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CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 01:31 AM
We now know him as Alfred Pennyworth, bulter to the Bat.

Alfred first appeared in Batman #16, published in 1943. He gave his father's name as Jarvis, which under the bulter conventions of the time implied that Alfred was named Alfred Jarvis. In Detective Comics #96, however, DC made his official name Alfred Beagle, and this later became the name of the Alfred of Earth 2. Batman #216 changed his name to the current Alfred Pennyworth in 1969, and that has remained his name in Earth 1 and the post-crisis comics.

The original Alfred had worked for the British secret service and had to persuade Bruce and **** to allow him to become their butler, and then discovered their secret, whereas the more recent Alfred had always been the Wayne family bulter and helped Bruce become Batman in the first place.

So far as I know, the Alfred of the campy Batman live action series of the 1960s, played by Alan Napier, had no secret service background. Alan Napier though was pretty cool, as he could play a rather dry Alfred but a rather earthy character in the character of Alfred's good-for-nothing cousin, Manfred. He also got to pull a stint as the Batman himself when some villain had kidnapped Bruce Wayne and demanded random. Alfred, wearing the cap and cowl (and Bat-leotards) stays well back from Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara while Robin does the talking up close. When Gordon expresses to Robin a concern that "Batman looks thin" and wonders why Batman his holding his hand over his mouth (to hide Alfred's moustache) Robin explains that Batman has a cold and doesn't want to give it to anyone else. Gordon and O'Hara nod sagely at the incredible responsibility that Batman takes for everyone's well-being. The scene is priceless. There's a later scene in which Alfred, still disguised as the Batman, and Robin confront the villains who have Bruce held captive, and Alfred says, "Here comes the Batgas!"--because it's only polite to warn the criminals in advance--before grabbing a cannister off the Bat-belt and tossing it at the feet of the criminals.


Although I've never seen Batman Begins, it's clear that the Alfred of the movie, played by Michael Caine, draws from the more recent "always been the bulter and helped Bruce become Batman" storyline.

In Paul Dini's tv series continuity, however, Dini definitively established Alfred, voiced in all but four episodes by Efrem Zimbalist Jr., has having the original British secret service background. (Fittingly enough, Zimbalist got famous for playing Inspector Lewis Erskine in the tv series The FBI from 1965-1974; more recently he played the role of industrialist William Edgars in four episodes of Babylon 5 in 1997. He also also provided the voice of the German-accented Dr. Octopus on the 1990s Spider-Man: The Animated Series. His daughter, Stephanie Zimbalist, played detective Laura Holt, the brains behind Pierce Broznan's Remington Steele). Some villain grabs Alfred and an old British secret service confederate and attempts to extract from them the secret British nuclear launch codes. Alfred (and his confederate) do some fairly good hand-to-hand combat.

Michael Gough portrayed Alfred in the movies Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), and Batman and Robin (1997), in which his niece, Barbara Pennyworth, becomes Batgirl. There's no mention in these movies of Alfred as a former secret service agent.

Ian Abercrombie portrayed Alfred on the short-lived TV series Birds of Prey; he semed to recapture the dry but loveable spirit of Michael Gough's movie Alfred.

Alastair Duncan provides Alfred's voice on the animated TV series The Batman. In this incarnation of Batman it is revealed that Alfred's grandfather served Penguin's family in England, but was mistreated and then fired.

While I like the dry but loveable Michael Gough Alfred, and love some of the things that the campy Alan Napier Alfred got to do, I think I'm going to have to select the former secret agent Alfred of Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as my favorite. Not only could he mend a Bat-cape, or a Bat-comptuer, or indeed a Batman with the best of them, but he could get out and mix it up with villains directly.

So who is your favorite Alfred, and why?

Bookman
2006-06-25, 01:34 AM
So far from the ones I've seen (so I'm going for the actors not the comics) Michael Caine's is the best (cause he was really good and there was NOTHING bad about Batman Begins)and then probably the TV one comes up second.

Arian
2006-06-25, 01:42 AM
My favourite 'Alfred' is my son Edmund - it's one of his middle names.

(His other middle name is Bede. I did not choose these names, though I admit to saying "Yes, why not?" when they were suggested. ;D)

CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 01:45 AM
So far from the ones I've seen (so I'm going for the actors not the comics) Michael Caine's is the best (cause he was really good and there was NOTHING bad about Batman Begins)and then probably the TV one comes up second.

I've seen Michael Cain in so many other things that at least from the trailers of Batman Begins I have trouble seeing Michael Caine as Alfred. I really need to see the movie one of these days. Maybe I can rent it. I haven't rented a movie in years.

Bookman
2006-06-25, 01:50 AM
I've seen Michael Cain in so many other things that at least from the trailers of Batman Begins I have trouble seeing Michael Caine as Alfred. I really need to see the movie one of these days. Maybe I can rent it. I haven't rented a movie in years.

DO IT! The movie's REALLY good my sister kind of liked it and she normally doesn't like Batman movies...........Be warned the beginning part has ALOT of backstory and stuff and very little action but it's worth it as everything links together in the end........it's bloody BRILLIANT! I feel he's the Alfred that all Alfred's wish they could be. Dry sense of humor and very caring for Bruce and gives him a verbal slap when he needs it

Beleriphon
2006-06-25, 01:59 AM
I'm torn between Michael Caine's dry humour, and the B:TAS Alfred with a little more get up and go. Both a good, fun characters.

Holy_Knight
2006-06-25, 03:02 AM
I'm torn between Michael Caine's dry humour, and the B:TAS Alfred with a little more get up and go. Both a good, fun characters.
Agreed. My first thought was of Michael Caine, until being reminded that the animated Alfred was an option. I did like Michael Gough well enough though. (However, I remain disappointed that he's not the same Michael Gough that did the voice of Deckard Cain.)

CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 03:29 AM
DO IT! The movie's REALLY good my sister kind of liked it and she normally doesn't like Batman movies...........Be warned the beginning part has ALOT of backstory and stuff and very little action but it's worth it as everything links together in the end........it's bloody BRILLIANT! I feel he's the Alfred that all Alfred's wish they could be. Dry sense of humor and very caring for Bruce and gives him a verbal slap when he needs it

Well of course, if your sister liked it... ;)

Seriously, though, I like character development so I wouldn't be put off by lots of backstory and little action. I will have to see where I can rent movies around here. I haven't rented anything since before I moved from IA to VA 4 years ago.


I'm torn between Michael Caine's dry humour, and the B:TAS Alfred with a little more get up and go. Both a good, fun characters.




Agreed. My first thought was of Michael Caine, until being reminded that the animated Alfred was an option. I did like Michael Gough well enough though. (However, I remain disappointed that he's not the same Michael Gough that did the voice of Deckard Cain.)

Hmm, so both of you like both Dinni's Alfred and Michael Caine's? Of course you are both quite a bit younger, I think, so you might not have the long association of Caine with lots of other movies. Did you know he once did a movie with Christopher Reeve?

Beleriphon
2006-06-25, 03:35 AM
So CS am I getting a response to that quote? ;)
Edit: I guess I got a response.

