Happy Halloween everyone!! As the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead weakens (thanks Samhain…), we’ll spend the night with lighted jack-o-lanters to ward off nefarious spirits and decked out in all sorts of ghoulish garb to blend in with the dead who will traverse the land of the living. Or, you know, we may do all those things in the name of free candy (yay for Reese’s Cups!!!). Either way, today’s Halloween and that means I’ve only one Joker left to examine in this series. Yay! So let’s say hello to Mr. Jared Leto. Continue reading
The Joker Examined – Heath Ledger and The Dark Knight (2008)
In my odd little salute to Halloween, I’ve been examining how the Joker scares me personally as well as how the character depicts the many facets of evil. Now we’ve reached my favorite Joker, Heath Ledger’s turn in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 masterpiece The Dark Knight. In October of 2014, Kalie and I had been dating for about a month. She (obviously) wanted to do something scary for Halloween. Having maxed out our haunted house options, we settled on a scary movie double feature. She chose the original Ouija, then fresh in theatres. I chose The Dark Knight. My choice was scariest! No matter how many times I watch it, Heath Ledger’s Joker – a perfect vision of evil incarnate – always haunts me. Continue reading
Walking Through The Walking Dead (Season Six): Who’s the Real Villain Here?
I did another guest post for Kalie over at Just Dread-Full! This is a look back at the last season of The Walking Dead and the introduction of (from my knowledge) their soon-to-become super villain Negan. I examine what makes a villain and do a little contrasting between the roles of hero and villain. It’s also another attempt to help allay some my anxiety in obsessing over what may happen in the Season Seven premiere by focusing on the last season instead! Soooo if apocalyptic zombie-fueled reflections on heroes and villains sounds like a fun and exciting way to spend a little part of your day, you should totally click here and read it! Please and thank you :).
The Joker Examined – Jack Nicholson and Batman (1989)
Last week I wrote about Cesar Romero’s madcap 1960’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime as an introduction to a Halloween series about two things that terrify me – clowns (gah!) and the struggle to understand the very real evil in our world. The Joker, a character I feel personifies evil incarnate, will continue to be the star as we jump from 1966 to 1989. It’s time to explore Tim Burton’s Batman, a film that succeeded in putting the “gothic” in Gotham and making Jack Nicholson even more unnerving. Look at how the menace glints in his eyes with that smile! Aaaagghh! Continue reading
The Joker Examined – Cesar Romero and Batman (1966)
Alright, so it’s officially October now right? That means our thoughts turn towards things spooky and scary. In the spirit of the season, I thought it would be interesting to use a character I’ve always found particularly terrifying to muse on the philosophical nature of evil. In so doing, I can jump from fictional frights to the true terror that exists in the world around us. Nothing says “holiday/seasonal fun” like wrestling with the darkness that can grow in the heart of the human soul right? Haha, nope! Sounds fun! This, of course, naturally brings us to the Joker. Continue reading
Batman and the Nature of Evil – Arkham Asylum
Grant Morrison, who has become one of Batman’s most celebrated authors, would write the character for the first time in 1989’s haunting graphic novel Batman: Arkham Asylum. Paired with Dave McKean’s wild, boundless paintings of the characters, the book’s visual feel matched and fueled the horror of the narrative. If we’re looking at how the Batman’s enemies illustrate evil, this is one of the definitive texts. And, as we ready ourselves for Suicide Squad this weekend, this seems a natural book to consider as well. The Suicide Squad is comprised of some of Batman’s most intriguing villains. But what exactly makes a Batman villain? And how do they reflect and relate to our understanding of evil? Continue reading
Batman and the Nature Of Evil – An Introduction
While I’ll always be a Marvel guy first and foremost, one of the things I’ve always felt Batman does better than any other comic book character is explore the depths and nature of evil. Every superhero has villains…but Batman dances with the darkness in a way that’s expressly his own. So, in honor of Suicide Squad‘s release this weekend, I wanted to do a few posts about the nature of evil and how it’s presented in Batman’s villains. However, I don’t want to start with something I’ve written. Rather, what will come in my next few posts will build heavily on articles I’ve already read. These pieces will help frame the arguments I’ll be making in the posts to come but, more importantly, they’re brilliantly written analyses in their own right, speaking elegantly about evil. Before I can talk about and understand the Batman and the evil he faces, I first want to look at what others have said about evil, informing my own opinion. Continue reading