming full circle and re-discovering who he is. It's about him realizing that he has become part of the establishment that has no place for him. It's about him re-inventing himself as an anti-establishment figure, much like he was at the beginning of his career. It's a fundamental change in his mindset that goes *way* beyond how hard he hits people.

And again, not to pick on your age, frankly we need *more* young fans in this industry, but it's really hard to assess whether something was groundbreaking if you read it *after* twenty years of (mostly bad) attempts to imitate it. Of course it's not going to seem groundbreaking if you've read fifteen years of stories that attempt to be just like it.

CapeandCowl December 5th, 2005 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches M. Malone
Respectfully, if that's all you got out of it, you missed the point of the story.

DKR is about Batman coming full circle and re-discovering who he is. It's about him realizing that he has become part of the establishment that has no place for him. It's about him re-inventing himself as an anti-establishment figure, much like he was at the beginning of his career. It's a fundamental change in his mindset that goes *way* beyond how hard he hits people.

And again, not to pick on your age, frankly we need *more* young fans in this industry, but it's really hard to assess whether something was groundbreaking if you read it *after* twenty years of (mostly bad) attempts to imitate it. Of course it's not going to seem groundbreaking if you've read fifteen years of stories that attempt to be just like it.

Yeah, although even today if you approach DKR with an open mind it's still freakin amazing. But it's only natural that it does not seem so revolutionary now decades after the fact which, as you say, filled with less successful attempts to ape Miller's work.

Sometimes I think we need another writer to set the tone for Batman for the next decade they way Miller did. I love DKR and I am really digging All Star B&R, but that is Miller exploring his verison of Batman.

I know Waid et al are saying they are going to "fix" Batman (which I think is either a poor choice of words, or a misguided attempt to fix what ain't broke) but without another work of the influence of DKR, I doubt it will stick.

DKR and Year One created a vision of Batman that is very compelling to both readers and writers. Even in a story like Hush - which take a more common place view of Batman as crimefighter - you can feel Miller's influence.

So any effort to make Batman "nicer" I don't think will really work because while the current crop of DC writers are often criticized for be silver age groupies, they are all of the generation of writers who were heavily influenced by Miller.

You know, I think this is why stories like JLA: Soul War - where Batman has a sudden epiphany and wants to go help his buddy Hal Jordan - rang so false with readers. That isn't Batman. (Interestingly, Johns Batman in Rebirth explored the same terrority. There Bats was willing to let his issues with Hal drop for the time being. But the tension remained and so made complete sense to readers.) Englenhart's Dark Dective sequel got only a luke warm reception, in part I think because the idea of a Batman who operates in day time and gets the key to the city, etc, doesn't ring true with readers.

Miller's influence is so prevasive that attempts to make Batman "nicer" often don't stick despite attempts to send him in a new direction at the end of Knightfall, No Man's Land and Fugative. Interestingly, the direction taken after War Crime works - but it is simply another variasion of the Miller influnced take on the character.

Anyway, this is a really jumbled way of saying that the influence of DKR and Year One is so prevasive that it is going to another writer to create as compelling a vision of Batman as Miller did. Until that happens, whatever changes to the character DC makes won't stick.

capatom December 5th, 2005 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by superman1984
I have been wanting a Batman more like the 70's version for a long time...I am sure I will get flamed for agreeing with you...keeping in mind I did really like Year One....the other stuff....was ok...

Maybe OYL you'll get your wish....?

superman1984 December 5th, 2005 12:07 PM

its possible....but don't get me wrong, I dont want a total copy of Batman from the 70's...I just think Batman has got to be less of a jerk...he was dark before....to be a dark character you don't have to be a jerk to your "loved ones" ... He was dark in the past without being a total jerk that he comes across as these days...

capatom December 5th, 2005 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by superman1984
its possible....but don't get me wrong, I dont want a total copy of Batman from the 70's...I just think Batman has got to be less of a jerk...he was dark before....to be a dark character you don't have to be a jerk to your "loved ones" ... He was dark in the past without being a total jerk that he comes across as these days...

