Monday, June 20, 2005

Batman Begins Debate

I was reading an article about Frank Miller's undeniable influence on the Batman mythos in the Dayton Daily News when I ran across this part of the article where Rob Worley, editor of Comics2Film, claims that Miller saved the character from "the campy, lighthearted tone that started with the 1960s Batman television series and continued in the comics for many years." If I'm not mistaken, that's only tangentially right since there is roughly 20 years of Batman comics between the Adam West television show and The Dark Knight Returns.

What Miller, in fact, did was bring in the 'grim 'n' gritty' crime noir element to Batman as he did on Daredevil before it. He didn't "rescue" him from the campy TV show, he just shed the superhero trappings and took him from a Bond-like gadget man to a Raymond Chandleresque detective and vigilante obsessed with vengeance.

I don't know why the comment bugs me so much. Maybe it's because, of late, I am not an especially big fan of Miller. I don't deny his contributions to the field, and his Batman: Year One will always be one of the best Batman stories ever told...EVER...but it is entirely possible that I don't like quite so much credit going to the man responsible for DK2. Or Sin City, for that matter (no, I really didn't care for them feeling that they were sloppy and derivative).

Anyway, that's my rant for the day. I was taken to Batman Begins for father's day, so I'll comment on that sometime soon. If you need a hint, it was very good.


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