Saturday, May 13, 2006

Why does DC want me to gouge my own eyes out?

Hey, what's this?

Why, it's Joe Chill, the killer of Thomas and Martha Wayne, getting his head blown off just as Bruce is about to kill him! Joe, obviously, has had better days.

Why, oh why would Greg post this gruesome picture? Well, I think you comic book geeks out there know why. Apparently (I write "apparently" because I haven't read it yet) we learn in Infinite Crisis #7 that Joe Chill, the killer of Thomas and Martha Wayne, has been captured, tried, and convicted of those very killings! Huzzah!

Now, I'm not the biggest stickler for continuity, as you know. It's nice and all, but I don't pore over back issues of Detective Comics when it had Green Arrow back-up stories to find out that Ollie has a third nipple and how dare the artists don't draw that today! But let's consider the fate of the lone gunman who took out Thomas and Martha Wayne lo those many years ago. Pre-Crisis stuff was wiped away; I get it. So the mugger becomes some faceless anonymous baddie who is just a symbol of the modern world's horrors, and poor little Brucie can't ever make up for the loss of his parents. Then came Mike W. Barr, ably abetted by the not-yet-insane Todd McFarlane, and in "Year Two," Batman meets the man who killed his parents, Joe Chill, and is about to blast his head off when the Reaper shoots Joe in the head with a gun that apparently causes your entire head to 'splode! That's one powerful gun, I tells ya! But, okay. A new status quo is established. It's 1987.

The Crisis wasn't enough for DC, though. God forbid we leave it alone! So along came Zero Hour! In the zero issue of Batman, we learn that the identity of the killer of Thomas and Martha Wayne remains unknown and that the crime went unresolved. Excellent! Now Batman's war on crime can be seen as a relentless pursuit of his parents' killer, one he can never, ever, ever win! How cool is that? It's 1994.

Well, apparently that wasn't cool enough. So now Joe Chill is incarcerated, although, not having read the issue, I don't know the particulars. I'm sure somebody does!

I'm not going to get into the whole "Why don't real people think comics are cool like we nerds?" thing, but one reason might be because comics fans can have conversations that sound exactly like this:

Neophyte Nerd: Say, whatever happened to the killer of Thomas and Martha Wayne?
Older Nerd: Well, Batman found out it was a guy named Joe Chill who was working for Lew Moxon and when he confronted Chill about it, Chill ran into another room with a bunch of hoods and told them he killed Batman's parents, and the stupid hoods shot him in anger before they could get Batman's name out of him! Oh, those stupid hoods!
Younger Nerd: Man, you're such a tool! Everyone knows that Crisis on Infinite Earths wiped that history out! In "Year Two" (which ran in Detective Comics #575-578), Batman has to make an unholy alliance with Joe Chill and the Gotham gangsters to stop the Reaper, who is carving up people he sees as bad, including gangsters. When Bruce confronts Chill, the Reaper shoots the bad guy in the head and laughs, because he knows that he is the father of Bruce Wayne's fiancèe!
Even Younger Nerd: Oh sure, Older Nerd is a tool! What about you? You're stuck in the Eighties, man! Come on, Zero Hour changed all that, and now Batman's killer is just some random mugger. Get your facts straight, loser!
Grant Morrison: Actually, you're all wrong. As DC's Continuity Caliph, I have decreed that Joe Chill was arrested, tried, and convicted for his heinous crime, and he is now Killer Croc's bitch in Blackgate Prison. So there.
Even Younger Nerd: But isn't Croc on the loose in the latest issues of Batman and Detective?
Grant Morrison (turning into Darkseid): Are you daring to question my mandates! You know I control those weird beams that come out of my eyes and can turn right angles and utterly destroy you!!!!!!
All Nerds: Sorry, sir! You're absolutely correct!!!!
Movie Nerd: I thought the Joker killed Thomas and Martha Wayne?

At which all the nerds and Grant Morrison beat Movie Nerd to death with their authentic replica Batarangs that they bought on eBay.

Normal people walking by would be shaking their heads and saying "No wonder those people never get laid."

I don't care about the status of Joe Chill, you understand. I just wish DC would pick a damned status quo and keep it the damned status quo! The next time someone wants to write a damned Joe Chill story, somebody at DC should have the cajones to say, "No. We're done writing Joe Chill stories. He's in Blackgate prison, sharing a cell with Killer Croc, and that's that. Use your damned imagination and come up with a different story."

I mean, let's review: that's four changes in the story in the past 20 years. Get with it, DC. Pick a foundation and build from that. There are plenty of good Batman stories to tell that DON'T involve who killed his parents.

Sorry. I just have to rant occasionally. You know.

See What It Is!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

LMAO! WTF is up w/ mvie nrd? Comi ners don' talk lk that ethr!

5/13/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Up-to-date movie nerd said...

Joe Chill was captured the night of the Waynes' murder and was later killed by a stooge of Carmine Falcone's because he was going to squeal on Falcone after they shared a cell. Everyone knows that, dude.

5/13/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

Damn. Why is Batman wearing a dress?

5/13/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Dang it, I forgot that they're even retconning movies these days. Stupid DC/Warner Bros.!

And he's wearing a dress, Lungfish, because McFarlane decided he needed to look pretty when he confronted his parents' killer.

5/13/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

I like the Post-Zero-Hour version best, m'self, but I don't really care, in the end.

5/13/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger KangolLove said...

This is hilarious.

5/14/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Cap'n Neurotic said...

As I was leaving Batman Begins with a couple of non-comic-geek friends, one of them turned to me and said "But how could the Joker have sent that card at the end if he died in the courthouse earlier?" I tried to explain, but eventually gave up; I guess it's just easier for comic readers to understand (if not always accept) the concept of the retcon

5/15/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Chuck T. said...

These days I figure DC continuity is like that Treehouse of Horror episode with the time toaster, and the history changes like the weather. There's probably a Bart Sphinx somewhere in Gotham or Metropolis anyway.
Marvel Continuity is like when Lisa mentions Maggie shot Mr. Burns. Bart says he thought Smithers did it, and Lisa says that would've made more sense. Marvel knows it has holes and dated weak spots, but is just going to push on and not mention it.
I loved Year Two more than year one at the time, and I think I still might.

5/15/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Torronto Pearson Aiport Taxi said...

That's some insanely awesome dialogue. Did Thanos recent series have that kind of dialogue, because if so I'm going to have to go searching for it.
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5/30/2014 08:22:00 AM  

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