I think maybe it'll head back into this spiritual direction.

A less obsessive Batman, one that values his friends, family and colleagues again.

One who is equally adept at handling detective problems, high adventure and gritty crime; wrapped up in an urban gothic feel.

So, no, not back to the 1970s. Something new.

And longer ears.... ;)

magicspoon December 5th, 2005 05:08 PM

His ears sort of greatly fluctuate depending on the time period he's in.

thunderdude December 5th, 2005 06:16 PM

Trespasser's right, but I'd like to add something. DKR saved Batman. I know a lot of you may not realize this, but there was a time when he wasn't selling largely because Marvel was outselling DC by a lot. and I doubt there would have been any movies or BTAS. I really think it's a better experience if you read it with YEAR ONE though. Miller does have a lot of clones, but nothing beats him at the top of his game.

danielsummers December 5th, 2005 08:08 PM

I'm 20, and I heart DKR. I'm also a creative writing major at a liberal school. So I guess I'm a nerd...

avathar476 December 5th, 2005 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thunderdude
Trespasser's right, but I'd like to add something. DKR saved Batman. I know a lot of you may not realize this, but there was a time when he wasn't selling largely because Marvel was outselling DC by a lot. and I doubt there would have been any movies or BTAS. I really think it's a better experience if you read it with YEAR ONE though. Miller does have a lot of clones, but nothing beats him at the top of his game.

I agree wholeheartedly

The Batman December 6th, 2005 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CapeandCowl
Yeah, although even today if you approach DKR with an open mind it's still freakin amazing. But it's only natural that it does not seem so revolutionary now decades after the fact which, as you say, filled with less successful attempts to ape Miller's work.

Sometimes I think we need another writer to set the tone for Batman for the next decade they way Miller did. I love DKR and I am really digging All Star B&R, but that is Miller exploring his verison of Batman.

I know Waid et al are saying they are going to "fix" Batman (which I think is either a poor choice of words, or a misguided attempt to fix what ain't broke) but without another work of the influence of DKR, I doubt it will stick.

DKR and Year One created a vision of Batman that is very compelling to both readers and writers. Even in a story like Hush - which take a more common place view of Batman as crimefighter - you can feel Miller's influence.

So any effort to make Batman "nicer" I don't think will really work because while the current crop of DC writers are often criticized for be silver age groupies, they are all of the generation of writers who were heavily influenced by Miller.

You know, I think this is why stories like JLA: Soul War - where Batman has a sudden epiphany and wants to go help his buddy Hal Jordan - rang so false with readers. That isn't Batman. (Interestingly, Johns Batman in Rebirth explored the same terrority. There Bats was willing to let his issues with Hal drop for the time being. But the tension remained and so made complete sense to readers.) Englenhart's Dark Dective sequel got only a luke warm reception, in part I think because the idea of a Batman who operates in day time and gets the key to the city, etc, doesn't ring true with readers.

Miller's influence is so prevasive that attempts to make Batman "nicer" often don't stick despite attempts to send him in a new direction at the end of Knightfall, No Man's Land and Fugative. Interestingly, the direction taken after War Crime works - but it is simply another variasion of the Miller influnced take on the character.

Anyway, this is a really jumbled way of saying that the influence of DKR and Year One is so prevasive that it is going to another writer to create as compelling a vision of Batman as Miller did. Until that happens, whatever changes to the character DC makes won't stick.


And this, sadly, is why Batman will continue to be a one dimensional, paranoid, jerk.

Dr.Strangefate December 6th, 2005 05:37 PM

I don't think that he'll remain a jerk...

I do think that he is right now, but once he comes down off his high horse (which he's going to have to during IC), I bet we see a more likable Batman, but not necessarily less dark...

He just needs to let himself rely on his friends sometimes.

CapeandCowl December 6th, 2005 09:52 PM

ugh. He is not a jerk now. Seriously, that is an overblow criticism that fails to really get at some of the really good stories being done.

