Okay, okay so I cracked… but I challenge anyone to get through The Casual Vacancy without needing to stop and read a few comics

Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland

This comic is completely unique.

Because it was published in in 1988. In it, Barbara Gordon, AKA Batgirl is shot through the torso by the Joker and was permanently  paralyzed. She didn’t walk again until the New 52 launched in 2011. That means the character of Barbara Gordon took twenty three years to get better. I haven’t read that many non-Batman related comics, but that’s got to be some kind of record. Seriously! Twenty three years. Bruce got over his broken back in less then 23 weeks.

Unfortunately I have a sneaking suspicion that has to do with comics tendency to maim, marginalize or murder awesome lady heroes but we’ll leave that alone for a moment.

Anyway, the story is Joker broke out of Arkham (like he ever does anything else?) to prove a point to Batman. That one bad day can make anyone crazy. And the way he intends to prove it  is by driving Jim Gordon crazy. The story contains a lot of Joker back story, which I guess is okay but I don’t understand exactly why anyone would sympathize with a character who did go crazy because of one very bad day but recently shot Babs through the spine. There’s a lot of the Batman/Joker two sides of the same coin stuff going on too, which is interesting and powerful and all those other compelling things that make people who are not me love them so much.

And the Joker was at his most horrible, his creepiest, his evilest and it was kind of wonderful to see it, even if I don’t really find him that interesting, because sometimes it feels a little laughable that he keeps getting caught and breaking out and getting caught and breaking out in an endless cycle of borderline slapstick.

But I spent too much time being preoccupied with how badly handled Barbara’s shooting was. I mean, I actually love her post-Batgirl (Oracle) personality more than Batgirl. I think her overcoming her physical and emotional trauma to become this incredibly powerful hero is fantastic to read. I think her determination never to think of herself as anything else than a whole person capable of fighting for what’s right makes her an amazingly strong character and is one of the reasons  why I love her so much.

But this is all good stuff coming out of bad.  Because it’s so clear in this particular comic that that they took a great character and broke her to further someone else’s story, which sucks no matter how you look at it.

Last movie I watched: Skyfall I guess.

Last TV episode I watched: Supernatural. You know a show should have ended three years ago when things that are completely ridiculous, don’t make sense and really change the feel of the show are actually making it better. Nazi for example. How often does throwing Nazis into an over extended TV show actually make it better? Apparently it does in Supernatural. Well, maybe not make it better so much as make it suck less.


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