Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Nope, I just don't like it

Karen: Back in March of last year, I put together a little post called "Nope, I Just Don't Get It" that talked about those things that are popular in fandom that leave you shaking your head - not that you necessarily disliked them, but you just didn't get the appeal (my two personal examples were The Big Bang Theory and the Harry Potter phenomenon). Quite a few of you joined in to bring up things like Avatar, Deadpool, and Dr. Who as stuff you just didn't 'get'.

Karen: Today I'm going to go more negative though, and ask about geek-related things you actively dislike. The reason I'm going here is the animated version of  The Killing Joke recently came out, and it reminded of how much I have always disliked that story. I mean, I like Brain Bolland's art in general, I've enjoyed a number of things Alan Moore has written, but this story just repulsed me. I have to say a lot of that distaste came from the way Barbara Gordon was treated, but I also didn't buy the way Batman behaved in the end. In any case, I know I am very much in the minority on this one, but I don't care. I didn't like the comic, and I have no desire to see the animated film.

Karen: There's not much I really dislike though. Most of the time there's just stuff that's not my cup of tea, like manga. I don't like to point out particular artists I don't like but...another person who was brought up here recently was  Todd McFarlane. I could not stand the way he drew Spider-Man! I know,  I am alone on an island, but that's how I feel. The webbing looked so over-complicated, and the eyes -I hate the huge eyes.

what is going on with the webbing? And is Spidey in a Keane painting?

Karen: So have at it -is there something in comics, genre movies or TV, heck, you can go outside that if you want to, that you just don't like -especially if it's something that seems to be really popular?


Unknown said...

I'll just make a list of what I dislike in Geekdom...

Harry Potter... Just dull, boring and blatantly derivative...

Frank Miller's artwork... And apart from Batman Year One, most of his writing.. Just nasty and joy killing..

The J J Ashrams' STAR TREK Reboot.. Needless and just a cash grab. Why not just have a new Enterprise and a new crew in the 'prime' universe... Follow on from the Next Gen..

STAR WARS The Force Awakens... Just embarrassingly dull and by the numbers film making. It might improve with Mark Hamill more involved with the second one..

Todd McFarlane.. Just awful all round..

Apart from Watchmen, anything by Alan Moore.. See Frank Miller..

Rob Liefield... See Todd McFarlane

Man of Steel, Batman v Superman (I've not bothered with Suicide Squad).. Joyless, nasty, depressing films.

The X -Men films... You mean Wolverine plus a bit with the X -Men.. X Men first class was ok though, mainly because it only had a cameo from..

Wolverine.. Just overused..

The Nolan Batman ( I use the term, Batman, loosely) film trilogy. Heath Ledger was the only decent thing in the whole film series..

Doctor Who ( though I grew up loving the 'classic' series) The writing/acting in 'NuWho' is abysmal..

Jeff Lynne and ELO... Just pap...

I guess I'm a Hater as well...

Edo Bosnar said...

Oh, wow, Karen, you really opened the floodgates with this one...
And looking back at that previous, 50+ comments discussion, it seems apparent that quite a few of us had already strayed from "just don't get it" into "just don't like it" territory.

As for your examples, in the case of Killing Joke, I don't hate it, but I've liked it a little less with each repeated reading - granted, that's only been 3 times, but still. I also fully understand why a lot of people say that they don't like/hate it, and I can say that it's probably my least favorite story by Moore. And I've heard from people whose opinion I greatly respect that the Killing Joke animated is just awful.
On McFarlane, as I noted in last week's post, I just haven't read many stories with his artwork, but generally I'm not a fan. But - also as noted before - I kind of like the way he draws Spidey's webbing.
I have to say, I agree with Steve about the NuTrek movies - as time passes, they're becoming something I just don't like.