Yes I did. I'm quite the movie afficiando, or at least I like to think so. I've seen more movies than I care to name, and I'm aware that Michael Caine has been in a good many movies when he was much younger. I tend to see good actors as the role they portray, not as a role they have portrayed in the past. So while I can name several Michael Caine movies I don't think of him as those characters, Alfie for example, I think of him as Alfred when watching Batman Begins. I suppose this as much a testament to his acting abilities as anything else. In many ways its the same way that I see Christian Bale as Batman as opposed to the young boy in Empire of the Sun, the madman in American Psycho, or the emotionless gramaton cleric in Equalibrium. I think another reason that I remember the cartoon and Batman Begins as the best is because the other portrayal of Alfred are old enough that I've only seen some of them, and in some cases heard. I enjoyed the 60s TV show for the campy goofiness that it was, but I don't think that it was good portrayal of anything related to Batman. Plus given that the last time I would have actually watched the show I would have been about 8, and that is coming up on two decades ago.

I will explain more though. Bruce is gone for seven years, so when Alfred goes and gets Bruce from his self imposed exile he makes a comment to the effect that it will take some doing to have him declared not dead. They banter for a moment and Alfred tells Bruce that he'll let him borrow the Rolls.

A good portion of their interaction is like this. They have an easy friendly relationship, with Alfred taking on a more patronly role when needed. Thats why I like Batman Begins, it makes the characters so human. I especially like Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon.

CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 03:40 AM
So CS am I getting a response to that quote? ;)

I will explain more though. Bruce is gone for seven years, so when Alfred goes and gets Bruce from his self imposed exile he makes a comment to the effect that it will take some doing to have him declared not dead. They banter for a moment and Alfred tells Bruce that he'll let him borrow the Rolls.

A good portion of their interaction is like this. They have an easy friendly relationship, with Alfred taking on a more patronly role when needed. Thats why I like Batman Begins, it makes the characters so human. I especially like Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon.
My response, to both you and Holy-Knight, was

Hmm, so both of you like both Dinni's Alfred and Michael Caine's? Of course you are both quite a bit younger, I think, so you might not have the long association of Caine with lots of other movies. Did you know he once did a movie with Christopher Reeve?

Thanks for the further explanation too! :)

Beleriphon
2006-06-25, 03:43 AM
My response, to both you and Holy-Knight, was

Hmm, so both of you like both Dinni's Alfred and Michael Caine's? Of course you are both quite a bit younger, I think, so you might not have the long association of Caine with lots of other movies. Did you know he once did a movie with Christopher Reeve?

Thanks for the further explanation too! :)


Yeah, I saw the respose right after I editted my post with more explantion. I've since added even more explanation to respond to the response that you didn't to respond to initially.

And no problem. Batman Begins is a great movie. If I was going to equate it with a comic book I'd say its most like Year One in terms of style and character development. Now if you've read Year One keep in mind they aren't exactly the same, so the similiarities are closest in function and form not details.

CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 03:52 AM
So CS am I getting a response to that quote? ;)
Edit: I guess I got a response.

Yes I did. I'm quite the movie afficiando, or at least I like to think so. I've seen more movies than I care to name, and I'm aware that Michael Caine has been in a good many movies when he was much younger. I tend to see good actors as the role they portray, not as a role they have portrayed in the past. So while I can name several Michael Caine movies I don't think of him as those characters, Alfie for example, I think of him as Alfred when watching Batman Begins. I suppose this as much a testament to his acting abilities as anything else. In many ways its the same way that I see Christian Bale as Batman as opposed to the young boy in Empire of the Sun, the madman in American Psycho, or the emotionless gramaton cleric in Equalibrium. I think another reason that I remember the cartoon and Batman Begins as the best is because the other portrayal of Alfred are old enough that I've only seen some of them, and in some cases heard. I enjoyed the 60s TV show for the campy goofiness that it was, but I don't think that it was good portrayal of anything related to Batman. Plus given that the last time I would have actually watched the show I would have been about 8, and that is coming up on two decades ago.

For millions of us Baby Boomers (and early Gen-Xers too), the campy Batman was Batman, and that image is indelibly etched into our brains. the truth is that many of us still love the campy Batman. :)

Lord Herman
2006-06-25, 03:55 AM
I like Michael Caine's Alfred best. But I'm not really an authority on Alfreds, having seen only two of the other Batman movies and a few episodes of the animated series. And I know Caine only from his role as Austin Powers' fazjer.

CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 04:00 AM
Yeah, I saw the respose right after I editted my post with more explantion. I've since added even more explanation to respond to the response that you didn't to respond to initially.

And no problem. Batman Begins is a great movie. If I was going to equate it with a comic book I'd say its most like Year One in terms of style and character development. Now if you've read Year One keep in mind they aren't exactly the same, so the similiarities are closest in function and form not details.
What is Year One?


I like Michael Caine's Alfred best. But I'm not really an authority on Alfreds, having seen only two of the other Batman movies and a few episodes of the animated series. And I know Caine only from his role as Austin Powers' fazjer.
Wow! We sure are getting a lot of votes for Michael Caine's Alfred.

I don't recall Michael Caine in an Austin Powers movie, but then I think I saw only the first one.

Beleriphon
2006-06-25, 04:01 AM
I like Michael Caine's Alfred best. But I'm not really an authority on Alfreds, having seen only two of the other Batman movies and a few episodes of the animated series. And I know Caine only from his role as Austin Powers' fazjer.


Oh you are missing a world of terrific my friend.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000323/

The Man Who Would be King is quite good. It has Sean Connery in it as well. BTW, yes that is 129 movies he has been in.

CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 04:13 AM
Oh you are missing a world of terrific my friend.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000323/

The Man Who Would be King is quite good. It has Sean Connery in it as well. BTW, yes that is 129 movies he has been in.
I'm looking through his list of credits, and I see A Bridge Too Far, as well as the one I mentioned with Christopher Reeve, Deathrap. I see Educating Rita, Hannah and Her Sisters (A Woody Allen movie), Jaws: The Revenge, Blame it on Rio, Without A Clue (in which he plays Sherlock Holmes who's indeed without a clue and not the real detective, but just a front for John Watson, Crime Doctor ;D), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Jekyl and Hyde, and now I see a sequel for Batman Begins due out in 2008! They could call it Batman Begins Some More or maybe Batman Goes a Little Further. ;)

Edit: I forgot to mention that he did a Muppet Christmas in 1992!

Ambrogino
2006-06-25, 06:10 AM
As a Londoner I'd personally say that Michael Caine's ex-SAS mockney Alfred was the one atrocious point in an otherwise excellent movie. When I'm rating Katie Holmes over a knighted star of fifty years of movies, something is very very wrong.

Michael Gough did a good Alfred, and was probably the best thing in the Schumacher movies. I think the best Afred I've ever seen was the one in Dark Knight Returns, not least of all because he couldn't be (or at least wasn't) ruined by the atrocious sequel.

"How utterly proper."

Closet_Skeleton
2006-06-25, 03:56 PM
So far from the ones I've seen (so I'm going for the actors not the comics) Michael Caine's is the best (cause he was really good and there was NOTHING bad about Batman Begins)and then probably the TV one comes up second.

Michael Caine was good, but he wasn't much like Alfred at least in any other incarnation I know of. The microwave machine is a load of rubbish. It can boil water in the sewers but not the water in all the people around it? It made no sense. Batman Begins was a good movie, but there was by no means nothing wrong with it.

Bookman
2006-06-25, 04:02 PM
Seriously, though, I like character development so I wouldn't be put off by lots of backstory and little action. I will have to see where I can rent movies around here. I haven't rented anything since before I moved from IA to VA 4 years ago.




