Batman: Character Foil Series Part 1

This series is specifically about character foils to Bruce Wayne, starting with the Robins we will be talking about how each character represents sides of Bruce that may not be obvious to the occasional observer. Before I get nerd rage, please remember that these are my opinions and do not represent canon or DC comics in any way.

Part 1: DICK GRAYSON

By: Gotham Observer

robin

During the Character Foil series, I will be discussing how each Robin represents a different side of Bruce Wayne, and how their personalities are the reason why Bruce took them on as Robin.

 

  • Background Information:
  • Created by: Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson
  • First Appearance: Detective Comics #38 (April 1940)
  • Back story: Youngest of the “Flying Graysons” group of acrobats, and watches as a mafia boss kills his family during a performance as a way to extort money from the circus.
  • Relationship with Batman: First of the Bruce Wayne’s adopted sons, and seen as the prodigal son. First of the Robins, and takes up the mantle of Batman on two occasions, and mentors Damien Wayne while Bruce was presumed dead.

 

Dick Grayson was the first Robin introduced into the Batman story arc. He assumes the role of Robin after Bruce Wayne adopts him as a ward (later as a son) after the tragedy of his family’s death. Dick has a similar backstory as Bruce as he watches his entire family murdered in front of his eyes. These similarities is what attracted Bruce to him in the first place and began his tutelage of the young Grayson. Over the past 75 years Dick’s character has grown in breadth and scope, culminating in his own comic Nightwing (1994-2014) and his assuming the mantle of Batman when Bruce was presumed dead after the events of Final Crisis.

 

Dick Grayson represents the optimistic side of Bruce Wayne. Despite the death of his family, Dick believes that there is good in everyone and fights for justice. The ideals of Batman are personified in Robin, which being the first Robin makes sense. He represents the ideal that Batman and his mission will eventually serve its purpose as a symbol of hope in Gotham City and that there will eventually be no need for a physical Batman. Dick has had disagreements with Bruce before, but because of his close relationship and ideals he has had many disagreements with the extended Bat Family and Robins because of his perception of being the prodigal son who the father favours. His perfect foil is Jason Todd, a character that we will delve into in further posts.

 

There is some debate on which Robin is the heir apparent to Batman. Personally I don’t ever think there will be Batman without Bruce Wayne, but there is potential for each Robin to have their own alternative future as Batman. Dick Grayson is currently the only Robin to have assumed the role on a “permanent” basis, which leads many to think that he is the heir apparent. Dick is the softer side of Bruce, represented in his mentorship of young Damien when he was Batman. He worked to motivate through positive reinforcement and incremental improvements with Damien, whereas when Bruce returned from his sojourn through time he took a much more rigid and strict training of young Damien. If you have not read Batman and Son, I suggest that you read it as soon as you can. The Return of Bruce Wayne, and the Batman and Son/Robin Son of Batman to me are the apex of Grant Morrison’s run with the series. However, returning to the topic at hand, Dick Grayson can be viewed as the logical heir to the title of Batman because he represents in his entirety the ideals that Bruce believes Batman to be.

 

Why is he a character foil? Because for the most part, Batman is a brooding detective who can be somewhat rigid in demeanour and candor. Without Dick Grayson, the optimistic side of Bruce would easily be lost in the story. Dick brings that ray of light into the story that Bruce is fighting so diligently for. Bruce trusts Dick with his family, and that is something that is given to few people from Batman. While Batman has used torture in the past, the Dick does not agree with it and decided to break away from him permanently. He is much more rigid in the “no killing, no guns” mantra that Bruce adheres to in this way. Having a character such as Dick Grayson strengthens and increases the depth of the Batman story and Bruce Wayne. Bruce can grow and change over time, but Grayson represents everything that he started out to do, he is his moral compass that constantly is there to remind the readers what Batman’s mission is to be.

 

These characteristics of Dick contrast so well with the next character in our series, Jason Todd, who represents something much darker in the Batman story.