As for my own entry in this category: I'll go back to our youthful heyday, jump right to TV, and go ahead and say I never, ever liked "Three's Company." Never thought it was particularly funny, never understood why my older siblings watched it on occasion nor why all the kids at school would talk about how awesome it was the next day. Closely related to that, I never really understood the appeal of John Ritter, either - never found him particularly funny (although regardless, RIP - it sucks that he died at such a relatively young age).

Anonymous said...

In Bronze Age comics - Frank Robbins art and the Dreaded Deadline Doom. Robbins art made some issues of Cap and the Invaders almost unreadable (unviewable?) for me. And who didn't dislike buying the next issue of a long awaited follow up only to be struck by the DDD (like it was some sort of disease or plague that the staff had no control over) and get a bad fill-in or reprint instead. Completist that I was, I would just be a gump and buy the ish anyway.

In current pop culture - so-called "reality" TV. Nothing "real" about it. Kardashians, Real Housewives, Sister Wives, Teen Moms, Little People, Fat People.....AAAUUUGH! Was Ozzy Osbourne the first in this? Ozzy, what hath ye wrought?


Doug said...

I have never liked the term "geek" in regard to fans of the things we discuss at the BAB. I don't know if I'd want to profile someone to the extent that I identified them as a "geek" -- we all know the stereotypes from film and television -- but that isn't me. I could go so far as to say the term is offensive to me.

I'll echo many of the sentiments already stated, such as the Nolan Bat-films, the recent Superman films, and really the first batch of X-films (although X2 was tolerable).

I never liked Gaiman's Sandman. But I should perhaps give it another try. As I've stated many times, I have a really hard time with comics that lay outside the Marvel and DC superhero genre.


Redartz said...

Ok, let's see,

Reality tv. There may be a greater waste of time and brainpower than watching that dreck, but I can't think of what it would be.

Kirby's Cap in the mid 70's. Love Kirby and most of his work, but that stint just didn't work for me.

X-Men comics after about 1985. Over complicated, convoluted, a turn-off.

Edo- I'll echo your sentiments on "Three's Company". I would sometimes watch it, and then sit and wonder why...

Most Rap/Hip Hop. Some I can get into, but much of it is, to these ears, just boring and unlistenable.

Most Heavy Metal- see above comment, but add grating to the ears.

Any pop music using (shudder) auto tune. I want to hear a human sing, not a recalibrated electronic signal.

Ok, that's my curmudeonly contribution for now...

Jack Alberti said...

Hi, everyone! Haven't posted a whole lot and haven't posted in quite a while. But, this one got my blood pumping, mind racing, and fingers bouncing!

I could not agree more with Karen's comments on the Killing Joke and McFarlane. Never understood fandom's love affair. Also, Frank Miller makes my skin crawl!

Now, I do have to respectfully disagree with Steve! Jeff Lynne? Come on, man!

Anonymous said...

Well, it was yesterday's topic but...Marvel/DC crossovers. I just find them pointless and nonsensical (how do the Marvel and DC characters manage to avoid each other all the rest of the time and are there two Atlantises - one for Aquaman and one for Namor). I've never seen Three's Company but I know it was based on the British comedy "Man About The House" - Jack Tripper was originally Robin Tripp, the Ropers were originally...er, the Ropers. But no kids at school the next day said it was awesome :D

Doug said...

You know what I don't like? To an extent it's how mainstream superheroes have become. These people today -- they didn't pay their dues. Granted, part of me thinks it's incredible that the whole comic book thing is "out of the closet". But, I also know that there is no real investment in the history by today's fans of the films. That doesn't stop any of them from being "experts", though.

I do not like John Romita, Jr.'s art style -- anything that came after his earliest runs on Iron Man and Amazing Spider-Man. But I think those pictures were heavily influenced by his inkers (Layton, certainly).


Allen said...

Well as long as we're all being honest - I've never liked Steve Ditko's Spider Man. I have an appreciation for it - with Ditko being the original Spider Man artist and all. But I just don't like it. When I read back issues I start with John Romita's Spider Man. He was obliviously mirroring Ditko when he started but then he came into his own and wall crawler really came alive. I understand this isn't a popular point of view, but I've never understood why people think Ditko is such an awesome artist.

