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  1. #46
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. White View Post
    Don't think it has anything to do with politics or where you stand on the right-left wing divide. Like at all.

    For someone who's MO is "War on Crime" (irrespective of the source), there's just a more effective way of combating it. Purely from a practical standpoint.

    Sure I loved Batman just swooping in and punching bad guys...as a kid. But now (mid-30s) can't stop my brain thinking of the bigger picture and ponders the more practical approaches.

    Yeah I know they're comics and the suspension of belief must be done to a degree (e.g. Arkham's revolving door) but at the same time...

    Not everything is politically affiliated/ connected.
    It may not be completely related to politics, but I disagree about it not having some affiliations across the board.

    Thomas Wayne's portrayal in Joker invited comparisons to Trump. The film gets away with it somewhat because the Joker is not a reliable narrator at all, but Thomas Wayne is typically portrayed as a good person but since he's rich and white we have to flirt with the idea of him being an entitled bastard for "realism" or whatever. Which is overly cynical to me and kind of obnoxious.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. White View Post
    Don't think it has anything to do with politics or where you stand on the right-left wing divide. Like at all.

    For someone who's MO is "War on Crime" (irrespective of the source), there's just a more effective way of combating it. Purely from a practical standpoint.

    Sure I loved Batman just swooping in and punching bad guys...as a kid. But now (mid-30s) can't stop my brain thinking of the bigger picture and ponders the more practical approaches.

    Yeah I know they're comics and the suspension of belief must be done to a degree (e.g. Arkham's revolving door) but at the same time...

    Not everything is politically affiliated/ connected.
    I broadly agree with you. But, particularly off-late, there have been a lot of attempts to inject politics into it, as we've seen in some of the discussions on this very thread. I was addressing that.

    As for your point, yes, there are definitely more efficient ways for a billionaire philantrophist to fight crime. But one man, even one man with billions of dollars, can't really fix a city's chronic crime problem. Though he can certainly do a lot to help. I've always been of the school of thought that Bruce Wayne and Batman's efforts did make Gotham City a better place - but they couldn't fix it completely, and organized crime eventually gave way to costumed criminals who are harder to permanently stop.

    Of course, to a large extent, Batman's mission isn't fully successful because the stories need to continue indefinitely. In the Nolanverse, for instance, Batman's one-year long crusade did pretty much end the Mob in Gotham, when combined with Harvey Dent's efforts.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    It may not be completely related to politics, but I disagree about it not having some affiliations across the board.

    Thomas Wayne's portrayal in Joker invited comparisons to Trump. The film gets away with it somewhat because the Joker is not a reliable narrator at all, but Thomas Wayne is typically portrayed as a good person but since he's rich and white we have to flirt with the idea of him being an entitled bastard for "realism" or whatever. Which is overly cynical to me and kind of obnoxious.
    Thomas Wayne is obviously portrayed as an unsympathetic character in Joker because it is Arthur Fleck's story, and even in the context of the film, we're told that Arthur is an unreliable narrator. But...a lot of people have latched onto the political subtexts of this film, and its helped feed into the idea of Thomas Wayne being the real 'villain' - something that resonates with a lot of left-wing politics today. If you watch the movie itself, I don't think you're meant to cheer on when the Joker-inspired gunman kills the Waynes, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who loved that bit from a real-world perspective.

  3. #48
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Thomas Wayne is obviously portrayed as an unsympathetic character in Joker because it is Arthur Fleck's story, and even in the context of the film, we're told that Arthur is an unreliable narrator. But...a lot of people have latched onto the political subtexts of this film, and its helped feed into the idea of Thomas Wayne being the real 'villain' - something that resonates with a lot of left-wing politics today. If you watch the movie itself, I don't think you're meant to cheer on when the Joker-inspired gunman kills the Waynes, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who loved that bit from a real-world perspective.
    Yeah I think it's lost on people and they simplify it down to "rich people = bad." Considering the current climate, that's not entirely surprising.

    But the Waynes are not the only rich family in Gotham. I feel like there is more than enough corrupt rich characters to explore to get that message across. It's even fair game to use some of the Waynes from further back in the family history (we already have Dr. Hurt). But honestly, leave Thomas and Martha alone. It's important for them to be overall good people to understand why Bruce is meant to be a good person who is motivated by compassion. I like the idea of Martha in particular being from a working class background before she married Thomas, she is sometimes the one who impresses upon Bruce that he is lucky to have what he has and to be aware that not everyone is so fortunate. That and his own soul searching when he's in his 20s and just starting out as Batman should make him realize that punching crime in the face doesn't work as the only means.

  4. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I don't know if I'd say it's the main appeal, but I think people on a general basis do enjoy the sight of Batman swooping down and cleaning the clocks of your average crooks and leaving them tied up for the police.