I highly suggest checking at your library as (at least around here) they have a HUGE selcetion of DVD's and VHS and it's all free! (with a library card of course...)


Closet Skeleton Michael Caine was good, but he wasn't much like Alfred at least in any other incarnation I know of. The microwave machine is a load of rubbish. It can boil water in the sewers but not the water in all the people around it? It made no sense. Batman Begins was a good movie, but there was by no means nothing wrong with it.


haha well scientific belive had to be suspended for that movie in general (as well as most superhero movies) I mean c'mon his cape? As cool at that was I doubt there's somethign that works like that.

Tarlonniel
2006-06-25, 06:08 PM
My favorite is Efrem Zimbalist Jr., but Michael Gough did an excellent job.

TinSoldier
2006-06-25, 06:36 PM
That was an awesome OP, CelestialStick! More comprehensive than I could do. I bow to your outstanding research.

While I'm not a boomer (Gen X, baby!) the campy Batman series was what I grew up with as well.

I liked it well enough as a kid, but I really became a fan of Batman when TAS came out in the early nineties. So I have to say that that Alfred is my favorite (along with the sequel to that series). I think he captures just the right mixture of subservience and backbone.

I've always considered Alfred to be Batman's surrogate father. I don't really read much comics but I've always assumed that Alfred raised Bruce after his parents died.

I also like Michael Gough as Alfred in the early movies; he captures the right attitude as well.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One are graphic novels by Frank Miller. They are awesome, and the Alfred portrayed in these two books are great. One overlooked character from both books, though, is Commissioner Gordon. In those two graphic novels by Miller, Gordon is almost as deep a character as Batman is.

Beleriphon
2006-06-25, 09:03 PM
Michael Caine was good, but he wasn't much like Alfred at least in any other incarnation I know of. The microwave machine is a load of rubbish. It can boil water in the sewers but not the water in all the people around it? It made no sense. Batman Begins was a good movie, but there was by no means nothing wrong with it.


At some level it does make sense, microwaves need something to bounce off of to heat anything. Of course if it bounces off of the inside of a sewer pipe, then it should the outside. Most people have legit gripes with the microwave machine, but scientifically it has nothing to do with microwaves passing through the human body.

CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 10:44 PM
That was an awesome OP, CelestialStick! More comprehensive than I could do. I bow to your outstanding research.

Thanks! What is "OP" again? Some sort of preparation? You know that with preparation, CelestialStick always wins, right? ;)


While I'm not a boomer (Gen X, baby!) the campy Batman series was what I grew up with as well.

Yes, I think that's common for Baby Boomers. I suspect that far more people of any age have seen the campy TV Batman of the 1960s than have read the comic books.


I liked it well enough as a kid, but I really became a fan of Batman when TAS came out in the early nineties. So I have to say that that Alfred is my favorite (along with the sequel to that series). I think he captures just the right mixture of subservience and backbone.

I originally missed the first TAS but started seeing the animated series when the full-length Batman/Superman movie came out, introducing The New Batman/Superman Adventures. I actually like The New Batman/Superman Adventures better because it has Superman and because it drew a much, much more attractive Barbara Gordon. :D


I've always considered Alfred to be Batman's surrogate father. I don't really read much comics but I've always assumed that Alfred raised Bruce after his parents died.

That's the more recent version, at least in the comic books; the earlier version had Alfred coming to Bruce and **** after they had already established themselves as superheroes.


I also like Michael Gough as Alfred in the early movies; he captures the right attitude as well.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One are graphic novels by Frank Miller. They are awesome, and the Alfred portrayed in these two books are great. One overlooked character from both books, though, is Commissioner Gordon. In those two graphic novels by Miller, Gordon is almost as deep a character as Batman is.
I did enjoy Michael Gough, and to me he, unlike Batman, Robin or Batgirl, really seemed like the character he was playing.

I'm not so sure about this Frank Miller guy. Is he the one who wrote that absurb sequence where Batman Mary Sue, with the help of a nuke, Green Arrow and two pieces of kryptonite, gets his hands around Superman's throat and gloats like a common, dime-a-dozen villain, instead of just saying, "Superman, I didn't actually kill Joker?"

TinSoldier
2006-06-25, 11:17 PM
Thanks! What is "OP" again? Some sort of preparation? You know that with preparation, CelestialStick always wins, right? ;)OP == Original Post.


That's the more recent version, at least in the comic books; the earlier version had Alfred coming to Bruce and **** after they had already established themselves as superheroes.I don't know if I got the idea from the original campy series or not. Remember, we didn't have the internet back then ;D !


I'm not so sure about this Frank Miller guy. Is he the one who wrote that absurb sequence where Batman Mary Sue, with the help of a nuke, Green Arrow and two pieces of kryptonite, gets his hands around Superman's throat and gloats like a common, dime-a-dozen villain, instead of just saying, "Superman, I didn't actually kill Joker?"Yeah, from what I've seen linked here it seems like he went way too far. But otherwise, Dark Knight Returns and Year One are some of the best Batman stories that I've ever read.

CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 11:21 PM
OP == Original Post.

I don't know if I got the idea from the original campy series or not. Remember, we didn't have the internet back then ;D !

Yeah, from what I've seen linked here it seems like he went way too far. But otherwise, Dark Knight Returns and Year One are some of the best Batman stories that I've ever read.
The campy series doesn't tell us about Alfred's origins.

So Frank Miller wrote that insane story with the gloating Batman, but it's not in either Dark Knight Returns or Year One?

Beleriphon
2006-06-25, 11:32 PM
He doesn't gloat so much as basically tell him off saying that Supes is the one that has gone wrong, letting the government leash him. Added to which its all an internal monologue through the whole encounter.

One of the best lines is Bruce thinking to himself that Clark gave "them" the power, just like his parents taught him to, but Bruce's parent taught him a very different lesson. The lesson that the world only makes sense if you force it to.

Basically he's trying to get through to Clark, to make him think about the fact that everything that's happened could have all been stopped if the heros had just stood up for themselves isntead of slinking off, or becoming the president's thugs. Its fun since he never says a single word to Superman through the whole thing, so no gloating just him chocking Superman thinking to himself that he wants Superman to think that one man that finally beat him was a 50 year old human with multiple broken ribs and myriad other injuries because he's smarter than Supes, and didn't let himself go soft.

As for the kryptonite its actaully a kryptonite gas that Bruce had synthesized, over the course of years. Which works since its been 10 years or more since Batman retired, and Superman left the public eye.

When you read the whole book the finale works quite well since its all about Batman railing against Superman as the vision of corruption and all the horrible things wrong with the world. In the end he blames Superman for the nuclear explosion, when he could have stopped the whole thing before it started by not being a spinless government lackey.

Anyhoo, its really good, and involves no gloating. Everything in t the final act, except for a few lines, is Batman's internal dialogue.

Neither Dark Knight Returns or Dark Knight Strikes Again involve gloating at any level. Although Strikes Again is an odd read. Its fun but Miller wrote a political story and has admitted that Batman wasn't the best vehicle to tell the story.

CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 11:37 PM
He doesn't gloat so much as basically tell him off saying that Supes is the one that has gone wrong, letting the gov't leash him. Added to which its all an internal monologue, he does say one word to Supes through the whole encounter.

One of the best lines is Bruce thinking to himself that Clark gave "them" the power, just like his parent taught him to, but Bruce's parent taught him a very different lesson. The lesson that the world on make sense if you force it to.

