The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'underwear perverts'
Comic-book editor Steve Padnick argues that, more than other comic-book superheroes, Batman is an embodiment of plutocracy, with a good measure of Hobbesian authoritarianism thrown in:
Batman isn’t just “the man,” Bruce Wayne is also The Man. He’s a rich, white, handsome man who comes from an old money family and is the main employer in Gotham. He owns half the property in the city. In a very real sense, Gotham belongs to him, and he inherited all of it.
True, it’s a very American version of aristocracy, based on wealth rather than divine right, but in practice it’s basically the same. The myth of aristocracy is that class is genetic, that some people are just born good enough to rule, and that this inherent goodness can be passed down from generation to generation. It’s long been established, and Grant Morrison’s recent “Return of Bruce Wayne” miniseries reaffirmed, that there has always been a Wayne in Gotham City, and that the state of the city reflects the status of the Waynes at the time. The implied message of Batman: Year One, and Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Beyond, and so on is… if the Waynes are absent from Gotham, the entire city falls apart.The underlying narrative of Batman—which, in most people's minds, has largely been buried under a pile of camp 1960s kitsch, thanks to the TV series—is one of class war, with Batman, an Arthurian king-in-exile, taking back his kingdom (Gotham City) from the underclass, and reinforce the status quo where the law, rendered effete and ineffectual by red tape and concern for due process, is unable to do so:
Just look at who he fights. Superman (for example) fights intergalactic dictators, evil monopolists, angry generals, and dark gods, i.e. symbols of abusive authority. Batman fights psychotics, anarchists, mob bosses, the mentally ill, and environmentalists, i.e. those who would overthrow the status quo. Superman fights those who would impose their version of order on the world. Batman fights those who would unbalance the order Batman himself imposes on Gotham.
Consider the Penguin. He’s a criminal, a thug. But what really distinguishes him from other villains is his pretensions to being upper class. The tux, the monocle, the fine wine and fine women, running for mayor.... He tries to insinuate himself with actual socialites, some of whom are attracted to his air of danger, but most of whom are repulsed by his “classless” manners. And when his envy and resentment of his “betters” turns to violence, Bruce steps in to teach him his place.In other words, if each age gets the heroes it deserves, the (super)hero for our time, with its spiralling wealth gap, nominally democratic governments realising that they're at the beck and call of the global super-rich and consequently raising taxes and cutting back services for the little people, and the post-9/11 Long Siege, could be Batman.
(via Boing Boing)
A new comic book from Colombia has Pope John Paul II return as a superhero, donning a cape, a utility belt holding holy water and communion wine and special "chastity pants" and battling the forces of evil. "El Increible HomoPater" (which means "Popeman", and not "Gay Dad") is scheduled to go on sale in Colombia and Poland, to be followed by Popeman action figures. A sample page is here.
Angle Grinder Man, a "vigilante cum subversive superhero philanthropist entertainer type personage", who goes around in a superhero costume and mask freeing motorists from wheel clamps all over Kent, in the name of some vaguely anarchist/right-wing-populist philosophy. (What is it about Kent and nutters in superhero costumes anyway? First they had that chap in Tunbridge Wells and now this guy. Did the creators of Superman know something we didn't when they gave him his surname?)
It's ironic that this should happen two days after Wesley Willis passed away: Thames Valley police launch manhunt for Batman, after the superhero (or an impostor) beat another man unconscious outside a cafe.
Remember the Tunbridge Wells costumed crimefighter? Well, it turns out that was all a hoax. Well, there was a chap in an brown-and-orange superhero costume (a local hairstylist named Matt Lees), but the bits about him rescuing townsfolk in trouble were made up, mailed into newspaper letter pages (where else?) by Lees and two of his friends.
Mr Shaw, a designer in a publishing company, said: "This 'Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' thing is such a cliche. We decided to see how far we could push it, to write the funniest letters we could."
There was only one thing for it. Mr Lees made a costume that fitted the "witness" descriptions. "The O on the chest was supposed to be a zero, because it was nothing all along," he said.
More details on the Tunbridge Wells costumed crimefighter, whose lightning appearances have been striking terror into the hearts of louts and delinquents across the Kent town:
Mr Shaw said he would like his work contacts to know that he is, as far as he is aware, of sound mind, and he doesn't drink at lunchtime. "You're looking for a tall guy," he said, "with a brown cape, brown mask, brown boots and a big orange suit with a brown 'O' symbol on the front."
"O"? Perhaps it stands for "Outraged" or something?
"Well, it is that sort of town. There are quite a few eccentrics. There's one bloke who wanders round in a bra singing, and another who goes about in full German uniform shouting 'I'm a naughty boy'. But I can't say I've seen this caped crusader."
The quiet Kent town of Tunbridge Wells, best known as the traditional home of conservatively-inclined newspaper letter writers, now has its own costumed crimefighter. (via NWD)