Why Modern Comedians Are Cowards

Image result for Frankie Boyle

Frankie Boyle, the definition of a cowardly, conformist comedian who pretends to be edgy by being nasty to vulnerable targets.

There was a time when comedians were genuinely counter culture and willing to say things that nobody else had the guts too.

The likes of Lenny Bruce, Monty Python, Richard Pryor, and Rik Mayall, all broke new ground and were genuinely brave in some of the targets they went after. Sadly however since at least the early 2000s, most modern comedians, not all, but certainly most modern comedians in the English speaking world will only go after a target if it has been deemed acceptable to hate by the mainstream media.

Celebrities that the papparazi despise, political figures that are unpopular, religious groups that are easy meat etc. These make up all of the majority of comedians favourite targets, but they are often able to project a false idea that they are edgy by being ridiculously nasty to these easy targets.

The truth is however that the average modern comedian is a coward too afraid to go after the wrong person or group. Their opinions aren’t their own, and they are in essence, bullies who kick people when they are down.

In some ways comedians are as bad as the papparazi themselves in terms of putting pressure on vulnerable celebrities, feeding people false narratives and reinforcing an unfair status quo. It’s high time that they were being viewed with as much contempt in my opinion.

In this article I have decided to compile all of the worst examples of comedians conforming to the status quo and being total hypocrites and bullies in the targets they go after. Hopefully by the end you will agree with me that this generation of comedians are the most conformist generation, and that will be their legacy.

Amy Winehouse and phony feminism

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Too ugly for those big hunks Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle apparently.

A personal example for me, since I’m such a huge fan of Amy, but still valid.

When she was alive, though she was hugely successful, Amy Winehouse was frequently made fun of on panel shows by comedians such as Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr.

When I was younger I hated seeing Amy get made fun of, but for many years after her death, I assumed it was just because I was a teenager with a crush on Amy. Looking back on it now however, I feel these comedians shameful treatment of Amy was as bad as the papparazi’s. Unlike the press however they are almost never called out on it.

This is made even worse by the fact that many of the comedians involved in kicking Amy in the teeth when she was at her lowest eb, like Frankie Boyle, Jimmy Carr and Katy Brand are now trying to reinvent themselves as feminists, lecturing the plebs about how to be more tolerant.

Most of the jokes made about Amy when she was alive focused on her looks in the most disgusting, misogynistic and personal ways. Now fair enough comedians, even talented ones have always made remarks about people’s looks. I personally have never liked jokes about people’s looks. I think they are nasty, childish and lazy.

Still with Amy it reached a whole new level for a number of reasons. The comments about her looks, weren’t simply gags or jokes. They were often deeply personal and even sexual in nature. Added to that I think this was the first time comedians and the press worked together to demonise someone quite so much.

Janis Joplin had to endure horrendous abuse from the papers about her looks for instance, but the comedians of the time didn’t all dogpile on her just because the press did.

Can you imagine the likes of say Lenny Bruce making jokes about he hopes Jim Morrison dies, or attacking Janis Joplin as a filthy crack whore just because the papers were against both?

Lenny Bruce was too busy attacking genuine prejudice and the catholic church (back when it was actually brave to do so.) To reinforce the opinions of the moral guardians who wanted to ban the likes of the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix for being a bad influence.

Other comedians meanwhile actually went after the press and the moral guardians who were attacking rock stars. The Goodies for instance, though ironically often dismissed as twee and silly by modern “edgy” comedians; nevertheless went after Mary Whitehouse, a conservative busy body, who tried to get The Rolling Stones music banned, censored Doctor Who for being too violent, and tried and succeeded in getting various horror films such as The Evil Dead banned.

With poor Amy meanwhile not only did she have the papers following her everywhere she went, taking pictures of her when she was in distress and plastering them all over the papers, and magazines such as FHM and Maxim regularly voting her ugliest woman of the year. (There were even whole websites devoted to ridiculing her appearance.) She also had hundreds of comedians joining in, posting awful pictures of her from the papers for a laugh and ridiculing her in arguably more vicious ways than even the papers.

Jimmy Carr, the host of 8 Out Of 10 Cats for instance joked that any man who slept with Amy, would have to strap something over his dick to stop diseases and smells from Amy’s disgusting, rotten vagina getting over it. He also called her an ugly, worthless, horse faced freak, and said that he hoped she would die soon. He even made jokes about her tits being shrivelled up and saggy.

Katy Brand another British comedian regularly mocked Amy’s mental health struggles, called her self obsessed and did sketches where Amy was depicted as an ugly freak, throwing herself at men who would try and kill themselves rather than kiss her.

Zoe Lyons meanwhile made a joke about Amy cutting herself (which was awarded by the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.)

Irish comedian Ed Byrne also made a joke about Amy being a good date because she was anorexic. He said you could take her out, not have to buy her anything and then pick your teeth with her legs.

Eminem famously did a video where Amy was not only depicted as repulsive, but people were vomiting at the sight of her kissing people.

Now fair enough I’m not saying that you can never make jokes about people like Winehouse. There have always been plenty of jokes about rock stars and hellraisers like Keith Richards, and Oliver Reed’s wild behaviour. Jokes specifically about Amy drinking, or taking drugs will undoubtedly seem insensitive in hindsight after her death, but at the time I don’t think they were particularly nasty, or at least worse than anyone else got.

However again these comedians didn’t simply just joke about her lifestyle. They jumped on an incredibly vicious media bandwagon that focused almost exclusively on Amy’s looks, the very thing she was most insecure about.

Amy Winehouse suffered from many mental health issues related to her appearance. She was anorexic, bullimic, had manic depression and she self harmed (even before she became famous.) There are interviews from the Frank era where she comments on how ugly she thinks she is. Her famous beehive even came about because of her insecurities about her looks. She said she put her hair up to draw attention away from her face.

In the later years of her life, Amy even had some plastic surgery work done to fix her “ugly face”. Of course the papers just continued to make fun of her looks anyway, even saying that she looked like more of a freak after her plastic surgery.

In 2008, Amy apparently refused to attend her 25th birthday party as she felt she was so ugly, she didn’t want to be seen out in the streets and made fun of.

Her boyfriend for the last few years of her life, Reg Travis also mentions that she went out less and less in the last few years of her life, as she was afraid of the paps snapping bad pictures of her. Most heartbreaking of all, Amy’s bodyguard claimed that on the night before her death she said she would give up all of her musical accomplishments, and talent in a heartbeat, just to walk down the street with no bother.

With all of this in mind I do hold these comedians partially responsible for her tragic death.

Imagine what it must have been like for Amy to constantly see all the very worst things she thought about herself being reinforced on television shows and the media in general. It has to have had an effect, and the fact that she became more of a recluse, her self harming became worse (in one incident she stumped a cigarette out on her face) and her weight dropped to catastrophic levels in the last few years of her life, only reinforces this.

Obviously Amy Winehouse had many other problems, and I’m not saying these comedians actually killed her, but they certainly made her depression worse and reinforced her worst, most destructive insecurities.

I honestly could not imagine previous generations of comedians doing the same thing to Amy. The likes of Monty Python, Rik Mayall, Lenny Bruce, and even the Goodies, all preferred to punch up instead of down, and wouldn’t have relentlessly attacked someone in such obvious distress. They also generally hated the mainstream media rather than pandered to it..

Image result for bill oddie keith moon jon pertwee

Picture of Bill Oddie, one of the Goodies on stage with Jon Pertwee and Keith Moon, the drummer from The Who. The Goodies are often dismissed by modern comedians and critics as being too twee and safe. Ironically however it was Bill Oddie that got on stage with a famous rock star, and criticised the moral busy bodies like Mary Whitehouse, whilst our modern “edgy” comedians like Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle joined in with the conservative media and busy body’s relentless attack on rock stars like Amy for being bad role models. Had Amy been around in the 70s, I don’t think she would have had as bad a time.

For what they did to Amy alone, I’ll never forgive this generation of comedians, but what makes their treatment of her even worse is the fact that so many of them are now trying to reimagine themselves as feminists.

Back in the 00s during Amy’s heyday it was trendy for comedians to be nasty. The likes of South Park and Family Guy had made this type of humour popular, though don’t think that means I am lumping South Park and Family Guy in with the likes of Jimmy Carr.

South Park and Family Guy can be very funny and intelligent, though it can’t be denied that they both frequently let themselves down with pathetic, nasty jokes that are more needlessly cruel than funny. A prime example of this can be seen in the entire episode South Park devoted to Barbara Streisand of all people. The jokes in that episode all seemed to centre on Streisand’s looks, (particularly her unconventional big nose) which just came across as shallow bullying rather than making any clever point or criticism.

Still I wouldn’t ever call South Park or Family Guy cowards, as at the very least South Park and Family Guy are willing to attack targets that other comedians, and even the media will not such as Islam and identity politics. (Also neither Seth McFarlane or Matt Stone and Trey Parker have tried to reimagine themselves as feminists or Social Justice Warriors either. Both have at least stuck to their guns about being equal opportunity offenders.)

Still South Park and Family Guy definitely pioneered the much more outrageous, yet personal type of humour, and so the talentless sheep like Jimmy Carr, Eminem and Frankie Boyle followed suit.

Sadly however they lacked South Park or Family Guy’s wit or willingness to genuinely push the boundaries, and so all we got was essentially the worst of South Park’s humour, like the Barbara Streisand episode being parroted by these hacks.

Amy sadly was an easy target, as the comedians could say she deserved this treatment by stigmatizing both addiction and mental illness (as people who suffer from those afflictions clearly didn’t deserve sympathy according to the media.) Added to that the mainstream media would back them up by printing nothing but negative stories about her too.

Flash forward to the 2010s however and it’s now trendy to be a social justice warrior, championing women’s rights and gay rights, and all of these same brave comedians who helped to bully an anorexic, bullimic, manic depressive woman into an early grave, are now promoting themselves as SJWs.

Here is Jimmy Carr smearing former Doctor Who star Peter Davison as sexist, because Davison said that he doesn’t think a woman should play Doctor Who

JimmyCarr/status

It’s hilarious that Jimmy Carr would try and smear anyone as a misogynist after his borderline Jack the Ripper comments about Amy and her dirty vagina. What’s even worse is the fact that his comments about Davison could have negatively affected his career too.

All Peter Davison said about a female Doctor was that he thinks it’s a shame that little boys lost a positive role model, which is fair enough. You can’t say that a female Doctor should be a role model to little boys, but in order for the Doctor to be a role model to little girls, the character has to be a woman.

For Jimmy Carr to deliberately misinterpret that as Davison saying that no women should be allowed to be medical Doctors in real life is ridiculous. (Someone should tell Jimmy that William Hartnell, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Matt Smith didn’t actually have medical degrees.) Still this type of mud could have easily stuck to Davison and ended up becoming received wisdom, causing people to not want to work with him and his reputation to suffer.

Well looks like that female Doctor you were so desperate to see didn’t work out so well Jimmy. Who would have thought? Meanwhile how is that worthless horseface you dismissed as an ugly freak and bad role model to women’s music doing after 10 years?

Back to Black Among Top 5 Best Selling Vinyl Albums of the 21st Century

Katy Brand meanwhile in recent years has regularly spoken about misogyny in comedy. Look at these recent comments from her about how hard it is for female comedians because they are always judged so harshly for their looks.

“It’s not fair, but currently, it’s still part of the package. We live in a world where women are routinely judged on their appearance far more than men, and we also live in a world where some people still don’t like to be confronted by a woman with a brain and a mouth and a direct connection between the two. And the most useful weapon in these people’s arsenal is to try to shut you up by saying you are ugly.

Luckily, these antediluvian morons are slowly dying out or being loudly told to go away, but it still happens all the time. Remember: you are not ugly, they are just trying to make you be quiet. Don’t be quiet. Ever. Unless you are at a funeral or near a baby that has just gone to sleep.”

Here’s a sketch Katy Brand made back in 2008 about Amy, when her mental health problems were spiraling out of control.

Yep, its wrong to call people ugly Katy. (When it suits your career.)

Zoey Lyons meanwhile after winning a trophy for mocking Amy’s mental health problems, actually had the cheek to now promote mental health awareness. She even appeared at an event called standupfordepression.

See here.

Zoe Lyons on Podcast to Destigmatize Mental Health Awareness

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival that awarded her that trophy, (and therefore made a statement that Amy’s mental health problems were to be laughed at,) have recently begun to promote mental health awareness too.

Mental Health Fringe Awareness Awards

Finally Frankie Boyle who had a history of not just attacking Amy for her looks, but other famous, vulnerable women like Kerry Katona, has also recently tried to reinvent himself as an SJW. He hosts a show called Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, where he regularly criticises other people in the media’s misogyny.

Recently on twitter Boyle even retweeted a post slating Lawrence Fox as a misogynist, after the actors public crticism of the phrase “White Male Privilege.” Much like with Peter Davison, the current smearing of Fox as a sexist by hack comedians could end up having a disastrous effect on Fox’s career and reputation. The fact that it’s the same people more or less blacklisting Fox who just ten years earlier had attempted to make Amy Winehouse, an anorexic woman’s name synonmous with “ugly” just makes you want to be sick.

Boyle also called for Jeremy Clarkson to be fired from hosting Top Gear in 2015 after the latter made what Boyle deemed a racist joke.

It’s worth noting that Jeremy Clarkson however makes jokes about all races. In this respect his comments aren’t racist, as he treats everybody the same way. Frankie Boyle however does create an unfair pecking order, where certain groups are not allowed to be ridiculed, but others are. Anorexics, victims of child abduction, cancer patients all of which Boyle has ridiculed deserve it apparently, but heaven forbid anyone get offended at Clarkson making a cheap joke about race.

This article I think sums up Frankie Boyle’s hypocrisy and cowardice perfectly.

Frankie Boyle Is a Cowardly Bully

Now fair enough we all change our opinions as we go through life. There are posts of mine from 2016, that I cringe over now. For instance I used to enjoy some of Paul Joseph Watson’s videos, but now I regard him as an utter joke.

This was one of the first videos that made me see what a tit Paul Joseph Watson is. His comments about Milo being a rock star haven’t aged well, though to be fair they were cringey at the time too.

Still if your opinions have changed dramatically, at least admit it. The likes of Jimmy Carr, Katy Brand, and Frankie Boyle however will never admit to having made those disgusting remarks about Amy Winehouse, and other famous, vulnerable women throughout the 00s. What’s worse is that when the pendulum swings backwards and there is a backlash against SJWs and woke culture, Frankie Boyle, Katy Brand and Jimmy Carr will go back to insulting famous women in nasty and misogynistic ways.

They are all the epitome of the old Groucho Marx joke “these are my principles if you don’t like them I’ve got others.”

That’s why its important to call these frauds out, both for Amy’s sake so that what she went through isn’t forgotten, and so that the likes of Boyle, Carr and Brand aren’t able to do the same to anybody else in the future without being seen as the hypocritical bullies they are.

Image result for Lawrence FoxImage result for Peter Davison

Peter Davison and Lawrence Fox, the true faces of misogyny. At least according to Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr. Sure, Boyle and Carr may have taken part in a vile, misogynistic backlash towards a truly talented and inspirational woman, solely for her looks, and mental health problems like anorexia. Boyle may also have made jokes about Kerry Katona (a woman with an eating disorder) being fat, and made jokes about Jordan wanting to rape her blind son. Still at least they didn’t say that a woman can’t play Doctor Who, or criticise the ignorant and racist phrase White Male Privilege.

Donald Trump, Barack Obama and faux anti establishment.

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Many modern comedians such as Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr will often make out they are anti establishment by criticising powerful political figures such as Donald Trump, or George W Bush.

Now unlike with Amy, I certainly have no problems with criticising the likes of Trump. Whilst I think he was less of a war monger than Hillary Clinton (at least in 2016.) He is still opposed to many things I believe in, such as free healthcare and he is also a flip flopper who has gone back on many of his election promises.

Still whilst Trump may be the President, criticising him is not a brave thing to do. The media despises Trump. It was completely biased against him during the 2016 election, and openly admitted to it.

See here 92 percent of coverage of Trump is negative

Attacking Trump is therefore not the same thing as Monty Python going after religion in the 70s, when it was more of a taboo subject and they actually faced repurcussions, (with Life of Brian being banned in certain areas.)

Slating Trump is an easy, obvious thing to do, hence why every cowardly comedian will fill their act with nothing but Trump jokes. They’re not really being anti establishment. They are just attacking an easy figure head.

In contrast look at how few jokes there were against Barack Obama from comedians. Obama was every bit as bad as Trump for the most part. That’s the point, the President isn’t actually that important. It’s the entire system around them that is corrupt, hence why nothing much has changed whether its Clinton, Bush, Obama or Trump. They are all guilty of war crimes, launching regime change wars (apart from Trump ironically) and imposing sanctions on other countries. Trump so far ironically has probably done the least on an international level, but that could of course change as he has already launched several reckless attacks against other countries such as Iran and Syria.

Still in the grand scheme of things Obama was certainly not any better than either his republican predecessor or successor.

Obama helped to destabilize Libya, which not only threw the country into anarchy, but led to a rise in Isis. He also deported far more people than Trump and ramped up the use of drone strikes from Bush.

See here.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/libya/2019-02-18/obamas-libya-debacle

Barack Obama Drone Strikes

Obama the war criminal, and butcher of women and children

Yet all of these edgy comedians were as silent as ghosts when it was Obama committing the exact same, or worse war crimes than Trump saying stupid things on Twitter, simply because the media loved Obama.

With this in mind far from being satirists, I think that modern comedians with their over the top hatred of Trump actually end up supporting the corrupt system they claim to rally against.

Trump in the grand scheme of things is not important. He is just another puppet leader for the war hawks around him. Ironically the only reason he became such a hate figure in the first place was because he challenged the war hawks narrative during his 2016 election campaign, and challenged their preferred candidate, the biggest war hawk in American politics, Hillary Clinton.

Trump actually promised to end regime change wars, improve relations with Russia and pull out of the middle east. Of course he has since gone back on most of these promises, which is a genuine reason to hate him. Still even then that just makes him the same as his predecessors.

Making out that Trump is some evil dictator and that all that matters is getting rid of him however, lets the war hawks behind the scenes away with it. Now they can dupe the public that everything will be okay, just as long as Trump is gone, and we get a more presentable President. We saw exactly this with Bush and Obama. Both supported illegal wars, but nobody cared when Obama did it, because he was handsome, the first black President etc.

The majority of Western comedians support and love for Hillary Clinton alone proves the dangers of their Trump hatred.

Comedians on series such as Saturday Night Live actually tried to paint Hillary’s loss as a bad thing. Fair enough you might think she was the lesser of two evils, (I don’t) but to try and create a positive cult of personality around this war hawk, just because she wasn’t Trump was shameful.

Meanwhile this is what Hillary Clinton actually represents.