 

NEXT: CHARACTER FOIL SERIES: PART 2 – JASON TODD

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Jared Leto’s Joker: The Good, The bad, And the Psychopathic

Mr. J   Jared Leto’s Joker  is a Joker most fans are not happy about. This Picture went online Friday through David Ayer’s Twitter for the Joker’s 75th birthday. Now I’m going to talk about how I believe this picture Resembles some of the comic book incarnations of the Joker(as the comics allow different interpretations of the joker) and what my initial reaction to this photo is. weather or not i enjoy this interpretation of the character or not

Comic Book Resemblance 

joker 2 This photo comes from Grant Morrison’s run on batman specifically from Batman RIP( which I recommend) it’s a great story where Joker plays a great part in. When I saw Jared’s Leto’s Joker, Grant’s incarnation of the Joker is one the first ones the popped into my head. This Joker may not have the tattoos that Leto has but they defiantly share some similarities. mostly with the hair and body frame.

Joker 3This photo which comes from Alan Moore’s book The Killing Joke(WHICH YOU NEED TO READ THIS!) which seems to be a direct inspiration for this photo. mainly with the possession of his hands in his hair and the craziness of his eyes. This incarnation of the Joker is probably the must popular incarnation, so we can only hope that this picture isn’t the only inspiration Leto and Ayer take from this comic.

Joker 4 Finally the Joker from Scott Snyder’s Batman run (which is my favourite incarnation of the Joker and Batman). this is again a similarity with Joker’s hairstyle’s and unnerving eyes. This run is probably the scariest and must unsettling version of the Joker which bring him to whole new level of crazy. Hopefully they bring that to screen and maybe Leto will be able to pull off that killer smile.

There is one thing that all three of these different incarnations of the Joker bring to the pages of comics. They are some of the most terrifying psychopathic jokers to hit Comics. And I believe that David Ayer has done his fair share of homework with this project( which you can see if you check out his twitter here) so if they are pulling from these comics then hopefully we will see a Joker we have never seen on-screen the psychopathic serial killer Joker(don’t get me wrong Heaths interpretation of the joker was magic but it wasn’t full on crazy which is something I will love to see) and if we get this we get a new different Joker because Joker is a Character that we don’t want to see the same thing again.

Initial Reaction

My first initial reaction to Jared’s Leto’s Joker is in the minority but I loved it and still do. I actually dig the Tattoos it made me think that yeah this guy is insane just by the haha’s and the smile tattoo it just screams Joker to me might not be what were use to but that doesn’t mean it wont be a Joker that we can love. remember its just a picture.

one the things that made me really happy about this picture is no face paint. YES bleached skin just like the comics I want a joker that fell into a vat of acid that made his skin white not face paint.

well those are my thoughts. Did you agree or disagree with me? are there other comics that you think they will pull from for Jared leto’s Joker? And what were you initial reaction to his Joker excited or worried? let me know in the comments.

All picture rights belong to DC Comics and Warner Brother studios.

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice Trailer Reveiw

This is apparently the week of the most anticipated movie trailers. First we get Ant-Man (that no one gave a rip about) then Star Wars Force Awakens (EEEEK) and then the mother of all that is good Zack Snyder released the trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justiceand when i saw it i screamed like a little fan girl. So if you haven’t seen it, watch it right now, especially before you read on.

Spoilers ahead

This trailer starts with what seems like a bunch of media reporters or politicians arguing about Superman. They are discussing whether or not Superman is good for this planet or if he’s just to powerful.Then we get someone voicing their opinion who isn’t a politician or reporter. “We know better, don’t we. Devils don’t come from hell beneath us, they come from the sky”. If you listen closely you can tell this is Jesse Eisenberg‘s character, Lex Luthor, talking. From this line we can gather that Lex Luthor will be trying to put the world against Superman. He might even be able to influence Batman. 

