There is an attitude out there, best summed up by a friend of mine:
…the ones who believe Batman is the ultimate incarnation of badassery… who think in the Urban Dictionary next to “Bad ass” there is a picture of Batman… think Batman eats broken glass for breakfast and shits Chuck Norrises. (Yes, plural.) Who believe in their hearts and souls that the only reason Batman doesn’t kill is so his enemies can cry into their pillows each night from the knowledge that they will never be as badass as Batman….
But that attitude is not what’s really wrong with the fandom. The true tragedy are the ones who don’t believe any of that but think it’s necessary for a successful product, who think a portrayal lacking that cynicism masquerading as realism is doomed to fail. To those poor Faustian bastards I gleefully report that in a year I have spent posting a ludicrous amount of Batman-related material, related to Arkham City, to The Dark Knight Rises, The New 52, and selections old and new from the Cat-Tales fan gallery, the most liked, reblogged and retumbled were these two…
and this bit of lighthearted silliness from Comics Worth Reading.
You know, in 4 days Cat-Tales is going to celebrate it’s 12th anniversary. That’s 12 years of readers, 12 years of stories – some of which actually inspired some of those readers to write and draw for this storyverse, this vision of the characters specifically.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for those who imprinted on the dystopian nihilism of the 1980s to consider the possibility that what seemed like the alpha and omega then was not a great and lasting vision. That it is failing to withstand the test of time. That there are a lot of people out here who, so far from insisting on that grim & gritty ugliness, actually find it a turnoff and a deterrent to buying the product.
Maybe, as we said at my old theatre, it’s time to remember that there are two masks, and only one of them is crying.