The Misterio People (Around the Big #5 [And Other Stories - Chapter 6])

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Moon Knight

That is not to say that the other characters are amoral - all of them express clear moral principles at one point or another. Night Owl, ultimately, is driven by a sort of fetishism - Ozymandias by a sense of grandeur and ambition. Changing shape… but not mixing. No gray.

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But on the other there is a sense of constant fluidity. There is always an absolute line between good and evil, but its actual position is in constant flux. More than that, Moore goes out of his way to emphasize this in the first issue, having Gibbons draw a three-panel row with a fixed, head-on view of Rorschach as he converses with Dreiberg so that his mask is foregrounded, forcing the reader to notice this aspect of his character. And there are certainly ways in which this is supported.

Admired that. Of us all, he understood most. About world. About people. Things everyone knows in gut. Things everyone too scared to face, too polite to talk about. He understood. But like Dr. This is one of only two mask designs to recur anywhere in the series. But there is a better way of framing it, namely as a visionary morality. Blake is of course an obvious point of reference here, with his complex and ever-shifting pantheon and single-minded opposition to the very idea of single-mindedness.

But the more salient point is simply the already remarked upon phenomenon of individual perspective.

It is not the single vision of Mr. It is notable that such a singular event exists for Rorschach in the form of the Roche case, which he presents to Dr. Long as the revelatory moment that served as his true transformation into Rorschach.

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And while the degree to which the Roche case shatters Dr. Personal reasons. Not in front of my kids… Please. This is in marked contrast to the subsequent killing of Gerald Grice, the kidnapper, even though Long notes that Rorschach only started killing criminals in , i.

Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. Only us. It is worth looking at the specific moment in detail, however. Jet of warmth splattered on chest, like hot faucet.

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It was Kovacs who closed his eyes. It was Rorschach who opened them again. Long reaching for a pot of coffee, as opposed to in a panel showing Rorschach getting dragged away by the guards.

He is unquestionably an abuse victim, and carries the deep scars one would expect from that. Because for all that this is portrayed as his great moment of uncompromising consistency, complete with the zoom in on his unchanging mask, it is at its heart a rejection of the single most iconic Rorschach moment in the entire comic. In the end, when armageddon comes and the streets and gutters of New York fill with blood, not only does Rorschach try to save them, he is literally the only person in the comic not to look down and whisper no.

This, then, is the basic thing Rorschach fails to recognize about himself. He believes himself to be a figure of uncompromising judgment. He believes himself to be cruel and unforgiving. He believes himself, in other words, to be exactly the sort of person Ted Cruz would name as his favorite superhero. To be exactly the person that every crashing bore of a fan to proclaim himself to be just like Rorschach thinks they are like; to be everything that the comics industry would spend decades disastrously and slavishly copying out of Watchmen to be what even Moore himself came to mistake him for.

When the truth is simpler, at once beautiful and in its own way more terrifying: he is not a figure of Severity, but of Mercy. Hello from the sewers of N. Hello from the cracks in the sidewalks of N. I was also bringing the same kind of quite grim, moral sensibility. As for a latest possible date, the physical script provides a key clue - its typesetting is erratic, meaning that Moore wrote it on his manual typewriter. This puts The Killing Joke during the development for Watchmen , but not very far into it. And so while the similarities are not a coincidence, Watchmen is the later work, The Killing Joke the rough draft.

This is unsurprising, given that nobody worth taking seriously would ever call The Killing Joke a superior work. Indeed, even Bolland and Moore have taken to slagging off the work in recent years. Unlike Watchmen , which uses superheroes as a lens to look at things like nuclear weapons and human frailty, The Killing Joke really is just about the relationship between Batman and the Joker. But… a bat? Despite this, however, the story is a reliable classic. More even than Watchmen , The Killing Joke represents the influence Moore wishes he had not had in superhero comics - a cynically violent tale that is seemingly popular for that reason and none other.

Its most famous and indeed infamous aspect in this regard is a plot point in which the Joker shoots Barbara Gordon, formerly Batgirl, severing her spine and paralyzing her before stripping her naked and extensively photographing her.