    I mean, 80% of the combat in the Arkham game is Batman beating up thugs with his fists, gadgets, and stealth takedowns.
    I think this is the most fun thing about Batman; it's when your local jamook/s underestimates Batman because he's a "freak in a costume" and they get their asses handed to them.

    To remove that would lessen the mythos behind Batman; I mean after all a no nothing schmuck killed the Waynes.

    So, it would make sense for him to go after them first and then work his way up, very much like a video game or a detective story - find the flunky, find the crime boss
    Last edited by charliehustle415; 05-01-2020 at 12:02 AM.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    I think this is the most fun thing about Batman; it's when your local jamook/s underestimates Batman because he's a "freak in a costume" and they get their asses handed to them.

    To remove that would lessen the mythos behind Batman; I mean after a no nothing schmuck killed the Waynes.

    So, it would make sense for him to go after them first and then work his way up, very much like a video game or a detective story - find the flunky, find the crime boss
    Exactly.

    Batman beating up some random thug is an iconic image, dating all the way back to 'Tec # 27, when in his first appearance, he beats up a couple of thugs on the roof.

    And you're right that a mugger on the streets is responsible for his creation, so he takes special pleasure in dishing out punishment to that sort.

  6. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Exactly.

    Batman beating up some random thug is an iconic image, dating all the way back to 'Tec # 27, when in his first appearance, he beats up a couple of thugs on the roof.

    And you're right that a mugger on the streets is responsible for his creation, so he takes special pleasure in dishing out punishment to that sort.
    Yeah, I mean I understand what it looks like - a rich white guy beating up the "less fortunate" but again I differ to Morrison: it is NOT the real world.

    It's about a guy dressed like a bat beating up fools for being foolish.

    Injecting real world politics into comics is fine, but to do it well is to straddle the line between amazing a la Murphy's White Knight to overwrought navel gazing a la Watchmen (don't at me).

    It can be done but writers need to have the skill to do so.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    I broadly agree with you. But, particularly off-late, there have been a lot of attempts to inject politics into it, as we've seen in some of the discussions on this very thread. I was addressing that.

    As for your point, yes, there are definitely more efficient ways for a billionaire philantrophist to fight crime. But one man, even one man with billions of dollars, can't really fix a city's chronic crime problem. Though he can certainly do a lot to help. I've always been of the school of thought that Bruce Wayne and Batman's efforts did make Gotham City a better place - but they couldn't fix it completely, and organized crime eventually gave way to costumed criminals who are harder to permanently stop.

    Of course, to a large extent, Batman's mission isn't fully successful because the stories need to continue indefinitely. In the Nolanverse, for instance, Batman's one-year long crusade did pretty much end the Mob in Gotham, when combined with Harvey Dent's efforts.



    Thomas Wayne is obviously portrayed as an unsympathetic character in Joker because it is Arthur Fleck's story, and even in the context of the film, we're told that Arthur is an unreliable narrator. But...a lot of people have latched onto the political subtexts of this film, and its helped feed into the idea of Thomas Wayne being the real 'villain' - something that resonates with a lot of left-wing politics today. If you watch the movie itself, I don't think you're meant to cheer on when the Joker-inspired gunman kills the Waynes, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who loved that bit from a real-world perspective.
    ^^This actually really sums it up.

    I do get you. Think my "gripe" primarily stems from the non-evolution of Gotham - both asthetically and as a whole. Like since inception, it does not appear to have gotten better. Argueably it has gotten worse with the increase of the rouges gallery etcetera. And this doesn't make sense - based on probabilities and just from the number of capes that operate within. It's possible I'm applying a bit too much real world logic to comics.

    Take Batwoman (the show). Have only seen a couple of episodes but I believe they had Gotham divided? Where one part was modern/ got better but there's still a part that's crime-ridden/ the "old" Gotham (please correct me if I'm wrong). I would happily take that as the next evolution of Gotham in comics. Allow forward progression of the city, which is in fact a character in itself, while maintaining a semblance of status quo.

    On a semi-related note, just re-read (been doing a lot of this given the current global situation) Detective Comics Vol. 4 - The Wrath. The Wrath provided GCPD with new bulletproof vests/ equipment. This is sort of what I mean about Bruce tackling crime/ using his money to "fix" Gotham. Not just building schools and hospitals, but better police/ security outfits etcetera. I by no means expect nor want (sounds bad) Gotham to be completely rid of crimes at the "ground" level. I mean that's where the best detective stories exist.

  8. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. White View Post
    ^^This actually really sums it up.

