superman.nuMary Immaculate of Lourdes NewtonThe Krypton ChroniclesHolliston School Committeefacebook    
  •   forum   •   COUNTDOWN TO MIRACLE MONDAY: "DEMONS!" •   fortress   •  
Superman Through the Ages! Forum
News: Superman Through the Ages! now located at theAges.superman.nu
 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
February 07, 2023, 08:05:01 PM


Login with username, password and session length


Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Just re-read the Origin from Batman 47  (Read 5708 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
davidelliott
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 267



« on: October 31, 2006, 08:05:44 PM »

Thanks for having these stories on-line....

You know, for a story written in the late 1940's, this one was very character driven and REALLY pivotal.  It was pretty daring, since the whole motivation behind Batman was to find his parents killer and bring him to justice.  It wasn't the run-of-the-mill story of the day... it was grim and Batman's emotions came into play big time. 

Revealing his secret identity to Chill was also a big risk and something I don't think anyone thought Batman would ever do, but it worked.  A very emotional thing to do and had a big impact on me.  Then Batman telling Chill that no matter what he does.. no matter where he goes, Batman will be watching him.  THAT brings out Batman's obsession REALLY well and in those few panels, delivers what the writers today, for the most part, can't even come close to.

Of course, the fact that the creators of Batman tackled this had a big hand in it.... even the panel that showed in flashback the Batman in costume for the first time tied in the "bat-wing" look of the earliest Batman stories.

Why can't they do them like this anymore?
Logged
Permanus
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 875



« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2006, 11:01:24 PM »

It's certainly a rather emotional story, isn't it? Last year, when I was playing the online superhero game City of Heroes, I sometimes used the line "I am the son of the man you murdered" as my battlecry. There's a weird change of pace in the last three pages that's almost uncomfortable: Bruce has been taking his time, and all of a sudden he is vengeful and apparently doesn't care about the consequences of his unmasking. Eerie.

This sort of display of emotion is a bit unusual in comics of the time, but not unheard of; a late 1940s reiteration of Superman's origin shows him crying in a big splash panel. One tends to think of Golden Age comics as being very pragmatic and story-driven, but now and then one gets the odd bit of character. Many of the Spirit stories of the same time are quite full of pain and sentiment. Michael Chabon caught the emotional investment in superhero comics flawlessly in his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - by its very nature, the superhero genre contains all sorts of repressed emotion, which is bound to surface every now and then.
Logged

Between the revolution and the firing-squad, there is always time for a glass of champagne.
davidelliott
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 267



« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2006, 10:30:19 AM »

Yes, the ending seemed rushed, but as I see it, Batman's plans kept backfiring, so he had to push it even more, thus exposing his ID...

I REALLY loved this story and it was incorporated years later into the "Untold Legend of Batman" mini-series... very faithfully recreating certain panels, too
Logged
Permanus
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 875



« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2006, 10:38:39 AM »

Yes, the ending seemed rushed, but as I see it, Batman's plans kept backfiring, so he had to push it even more, thus exposing his ID...

Yeah, I meant that the change of pace really works in this context - it adds to the emotional impact. It's interesting that even back then, in arguably more savage times, Batman has no intention of killing Chill; he's still talking about bringing him to justice. (If this were a Warren Ellis Punisher story, the last three pages would be about 12 Interesting Ways of Torturing a Man to Death.)
Logged

Between the revolution and the firing-squad, there is always time for a glass of champagne.
nightwing
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1627


Semper Vigilans


WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2006, 03:07:41 PM »

Yes, it's cool that Batman is as competent and in control as usual until the end, when he loses it.  This is much more effective than having him fly off the handle in a fit of rage every month (or page) as he has in recent years. 

It's interesting to consider what would have happened if Chill hadn't been killed.  With his identity exposed, Batman's career would have been ended, and as Permanus says, he doesn't seem to care.  One wonders if he'd have been content to witness Chill's final moments in the electric chair and then simply hang up the cape and cowl for a more normal life.  Or if, as might be more likely, "Bruce Wayne" would have to die as Batman took over 24/7.

As it stands, I prefer believing Bruce is motivated not by his search for his parents' killer, but by a determination not to have anyone else experience what he did.  The Joe Chills of the world are a dime a dozen...it's Bruce's job to see that no other child, or husband, or wife, is left sobbing in the street over the bodies of murdered loved ones.  That's why Tim Burton's 1989 film frosts me; making the Joker the killer and Bruce's career nothing more than a quest for revenge cheapens the legend and turns the whole thing into a poor man's "Death Wish."   Batman ought to be about something bigger than revenge.

There was a follow-up story to this one, where Batman tracks down Lew Moxon, the gangster who paid Chill to kill the Waynes in the first place.  That story, and this one, are among my favorite Bat-tales of all time.


Logged

This looks like a job for...
davidelliott
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 267



« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2006, 08:04:27 PM »

The Lew Moxon story "The First Batman" also ties in really well... it tells of Thomas Wayne going to a costume party dressed in a Batman costume.  Moxon arranged for Wayne to be killed and hired Chill to do it.

These character driven stories were rare for the time and in retrospect a very welcome change.  Also of merit are the Catwoman tales of the time, which show the forbidden attraction between Batman and Catwoman (opposite sides of the law).  I'm re-reading Greatest Batman Stories vol 2 and the 1950's era Cat stories are OUTSTANDING character tales, especially compared to the drivel stories of the Penquin surrounding them.
Logged
TELLE
Supermanica Council
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1705



WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2006, 04:43:11 AM »

I love those two "confronting the killers" stories as well.  Some of the earliest Batman stories I remember after the Big Little book I had as a kid featuring The Cheetah.

I have an 80-page giant (Batman 208) that has great stories about Batman's "girlfriends" and concludes with kindly old aunt-figure Mrs Chilton who confesses she is the mother of the Chill brothers.  Was this ever dealt with later?  Is it still canon?


Logged

Everything you ever wanted to
know about the classic Superman:
Supermanica
The Encyclopedia of Supermanic Biography!
(temporarily offline)
davidelliott
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 267



« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2006, 10:03:10 AM »

Telle, you should know by now... NOTHING is canon anymore!!!!

Well, maybe it will be next week....
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

CURRENT FORUM

Archives: OLD FORUM  -  DCMB  -  KAL-L
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! Dilber MC Theme by HarzeM
Entrance ·  Origin ·  K-Metal ·  The Living Legend ·  About the Comics ·  Novels ·  Encyclopaedia ·  The Screen ·  Costumes ·  Read Comics Online ·  Trophy Room ·  Creators ·  ES!M ·  Fans ·  Multimedia ·  Community ·  Supply Depot ·  Gift Shop ·  Guest Book ·  Contact & Credits ·  Links ·  Coming Attractions ·  Free E-mail ·  Forum

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
The LIVING LEGENDS of SUPERMAN! Adventures of Superman Volume 1!
Return to SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES!
The Complete Supply Depot for all your Superman needs!