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It is, to be sure, a nasty sequence. Its biggest problem is that it largely reduces Barbara Gordon to a prop within the narrative. But realistically, one suspects that Moore was not so much trying to write an out-of-continuity story so much as he was simply not particularly concerned with the question one way or another. Accordingly, they decided to try to get the most bang for their buck, especially with The Killing Joke. Both Bolland and Moore dispute this, with Bolland insisting that it was always intended to be a prestige format book akin to The Dark Knight Returns.

But this requires some careful unpicking, as they disagree with the claim in slightly but significantly different terms. The year-long gap in which the script sat in a desk drawer at DC is key here.


The grim cynicism of it all takes on a sort of fractal quality at this point. When Moore wrote the script in Barbara Gordon was a mildly defunct character, albeit unofficially so, having not made an appearance as Batgirl since And this is largely how Moore uses her, as part and parcel of the deliberately timeless setting that included conscious references to s and s Batman comics and having Bolland recreate an old Bob Kane cover as a photo in the Batcave featuring not only Batgirl but a bunch of other discarded Batman supporting characters like Batwoman and Ace the Bathound.

Neither were particularly good comics - the Batgirl Special in particular suffers from some mildly incoherent plotting, and the reasons why Batgirl decides to retire at the end of it are specious at best. But their quality is almost irrelevant in the face of the sheer cynicism of their existence. Neither, clearly, were ever written with the idea that they would be reread closely and attentively. At this point in the narrative the handful of chinks of light that exist finally begin breaking through. The first comes courtesy of Randall herself, who, following the Batgirl Special , pitched a story whereby Barbara Gordon would assemble a robotic exoskeleton that would allow her to walk and fight.

Initially DC looked upon this favorably, but it was ultimately rejected in favor of one from John Ostrander and his wife Kimberly Yale, who were co-writing Suicide Squad together. Accordingly, and picking up on some seeds sewn by Randall, they reinvented the character as Oracle, initially a shadowy adviser to Suicide Squad organizer Amanda Waller, and then finally revealed to be Barbara Gordon.

Your support of it helps this project remain a priority in my writing schedule. Phil, one of the Watchmen Panels repeats twice within the chapter. The ones that open the paragraphs beginning with "It is noticeable that Otherwise, a fantastic issue.

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Given that that's an image of Rorschach, whose two appearances are between the references to the two cases of the Rorscach blot pattern being repeated, I'm guessing that's far from accidental. As for the Watchmen connection, as of late I've come to think the deepest parallel isn't with "The Abyss Gazes Also", but the final issue.

Batman, like Rorschach, is a man with certain inflexible morals yes, yes, "Batman doesn't kill" is something DC has waffled all over throughout the years, but Moore apparently takes it seriously, at least for the purposes of this book. Poor Rorschach at least had Jon to mercy-kill him out of that situation. But Batman, far too popular for DC to even consider that, has no options aside from cradling the worst man he's ever known and laughing his guts out.

Which I tried and failed to figure out a way to work in, to my mild surprise. I probably should have given it a parenthetical somewhere though. Ah well. I really like that. Yeah, I poked at it a bit and finally concluded that there just wasn't much to do with Killing Joke beyond diagnose the precise historical nature of its awfulness.

The fact that it just gets worse the deeper you dig really makes it hard to escape the gravity of the multi-party fuckup involved.

HELLO NEIGHBOR can u DRAW A STICKMAN EPIC 2 so FGTEEV can play Chapter 8 THE END Boss Fight w/ KEYS

Just wait til you see the ridiculously narrow angle I'll be taking on the movie. Presuming it's the one you brought up in the podcast with Sam, I don't think it would work given It'd still be funny as hell, but not as funny as it would be under a presidency that doesn't believe him. Also I presume all the invocations of Morrison in the article were meant to build up to the "Morrison's theory on the Killing Joke" bit that shockingly never appeared?

Or is there something I missed in my last reading of Watchmen which was, roughly, four years ago. I think what it loses in absurd humor it gains in on-pointness. And no, they were just there because Morrison's perspective was relevant in those bits. These are the two bits of Moore's 80s work Morrison is most right about.

I don't think Morrison's Killing Joke theory is that interesting, tbh. It's clever, but nothing really follows from it. Speaking of Morrison Surely it's not coincidence that when Batman starts laughing on the finale page, he's directly facing the fourth wall?