    I do get you. Think my "gripe" primarily stems from the non-evolution of Gotham - both asthetically and as a whole. Like since inception, it does not appear to have gotten better. Argueably it has gotten worse with the increase of the rouges gallery etcetera. And this doesn't make sense - based on probabilities and just from the number of capes that operate within. It's possible I'm applying a bit too much real world logic to comics.

    Take Batwoman (the show). Have only seen a couple of episodes but I believe they had Gotham divided? Where one part was modern/ got better but there's still a part that's crime-ridden/ the "old" Gotham (please correct me if I'm wrong). I would happily take that as the next evolution of Gotham in comics. Allow forward progression of the city, which is in fact a character in itself, while maintaining a semblance of status quo.

    On a semi-related note, just re-read (been doing a lot of this given the current global situation) Detective Comics Vol. 4 - The Wrath. The Wrath provided GCPD with new bulletproof vests/ equipment. This is sort of what I mean about Bruce tackling crime/ using his money to "fix" Gotham. Not just building schools and hospitals, but better police/ security outfits etcetera. I by no means expect nor want (sounds bad) Gotham to be completely rid of crimes at the "ground" level. I mean that's where the best detective stories exist.
    They kinda tried to do that with Rucka's run with the OG's vs the Deezees.

    The "Deezees" were the deserters during No Man's Land, they left because they had the means so they came back to their homes and some even had to go to court to evict (OG) squatters. While the OG's were the ones who never left and they were stuck with the decrepit homes and buildings and things started to boil over between the two groups with GCPD and Batman stuck between them.

    But once Rucka left they completely dropped that aspect of Gotham - the rich, rebuild New Gotham vs. the bombed out Old Gotham
    Last edited by charliehustle415; 05-01-2020 at 12:50 AM.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly Frankenstein View Post
    He kinda sorta is in the current Batman title.
    Itís like real life people will but
    The same people will come and tear it down again

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. White View Post
    ^^This actually really sums it up.

    I do get you. Think my "gripe" primarily stems from the non-evolution of Gotham - both asthetically and as a whole. Like since inception, it does not appear to have gotten better. Argueably it has gotten worse with the increase of the rouges gallery etcetera. And this doesn't make sense - based on probabilities and just from the number of capes that operate within. It's possible I'm applying a bit too much real world logic to comics.

    Take Batwoman (the show). Have only seen a couple of episodes but I believe they had Gotham divided? Where one part was modern/ got better but there's still a part that's crime-ridden/ the "old" Gotham (please correct me if I'm wrong). I would happily take that as the next evolution of Gotham in comics. Allow forward progression of the city, which is in fact a character in itself, while maintaining a semblance of status quo.

    On a semi-related note, just re-read (been doing a lot of this given the current global situation) Detective Comics Vol. 4 - The Wrath. The Wrath provided GCPD with new bulletproof vests/ equipment. This is sort of what I mean about Bruce tackling crime/ using his money to "fix" Gotham. Not just building schools and hospitals, but better police/ security outfits etcetera. I by no means expect nor want (sounds bad) Gotham to be completely rid of crimes at the "ground" level. I mean that's where the best detective stories exist.
    The Batwoman show has the advantage of being set in a post-Batman continuity. They don't really have to maintain the status quo for Batman, so they can show Gotham evolving in ways that a Batman story set in 'mainstream' continuity cannot.

    In fact, that was Nolan's motivation for the time skip between TDK and TDKR. He wanted Gotham to go through a period of 'peace', and that meant Batman's mission succeeding. But it helped that TDKR was the final chapter of Batman's story. If he needed to keep it going indefinitely, there's no way he could have had Batman's mission succeed to the extent of Gotham having eight crime-free years.

  11. #56
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    Thinking back. In the Bat:Animated series we see homeless being given money by Bruce. But no matter what it wasn't enough. I feel that it applies here. No matter what it won't stop the insane.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossfist View Post
    What do you say to or think about this particular criticism of Batman? I think "Batman" as a story does its job of justifying the need for Batman as a character. Yeah he's rich, but Gotham City (and the larger DC universe) have problems that necessarily be solved with money. And he regularly deals with people who have enough resources to bankroll armies of goons, doomsday plots, weapons, etc.

    Still, all that doesn't stop someone from seeing Batman as an elite who just wants to punch down. What do you think?
    Money can not solve all issues.

    Bruce can take the worst school in Gotham and MONEY WHIP it to death or even start his own charter school like Brooke Shields and others have done.

    You have a nice pretty school with state of tech and high caliber teachers. School opens and at the end of the year it is STILL one of the worst ranked schools in the nation.

    WHY? Because you put lipstick on the pig but didn't solve the reason why she need the lipstick. You are still dealing with the same kids from messed up homes and communities.