Anonymous said...

Doug I'm with you on the whole superheroes "out of the closet" thing. I liked it better when they were just for us "geeks".


Sorry. ;-)


Anonymous said...

I guess I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to geeky (sorry Doug) stuff; I don't like everything, but there's not a lot I really loathe either...a lot of stuff is just "in-between" for me. That being said (and at the risk of being banished from BAB forever), I've never really liked Jack Kirby's art. It all just looks the same to me--the faces, the poses, the backgrounds, whatever. I can appreciate how groundbreaking his art was back in the Forties, when everyone else was drawing "static" stuff and Kirby gave the characters life and made them jump off the page, but to me, his art never really evolved from that, so it always looks kind of old-fashioned. I know I'm in the minority on that one, but since we're sharing...

I agree about McFarlane and Liefeld (and others like Jae Lee or Erik Larsen)...their stuff always seems too "busy" to me.

Mike Wilson

dbutler16 said...

Well, I agree with most of the things that Steve Parr said, though I'm not as much of a hater as he.

Doug said...

Yeah, yeah on the "geek" thing. I suppose by someone's standards all this stuff we like is geeky. I never really cared for John Wayne films, so maybe I am geeky. I'll go fetch my pocket protector.

I can't really think of an Image artist whose work "holds up" (and we've discussed that term around here before) in the present. But show me some Marvel work from around 1968-78 and I think it's timeless.

Frank Miller's work falls into that "with the right mindset" category for me. His Daredevil was very good, but quite different from his Sin City stuff. But the Sin City style works along with the story, so I don't have a problem with it. However, Miller's work on TDKR II or whatever it was called was putrid. That DC let that see the light of day screams "cash grab".


Martinex1 said...

I know I am not a great DC fan... but the thing that keeps me away the most is Superman. I just don't get him and I don't like him as a character. He is so boring to me, always seems a bit whiny, doesn't seem too bright, and with all that power just seems "weak". I'm not a fan of grim and gritty heroes but Superman on the other end of the spectrum is just as bad.

Garett said...

Dave Matthews and Steely Dan. There's something emotionally cool about both groups that turns me off. The music can sound peppy or funky, but slides into a cold jazzy sound that is a bummer. Add in Canadian Matthew Good-- energetic but not uplifting. I have to turn the radio station when any of these 3 come on.

Since I'm generally positive, I'll put in a plug for some new music I like: Terra Lightfoot. No relation to Gordon. Great guitar pop songwriter on the rise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqau1ulYfG0 And I've mentioned The Glorious Sons here before-- great new rock band with super vocals and live show. And I've been listening to the 4 Tops recently, after hearing this one for the first time and digging it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK3CGdyJBrI I'd heard several of their other hits, but somehow missed this one that went to #4 on the charts.

For Karen's list: I liked Deadpool, thought it was fast and funny. The Killing Joke had some impressive art, but I haven't gone back to it as I found the story unpleasant. I'd like to try Dr. Who sometime, but still haven't watched even one episode.

B McMolo said...

Amen on McFarlane!! Times two thousand. Never understood the appeal at all. The crazy webs, the affronts to anatomy - everything everyone already said and then some.

What stands out in my memory is when they sent Spidey on that book tour (where he hobknobbed with the Slaves of New York lady, name escapes me, but it was out of left field) and we saw him web-swinging in rural Kansas. Kansas must be covered with redwoods in the Marvel Universe... but what happened outside the frame was of no concern to McFarlane.

Oh God, and the capes. I remember one issue with the Taskmaster that was just horrendous - his cape was literally like 50 feet long.

Anyone ever notice the huge similarity between Spawn and how he drew the Prowler, as well?

The McFarlane era was the death knell of "my" Marvel.

spencer said...

