July 17, 2012

Speaking of the Dark Knight ...

... here's what you get when you have a writer assigned to a topic for which he knows next to nothing:

Imagine that you are a child billionaire, orphaned in a mugging that goes terribly wrong. You decide to devote yourself to making sure that no one else will suffer as you did. But how? Do you open a series of outreach centres, hire probation workers, sponsor rehabilitation schemes? Or do you put on a rubber suit and prowl the streets at night, clobbering members of the underclass until they promise to stop breaking the law?

This is the Telegraph's (UK) Robert Colvile "informing us" just what Bruce Wayne/Batman is "really about." Because he wants to go on a rant about how the Dark Knight is supposedly a conservative's wet dream -- a protector of the "plutocracy." But, of course, anyone who is even remotely familiar with the Caped Crusader knows that it's hardly only "members of the underclass" that he goes after in his quest for justice. Granting that Colvile's never read a Batman comicbook, didn't he see Batman Begins and The Dark Knight? Organized crime and white collar criminals are hardly "underclass." More like [criminal] underworld, if anything. But hey, don't let reality get in the way of a good "progressive" diatribe.

But Colvile doesn't stop there. He then displays even greater ignorance by invoking the name Iron Man -- a certain Tony Stark -- next:

... the most popular superhero characters today – Batman and Iron Man – are both handsome tycoons”. Indeed. Iron Man is the ultimate carefree capitalist, who shuts down his weapons business not in the spirit of peace and love, but because he wants to fly around in a metal suit that fires, in the deathless words of Doctor Evil, frickin’ laser beams.

This is a total fabrication, even purely based on the movie(s) alone. Did Colvile miss the part in Iron Man where Stark witnessed the devastation his weapons wrought? So that, when he was finally rescued and brought back to the States, he announced he would be shutting down all weapons development in order to pursue more peaceful endeavors?? Becoming Iron Man was convenient side effect, if anything, of his kidnapping ordeal. In the Iron Man comics, being Iron Man wasn't even convenient at first; Tony Stark was constantly plagued by the need to monitor the power level of his chestplate device -- so that his heart would keep beating. Numerous early stories had him barely making it to a wall socket to recharge the thing!

In addition, Colvile never ponders why pampered rich guys like Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark even bother to become superheroes in the freakin' first place. Gee, could it be ... to give something back to society? How many times have they saved average joes (let alone the whole damned planet) -- either by themselves or as members of their respective super-teams, the Justice League and the Avengers?

Indeed. Why bother to even consider such when it completely and thoroughly shreds your ridiculous premise? Cripes, it'd make a helluva lot more sense from a "progressive" perspective to make the case that our real modern-day capitalists ought to be a lot more like Wayne and Stark. But oh, that's right -- can't have that. Capitalism itself is an enemy of "progressives." How silly of me.

Posted by Hube at July 17, 2012 03:40 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I love how these newspapers/websites hire people who can't be bothered to actually research the characters they've been asked to write about.

Posted by: Carl at July 19, 2012 02:23 PM