Hillary the Hawk: A History

Hillary Clinton Has No Regrets About Libya

With this in mind its a good thing Trump won, not only because of how dangerous Hillary was, but also because if Hillary had won, then the media would have been on her side and so would the edgy satirists. We would have been told how she is a step forward, even as she was continuing the same hawkish policies as Bush and Obama, simply because she was the first female President.

The comedians endorsement of Hillary and other establishment figures in some ways is actually worse than the papers, as everybody expects the papers to not be impartial. Comedians however like Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle will always try and justify their vile remarks about easy targets like Amy Winehouse with “no one is safe.” Turns out they are if they are in with the media like Hillary, which just helps to legitimise Hillary to the general public.

Finally as if that wasn’t enough, most modern comedians don’t even hate Trump for the right reasons.

Ian Hislop, a popular British satirist criticises Trump for his supposed sexism and bigotry. Not once has Hislop mentioned Trump’s spinelessness in standing up for Julian Assange., whose arrest is a threat against free speech, and whistleblowers everywhere. What’s worse is that Trump had previously supported Assange when it benefited him in 2016, outright stating “I love Wikileaks.” Now however he is happy to see Assange tortured and imprisoned, stating recently that he doesn’t know much about Assange.

Yet Hislop, a journalist focuses instead on the fact that Trump said pussy 15 years ago.

Eminem meanwhile, whilst not a comedian, still has the same mindset as most modern comics. He also shot to fame for making humorous and supposedly outrageous statements in his songs so I feel its important to mention him.

Eminem is a total coward who like most comedians, only goes after people if its trendy or safe.

Want proof? Just look at his diss track against Trump, where he ranted about how intolerant and bigoted Trump is.

See here

I’ma walk inside a mosque on Ramadan
And say a prayer that every time Melania talks

Racism’s the only thing he’s fantastic for
‘Cause that’s how he gets his f*cking rocks off and he’s orange!

Same sh*t that he tormented Hillary for and he slandered
Then does it more
From his endorsement of Bannon
Support from the Klansmen
Tiki torches in hand for the soldier that’s black
And comes home from Iraq
And is still told to go back to Africa
Fork and a dagger in this racist 94-year-old grandpa

The great irony of all this is that Eminem is far more bigoted than Trump. Eminem’s early songs included lyrics about gay people being creepy predators, and torturing gay people.

Again whilst people’s opinions do change, Eminem has tried to justify these vile lyrics by saying that he wasn’t really being homophobic, as he just uses fag as a general insult. It’s true that fag was used as a general insult in the 2000s, but when you look at the context of Eminem’s lyrics its very clear the context he was using fag in.

My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge
That’ll stab you in the head, whether you’re a fag or lez
Or a homosex, hermaph or a trans-a-vest
Pants or dress, hate fags? The answer’s yes
Homophobic? Nah, you’re just heterophobic
Staring at my jeans, watching my genitals bulgin’
That’s my motherfuckin’ balls, you’d better let go of ’em
They belong in my scrotum, you’ll never get hold of ’em!

See what I mean? This isn’t like Spike from Buffy calling Xander a poof without thinking. This is a very specific rant about gay men wanting what’s in his balls, and an outright admission of hating not just gay men, but all LGBT people. It was done at a time when people were less accepting of gays, and Eminem was clearly trying to cash in on a particular audience.

Here are also some of the lovely things he’s said about women.

I told this bitch in gym class
That she was too fat to swim laps, she need a Slim Fast
(Who? Me?) Yeah, bitch, you so big
You walked into Vic Tanny’s and stepped on Jenny Craig
She picked me up to snap me like a skinny twig
Put me in a headlock, then I thought of my guinea pig
I felt the evilness and started transformin’
It began stormin’, I heard a bunch of cheering fans swarmin’
Grabbed that bitch by her hair, drug her across the ground
And took her up to the highest diving board
And tossed her down
Sorry coach, it’s too late to tell me stop
While I drop this bitch face down and watch her belly flop”

To think with lyrics like these, it was Amy Winehouse that comedians dog piled on.

With this in mind how can Eminem possibly have any moral high ground when it comes to Trump’s bigotry? How can he possibly claim that Trump is trying to divide us?

It’s Eminem, not Trump whose been spewing hateful, violent rhetoric against gay people for over 20 years. Furthermore Eminem claims to hate Trump for picking on and slandering Hillary, a woman, yet he kicked Amy Winehouse into the dirt when she was in a vulnerable position in terms of her personal life and career in 2009.

Tell me Em what was more sexist, and more of a case of punching down? Attacking an anorexic, bullimic woman for her looks in a video watched by millions of people, or attacking a rival Presidential candidate using her own history of destroying other countries and launching illegal wars?

Eminem doesn’t have a leg to stand on against Trump. When it comes to hatred of women, Trump is a novice compared to Eminem.

Eminem may have had a point against Trump if he was going to attack him for his foreign policy. The problem however is Eminem is too stupid and lazy to analyse Trump’s foreign policy blunders.

He does mention that Trump will kill us all in a nuclear holocaust, but he doesn’t provide any reason for thinking that other than ORANGE MAN BAD! Furthermore he then goes on to praise Obama and later white knights for Hillary, both of whom helped to tear Libya apart.

Libya is a failed state

With all of this in mind its obvious that Eminem’s hatred of Trump is just because it’s trendy to hate Trump. He literally has no other reason. It’s certainly not because Trump is so bigoted, as Eminem when it suits him is partial to a bit of bigotry. It’s also not for anything political as Eminem probably couldn’t even name the countries Trump has genuinely antagonised. Much like his bullying of Amy Winehouse and gay people, Eminem’s diss track to Trump is entirely because the media says it’s trendy to hate Trump.

Islam vs Christianity

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Probably the worst example of the modern day comedians cowardice is their refusal to attack Islam.

Now I am not advocating for Muslims to be stigmatized, or for Islam to be attacked more than any other religion. There are specific problems with Islam yes, but that is besides the point.

If comedians do genuinely believe that no target should be off limits, why are there so few jokes about Islam compared to other religions (particularly Christianity and Scientology.)

Well first of all there is the fear of violent retaliation from Islamic extremists, such as the attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015, though I feel this is somewhat exaggerated.

If every comedian regularly made jokes about Islam, or if they had all retweeted the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, or the Danish cartoons, then Islamic extremists would lose their power. They couldn’t kill every single comedian in the country could they? When its an isolated, small paper, then it’s obviously easy to target them. In this respect the Jimmy Carr’s of this world leave the truly brave comedians out in the cold.

Furthermore I think that many comedians are actually more scared of being smeared as racists if they go after Islam. It’s not racist to criticise Islam, as Islam is a religion, not a race. Sadly however shallow people in the media will conflate criticism of Islam with racism, simply because many Muslims are dark skinned. Ironically however Muhammed was actually white.

Check out these quotes from the Hadith.

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Malik: Ibn Buhaina, “When the Prophet prayed, he used to separate his arms from his body so widely that the whiteness of his armpits was visible.

‘Amir b. Sa’d reported: I saw the Messenger of Allah (may peace be open him) pronouncing taslim on his right and on his left till I saw the whiteness of his cheek.

Jurairi reported: I said to Abu Tufail: Did you see Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him)? He said: Yes, he had a white handsome face. Muslim b. Hajjaj said: Abu Tufail who died in 100 Hijra was the last of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him).

Still Islam is seen as the “dark people’s” religion by the media and so it has become immune to criticism.

Ultimately however all these brave and edgy comedians do is stigmatize Muslims. The majority of Muslims in the west are not fanatics, and so whilst they might not like their religion being criticised, they are not going to react with violence. By making out that all criticism of Islam is off limits however, whilst going after other religions, comedians end up creating a myth that all Muslims can’t take a joke, which creates a greater resentment towards the Muslim community from the general public, particularly other religious groups.

How are Christians supposed to feel when they see comedians mocking their holy figure, calling all Christians stupid (which they frequently do) and paint Christians as bigots, only to then see the exact same comedians write articles for the Guardian about Islamopobia?

See these quotes from Frankie Boyle.

“People seem concerned to make sure that Islam gets its full share of the blame, so we get the unedifying circus of neocons invoking God as much as the killers. “Well, Isis say they’re motivated by God.” Yes, and people who have sex with their pets say they’re motivated by love, but most of us don’t really believe them.”

“Isis want to destroy the knowledge that Islam is a beautiful, scientific and intelligent culture.”

“The U.S attacking Islam is like a serial killer being annoyed when the people locked in his basement start praying.”

As you can see, Frankie Boyle tries to severe any link between Islam and terrorist groups such as Isis, which is not completely true. There are verses in the Quran which command its followers to attack and subjugate all non Muslims.

Here are some quotes from the Quran that have directly inspired Isis.

“When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,”

“The Prophet said if you anyone doing as Lots People did, kill the one doing it and the one to whom it is done.”

Remind me what is it that Isis do to their enemies and gay men again Frankie?

ISIS release video of beheading

ISIS chop hands off

ISIS Continue To Murder Gay Men

I don’t know, looks like they are chopping people’s heads and hands off just like Muhammed ordered Frankie.

Again this is not to say that all Muslims follow these violent verses, or that there are no violent passages in other holy books like the Old Testament. The difference is Frankie Boyle doesn’t try and cover these passages up and gush about how beautiful and intelligent these others religions are.

For contrast here are Frankie Boyle’s comments on Catholicism.

“You’d think the Catholic Church would be in favour of using condoms as it would mean less priests being caught using DNA tests.”

“The Pope must have done something that even the Catholic Church found unacceptable. My theory is he fucked an adult woman.”

Comedians try and get round this double standard through various lame excuses, such as Dara O’Brien claiming that comedians can’t make jokes about Islam because they don’t know enough about it.

Funny I don’t recall Dara O’Brien extending that same privilege to other groups. Again what about Amy Winehouse? When he let Frankie Boyle call her an ugly, junkie, horse face on his show Mock the Week, did Dara O’Brien pull him up and say “we don’t know enough about addiction, or anorexia, or depression to joke about it.” No he didn’t and I wonder why?

Could it be because again he didn’t have to worry about violent retaliation or social stigma from his London bubble friends?

At the end of the day these cowardly comedians have ironically turned Islam into what Christianity was for the right back in the day.

It’s hilarious (far more so than anything Frankie Boyle has ever said in his career) the way that almost all modern comedians will express admiration for Monty Python and Life of Brian and what it did for free speech.

Back in the 70s it was genuinely brave to attack the Christian faith to the extent that Monty Python did. They were smeared as heretics, Life of Brian was banned in certain areas of the UK as a result.

At the same time however, Life of Brian wasn’t just nasty for no reason. It made valid points about religious dogma, and the hypocrisy of certain groups who claim to follow Christ’s teachings yet carry out acts that would be completely abhorent to him, (such as the famous scene were Brian’s followers murder a helpless old man whilst he begs them not too.)

Unlike Frankie Boyle, Monty Python didn’t need to overcompensate and be nasty because they’d picked a good target. Still whilst Frankie Boyle may feel he is carrying on Monty Python’s legacy, in truth he and other cowards like him are carrying on the legacy of those who would have censored the Python’s jokes about Christianity with their craven cowtowing to Islam.

Kicking people when they are down

Image result for Eminem michael jackson

Eminem a brave funny man who called Michael Jackson a pedo when he was alive, only to praise him as a misunderstood genius after his death.

Its not just a question of modern comedians are too shit scared to go after targets like Islam, or Barack Obama, or identity politics, or even that they only go after safe targets. They will often go after a target when they are at their most vulnerable.

We’ve already seen how they may very well have helped to drive Amy Winehouse to an early grave, but there are many more examples of comedians kicking someone when they are down.

Kerry Katona, a popular British pop star who suffered from body issues and severe depression was a frequent target of Frankie Boyle’s back in the day. He would regularly ridicule her weight problems and her looks on almost every episode of the dire panel show, Mock the Week.

What increase in population will Kerry Katona be responsible for by the time her womb finally succumbs to the ravages of  time and chicken drumsticks?’…..

Similarly Britney Spears much like Amy Winehouse suffered from severe mental health problems and was routinely ridiculed in nasty ways by the mainstream media and comedians for those problems and her looks.

Comedians would always argue that the likes of Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, and Kerry Katona were fair game because of their mental health problems, which not only stigmatises mental health, but also doesn’t hold up under much scrutiny either.

None of these comedians ever went after Kate Moss in the same way. Kate Moss also had problems with drugs and alcohol and an on again, off again relationship with Pete Doherty, yet there were never anywhere near as many vicious remarks about her. There were plenty of jokes about her drug taking, but never horrible drawn out remarks about her looks in quite the same way.

The reason for that was because to start with Kate Moss was more conventional looking. Whilst Amy Winehouse was strikingly beautiful when she was healthy, (far more beautiful than Kate Moss in my opinion) she was still always unconventional with her darker looks, long nose and face, and tatoos.

Image result for amy winehouse beautifulImage result for kate moss

You can see how of the two of them, Kate Moss has the more conventional looks. Similarly Kerry Katona whilst again not ugly by any stretch of the imagination, was somewhat curvier than most modern pop stars. Britney Spears meanwhile when suffering her breakdown did things like shave her head which obviously made her appear more unconventional than Kate Moss.

Furthermore Kate Moss never looked as though she was in severe distress either. Whilst she may have had a wild lifestyle, we never saw her break down in tears, be rushed to hospital for a suicide attempt, or even publicly mention that she had bullimia.

Moss therefore was not a vulnerable target that the media and comedians together could really upset and bully in quite the same way. Kate Moss also wasn’t frequently voted ugliest woman of the year by the papers, and magazines like FHM and Maxim like Amy Winehouse was, so again that made Amy a much better target than Kate Moss.

It’s not just individuals however that comedians will kick when they are down. The classic British sci fi series Doctor Who was another prime example during the 90s and the 00s.

Doctor Who was the worlds longest running sci fi series. It lasted from 1963-1989 originally. During its heyday, Doctor Who was arguably the most popular British series in the world.

Sadly however it suffered a fall from grace in the mid to late 80s. Whilst there were some problems with the production team, ultimately the real reason Doctor Who came to an end in the 80s was because the heads of the BBC at that time, Michael Grade and Jonathan Powell despised the show and sabotaged it.

Both cancelled the show in 1985 out of pure dislike. Contrary to popular belief Doctor Who’s viewers were nowhere near low enough for cancellation at that point in its history.

Furthermore far from being a show that the public were tired of, there was a national outrage after it was taken off in 1985. (It made the front page of the papers, and there were hundreds of thousands of complaints to Michael Grade.)

Grade and Powell were forced to simply put Doctor Who on hiatus, the backlash was so strong, and as a result, the two would be forced to try more underhanded means to undermine the series over the next few years so they could axe it without any trouble.

After putting it on hiatus, Powell and Grade slashed its already low budget and ridiculed the series in the media. They also ensured that it had no publicity on its return after 18 months, and moved it opposite the A-Team (which saw the first major ratings drop off in the 80s.) They then fired its leading man Colin Baker (and in doing so not only went against his contract, but left producer John Nathan Turner with just a few months to get the new series made with a new Doctor.)

Grade also forced JNT and the production team to make the show lighter and sillier in 7th Doctor, Sylvester McCoy’s first year. Grade said this was to counteract claims from Mary Whitehouse that the show had become too violent, but it was really just to undermine Doctor Who’s credibility. After Grade left at the end of McCoy’s first series, the production team used a much darker characterisation for the 7th Doctor, that they had wanted to use from the start. Sadly by then the pantomimish first McCoy series had caused the show to lose support among the fans and general public.

Powell also told producer John Nathan Turner not to pursue legal proceedings against former script editor, Eric Saward after the latter had slandered him and the show in the press. Powell openly admitted that this was terrible advice and only advised JNT against pursuing legal action because “I hoped it would be another nail in his coffin.” Powell was even on record as stating “I hoped John Nathan Turner would fuck off and die.

As if that wasn’t enough, Grade and Powell also during the McCoy era placed the show on at the same time as Coronation Street (which was getting over 30 million viewers at that time. In one instance they placed Doctor Who opposite both Coronation Street and an England qualifier for the World Cup, which not surprisingly saw Doctor Who’s viewers drop to the lowest they had ever been.)

Finally Powell and Grade also raised the prices of the 7th Doctors stories to the highest they had ever been, which effectively killed the massive overseas following the show had developed over the years.

People forget that during the 80s, Doctor Who was far more popular in America than it was in the UK.

In America Doctor Who on average pulled in over 9 million viewers, whilst in the UK at that point they were on average over 7 million. Furthermore the Doctor Who fan club in America was the largest in the world, whilst the show had also managed to win round a young student fanbase (it was hugely popular on Universities. It had also won round a huge female following too, with over 80 percent of its fans in America being women.)

See here.

So what did Grade and Powell do in response to this?

With all of this in mind, Doctor Who in the 80s really didn’t have a chance, regardless of the quality of the show. It’s worth noting that whilst the 80s does contain some weak seasons (the worst of which are the two Grade and Powell sabotaged) towards the end, it is generally agreed that the show saw a marked improvement.

Many stories from the last two seasons such as Remembrance of the Daleks, Curse of Fenric and Survival have proven to be hugely popular in the decades since. Both Remembrance and Curse were voted among the greatest Doctor Who stories of all time in the 00s. Remembrance has also proven to be one of the best selling stories on video and later DVD.

Still thanks to the smear campaign, the shows viewers tanked and finally in 1989 the BBC were able to cancel Doctor Who without too much fanfare.

Throughout the next decade or so whilst the show still remained hugely popular on video and later DVD, the media would regularly slate it as an embarrassment that deserved to be cancelled. Comedians on panel shows would of course join in and regularly show clips from the very worst episodes to humiliate the series. You could make any series including the revival look terrible by just showing clips from the worst episodes, the only reason they did it to Classic Who was because it was a vulnerable target.

Without doubt the worst example of comedians kicking the classic series when it was was down, was when Paul Merton, a popular British comedian put Doctor Who into Room 101 at the behest of Michael Grade himself.

You can see how this isn’t just a case of a comedian makes a cheap joke about Doctor Who and fans of the show can’t take it. This is the man who did everything he could to kill the show, and acted in the most unprofessional manner when doing so, being allowed to present a totally one sided case and gloat to its fans.

Far from being a comedian challenging someone in power, like The Goodies or Monty Python used to do, here we have a comedian attacking a show that hasn’t been on the air for over a decade, using all of the most cliched and nasty insults against its fans because the media say Doctor Who is a joke and so he has to back them up.

After Doctor Who returned to television in 2005, and became a media darling once again. Paul Merton would later praise it. He even appeared in a Doctor Who themed advert for Have I Got News For You. It’s not as though the New Series hasn’t had its share of ludicrous monsters and bad special effects. If you wanted you could present a compilation of crappy moments from the revival, but Paul Merton would never do that, because New Who wasn’t a vulnerable target, because its makers past and present, like Russell T Davies and Chris Chibnall are in with the mainstream media.