Basically he's trying to get through to Clark that everything that's happened, being a government goon could have all been stopped if the heros had just stood up for themselves isntead of slinking off, or becoming the president's thugs. Its fun since he never says a single word to Superman through the whole thing, so no gloating just him choaking Superman thinking to himself that he wants Superman that one man that final beat him was a 50 year old human with multiple broken ribs and myriad other injuries because he's smarter than Supes, and didn't let himself go soft.

Effectively its all about Batman railing against Superman as the vision of corruption and all the horrible things wrong with the world. In the end he blames Superman for the nuclear explosion, when he could have stopped the whole thing before it started by not being a spinless government lackey.

Anyhoo, its really good, and involves no gloating. Everything int he final act, except for a few lines, is Batman's internal dialogue.

Neither Dark Knight Returns or Dark Knight Strikes Again involve gloating at any level. Although Strikes Again is an odd read. Its fun but Miller wrote a political story and has admitted that Batman wasn't the best vehicle to tell the story.

Wow, this comic just keeps getting worse and worse. :(

Beleriphon
2006-06-25, 11:40 PM
Wow, this comic just keeps getting worse and worse. :(

Seriously its really good. What makes you think that?

TinSoldier
2006-06-25, 11:41 PM
I just watched an episode of Justice League called "Legends" which I hadn't seen before. I admit that I haven't been into too many of the non-Batman cartoons. It was good, though.

Right now, I watching a Superman episode called "The Demon Reborn" which has Ras al Gul in it.

I really like the dynamic between Superman and Batman. There is tension there, as well there should be. Superman doesn't approve of Batman's methods and Batman doesn't approve of Superman's restraint.

I know it has nothing to do with Alfred, but I just thought that I would throw that out there. All of the animated series after the 1970s/1980s are awesome. The writers really had it going on there.

TinSoldier
2006-06-25, 11:42 PM
CelestialStick -- I still say that Year One and Dark Knight Returns is probably some of the best Batman material ever written, no matter what else Frank Miller has written.

CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 11:59 PM
Seriously its really good. What makes you think that?

Superman is a thug for the government and Batman puts him in his place?! Please, I can barely keep from gagging at such a disgusting perversion of the characters.



I just watched an episode of Justice League called "Legends" which I hadn't seen before. I admit that I haven't been into too many of the non-Batman cartoons. It was good, though.

Right now, I watching a Superman episode called "The Demon Reborn" which has Ras al Gul in it.

I really like the dynamic between Superman and Batman. There is tension there, as well there should be. Superman doesn't approve of Batman's methods and Batman doesn't approve of Superman's restraint.

I know it has nothing to do with Alfred, but I just thought that I would throw that out there. All of the animated series after the 1970s/1980s are awesome. The writers really had it going on there.

Originally Superman and Batman were friends. Indeed they were friends for decades both in and out of the comics. Then some of the people who wrote the comics decided that they were too cool to have Superman and Batman be friends, and they whipped up garbage like the storyline where Batman gets his hands around Superman's throat like some dime-a-dozen villain. If that's in Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns or Year One, I'll take a pass. I'm not contributing any money to that schlock.

In the Paul Dini episode where Superman and Robin (Tim Drake) find Bruce under the control of Brainiac, there's a scene at the very end where Superman says something like, "for a guy who claims to be a loner, you sure have collected a lot of friends." I consider this to be the best, most definitive statement of the newer, grumpier Batman--he's not a borderline psychopath who gloats over getting his hands around Superman's throat; he's a grumpy guy, who can't admit that yes, he has friends.

Beleriphon
2006-06-26, 12:03 AM
Superman is a thug for the government and Batman puts him in his place?! Please, I can barely keep from gagging at such a disgusting perversion of the characters.

I've described the whole thing badly. The finale is ultimately Batman faking his own death. While he's at he takes out a load of frustration that has been festering for a decade on Superman, who has become beholden to the US government. He's still Superman, but everybody else has gone so he soldiers on the only way that he can, with official US government sanction. That sometimes means doing what they ask. He tries to avoid the confrontation, but ultimately goes in because he's asked to by the president.

The fight is entirely engineered by Batman to further his end of his own "death". He does make a variety of comments that illustrate why he and Superman are very different people. Both of them are still the characters we know.

If you have issue with Superman being a thug, he's not, but the world he lives in has moved beyond needing a superhuman protector. So he does what he can where he can. In the nuclear explosion sequence he has a nice little speech to himself, or rather the Earth, begging it to let him live so that he can keep helping to guide humans away from what they've done.

At any rate you really should read the comic. I don't think that I can ever do it justice by telling you about it. I'm sure that I've botched the whole thing up, but I can assure you that it is considered one of the seminal Batman works by generally the whole of comic book readers so that has to say something. Heck it was even good enough that some book critics have heaped praise up on it.

TinSoldier
2006-06-26, 12:04 AM
Superman is a thug for the government and Batman puts him in his place?! Please, I can barely keep from gagging at such a disgusting perversion of the characters.Not so much a thug... but more of someone who has decided to defend the "American Way" right or wrong.

It's hard to explain... while Superman is portrayed a little negatively you can still understand him as a character. You can extrapolate his actions with regards to his personality and the Cold War era in which it was written.

CelestialStick
2006-06-26, 12:11 AM
Not so much a thug... but more of someone who has decided to defend the "American Way" right or wrong.

It's hard to explain... while Superman is portrayed a little negatively you can still understand him as a character. You can extrapolate his actions with regards to his personality and the Cold War era in which it was written.
I don't see what you think the Cold War has to do with this storyline. It was written a decade after the end of the Cold War. Superman predates the Cold War in any case, and his signature boyscout personality, as well as his support for truth, justice and the American way do too.

If this story is just another cheap shot at America, then it's yet worse than it's already been painted.

Beleriphon
2006-06-26, 12:16 AM
I don't see what you think the Cold War has to do with this storyline. It was written a decade after the end of the Cold War. Superman predates the Cold War in any case, and his signature boyscout personality, as well as his support for truth, justice and the American way do too.

If this story is just another cheap shot at America, then it's yet worse than it's already been painted.


Dark Knight Returns was written in 1984. At the height or Ronald Reagan's presidency. I think that the cold war has a good deal to do with the story line and presentation.

At any rate Clark shows up at Bruce's funeral and hears his old friend's heart start up again. So he winks, and leaves the whole thing be.

Year One also another excellent work. Much more detectivy then other stories. It goes a long way to showing that it took a long time for Batman to get good at what he does. He makes mistakes, he fails alot, but he keeps going. Seriously, check it out the vast majority of your ire is coming from me giving a crummy summary of the finale without having gone over everything else in the story first.

Edit:

To help put this into perspective the opening is an editorial by Daily Planet editor James Olsen about this bar in Metropolis. Its run by this Jones guy, claims he's from Mars. It goes on about how they have nothing to prove, nothing to brag about they've all been there and done that. Its a great dark editorial about a time that wasn't so long ago when the world had heros.

Edited Edit:

As for digs against America its not a dig. Its an honest criticism of America at the time the book was written. Its unfortunate that some of the same things can still be applied to the current way that things are going.

The final bit with Clark winking is very appropriate since its signals that he recognizes that Batman's way of doing thingss is needed, the same what that Superman's way of doing things is needed. But since Bruce Wayne and Batman are officially dead, nobody has to know that a certain grave is going to be empty.

