Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Batman kicks statist butt

My favorite interpretation of Batman has long been that of Frank Miller, creator of the graphic novels The Dark Knight Returns (1986), Batman: Year One (1987), and The Dark Knight Strikes Again (2001-2002). In the groundbreaking Returns, Batman came to realize that the world’s real criminals lie far beyond the Joker and Two-Face; what tears apart the fabric of society is the corruption of our so-called leaders. And in Strikes Again, Batman actually launched a revolution against a Power Elite led by (who else?) Lex Luthor and Brainiac.

Now it seems that writer-artist Paul Pope is offering a similar spin on the Caped Crusader. February 15, DC Comics will release the first installment of Pope’s four-issue graphic novel Batman: Year 100. The 200-page miniseries moves Batman ahead 33 years into, according to Wired magazine, “a high-anxiety future, where totalitarianism has nearly snuffed out the remnants of humanity. America in 2039 is a police state, individual liberties have been curtailed, and there’s a dark sense of impending doom. Roving police squads, Blade Runner-esque floating vehicles, and robotic watchdogs scan the skyline. A distressed-looking Batman is the only person Big Brother fails to track, and the superhero’s mask symbolizes the last hope against a corrupt government encroaching on individual privacy.”

Libertarian Batmaniacs should check with their comics dealers in two weeks. We might have another freedom classic on our hands.


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