I was planning to post Part 3 of my A Literate Adult’s Return to the Valley of Twilight series today. To those of you who don’t know, it is my epic saga of updates on the arduous process of reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer for the second time. I liked the book the first time around for reasons that I still have yet to understand.
As important and groundbreaking as that would have been, I decided instead to be a bit serious for a moment. Please bear with me—I promise I’ll be back to fuck words and inappropriate jokes by my next post.
Due to The Dark Knight Rises’ recent release, there have been all kinds of Batman-inspired blogs and comics floating around the Internet. I’ve been looking at quite a few of them since I happen to be a big fan of web comics, blogs, and Batman, and I can’t help but notice that each and every Comments section is overflowing with comments like this:
“You should take this down out of respect for the victims in Aurora.”
And I just wanted to take a minute to say this: No. No. These bloggers and web comic creators should not have to take their tributes to the comics and films they love down because of a senseless tragedy.
I’ve long been a fan of comic books and though I didn’t find him until college, Batman is my very favorite superhero. He is a superhero who never kills the bad guys and abhors the violence he must use to beat them. In fact in Knightfall, a Batman story arc which The Dark Knight Rises borrows quite heavily from, Bruce Wayne is temporarily replaced by the vicious and violent Jean Paul Valley as Batman while Bruce recovers from his broken spine. This man who is willing to kill, and who uses violence other than when it is absolutely necessary, quickly becomes a villain.
In a city overrun with corruption, Batman is the one man who is willing to fight for what is right. He’s willing to look like the bad guy if necessary, if that is what Gotham needs. Other superheroes are adored by the cities they defend, whereas Gotham always seems so ready to condemn its caped crusader.
I’ve spoken before about how Batman and Knightfall helped to inspire my own work. Batman taught me to create characters who would question what they were given, who would strive to be good no matter what the authorities were telling them, and who would do anything to give people just a little bit of hope in these dark times.
So no, I’m sorry. James Holmes has already taken so much. He took twelve lives. He inflicted physical wounds on many other victims and emotional wounds on the victims’ families. No way in hell am I going to let him take Batman too.
In several articles I’ve read about the tragedy, witnesses point out how James Holmes spoke as though he was a movie star prior to the killing—that he called himself “The Joker” when arrested. Every time people try to make Batman about James Holmes and self-righteously call out writers and artists for their lack of respect, they are doing exactly what this man wants. He wants to be famous—he wants to be a household name. He wants to be forever associated with who I think is the greatest superhero of all time.
I, for one, refuse to participate. After this blog post, I don’t plan to speak that bastard’s name again. I do, however, plan to talk about Batman as much as I ever have. If you really want to respect the victims of the shooting, then I suggest you do the same.