08 December 2012

What scares Batman?

Frank Miller's comic The Dark Knight Returns is a masterpiece, and an essential reason why we have Batman movies and half of the good superhero stuff we have today.

His followup The Dark Knight Strikes Again is bad beyond description. But there's one sequence in it that I love. Here's Batman narrating C-list superhero The Elongated Man (whose secret identity is Ralph Dibny) rescuing another superhero.

Dibny doesn't have a chance. Not a chance.

Not against him.

He could kill us all. For him, it would be easy.

He could kill us all.

It'd be easy.

There's no end to what he can do.

Whatever he imagines--

-- whatever flickers across his subconsious --

-- he becomes.

Eel O'Brien.

Plastic Man.

Immeasurably powerful.

Absolutely nuts.

I love the idea that Plastic Man, the silliest and most innocent superhero published by DC Comics, absolutely terrifies Miller's vicious, super-competent, paranoid Batman. That's the irony and satire that Miller does at his best.

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