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  1. #121
    Incredible Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    This is one of my favorite aspects of King's run. I love that King's Batman is honest about what's he willing to do to achieve his goals, going back to his speech to Catwoman in Arkham. Agreed that Bane's rage is sincere--even if we argue it was an act on his part, he'd still be pissed that Batman would have taken his only chance at peace without a second thought. And King further exploits one of Bane's most appealing traits, his tragic origin. From birth his only options were to die or become a monster. Batman still has to stop him but there's a sadness about the whole thing.
    Yes, and I think, deliberated or not, that Bane has that similarity with how Selina describes her childhood to Bruce. Bane and Selina didn't have that first part where they were meant to be something. Their origin pretty much prepared them to be forgotten under the foot of the privileged or corrupted. They had to build up themselves from nothing, while Bruce always had people surrounding him, like Leslie and Alfred, and money, a name, etcetera, which made his path to construct the man he wanted to become easier, as he could pay for his travels and studies (which doesn't mean that his path was easy, on the contrary. But he had the tools to make it possible)
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

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  2. #122
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    Yes, and I think, deliberated or not, that Bane has that similarity with how Selina describes her childhood to Bruce. Bane and Selina didn't have that first part where they were meant to be something. Their origin pretty much prepared them to be forgotten under the foot of the privileged or corrupted. They had to build up themselves from nothing, while Bruce always had people surrounding him, like Leslie and Alfred, and money, a name, etcetera, which made his path to construct the man he wanted to become easier, as he could pay for his travels and studies (which doesn't mean that his path was easy, on the contrary. But he had the tools to make it possible)
    Great point. Selina's worldview is ultimately a counterpoint to Bane's and a complement to Bruce's.

    She grew up in a harsh environment but found a way to navigate it without sacrificing her empathy. She represents a kind of liberation that neither Bane nor Bruce can wholly achieve because they're so driven as to almost take free will out of the equation. Selina is more conscious of making choices, and thus is able to help Bruce choose happiness.

  3. #123
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    With regard to I Am Bane, this is the story that finally made me get invested in King's run. You know what it was? Bat Burger, Joker Fries and Damian getting the Red Hood as the happy meal prize. Funny how we never see a scene like that for the entire rest of the run. Oh well.

    Even so, this is the arc that go me to stick with King's run all the way, and I have to admit it is a bit uneven. The way Alfred and Commissioner Gordon act is out of character for them but thankfully their parts are pretty minor. The three Robins are hung and appear dead but miraculously are alive and contained in the Fortress of Solitude the next issue, and Superman isn't even aware that it happened. What, how did Batman even get in there?! Does Clark have no security whatsoever? Then there is the Master-Class, rolled a natural 20, also nailed his save against concussions, headbutt that Bruce does to Bane.

    Personally I am ok with comic books being comic books and doing ridiculous things in the name of plot set up. King does quite a bit of that in his entire run. But this all is the stuff of internet arguments.

    However behind all of that comic book stupidity there is also simple yet brilliant story structure here which cuts right to the heart of who Bane is and what he is all about, and gives us a unique perspective on the parallels between Bruce and Bane. The whole thing was really fun to re-read just for that purpose, for giving us something deep to ponder about the drive of these two men.

    King will do something very similar later on withe KGBeast and then Thomas.
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  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    With regard to I Am Bane, this is the story that finally made me get invested in King's run. You know what it was? Bat Burger, Joker Fries and Damian getting the Red Hood as the happy meal prize. Funny how we never see a scene like that for the entire rest of the run. Oh well
    Oh man the Bat-Burger bit with all of the Robins is an all-timer. I feel like I've said this before but my dream read is King on a "Robins" team book with all of them together for a 12-issue series, like Mister Miracle or Bat/Cat. That'd also be my dream book to write. I just wish we had more of this kinda scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian
    Yes, and I think, deliberated or not, that Bane has that similarity with how Selina describes her childhood to Bruce. Bane and Selina didn't have that first part where they were meant to be something. Their origin pretty much prepared them to be forgotten under the foot of the privileged or corrupted. They had to build up themselves from nothing, while Bruce always had people surrounding him, like Leslie and Alfred, and money, a name, etcetera, which made his path to construct the man he wanted to become easier, as he could pay for his travels and studies (which doesn't mean that his path was easy, on the contrary. But he had the tools to make it possible)
    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton
    Great point. Selina's worldview is ultimately a counterpoint to Bane's and a complement to Bruce's.