    While you might reach 1-2, there are others you won't reach. Not because you didn't try. Because unlike Dick, Jason, Tim, Damian and for a time Duke-they did not go home to a mansion with a butler.

    Or Bruce opens up Gotham version of Wal-mart and other stores in the black part of Gotham. Same issue-you fixed the environment but not the people.

    To fix Gotham you have to clean out certain folks. Even Bruce does not have that much money.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyvolt2000 View Post
    Money can not solve all issues.

    Bruce can take the worst school in Gotham and MONEY WHIP it to death or even start his own charter school like Brooke Shields and others have done.

    You have a nice pretty school with state of tech and high caliber teachers. School opens and at the end of the year it is STILL one of the worst ranked schools in the nation.

    WHY? Because you put lipstick on the pig but didn't solve the reason why she need the lipstick. You are still dealing with the same kids from messed up homes and communities.

    While you might reach 1-2, there are others you won't reach. Not because you didn't try. Because unlike Dick, Jason, Tim, Damian and for a time Duke-they did not go home to a mansion with a butler.

    Or Bruce opens up Gotham version of Wal-mart and other stores in the black part of Gotham. Same issue-you fixed the environment but not the people.

    To fix Gotham you have to clean out certain folks. Even Bruce does not have that much money.
    This.

    I think, to understand how Gotham could be fixed, we can look more closely at how it was fixed in the Nolanverse.

    In the Nolanverse, Batman's actions against the Mob, coupled with fallout from the rampages of Ra's al Ghul and the Joker, led to the fall of the major Mob bosses - Carmine Falcone and Salvador Maroni. His actions empowered honest cops like Jim Gordon to go after the Mob's finances. Batman's actions also created the environment for someone like Harvey Dent to get elected as DA and build a case to put dangerous criminals and organized crime leaders behind bars for the long-term. Though Harvey died, thanks to Batman and Gordon's lie, his legacy lived on, and the Harvey Dent Act basically wiped out crime in Gotham. Once Gotham becomes a safer city, the economy and society starts to thrive, and after eight years of this, you have a city that's been saved. Well, at least until Bane comes along...

    Note that Bruce did not achieve any of this by throwing money at the problem. Sure, his money helped. He would have funded Dent's re-election campaign had Harvey not died as Two Face. He funded orphanages and other charitable works through the Wayne Foundation. But Gotham's crime problem was solved ultimately by a combination of Batman's vigilantism dealing a blow to organized crime, Gordon and Dent taking the fight to the next level, and a tough law that kept hardcore criminals incarcerated.

    It also helps that after the Joker, the Nolanverse Gotham had eight supervillain-free years

  14. #59
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Batman's world isn't realistic. It's grounded in psychological realism, where characters make decisions with a consistent internal logic based on the world they find themselves in, which is different than ours.

    In real life, Batman's crusade would be a horrible idea. Going around and beating up criminals while dressed like a bat wouldn't end well for anyone.

    But in the world Batman inhabits, it not only makes sense, it's absolutely the right thing to do. There are countless people walking around Gotham still alive because of what Batman does. If I was kidnapped by Riddler or Joker, I certainly wouldn't complain when Batman showed up and punched them in the face.

    But even in a fictional context, you can only support Batman's efforts if Bruce is working to make life better for Gothamites on his side of things. I love stories where Bruce is privately funding rehabilitation efforts for criminals he's opposed as Batman, whether that means paying for their therapy or WayneCorp giving them jobs. If he's just a guy who punches people in the face, he's a monster. Maybe a monster on our side, but a monster nonetheless.

    It should also be noted that there are very generous billionaires who still haven't eradicated crime and poverty. And they have to deal with the political limitations handed to them--Bruce could support a politician's campaign, but he couldn't guarantee their election. So he couldn't stop it if a mayor went 'tough on crime' instead and tried to cut funding for social safety nets and other beneficial programs.

  15. #60
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    So just thinking through how Batman comics have dealt with some of these issues in the past.

    In the Silver Age, Batman was essentially deputized by law enforcement. So he was more like, I don't know, a private consultant called in special cases? The superhero equivalent of Adrian Monk?

    It's the Miller influence where things get really problematic. Batman operating with no accountability and relishing physical confrontation. In a lot of ways, "Batman: Year Three" brought that to an end with Dick Grayson openly confronting Batman about how reckless he'd become after Jason Todd's death. Mostly.

    After that? Well, I think recently there's been a renewed interest in Bruce Wayne trying to make Gotham better through philanthropy, as well as Batman addressing the more problematic aspects of his vigilantism. "Cold Days" comes to mind. King's answer seems to be that Bruce understands the need for Batman to be accountable for his actions, which is what keeps him from doing more harm than good.

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