AmoDman
2006-06-26, 12:32 AM
Sheesh, how many posts do you need to tell you the graphic novels are good, stiick? ::) It's a little pointless to judge a book you've never even looked into. As for the topic, I like Alred in Begins, but it just didn't seem like "Alfred." Not because of any bad acting, I just didn't think Caine looked or quite sounded the part (though he still did good on the latter). I liked TAS Alfred. Though I may be biased, since that was essentially my "batman" growing up.

CelestialStick
2006-06-26, 12:50 AM
Sheesh, how many posts do you need to tell you the graphic novels are good, stiick? ::) It's a little pointless to judge a book you've never even looked into. As for the topic, I like Alred in Begins, but it just didn't seem like "Alfred." Not because of any bad acting, I just didn't think Caine looked or quite sounded the part (though he still did good on the latter). I liked TAS Alfred. Though I may be biased, since that was essentially my "batman" growing up.
It's possible that they way people have been describing the Frank Miller story about Batman with his hands around Superman's neck does the story an injustice, but we make evaluations without firsthand experience all the time. We don't need to drive drunk to know it's a bad idea, and on a jury we have to decide guilt or innocence without the possibility of first-hand experience of the events in question.

My impression of Caine's Alfred is also that he seems like a good character, but not really Alfred.

Beleriphon
2006-06-26, 12:57 AM
My impression of Caine's Alfred is also that he seems like a good character, but not really Alfred.

You know Stick that's how I feel as well. The on that strikes most like Alfred is TAS version. That being said Caine does slightly different take on Alfred. He isn't as so serious, and a little funnier as though he's trying to bring levity to Bruce's much darker personality.

As for the whole hands around the neck its a very small part of a very good Batman yarn. Reading the whole thing it makes sense. I can only encourage you read it yourself and draw your own conclusions.

CelestialStick
2006-06-26, 01:28 AM
You know Stick that's how I feel as well. The on that strikes most like Alfred is TAS version. That being said Caine does slightly different take on Alfred. He isn't as so serious, and a little funnier as though he's trying to bring levity to Bruce's much darker personality.

As for the whole hands around the neck its a very small part of a very good Batman yarn. Reading the whole thing it makes sense. I can only encourage you read it yourself and draw your own conclusions.
Ok, but if I buy it and hate it, will you compensate me for the price I paid? (Not to mention for my reading time!) ;D

Beleriphon
2006-06-26, 02:00 AM
Ok, but if I buy it and hate it, will you compensate me for the price I paid? (Not to mention for my reading time!) ;D


Yes. I will send you a vast amount of krytonian currency.

I don't think that you'll hate it, you may not love it, but you wont hate it. It has my stamp of approval.

Holy_Knight
2006-06-26, 03:07 AM
I'm not so sure about this Frank Miller guy. Is he the one who wrote that absurb sequence where Batman Mary Sue, with the help of a nuke, Green Arrow and two pieces of kryptonite, gets his hands around Superman's throat and gloats like a common, dime-a-dozen villain, instead of just saying, "Superman, I didn't actually kill Joker?"
"Seriously, Celestial Stick, put some ranks in having read The Dark Knight Returns already."

Quality of Dark Knight Returns = Exit to Dungeon of Dorukan (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=119) :)

To answer your previous question, yes, I've only seen three movies with Michael Caine in them. I had thought it was two, until you mentioned Without A Clue--I hadn't realized that that was Michael Caine (funny movie, by the way). And Batman Begins is the only movie I've ever seen Christian Bale in. So for both of them, I didn't have a lot of preconceptions about the kinds of roles they played.


Although Strikes Again is an odd read. Its fun but Miller wrote a political story and has admitted that Batman wasn't the best vehicle to tell the story.
Man... this is the first thing you've said in this thread that I haven't agreed with. I would replace the word "fun" with "painful"--saying that Batman "wasn't the best vehicle to tell the story" is a huge understatement. What Miller should have done was to write his political tale in some other setting, instead of ruining the attempt to write a sequel to one of the best comic stories in recent history.

Beleriphon
2006-06-26, 08:18 AM
"Man... this is the first thing you've said in this thread that I haven't agreed with. *I would replace the word "fun" with "painful"--saying that Batman "wasn't the best vehicle to tell the story" is a huge understatement. What Miller should have done was to write his political tale in some other setting, instead of ruining the attempt to write a sequel to one of the best comic stories in recent history.

I was trying to be nice. I liked the story and what was happening with the DC world, but Batman was the wrong choice as a vehicle. The story would have worked as a Green Arrow only vehicle though.

Tarlonniel
2006-06-26, 09:25 AM
As for digs against America its not a dig. Its an honest criticism of America at the time the book was written. Its unfortunate that some of the same things can still be applied to the current way that things are going.

That's all in the eye (or politics) of the beholder. It strays pretty far into "dig" territory as far as I'm concerned. :P

Beleriphon
2006-06-26, 09:49 AM
That's all in the eye (or politics) of the beholder. It strays pretty far into "dig" territory as far as I'm concerned. *:P

Strikes Agains is very much a dig, Returns not so much so. Criticism often comes across that way when people don't like what they hear. I know thats what I feel when somebody criticizes what I do.

Returns exaggerates Ronald Reagan's behaviour to make a point. If anything its more a satire of goverment thinking then anything else.

TinSoldier
2006-06-26, 10:54 AM
OT -- Michael Caine was also in Second Hand Lions (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0327137/) which as an outstanding film. Along with Robert Duvall he plays a crotchety old uncle of Haley Joel Osment.

Umm, I really need to rent Batman Begins...

Tarlonniel
2006-06-26, 07:20 PM
I guess we have different definitions of a "dig". I know it means an insult, but to me, it can also mean an indirect or otherwise covert criticism - one made sort of sneakily so it can't be argued against without seeming in some way unreasonable. Using a previously non-political mainstream comic book character to make your own political statement falls in that category. Strikes Again simply carries further what Returns already started, and neither is "honest criticism" in my book. I understand that a lot of people agree with the author's point and therefore don't mind his exaggeration/satire/whatever you want to call it; but I don't, and I do. *shrug*

Anyway, like CS, I prefer Superman and Batman as friends. If Supes was ordered to arrest Bats, he'd fly to the Batcave - or Batman would find him - and they'd have a serious talk about how to rectify the situation. As reasonable, sane adults should. *:P

TinSoldier
2006-06-26, 07:42 PM
Not really about Alfred...

I haven't read Strikes Again so I am wholly unfamiliar with it.


Anyway, like CS, I prefer Superman and Batman as friends. If Supes was ordered to arrest Bats, he'd fly to the Batcave - or Batman would find him - and they'd have a serious talk about how to rectify the situation. As reasonable, sane adults should. :PI too prefer them to be friends, but I see a basic conflict between their ideals and their methods. Even friends can get into arguments and fights.

I guess it's hard to describe. I like to think of Batman and Superman having professional respect for one another as well as a friendship on a certain level. But they are both unwilling or unable to yield on certain of their ideals which leads to occasional conflict between them.

Tarlonniel
2006-06-26, 07:49 PM
Even friends can get into arguments and fights.

True, but friends who are also reasonable adults should not be throwing punches at each other due to a disagreement, much less shooting missiles. Especially if they're supposed to be heroes.