    She grew up in a harsh environment but found a way to navigate it without sacrificing her empathy. She represents a kind of liberation that neither Bane nor Bruce can wholly achieve because they're so driven as to almost take free will out of the equation. Selina is more conscious of making choices, and thus is able to help Bruce choose happiness.
    Great reads, great points. 100% spot on.

    In this way, Bat & Cat are actually more "soul mates" than the other big superhero romances — Lois and Clark, Peter and MJ, Scott and Jean, etc — they really do "complete each other" in so many ways.

    That Bat & Cat are the last to officially couple up makes it somehow even more impactful... they truly have been "will they, won't they?" for 80 damn years. Other writers have hinted at answering the question but none as forceful and declarative as King's "yes, they will, and they won't, but they should, and they need to."

    It's interesting to put Bane in there as this sort of "third wheel soulmate" paralleling Bruce especially but also Selina. Interesting too that Naked Bane invites at least a bit of a wink toward the homoerotic undertones that have been attached to superheroes in general and Batman in particular.

    Bane represents Batman's other vow — fighting crime, usually men. If rage and love are two sides of the coin, Batman's physicality is all going toward his destructive relationship with these many strange men at night.

    Catwoman represents salvation. A better way to spend the night. I'm forgetting the exact line, but the "When we kiss, the pain goes away" — Batman does not have love in his life without Catwoman. He's not getting kissed by anyone else. He's not being touched tenderly by anyone else, unless it's Alfred sewing up a bullet hole. The last person Bruce can think of who made him feel physically comforted was his Mother.... who's got the energy to do the full Freudian analysis here?

    Anyway King spells this all out it in the run later, in Thomas's monologue issue in The Fall and the Fallen, but I remember seeing fans get bent out of shape by King talking about Catwoman being Batman's source of love and potential happiness. Fans objected like "Oh Bruce doesn't have love in his life? What about his 12 adopted children/students? What about Alfred or Gordon or Leslie? Or what about his greatest love - JUSTICE?"

    The love of Catwoman isn't abstract, it's tangible, if elusive. Bruce has had sex with other women, but I think it's fair to say he's only ever "made love" with Selina. Ultimately, the moral/theme of the overall run boils down to "make love, not war" and that's really on display in the "I Am / Rooftops" run.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    With regard to I Am Bane, this is the story that finally made me get invested in King's run. You know what it was? Bat Burger, Joker Fries and Damian getting the Red Hood as the happy meal prize. Funny how we never see a scene like that for the entire rest of the run. Oh well.
    Rules of Engagement came close, both with the opening where Alfred tells everyone and then the Dick/Damian scene waiting on the steps. But yes, it'd have been nice to see some more King banter amongst the former Robins throughout the run. It's just fantastic
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  6. #126
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Great point. Selina's worldview is ultimately a counterpoint to Bane's and a complement to Bruce's.

    She grew up in a harsh environment but found a way to navigate it without sacrificing her empathy. She represents a kind of liberation that neither Bane nor Bruce can wholly achieve because they're so driven as to almost take free will out of the equation. Selina is more conscious of making choices, and thus is able to help Bruce choose happiness.
    This is fascinating to me. I'm still stuck on the idea that Selina represents a maturity that Batman and Robin aren't ready for yet (stealing shamelessly from Mazzucchelli), but I think liberation, conscious of choices - those are part of that mix.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    With regard to I Am Bane, this is the story that finally made me get invested in King's run. You know what it was? Bat Burger, Joker Fries and Damian getting the Red Hood as the happy meal prize. Funny how we never see a scene like that for the entire rest of the run. Oh well.