Interesting question. I often find myself liking or tolerating stuff that others think "sucks," the most recent example being Batman vs Superman. Comics-wise, I guess I just don't care for all the re-telling of the canon that evolved when I was a kid. Sure, I know that you can't keep re-telling the same spider man stories over and over again, but when it comes to Spider-Gwen or whatever it is, I just ignore it.

Other than rap music, which I pretty much despise, I'm just glad that geekdom has as much power in pop culture as it does now. As far as our subject matter, it's funny, as a 10 yr old, I wasn't a fan of Jack Kirby, especially his early marvel stuff. Now I collect it as much as I can. While I was never a Superman fan, part of the reason was I never keened to the DC stable of artists like Curt Swan. Similarly to others here, I never cared for the Liefield-type of huge-bodies-tiny-heads kind of approach.
I guess I just use the old approach to stuff I like: "I know it when I see it."

Unknown said...

-Sal Buscema’s late 80s/90s artwork. Dreadful. Should be used as kindling in the fireplace. I refused to purchase Spectacular Spider-Man because of the appalling art by Sal Buscema from issue #134 onward. (Web of Spider-Man was only marginally better.)

-Most comics in general after 1994. With the advent of the “high quality” format—glossy pages, computerized interiors—comics no longer felt like comics. Instead, every issue was like an ultramodern digitized graphic novel. The outrageous price per issue was a deterrent, too, and still is.

-The constant changes to the X-Men team in the 80s/90s. New characters that were bizarre and with whom I could not even remotely relate, let alone develop a liking for.

-Deadpool. Too strong a resemblance to Spider-Man. Both the character and the film are highly overrated. He has the personality of the moronic class clown.

-Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Unoriginal retread of the 1977 film. Had no interest in seeing Leia, Han, or Luke as geriatrics. Hopefully the “Rogue One” film will get things better, if not right.

William said...

I never really cared much for the Killing Joker either. In fact I sold off my copy about 10 years ago. One of the big reasons I don't like it is that I think Batman comes off as sort of a whimp in it.

I mean, why would Batman go visit the Joker (a homicidal maniac responsible for hundreds of murders) and try to "talk things over with him"? It really weakened Batman's hand in that relationship IMO. He says things like "I don't want to kill you, and I don't want you to kill me." I mean it makes the Dark Knight sound like he's scared of the Joker or something. And at the end when he's trying to talk things over (again) and then he has a good laugh with the man who just shot and paralyzed a woman who was a good friend and ally (and the daughter of his best friend to boot). That just seemed extremely out of character. I expect more (no pun intended) from a guy who's supposed to be this "brilliant" writer.

But then again I've never been a real big fan of Alan Moore in general. The only things I ever really liked that he did was "For The Man Who Has Everything" and "Mogo Doesn't Socialize". And That's about it.

Another celebrated writer whose work I never liked much (at all) is Grant Morrison. I basically don't care anything he ever wrote. With the possible exception of the first 4 issues of his JLA run. His stuff is way too weird and nihilistic for me. In fact the same can be said of a lot of British comic writers. Must be something in the water over there. :D

BobC said...

Interesting reading the posts on this thread.

I don't remember much of Killing joke but I recall not understanding what all the fuss was about. I'm a big fan of some of Moore's work, particularly Top Ten (his masterpiece IMO)and to a lesser degree Swamp Thing and Watchmen.

Artists I hated: Hate to rip off previous posters, but I agree that Frank Robbins was horrific, and Sal Buscema, to me, was a third rate imposter of his brother, my beloved John B. Talk about using the same catalogue of poses over and over and over!

People like Liefield are not even artists in my view. McFarlane was gimmicky but at least he could kind of draw. His unique "style" got really grating after a while.

Music I hated: Heavy metal, 70's Arena Rock with a few exceptions like Pink Floyd, Heart and Led Zep.