I don't see Batman's and Superman's ideologies differing so much that there'd be any significant conflict between them. But then, as I've said umpteen times, I'm not very familiar with the modern day versions of those two - and what I do know of the modern Batman I don't like very much. So he doesn't exist in my personal continuity ;)

TinSoldier
2006-06-26, 07:56 PM
Note to self: loan my copy of "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" to Tarlonniel and CelestialStick... :P

In "Dark Knight Returns", Superman is supposed to apprehend Batman because the government (and Superman) are tired of his violent methods. The USSR launched a missile at a country that US and USSR were fighting over; Superman diverted the missile to a desert area. Batman didn't launch it.

However, Batman prepared for ( ;D) a possible fight with Superman.

Oh, I think their ideologies on what are proper methods (and proper uses of force) are different. Not the ends, but the means.

Tarlonniel
2006-06-26, 08:37 PM
Superman is supposed to apprehend Batman because the government (and Superman) are tired of his violent methods.

Violent methods? I haven't seen him be any more or less violent than other superheroes. If Frank Miller ramped up the carnage, then my first problem is right there.

Either Batman is being too violent, in which case he should be arrested (and good riddance), or he's not, in which case Superman would work with him to prove his innocence. Either way Supes would find him and talk to him first.


However, Batman prepared for ( ;D) a possible fight with Superman.

Again, not what my ideal Batman would do. If the law saw fit to arrest him he would not start planning how to (nearly) kill the person they sent to apprehend him. He'd turn himself in or disappear until - again - he could prove his innocence.

All right, is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Knight_Returns a good summary of the storyline? Here it says they send Supes after Bats not because of any violence, but because Gotham City has gotten to be too nice a place :o

Holy_Knight
2006-06-26, 08:50 PM
Note to self: loan my copy of "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" to Tarlonniel and CelestialStick... :P
Amen to that... :P



Again, not what my ideal Batman would do. If the law saw fit to arrest him he would not start planning how to (nearly) kill the person they sent to apprehend him. He'd turn himself in or disappear until - again - he could prove his innocence.

You really need to read the story, and see what Batman actually does, and why.

Tarlonniel
2006-06-26, 08:59 PM
Unless someone can honestly tell me that the above wikipedia article is WAY off, I'm not picking up a copy of DKR. Because nothing in there appealed to me. At all. Not even remotely. Very, very, very much the opposite, actually. Kapish? *:P

TinSoldier
2006-06-26, 09:05 PM
Unless someone can honestly tell me that the above wikipedia article is WAY off, I'm not picking up a copy of DKR. Because nothing in there appealed to me. At all. Not even remotely. Very, very, very much the opposite, actually. Kapish? :PThat's understandable and that's why I capiche. I like the darker Batman and the sardonic Alfred. My favorite Batman is from The Animated Series and related cartoons. Dark and somewhat violent. A vigilante. But one who has a code that he follows.

Holy_Knight
2006-06-26, 09:07 PM
Unless someone can honestly tell me that the above wikipedia article is WAY off, I'm not picking up a copy of DKR. Because nothing in there appealed to me. At all. Not even remotely. Very, very, very much the opposite, actually. Kapish? :P

When I have a chance (maybe later tonight), I'll read that link and answer your question. But regardless, I stand by what I've already said. The Dark Knight Returns is widely regarded as not only one of the best and most influential Batman stories, but one of the best and most influential works in comic books in recent years.

Tarlonniel
2006-06-26, 09:12 PM
Hey, I loved Batman: TAS, but it's basically the limit on how much "dark, grim and gritty" I can stand in my Batman universe. *shrug*


The Dark Knight Returns is widely regarded as not only one of the best and most influential Batman stories, but one of the best and most influential works in comic books in recent years.

I'm sure that's true. But I'm also sure that's one reason why I haven't liked Batman, or comic books generally, in recent years.

CelestialStick
2006-06-27, 01:35 AM
"Seriously, Celestial Stick, put some ranks in having read The Dark Knight Returns already."

Quality of Dark Knight Returns = Exit to Dungeon of Dorukan (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=119) :)

To answer your previous question, yes, I've only seen three movies with Michael Caine in them. I had thought it was two, until you mentioned Without A Clue--I hadn't realized that that was Michael Caine (funny movie, by the way). And Batman Begins is the only movie I've ever seen Christian Bale in. So for both of them, I didn't have a lot of preconceptions about the kinds of roles they played.

Man... this is the first thing you've said in this thread that I haven't agreed with. I would replace the word "fun" with "painful"--saying that Batman "wasn't the best vehicle to tell the story" is a huge understatement. What Miller should have done was to write his political tale in some other setting, instead of ruining the attempt to write a sequel to one of the best comic stories in recent history.
I'm confused. Is Dark Knight Returns the excellent Batman Mary Sue that you're recommending, or the lousy political story that ruins the superheroes?

And which one has the sicko Batman gloating over strangling Superman? Because I'm not paying DC good money for that perversion of both Batman and Superman.

Beleriphon
2006-06-27, 02:59 AM
I'm confused. Is Dark Knight Returns the excellent Batman Mary Sue that you're recommending, or the lousy political story that ruins the superheroes?


Dark Knight Returns is the good one. Dark Knight Strikes Again, not so much so.

The whole fight with Superman is cooked up by Batman to fake his death. The only way that anybody would accept him as gone, and thus leave him the hell alone to do what he does, is to die. So he picks a powerful target and has a "heart attack" at the end. Bats never says a word to Superman during the whole fight, so "gloating" is an exaggeration, the only dialogue comes from Batman's interal monologue.

As for what he does to Supes and why, I reread the whole thing today and its much more a "I'm only mortal and brought you low because you let me, think about that for a long time" type of moment. He's trying to show Superman that he's being played, and that mere mortals can and will take him for a ride. In context with the rest of story it makes a great deal of sense, especially given that it was written in 1986 (I checked the publishing date, my previous 1984 statement is wrong) so a great deal of what we know about both Batman and Superman after that time hadn't occured yet and it was a rare occasion that Superman was rightly and truely whomped by one man. It was written and published in the middle of Crisis on Infinite Earths, something else to keep in mind that is unclear if Superman is his pre-Crisis power level, or post-Crisis power level.

I will also say that after rereading the whole thing is that its also about Bruce coming to realization that without Batman he is an empty shell just going through motions of living. Batman gives him something to live for, he steps into the violent avenger again because its what Gotham needs. When he reappears there is a backlash from the media, they sort of turn the public against him because the politicians won't take a strong stand, until they decide that he's too dangerous to have around. At any rate a great deal of the conflict comes from this interaction between Batman and his perception within the government. Its highlighted when a slick lawyer claims, rightly so, that a goon's rights were violated by Batman.

Be warned though, the comic does highlight Batman's darkness and cruel streak. While he doesn't exactly take a perverse joy in hurting criminals, he isn't exactly loathing every moment as he beats them senseless. While this may be a different focus on Batman he' still Batman at the core. He can't bring himself to kill the Joker, and wants very much to believe that a person behaving like Two-Face isn't Harvey after being appearently rehabilitated. He doesn't kill anybody, but he does fight fire with fire when facing off against an ultraviolent gang calling themselves the Mutants (think Alex from A Clockwork Orange in terms of just random violence for the sake of violence, only with less clothes and sillier hats).

To reiterate, Dark Knight Returns: good; Dark Knight Strikes Again: bad. Or rather Dark Knight Strike Again is a bad sequel and a good story for any character other than Batman.

If you want a really, really good Frank Miller Batman tale Year One is excellent. I high recommend that one, also has a fun Alfred in it to boot.