    However behind all of that comic book stupidity there is also simple yet brilliant story structure here which cuts right to the heart of who Bane is and what he is all about, and gives us a unique perspective on the parallels between Bruce and Bane. The whole thing was really fun to re-read just for that purpose, for giving us something deep to ponder about the drive of these two men.
    I was enjoying, as I said, but it'll be a bit longer till I'm fully invested. But when I was...

    The Bat Burger scene is just full of gold. Details, humor, pathos, plot. It's really well written.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    Oh man the Bat-Burger bit with all of the Robins is an all-timer. I feel like I've said this before but my dream read is King on a "Robins" team book with all of them together for a 12-issue series, like Mister Miracle or Bat/Cat. That'd also be my dream book to write. I just wish we had more of this kinda scene.

    Bane represents Batman's other vow — fighting crime, usually men. If rage and love are two sides of the coin, Batman's physicality is all going toward his destructive relationship with these many strange men at night.

    Catwoman represents salvation. A better way to spend the night. I'm forgetting the exact line, but the "When we kiss, the pain goes away" — Batman does not have love in his life without Catwoman. He's not getting kissed by anyone else. He's not being touched tenderly by anyone else, unless it's Alfred sewing up a bullet hole. The last person Bruce can think of who made him feel physically comforted was his Mother.... who's got the energy to do the full Freudian analysis here?

    Anyway King spells this all out it in the run later, in Thomas's monologue issue in The Fall and the Fallen, but I remember seeing fans get bent out of shape by King talking about Catwoman being Batman's source of love and potential happiness. Fans objected like "Oh Bruce doesn't have love in his life? What about his 12 adopted children/students? What about Alfred or Gordon or Leslie? Or what about his greatest love - JUSTICE?"

    The love of Catwoman isn't abstract, it's tangible, if elusive. Bruce has had sex with other women, but I think it's fair to say he's only ever "made love" with Selina. Ultimately, the moral/theme of the overall run boils down to "make love, not war" and that's really on display in the "I Am / Rooftops" run.
    And the thing is - maybe it's because "Bat Cat Bat Cat" and so many other things became the focus of meme rage, but I feel like fans really embraced the humor of this scene without it becoming a meme.

    Brilliant explication of David's point earlier. Though I think it's not true - and King shows it's not true in this very Bat Burger scene - that Bruce has no love in his life. He loves his sons, deeply, and they are incredibly important to him. But it's different. Catwoman represents building something different than his sons (and daughters). Something for himself alone. As Dick says in Rules of Engagement - Bruce is a lot of things, many of them flaws, but he's rarely selfish or hedonistic.
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  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    This is fascinating to me. I'm still stuck on the idea that Selina represents a maturity that Batman and Robin aren't ready for yet (stealing shamelessly from Mazzucchelli), but I think liberation, conscious of choices - those are part of that mix.



    I was enjoying, as I said, but it'll be a bit longer till I'm fully invested. But when I was...

    The Bat Burger scene is just full of gold. Details, humor, pathos, plot. It's really well written.



    And the thing is - maybe it's because "Bat Cat Bat Cat" and so many other things became the focus of meme rage, but I feel like fans really embraced the humor of this scene without it becoming a meme.

    Brilliant explication of David's point earlier. Though I think it's not true - and King shows it's not true in this very Bat Burger scene - that Bruce has no love in his life. He loves his sons, deeply, and they are incredibly important to him. But it's different. Catwoman represents building something different than his sons (and daughters). Something for himself alone. As Dick says in Rules of Engagement - Bruce is a lot of things, many of them flaws, but he's rarely selfish or hedonistic.
    The Batburger scene, and later the Bachelor Party with Clark, and flashback to Dick's early days are all great and really funny examples of that. Those are examples of the love in his life. And it's completely different to the kind of love in Rooftops.