Conclusion

As you can see modern comedians love to punch down, and are really bullies whose idea of being edgy is just to be nasty to acceptable targets.

Their opinions always have to be sanctioned by the majority and they have been responsible for reinforcing nasty opinions and untruths to the general public.

I think its high time these comedians were called out regularly for their spinelessness. It annoys me the way people will always go on about hating the press, yet modern comedians who are just an extension of the press are always let off.

Doctor Who Review: The Invasion

Image result for Doctor Who tHE iNVASION

The fifth Cyberman story of the Classic era, the Invasion was also a story of many firsts and helped to introduce a formula to the series that would endure for many more decades to come. It would also mark the Cybermen’s final appearance for five years in the show.

Synopsis

Escaping from the land of fiction, the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie arrive near the moon in the latter part of the 20th century. After evading an alien missile fired from the earth, the trio arrive in the English countryside. In their escape the TARDIS is damaged, causing its exterior to turn invisible.

The Doctor decides to contact his old friend, Professor Travers (who had earlier helped him deal with the Great Intelligence in two seperate instances.)

When the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive at Travers place however, they discover that he is away with his daughter Ann, and has left the home in the care of his colleague Professor Watkins and his neice Isobel.

Isobel informs them that Watkins has gone missing whilst working for International Electronics which has quickly become the leading electronics company worldwide.

The Doctor and Jamie decide to investigate its main office, but are quickly discovered and brought to the company’s managing director Tobais Vaughn.

Though Vaughn ensures the Doctor that the Professor is simply dedicated to his work and has no time to see anyone, the Doctor quickly becomes suspicious. After the Doctor leaves it is revealed that Vaughn is working with a Cyber planner.

The Doctor and Jamie are soon captured after leaving the meeting by two strangers and taken to meet their commander, Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart, who had previously helped the Doctor defeat the Yeti’s in the underground. They discover that since the Yeti invasion, Lethbridge Stewart has been promoted to the rank of the Brigadier of UNIT, a special taskforce designed to track down alien or paranormal threats.

The Brigadier asks or the Doctors help in investigating International Electronics, with the previous UNIT operative who investigated the company having gone missing.

Isobel and Zoe soon decide to investigate the company themselves after getting fed up of waiting for the Doctor and Jamie to return. They are quickly captured however after Zoe destroys a robot receptionist, whilst the Doctor and Jamie are also abducted after trying to rescue them.

The Doctor and Jamie are taken to the company’s countryside base where they meet Doctor Watkins who informs the Doctor that not only is Vaughn working with mysterious allies, but that he is forcing him to help build a weapon of some kind.

The Doctor is able to summon UNIT for help, as well as locate Zoe and Isobel. A UNIT helicopter then rescues the Doctor, Zoe, Jamie and Isobel, though doing so alerts Vaughn to the danger UNIT poses to his plans.

Back at UNIT HQ the Brigadier shows the Doctor pictures of alien space ships outside of Vaughns base, conforming that he is working with aliens. When the Doctor and Jamie later investigate they discover that Vaughn is working with the Cybermen.

Vaughn is able to halt UNIT’s investigation by forcing, (through mind control) a retired general at the Ministry of Defence to impede UNIT’s plans.

The Brigadier briefly leaves for Geneva control to try and get help. Meanwhile it is revealed that the device Vaughn has been forcing the Professor to build is a weapon against the Cybermen, with Vaughn hoping to control them after their invasion of earth.

The Cyberman he tests the weapon on however is driven insane and flees into the sewers, where the rest of the Cybermen are beginning their invasion. Zoe, Isobel, and Jamie are almost killed by the Cybermen in the sewers after they go there to try and obtain proof of the monsters existence, but they are saved by UNIT in the nick of time.

UNIT meanwhile are able to rescue the Professor from International Electronics. From the Professors accounts, the Doctor is able to deduce that the Cybermen intend to send signals through devices produced by International Electronics which will pacify the human population, allowing the Cybermen to convert the entire population easily.

The Doctor is able to shield his companions and the UNIT staff  however from the Cybermen’s mind control device using depolarizers, which block the Cyberman’s signal.

UNIT are able to overcome the Cyber invasion force in London, which prompts the Cybermen to cut their losses and destroy the earth using a Cyber megatron bomb.

Vaughn agrees to help the Doctor after the Cybermen betray him and uses his weapon to help the Doctor and UNIT battle the Cyber forces on earth. Vaughn is killed in the final battle, though the Doctor and UNIT are able to destroy the Cyber megatron bomb after which the Russians destroy the Cyber mothership with their rocket.

With the invasion foiled, the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie depart in the Tardis.

Review

The Invasion is I feel a somewhat overlooked story. Its arguably the most important serial from the late 60s alongside The War Games. Whilst the War Games may establish the exiled to earth story arc, The Invasion sets the template not just for Pertwee era UNIT stories that were to follow, but the majority of invasion earth stories as well. Even up to the revival. The Sontaran Strategem/The Poison Sky for instance essentially recreates the dynamic between Vaughn and the Cybermen, with the Sontarans and Luke Rattigan.

The Invasion also marks the first time in Doctor Who that modern technology is utilised by an alien menace to take over the earth. Other stories to explore this theme include Spearhead from Space with the Autons, and The Sontaran Strategem/The Poison Sky.

Whilst a lot of the stories tropes and basic plot may seem somewhat basic to modern viewers as a result of being emulated so frequently. Overall I think the Invasion still holds up due to how well its realised.

Douglas Camfield who directed the Invasion was definitely one of the series strongest directors (if not the strongest) and The Invasion plays to many of his greatest strengths as a director.

Douglas had a real talent for action and the Invasion has some of the most over the top and creative action scenes for Douglas to work with. From the Doctors escape via helicopter (which is sadly missing) to UNIT’s showdown with the Cybermen in the streets of London, which rivals the Yeti’s fight in Covent Gardens in terms of how explosive it is.

At the same time however Douglas plays to the Cybermen’s strengths as villains too. The Cybermen always work best in more closed, claustrophobic environments where there’s no way you can outrun, or outfight them if they corner you. The scene of the insane Cyberman cornering Jamie, Zoe and Isobel is one of the most frightening and memorable moments with the monsters, as the main characters terror is prolonged when the monsters slowly advances towards them.

The Invasion is also responsible for one of the most striking and memorable images of the original series too, when the Cybermen march in force in front of St Paul’s Cathedral. Like the Dalek Invasion of Earth before it, the Invasion wonderfully contrasts an every day icon from a famous city with an unearthly creature.

Whilst the Invasion has plenty of action, all of its characters are given enough attention to the point where we feel like we get to really know them.

Isobel and Zoe have great chemistry with one another, though there are some cringey “women’s lib” moments between Isobel and the UNIT soldiers that come off as more demeaning to women than empowering. Its always better just to have strong female characters, than talk about it. Still overall for the most part Isobel is a likable and capable character that helps move the plot along, rather than hinder it.

Having said that however I wish that they had been able to use Professor Travers and Anne in the role of the Professor and Isobel as was originally intended. Travers had a great chemistry with the Doctor, whilst Anne was one of my favourite guest characters in any 60s Who story. She would also have been able to take a more proactive role in helping the Doctor due to her background as a scientist. Still Isobel and the Professor are adequate replacements who quickly establish their own rapport with the Doctor and his companions.

Nicholas Courtney meanwhile gives a very strong performance as always as The Brigadier. Though the character had appeared in The Web of Fear before, this marks his first time in the more familiar role as the head of UNIT (as well as UNIT’s debut as well.)

Courtney and Troughton’s chemistry is more straight forward and friendly than Pertwee and Courtney’s, which at times is actually more enjoyable to watch, though it doesn’t have quite the gravitas that the end of say the Silurians does.

The appearance of the Brigadier also marks one of the first story arcs in the shows history too. The Invasion is very much a sequel to The Web of Fear. It doesn’t just reference previous events, but shows the consequences of them too, with the Great Intelligence’s invasion having led directly to the creation of UNIT.

This wasn’t the first time that toriginal series tried to build up a story arc. The Cybermen themselves followed a story arc through the destruction of their planet, but this story nevertheless helps to build the continuity and lore of the show to a greater extent and make it feel like the one ongoing story, rather than just loosely connected adventures.

Tobais Vaughn is one of the shows most memorable villains, thanks in no small part to Kevin Stoney’s stellar performance. His characterisation is fairly straight forward. Misguided genius who thinks he can guide humanity with the help of aliens, but there are plenty of wonderfully nasty little moments, such as his torture of the Professor that really show how hateful he is.

In some ways Vaughn can be seen as a precursor to the Delgado Master. Both have the same motivation of wanting to take over the earth because they believe they can make it a better place, though deep down both are really just egomaniacal, power hungry and petty. Both ultimately just enjoy having power over other people, as seen with Vaughn’s sadistic treatment of the Professor. Both also fulfill the same role of being the devious humanoid villain working with an alien race that they think they can manipulate and then dispose of, only to be betrayed themselves.

I also love the fact that though Vaughn helps the Doctor defeat the Cybermen at the end of the story, he still doesn’t really acheive redemption as he only helps the Doctor because he hates the Cybermen. Even when he does the right thing, its for the wrong reasons.

The Cybermen are also brilliantly handled in this episode. Their designs are impressive, they are shown to be formidable in their final battle with UNIT and the story tries to do new things with the Cybermen, unlike the Wheel in Space which was sadly just a retread of the Moonbase.

The Invasion shows a much more manipulative side to the monsters, whilst also exploring the idea of their emotions being restored after conversion, which is an interesting idea and again one that would be explored in future stories.

The idea of the Cybermen taking control of everyday technology and using it to turn on people is also a nice extension of what the monsters were originally meant to represent, of our technology turning inwards and destroying us. Whilst some critics have complained about their lack of dialogue, personally I think this made the creatures more effective. For me the Cybermen always be quiet as they are meant to be emotionless cyborgs. The later bombastic Cybermen of the 80s, though fun seemed far more out of character.

Having said that is a shame that the Cybermen are once again invading the earth. Unlike the Daleks I don’t think the Cybermen where ever able to branch out and become a galactic threat, which sadly undermined their menace. The monsters are also introduced just a bit too late into the story too.

Overall the Invasion is a classic, highly influential story and definitely one of the best of Patrick Troughton’s final season.

Notes and Trivia

  • This story bares many similarities to the Daleks Master Plan. Both stories mark the final appearance of the main villain of their respective Doctors eras (The Daleks were the main villains of the Hartnell era, whilst the Cybermen were the main villains of the Troughton era.) Both fittingly are much longer than the monsters other appearances (The Invasion is 8 episodes, whilst Masterplan is 12 episodes.) Both feature the main villains working with a human villain played by Kevin Stoney who is killed by the monsters at the end. Both also star Nicholas Courtney in a heroic role, and finally both stories were also directed by Douglas Camfield.
  • This marked the final appearance of the Cybermen for 5 years. They did not appear again as Terrance Dicks, the script editor for the Pertwee era hated the Cybermen, and hated working with Kit Pedler their creator, who wanted too much control over the scripts.

The Circus Master: Journey To The Centre of Evil: Part 9: The Death of the Rysteians

 

The Strange Boy couldn’t control his violent urges any longer. The Vampire had spent several life times fighting the Demon within him, but now thanks to the Kardons influence and the danger to his friends, he finally gave in.

Ashlei tried to hold the Vampire back, but it was no use. The Strange boy reached out to the nearest Rysteian that had cornered the two time travellers against a wall, and sunk his fangs into its neck.

The Rysteian tried to pull away, but when he did, he lost a massive chunk of flesh from his neck. The Rysteian collapsed dead in front of the terrified crowd who all backed away in fear.

The Strange Boy however leapt from Ashlei’s arms and stood in front of the crowd, snarling, roaring and spitting blood.

Keptis meanwhile after struggling free from the Rysteans who were holding him back, instantly froze when he saw the Strange Boy standing before the crowd.

The Martian much like the rest of the Circus Folk, knew virtually nothing about who the Strange Boy really was. How could he when the Vampire child never even spoke. Still even Keptis could see that it wasn’t the Strange Boy anymore. There was nothing but bloodlust and rage on the Demon child’s face.

The Strange Boy grabbed a nearby female Rysteian’s hand and sunk his fangs into her flesh. He bit so hard his teeth went straight through her bone, before tearing a massive amount of flesh and bone off.

The female collapsed from the bloodloss into her husbands arms. As several more Rysteians prepared to circle the Strange Boy however, the room suddenly began to shake.

Carlene meanwhile pushed the rubble off, and jumped to her feet, with the Rysteians who had surrounded her having been distracted by the commotion with the Strange Boy. Carlene quickly jumped over her former attackers to Keptis and grabbed the Martian, before jumping to the Strange Boy was.

Carlene and Keptis both tried to restrain the child, but it tossed them to either side before renewing its attack on the frightened Rysteians.

Kile meanwhile pushed her way past the other Rysteans and started to shoot at the Strange Boy. She was consumed with hatred for the Circus Folk to the point where she didn’t care about anything but making them pay. Even the Kardons hadn’t inspired such raw hatred in the Rysteian soldier as these strange visitors.

Kile fired relentlessly at the Vampire child, but it simply hopped towards her on both feet and slashed her gun in two. It then grabbed her by the arm, and before she could react hurled Kile to the floor. The Jiang Shi then jumped on Kile, pinning her to the ground and sunk its fangs deep into her throat. Carlene, aided by several more Rysteans was able to pull the young Vampire off of Kile. Again Carlene tried to restrain the Demon child, but he jumped out of her grasp and hopped across the room, with Keptis in pursuit.

Carlene meanwhile tended to Kile. Her wounds were fatal, but Carlene hoped she could make her last few moments comfortable. Even in her death throes however, Kile refused any help from the Circus Folk.

“I’m not falling for your tricks.” Kile said as she coughed up her own blood. “You’re disgusting, evil monsters” she managed to say before spitting her blood in Carlene’s face in a final act of spite.

Carlene froze for a second. The sensation of fresh blood, even of these creatures on her face was almost too much to bare, but she managed to compose herself and wipe the blood from her face.

She looked round at the other Rysteians, all of whom looked at her more in confusion than hatred or fear.

“Please” she said. “Don’t make te same mistake that Kile did, we’re all in this.” A gigantic tentacle suddenly came smashing through the wall and crushed several Rysteians. Carlene instantly ran to their aid, but the tentacle, almost sensing there was something special about Carlene wrapped itself around her. More tentacles came bursting through the floors and walls of the base, impaling and crushing more Rysteans along the way.

Carlene tried to break free, but the tentacle wrapped itself around her arms and started to tighten like a snake. The force it was applying would have been enough to snap a human body in half several times over.

Outside The Circus Master and Denika’s pod had been ensnared by one of the gigantic Demonic, Octopus like creatures mere seconds after leaving the base. Denika tried to blast it away with her magic, but the Demon was too strong and it started to crush the ship slowly.

As the walls and floor began to close in, Denika tried to push them back with her magic. The Circus Master tried to push them back with his strength too, but he soon realised that it would do no good and instead started to tear a hole in the floor.

The Circus Master swam underneath the ship and round onto the Octopus’ back, which he dug his talons into. The monster didn’t even flinch at first, but eventually it couldn’t take it anymore, as the Circus Master continued to slash and slash at the beast, tearing massive chunks out of its back in the process. The monster hurled the sub across the water and turned to face the tiny Vandal behind it. Its tentacles opened wide, completely surrounding the Circus Master. Fortunately however Denika quickly rammed the sub into the back of the Octopus creature, sending it hurling into the base.

The Circus Master then swam back into the ship, but just as Denika prepared to take it away, hordes of Ishica started to appear. Denika still plowed through them, using her magics to blast any of the unholy monsters that tried to grab onto the pod.

Just as she got free of the Ishica, several more Octopus like creatures started to emerge from the depths.

Denika froze in terror for a moment, with not even the Circus Master knowing what to do at first, Without any other options, Denika plowed into the Octopus that was advancing towards the two time travellers.

Denika’s gambit paid off as the Demon was caught completely off guard, and using the pod Denika smashed one of the giants into the one behind.

As the pod pulled clear however it was stopped in its tracks. Denika tried to move it with her magics, but the Circus Master knew it was pointless. All of the Demons outside had stopped, and that could mean only one thing.

Both the Circus Master and Denika looked up to see the hideous face of one of the Kardons that had caught their miniscule pod in its grasp.

On the inside of the base meanwhile several Ishica had broken their way in through the holes created by the giant Octopus creature. The Demons were hoping to snatch any last Rysteians they could before the Kardons arrived.

Keptis did his best to try and hold them off, as did other Rysteian men and women, but the monsters were too numerous, and even Keptis had no real means of holding them off.

The Strange Boy was at least initially more focused on attacking the Rysteians, but he soon got into a tussle with one of the Ishica that tried to restrain the child Vampire.

Ashlei meanwhile came to Carlene’s aid. She stabbed a large sharp piece of rubble through the tentacle that was wrapped around Carlene causing it to release her. Carlene then pulled several silver knives out of her beehive and hurled them at the 6 Ishica’s in the room’s hearts, killing them stone dead. She then pulled another piece of enchanted paper from her beehive to use against the Strange Boy. With Keptis and several more Rysteians help she was able to place it on the boy’s forehead, stopping him in his tracks.

Ashlei and several more Rysteians meanwhile tried to hold off the Demonic tentacles as best they could, but several more Rysteans were impaled and Ashlei herself was nearly struck down until Keptis managed to push her out of the way to safety.

“This changes nothing do you understand.” Keptis said coldly to Ashlei.

“I know.”

By this stage Florence’s face had repaired itself and she was able to use her voice to calm the frantic crowd, whilst Carlene, Keptis and Ashlei continued to try and hold off the tentacles together.

“We can’t get out this way, there are too many Demons. Is there another exit” Florence asked the terrified crowd.

“No”. Mascia said.”These are the only escape pods. We are finished.”

Just then the entire building began to shake and the roof was ripped open, revealing the all too familiar and gruesome sight of the Kardons above. The Kardons started to turn several of the Rysteians below into Ishica.

As Mascia began to turn he grabbed onto Carlene and begged her to help.

“Please, please don’t let me become one of those things.”

“The only thing I can do is kill you.” Carlene said.

“Then do it, do it now.” Mascia pleaded.

Carlene pulled another silver knife from her beehive and prepared to strike, but before she could another one of the tentacles grabbed her and pulled her up to the Kardons. Carlene tried to throw her knife down at the Mascia’s heart, but she was too late.

Mascia had already turned and the first thing he did was attack a young female Rysteian whose throat he tore out.

The rest of the Ishica surrounded the Circus Folk and brought them to their Kardon masters.