Edit:

DKR also has a good take on Alfred. I wont say what happens, but he's loyal to very end. Quite touching really.


Unless someone can honestly tell me that the above wikipedia article is WAY off, I'm not picking up a copy of DKR. Because nothing in there appealed to me. At all. Not even remotely. Very, very, very much the opposite, actually. Kapish? :P

Sort of. The story line itself is accurate, I question some of the author's interpretations though. Rather than being too nice, Batman presents a serious threat, according to our exaggerated Reagan, to the stability of the United States by making himself the only authority in Gotham. And more importantly he might get the other heros riled up, something that the government has tried to suppress in the decade since Batman disappeared. So Superman goes off at the behest of the government knowing that in all likeliness Bruce wont come peacefully from an earlier friendly encounter. He tries his damndest to get Bats to cooperate, but finally Batman gets Superman angry enough to do more than just defend himself, all a part of his elaborate scheme. So they don't send Superman in because its too nice, they send Superman in because Batman poses a threat to the authority of the government. I think the technical term is sedition.

Holy_Knight
2006-06-27, 03:57 AM
I'm confused. Is Dark Knight Returns the excellent Batman Mary Sue that you're recommending, or the lousy political story that ruins the superheroes?

And which one has the sicko Batman gloating over strangling Superman? Because I'm not paying DC good money for that perversion of both Batman and Superman.

Like Beleriphon said, The Dark Knight Returns is the good one, while The Dark Knight Strikes Again was bad (very disappointingly and shockingly so, I'll add). As for your other question, the scene you're referring to does occur in The Dark Knight Returns, but as I've said before, it's really not an accurate description to say that Batman's a "sicko" or that he "gloats" in it (or even that he strangles Superman, actually).


Hey, I loved Batman: TAS, but it's basically the limit on how much "dark, grim and gritty" I can stand in my Batman universe. *shrug*


I'm sure that's true. But I'm also sure that's one reason why I haven't liked Batman, or comic books generally, in recent years.
Well, part of what I was saying before is that you really can't be sure of that, since you haven't actually read it. On that note, though, I've read the link you provided now, and here's how I would evaluate it: It's reasonably good at giving an overview of the story, but it doesn't really do justice to how the story comes across and fits together aesthetically. In particular, it doesn't give a sufficient sense of the characters' motivations and how they all interweave into the setting--a lot of that gets lost in the transition from graphic novel to summary.

Now, I will say this: It is indeed dark and gritty, not to mention depressing, and if that's your main concern, then you may end up not liking it from that standpoint. However, there is much more to it than that, and there's quite a bit of value and even a measure of hope to be found within. I think that those and other strengths make it well worth reading, in spite of the overall darkness. You may end up disagreeing, but I do encourage you to see for yourself before deciding. If it helps, I agree with you in loving Batman: TAS, and like others, would say that it pretty much batted 1000 throughout its episodes. :)

Beleriphon
2006-06-27, 04:08 AM
Now, I will say this: It is indeed dark and gritty, not to mention depressing, and if that's your main concern, then you may end up not liking it from that standpoint. However, there is much more to it than that, and there's quite a bit of value and even a measure of hope to be found within. I think that those and other strengths make it well worth reading, in spite of the overall darkness. You may end up disagreeing, but I do encourage you to see for yourself before deciding. If it helps, I agree with you in loving Batman: TAS, and like others, would say that it pretty much batted 1000 throughout its episodes. :)

I agree here. If you don't like dark, then it may not be your cup of tea aesthetically, but its is still a good story. Its presents a very important part of Batman that may have otherwise been missing. In many ways I can say that I don't like (which I don't I find it overly long and rather dull, its the style more than anything) A Tale of Two Cities but I can appreciate the story for what it is and understand why it considered good literature.

I think that you need to give DKR a chance to show you why it is considered one of the best Batman stories ever written. You may not like the story, or the style, but try to appreciate it for what the comic tries to do. For me, please. :)

Tarlonniel
2006-06-27, 08:57 AM
You may not like the story, or the style, but try to appreciate it for what the comic tries to do.

No longer being in school, I'll exercise my right to avoid reading books that are historically significant, but which I'll hate. I have more entertaining things to do with my limited free time *:)

CelestialStick
2006-06-27, 11:52 AM
Violent methods? I haven't seen him be any more or less violent than other superheroes. If Frank Miller ramped up the carnage, then my first problem is right there.

Either Batman is being too violent, in which case he should be arrested (and good riddance), or he's not, in which case Superman would work with him to prove his innocence. Either way Supes would find him and talk to him first.


Again, not what my ideal Batman would do. If the law saw fit to arrest him he would not start planning how to (nearly) kill the person they sent to apprehend him. He'd turn himself in or disappear until - again - he could prove his innocence.

All right, is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Knight_Returns a good summary of the storyline? Here it says they send Supes after Bats not because of any violence, but because Gotham City has gotten to be too nice a place :o
Thanks for the line, Tarlonniel. I've read it and seen some interesting things. It turns out that the comic doesn't merely lampoon America, but specifically Ronald Reagan, the best US president of the later half of the 20th century, the man who won the Cold War even after liberals had abandoned it and turned pro-Soviet. (Note: Before the Tet Offensive in 1968, most elected liberal politicians at the federal level supported the Containment Policy.) There's a great irony in that Batman in the comic apparently brings his "black and white" (ie. modernist) sense of right and wrong to a relativistic (postmodernist) world, and yet the Ronald Reagan presidential satire character sends Superman to defeat Batman, not because Batman is too violent, but because Batman had succeeded too well in reducing crime in Gotham. In other words, the fake Ronald Reagan sends Superman to get Batman for being too much like the real world Ronald Reagan.

The article also contains the interesting fact that The Dark Knight Returns isn't even an canonical story! Here all the Bat-deifiers kept whining that the Superman movies weren't canonical and then quoting the Batman gloats scene as "proof" that Batman could beat Superman.

It's hard to imagine, but the more you guys try to sell this schlock to me, the worse it sounds.

In the middle of the comics
In the land of liars
There's a sick old bastard that Holy Knight admires
He's Batman!
Batman!
Batman Buggers
Sickest old bugger of them all! ;D

Beleriphon
2006-06-27, 12:15 PM
It turns out that the comic doesn't merely lampoon America, but specifically Ronald Reagan, the best US president of the later half of the 20th century, the man who won the Cold War even after liberals had abandoned it and turned pro-Soviet.

Ya know, I'd have never pegged you as a conservative CS. I would also argue that nobody won the Cold War, but the Soviet Union simply collapsed after years of mismanagement. I'd also argue that Ronald Reagan isn't the best president in the last half of the 20th century. But this is neither the time nor the place.

At any rate give the comic a read, the story line is there but the specifics and interpretation are lacking in the Wiki article. I urge you to judge the comic on its own merits and not the opinions of others. All I can do is encourage you to read it.

CelestialStick
2006-06-27, 12:19 PM
Ya know, I'd have never pegged you as a conservative CS. I would also argue that nobody won the Cold War, but the Soviet Union simply collapsed after years of mismanagement. I'd also argue that Ronald Reagan isn't the best president in the last half of the 20th century. But this is neither the time nor the place.