And now--drum roll please--my most hated comics writer of all time: Brian Michael "Oy Vey" Bendis. He ruined the Avengers, cannot write a team book to save his life, and he arrogantly just changes any character he doesn't understand. I had a pal on the Avengers Assemble site tell me that he brought back Hawkeye as, what? Ronin? a master of swords. How does that work? Wait--don't tell me.

david_b said...

Ditto's on most here.. McFarlane was.. alright. In most weak economic times in the industry, if someone's art or story-writing is found to be new and innovative (Miller., McFarlane, Moore, etc..), everyone has to mimic it. Just ruins the entire concept.

('Course everyone was trained in the Bullpen to emulate Kirby back in the day.., so that argument only goes so far..)

As for Force Awakens, it was certainly pleasant enough, but will still stick with Originals. It just seemed like a contemporary revisit at an old story retred (with watered-down recreations of previous scenes..). Glad I waited for it on Blu-ray.

I liked 'Killing Joke' for what it was.., but the entire mythology built up about it being the more-modern day 'Greatest Joker story ever' just because he shot and mutilated Barbara Gordon and humiliated Commissioner Gordon with at a weird repurposed amusement park with the naked pics and such..?

Ehh, I'd stick with our beloved Batman 251 from 1973, thank you.

Ok, music..? Mumford and Sons. I liked the first song or two I heard, then realized they all seemed to sound alike. I applaud the use of good acoustic instruments and old-style playing, but it didn't seem all that adventurous after that.

Dave Matthews Band..? I thought they went out with Hootie and the Blowfish.

What annoyed me back in the '70s was when half-way decent shows tried to imitate Star Trek, like Space:1999 and Buck Rogers. I'm almost glad Galactica didn't go for a 2nd year.., wonder if Glen Larson would have inflicted that on them. When you strive to emulate something successful, you not only miss what made it great in the first place, you are painfully reminded just how much the emulation fails by comparison because... it.is.not.Trek. Easily a lose-lose scenario.

Agreed on Deadpool. Just don't get it.

As for Three's Company, I watch series like that and Happy Days when you know talent is brimming off the screen. I know the shows are 'guity-pleasures', but when you know the acting's good, the direction and pacing are good, I like to watch for the sheer acting talent on the screen, regardless of the basic storyline or a bad story.

Love watching 'The Odd Couple' more these days because the late Gary Marshall (rest in peace) KNEW how to make a great show with splendid chemistry. Both Klugman and Randall missed the show years later because they both praised the writing over and over again. Yeah, Marshall had some dogs but he still knew how to entertain.

Redartz said...

Back again to add a couple thoughts:

War- based video games. No interest in them whatsoever. I don't see the attraction of wandering through post-apocalyptic (or pre) landscapes , unloading thousands of virtual rounds of ammo. Give me some adventurers and a Dungeon, and I'm good.

Sid and Marty Krofft shows ( I'm ducking the flying objects now). Didn't hate them or anything, I just preferred animation to live-action kid shows. Keep the Bugaloos, and let's turn on Loony Tunes...

Doug- I never minded the 'geek' label, guess I wore it as a badge of honor. Of course, my high school social life was insignificant ( but Art School, surrounded by all those other 'unique individuals', what an experience). Perhaps we gain some social skills as we age, and we still have the option of keeping touch with our inner fanboy/girl/human...

Phil said...

Never liked the Killing Joke either.
I really don't like glossy paper, the reflection makes it too hard to read.

david_b said...

Agreed on war computer games, had young nephews who'd play 'em all the time, then sniff their noses at actual military service.

Harley cosplay. Most.overdone.cosplay.ever.

And zombies...? Really..? Enough already.

ZIRGAR said...

I can't agree more with those who dislike Todd McFarlane's artwork. And Rob Liefeld is probably the single worst popular artist to ever work in the comic book medium. Some people’s work is so awful that it actually makes me angry, and Liefeld is in that category. In fact, he IS that category. It’s just ugly, ugly work: pure dreck. While I have no doubt that McFarlane CAN draw well, I have no such illusions about Liefeld.