“It was always going to end like this.” One of the Kardons taunted. “You strangers thought you could seal us into the hell we created. Now you will suffer.”

The Kardons brought the Circus folk to face their leader, Garishikar who had arrived just outside the base, surrounded by a sea of hundreds of thousands of hideous Demons.

“Interesting.” The gigantic Demon king said.

“I can detect all kinds of magics and enchantments from other worlds, galaxies, even dimensions all over this band of freaks. They are not of this world or time. Some of their magics are unfamiliar even for me. Fascinating. Still I’ll have time to figure out what they are after they have freed us. If they can get in, they can get us out.”

“We might have had our differences recently, but I think I speak for all of the Circus Folk when I say that we will never help you escape.”

“You have no ideas the agonies I can dream up for you.”

“Believe me I do. I know all about what your kind are capable of. Which is why I’ll never let you loose into the world.”

“What about the Rysteians? The race you condemned to suffer with us? What if I torture them in front of you, one by one. Will you really just sit back.”

“You’ll torture them anyway, what difference does it make?”

“What about one of your friends.” The Demon said as Ashlei was pulled closer to the beast.

“What if I slowly burn her, and keep her alive right the way through the fire until the end, then I’ll bring her back and keep doing it again and again. Will you just sit back and watch?.”

“Please” Carlene shouted out.

“Like I said, it doesn’t make a difference.” The Circus Master said over Carlene’s pleas. As soon as Ashlei started to scream however, the Circus Master instantly gave in.

“Okay, okay I’ll take you to our craft.” The Circus Master said.

“What a pathetic waste of time. You’re spineless, all of you.” Garishikar taunted.

Whilst Garishikar left with the Circus Folk, the rest of the Kardons and their Demonic minions descended on the Rysteians palace. They would not kill them all as the Rysteians were their only form of amusement.

Sadly for the Rysteans the Kardons could not use them to escape. The technology that Mascia had built had taken years to aquire, and it would take even longer to replicate it.

For now it seemed the Kardons were trapped, and as a result the Rysteians were in for a much darker hell than ever before. The Kardons would be taking their frustrations out on them rather than simply their boredom.

It didn’t take Garishikar long to sense the presence of the tent. He was a little perplexed by it. It looked so weak and fragile, but he could sense among the most powerful magics he had ever experienced deep within.

“How will this free us.”

“I didn’t say it would free you. It will free us.”

“You would dare.”

“Yes I would. You said you can sense the magics inside of us? What else can you sense. Go on.”

Garishikar had felt the presence of the father of the Kardon’s Khastran among the Circus Folk from the start, but he refused to believe it. He couldn’t. He was as scared of Khastran as the Rysteians were of him!

He was sure that they couldn’t be in any way related to Khastran as the Circus Master and Carlene had both shown concern for Ashlei. Still now that the Circus Master was drawing it to his attention and demanding he acknowledge it, Garishikar’s nerve was beginning to break.

“What do you think Khastran will do when he finds you treating his children that way? Oh he doesn’t really care about us, but he’ll be angry at the idea of anyone daring to hurt his creations. Your hell will be much greater than even the Rysteians.”

Garishikar didn’t say anything.

“Well aren’t you going to torture me? What are you waiting for? I thought you could dream up agonies we couldn’t imagine?”

The Circus Master signalled to Denika and then called out to the other Circus Folk.

“Cover your eyes.”

Denika fired a quick magic blast of light. It obviously didn’t hurt Garishikar, but the light distracted him for just a few seconds. Denika, used her magic to clear a path through the blinding light for the Circus Folk, allowing them to make it to the Tent. Carlene carried both Ashlei who was weak after the torture, and the Strange Boy

Once inside the Circus Master prepared to take off.

“We can’t just leave them.” Ashlei protested.

“If you want to go out there and fight the Kardons be my guest. I’m sure no one here will stop you apart from Carlene. I’m getting us out now before that monster can use this ship to escape.”

Just as the tent prepared to take off however, Garishikar grabbed it with both hands. He actually managed to hold it in place, while the power from the vortex itself pulled and pulled.

The inside of the ship began to break apart and catch fire.

“That fool” The Circus Master screamed.

“He’ll rip a hole in the fabric of time.” The Circus Master started to use the emergency supplies, whilst Denika fired as much magic as she could into the machine’s console.

“You will not escape.” Garishikar screamed. “I have waited too long. No one, not even Khastran will keep me here.”

Within a matter of seconds however the Tent exploded into a ball of fire. Garishikar was completely unfazed by the flames that quickly vanished into smoke.

He wasn’t sure if the time travellers had escape or simply burned up. It seemed far more likely the latter.

Either way the Demon had lost his only chance at escape. It was all because of his cowardice. Had he not let his fear of Khastran cloud his judgement, then they would never have escaped.

He would have to live with his weakness in this dank hell forever now. How long would it be before his followers would realise how weak he was. In many ways his future was just as bleak as the Rysteians.

                                                                     The End

Next Story

                                                       The Curse of the Robots

 

Happy Christmas from Burrunjor

I would like to wish all of my regular readers a Happy Christmas.

This year has definitely been a lot smoother for me personally. Whilst I have still suffered from some bouts of depression, overall my mental health has been a lot more stable.

There has been more content produced on this blog in 2019, than during the last two years combined! Having said that however my schedule has been somewhat haphazard during the last few months of this year. For 2020 I have decided to draw up a new schedule for my three ongoing series, Doctor Who, Professor Fang and The Circus Master as well as two new series.

Starting in late January 2020, I will produce one episode each of Professor Fang and The Circus Master one week, and one episode each of my two new series the next, and one episode of Doctor Who the week after.

I think this will be easier than trying to crowbar three stories into one week. Two is more managable, and the three week gap also gives me time to work on each part of a story properly.

I appreciate regular readers being patient during the gaps between the parts of the latest Circus Master and Professor Fang stories, both of which will conclude this week.

Have a marvellous Christmas and holiday season ahead.

 

Updates

Just a quick update for regular readers. I’m feeling better now. My medication has begun to kick in and I’m ready to start work on this blog again. Professor Fang will return at the end of this week followed by Doctor Who and The Circus Master, as well as my series analysing Batman.

Thank you to those who have sent messages of support, and who have been patient while I recover from what was a very difficult time.

I am not well

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I have been suffering terribly from depression over the last few days.

I am on medication and have the support of friends and family around me, but its really tough. Even just getting up in the morning is an ordeal. Sadly this means that the Circus Master, Professor Fang and Doctor Who will be cancelled this week and most likely next week too. I’ll try and resume all 3 series soon, but right now I couldn’t even begin to try and write a story.

Thank you for your support and I’ll hopefully see you soon.

My Favourite Heroes: Batman: Part 2: The History of Batman

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Batman has a long and varied history spread out across multiple different mediums and universes. There has never been just one Batman per se, even within the continuity of DC. He’s been rebooted, (both in and out of universe) killed off, replaced with alternate counterparts, as well as his children and even in one instance his deceased father.

Across his many iterations, the Batman has been everything from a gritty crime fighter, to a gothic anti hero, to a sci fi superhero, to a loving father.

Both in universe and from a real world perspective the history of the Caped Crusader is a fascinating and somewhat tragic story. Whilst the modern image of Batman may be one of the most beloved fictional characters, that image was the work of many great artists and writers over the course of several decades, many of whom’s contributions have sadly been overlooked.

Creation and Controversy

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Bob Kane with Bill Fingers Batman.

For decades the official story about Batman’s origins was that he was created by cartoonist Bob Kane in 1939 for National Comics (later known as DC.) Kane was the only person ever to be credited on any form of Batman media for the first 70 or so years of the characters history. In the majority of interviews throughout his life, Kane would only ever credit himself with creating Batman and his supporting characters and enemies like the Joker and Catwoman.

In recent decades however it has been revealed that writer Bill Finger contributed far more to the Batman character and mythos than Kane ever did.

Kane came up with the name Batman, but his initial sketch bore little resemblance to the Batman we know today. Kane’s Batman had no cape, a dominos mask and dressed in red.

See here.

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It was Bill Finger who not only came up with the Caped Crusaders look, but much of his character too. Finger suggested that Kane give Batman a cowl with bat ears, that he change the wings to a cape, and that he make Batman’s eyes white to suggest an air of mystery. He also suggested giving the Batman a grey and black colour scheme too.

Finger also came up with Gotham city, Commisioner Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth and the Batman’s civilian identity of the billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. (He apparently named Bruce Wayne after the famous Scottish king Robert the Bruce.) Finger also came up with Batman’s tragic origins of being motivated to fight crime by the death of his parents.

Finger also created, or co-created most of Batman’s famous enemies including the Joker, Catwoman, the Riddler, the Scarecrow and the Penguin. Other artists and writers also contributed to the creation of many of Batman’s iconic rogues and supporting characters too, such as Jerry Robinson, Dick Sprang and Gardner Fox.

In all fairness to Kane back in the 40s the standard policy was for one person’s name to be stamped on the cover. The likes of Finger and Robinson were also hired as ghost artists and writers too. It wouldn’t be until the 60s when Marvel pioneered crediting all involved in the comic, with the famous Marvel bull pen.

Disputes over who created an iconic character are also common in the comic book and television mediums, where unlike a novel several people are always involved in a characters creation.

Stan Lee though pioneering the bull pen method, still always argued that he was the sole creator of the likes of Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, as he came up with the initial concepts for all characters.

The difference between Lee and Kane however, was that Lee always credited the likes of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko with designing the characters, and always said that the characters would not have been successful without the artists contributions. Lee was also always happy for his artists to refer to themselves as co-creators too.

Kane however not only took credit for things we now know he didn’t do, like Batman’s final design, but he also tried to silence Bill Fingers claims to helping create the Batman.

In the 1960s when Bill Finger mentioned his contributions to the Batman character at one of the first comic conventions, Bob Kane was quick to discredit him in a Batman fan magazine.

See here.

Now, Biljo, I’d like to emphatically set the record straight, once and for all, about the many “myths” and “conjectures” that I read about myself and my creation, “Batman,” in your “Fanzine” and other publications. I can only call all the stories I read about myself “conjectures,” because most of them are written without my advice or consent, and, therefore, cannot be entirely the truth, because how can an article about me or the Batman be the true story, when I am not consulted or interviewed?

Here, for the first time, straight from the “horse’s mouth” is the real inside story about myself and “Batman,” with no holds barred, and I intend to explode the myths about myself and get down to the real truth about the legend that is “Batman,” so, fasten your seat belts, Batmanians, as the fireworks begin.

We can call this story, “Inside Bob Kane,” or will the real creator of “Batman” sign in, please!

The Myth: Bob Kane is not the sole creator of “Batman.” (I’ve heard this a thousand times in my lifetime), that “Batman” was really created by Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson, Carmine Infantino, Jack Schiff, Julie Schwartz, my publisher, etc., etc., and my housekeeper!

The Truth: All hogwash! I, Bob Kane, am the sole creator of “Batman.” I created “Batman” in 1939, and it appeared, if memory serves me correctly, in Detective Comics as a six or eight page story, and I signed the first strip, “Robert Kane.”

I read your article that you sent to me, “If the Truth be Known,” ”A Finger in Every Plot,” and it seemed to me that Bill Finger has given out the impression that he and not myself created the ”Batman”,  as well as Robin and all the other leading villains and characters. This statement is fraudulent and entirely untrue. That is ”myth” and I quote an excerpt from the article written by Jerry G. Bails, “The Cowl and Cape, the utility belt and gauntlets were all Bill’s contribution.”

Also, further down in the article and again I quote , “Bill also created Robin, of course, but also Commissioner Gordon, (who appeared in the first Batman story), Alfred the Penguin, The Catwoman, etc., etc.

I challenge Bill to repeat those statements in front of me. I am sorry that I was absent from the comicdom’s convention so that I could have answered him. The truth is that Bill Finger is taking credit for much more than he deserves, and I refute much of his statements here in print The fact is that I conceived the ”Batman`’ figure and costume entirely by myself’ even before I called Bill in to help me write the “Batman.” I created the title, masthead, the format and concept, as well as the Batman figure and costume. Robin, the boy wonder, was also my idea, . . . not Bill’s.

The only proof I need to back my statement is that if Bill co-authored and conceived the idea, either with me or before me, then he would most certainly have a by-line on the strip along with my name, the same as Siegel and Schuster had as creators of Superman. However, it remains obvious that my name appears on the strip alone, proving that I created the idea first and then called Bill in later, after my publisher okayed my original creation.

Now, Biljo, in all fairness to Bill, I will admit he was influential in aiding me in shaping up the strip, and there are certain characters Bill created, aside from my main characters’ and many other characters that I created, including the Batmobile. It’s been 25 years now, and truthfully, time sometimes blurs the memory and it is difficult to separate, at times, the myth from the truth, so that I cannot blame Bill too much if at times his memory “clouds.”

Aside to Jerry G. Bails: I ought to sue you for misrepresentation and distortion of the truth about your “Finger Article” that blatantly intimates that Bill Finger was the true creator behind Batman, and not Bob Kane. Your article is completely misleading, loaded with untruths fed to you by Finger’s hallucinations of grandeur.

May I say to you, Mr . Bails, that before you wrote so smugly and assuredly about Bill Finger being the real creator and ”tour de force” behind the Batman for publication, don’t you think that you should have double-checked your information back to me, so that I could verify and clarify Bill Finger’s comments? After all, I was involved with the Batman, don’t you think? But, of course, you minimized my part in the creation and maximized Bill Finger’s part, only because you listened to one side of the story – Finger’ s side. I am sure that you have heard that there are “two sides to every story”? At any rate, now you’ve heard my side. Are you still convinced about Finger’s immortality?

I am sick and tired of opinionated people, like yourself, who throughout the years have written distorted and untrue stories about how Batman was created and by whom, receiving their information from unreliable sources, when it would have been much easier to get the true story simply by contacting me, the one and only creator of Batman, that could be proven so easily by merely asking my publisher or simply by looking at the lone by-line of “Bob Kane” on the strip.

I’d also like to state here, Mr. Bails, that although Bill Finger literally typed the scripts in the early days, that he wrote the scripts from ideas that we mutually collaborated on and that many of the unique concepts and story twists also came from my own fertile imagination and that I was not just a puppet cartoonist alone, following a writer’s script and contributing nothing more than the art work.

Finger never received the credit he was due during his lifetime as a result, and died in both obscurity and poverty in the 1970s. Contrary to popular belief he was not buried in an unmarked potters grave. He was cremated, with his only son Fred Finger scattering his ashes in the shape of a Bat on a beach in Oregon, as per his wishes.

Bob Kane would later express regret for the way he had treated Bill Finger. In 1989 after the release of the first Batman film starring Michael Keaton, Kane said.

In those days it was one artist and he had his name over it [the comic strip] — the policy of DC in the comic books was, if you can’t write it, obtain other writers, but their names would never appear on the comic book in the finished version. So Bill never asked me for it [the byline] and I never volunteered — I guess my ego at that time. And I felt badly, really, when he [Finger] died

Now that my long-time friend and collaborator is gone, I must admit that Bill never received the fame and recognition he deserved. He was an unsung hero … I often tell my wife, if I could go back fifteen years, before he died, I would like to say. ‘I’ll put your name on it now. You deserve it.

However many saw this as too little, too late, and argued that Kane was only recounting now that Finger had passed away and could not recieve any royalties. It would not be until 2015, following a campaign by author Marc Tyler Nobleman and Fingers grand daughter Athena, that Finger would be officially credited as the co-creator of Batman, beginning with the film Batman vs Superman and the television series Gotham.

Kane’s reputation has naturally dropped considerably as a result. Many others in the industry have come forward with less than favourable stories about Bob Kane in recent years, with arguably the most infamous being comic book author Jim Steranko’s near physical confrontation with Kane, who Steranko derided as both a coward, and back stabber who took advantage of Finger.

Its ironic in a way, as now I feel that people perhaps don’t give Kane the credit he deserves.

Kane did play a vital role in the creation of Batman and various other important characters in the Batman canon. One thing people often overlook about Kane’s initial drawing of Batman is that even there, the character lacks superpowers. Kane’s Batman couldn’t fly like Superman. He had artificial wings instead which he had designed to help him fly.

This would ultimately prove to be a vital component in Batman’s character, that he has to rely on gadgets rather than super powers and it was there in Kane’s initial concept.

Bob Kane also did play a role in the creation of the Joker, Catwoman, the Scarecrow and the Penguin too. Jerry Robinson, who spoke very unfavourably of Kane’s treatment of Bill Finger, (going as far as to say he never forgave him for it) nevertheless said that Kane can be considered a co-creator of the Joker. It is also known that Kane played a key role in fleshing out the Catwoman’s character. He apparently based much of Catwoman’s personality on his cousin Ruth Steel.

The real Catwoman.

Kane also created the final design for the Penguin and was the sole creator of Two Face, one of Batman’s most iconic foes. Finally it was also Kane who personally assembled the original team of artists and writers on the Batman comics, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson.

Had Kane not been so desperate to hoover up all the credit, he would be revered as the man who helped kick off, and flesh out the Batman mythos. The lesson here is to never try and take too much credit or else when the truth comes out, people will be loathe to give you any credit at all, as seen with Kane.

Whilst its tragic that Finger was never given the credit he was due, at the very least his reputation among fans and critics is considerably stronger today than Kane’s.

The Early Years

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Batman first appeared in Detective Comics 27. In his first few appearances Batman was depicted as being willing to murder his enemies and use guns. It was also a policy of earlier comics to make sure that none of Batman’s enemies would recur, so as not to undermine his status as a hero. Despite this however there were two recurring enemies in Batman’s earliest days with Detective Comics, The Mad Monk, a hypnotic Vampire, and Doctor Death, a mad scientist. Death’s origins of having his face scarred in an accident and developing a grudge against Batman as a result, would later be reused for the Joker.

Whilst Bruce Wayne was best friends with Commissioner James Gordon in the earlier stories, the police still viewed Batman as a dangerous psychopath who needed to be put down. Bruce Wayne also had a fiance too in the early years, Julie Madison, who has been seldom seen in most adaptations.

Whilst featuring many larger than life concepts from death rays, to robot Dinosaurs to Vampires, the earliest Batman comics still took the stories and character very seriously, and were very dark in tone.

During Batman’s first year with Detective Comics, several key elements of the Batman mythos would be established, such as the characters tragic origins in Detective Comics 33, his utility belt in issue 29, and his famous Batarang as well as the first ever Bat themed vehicle, the Bat plane in issue 31.

Finally in Detective Comics 38, Batman’s sidekick Robin was introduced. Created by Jerry Robinson, Robin, whose real name was Dick Grayson, was a young boy whose parents had been murdered just like Batman. Robin’s popularity would lead to a surge in similar kid sidekicks. Robin has remained a somewhat controversial figure in the decades since, with many feeling that he made Batman too light a character. Robin has nevertheless remained one of the most enduring icons of the Batman mythos.

