The Joker Examined – Jared Leto and Suicide Squad (2016)

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

Suicide Squad and the Nature of Evil

Alright, so after all the wedding excitement this weekend (Congrats again to Jeff and Jen!  It was such a beautiful day!!) Kalie and I finally got to the theatre to see Suicide Squad this afternoon.  In fact, we just left the movies and have settled down in our favorite coffee shop to enjoy a snack and do some writing.  While there’s a surprising amount that can be explored and deconstructed in the film, I’m not quite ready to do that yet having only seen it once.  Rather, I’d like to discuss my thoughts on the film in the same light I explored Batman: Arkham Asylum and shared those articles from Kalie and Jeff last week.  I want to talk about how the film presents the nature of evil in its cast of super villains.  If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t fret.  The post will be free of any real plot spoilers. 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