I’ve been nursing a theory for years that most if not all of the major developments in Batman comic books during the past 4-5 decades can be explained as an over-reaction to the charges leveled against comics when Seduction of the Innocent was published in 1954. Basically, a bogus scaremongering psychiatrist named Fredric Wertham published a book that described the dangers posed by comic books to the childhood psyche, making such claims that Superman is an un-American fascist, that Wonder Woman’s strength means that she is a lesbian, and most famously, that Batman and Robin depicts a gay relationship and that the comic serves as homoerotic propaganda. Naturally 1950’s parents were galvanized into a moral crusade, a congressional inquiry was launched, and the comics code of authority was established (which is why you get those “approved by the CCA” signs on silver-age comics.)
Though Batman fans laughed off the gay-claims, I honestly think (and I know this sounds over-dramatic but I am somewhat serious about this) that they had a long-lasting effect on the series, and that almost every major decision made since then has served to either highlight Batman’s masculinity, or downplay the Robins. In the sixties, Dick throws a big tantrum and leaves the Batcave to become Nightwing (and spends the next 5 decades slowly becoming DC comics’ biggest womanizer, just to get the NOT GAY message across.) Fans wanted another Robin, so they gave us Jason Todd - basically set up to fail from the get-go, and promptly killed off after a fan-vote (Frank Miller describes it best: "To me the whole killing of Robin thing was probably the ugliest thing I’ve seen in comics, and the most cynical.") Fans wanted another Robin (as it turns out, kids like to have a character they can relate to a bit more easily than a burly, manic-depressive middle aged man) and so Tim Drake arrives in 1989 in an introduction-story which emphasizes the fact that Batman doesn’t really want another sidekick, but reluctantly takes him on to keep him out of trouble.
In the meantime, Gothan’s female villains have become sexier, and Bruce himself has gained something like 200% more muscle-mass than his golden age counterpart (and no longer makes even the pretense of being anything like a detective.) Catwoman becomes a bizarre PVC-clad dominatrix, Poison Ivy’s role is expanded to “walking giant green tits” and the Joker picks up a girlfriend (originally from the 90’s animated series) because even the heterosexuality of a raging psychopath has to be affirmed. The Batgirl-roster is expanded, but no longer as an independent force (as Barbara Gordon was initially) but as a neutralizing female equivalent of the Robin-line. The mid-2000’s role around and Tim Drake is shelved. DC had experimented with female Robins (largely, I think, to neutralize the threat of gay subtext, especially in the case of Frank Miller’s non-canon wildly homophobic Batman in the Dark Knight) but Grant Morrison had an even better idea that would cement Bruce Wayne’s masculinity while keeping male characters in focus: Damian Wayne, both a Robin and Bruce Wayne’s biological son (and far more hyper-aggressively masculine than any of the previous Robins, complete with a body-builder’s physique despite being an ten-year old).
Now, flash forward to 2014 and what do we get - Dick, Jason, and Tim have all been shoved onto side-books and kept neatly away from any primary bat-plots, Dick has slept with somewhere in the range of 20 different women in the Nightwing series (now replaced by Grayson aka: Dick Grayson Shoots Things Now and Is Very Manly), Bruce is fighting a post-mortem custody battle with Ra’s over Damian’s corpse, the no.1 selling DC comic for a few months was Harley Quinn, which is, quite legitimately nothing more than softcore porn for 12 year old boys, DC sent its lawyers armed with court injunctions to an art gallery that had a “suggestive” watercolor painting of Batman and Robin, and all of this effort and posturing just because the editors at DC comics are so terrified that someone will make another gay joke about a character who was never anything other than explicitly heterosexual from the very get go??
"No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb, sir."
Just watched the Lord Chamberlain’s Men perform Romeo and Juliet in a medieval Welsh castle! I truly cherished the looks of horror as my brother and father realized that this was going to be a historically accurate performance (as in, with an all male cast)
I can’t heal the way I feel about you….
this is it®
the gasps throughout the entire audience after she starts bleeding are fucking amazing
This changed everyone’s game
When I was studying abroad at Saint Andrews in Scotland, I was so surprised by how conscious I was of class differences between the students there, which was all the more surprising since I had just come from an American Ivy League school. I think Andy Warhol really hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that American society (by the late twentieth century) had largely eroded visible class distinctions - both rich and poor Americans drink coca cola and watch the same movies, and I knew plenty of kids at Cornell who were uber-rich but it wasn’t usually immediately obvious who was who, and I definitely didn’t think about it often (except for when students just left their belongings behind at the end of the year because they couldn’t be bothered to pack them.) At Saint Andrews, the private-school educated kids were clearly distinct from those who had gone to public schools (I was told by an inbred-looking girl who lived in a literal castle that I must be “very clever” for getting into a good university from a state school.) They spoke with different accents, dressed differently, behaved differently, and there wasn’t nearly as much intermingling as you would expect, and having only lived in very working-class parts of the UK before (Liverpool and wales) I was so so shocked to discover that the lifestyle of the landed gentry hadn’t died out two centuries earlier (when you fill out forms at Saint Andrews, your options for title range from Mr and Ms. to Lord, Lady, Baron, Baroness, etc.)
class differences and tensions are so much more conspicuous in the UK than the US
auroramachine asked: Mr. Chris Pratt, you are the 3rd Chris that Marvel has collected so far. Do you think there is something special in your name or it’s just Marvel has a Chris fetish?
Chris Pratt: There’s definitely something special about my name. I’m joining pretty amazing company. Both of those guys are really incredible. I haven’t had a chance to meet Hemsworth yet, but Chris Evans… when I saw him, he literally ran across the room, gave me a huge bear hug, lifted me up, and was like, “Dude, you are going to love this!” It was like my brother congratulating me for like making the team. It was pretty cool. We bro’d out. There was a lot of love there… He’s a great guy. The point is, there’s something special about my name. You want your son to be successful? Name him Chris.
"I’m never going to be you, Jason. I’m never going to be Robin. But I’m going to damn well do my best to make you proud.”
Tim Drake (Secret Origins #03)
why did nobody tell me about this none of you are true friends trust nobody
*me in my grave laughing cause nobody knows the r.i.p. on my tombstone stands for rugrats in paris*