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Old December 5th, 2005   avathar476 is offline   #33
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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.
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I agree wholeheartedly
 
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Old December 6th, 2005   The Batman is offline   #34
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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.
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And this, sadly, is why Batman will continue to be a one dimensional, paranoid, jerk.
 
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Old December 6th, 2005   Dr.Strangefate is offline   #35
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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.
 
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Old December 6th, 2005   CapeandCowl is offline   #36
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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>
 
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Old December 6th, 2005   Trespasser is offline   #37
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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>
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Old December 7th, 2005   avathar476 is offline   #38
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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>
ddf
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It's what makes him "real" to some people.
 
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Old December 8th, 2005   CD3 is offline   #39
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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.
 
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Old December 8th, 2005   CapeandCowl is offline   #40
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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 ***".
ddf
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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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Old December 9th, 2005   avathar476 is offline   #41
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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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Define something "new" please.
 
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Old December 9th, 2005   CapeandCowl is offline   #42
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Define something "new" please.
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Well there seems to be a felling that you can either have Batman as it he right now or you must have Batman circa 1975 but that is it. And the arguement goes, depending on which era you prefer, that one or the other era is horrible.

Personally, I am not a real big silver age fan and would probably quickly lose interest to a return to something past.

At the same time, while I like the character now, I think that characters have to change and move in new directions or they become stale.

Something new would not the same as anything that came before. No era or writer can claim to have done the "definative" Batman.(although I think it can be said the goofiness of the 50s, 60s and part of the 70s is so far off the mark that it will never return) Each generation re-interprets the mythology to suit their times. That is what O'Neil did in the 70s and what Miller did in the 80s.

I don't know what exactly something new would be because it obviously has not been written yet. But do I think that what Batman really needs is a writer of the calibre of O'Niel or Miller to step up and write the Batman story that will define the character for a generation. That really hasn't happened since DKR and Year One, and those are 20 plus years old now. Times have changed and I would be cool to see yet another intrepretation of Batman for today.

The closest we have come to it is probably Hush. But Loeb didn't go far enough and so didn't really redefine Batman. Loeb's Batman in Hush (and other stories like the Long Halloween) is like a spritual cousin of both the MIller and O'Neil verisons. It's is very very good, but certain does not have the impact that either Miller or O'Neil had.
 
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Old December 12th, 2005   Jeff Shabazz is offline   #43
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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.
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The Batman you know and love met his renaissance within the pages of "The Dark Knight Returns". Without TDKR Batman would still be campy, and the character would be nothing you enjoy.
 
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Old December 12th, 2005   avathar476 is offline   #44
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Well there seems to be a felling that you can either have Batman as it he right now or you must have Batman circa 1975 but that is it. And the arguement goes, depending on which era you prefer, that one or the other era is horrible.

Personally, I am not a real big silver age fan and would probably quickly lose interest to a return to something past.

At the same time, while I like the character now, I think that characters have to change and move in new directions or they become stale.

Something new would not the same as anything that came before. No era or writer can claim to have done the "definative" Batman.(although I think it can be said the goofiness of the 50s, 60s and part of the 70s is so far off the mark that it will never return) Each generation re-interprets the mythology to suit their times. That is what O'Neil did in the 70s and what Miller did in the 80s.

I don't know what exactly something new would be because it obviously has not been written yet. But do I think that what Batman really needs is a writer of the calibre of O'Niel or Miller to step up and write the Batman story that will define the character for a generation. That really hasn't happened since DKR and Year One, and those are 20 plus years old now. Times have changed and I would be cool to see yet another intrepretation of Batman for today.

The closest we have come to it is probably Hush. But Loeb didn't go far enough and so didn't really redefine Batman. Loeb's Batman in Hush (and other stories like the Long Halloween) is like a spritual cousin of both the MIller and O'Neil verisons. It's is very very good, but certain does not have the impact that either Miller or O'Neil had.
ddf
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A very enlightening response, C & C. Thank you.
 