Batman proved to be such a big hit that he would soon get his own series, whilst continuing to star in Detective Comics. The first ever solo issue of Batman saw the character face both the Joker and the Catwoman (then just referred to as simply the Cat.)

The Joker in his first appearance was depicted as a true monster clown, murdering his victims in gruesome ways simply because he thought it was funny. His origins were shrouded in complete mystery. Whilst more details have been revealed about the Jokers past in the ensuing decades, to this day the villains identity and real name have never been revealed.

From the start the Joker was depicted as Batman’s most dangerous and evil adversary, being ten steps ahead of the Batman and the police, and in a stark contrast to his later appearances; he was even depicted as being able to best the Caped Crusader in a fight.

Catwoman, whose real name was Selina Kyle, meanwhile was depicted initially as more of a manipulative villain who was no match for the Batman physically, and was far more unsympathetic than later depictions. From the start however the two were shown to have a romantic interest in one another, though this would become more prominent after Julie Madison was written out.

The Penguin meanwhile would be introduced in 1942. Though initially a more comical villain than the Joke, The Penguin would go on to be one of Batman’s most recognisable and recurring foes. Over the decades the Penguin’s character would be fleshed out more, and he would go from a campy supervillain obsessed with birds, to a gritty and brutal crime lord.

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The King and Queen of crime?!

The first appearances of the Penguin and the Catwoman, two of Batman’s main enemies. The papa spank line isn’t one of the Caped Crusaders finest moments.

Another major enemy of Batman introduced during the early years was Doctor Hugo Strange. Originally intended to be Batman’s archenemy, Strange was more of a match for Batman in terms of intellect than his other enemies, being a genius scientist in his own right. Ultimately however the more colourful Joker, Penguin and Catwoman would soon eclipse Strange, though Strange would continue to recur over the decades, and has even appeared in many adaptations such as the recent tv series Gotham.

The Joker was originally to have been killed off in his second appearance, but a last minute decision by editor Whitney Ellisworth ultimately spared the character, and the Joker would quickly cement himself as Batman’s arch foe, appearing in 6 out of the first 9 Batman issues.

The first appearance of what would quickly become Batman’s greatest enemy, the Joker.

Ellsworth would also make another major contribution to Batman’s character, deciding after an issue of Detective Comics which featured the caped crusader murdering mutated giants with a machine gun, that Batman would never use a gun or kill his enemies again.

This has gone on to be a vital aspect of Batman’s character ever since, not just in the comics, but in most other adaptations too. In universe the reason Batman hates guns it would be established is obviously because they were used in the brutal murder of his parents. Some versions of Batman however, such as Michael Keaton’s in the first two Burton Batman movies have returned to using weapons and lethal force, but generally speaking, most versions of Batman have stuck to Ellsworth’s policy.

In addition to starring in his own series and Detective Comics, Batman would go on to appear regularly in World’s Finest in 1940, a series which featured stories starring both Batman and Superman, DC’s other most popular character. It would not be until 1952 however that World’s Finest would bring both characters together in the same story. Batman and Superman would quickly be established as being best friends, and would remain so until the modern age, when the darker Batman’s methods often clashed with Superman.

Batman would also be established as an honorary member of the first ever superhero team, The Justice Society of America early into his career. First appearing in All Star Comics 3 in 1941, Batman and Superman however unlike with the later Justice League were not allowed to appear in with the Justice Society in a regular basis, as they already had their own titles, unlike most of the other members. Still one of the Justice Society’s base of operations was in Gotham City.

Batman would remain one of DC’s best selling characters throughout the 40s, though as the decade waned on, Batman would be made into a much lighter character, and more of a traditional father figure to Robin.

The End of the Original Batman

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From an in universe perspective the original Batman’s adventures would come to an end in the 50s. DC would later establish in the early 60s, that all of their stories from the 1930s to the mid 50s took place in another universe to those from the mid 50s to the then present.

The original 30s-50s stories took place on Earth 2, whilst the then modern stories from the mid 50s-present took place on Earth 1.

DC did this to explain away the major continuity issues that had emerged over the decades, chiefly concerning the Justice League and the Justice Society, which had each featured their own version of the Flash, Jay Garrick and Barry Allen, whilst Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman had been members of both teams. (Barry and Jay had been established as the only versions of the Flash in their own titles leading to some confusion.)

The multiverse idea was introduced in the story Flash of Two Earth’s which saw Barry Allen, the modern Flash travel to Earth Two where he met Jay Garrick the original Flash (who had visibly aged since we last saw him.)

The meant however that the then current Batman of the 60s was not the same character as the original from the 30s-mid 50s. It was never made clear when the adventures of the original Batman had come to an end, and the adventures of the new Batman began, as the multiverse was a retcon, but it would later be established in universe that the Earth Two Batman had retired at some point in the 50s.

The original Earth Two Batman’s final fate would be revealed in the late 70s. At some point in the mid 50s, Batman married a reformed Catwoman, and the two soon had a daughter, Helena Wayne. Years later however Catwoman would be blackmailed into carrying out another crime, and Batman would inadvertantly cause her death.

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The marriage of Batman and Catwoman.

Vowing to never don the cape and cowl again, Bruce was left a broken man by his wife’s death, but his daughter Helena Wayne would later become a masked crime fighter, The Huntress who would bring the criminal who had blackmailed her mother to justice.

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Helena Wayne vows to avenge her mothers death.

The Huntress would go on to become a popular character throughout the 70s, continuing her father’s legacy on Earth 2, joining the Justice Society, and later crossing over to Earth One where she’d work with its version of her father.

The Earth Two Bruce Wayne meanwhile despite his vow would later become Batman one last time to battle the Wizard, Frederick Faust which resulted in his death.

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Following Batman’s death ironically the Joker would take it hardest of all. Furious that he had beaten his long time enemy, simply by outliving him, the Joker refused to believe Batman was gone and would go on a massive rampage to try and draw The Batman out. An older Dick Grayson would be forced to pretend to be Batman in order to convince the Joker that his foe was still alive. Happy that Batman was not dead, the Joker willingly surrendered, and continued to plot his final duel with the Batman that would ultimately never come.

This classic scene from Batman the animated series where the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill) believes Batman has been killed and grieves, not over Batman, but simply of being deprived of his revenge; was inspired by the original Earth Two Joker’s reaction to his Batman’s death.

Whilst some critics felt the multiverse format was needlessly complicated, personally I think that it was a brilliant formula that ultimately allowed DC to finish their characters stories, whilst not having to stop producing Batman stories altogether. In contrast Marvel, whose characters all live in one floating timeline’s stories can never end, or even develop in any meaningful way that upsets the status quo. Take a look at Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s wedding for instance that had to be retconned in the most ridiculous way, to restore Spidey to being single. The original Batman and Catwoman’s marriage meanwhile remained final and even produced another superhero, the Huntress.

Personally I enjoy reading the earliest Batman comics knowing that he and Catwoman one day end up getting married, and that their legacy continues on through the Huntress, who is one of my favourite heroes.

Ultimately whatever your opinion on the multiverse, its important to remember that your Batman is NOT your grandfathers Batman. The Batman we read about in any story from his introduction to the mid 50s died decades ago, and has been replaced since by three alternate universe counterparts.

50s: Sci Fi Hijinks

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From a real world perspective the 50s would mark a radical change in Batman’s character. Batman had been completely watered down by this stage from his darker past into being a totally family friendly hero, but as the decade rolled on the character would be turned into more of a sci fi hero. The 50s would see Batman regularly travel to other worlds, travel through time, battle aliens, giant robots, and other atomic age monsters and strange creatures.

Sci Fi had been a vital component in Batman’s character from the very beginning. His gadgets and Batcave were often presented as being far in advance of contemporary technology. (One of the most famous and longstanding trophies in the Batcave is a gigantic robot Tyrannosaurus Rex.)

Added to that many of Batman’s most iconic enemies such as Doctor Hugo Strange were firmly rooted in sci fi too. The 50s however ultimately took it too far and had Batman spend more time in outerspace, or the future or on other worlds, than in Gotham.

As a result the 50s is often seen as a low point in the characters history. Nevertheless there would be a few important developments during this decade. The Jokers origins would be finally be revealed in the story The Man Behind The Red Hood.

Originally the Joker had been a criminal known as the Red Hood who planned to steal a million pounds and then retire, but during his final robbery of the Monarch Card company, Batman accidentally knocked the Red Hood into a vat of chemicals, which bleached his skin chalk white, dyed his hair green and distorted his mouth into a permanent hideous grin, driving him insane in the process

Whilst presented as a light hearted story at the time, this development ended up having major repurcussions on the Batman/Joker dynamic. Now Batman was made responsible for creating the Joker, and was therefore accountable for all of his crimes. By this stage however the Joker had been turned into more of a harmless prankster, carrying out wild, over the top schemes, but rarely ever killing anyone. It would not be until the 70s, when the Joker was restored to his old murderous persona that writers would explore the ramifications of Batman’s role in the Joker’s origin, as well as his role in the creation of his other major villains too.

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The 1950s also saw the introduction fo Mr Freeze, then referred to as Mr Zero. Freeze would go on to be one of Batman’s most famous foes in popular culture, thanks to his appearances in the 60s Adam West series and the 90s Batman the Animated series.

Justice League of America

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In 1960 Batman, along with Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Aquaman would form one of the first superhero teams, The Justice League in The Brave and the Bold issue 28.

Initially however Batman and Superman would be relegated to more minor roles in the strip with DC not wanting to overexpose their two most famous characters, though the two heroes did still go on several adventures with the league, and even played key roles in saving the day in some of the earlier strips. Eventually Batman and Superman would be allowed to play more major roles in the Justice League.

Batman despite having no superpowers of his own, would still be able to keep up with his allies in the league through his gadgets and fighting skills. (Batman had already been shown to tackle super powered and paranormal threats on his own, such as Manbat, and Mr Freeze.)

Batman would often end up being the key to many of the Justice League’s success’ as his scientific genius would enable him to disarm the villains weapons, or rewire their technology in a way that the other heroes couldn’t, whilst his deduction skills would often allow him to figure out the villains weaknesses, hideouts, or their plans when the other members of the League could not.

An example of Batman’s usefulness to the rest of the League despite his lack of powers.

In spite of this Batman’s history with the league has not always been smooth. In the 2000 miniseries, Towel of Bable, Batman’s archenemy, Ra’s Al Ghul steals files Batman as gathered on the rest of the League in case they ever went rogue and uses them to very nearly kill the League.

Though Ra’s plan is stopped, Batman is forced to leave the League afterwards, with Wonder Woman, Plastique Man and Aquaman being unable to trust Batman afterwards.

Batman has often clashed with other members of the League due to his secretive and somewhat paranoid personality. Still he has nevertheless always remained a prominent member of the team, and in many versions has even helped found the League.

The Bat-Family

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Towards the end of the 50s and the early 60s, two more sidekicks would be introduced for the Caped Crusader. Kathy Kane aka Batwoman, and her niece Bette Kane who became the first ever Batgirl. Both were introduced as love interests of Batman and Robin respectively. In addition to this Batman would also inherit a trusty hound known as Ace during this period, and another sidekick in the form of Batmite.

Batmite was an imp from the 5th dimension, similar to Superman foe Mr Mxylptzlik, though Batmite in contrast was shown to idolise Batman and would frequently help him out.

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By the mid 60s the Bat family would be phased out, with editors feeling that there were too many characters detracting from Batman. Kathy Kane would nevertheless be revived many decades later as Kate Kane, whilst the concept of Batgirl would similarly be revived towards the end of the 60s.

Many critics and comic historians have argued that Batwoman and Batgirl were introduced simply to offset complaints that Batman and Robin were gay lovers. Ironically the later version of Kate Kane would be depicted as one of the first openly lesbian heroes in comics.

The Silly Years

Batman’s sales declined rapidly throughout the 60s to the point were there was talk of cancellation. Ultimately however the character would reach new heights of popularity during the later half of the decade thanks to the live action Batman television series starring Adam West.

Premiering in 1966, Batman was a comedy series that spoofed the characters. Though undoubtedly one of the greatest comedy series of all time, the show did change the pubic perception of Batman to being a campy, silly character which made it difficult for later more serious film pitch’s for the Dark Knight to be taken seriously.

Still overall the 60s show had a positive impact on the franchise. Bob Kane himself credited the show with saving the comic, with the 66 Batman helping to kick off a craze that would become known as Batmania. The 60s show would also elevate the characters of the Riddler and Mr Freeze into being among Batman’s most iconic enemies. Prior to the 60s serise Mr Freeze had appeared just once, whilst The Riddler had made only a handful of appearances.

The 60s series would also be responsible for the creation of the second Batgirl. This version of the character named Barbara Gordon was the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, and generally worked on her own. The new Batgirl proved to be very popular with readers and would go on to become one of the most successful female heroes for DC comics.

In order to emulate the success of the 60s show, the Batman comics would start to adopt a campier, more light hearted tone, but after the show came to an end attempts would be made by writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams to take Batman back to his darker roots.

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Classic examples of campier Batman stories of the 60s.

The Night of the Stalker

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Throughout the 70s Batman would be depicted as a much darker character. Now operating alone, with Robin having since grown up and established himself as a hero in his own right. The Batman of the 70s still retained many of the lighter elements that had been developed in the decades since his introduction. The 70s Batman still had a sense of humour, was friendly to those closest to him, and genuinely enjoyed his life.

Still the stories took themselves more seriously than ever before, and explored much darker content.

A classic example of the more mature and sophisticated stories of the 70s, can be seen in the strip “The Night of the Stalker.” Here Batman witnesses the murder a couple in front of their child by common criminals who he then pursues through the woods of Gotham. Batman is absolutely vicious in dispatching the criminals, as he is forced to relive the horror of his parents death yet again. Night of the Stalker was widely praised by fans and critics alike for its depiction of Batman as a dark, ruthless anti hero, whilst at the same time touching on the tragic elements of his character in a moving way.

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Image result for night of the stalker batman

Batman’s enemies would similarly be given a makeover during this era. The Joker having been portrayed as a silly prankster throughout the last two decades, would be returned to being a vicious, sadistic, mass murderer in O’Neil’s “Joker’s 5 Way Revenge”. This story saw the villain murder his former henchmen in gruesome ways, with Batman only managing to rescue the last, who the Joker attempts to feed to a shark!

This version of the Joker however was different to the original in that he was still comical, and his plans still more outlandish, but the humour was instead very dark. Unlike later depictions of the Clown Prince of Crime, the 70s, early 80s Joker also still despised the Batman and genuinely wished to kill him. Later versions of the Joker would instead enjoy fighting with Batman, viewing him as the straight man in their double act. The 70s Joker however had a more traditional hero/villain relationship with Batman.

 

Classic examples of the Jokers sick sense of humour from the 70s-early 80s.

The 70s would also see the introduction of the only villain to ever challenge the Jokers claim as Batman’s archfoe. Ra’s Al Ghul. Ghul was a warlord who had been kept young for several hundred years, through the Lazarus pits.

Leader of the league of assassins, Ghul had countless resources all over the world to use against the Batman. He was also Batman’s equal in terms of intellect and physical prowess, and was able to deduce Batman’s secret identity when he first met him. Ghul initially saw Batman as his heir to the position of the Demon’s head, but the two would soon come into conflict which would be made all the more personal by Batman’s feelings for Ghul’s daughter, Talia.

The 70s would also see Batman work with many other DC heroes to a far greater extent than ever before through The Brave and the Bold which saw Batman work with a different DC hero every issue.

The Brave and the Bold was originally conceived as an anthology series, before becoming a team up series.

From issue 50 however The Brave and the Bold came to revolve entirely around Batman working with a different hero each week. This decision was made to cash in on the popularity of the Batman series, but the strip would remain a Batman team up series, even after the show had been cancelled. Throughout the 70s The Brave and the Bold would become the most popular Batman title.

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Image result for brave and the bold covers

The series helped to put Batman into more fantastical and outlandish settings, but unlike in the 50’s comics it didn’t stop the Batman from going on more traditional crime stories in the main title. The Brave and the Bold also helped to examine Batman’s greater role in the DC universe and flesh out his relationships with other DC characters to a far greater extent than ever before. We got to see Batman’s strange friendship with Deadman, his partnership with Wild Cat (which unlike with Robin was on a more equal footing) and his rivalry with Green Arrow. One strip even saw the Caped Crusader trapped in a love triangle with Wonder Woman and Batgirl!

Wonder Woman Love Batman

Batgirl Loves Batman

One of the most ridiculous stories ever written.

For me the late 60s to the early 80s represents the best period of Batman’s history. There is a much wider variety of stories during that decade than any other. The silly, light hearted approach is not entirely jettisoned as seen above, but at the same time there are darker, more serious stories such as Night of the Stalker. The 70s still saw Batman battle ordinary criminals in his own series, yet through the Brave and the Bold it saw the character go on sci fi and fantasy adventures too. The 70s also featured more Batman team ups than any other decade. Brave and the Bold would come to an end in 1982, and when it was revived in 2007 it would be restored to a team up series, rather than a Batman comic.

Batman in my opinion is a better fit for team ups than any other hero. His lack of powers means that he can be vulnerable to any other heroes enemies, whilst his gadgets and deduction skills enables him to be of use to even the most powerful super heroes too. In contrast Superman or Wonder Woman or even The Flash are all too powerful to help out a hero like say Wild Cat, as they’d deal with his problem in a matter of minutes. Its a shame that no other decade would make use of Batman’s adaptability in working with other heroes as well as the 70s did.

For me the 70s best shows off all of the different sides to Batman’s character and it has gone on to be widely praised as a golden age by many critics and comics historians. The 70s would go on to have a large influence on Batman the Animated Series in particular. Sadly however despite its popularity with fans, Batman sales would actually decline greatly throughout the 70s.

End of the Earth One Batman’s adventures

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In 1985 DC would produce a multi crossover story called Crisis on Infinite Earth’s which saw a vastly powerful and evil cosmic entity known as the Anti Monitor destroy every universe, with only one universe, New Earth, created from the ruins of the last 5 universes surviving.

As a result of this the Earth One Batman’s adventures came to an end, and all main DC stories from 1985-2011 would take place on New Earth.

The Huntress, daughter of the Earth 2 Batman’s life would come to a tragic end too. Though she survived the erasure of her own world, she would later be murdered by minions of the Anti Monitor during a final stand against the Anti Monitor’s minions. The Huntress would die a heroesdeath saving some children from falling rubble. The Huntress was one of many heroes to die during the Crisis, alongside Barry Allen (who would be succeeded by Wally West) and Supergirl.

Crisis on Infinite Earth’s had been designed solely to wipe the Multiverse from canon. DC felt that the Multiverse, which had since expanded to include hundreds of earths aside from earth’s 1 and 2 was too overly complicated and in danger of putting new readers off. Therefore New Earth was designed to serve as a single timeline that readers could easily follow.

