Thursday, October 24, 2013

You Can't Stop the Batman

This is my sixth year as a teacher, so you'd think I would have developed some kind of immunity by now, but it seems like I am constantly getting sick. In fact my whole family keeps getting sick, and I blame the one-year-old. He continues to bring new and interesting sicknesses home with him.

So my wife and two children are getting over a cold, as I am slowly succumbing to it. Which means I don't have a lot of strength for blogging right now. But would Batman give up, just because he was under the weather? Absolutely not.

Today in class was Batman Year One, Chapter Two. Because we are now reading Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's Batman Year One, for reasons I attempted to explain yesterday. Even though I've read it dozens of times I continue to be impressed by how fast-paced the book is. You have to move quickly to fit a whole year into four chapters. Many of the scenes are just two or three panels, throwing characters and concepts at you and moving on, yet they imply so much more than they show that the world of the story feels rich and alive.

This is not Frank Miller's Batman.
As I previously mentioned, my current favorite version of Batman is the one from the Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon. The extremely competent super-hero who teams up with other super-heroes to fight aliens, robots, and monsters in a crazy colorful world. The old-fashioned, pre-Frank Miller Batman. I want big action and excitement; I don't really want an emotionally dead Batman who lives in a dirty, street-level world of pimps and cocaine and corrupt cops, where Catwoman is a prostitute and the only villains are guys in suits.

So why do I like Batman Year One so much? Because it's soooo good, it transcends my personal biases. In general I would rather read an over-the-top super-hero story than a grounded crime story, but I'd rather have a great crime story than a mediocre super-hero story any day.

Quality, son. It's all about quality.

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