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Old December 12th, 2005   Flying-Grayson is offline   #45
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Well there seems to be a felling that you can either have Batman as it he right now or you must have Batman circa 1975 but that is it. And the arguement goes, depending on which era you prefer, that one or the other era is horrible.

Personally, I am not a real big silver age fan and would probably quickly lose interest to a return to something past.

At the same time, while I like the character now, I think that characters have to change and move in new directions or they become stale.

Something new would not the same as anything that came before. No era or writer can claim to have done the "definative" Batman.(although I think it can be said the goofiness of the 50s, 60s and part of the 70s is so far off the mark that it will never return) Each generation re-interprets the mythology to suit their times. That is what O'Neil did in the 70s and what Miller did in the 80s.

I don't know what exactly something new would be because it obviously has not been written yet. But do I think that what Batman really needs is a writer of the calibre of O'Niel or Miller to step up and write the Batman story that will define the character for a generation. That really hasn't happened since DKR and Year One, and those are 20 plus years old now. Times have changed and I would be cool to see yet another intrepretation of Batman for today.

The closest we have come to it is probably Hush. But Loeb didn't go far enough and so didn't really redefine Batman. Loeb's Batman in Hush (and other stories like the Long Halloween) is like a spritual cousin of both the MIller and O'Neil verisons. It's is very very good, but certain does not have the impact that either Miller or O'Neil had.
ddf
CapeandCowl
I also think this is a great post.
However, I also wonder if a 'huge impact' is really necessary. We've moved beyond the campiness, and it looks like post-Crisis, Batman will be changing slightly so that he isn't so 'dark'.
Other than those two interpretations, what other direction could Batman be taken in without totally deviating from the formula that has made him one of the most iconic and popular fictional characters in pop culture?

I think he should just be written more like Loeb's Batman from the 'Long Halloween' series and also to a lesser extent, 'Hush' Batman, as C&C mentioned. Those particular depictions of Batman are, in my mind, the way Batman should always be. He still has the almost single-minded approach to fighting crime, yet at the same time, he still trusts those close to him, and even takes chances with personal relationships(such as with Catwoman). He doesn't push away the people who want to help him.
I realise that with everything that happened to him since Identity Crisis(mind-wipes, Red Hood, OMACs, etc) he might not be in the mood for friendship or people in general, but hopefully this Crisis will make him a slightly happier fellow.
 
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Old December 12th, 2005   Matches is offline   #46
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The Batman you know and love met his renaissance within the pages of "The Dark Knight Returns". Without TDKR Batman would still be campy, and the character would be nothing you enjoy.
ddf
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Sorry - I loved DKR, but the above is flatly untrue. Batman grew out of the "camp" phase in the early 1970's, when Denny O'Neil took over the character. Camp was long gone WAY before Miller.
 
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Old December 12th, 2005   Ray Scott is offline   #47
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The problem isnt with DKR or Miller(though there is a problem with current Miller ) the problem is too many writers trying to ape Miller. This goes for ALL Characters with famous runs, too often the talent following them, feels they have to try and write like Miller cause fans love that story. Instead they should follow their own voice, and while sticking with the current tone of the book, write "their" Batman.
 
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Old December 12th, 2005   CapeandCowl is offline   #48
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Sorry - I loved DKR, but the above is flatly untrue. Batman grew out of the "camp" phase in the early 1970's, when Denny O'Neil took over the character. Camp was long gone WAY before Miller.
ddf
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True story. I think there is a preception that the camp lasted well into the 70s because in the mind of the general public, the work of O'Neil and Adams didn't really register. It did for readers, but to the general public the goofy Adam West style Batman of the sixities was THE Batman. The 60s Batman was a cultural monolith that set the tone for what the public thought Batman should be.

This is why, I think, DKR was the final death knell for the campy verison of Batman because the book a) became well known even outside of comic book readers and b) inspired Tim Burton's Batman, which really finally showed the non-comic reading public there was more to Batman than stupid puns and oneliners.
 
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