Ultimately the multiverse would be brought back gradually over the next few decades. The 2005 crossover Infinite Crisis saw one of the final survivors of the multiverse, a heroic alternate version of Lex Luthor, create 52 new universes, whilst a 2015 crossover event called Convergence erased the events of Crisis on Infinite Earth’s restoring the multiverse.

Still from 1985 to 2011, it would be the adventures of the Batman of New Earth that readers would follow.

The Dark Knight Returns

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Batman sales declined in the early 80s, but the character would be given a major boost through a number of much darker, more violent works which fully helped to restore Batman’s reputation as an anti hero.

The first of these was Frank Millers mini series The Dark Knight Returns which depicted an aging and bitter Bruce Wayne come out of retirement. Set outside of the New Earth continuity, The Dark Knight Returns was most notable for featuring Batman and Superman clashing with one another, and its final brutal showdown between Batman and the Joker.

The Dark Knight Returns proved to be a massive success and finally helped Batman shake off the campy image from the Adam West series. The levels of violence in the story far exceeded those of previous Batman adventures. According to Frank Miller, Bob Kane himself hated the miniseries, feeling that it was too nasty. Still The Dark Knight Returns made an immeasurably huge impact on the industry, and similar darker Batman stories followed.

The 1988 graphic novel, The Killing Joke written by Alan Moore and with art by Brian Bolland, expanded on the Jokers origins, whilst taking the feud between the Clown Prince of Crime and the Dark Knight to a whole new level.

The Killing Joke reveals that the Joker was original a failed comedian, who attempted to rob the Ace chemicals plant to support his pregnant wife. On the night of the robbery however, the Jokers wife is killed in a freak accident. The criminals then force him into helping to carry out the robbery, during which the Joker falls into a vat of chemicals, finally pushing him over the edge.

In the present the Joker attempts to prove that one bad day can drive anyone to lunacy. He targets Commisoner Gordon and shoots his daughter Barbara through the spine and then tortures the Commisoner by showing him pictures of Barbara’s bleeding, naked body!

The Jokers origins and his heinous crimes against Jim and Barbara Gordon from the 2016 adaptation of The Killing Joke, starring Mark Hamil as the Joker.

Barbara Gordon who had earlier retired as Batgirl would be permanently crippled as a result. Originally Alan Moore had intended the Killing Joke to be a one off, outside of DC canon, but DC would incorporate it into the New Earth timeline nonetheless. Barbara Gordon would still continue to appear regularly however, as the character of Oracle, a computer expert and skilled hacker. Ironically as Oracle Barbara would go on to have greater significance than she ever did as Batgirl.

Later that same year the Joker would be responsible for another tragedy in Batman’s life in the mini series Death in the Family. Here the Joker murdered the second Robin, Jason Todd in cold blood. Todd had replaced Dick Grayson in 1983. Though popular at first, the character’s more aggressive personality quickly caused readers to turn on him, so much so that in the final panels of Death in the Family, readers were given a choice to vote on Robin’s death or survival, with readers ultimately choosing to kill him.

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The Joker’s murder of Jason Todd, the Second Robin, as voted for by contemporary readers.

These stories, combined with the 1989 Batman movie, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as Batman, and Jack Nicholson as the Joker; helped to cement the darker portrayal of Batman in popular culture.

From this point on Batman would always be depicted as a darker, more violent, tortured anti hero, paranoid, untrustworthy and in some ways as disturbed as many of the villains he faces.

The Modern Age

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Throughout the 90s Batman would continue to enjoy new levels of popularity. Burton’s Batman film had been a record breaking success and a bigger cultural phenomenon than even the 66 series. The character would go on to enjoy greater success in animation with the classic Batman the Animated Series which would kick off the entire DC Animated Universe. Much like the Burton movie, the DCAU would treated the source material seriously. The DCAU would also influence the comics themselves, just like the 66 Batman series.

The character of Harley Quinn, Jokers sidekick and lover who first appeared in Batman the Animated series would later be incorporated into the comic books, becoming one of Batman’s most recognisable enemies in popular culture. Another character from the DCAU who would later be incorporated into the comics would be Terry McGinness, the second Batman.

McGinness was introduced in the series Batman Beyond, which was set 50 years into the future. McGinness was originally a street hoodlum who would stumble upon the Batcave after Bruce Wayne helped save him from the Jokerz Gang. Terry would later steal the Bat suit to avenge his fathers murder, and though Bruce disapproved of his actions at first, Bruce would later take Terry on as his protege, training him to be the new Batman proper.

It would later be revealed that Terry McGiness was in fact Bruce Wayne’s biological son.

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The second Batman, Terry McGiness. Despite his popularity, Terry would not be incorporated into the mainstream comics until 2014 with the new 52 crossover series.

In 1993 one of Batman’s most iconic enemies, Bane would be introduced in the Nightfall arc. Bane would be responsible for breaking the Dark Knights back. For the first time someone other than Bruce Wayne, Jean Paul Valley would be forced to don the suit until Bruce Wayne was able to recover.

Batman would continue to enjoy further acclaim with the No Man’s Land and Hush story arcs, both of which would go on to influence further stories and adaptations.

21st century

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Throughout the first decade of the 21st century Batman would continue to enjoy mainstream success due to the Christopher Nolan trilogy, which reached its peak with The Dark Knight, the second entry in the series. The Nolan trilogy presented audiences with a more realistic, gritty interpretation of the Caped Crusader than any before.

Despite Batman’s popularity however, DC would seemingly kill the New Earth version of Batman in 2008 in the major crossover story Infinite Crisis. Batman seemingly died in action against Superman’s enemy Darkseid, with Dick Grayson taking his place as the new Batman, and Damian Wayne, Bruce’s son taking over as the new Robin.

It would later be revealed however that Batman had simply been sent backwards in time by Darkseid’s Omega beams, and Bruce Wayne would make his return in 2010. Just over a year later however the New Earth Batman’s adventures would come to an end in 2011 when DC rebooted its titles with the New 52 crossover series.

Since 2011 DC has followed the Batman of Prime Earth’s adventures, though as the full multiverse has been restored then the Batmen of Earth One, and New Earth now both still exist, as does the Huntress of Earth 2.

As of the writing of this article Batman still maintains a large presence in popular culture, and with no signs of slowing down its doubtless that we will continue to see more adventures from the Batman of Earth Prime and dozens of other universes for decades to come.

In the next entry of the series we will examine the influences on Batman and the influence the character has had on popular culture.

 

 

My Favourite Heroes: Batman: Part 1: Why Do We Love Batman

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Batman is arguably the most popular superhero of all time. Originally created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in 1939 for National Comics (later known as DC Comics.) Batman is a masked crime fighter who operates in Gotham, a city rife with corruption and crime.

Batman’s civlian identity is billionaire Bruce Wayne, who uses his vast wealth to fund his crime fighting career. He has no actual super powers of his own and instead relies on his gadgets, and fighting and deduction skills to tackle criminals.

Bruce Wayne is motivated to fight crime by a personal tragedy from his past. At the age of 8, Bruce’s parents were gunned down in front of him by a mugger. Vowing to never let the same thing happen again to anyone else, Bruce honed his body and mind to become the perfect crime fighter. He adopted the mantel of the bat to strike fear into the hearts of “cowardly and superstitious” criminals.

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Over the decades Batman has amassed a large array of colorful villains and supporting characters. The most notable of his enemies is the evil, psycopathic clown, the Joker, whilst his most famous sidekick is Robin, the Boy Wonder. Much like Batman, the various versions of Robin over the years have often been inspired to fight crime due to the loss of their parents.

Over the decades Batman has been adapted to film, television, animation, video games and even a broadway musical. He has managed to conquer just about all mediums and is alongside Superman one of the two quintessential comic book characters, though recent decades have seen him arguably eclipse even the Man of Steel in popularity.

In spite of the recent record breaking success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, no individual Marvel character can match Batman’s dominance in popular culture either. The only Marvel movies that have been able to match or eclipse the most successful Batman films, such at the Burton Batman, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises in terms of commercial success and cultural impact are the Avengers movies; which feature multiple Marvel heroes (practically an entire universe’s worth in Endgame.)

There are many reasons for Batman’s enduring popularity which we will explore in this article as we look at why we love the Caped Crusader.

First and foremost Batman has one of the most effective designs of any hero. He has a strong outline that is instantly recognisable, even in a crude drawing.

Batman’s design also in comparison to other heroes such as Superman and Spider-Man has a more menacing and dangerous aspect that instantly draws you in. Spider-Man’s costume is just to conceal his identity, whilst Batman’s is designed to strike fear into his enemies hearts, which lets you know more about the man underneath.

At times Batman can look even more frightening than the criminals he catches. This can best be seen in the opening to the classic Batman the animated series where the Dark Knight drops from the sky like a Demon and pounces on several helpless criminals.

At the same time however Batman’s design is not without its colourful and appealing aspects too. With a little readjusting, some versions of Batman can look as friendly and as colourful as your average superhero.

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As a result Batman can still be a character kids can dress up as, can still be slapped on lunch boxes and turned into a toy. His design is the perfect balance of being inherently more fearsome than the average superhero look, but not actively monstrous so that children are too scared to even look at him.

Batman despite his status as a millionare was also somewhat more of an underdog than other super heroes. Whilst the likes of Spider-Man, Wolverine, and even Superman regularly face enemies that are more powerful than they are, Batman in a way is always vulnerable due to his lack of super powers.

Even when facing ordinary muggers, though the Batman can often easily take them down, there is still a chance that he can be killed. (One issue of The Brave and the Bold does see Batman get shot and killed by an ordinary crime lord, only to be revived by the Atom who literally runs around his body fast enough to revive his brain stem!)

Batman’s motivation for fighting crime was also perhaps somewhat more flawed, yet more human than many of his contemporary superheroes, all of whom fought crime simply because it was the right thing to do. Batman in contrast arguably fought crime more because he wanted revenge. He does still ultimately want to see justice carried out, but there are times where you wonder if Batman cares more about doing what’s right, or simply getting back at the criminals who took his parents.

In these respects, Batman’s more flawed personality and greater vulnerability compared to the rest of DC’s rooster made him more of a precursor to the later Marvel heroes than any other DC character.

Batman’s tragic origins also give him a tremendous edge over other comic book or even genre characters. Sadly comic books even with the popularity of the MCU are still somewhat looked down as childish and silly. Obviously I am not going to deny that a lot of comic book stories are primarily aimed at children. Still ultimately comic books are a medium, not a genre, and there is no reason they can’t be used to tell adult stories, or even just stories that can be enjoyed by adults as well as children.

Characters like Superman, Spider-Man, or the X-Men are no more ridiculous or fanciful than characters like Robin Hood, King Arthur or Hercules. If the likes of Hercules and Robin Hood can appear in both childish and more mature stories then so can any classic comic book hero like Wonder Woman or Iron Man. Its just complete snobbery to suggest otherwise.

Sadly however the stigma does exist, but Batman was perhaps always able to overcome it to some extent, by having one of the most tragic origins of any popular hero. Its not just a question of Batman loses his parents. He sees them die right in front of him, when he is utterly helpless as a child, and in the most brutal way possible.

Even the most skeptical critic of comic books has to acknowledge the potential for drama in Batman’s origins. Superman in contrast loses his entire planet, which though effective, is not something that anyone can really imagine. To those who aren’t sci fi fans and used to larger than life stories and concepts, it might come off as being too fanciful. (Superman also never knew anything about his planet either having been sent away as an infant.)

Wonder Woman’s origin’s from an island where women have isolated themselves from men meanwhile can come over extremely goofy if not handled delicately. Other superheroes origins tend to be linked to larger than life scenarios of being caught in an accident and gaining superpowers, like the Hulk or the Fantastic Four, or the Flash. Again to those who aren’t interested in sci fi, it might be easy to dismiss these origin stories as being too over the top.

Spider-Man does have an element of tragedy in his origin through the death of his Uncle Ben (which he is partly resonsible for), but even then Uncle Ben’s death is not quite as brutal and up front as Batman. Spider-Man at least doesn’t actually see his Uncle Ben’s murder happen before him, and he is a lot older and can process it better. When you’re a child your entire world revolves around your parents.

Even most other folk heroes don’t have quite the same level of tragedy to their origins as Batman. Sherlock Holmes for instance is just a lovable eccentric. Robin Hood in most versions is just a skilled archer. The Doctor meanwhile in Classic Who was an eccentric scientist who wanted to explore, whilst New Who attempted to give him a tragic origin of his planet being destroyed, which again is too large a tragedy for viewers to comprehend.

With Batman everyone can imagine themselves in his position to some extent. Sadly those who have lost parents or loved ones as a child can relate to the feelings of loss Bruce experiences, whilst even those who haven’t can still imagine the horror of losing people so important to them. Finally Batman’s origins aren’t linked to aliens, or monsters or super powers. Its a very real human tragedy that befalls Bruce, and the monster responsible is an ordinary human too.

These scenes alone destroy the myth that comic books can never be used to tell stories with more depth to them, as the tragic origins for Batman were present in the very earliest Batman strips.

Another key reason for Batman’s enduring popularity is his massive rogues gallery.

Batman’s most iconic enemies are not just colorful and exciting characters in their own right. Many of of his most prominent villains present Batman with a unique kind of challenge, and as whole they span different genres which in turn gives Batman a broader appeal.

The Joker, Batman’s archnemesis is essentially a horror movie character. He was based visually on the title character from a classic horror movie “The Man Who Laughs”. (This character Gwynplaine was ironically not evil. He was a tragic character whose mouth had been cut into the shape of a grin as a boy. Still his terrifying visage would prove an inspiration to the Joker.)

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Whilst some versions of the Joker attempted to downplay the horror aspects of the character (out of fear of frightening children.) Others have positively revelled in it, and given the Joker a much more gruesome and terrifying appearance.

Examples of this include the Heath Ledger version of the character who had a Glasgow smile carved into his face, or the proto Joker, Jerome Valeska from Gotham whose face was cut off and then later stapled back on, only to be punched off by Commissioner Gordon!

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The Joker is the precursor to all monster clowns from popular culture such as Pennywise.

No matter what the version, the Joker is always depicted as a thoroughly iredeemable character. In some interpretations the Joker is given a more sympathetic backstory such as the Killing Joke, whilst others such as the Tim Burton movie, and the DCAU depict him as having always been a ruthless mobster who was simply pushed further into madness. Some depict him as a mysterious character whose origins are shrouded in mystery which in some ways makes him more frightening.

Whatever his reason for going insane, the Joker always presents Batman with the biggest challenge simply because of how evil he is. There is no low the villain won’t stoop too and Batman is often pushed to his limits not just by the threat of the Joker, but in whether or not he will have to actually commit murder to stop him.

One of the Jokers most heinous crimes, the crippling of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in front of her father Commissioner Gordon who he later attempts to drive insane by showing pictures of Barbara’s bleeding, naked body.

Its no surprise that the Joker is the villain Batman and Robin have killed the most in other adaptations. Examples include in Batman 1989, where Batman throws the villain to his death from a building, an Elseworlds comic called The Nail, where Batman beats the Joker to death after the Joker uses stolen alien technology to flay Batgirl and Robin alive right in front of a captive Batman.

Finally in Batman Beyond Return of the Joker, Robin shoots the villain through the heart (after enduring months of torture at the Jokers hands until he was driven insane and turned into the Jokers twisted idea of a son, Little J.)

Even more surprising is that Batman and Robin have almost always killed the Joker not in self defence, but out of revenge! Whilst the earliest comics did feature Batman killing his enemies, this aspect of his character was dropped very early on, (though a few versions have returned to it.) Generally speaking Batman never kills, and if he does its almost always in self defence.

The Joker is the only villain that can push almost any version of Batman to murder out of sheer rage. For this reason confronations between Batman and the Joker are always the more exciting than those with any of his other foes. I’d actually go as far as to argue that Batman and the Joker have the most intense and exciting feud of any two characters.

Almost any combination of Batman and the Joker is guaranteed to be exciting. We have seen the Joker confront Bruce Wayne as an ordinary civilian, Batman encounter a pre Joker, Jack Napier in the Burton movie, Batman and the Joker fight each other as the only two non super powered beings in a team full of aliens, gods and metahumans in Justice League. We’ve also seen the two face each other as old men in Frank Millers The Dark Knight Returns, and finally even as teenagers in Gotham, via Bruce Wayne and Jerome.

Any variation of these two characters is a winning combination as their core personalities are so strong they shine through at any age and in any situation.

The two have also been depicted as everything from warring brothers in Gotham, to love rivals in the 89 Batman, (in the Jokers twisted mind) to father figures battling it out over a son in Batman Beyond Return of the Joker (again in the Jokers mind) to representatives of two warring ideaologies in The Dark Knight.

There’s no other villain/hero combination that can be cast into quite as many different combinations and be just as effective each time. Holmes and Moriarty for instance could not be recast as teenagers, neither could the Doctor or the Master. The original Green Goblin, Norman Osborne, meanwhile could never be made the same age as Peter Parker. He only works as a middle aged or older man, whilst the Harry Osborne version similarly has to be younger like Spider-Man.

Superman and Luthor do work in many different roles too, but even then they lack quite the same viciousness that the Joker and Batman do in most of their confrontations. There have been some classic Luthor/Superman showdowns, and in one instance in the Justice League animated series Superman was even driven to kill Lex in an alternate universe. Still generally speaking we won’t see as many gritty confrontations between the two where Superman cuts out Luthors eye, or punches his face off!

Batman and the Joker are perhaps the greatest example of the archenemy trope, and the Joker overall has to stand as one of the most nightmarish and frightening villains of all time.

In complete contrast to the Joker is Mr Freeze. Freeze is more of a sci fi character than the Joker. He is a classic mad scientist, who is mutated in a lab accident and turned into an ice man. Whilst originally introduced as nothing more than a goofy B-movie character, the animated series gave him a tragic origin which was later incorporated into the comics.

Here Freeze was depicted as a loving husband who simply sought revenge against Ferris Boyle, a ruthless businessman who was responsible for the accident that not only turned Freeze into a monster, but also seemingly killed his beloved wife Norah.

Unlike with his other enemies, Batman can actually empathise with Freeze. Both lost people they cared about, and both initially sought to kill the monster responsible. However whilst Batman never went as far as Freeze who was willing to hurt innocent people, ultimately Batman lost less. Freeze didn’t just lose his wife, but his ability to ever have a normal life as well. In this respect Batman doesn’t judge Freeze the way he would his other enemies and feels genuinely sorry for him.

Ra’s Al Ghul, often regarded as Batman’s archenemy after the Joker is a totally different type of villain yet again. Ghul is a fantasy character. He is a warlord who has been kept alive by exposure to magic pits, known as the Lazarus Pits for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. He and his League of Assassins have helped shape human history, and the character is the biggest threat of all of Batman’s enemies. His endgame is often to use the Lazarus pits to destroy most of human civilisation and then rebuild it from scratch.