I also don’t like how comics are making the comic book characters and storylines conform to, and create continuity with, the superhero movies. I know it’s more for marketing/sales purposes than anything else, but the movies do things a certain way because those things tend to work better for the cinema, that doesn’t mean the comics need to follow suit and adapt to them. Just say each operate in separate timelines, like they do in the comic books anyway.

And I agree with Colin Jones, I loathe crossover events.

Now, on to a less popular stance: I don’t like Superman. Never have and I doubt that I ever will. I think he’s really lame. He comes across as the kind of superhero a couple of six year olds would come up with: “Let’s make him able to lift a million billion tons. Yeah, a million billion tons! And let’s give him freeze breath. Yeah, freeze breath! And x-ray vision. And let’s take any regular, normal human trait, add “super” to it and it’s now a superpower!”And yeah, I know, the mere idea of superpowers is ridiculous, but even among some really lame superheroes with some really lame superpowers, Superman stands out. And not in a good way. Sorry, just because you’re the first, doesn’t mean you’re the best. But at least he has the personality of a slice of white bread! lol

ZIRGAR said...

Oh, and I forgot to add that I also utterly detest anything and everything Frank Miller.

Anonymous said...

Oboy Karen you opened up a can of worms with this topic!

Hmm there's not much stuff I actively dislike, so I'll go with stuff that is popular but I don't get - most inane reality TV shows, manga, Rob Liefeld and Dr Who. Star Wars:The Force Awakens was entertaining from seeing Luke, Leia and Han again, but it was too derivative of a New Hope. While Frank Miller's Batman was revolutionary, his artwork somehow is not my cup of tea.

- Mike 'proud geek' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why Killing Joke comes in for quite so much criticism. If you can't stand Moore - and even he's not that keen on the book himself - whats not to like about Brian Bolland?

Nope, I just don't like -
Films and tv shows based on comics.
Breaking Bad. Finally watched some of it on reruns last year... Thats what everyone's been talking about? Seriously!?
British comic writers trying to be the next Alan Moore with none of his skills or intelligence.
Actually, most comic writers. Its a visual medium, people - everyone knows the best comics are by a single auteur writer/artist (except when they're written by Alan Moore, natch)
Star Wars.
Elves, hobbits and all that nonsense(unless they were drawn by Mike Ploog)
Compressed sound.
Decompressed comics.
Recolouring old comics. Digital colour generally (but not always). Color without a u in it (just kidding on that last one my American chums)
Led Zeppelin (sorry Karen)
The end of anthology titles and any genre other than superheroes in mainstream American comics. The sooner Marvel and DC realize theres a whole lot of people who like all kinds of different things, the sooner their sales will stop declining.
And bring back treasury editions and magazine size comics too.
Film soundtracks that just complile old music. Write some new stuff for your films you lazy Hollywood gits. Except Quentin Tarantino - his comps are quite good.
Country and western.
New music by Brian Eno. Producing U2 and Coldplay really isn't working for him creatively.

Erm... better leave it there or I'll be here all night.


Jack Alberti said...

So strange to discover just how much hate I have inside. Yea. Gotta agree with so much that has been posted.

McFarlane and the Killing Joke are only the tip of the iceberg!
Rob Liefeld!
yea! Ditko! So overrated!
Batman! Lamest superhero EVER!
Star Wars!
Alan Moore!
Frank Miller!
Peyton Manning!

There's more, but God help me!

Oh, yea!

God! The most overrated concept ever!

Jack Alberti said...

Oh, one more!

Anonymous posts!

Ram said...

Batman (except year one)
Star Wars (episode 1 ruined it for me)
Super Heroes movies
Glossy paper (on omnibus editions, Marvel check out how fantagraphics does it)
Photoshop coloring with blends and gradients (specially on skin)

The Prowler said...

In no particular order:

How everybody is now using really small font ON EVERYTHING!!!

