So I noticed how a lot of Batman’s villains are doctors.

so many that one of them started calling himself Mister just to stand out more

Mister Freeze?


I read sonething once – not sure if it was an actual comic, a fanfic, heck, maybe just a dream – where Dr. Victor Fries revealed why he calls himself “Mister Freeze”.

“Because a doctor could have saved Nora.”

This actually makes me think of unspoken implications of this as Batman’s universe.

Batman is a man with major untreated childhood trauma. His coping mechanism was to train extensively for the rest of his life to dress as a bat and fight crime.

Coincidentally, all of the villains listed here are doctors, a title which you would expect from an expensive therapist that would be paid to help Bruce with his trauma. Three out of the four have created substances that affect the mind. And even though he isn’t a doctor, Joker does the same – he uses a toxin that forces people to laugh and smile until they die.

If you look at these villains as projections of Bruce’s thoughts and feelings, the undercurrent is that he’s deeply opposed to treatment and sees drugs as a bad thing that either hurt you or turn you into someone you’re not.

Hell mode: this would also make Bane a projection of Bruce’s fear that no matter how much he trains and tries to cope without treatment, people who get treatment and use drugs (Venom) can easily best him and break him while they’re on the drug. Though of course, that it’s addictive AND (at least in some versions) terrible for you in the long-run still feeds the “I’m better off not getting treatment” attitude.

Got in a discussion on Twitter about this a bit ago, then saw news on it: the idea of Killing Joke getting cut from DC canon.

I think Killing Joke never should’ve happened and should be cut from two completely different angles.

First and more obvious: the intent behind Killing Joke was terrible. Its whole purpose was to get rid of Batgirl, and use the act of getting rid of her to build up the narratives of other male characters. The editor behind it literally told Alan Moore to “cripple the bitch.” Everything concerning Barbara built up as Oracle was not planned, and happened mostly to salvage the character in the aftermath.

That’s as far as I feel I need to say on that angle, because I think it’s been covered extensively by other people.

Here’s the second, less obvious angle: Killing Joke isn’t even a good story for any of the characters, including Joker, and it doesn’t go far enough.

**SPOILERS for Batman Beyond below**

If you’ve seen the original cut of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, you know what happened to Tim Drake. The Joker kidnapped Tim and tortured him for weeks, until Tim finally snapped. The entire premise was turning Tim from Robin into Joker Jr., which Joker succeeds at.

it demonstrates who the Joker is and how terrifying he can be on multiple angles. This is a guy who is willing to torture children to turn them into a twisted parody of himself. His actual method of torture is representative of who he is. Harley’s willingness to help shows how abusive and persuasive Joker is. It demonstrates the risk of Batman taking on children, both for the harm that could come to those children AND for all the secrets someone like Joker can get out of them.

Everything that happens to Tim Drake, happens because it’s inherently unique to Joker. All of the threats I mentioned a moment ago aren’t just threats. They’re threats laced with Joker’s specific brand of insanity. They were all focused on the goal of taking one of Batman’s kids away from him and turning that kid into a Joker knockoff. Similarly, Tim Drake’s identity as Robin is crucial to this telling. His superhero identity matters.

Tim Drake killing Joker with a gun is uniquely terrifying on so many levels. Not only because it goes against Batman’s code, or because it’s a kid committing murder, or because it’s how Bruce’s parents were killed. It’s all of those things plus the fact Tim Drake is about the same age Bruce was when Bruce’s parents were gunned down. In killing Joker, Tim Drake is a twisted young Bruce murdering the murderer.

The horror of Joker here isn’t how brutal he can be. It’s how his brutality can home in on the psychological weaknesses of his targets and destroy them inside.


Now look at Killing Joke.

Joker does nothing to prey about the psychological weaknesses of Barbara, Commissioner Gordon or Batman. He didn’t target Barbara because she’s Batgirl; he targeted Barbara because she’s Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, and Joker merely played on how any good father wouldn’t want to see his daughter suffer. It doesn’t prey on Batman’s relationship with Commissioner Gordon either, because even if Batman didn’t exist, Gordon would still be Commissioner and still have to face off with Joker.

The exact same thing would’ve happened no matter where Batman was. The only difference is Batman’s existence meant Gordon got saved by someone.

It doesn’t even say much about Joker. It does nothing to represent his identity through his actions or the unique danger he poses. The closest Joker comes to that is framing Barbara’s crippling like pornography, but that’s only a representation of how twisted his worldview can be.

When you get right down to it, Killing Joke isn’t even a good Joker story. Literally any character could’ve done what Joker did. Any random criminal could’ve shown up at Gordon’s house, knocked on his door, blasted Barbara in the spine and taken photos to really fuck with Gordon’s head. You can almost imagine one of Falcone’s men doing exactly that to send a message, in much the same way as the infamous Godfather horse head.