Ra’s is also a match for Batman in every way. He is as skilled a detective (and is able to deduce Batman’s secret identity before he even meets him) and he can match him in physical combat as well, unlike most of Batman’s other enemies.

Despite all of this however Ra’s is somewhat more sympathetic than say the Joker. Though he is a far bigger threat, Ra’s does at least have a code of honour, and genuinely respects and admires Batman.

A classic example of the key differences between Ra’s and the Joker can be seen in the animated movie, Under the Red Hood. Here Ra’s hires the Joker to distract Batman. The Joker however naturally goes too far and brutally tortures Robin to death with a crowbarr. Ra’s is so overwhelmed with guilt, that he engineers Robin’s resurrection with the Lazarus Pit and vows to never cause trouble for Batman or Gotham again to make amends for his role in the boys death.

Ra’s reveals his shame to Batman at having caused the pointless death of an innocent child through working with the Joker.

Ra’s Al Ghul gave Batman a new type of enemy in every way. He brought in magic and the supernatural to the franchise to a greater extent than ever before. He was an enemy that on the one hand was a global threat (and even regularly took Batman out of Gotham) yet on the other was actually capable of showing clemency and even respect to the Batman.

Two Face meanwhile represents another totally different type of enemy. Two Face is a more low level gangster, but has a deeper personal connection to Batman. In all versions Two Face was once a close friend of Batman, before being horribly scarred down one side of his face.

Batman has more of a vested interest in rehabilitating Two Face and carries a tremendous sense of guilt at not being able to help his friend.

 

The Scarecrow presents yet another type of challenge to the Batman. The Scarecrow’s main weapon, a special kind of gas that makes people see their worst fears gives us a deeeper insight into Batman’s personality than any of his interactions with other villains.

The Scarecrow’s fear gas makes Batman see his worst nightmare.

The Scarecrow was able to attack Batman in a more psychological way than any of his other enemies.

The Riddler presents a more comical enemy for the Batman. Though some portrayals have been darker such as in Gotham, the Riddler is generally depicted in a more humorous way. His entire gimmick and persona is ripe for comedy.

Here we have a man so insecure about his own intelligence that he has to prove his superiority to Batman by giving away vital clues to his crimes, which he could probably carry out otherwise successfully. There’s plenty of humour that can be exploited from his ridiculous Riddles, his stupidity in giving away clues, and his own neurosis at proving he is smarter than Batman (which always blows up in his face in humiliating ways.)

The Penguin meanwhile as an enemy is a return to Batman’s roots as a crime fighter. He is an ordinary gangster overall. No super powers, no plans for world domination, no desire to prove his genius to Batman or Gotham. He is a much more practical villain and one who can be used, despite his flamboyant nature, for grittier more down to earth stories.

Penguin stories have involved wars between crime families, and corruption in high places. The 60s series and Gotham both featured the Penguin running for Mayor. (As did Batman Returns which featured a more monstrous version of the character.) The character is also often depicted as presenting himself as an honest night club owner, who uses his wealth to cover his tracks. Batman often isn’t able to simply arrest the Penguin as easily as his other enemies.

Once again the Penguin not only represents a different challenge to Batman, of a villain who can cover his tracks, rather than flaunts them, but he covers a different genre too; with the Penguin allowing Batman to star in more traditional crime stories.

Bane on the other hand represents yet another type of challenge to Batman. Bane is able to bring Batman to his knees. Ra’s Al Ghul was a match for the Batman, but Bane completely dominates the dark knight and humiliates him in combat. We aren’t used to seeing Batman in such a vulnerable position physically. Despite his lack of powers, Batman is usually able to thrash his enemies in combat easily. Most of Batman’s enemies don’t even try to fight him one on one because they know it would be pointless.

Bane on the other hand laughs at Batman’s attempts to frighten him before delivering the most humilating and painful curbstomp to the Dark Knight.

Its a testament to how strong a character Bane was that he could emerge in such a well established rogues gallery and become so prominent in such a short space of time.

Finally the Catwoman represents yet another type of enemy with a completely different relationship with Batman. Catwoman is in love with Batman and therefore takes the Batman universe into the realm of romantic fiction. Batman and Catwoman are undoubtly one of the most famous modern love stories.

Catwoman is also the only one of Batman’s enemies who is not evil at all. In fact in many stories Catwoman has even helped Batman take on a greater threat, such as in The Dark Knight Rises, where Catwoman actually kills Bane just as he is about to finish the Batman and helps the Caped Crusader save Gotham.

Still most of the time Catwoman is on the wrong side of the law. Whilst her crimes are less vicious than say the Joker or Penguin, she is ironically a greater match for Batman physically than most other villains. She can also ironically hurt Batman in some ways more because she is closer to him.

An example of this can be seen in The Dark Knight Rises when Catwoman betrays Batman to Bane, or in Batman Returns when Bruce is devastated to discover that the same woman he has fallen in love with, also helped to frame him for murder!

Over the decades Batman and Catwoman’s relationship has gone through many significant changes, from enemies, to frenemies, to lovers, to finally even husband and wife.

The earth 2 versions of Batman and Catwoman (who were the original versions) got married in the 70s, and even had a child, Helena Wayne.

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Batman and Catwoman’s getting married.

Helena Wayne would later become the heroine known as The Huntress following her mothers death.

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Its sad how little known the Huntress, an engaging hero in her own right, and the daughter of two of the most famous fictional characters of all time is. I guess having famous parents isn’t always a guarantee for fame.

Catwoman has certainly shown us a different side to the Batman than villains like The Penguin ever possibly could. Through his relationship with the Catwoman we have not only seen a more romantic side to the Batman, but we’ve also seen him question his devotion to the law, suffer heartache, become a devoted husband and later a loving father!

When you look at the major villains from most other heroes rogues galleries you won’t find as much variety in terms of genres or the different type of threats they pose to the hero.

Take Spider-Man for instance. Spider-Man has one of the greatest rogues galleries of any hero, but ultimately most of Spidey’s enemies are rooted in sci fi as opposed to Batman’s who cover everything from horror, to sci fi, to crime, to romance, to psychological thrillers, to spy and espionage stories. Many of Spidey’s enemies are also experiments gone wrong, such as the Lizard, Morbius, Scorpion, Doctor Octopus, etc. Others are ordinary men with access to hi tech weapons or a super powered suit like the Hobgoblin, The Vulture, Mysterio, Chamelion, Shocker, Rhino, Scorpion etc.

There are some villains who don’t fit the mould. Kingpin is not a sci fi villain, nor is Kraven the Hunter. Still ultimately the villains all mostly threaten Spider-Man in the same way. The Scorpion, Rhino, Doc Ock, Carnage, Shocker, Electro, Hobgoblin are all a danger to him from a purely physical point of view. In contrast, very few of Batman’s enemies like the Joker, the Penguin or the Scarecrow can threaten Batman physically. Instead they all have to find their own unique ways to threaten the Batman.

Spider-Man’s relationship with his various enemies are for the most part straight forward. He tends to view the likes of Kingpin, Shocker, Electro, Hobgoblin etc as just villains. There are no villains who respect him like Ra’s Al Ghul, who he feels sorry for like Mr Freeze, who he is love with like Catwoman etc. (Black Cat who has often been compared to Catwoman is not an enemy of Spider-Man’s)

There are a few of Spider-Man’s enemies who find unique ways to challenge him and have a more unique dynamic. Venom knows more about the wall crawler than anyone else, Harry Osborne much like Two Face was once one of his friends, whilst Norman is the father of his best friend. Carnage meanwhile much like the Joker pushes Spider-Man to his limits because of how evil he is.

Still overall Spider-Man’s enemies to tend to fit into a pattern, and cover similar themes more than the Batman’s enemies do.

Similarly most of Superman’s enemies are rooted in sci fi and most of them are simply his enemies too. Luthor who in some interpretations is his former friend aside, there are no villains like Mr Freeze or Ra’s Al Ghul in Superman’s rogues gallery that he can genuinely respect and even have empathy for.

The Doctor meanwhile similarly though having one of the greatest rogues galleries, his enemies tend to fit a pattern more than Batman’s too. The Daleks, the Cybermen, the Sontarans, and the Ice Warriors, though all unique characters, still all fit the role of alien invaders, all dedicated to their cause above their own individual lives; whilst his single enemies such as Davros, the Master etc, tend to be megolamaniacal would be conquerors.

The Doctor similarly views all of his enemies with contempt. There are no villains that he could be said to have affection or sympathy for. (The 21st century version of Doctor Who did try and have the Doctor develop affection for the Master, but it was very clumsily handled and ended up making the Doctor look like a total hypocrite. The Master historically is a totally ireedemable villain on a par with the Joker, so to have the Doctor who normally kills his enemies go easy on him undermined both characters. I’d go as far as to say how the revival handled the Master was arguably the single weakest aspect of the revival.)

Ultimately there is more variety among Batman’s enemies in terms of the genres they touch upon, the type of threat they pose to the Dark Knight, and their relationships with the hero which range from respect, to neurotic obsession, to empathy, to love, to seething hatred.

The large variety of Batman’s enemies ultimately represents what I feel is the single most important aspect of Batman’s enduring popularity. His versatility.

Batman can be incorporated into a larger variety of stories than any other superhero. In fact I’d argue that Batman can be incorporated into a larger variety of different stories than any other hero, save the Doctor and Xena (who we’ll be examining in later editions of this series.)

Batman can flourish in both drama and comedy. His tragic origins as we have seen can give the character a real sense of gravitas and dramatic integrity.

At the same time however Batman’s ultra serious nature, coupled with his larger than life qualities make him just as ideal for comedy. All superheroes if not handled right can seem silly. (They are by their very nature very over the top.)

Still Spider-Man and many other Marvel heroes have a sense of humour, which gives them a greater self awareness when placed into comedic situations.

Batman on the other hand is totally serious. Whilst some versions may have a more sarcastic streak, generally speaking Batman takes everything completely seriously, which makes it all the more hilarious when he is placed into a ridiculous situation.

This was the key to the Adam West Batman’s massive success. West played his part seriously. At no point did he ever acknowledge how ridiculous he looked, even when he was being pelted with fish by the Joker, or using Shark repellent Bat spray!West always made sure the character had no self awareness.

How many characters could star in two such radically different scenes and remain largely unchanged? West’s Batman at his core is ultimately the same character in that he is just as devoted to fighting crime, takes his job just as seriously, and in his own universe is just as competent.

The comedy in Batman also has a very broad range too. Some of the comedy can be very camp as seen with West whilst a lot of the comedy can also be very dark.

Black comedy has actually always been one of Batman’s strengths. Growing up the Joker was always one of my favourite characters because he could do the most horrible things and make me laugh at them.

This scene from an 80s comic called “Dreadful Birthday Dear Joker” I think demonstrates the strength of the black comedy in Batman better than any other.

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Your favourite characters 1314015_original

Jack Nicholson himself said that the Jokers sick humour more was what attracted him to the role, and indeed it ended up becoming the defining and most praised aspect of his performance.

Its not just with the Joker however that there is potential for black comedy.

The Penguin, the Riddler, even more obscure Batman villains such as the Professor Pyg can all be amusing and vicious at the same time.

As Batman and his villains are such extreme characters then the comedy involved with all characters can be as outrageous as it wants.

Arguably the real key to Batman’s versatility is his lack of super powers. Batman can be placed into almost any type of perilious situation because he can be vulnerable enough when need be, yet thanks to his gadgets and fighting skills Batman can still keep up with actual super heroes.

Batman can star in gritty crime stories. He has a real motivation to deal with ordinary, street level threats, and unlike Wonder Woman or Superman, or even Spider-Man who can all deal with criminals in a second. Batman is always still vulnerable to ordinary criminals to an extent.

One of the best Batman stories of all time is Night of the Stalker. This comic sees the Caped Crusader track a group of ordinary muggers who murder a young boys parents in front of him, through the woods outside Gotham.

The story shows Batman at his most vicious in his relentless pursuit of the crooks. In certain moments you wonder if Batman is actually going to kill the criminals. The papers even refer to him as “savage Batman” the next day. Batman is also drawn to be much more menacing and forboding in this story too.

At the same time however we also see Batman at his most vulnerable in this story too. For all his years of crime figthting and trying to make Gotham a better place, Batman ultimately fails to stop another young boy from enduring the same tragedy he swore no one else would ever have to go through and it almost breaks him. We even see Batman cry during two parts of the story.

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You simply could not do Night of the Stalker with Superman, or even Spider-Man. They’d take care of the crooks in 5 seconds with their powers. Neither would have quite the emotional gravitas when dealing with just simple criminals either.

At the same time however there are elements of sci fi in Batman’s character. Batman’s famous Batcave alone features advanced technology that strays into science fiction territory. One of Batman’s most famous trophies is a gigantic robot Tyrannosaurus Rex!

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Many of Batman’s most iconic enemies are sci fi characters. Mr Freeze, Manbat, Clayface, The Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, Doctor Hugo Strange etc. Some of his supporting cast are sci fi characters too. The Huntress, Batman’s daughter comes from an alternate universe, Earth 2 where he married Catwoman. His other child, Terry McGuiness, who becomes the second Batman (and is mentored by an elderly Bruce) comes from the far future and lives in a complete sci fi environment of robots, hover cars, mutants and aliens!

Some of the most celebrated Batman stories are rooted in sci fi such as Heart of Ice, or Batman Beyond Return of the Joker.

Batman has also become a prominent sci fi character through his association with the Justice League, one of the first superhero teams. As a member of the Justice League Batman has helped to battle alien invaders, travelled to other universes, and faced gigantic killed robots!

At a first glance Batman who lacks any kind of superpowers may seem like a bad fit for the Justice League, a team that consists of the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, the Martian Manhunter etc. Batman however again is able to overcompensate through his scientific genius and deduction skills. He is often able to work out the villains plan, key weakness or hideout first, he supplies the League with their technology, and his gadgets and fighting skills can allow him to go toe to toe with super powered characters. (Which he does regularly in Gotham with characters like Mr Freeze or Manbat.)

A classic example of this can be seen in the Justice League cartoons where Batman is the one who brings down the alien invaders known as the Imperium. The Imperium’s technology is able to cancel out the Leagues super powers, but Batman is able to deduce their weakness, sunlight, and reprograms their machine that blocks out the sun.

Horror and fantasy meanwhile are just as important a part of Batman’s character. Visually Batman drew from classic horror characters like Dracula, whilst Gotham itself always had a gothic look of large forboding cathedrals, creepy looking gargoyles.

The original two Tim Burton Batman movies play out more like old classic, Universal horror movies than anything else, just as much as the Nolan movies embrace the gritty crime fighter elements, and Return of the Joker embraces the sci fi elements.

From the very beginning Batman faced supernatural creatures. One of his earliest recurring enemies was the Mad Monk, a hypnotic Vampire who attempted to sire Batman’s then fiance Julie Madison. Ra’s Al Ghul of course would later bring fantasy straight into the heart of the Batman mythos for all time. Another of Batman’s major enemies with a supernatural twist is Solomon Grundy, a Zombie of a gangster dumped in a mystical swamp outside of Gotham.

Various other Batman stories and adaptations have dealt with the dead being brought back to life such as Gotham and Under the Red Hood.

Batman can also be used for great love stories too. The fact that he is such a closed off, tortured character allows his love stories to be somewhat more intense and tragic. Unlike Spider-Man or Superman, Batman doesn’t want a normal life. He doesn’t want to juggle having a wife and kids with fighting criminals (earlier stories did give him a fiance, but she was quickly written out and the character has remained single more or less since. Whilst he’s had his love interests, there has never been a constant figure in his life like Mary Jane or Lois Lane.)

Batman wants to only focus fighting crime, so if he meets someone who might actually take his mind off his mission then things are going to be more complicated for Batman than they’d be for your average hero in love.

This scene from the Mask of the Phantasm shows Bruce Wayne who has recently fallen in love apologise to his dead parents for taking his mind off of his mission to avenge them. The tragic irony is that they would both have rather their son move on and have a happy life instead.

Batman’s love stories will almost always end in tragedy in some way due to his reluctance to give up on his duties. Even the earth 2 version of Catwoman sadly met a grissly end, though this trend was seemingly broken at the end of The Dark Knight Rises which featured Bruce Wayne and Catwoman eloping to Europe to (hopefully) live a happy life together.

Batman as a character is extremely adaptable overall.

Most superheroes can’t star in gritty crime stories like Night of the Stalker, whilst at the same time most heroes without super powers can’t go on the fantastical adventures Batman does.

Robin Hood can’t stop an alien invasion. Sherlock Holmes similarly can’t star in an adventure where he travels to another universe and stops his evil counterpart from destroying every universe.

Batman meanwhile did in Justice League on Two Earths, which features Owlman, an evil version of Batman who travels to the original world that all universes sprung from. Owlman attempts eliminate all of creation by destroying earth prime, believing it to be the only decision that would matter, as all other decisions have been played out in the multiverse, only for Batman to face him in a one on one duel for the sake of every universe!

And Batman thought the Joker was crazy!

Even other comic book characters without powers such as Green Arrow are not quite as adaptable as Batman. Green Arrow does not possess the scientific genius Batman does, and his gadgets are not quite as advanced as Batman’s. Its one thing to have some fancy arrows, its another to have a cave full of fighter jets, and robot T-Rex’s. Sci fi and fantasy generally don’t have as much of a place in Green Arrow’s world. When Arrow, the live action version of Green Arrow attempted to bring in magic and have the character take on a global threat it was met with a negative response. Many fans and critics felt that it was straying too far from the purpose of the show, and so later versions brought the character down to earth.

Daredevil similarly can only fight street level thugs. You couldn’t imagine Daredevil single handedly bringing down an alien invasion like Batman either.

Batman’s lack of powers, coupled with his scientific genius and gadgets allow him to star in the widest range of stories from crime noir, to sci fi, to horror, to fantasy. For this reason Batman naturally appeals to much wider audiences than almost any other superhero. There’s everything you could want in a Batman’s story comedy, drama, horror, even romance and that among other reasons is why Batman is so beloved.

In the next article we will be taking a look at the history of Batman.

 

Why Doctor Omega Should Be Adapted As A TV Series

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Doctor Omega is a 1903 science fiction novel by the French author Arnould Calopin. It revolves around a mysterious alien professor who goes under the alias of Doctor Omega. The Doctors real name and identity are never revealed throughout the book and not much of his backstory is given either. All we do know is that Doctor Omega and his grand daughter Suzane are in exile from their people. Though very few details about Doctor Omega’s race are given in the story, we do know that they have discovered and mastered time travel.