At any rate give the comic a read, the story line is there but the specifics and interpretation are lacking in the Wiki article. I urge you to judge the comic on its own merits and not the opinions of others. All I can do is encourage you to read it.
Well you, like many people, probably have a two-dimensional stereotype of conservatives that doesn't include the possibilit that they're intelligent, rational and caring people.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, Lech Walesa came to the US and thanked us for defeating the Soviet Union, especially for Ronald Reagan's last great push that knocked it over. So don't listen to an American conservative, listen to a Polish socialist. :D

Hey, is there even an Alfred in The Dark Knight Returns?

Bookman
2006-06-27, 12:34 PM
There IS an Alfred in there but he dies from a heart attack at the end right after blowing up Wayne Manor (so that they won't discover the batcave I belive.......he is REALLY old still sad though)

Beleriphon
2006-06-27, 12:38 PM
Well you, like many people, probably have a two-dimensional stereotype of conservatives that doesn't include the possibilit that they're intelligent, rational and caring people.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, Lech Walesa came to the US and thanked us for defeating the Soviet Union, especially for Ronald Reagan's last great push that knocked it over. So don't listen to an American conservative, listen to a Polish socialist. :D

Hey, is there even an Alfred in The Dark Knight Returns?

I know a great many conservatives, its just that you've never really given any indication that those were your political leanings in anything that I've seen you post. I'm going to have disagree with on just about everything about conservatism. Which is funny since if I lived in Russia I'd be a conservative you'd be a liberal. I could say the same thing that some conservatives have a two-dimensional view that liberals are prisoner freeing, pot smoking, neo-commie hippies.

As for Alfred yes he is in, and he's still the same character that we all know and love. At one point Batman whalloped pretty good, and the suit is grungy so he Alfred washes it. Half way through the wash cycle Gordon calls needing to talk to Batman, so Alfred comments to Bruce that'll just have to wear a wet batsuit.

With DKR the whole politics thing is about how the government was at the time, and to some extent still is, more concerned about appearences then actually trying to do the right thing. Batman saves Gotham, so instead of giving the guy a medal and admitting maybe they were wrong about him Superman is sent to detain him. I'm not going to say that this would always be the case, or isn't something of an exaggeration about the actuality of the situation with the US government in particular, but the government as a whole is always spin doctoring things to try to put the best light on themselves. All governments do this, its a way to help to control the populace. All political parties do this, regardless of ideals so its more a comment about politics in general then conservatism.

There is also the idea that media isn't really impartial. They tend to report on sensationalism, so if some shrink comes on and says that Batman is really the cause of Joker's problems, that its not Joker's fault. That is going to get air time because it will get ratings. Unfortunately I think this is becoming more and more a sad truth on both sides of the political fence. It also makes extensive use of the "talking head" on TV as opposed to the idea that a news paper article would be shown in a panel. Again people getting their news in bite sized chunks cut down by some producer to fit in an alotted time slot.

While all of these aspects are in DKR, they aren't the primary focus, and if you aren't aware of them you don't even notice. The story is still about Batman and his inner demons. These other ideas were added at time when people were becoming more and more aware of the world around them and how media effected them, but at the same time caring less and less. It presents and interesting dynamic to allow furthering the story in a way that was fairly new at the time.

I would really recommend that you give a read. The Wiki artile is as much an actual review of DKR as it is a summary of the story and plot points. It implies several things that aren't necessarily part of the story. It does get the idea of Batman's black and white modernist view versuses the postmodernist shades of grey very much correct though. At least in so far as the problems that the contrats causes problems for Batman.

At its core the story is still a Batman story about Batman trying to stop crime, to stop corruption, and the conflicts that Batman comes into while doing so.

WampaX
2006-06-27, 01:06 PM
Voice of the Wampinator: Knock off the real-life political discussions. They are in violation of the Rules of Posting.

Beleriphon
2006-06-27, 01:09 PM
Voice of the Wampinator: Knock off the real-life political discussions. They are in violation of the Rules of Posting.

Just to be clear here Wampa, are you talking discussing our personal views, or our interpretation of of how DKR is reflection of a particular era and ideas that are linked to the world circa 1986? Or should it be neither?

WampaX
2006-06-27, 02:19 PM
Just to be clear here Wampa, are you talking discussing our personal views, or our interpretation of of how DKR is reflection of a particular era and ideas that are linked to the world circa 1986? Or should it be neither?

Voice of the Wampinator: For one, you are discussing the political themes of a graphic novel that has little bearing on "Who is your favorite Alfred?" Second, you are discussing real world politics (Reagan was the best ever, etc.) which is a prohibited topic on these boards. So the answer would be neither, as pertains to this thread.

And just you know, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is my currrent favorite.

Beleriphon
2006-06-27, 02:43 PM
Voice of the Wampinator: For one, you are discussing the political themes of a graphic novel that has little bearing on "Who is your favorite Alfred?" Second, you are discussing real world politics (Reagan was the best ever, etc.) which is a prohibited topic on these boards. So the answer would be neither, as pertains to this thread.

And just you know, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is my currrent favorite.

Spifferic. Thanks Wampa.

So to try and redirect this thread back towards our favourite Alfred, that I helped to derail horribly, I'm going to ask a further question. What did your favourite Alfred bring to the role that you think the other ones didn't?

TinSoldier
2006-06-27, 03:21 PM
Spifferic. Thanks Wampa.

So to try and redirect this thread back towards our favourite Alfred, that I helped to derail horribly, I'm going to ask a further question. What did your favourite Alfred bring to the role that you think the other ones didn't?You could tell he was a kind of an uncle-figure to Bruce. He still has a sardonic wit concerning Bruce's nocturnal activities. He does his duties faithfully even when Bruce treats him less well than he deserves. He's like Mom, Dad, Uncle, and Butler all wrapped up into one person.

Holy_Knight
2006-06-27, 04:18 PM
The article also contains the interesting fact that The Dark Knight Returns isn't even an canonical story! Here all the Bat-deifiers kept whining that the Superman movies weren't canonical and then quoting the Batman gloats scene as "proof" that Batman could beat Superman.

It's hard to imagine, but the more you guys try to sell this schlock to me, the worse it sounds.

In the middle of the comics
In the land of liars
There's a sick old bastard that Holy Knight admires
He's Batman!
Batman!
Batman Buggers
Sickest old bugger of them all! ;D
!! :o Hey now! I've mentioned before that DKR was uncanonical... and "Bilbo Batman"... yikes... :o (Okay, I seriously laughed at that, but still...)

Seriously, read the story! It's better than you think!

Aaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!! *goes insane* ;)

CelestialStick
2006-06-27, 05:00 PM
!! :o Hey now! I've mentioned before that DKR was uncanonical... and "Bilbo Batman"... yikes... :o (Okay, I seriously laughed at that, but still...)

Seriously, read the story! It's better than you think!

Aaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!! *goes insane* ;)
;D Ah, my work here is done. ;)

Seriously though, I'm glad that you laughed. Better yet, you will probably have "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" playing in your head for hours now. :D





Voice of the Wampinator: For one, you are discussing the political themes of a graphic novel that has little bearing on "Who is your favorite Alfred?" Second, you are discussing real world politics (Reagan was the best ever, etc.) which is a prohibited topic on these boards. So the answer would be neither, as pertains to this thread.

And just you know, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is my currrent favorite.

I hate it when you use that spoooooooky red text! :) Seriously though, thanks for warning rather than locking.

So what do you like about the Zimbalist Aflred? Is it just the cool, authoritative voice (which made him good for both The FBI and the rich industrialist in Babylon 5), or the fact that that Alfred was an ex-secret service agent who could still mix it up in hand-to-hand, or what?