The absolute best anyone can ever say about Killing Joke is that it’s brutal and may have inspired some good content, but even the latter may not be true. For all we know, we might’ve had even better stories if Killing Joke never existed.

If DC Comics is serious about providing good stories and characterization (which is a big assumption; they still haven’t given Harley Quinn back her namesake harlequin theme, and they’re still pushing Man of Steel), they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by ditching Killing Joke. Most people I’ve seen in heavy support of Killing Joke do so exclusively because they like “edgy” brutal content and have convinced themselves it’s crucial to Joker’s development without really thinking of what it does(n’t) do for Joker as a character.

In sum: there’s no reason at all to keep Killing Joke canon. It may have become an iconic Alan Moore and Joker story, but it was created with poor intentions and does nothing for any of the characters involved. If DC’s going to have something like Killing Joke in canon, it needs to be more psychologically extreme and character-driven than this. “Joker shot Barbara in the spine, took porno-style pictures and showed them to a crawling, leashed and naked Gordon before Batman saved him and arguably killed Joker” isn’t enough.


I got a message saying that this young man was feeling a bit down being in the hospital so the #ChampionsOfSanAntonio and I decided to pay him a little visit. Needless to say, we made his day. #batmanofsanantonio #ChampionsOfSanAntonio #TeamIsEverything #DCcomics #DCUniverse #Marvel #Batman #CaptainAmerica #WonderWoman #Flash #GreenLantern #Shazam #Nightwing #UltimateSpiderman #Polaris #UltimateCap #GreenArrow #Minion #hospitalvisit #methodisthospital #SanAntonio #ILoveMyJob #PayItForward by batmanofsanantonio http://ift.tt/1Jtm50r


“True Fans,” Fandom, and Gatekeeping

If you’ve been active on social media at all, or even taken part in something that would get a lot of spread on social media, you know how volatile people have become.

A lot of people are getting their names and reputations dragged through the mud, receiving harassment and death threats online, and some have even been SWATted (where a fake threat is called to police to get a SWAT team to raid someone’s house – which can result in actual physical harm and threats) and essentially chased out of their homes.

All of this activity can ultimately be traced back to one thing: the concept of a “true fan”, and attempts to dominate fandom and control who is or isn’t considered a fan.

As much as I’ve been active on Twitter, I haven’t been nearly active enough about this on Tumblr, and it’s time for me to say something here.

There is a lot of loaded language wrapped up in this concept, so there’s no perfect place to begin. We have to just jump right in and elaborate from there.

We’ve seen a lot of volatility as of late in fandom everywhere. There’s GamerGate, full of people who insist they’re fighting for ethics in games journalism – when really, the language of most GGers is stilted in things like “fighting the SJW menace” and “exposing <insert female critic, developer, research, etc>’s lies.” Many GGers insist the people they target are “not real gamers.”

When the Batgirl cover referencing the Killing Joke came out, and many people complained and criticized it (I believe rightfully so), many people insisted demands to pull the cover amounted to censorship… and some of the people who demanded the cover be pulled received harassment and death threats, and calls that they weren’t “true comic book fans” or “true Batman fans.”

I’ve experienced this first-hand, of course. Nowhere near to the same degree as so many others have received it. But practically any time where I’ve criticized a company or product or shown concern that something bad might happen to something I love, there will be someone who comes along with this insistence they’re a “true fan,” and that I’m not because I said something they didn’t like.

So here’s the critical question in all of this: what makes someone a “true fan”?

If I buy absolutely anything and everything a company makes, even if they openly insult me as a consumer and all the things I care about – am I a true fan?

If I buy absolutely nothing, never have and never will, and say something needs to radically change into something else before I’ll buy it – am I a true fan?

We know the dictionary definition of a fan, but there are so many individual, personal semantic definitions. One person thinks you’re not a fan unless you defend a company and what it does to the death, no matter how bad it is. Another person thinks you’re not a fan unless you mercilessly criticize everything and show no appreciation. Still another person thinks neither route is correct, that you need a mix.

Or is it something else? Are you a true fan if you play X number of games or read X number of comics featuring something? Are you a true fan if you paid to commission fanart, or write fanfiction?

Depending on your definition, who counts as a “true fan” changes.

Suddenly, a person who’s read comic books about their favorite character for years and bought countless comics and art commissions isn’t a “true fan” because they’re willing to complain about the company that owns that character’s rights.

Suddenly, a woman who makes experimental video games or cares about better representation for women in video games isn’t a “true gamer”, while a man who’s never played a game before and has regularly insulted gaming as a whole is an “honorary gamer” for supporting certain people and playing a little bit of one video game.