Four part trilogies - you know who you are!!!

When people end their call on the radio and say: "I'll take your answer off the air." !?! It's RADIO!!! You don't hear things "off the air"!!! Why!?! Because they're not broadcast....... OMG!!!

How every time you pick your pen up off the floor ALL SOUND IN THE UNIVERSE STOPS!!!

How Star Wars had to run from the fact the Han fired first. The other guy had his blaster out. OOOOOHHH, and "Luke, I am your father"!?! Stop kissing your sister....

Alien 3 4 or whatever......

Fast zombies, vampires that can come out in the sun, Batman's Rogues Gallery really just Gordon's hand me downs.....

And the list goes on......

(Doing all right
A little jiving on a Saturday night
And come what may
Gonna dance the day away

Jenny was sweet
She always smiled for the people she'd meet
On trouble and strife
She had another way of looking at life

The news is blue (the news is blue)
It has its own way to get to you (ooh)
What can I do? (what can I do?)
I'll never remember my time with you).

PS: I am not a robot, neiner neiner neiner.............

Karen said...

Wow -you guys really had a lot to get off your chests! Glad we could accommodate you!

I usually don't like to go negative, but the Killing Joke thing was sticking in my craw. I won't even go near the movie -I hear they treat Barbara even worse in it than the comic.

So I needed to get that out there, and it looks like everyone had some fun ripping on whatever it was that chaps their hide. Thanks for making it an interesting day!

William said...

First of all I want to say I totally agree with Thomas F's second point about comics in general after 1994. His comments pretty much mirror my own on that subject.

I can't quit this thread without saying "Nope I just don't like it" to the Christopher Nolan Bat-flicks. I'll never understand how anyone can think those are good "Batman" movies. Those movies actually make me angry. Why? because that was NOT Batman!! The only thing even remotely resembling Batman in those movies was the pointy ears and the cape. Nolan obviously didn't understand the source material, and if he did, he totally ignored it. He made 3 movies about a brooding, self-centered, angry jerk in a black rubber suit with a really bad throat condition who wasn't a particularly good detective and who wasn't even a very good fighter.

Now I'm not saying I want to see a campy Batman movie like the 1960's version (Joel Schumacher took care of that), but a "superhero" movie has got to have somewhat a sense of comic book style fun. (Even Deadpool had that). But the Nolan films were completely and utterly devoid of any hint of fun whatsoever. All three movies from beginning to end were bleak and dark and depressing and took themselves waaaay too seriously. The Dark Knight had a decent moment or two (solely due to Heath Ledger), but taken as a whole the film was tedious at best.

To make a perfect Batman movie all they would need to do is take "Batman The Animated Series" and then do that with live actors. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

I've never been a "Killing Joke" fan, mostly because of the Barbara Gordon thing. I even know not to fling open a door in the Big City without checking first, and I'm neither a woman nor an ex-costumed crimefighter! Didn't mind McFarlane's Spidey, but that was because I'd liked his stint on Infinity Inc. I didn't like his Mary Jane, though, as she looked nothing at all like Romita's or even Andru's. It was as if Peter had married some unknown redhead! I mostly lose my "geek cred", though, by never having seen a Star Wars flick (I run the category in Jeopardy every time, though), and being wholly uninterested in anything Harry Potter.

BobC said...

Karen--what specifically did you not like about how Batgirl was treated? I'm curious. Was it just the fact that she was almost killed off?

Guys--it is a sad sign of our recent times that people fret over expressing an opinion. DON'T FALL INTO THAT TRAP. Everybody has a right to his or her opinion. I always hated heavy metal music but it's just a personal opinion.

Anonymous said...

Depicting violent crime, especially violence against women, such as the attack on Barbara Gordon, is problematic. As with making an anti-war or anti-espionage movie, you can end up exploiting the thing that you are trying to condemn.

