Sunday, August 18, 2013

Daily Panel | 'Warring on all criminals'

After the cool, two-part story in Detective Comics 31-32, we get an interlude in 33 about Batman's fighting a guy in New York with a dirigible and a Napoleon complex (to the extent that he also tries his best to look like Napoleon). It's weird, because Detective 34 will send us back to Europe for an adventure during Batman's trip home from Hungary, so chronologically, issues 33 and 34 should be switched.

Detective 33 isn't best known for its Napoleon villain though, but because it finally reveals the origin of Batman. I like the panel above because it goes to show how much Batman's changed from the version portrayed by his creators. Like with the introduction of his code against killing, we've constructed a Batman who fights crime so that no one else has to suffer like he did. He does this at great personal cost, so it's ultimately an act of heroism, even if the way he goes about it is super flawed.

That's not the original version though, who was really just all about the vengeance. The murder of Bruce Wayne's parents was a terrifying experience for him that made him understandably angry at criminals. As Yoda wisely observed, fear leads to anger and anger leads to hate. That's the path that Batman's on, but what he doesn't seem to realize is the last part of Yoda's maxim: "hate leads to suffering." His thirst for vengeance isn't going to help Gotham. It will create more fear and start the cycle over again.

Batman started his mission from a really bad place and he's headed in a tragic direction unless something changes. Fortunately, Detective Comics #38 is coming up quick.

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