Suddenly, people who deeply love and respect something “don’t count” as “true fans.” And here’s the reason: power.

Fiction has cultural power, and whoever has the loudest voice gets the most say in its shape. Whether explicitly or implicitly, most people are starting to realize this.

Want a character to get raped? Silence all dissenting voices, and it might happen.

Want a certain person to quit the video game industry? Send him or her enough death threats, make up things like “she has sex with dogs” or “she’s a rapist”, hack his or her bank account, all sorts of nastiness, and it might happen.

That is the shape “fandom” is increasingly taking right now: smear jobs, character assassination, real life harassment even to friends and family just for being associated with the intended target.

It’s all gatekeeping. It’s all an attempt to take possession of the keys, and then dictate who’s allowed to have them. “You’re not a true gamer unless you accept games as they are.” “You’re not a true Batgirl fan unless you accept her being presented first and foremost as Joker’s victim.” “You’re not a true Polaris fan unless you never complain about Marvel and never worry they might do something bad to her.”

And while it looks recent, this has actually been going on for years. Probably far longer than I’m even consciously aware.

When Anita Sarkeesian launched her Tropes vs Video Games Kickstarter in 2012, she received a wave of harassment and threats simply for the IDEA of criticizing video games through a feminist perspective, suggesting that as great as they are, they can be better.

When a woman working for Bioware said video games should permit a “skip gameplay” option to be able to enjoy only the story, also back in 2012, she received a swarm of harassment for daring to suggest games don’t need gameplay.

This behavior looks new, but it’s not. It’s been a very gradual escalation across several years. It only looks new because most people weren’t watching the horizon and what was slowly spilling over it.

The more people who think this is the right approach to fandom, the more extreme people will become when they get desperate. Right now, GamerGate laughs off the idea that any of the people they target will ever get killed. But is it really so laughable? In the span of 3 years, we’ve gone from internet harassment and some online death threats to women like Anita Sarkeesian, to people getting SWATted, and smeared as supposedly being rapists or fucking dogs or selling their kids for drug money.

All in an attempt to become the gatekeepers of fandom, and terrorize and chase out anyone who disagrees with them. If 3 years is enough for people to turn out like that and think it’s perfectly acceptable, what will 3 more years bring us?

Any time you see the words “true fan”, always, ALWAYS ask: who’s using them, how, and why. We can’t afford to not ask those questions when lives are on the line – right now, professional lives, the ability to actually get a job. But perhaps some day, the ability to continue living at all.












An anti-gun agenda in Batman being controversial.

Anti gun.





reblogging this to my art blog because.


People don’t know about the Batman.







??????????? do people really not know this



Yes, because Bruce definitely does not have his own anti-gun agenda. CLEARLY.

For anyone who watched “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” the Batmite finale had a whole thing on this – Batman NEVER EVER uses a gun. Nobody tell his right-wing fans about that…

The whole thing about him and guns stems from his parents’ murder. like jesus fuckin christ people. 




“characters cannot have even mildly controversial opinions even if they make total sense for that character”



In the very, very beginning, Batman used guns. He had a belt with a holster for the one he used and everything.

… However, that Batman ALSO found murdering villains so acceptable that he quipped whenever he did it, even when there wasn’t a need for murder.

Both of those things changed when the Comics Code Authority got in the mix. Batman had to lose the gun as well as his dark, murderous aspects to appease the government and concerned parents that thought comic books caused juvenile crime and (gasp, the horror) homosexual tendencies!

Batman slowly regained his dark edge starting around the 70s, but in the process, writers took time to really think about and understand the psychology you’d expect from a man whose parents were shot to death in front of his eyes as a child. That psychology being: why the hell would he want to use the weapon that brought him so much suffering? And why would he want to kill people if it wasn’t necessary?

Technically, Batman does use guns… on his vehicles. Or when a situation calls for it. But it’s not to kill, it’s as a tool, such as disabling a car or tearing down a wall. It’s rare for him to actually use a gun for its typical purposes, and he only does it if there’s absolutely no other option. It’s the “you know shit is getting serious when Batman has to resort to that” scenario, and it only has that power because he HATES using guns and rarely does so.

For Batman, guns are bad. He’ll acknowledge that they have their uses, but he never loses sight that guns are terrible, terrible things that would be better off not existing. Being able to disable a vehicle or break down a wall with guns does not override all the people guns kill.

From this set.

Magneto (in the background): I only go to these events for my daughters. I would much rather spend my time on important matters of state for Genosha, but they insist these appearances are necessary for social engagement and cultural development. (whispering) If you ask me, I think they’re looking for excuses to go to parties and get drunk. Don’t tell them I said that.

Batman (also in the background): If you think your daughters are wild, you should see the difficult time I have with Batgirl.