There is a misogynist streak in the superhero genre, which is, at its core, a juvenile male power fantasy. And there is the story that Moore asked the editor for the go-ahead to use Barbara as a victim, and the answer was, "Yeah, cripple the b*tch."

Moore, Miller, and McFarlane were the Emperor's New Clothes of Bronze Age comic book creators.

It has even been said (even by some commentators who should know better) that Moore and/or Miller rescued Batman from the camp comedy image and restored the Dark Knight image. Actually, the camp fad ended in 1967 or '68, and Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams returned the character to the grim Dark knight style by 1969 or '70.

Speaking of O'Neil and Adams, I liked what they did with Batman, but their run on Green Lantern/Green Arrow was heavy-handed, pretentious, and full of self-righteous hippie smugness.

The Beatles were over-rated, IMHO. They may be the most influential rock band of all time, but they were in the right place at the right time. If they had come later, they would have been just another cute boy band. And Herman's Hermits, the Standells, or even the Monkees would have been just as big, if they had come before the Beatles. Of course, it's a chicken-and-egg problem, since those bands were basically Beatles imitators, and might never had existed if not for the Beatles in the first place.

Three's Company was strictly for teenage boys (and maybe dirty old men) who liked to fantasize about living in L.A. or Malibu with two girls.

Karen said...

Bob, it's been some time since I last read the Killing Joke, although I have a copy here somewhere. But it disgusted me enough that I don't want to go looking for it. I disliked that they were crippling a well-known heroine, for one thing, but the way it was handled made it even more distasteful. The presentation seemed to almost wink at the reader. I think the previous commentator's remark about exploitation is spot on.

I was also sickened by the dehumanizing treatment of Commissioner Gordon -truly stomach-turning. This may have been the point but it went beyond anything I was interested in seeing. To top it off, you have a Batman who can overlook all this and share a laugh with the Joker at the end? It never made any sense to me.

BobC said...

I see.I wish I remembered more about it--I don't remember Batman laughing with the Joker but it sounds stupid.

Martinex1 said...

There was a theory that at the end of The Killing Joke that Batman kills the Joker off panel and that is why the laughter trails off and stops as the police approach. That was debunked by the creators. But it is honestly the only way I can even remotely read that story and think it makes any sense. I see it that Batman is finally driven to the only thing he can do to finally solve the Joker issue and that action reflects the joke itself... He can no longer try to lead the Joker to any kind of sanity; he needs to turn the "flash light" off. That is why it is the "killing" joke.

Like others I don't like this tale at all. It is too over the top in terms of brutality and misogyny and not quite right in terms of characterization. I look at it as an Elseworlds tale but with the above explanation. In truth the ending is way too ambiguous but at the same time makes zero sense if we are to believe Batman shares a laugh with the Joker at this point. I am not sure why this is considered an apex in Batman tales or why they integrated it into the main storyline. To me it is shock for the sake of shock and upon reflection it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Anonymous said...

I think what makes "Killing Joke" worse for me is that DC embraces it so wholeheartedly! Had it been just an Elseworlds tale I could have accepted it as a "one off" and thought "well, that's an interesting take", but The Powers That Be kept referring back to it, especially as characters returned from wheelchairs, limbs were regrown, and even death was just a vacation...but Barbara must remain seated! There was an issue shortly after TKJ, but way before "Oracle", where a flashback sequence showed Barbara accompanying her father after she'd gone into retirement (she'd been out of circulation as Batgirl for some time before this), and she surprised everyone by going into action as BG. The flashback then returned to the present, with Barbara safely in her wheelchair, and it seemed as if the writer was saying "See? We KNOW she was semi-retired, but if we hadn't shot her THIS sort of thing could just continue!"
And, of course, with the "New 52" they decided to reboot Barbara/Batgirl, giving her a new costume, origin, etc. What part of her history did they keep? You guessed it: The Killing Joke!

Ace Hamilton said...

I agree with many of the above (Liefeld!).
Also bad digital book cover art:


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