  8. #128
    Spectacular Member Gotham citizen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Great point. Selina's worldview is ultimately a counterpoint to Bane's and a complement to Bruce's.

    She grew up in a harsh environment but found a way to navigate it without sacrificing her empathy. She represents a kind of liberation that neither Bane nor Bruce can wholly achieve because they're so driven as to almost take free will out of the equation. Selina is more conscious of making choices, and thus is able to help Bruce choose happiness.
    Interesting interpretation.
    Actually I feel the opposite: if Bruce represents a man overloaded by the responsibility he choose to have toward the society around him, Selina represent the opposite: a person who want live without responsibility, taking everything she want without caring about the consequences of her actions; until her encounter with Bruce pushed her to question herself if those actions where right.
    Last edited by Gotham citizen; 01-24-2020 at 08:01 AM.
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  9. #129
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotham citizen View Post
    Liberation from what?
    I'm asking that because actually I feel the opposite: if Bruce represents a man overloaded by the responsibility he choose to have toward the society around him, Selina represent the opposite: a person who want live without responsibility, taking everything she want without caring about the consequences of her actions; until her encounter with Bruce pushed her to question herself if those actions where right.
    I'm not disagreed with your overall point. I think Bruce and Selina save each other from their excesses. So both things are true.

    As far as Selina not caring about the consequences of her actions, I don't think that's ever been true. She tends to rob from those she feels either deserve it or can afford the loss, and she felt an obligation to protect Holly before she'd ever met Bruce. We can argue that Selina tends to be reckless or that she's often blinded to the true consequences of her actions, but there's no doubt that she attempts to make choices she sees as moral. And she is more conscious of her actions as being a choice, because she believes she could go either way on a lot of things. She can steal or not steal based on the circumstances.

    This isn't a binary situation where I see Bruce's resolve or Selina's freedom as wholly good or bad. On the whole Bruce's determination to the point of lacking choice is a good thing for himself and Gotham. He is a hero. But Selina helps him see that he can find a balance and choose to attempt carving out a life for himself as well.

  10. #130
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    This is fascinating to me. I'm still stuck on the idea that Selina represents a maturity that Batman and Robin aren't ready for yet (stealing shamelessly from Mazzucchelli), but I think liberation, conscious of choices - those are part of that mix.
    I guess it depends on what aspect of her life we mean. I don't think she's more mature than Bruce or the Robins in terms of her commitment to something bigger than herself. But Bruce is a hard measure to live up to there.

    In terms of finding a better balance between work and play, she's definitely more mature or at least healthier.

    So again it just comes down to them balancing each other out.

  11. #131
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Another point about King's run, I think there are a lot of writers who are of the opinion that Bruce would do more good if he was a full-time philanthropist and quit Batman altogether. I don't think Tom King takes that position. I think he sees Bruce being Batman as a good thing, with the caveat that Bruce needs checks and balances (as evidenced in "Cold Days") and to find a better balance between work and personal investment. So being with Selina improves not only his happiness but also his effectiveness as Batman.

  12. #132
    Spectacular Member Gotham citizen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    I'm not disagreed with your overall point. I think Bruce and Selina save each other from their excesses. So both things are true.

    As far as Selina not caring about the consequences of her actions, I don't think that's ever been true. She tends to rob from those she feels either deserve it or can afford the loss, and she felt an obligation to protect Holly before she'd ever met Bruce. We can argue that Selina tends to be reckless or that she's often blinded to the true consequences of her actions, but there's no doubt that she attempts to make choices she sees as moral. And she is more conscious of her actions as being a choice, because she believes she could go either way on a lot of things. She can steal or not steal based on the circumstances.

