As usual, I concur with Tim’s gut reaction, whilst disagreeing with his analysis of said judgment…
Near the end of the first comment-section, I added this:
my opinion of Bats is very similar to yours, Tim… but, in my own case, the antipathy has nothing to do with a dislike of hard-boiled crime writing (in fact, this is my favourite type of “genre” writing)
my objection to Batman is that (as Cole states) he’s a Shadow clone that has been (unwisely) given a suffocating origin story and too much of the spotlight… the great thing about the Shadow, the Continental Op (all of Hammett’s main characters–as opposed to protagonists– actually), Hawthorne’s Coverdale, etc. is that they don’t HAVE origins and we aren’t supposed to understand or relate to their behaviour–they are pure literary devices…dramatic catalysts , not people… that’s where Batman, the Punisher, etc. go wrong, in my book…
Because the whole point of Robin is that he serves as a bridge between the reader and the title character. When Dick’s parents are killed, the young reader is practically forced to think–“oh no! this isn’t just a story–this could actually happen to me–and how would I react?” And, of course, the only answer the story offers to that hithertofore extraneous question is Bruce’s own caped coping mechanism… At which point, the narrative becomes trapped in the Bat-Jar, effectively foreclosing upon all possibility of future narrative development (as opposed to “progress”.. think of Peter Parker–who may not really age all that much, but who does have a very definite post-origin life history)
In other news:
Cerebus is really pissing me off.
good afternoon friends!