Next we hear chanting “Go home! Go home! Go home!” Following is a shot of a statue of Superman with “false god” scrawled in spray paint across his symbol (which is a symbol of hope, duh!). This tells us that a large majority of the world is against Superman. It sounds like they are not happy with the destruction of Metropolis caused by Zod and Superman.

The next part of the trailer we get some dialogue from Alfred (can i just say how perfect Jeremy Irons is for that role… Seriously pure perfection). “Thats how it starts the fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men cruel”. Now this set of words are intriguing. Who’s he talking about? I believe there is three options here. Many would think he could be talking to Batman about Superman or Lex Luthor. However, i believe he’s actually talking about Batman. In my opinion he is referring to a time when Bruce was a good person, but when he felt helpless in an alley, unable to save his parents, he turned cruel.

But a above all the best part of this trailer is Batman’s line to Superman: “Tell me do you bleed? You will!” (shivers, serious shivers).

Overall i give this trailer 4/5 starts for pure joy and excitement and for not showing us too much.

This trailer did not receive 5/5 because although i did love it. It wasn’t perfect, it did not make we want to throw my money at screen yelling give it to me know!!

What did you think about the trailer? Do you agree with my thoughts that i observed from trailer? How excited are you for Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice?

Daredevil Season One Review

Spoiler Free!

I just spent the last four days binge-watching the new Daredevil season on Netflix. In my self-appointed expert opinion, this show has redefined what a superhero TV series should be. I will be starting with what I believe to be the pros of the show and then go onto the cons… if i can find some.

Pros:

  • The best part of the show is that the production team was very familiar with the characters and weren’t afraid to stray from the happy, comedic feel that we usually see from our Marvel products. It was dark and gritty, and not afraid to show that our hero can bleed.
  • Wilson Fisk. Need I say more? Vincent D’Onofrio was so spectacular in this role of playing the most terrifying version of the Kingpin ever seen on screen, even in the cartoon show… yes, I mean the Spider-Man Animated Series. In this season of Daredevil, at times even I found myself cheering for him to succeed. I knew he was the bad guy, but I understood what he was trying to accomplish, and what drove him to do the things he did. And as the show went on I grew more and more fond of him, but yet more terrified than I have ever been of any on screen villain adaption. I hope that we see his return to the show in season two or possibly in The Defenders, a show that Netflix and Marvel will be releasing in the future. One thing to add, though: next time wear the white suit please!
  • The Devil of Hells Kitchen, Charlie Cox, was able to bring a version of the character that made me forget Ben Affleck’s version (as much as I love Ben I can’t forget how horrendous that movie was). Charlie Cox made you feel like his Matt Murdock really was blind, but could still “see” better than any of us ever can. I loved how they handled his back story: a few five minute flash-backs in a couple of episodes. It wasn’t too saturated with backstory, which i hate so much (I’m looking at you, Arrow). it was short and made us understand why he does what he does, and how he attained his skills. He made you believe that a blind man could kick some real ass. Charlie Cox’s rendition of the character made me begging for season two.  
  • The Plot. The show did an amazing job of making you feel that everyone had something to lose, from Daredevil to Foggy to the Kingpin of crime, Wilson Fisk. I was always on the edge of my seat wanting more, which is the reason i finished in four days (I would have finished sooner if I didn’t have assignments). The plot had intricate layers which allowed the viewer to see the point of view from almost every character’s eyes.

Cons:

  •  It was too damn short! I definitely wanted more than 13 episodes, and I rightfully assume that I’m not the only one. Hopefully when season two comes out we can get a full 22 episodes.
  • Foggy,Elden Henson. Don’t be angry, I loved his character, and Elden Henson did an amazing job on building the essence of Foggy. He was the comedic relief in an otherwise dark show, however I wanted to see more development on his character. I didn’t feel like he was really risking anything in the show, he was being tossed around in everyone else’s main stories. He was a B-level character that should have been top tier.

Overall, I loved this show and it left me wanting more. I give Daredevil Season one 4.5/5 stars.

Have you seen the show? What were your thoughts, likes and dislikes, and do you agree or disagree with my opinion?