    This isn't a binary situation where I see Bruce's resolve or Selina's freedom as wholly good or bad. On the whole Bruce's determination to the point of lacking choice is a good thing for himself and Gotham. He is a hero. But Selina helps him see that he can find a balance and choose to attempt carving out a life for himself as well.
    I see.
    It seems you are photographing the contemporary reality of the characters, while I was describing their overall evolution since 1940.
    Two different point of view, two different interpretation, but not necessarily in contradiction.
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  13. #133
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotham citizen View Post
    I see.
    It seems you are photographing the contemporary reality of the characters, while I was describing their overall evolution since 1940.
    Two different point of view, two different interpretation, but not necessarily in contradiction.
    Ah, got it! I'm not an expert by any means but from what little I know I get the impression that Selina began to be depicted as more moral in the 70s and 80s? Isn't that when Earth-2's Bruce was revealed to have married her?

    On another note, I've recently been reading BANE: CONQUEST and it makes absolutely no sense in the context of King's run. Was it intended as something outside of canon, or taking place at a different time?

  14. #134
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    I guess it depends on what aspect of her life we mean. I don't think she's more mature than Bruce or the Robins in terms of her commitment to something bigger than herself. But Bruce is a hard measure to live up to there.

    In terms of finding a better balance between work and play, she's definitely more mature or at least healthier.

    So again it just comes down to them balancing each other out.
    The idea that they understand each other while not being the same - complementing each other - is one that I like a lot. I'm not completely sure that King articulates that part as well as other parts of the Bat/Cat relationship, though. He tends to hammer home "we know each other because we have the same pain".

    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Another point about King's run, I think there are a lot of writers who are of the opinion that Bruce would do more good if he was a full-time philanthropist and quit Batman altogether. I don't think Tom King takes that position. I think he sees Bruce being Batman as a good thing, with the caveat that Bruce needs checks and balances (as evidenced in "Cold Days") and to find a better balance between work and personal investment. So being with Selina improves not only his happiness but also his effectiveness as Batman.
    I think King doesn't look at Batman as a real, literal job. To me, when you read "Every Day" (Annual #4), you see that Batman, to him, is somewhat symbolic or analogous to our everyday lives, where we face troubles big and small, and he makes the choices we want to make in our best selves. So the question of "how would Batman be most effective - punching people in the face, or giving billions to charity" is irrelevant, to me. I like what James Tynion said - Gotham isn't a real city - it's a fictional city designed to scare us, to give us hope, and to explore aspects of urban life. It's not supposed to be real.

    And I agree that King sees Batman as a good thing - a hard thing, something that requires great personal sacrifice, but not tragic, like Snyder and Morrison ended their runs with.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Ah, got it! I'm not an expert by any means but from what little I know I get the impression that Selina began to be depicted as more moral in the 70s and 80s? Isn't that when Earth-2's Bruce was revealed to have married her?

    On another note, I've recently been reading BANE: CONQUEST and it makes absolutely no sense in the context of King's run. Was it intended as something outside of canon, or taking place at a different time?
    I just bought the issue where Catwoman marries Batman in Earth 2 - they had it as a Dollar Comic this week. Catwoman's origin was rejiggered to make her a lot more moral and sympathetic, which I thought was very interesting.

    Bane: Conquest is indeed a weird fish if you try to fit it into Rebirth continuity. I honestly just read it as taking place after Legacy or somewhere in that timeframe, in the old continuity. I quite liked the way Dixon ended it, in terms of Bane's morality.
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    Spectacular Member Gotham citizen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Ah, got it! I'm not an expert by any means but from what little I know I get the impression that Selina began to be depicted as more moral in the 70s and 80s? Isn't that when Earth-2's Bruce was revealed to have married her?
    […]
    Yes in the late seventies/early eighties Earth 1 Catwoman became a full time heroine and (if I'm not wrong) the full time Bruce's mate, but before that she had a long story of criminality and redemption and yes again: Earth 2 Selina was Bruce's wife and Helena Wayne/Huntress' mother.
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