Batman >> View Post
Post By
Nemo

In Reply To
The Highland Fling

Subj: Re: Okay, How To Handle the Joker Problem.
Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 11:49:12 am EDT
Reply Subj: Re: Okay, How To Handle the Joker Problem.
Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 at 08:25:52 pm EDT

Previous Post

Personally, I'd like to see a moratorium on all of the major villains for two full years - Joker, Penguin, Two-Face...really anyone who's been given the "big screen" treatment, just to require the writers to focus on moving the legacy forward through creative writing rather than just cashing in on the casual audience that is looking for the standard punchline.

Batman has a lot on his hands with just keeping Gotham safe. There could, and really should, be a huge amount of entertaining, thought-provoking writing just based on fighting organized crime and corruption. Why do we need to have him constantly, and reactively, dealing with a small, rotating handful of sociopaths?

And ditch the resurrected characters too. Does anyone else feel as though writers these days are more focused on the footprints they leave on these characters, the revolutions they make to canon, than the actual stories they tell?


> Say it with me folks: NO MORE JOKER. For at least a year. I'm hoping for about two or three years at most, but it'll be a miracle if we don't see him every six months. I have to say, going over his chronology, omg, wtf? It's like he appears in 5 or 6 titles a year. And sometimes he even appears in two or three books a month. I remember him appearing in both the concluding arc or Gotham Knights, and the concluding arc of the Red Hood at the same exact time. And then I think about two or three months later he helped Luthor in Infinite Crisis. Geez, I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the Joker. But stop overexposing him. His character is becoming so dilluted. He was used to very good effect in No Man's Land. THAT'S how he should be used. Everyone was all like "Where's Joker?" There was a sense of dread and fear in the air. Now, it's all gone.

> Personally, I'd like to see a moratorium on all of the major villains for two full years - Joker, Penguin, Two-Face...really anyone who's been given the "big screen" treatment, just to require the writers to focus on moving the legacy forward through creative writing rather than just cashing in on the casual audience that is looking for the standard punchline.

Although I agree with you wholeheartedly, your statement has its own reply:

"cashing in on the casual audience. . ."

This is why it's rare to see well-written, innovative stories. Time constraints and, more importantly, the bottom line dictate production of formulaic stories with very well known villains because they're simply more cost effective. Sad, but true, in my not so humble opinion.

> Batman has a lot on his hands with just keeping Gotham safe. There could, and really should, be a huge amount of entertaining, thought-provoking writing just based on fighting organized crime and corruption. Why do we need to have him constantly, and reactively, dealing with a small, rotating handful of sociopaths?

We don't need to have him constantly addressing a small, rotating cast of characters but, as I've noted above, it's cheaper because it's quicker to write and the payoff is just as big if not bigger. You can see this phenomenon on broadcast TV and in the news. For example, reality shows are widespread now because production costs are low and the viewership is large, which generates good ad revenue for a comparatively low cost. Local news is the same way. Crime and current events are news items that cost little to produce (versus an investigative piece) but are good draws, audiencewise.

> And ditch the resurrected characters too. Does anyone else feel as though writers these days are more focused on the footprints they leave on these characters, the revolutions they make to canon, than the actual stories they tell?

Yup. To be perfectly frank, I hate "retconning". It's lazy writing and comes across as egotistical, too. But it's the way of the industry, by and large, these days. It also explains why I'm collecting only four titles now all of which I'll stop picking up when the series ends or when the story arc is over. If comic book companies want to pander to the lowest common denominator, they can do so. But not on my dime. Of course, there are notable exceptions, like Roger Stern. He's an excellent writer and I'm always on the look-out for stuff he writes (he's doing an upcoming JLA Classified arc, by the way).

Sadly, you've hit the nail on the head but you're also beating your own head against a wall if you expect any kind of significant change any time soon.

My two cents.

>
> > Say it with me folks: NO MORE JOKER. For at least a year. I'm hoping for about two or three years at most, but it'll be a miracle if we don't see him every six months. I have to say, going over his chronology, omg, wtf? It's like he appears in 5 or 6 titles a year. And sometimes he even appears in two or three books a month. I remember him appearing in both the concluding arc or Gotham Knights, and the concluding arc of the Red Hood at the same exact time. And then I think about two or three months later he helped Luthor in Infinite Crisis. Geez, I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the Joker. But stop overexposing him. His character is becoming so dilluted. He was used to very good effect in No Man's Land. THAT'S how he should be used. Everyone was all like "Where's Joker?" There was a sense of dread and fear in the air. Now, it's all gone.