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Subj: should killer villians be recurring?
Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 09:17:17 pm EST
I was reading Les Daniels's book about the history of the Batman. In it, he states that many of Batman's enemies were originally murderers but were tamed in order to make them recurring characters.
For example, the Joker was originally a SANE but cold-blooded killer that took pleasure in killing. He was supposed to die in Batman #1 (1940) but the editor at the time (I forget the name) liked the character so much he that he told artist Bob Kane to let him live. So, the Joker became a recurring villain thanks to the editor, however, the editor also decreed that the Joker's crimes has to be less violent; basically he could not kill as much. The editor stated that a recurring villain should not be a cold-blooded killer.
This is not so today. Ever since the seventies beginning with the "Joker's Five-Way Revenge" story, the Joker is an INSANE cold-blooded killer. And every Joker story since then has tried to up the ante, probably for sensational reasons; the Joker is committing even more vile and gratuitous criminal acts in each subsequent story. I am using the Joker as an example but it could be said of other Batman villains such as Two-Face and Penguin who are killers in today's Batman but much tamer pre-1970s.
Do you think villains that are cold-blooded killers should be allowed to be recurring characters? In my case, the answer is no because I find it immoral that they can continue killing without any means to permanently stop them from doing so. Metaphorically-speaking, it would mean that good cannot triumph over evil; evil could only be halted breifly but never defeated.