Doctor Omega (who is often just referred to as the Doctor) settles in France where he attempts to build a new type of time machine from a strange type of metal called Stellite. His experiments soon draw the attention of his neighbour, the creative and sensitive Denis Borel.

Omega is only too happy to let Denis in on his experiments, and after the time vessel which the Doctor christens “The Cosmos” is built. He invites Denis and a large hulking man named Fred to join him on an adventure into the past.

The three travel to Mars thousands of years before its destruction, landing straight in the middle of the Martian ocean. There they encounter gigantic whale like monsters and a race of hostile, reptillian Mermen. They soon reach the land where they encounter giant, Elephantine monsters, hostile gnome like aliens and intelligent, but poisonous plant life.

Travelling further inward they encounter a valley full of giant snake monsters and large bat like humanoids. Eventually the trio reach an advanced city of gnome like creatures who abduct the Doctor and his companions. The Gnomes, who are at war with a similar race, discover that the Stellite used to build the Cosmos is capable of deflecting their enemies weapons and cannibalise the ship to create shields to win the war.

Omega and the others are kept prisoner even after the war by the victorious Martian race, but with help from a friendly Martian named Tiziraou; Omega is able to contact his grand daughter Suzane, using a space time telegraph. Suzane in turn is able to contact another renegade of their people, Professor Helvetius who subsequently rescues the three time travellers from Mars in a craft similar to the Cosmos.

The ending of the story sees Doctor Omega build another space time machine to go on more adventures with Denis, Fred and Tiziraou who they take on as a companion.

When it was first released Doctor Omega proved to be a huge hit, but it quickly fell into obscurity for 100 years. Eventually in 2003 the book would be rediscovered, re-released and translated into English for the first time for Doctor Who’s 40th anniversary. This edition included more direct references to Doctor Who (including Sonic Screwdrivers.) As well as a foreward by Terrance Dicks, a former Doctor Who script editor.

Doctor Omega would develop something of a small cult following and more stories featuring the character would be released for Black Coated Press. These stories which featured the good Doctor meeting other famous fictional characters would eventually be collected as an anthology book called Doctor Omega and the Shadowmen.

Naturally many fans and critics have considered Doctor Omega as a possible influence on Doctor Who. The similarities are quite staggering. Even physically Doctor Omega resembles the first Doctor, as played by William Hartnell. Both have long flowing white hair, a stick, wear a long flowing cape etc.

Ultimately however Doctor Omega has never been mentioned as an influence on Doctor Who by anyone involved in the creation of the series and the book was never released outside of France prior to 2003, so it seems most likely the similarities between the two characters is coincidental.

Nevertheless Doctor Omega can be seen as Doctor Who’s literary predecessor regardless and as a result I think people have tended to overlook the character of Doctor Omega. Naturally when people think of writing about a time travelling alien, then its Doctor Who they go to. Still there is value in the Doctor Omega story in its own right and now I think the time is better than ever for the character to step out of the shadows, as now Doctor Omega can fill the void left by the absence of true Doctor Who.

For the past few years Doctor Who has gone down a very bad path. From the Peter Capaldi era onwards it began to pander to the regressive left. Now I myself would identify as left wing. I support the Welfare state, the NHS, legalising cannabis, I’m pro choice and I support gay marriage and gay couples rights to adopt children.

That said however I feel the modern day left has been taken over by upper middle class career socialists who simply want to use left wing politics to further their own careers, or foster their own prejudices against white men, and white people in general.

I’m all for stronger roles for women and minorities, but the regressive left it seems care more about attacking or replacing roles for men than they do in building women up.

If you are interested I have written many articles which cover the sad decline of the revival of Doctor Who due to pandering to the regressive left on this blog, but I don’t want to get bogged down in this argument again. If you disgaree with me, please take it to the articles I have written on the subject.

Whilst the Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker eras represent the nadir of the entire franchise. If we’re being honest the 21st century version of Doctor Who was never the same show as the original, 1963-1989 version.

The original classic era Doctor Who was primarily a sci fi adventure show, with a focus on horror, monsters, high sci fi concepts, and derring do. The revival was always more of a soap opera series with a focus on romance, shipping, and making its audience cry at sad moments.

There hasn’t been a series in the style of the original since it finished in 1989. Some critics and so called Doctor Who fans would say that Classic Who is dated and therefore couldn’t be made for modern audiences.

Personally I think that is utter nonsense. Classic Who looks dated only because of its low budget effects and sets. Many of the ideas and concepts in the Classic series were actually decades ahead of their time, such as the Matrix in The Deadly Assassin, or the Cybermen who were complete precursors to the Borg.

The Classic era still holds up and always has. In 2017, Classic Doctor Who was the best selling science fiction series on DVD and Blue Ray in the world. (It was also the third best selling cult series on DVD and Blue Ray.)

Classic Who outsells New Who

If a series done in the style of Classic Who were released on a streaming service (which could allow for the stories to be longer) and had a decent budget then I think would be a hit. It would fill a void for both mainstream horror (which classic who often did) and sci fi.

Now ideally I’d love for this series to be Doctor Who, but sadly in the current climate that is not going to happen.  During the 90s when the show was off the air, Doctor Who was taken over by a fandom clique, who are often referred to as the Fitzroy Crowd (as they all used to congregate at the Fitzroy club.) The Fitzroy crowd includes the likes of Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Chris Chibnall, Nicholas Briggs and Paul Cornell.

Almost all of the most prominent Doctor Who fiction of the past 20 years has been produced or at least overseen by members of the Fitzroy Crowd. Whenever one of the clique steps down from producing the main series, they make sure to hand it over to another member of the clique (as can be seen with the likes of Russell T Davies handing the show over to Steven Moffat, who then handed it over to Chris Chibnall.) All of the spin off material is also produced and written by this fandom incrowd too. The books, the comics and the audios etc.

The Fitzroy crowd have made it clear in the past that they have contempt for the style of the original. Though they do have a nostalgic affection for the classic series from when they were children, ultimately they don’t want to produce a similar series.

Examples of the Fitzroy crowd’s “love” for the original series.

At the same time the identitarians who hold the Doctor Who franchise in an iron grip, have no real love for the Classic era either. Take a look at the reviews from the new Time Team in Doctor Who magazine made up of notorious SJWs like Claudia Boleyn and Christel Dee. They regularly slag off the original series for supposedly being sexist, dated and gimmicky (which it never was.) All they care about is in turning the show into a propaganda piece for their own agendas.

Since these people hold all the sway at the BBC, don’t expect to see anything even resembling Classic Who for a long while.

Doctor Omega meanwhile is a public domain character. He is thankfully not in the shackles of the BBC or the Fitzroy crowd and you could do all the same types of adventures with Doctor Omega as you could with the classic era Doctor.

Omega has a machine that can travel to any planet at any point in time. Omega is a mysterious alien with a love of exploration. Omega can be caring and morally righteous, yet also quite ruthless too. He is both a level headed, practical, grandfatherly figure; and a fool hardy, reckless adventurer. All you’d have to change would be the name from the Doctor to Doctor Omega. (Even then Omega is often referred to as just the Doctor too.)

The Doctor Omega tv series would be to Doctor Who what The Orville was to Star Trek. The Star Trek franchise went through a similar bad patch to Doctor Who in the late 00s-late 10s. Like DW the focus of the Trek franchise was changed in an ill guided attempt to pander to modern audiences.

The original Trek series were always more philosophical, thoughtful and nuanced, whilst the J J Abrams trilogy of films were just generic action movies. (J J Abrams much like the Fitzroy Crowd expressed a contempt for the original Star Trek series, finding it slow and boring.)

Star Trek Discovery meanwhile, the most recent Trek television series was taken over by the same cancerous ideology as the Moffat and Chibnall era’s of Doctor Who. They also showed the same level of disrespect for established canon and beloved characters. (Just look at what Discovery and Moffat era Who did to the Master and Spock for instance.)

Fortunately however Seth McFarlane, the creator of Family Guy would produce (and star) in a series called The Orville, which was far closer to the original Star Trek series in tone and style. The Orville featured the same more thoughtful and nuanced stories of the original Star Trek series, as well as characters and concepts that were closer to the original Star Trek series.

The Orville is not a Star Trek series, but it has a similar premise of a future where humanity has become part of a galactic federation of planets, and a crew of humans and aliens go exploring on a ship through the universe.

Whilst critics were slow to warm to The Orville. It proved a huge hit with viewers and Star Trek fans and has recently been renewed for a third series.

The Orville has not only filled the Star Trek shaped hole in the television landscape. It has also shown that the Trek formula can be updated for modern audiences. You don’t need to dumb Star Trek down to being a generic action blockbuster like Abrams did. With a decent budget and good scripts you don’t even have to change the look of the show, let alone the type of series it actually is.

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Much like with Doctor Who, there was no way the current idealogues in charge of the actual Star Trek brand were ever going to produce a show or film similar to proper Star Trek. The Orville was the only way we were ever going to see proper Star Trek. Furthermore its success will now show potential future producers and holders of the Trek brand that a profit can be made from actually updating the original, as opposed to tossing everything about the original out and just cashing in on the name.

Doctor Omega, the series could do the same for Doctor Who. Give us a chance to see proper Classic Who style adventures, whilst showing people that the old style, if updated in practical ways can work which might end the Fitzroy Crowd’s strangle hold over the series.

Doctor Omega would actually be an easier sell than The Orville which was accused of being derivative of Star Trek at first. No one could accuse Doctor Omega of ripping off Doctor Who as he debuted about 60 years earlier!

Of course I wouldn’t want Doctor Omega to remake any classic era stories. It would be new adventures just in a similar style. You could invent a rogues gallery for Doctor Omega similar to the Doctors, the same way that the Krill in The Orville fill a similar role to the Klingons and the Romulans in Star Trek as well, but again you’d give them their own backstories and characteristics.

Personally I think it might be interesting to adapt monsters from other Classic sci fi stories in the public domain and have them fill the role of the Doctors colourful rogues gallery. Doctor Omega has been used for crossover stories in the past, so it would be continuing the tradition. Just as Doctor Omega was the predecessor for Doctor Who, then so were many classic literary monsters predecessors for the Doctor’s enemies.

For instance the Martians from H.G. Wells War of the Worlds could take the place of the Daleks in the Doctor Omega series.

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The Martians who invade the earth in Wells classic novel were one of many key inspirations on the Daleks. Both are hideous Octopus monsters who house themselves inside tank like robots. Both speak in electronic, but hysterical voices. Both are pitiless conquerors devoid of any concept of pity or remorse and both come from a dying, barren world.

The Daleks and Wells Martians also serve as metaphors for xenophobia and race hatred, chemical warfare, man’s desturctive effect on the environment, and technology moving inward and turning people into machine like creatures.

The Martians could also have quite a close personal connection to the Doctor too. The first Doctor Omega book, (which presumably would be adapted as the first story.) Sees the Doctor and his companions reluctantly help a ruthless race of Martians defeat their enemies. The Martians are described by one of their own, Tiziarou as a dying race who have become so dependent on technology they could never cope without it.

The series would reveal that the Martians Omega helped would eventually become Wells Martians. Thanks to his help they would only defeat their enemies, but all other races on Mars, devastating the planet before moving to earth.

In a later story of the series (perhaps the first season finale?) Omega would return to earth where he would discover that the monsters had invaded in his absence and devastated the planet before being defeated by bacteria.

The Doctor and his companions would then be captured by the forces of earth who would force him to build a war ship to use against the Martians, before they could launch a counter strike.

This story would be an adaptation of both War of the Worlds (which would unfold via flashback) and Edison’s Conquest of Mars. Edison’s Conquest of Mars was an unofficial sequel novel to the original War of the Worlds which saw Thomas Edison build a war ship from the ruins of the Martian technology left over after their invasion, to launch an attack on the Martians.

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The novel sadly doesn’t hold up that well to contemporary audiences. It has some inspired ideas, but overall it reads as nothing more than a puff piece for Edison.

Replacing Edison with an Omega who is reluctantly forced to lead a war could make the story more interesting and the conflict more tense. The ending of “Omega’s Conquest of Mars” would see the last of the Martians flee to another world (perhaps Mor-Tax in honour of the War of the Worlds tv series.) Where they would build up their forces, eventually becoming a major galactic power similar to the Daleks.

From there you could use the Martians in all of the same ways you could the Daleks. You could do stories involving the monsters conquering other planets, mastering time travel, trying to invade the earth again etc. You could even incoporate elements of later adaptations of War of the Worlds too into the monsters characters and design as they alter their bodies and technology throughout history.

Doctor Omega would always feel tremendous guilt every time he met the Martians, knowing that it was his own innocent trip to the past which caused the monsters to become among the dominant life forms in the universe, making their confrontations more interesting.

For the Silurians and the Sea Devils meanwhile, the Newts from Karel Capek’s classic novel could take their place.

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War with the Newts is a classic sci fi novel that sees mankind discover a race of ocean dwelling reptile like creatures who they enslave and exploit, but who eventually turn the tables on humanity. The creatures bare a slight similarity to the Sea Devils from Doctor Who, in that both are lizard like humanoids who are unable to share the planet with humanity and both serve as a metaphor for xenophobia and race hatred. At one point the Newts are even referred to as “Sea Devils!”

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The Newts could easily fulfil the Sea Devils and Silurians role of frightening looking reptile men, who are actually sympathetic, intelligent creatures who have a right to live on our planet too.

The Great Intelligence’s place could be taken by The Mad Mind. The Mad Mind is an unseen monster from The City and the Stars by Arthur C Clarke. The Mad Mind is a disembodied intellect created to rule the galaxy, that eventually devastates it. The creature is imprisoned, but could easily escape to wreak more havoc in a Doctor Omega series.

The creature could possess people and serve as a more distant, alien enemy that the Doctor couldn’t fight, or even defeat as it has no form just like the Great Intelligence. An adaptation of The City and the Stars would also be an excellent adventure too. Another bonus about using these monsters is that it could bring more attention to obscurer sci fi stories and novels.

The Cybermen could be replaced by the robots from Karel Capek’s R.U.R play. The robots in this play though not greatly resembling the Cybermen follow a similar theme of mans own technology turning in on him. The robots themselves could also fulfil the role of being giant robotic creatures.

Of course it would be hard to incorporate War of the Worlds, War of the Newts and R.U.R into one timeline, but it could be done.

War of the Newts would take place after War of the Worlds. Humanity might ironically use the Martians technology to overthrow the Newts and enslave them. The humans would then overthrow the Newts after they rebelled and took us over (which happens in the book) with the robots from R.U.R who would then overthrow humanity, forcing the humans into an alliance with the Newts to reclaim the planet. The last of the robots would then be forced to flee into space where they would settle on a far away planet and build up an empire from there. (This could serve as a problem in future stories for when humanity meets other races, as humanity would perhaps be known and hated all over the galaxy for creating a monster race that went on to slaughter hundreds of worlds.)

For the Master meanwhile, Doctor Omega’s friend Professor Helvetius could take his place. Helvetius could serve as an ally for the Doctor in several stories who we gradually see descend into darkness and who the Doctor is forced to fight, leading to their feud.

The iconic British comic book character, Dan Dare meanwhile could serve as a Brigadier type character for Doctor Omega. He has a similar, stiff upper lip attitude and even a similar look. Dan’s time would have to come after the Newts and humanity reclaimed the planet and would be depicted as a golden age for mankind. The inclusion of Dan Dare would also bring in his enemies such as the famous Mekon and the Treens.

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Captain Dan, Digby, Professor Peabody and Spacefleet could easily be Doctor Omega’s version of the Brigadier, Benton, Liz Shaw and UNIT.

Finally Doctor Omega could even be made to change his face too. I think it would be better to have it be something that only Omega can do however. You could have it that on an advanced planet Omega found a machinea that can allow you to live forever, as whenever you get too old it rebuilds your body into a younger form, but changes your appearance.

Doctor Omega would have stolen it, as he felt that one lifetime wouldn’t be enough for him to explore the wonders of even one galaxy. Every time the Doctor got old or was wounded he would use the machine to rebuild himself and from a real world perspective change actor.

With these ideas you could essentially produce a Doctor Who expy series, except that the characters and ideas in this series came before Doctor Who! You could utilise all the great things about the brand whilst being free of the tyranny of the BBC, the Fitzroy Crowd and the Regressive left.

Of course ultimately I wouldn’t want Doctor Omega to replace Doctor Who completely. In a few decades time a proper version of Doctor Who could easily return, but until then Doctor Omega could give us a proper Doctor Who series. Doctor Omega would also be the only way to ensure that the classic style is updated as currently the people in charge of the brand have no interest in reviving the true series.

As for who I would cast? My choices would be the same as they would for a proper Doctor Who series.

Julian Richings, a British actor best known for playing Death in Supernatural would be a perfect choice for Doctor Omega. He looks somewhat like the character and would have the necessary authority and gravitas to pull it off.

Dana Delorenzo of course would be a perfect choice for Suzane. Personally I’d replace Fred with Suzane as Doctor Omega’s first companion. Fred doesn’t really have any personality, and again I’m for having more roles for women as long as it’s not designed just to take a role away from a man. Suzane is already a character in the novel, and ultimately Fred is just an ordinary man with no backstory, whilst Suzane has a greater link to Omega and a mysterious origin of her own which could make for a better dynamic. Dana could bring a lot to the character and make her a stronger, more proactive character than the Susan of Classic Who.

Finally Wentworth Miller I think would be good for Denis. Miller is a charismatic actor best known for his starring roles in Prison Break and Legends of Tomorrow. I think Miller would be a good choice for Denis as in real life, Miller is somewhat more sensitive and thoughtful than a lot of the characters he plays. Denis could give him a chance to show that side off more, yet at the same time Miller could make the character less of a wimp like the literary Denis and more of a vulnerable hero.

The first incarnation of Doctor Omega.

and his two companions

the more aggressive Suzane

and the sensitive and creative Denis Borel

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think below.

Announcements

Just a quick update on the status of this blog. Sadly I have had to abandon plans for my latest two full length sci fi novels. It was foolish of me to even think of starting such a big project when I’m working on three series.

Doctor Who: The Fire of the Daleks will finish this week, after which Doctor Who and The Circus Master will take a break for two weeks. Next week will see the final two parts of the current Professor Fang story.  I will also be posting a few more reviews and opinion pieces in the weeks ahead too. I don’t want to completely abandon those types of articles as they were what launched the blog in the first place.

Its been a hectic couple of weeks which has sadly caused me to fall behind with all three series. The break will allow me to catch up. I have also decided to move forward my adaptation of Scratchman. It will be the first story to feature my version of the Tenth Doctor.

Finally I would also like to announce two new series. Carlene the Jazz Vampire ( a prequel series about the character from The Circus Master) and Van Helsing. Both will be starting either at the end of this year, or early next year. (Only an idiot would try and produce 5 series at once, so they will obviously be beginning after The Circus Master and Professor Fang are finished.)