Tag Archives: The Joker

What is Sacred for Comic Book Adaptations?

With the marked increase in movies and TV shows that are based off of comic books there is the equal increase of the outcry around how the comics are adapted for the screen. At the same time I feel like you will hear one person yelling about how an adaptation handled a certain character and then only a short while later someone will point out how this one comic run fits perfectly with this adaptation of the character. It’s just that there’s decades worth of comics to draw from.

Not the image I first saw like this on Facebook... the one I liked had different TV and movie jokers over time, and the comics that they looked like.

Not the image I first saw like this on Facebook… the one I liked had different TV and movie jokers over time, and the comics that they looked like.

A prime example being the new Joker as portrayed by Jared Leto. When images were initially shown of the new Joker people got up in arms saying it was not really the Joker, but then others started showing that actually there are comics that fit with this new look for the Joker. Then the question is raised about what from comic books are sacred when considering an adaptation if there can be so many differences between the comics?

Now I have only been reading comics in the last few years really, but even so it is easy to find places where there are inconsistencies between stories. Now in comics this can be explained either through the use of alternate universes or from just continual reboots of the stories themselves. So what are the things that usually don’t change?

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The Dark Knight Returns and Moral Relativism

Absolute Dark Knight Cover

Cover to Absolute Dark Knight

I don’t know why, but I’ve had a big mental block against doing this post. In our quest to review books and comics, the next one on my list was The Dark Knight Returns. However, I don’t think I can just review it. For one thing, we already have an excellent review of this comic, in two parts:

  1. Batman, retired? Are you kidding me?
  2. The Dark Knight v. The Man of Steel

Thanks again to our guest blogger Gene’O of Sourcerer and Just Gene’O for those!

So I don’t want to just re-do something that’s already been done well. However, it’s in part because of reading these reviews that I read these comics in the first place. As the PBS Idea Channel says, there can be advantages to reading something with spoilers, like I did with this. It was a ton of fun. Great comic.

I thought about writing a LitFlix, but I feel like it boils down to “yep, Nolan’s Dark Knight series relied on these comics a lot.” But instead, I’ve decided to focus in on one aspect, and one which is by no means unique to The Dark Knight Returns, but which is laid out plain as day in the comic: Moral Relativism. What I mean by this, at least in the context of this comic, is the idea that if we can find the psychological cause to their actions, then they are no longer responsible. Onward!

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Catching Up – The Killing Joke

So recently Holly and I borrowed a friend’s copy of the famous Batman comic, The Killing Joke. I have not read many Batman comics, but Batman has ended up in more media than other heroes, so I feel still like I know him pretty well. Between different movie series, TV shows – live and animated – and excellent video games, there’s really just a lot of Batman out there.

The back cover to the Killing Joke.

The back cover to the Killing Joke.

But as part of taking a step back from my saturation in Marvel comics, this seemed like a great comic to read. And as a quick review, I have to say: it was excellent. Good art, good story. It had some things I’ve been missing from Batman lately – say, in the Christopher Nolan movies. Batman talking more while in costume. Crazy thought, right? And the faces of the Joker in this are really well done.

Since this comic is now over 25 years old, I guess I can treat it as though spoilers are not an issue. However, I will still try to be careful. So let me lay it out for you to consider, in case you haven’t read this comic and are thinking about doing so. I am going to introduce what it is that’s apparently the big events in this comic. The story that hadn’t been told before. Then, I’m going to consider this in comparison to a movie that I feel has a lot of similarities: The Dark Knight. And then, I want to consider the ending, which will be the most spoilery of course. Also, because we read the “Deluxe Edition” graphic novel, some of that may not have been in the original, but it’s fascinating nonetheless.

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The Nine Alignments of Batman

So for today’s post, I put my work into something other than writing. In the early character studies, I was enjoying the thoughts of figuring out characters and what their Dungeons and Dragons alignment would be. I came up with an alignment grid in this post. I think it was pretty good, and a lot of fun both for the thought that goes into it, and the creation of the final product.

I also created an alignment grid centered around the character of Wolverine here. And when you look online at full alignment grids, you see three main types, I feel like. One is the overall grid, where you try to present the best characters you can think of for each alignment. Another is the grid based on one complicated character, like The Doctor or Batman. However, I’m going for the third kind today: Nine Alignments from one fictional world.

So I give you the nine alignments, from the world of Batman. There don’t actually seem to be a lot of these, at least not ones outside of the Christopher Nolan movies. And while I am nowhere near a Batman expert, and though I thought of so many other characters, there’s still a lot of content to consider and I tried to show a bit from multiple sources. So follow on to check out the results!

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Super Hero Movies and the Plurality of Villains

Been thinking about an interesting fact of superhero movies. They are all pulling from mountains of source material, comics and comics, which are always having to come up with new plots and new enemies as the story continues. Because it’s that or start over, right?

Usually, the heroes only have to deal with one problem at a time in the comics. There’s only so much real estate to have things going on in a monthly format like that – you focus on something, then move on to something else.

In the movies, they do something very different. They do lots of villains. Do you agree? Let’s look at a few examples!
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