In response to "Batmanalyzed" from The Escapist Forum:

Allen Varney:
Batmanalyzed

Batman is one of the most fascinating, multifaceted superheroes in all of comics ... as long as you don't think about him too much. Allen Varney digs a bit too deeply into the Batman Mythos and unearths some rather unpleasant character traits in the process.

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Good article. I've often wished DC would have the brass to do some Batman stories where he takes on white collar criminals, especially as the current world economy stands.

But that's not the only example of Batman still being, more or less, a character with his feet firmly planted in the 1930s. Batman routinely fights Italian-American gangsters in pinstripe suits and crazy circus folk. These aren't exactly profiles of a majority of contemporary criminals. I know why DC keeps things going in this vein, and that's because Batman still works best in the type of universe for which he was originally created. That's why Bruce Timm wisely went retro-future noir with his animated and comic work, and fans love it because the quality of stories that come out of that universe is very high. But I do worry that at some point Batman's world will be too different from the contemporary one, and his comics won't pick up new readers because they can't figure out what's going on or why they should care.

Of course, he's been going strong now for more than 70 years, so maybe it won't matter. Maybe being Batman is enough. Personally I find that a little unfair, as my grandparents got to see him fighting Nazis, and my parents got to see him taking down pimps and drug-dealers. Why can't I see him taking down child molesters and white collar crooks? I don't know if he can't because DC really thinks it won't sell, or it will anger their masters. I suspect that it's simply because they're keen to go with what they've successfully sold before, so they hire artists that love the nostalgia.

I just wonder how long that can be sustained. Because I'm actually starting to get a little bored with it. Batman needs a cell-phone, TMZ invading the Batcave, and a few DNS attacks on his Bat-servers.

But he can keep the Victorian cape and cowl. Because somethings are timelessly cool.

- TheBluesader

I don't read superhero comics often, for various reasons, but one is their conservative view of crime. Crime in superhero comics since the 1940s has been about bad people doing bad things. It's rarely about the situations that leads people to do those bad things. Superheroes beat up thugs, but rarely address the social problems that are the cause of most crime. I'm not a bleeding heart--someone who assaults or murders somebody else should be subjected to the full court press of the law--but most criminals are symptoms of greater problems that are almost never addressed in superhero comics.

I know I'm painting with a rather broad brush here, and that some comics writers have addressed my points above. (I also remember a bit of dialogue in Batman Begins that implied Bruce Wayne's father's philanthropic work did a lot to keep Gotham's crime rate down back in the day.) But I still find it hard to swallow the overall trend in comics, as I'll explain:

TheBluesader:
Good article. I've often wished DC would have the brass to do some Batman stories where he takes on white collar criminals, especially as the current world economy stands.

But that's not the only example of Batman still being, more or less, a character with his feet firmly planted in the 1930s. Batman routinely fights Italian-American gangsters in pinstripe suits and crazy circus folk. These aren't exactly profiles of a majority of contemporary criminals.

OK, I like The Godfather and The Sopranos as much as anybody, but as an Italian-Canadian I'm really getting sick of the shallow mobster typecasting. And I know my people don't have it half as bad as others do. One Batman trade I read was Batman: Evolution, where Batman has to clean up Gotham after the whole No Man's Land arc. And who does he have to clean up?

The black gang, the Italian mafia, the Chinese Triad, the Columbian cartel, and the Russian Mafiya. So the subtext is, the rich WASP industrialist is clearing the stereotyped ethnic vermin from "his" streets. Sigh. And this situation was essentially recycled for The Dark Knight, along with heaps more anti-Chinese sentiment, which annoyed the hell out of me.

(This comic also insulted me professionally, given its handling of databases and IT. That it was written by Greg Rucka, who I usually respect, was salt in the wound.)

I guess I'm really irritated because Batman is an intelligent guy. I like intelligent heroes. And Batman should be smart enough to know that while mobsters and muggers and the mentally ill are a problem, they're a symptom of much bigger problems. The guy can save the earth from Braniac but can't make a dent in Gotham's poverty problems?

- Falseprophet

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In response to "For the Horde" from The Escapist Forum: When I started playing World of Warcraft, I picked Night Elves for purely cosmetic reasons. I played up to level 55, and the only thing that I seriously disliked about WoW was the community. People were immature and stupid, calling everyone else in the game "fags" and "retards," and nobody ever knew how to work in a group. I don't just mean PvP; they couldn't even keep a damn dungeon group organized.

At around level 55, I decided to try out a new class, and so decided to pick my second favorite race, Tauren. Trying to troll Durotar's general channel, I made an tame joke in our discussion about the fact that I'm gay. Nobody had any negative response. They pretty much all typed "lol," and went on with the humorous discussion we were already having. I was astounded.

I played that Tauren to level 20, and discovered that this general sense of acceptance and maturity was pretty much a constant. People on Horde were people that I could actually communicate with. I left for a year to get the shit in my life straight, and when I came back, I started a Tauren Druid. It's been about a month since I started again, and I've never loved the Horde more. I even bought a damn t-shirt.

For the Horde!

- Mirrored Jigsaw

I rolled Alliance at first because A, I wanted to play my customary Paladin and I didn't get BC right from the get go and B, I like the lore for the Alliance better. Not the Night Elves, but the Humans.

The Humans just saw the loss of one of their major kingdoms to the Scourge. The sole Human homeland in the Alliance is in tatters, with ineffective politicians taking the place of the Child king, while his father is left for dead. There is rampant xenophobia against their old allies, the elves, who have turned to demonic powers after their homeland was eradicated. Their race is on the downfall, while their old enemies, the Orcs and Trolls of the Horde, are steadily on the rise.There are no heroes left of the likes of Lother, Uther, and Khadgar. The Silver Hand is no more. The Kirin Tor are little more than glorified scholars. Their kingdoms are isolationist and full of rot. The de facto ruler of Stormwind turns out to be a Black Dragon. But, out of nowhere, the King returns to replace humanitys' lost glories, to turn back the Horde. His hate for them has been forged through slavery and bloodshed. My Paladin was disillusioned rather quickly at the state of the world, and the feebleness of the Order of the Silver Hand to stop it. He threw all he had left into the Light to save humanity, and it was with that grim faith he set out into the world to purge its evils with his holy wrath.

I think that the Horde gets a lot more attention than the Alliance *cough*favouritism*cough* but hey, it's just how you take it. The guild I was with had nary a griefer, with the sad few that appeared on our doorstep quickly thrown our. Trade was full of idiots, sure, but it's the internet. I made a Belf pally when I finally got BC, but I found it just too much of a change from the Blood Elves of WC3 for me to keep going.

Alliance for me.

- LewsTherin

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