The problem is one of emphasis. Some writers attempt to use some of Miller's stuff, or his tone, or his mood, but with none of his intent. Miller's story construction is not hapzard. Everything is there for a reason and taking parts of it without taking the whole isn't very easy and most often fails.

But for every failure is a good stuff going on that while it inherits stuff from Miller, it original and good work. Winick's current run is a great example. This is a dark, grim and obessive batman but not all Miller's verison. This batman is more introspective and obvious is deeply and emotionally hurt by Jason's unexplained return from the dead, his Punisher like approach. This is also a batman who never gives up, never gives in, one whose mind comes before his body.
We also have Loeb, Johns using batman in the recent JLA arc - where Batman's so called paranoia is finally show for what it is - a completely reasonable, if harsh, reaction to the behavoir of the heroes with god like powers. That is not paranoia, not when they were more than willing to steal batman's mind.

Point is, he is he not a "jerk" he just isn't a superfriend, but nor should be he be. What is needed is not some attempt to make him nicer. What is need is a writer who knows how to make batman inhabit his dark world in a way that is different that Miller and maybe even free from Miller - but for that matter free from O'Neil or Englehardt or anyone else. What is needed is a writer who can take Batman, take the mythos, take the darkness and everything that comes with it and do something NEW. Not Miller's batman. Not 70s Batman. God help us, not a Superfriends batman. Something NEW>

Trespasser December 6th, 2005 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CapeandCowl
What is needed is a writer who can take Batman, take the mythos, take the darkness and everything that comes with it and do something NEW. Not Miller's batman. Not 70s Batman. God help us, not a Superfriends batman. Something NEW>

Amen, brother.

avathar476 December 7th, 2005 01:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CapeandCowl
ugh. He is not a jerk now. Seriously, that is an overblow criticism that fails to really get at some of the really good stories being done.

The problem is one of emphasis. Some writers attempt to use some of Miller's stuff, or his tone, or his mood, but with none of his intent. Miller's story construction is not hapzard. Everything is there for a reason and taking parts of it without taking the whole isn't very easy and most often fails.

But for every failure is a good stuff going on that while it inherits stuff from Miller, it original and good work. Winick's current run is a great example. This is a dark, grim and obessive batman but not all Miller's verison. This batman is more introspective and obvious is deeply and emotionally hurt by Jason's unexplained return from the dead, his Punisher like approach. This is also a batman who never gives up, never gives in, one whose mind comes before his body.
We also have Loeb, Johns using batman in the recent JLA arc - where Batman's so called paranoia is finally show for what it is - a completely reasonable, if harsh, reaction to the behavoir of the heroes with god like powers. That is not paranoia, not when they were more than willing to steal batman's mind.

Point is, he is he not a "jerk" he just isn't a superfriend, but nor should be he be. What is needed is not some attempt to make him nicer. What is need is a writer who knows how to make batman inhabit his dark world in a way that is different that Miller and maybe even free from Miller - but for that matter free from O'Neil or Englehardt or anyone else. What is needed is a writer who can take Batman, take the mythos, take the darkness and everything that comes with it and do something NEW. Not Miller's batman. Not 70s Batman. God help us, not a Superfriends batman. Something NEW>


It's what makes him "real" to some people.

CD3 December 8th, 2005 01:12 AM

The only time I think Bruce was the unbelievable "jerk" that everyone claims he is now, is Murderer and Fugitive, where even I said, "****, he's being an ***".

He shouldn't be happy and smiling all the time, and he has had A LOT of losses recently in comics time, plus with all the pressure he puts on himself.

I think he should remain dark with just a little more balance and a little less brooding. It's understandable for him to be so, but it's time for him to overcome some of it now, and atleast crack a smile every now and then.

CapeandCowl December 8th, 2005 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CD3
The only time I think Bruce was the unbelievable "jerk" that everyone claims he is now, is Murderer and Fugitive, where even I said, "****, he's being an ***".


That was the point though, wasn't it? It was taking Batman's "issues" to an extreme and see what happens.


I thinK Batman, like ALL characters, needs to move in new directions. That doesn't mean he is "nicer" or "darker" or whatever. But rather something new/


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