For those who don't follow comics, about 20 years ago a 12 issue miniseries called "The Watchmen" came out. It was gritty, it was profitable, it was copied. Whoo boy was it copied!
Unfortunately it was copied badly. In the Watchmen reality the heroes get shot and villains get sent to jail. The heroes stayed dead and the villains wait for parole. Close enough for Jazz.
In Watchmen copy world, heroes get shot, kicked, spit on and get their cars stolen. Villains get laid.
Not quite the same thing is it?
Let me give you an example: Reality Batman Vs Reality Joker.
In the DC world, Batman was recently killed. Bruce Wayne ate some raw oysters in a month with an "r" in it or some such nonsense and now he's tits up in the morgue.
This is the highlight of his life as of late.
He's also been accused of being a child molester, had a pile of Robins killed, got his spine snapped, his stately manor burned to the ground and ended up playing second fiddle to the villain in all of his movies. No wonder he's such a grouch!
We all know that he's going to come back in a year or so. It always follows the same script.
- First all the heroes will get to emo. All villains will have a drunken orgy.
- Then the heroes call each other names and fight over who gets to be the new Batman. The villains will make a YouTube video of zombie Batman having sex with zombie Robin.
- A few heroes will run around in a Bat suit and fight crime. A few of the villains will hire strippers to dress like Batman and slide up and down their Batpoles.
- None of the heroes will hit on Catwoman. All of the villains have already hit on Catwoman.
Once the novelty wears off things will get back to normal. We know it. We wait for it. We expect it.
But this dog pile of sadness only happens to the heroes. They never take a major dump on an A-list villain. I'm not talking dropping some unremembered fad based villain like "The Rubic's Cuban" (the commie puzzler!) I'm talking about a five star Alpha-Male villain.
I elect "The Joker!"
For the last few decades Batman has been little more that the Jokers butt monkey. All the biggest Batman movies have really been Joker movies. The best Batman graphic novels have be Joker based. Best Batman cartoon voice? Mark Hamill's Joker from "Batman: The Animated Series".
The writers wizz on Batman constantly. Batman has Robin. The Joker gets Harley. Robin is cute, but Harley puts out! No wonder the Joker is always smiling.
Batman spent his entire life studying to be Batman. He know Bat-fu and is rich and has tons of cool Bat crap. I get that.
Superman is strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Ok.
The Joker... is a dick. That's it. He's a dick. He shows up one day, stops at the Good Will for a lavender jacket, acts like a dick and he's running with the big boys.
Let's get real on his ass.
Before we can smack down the Joker, we need a hero in his league.
Joke vs Superman? It would be one punch and then a large stain. Joker can't hang with the S-man.
Joker vs Batman? Who's going to give Batman a banana when he's a good butt monkey? Nah. Batman has "issues" with Joker. And by "issues" I mean he's a butt monkey.
Wendy and Marvin from the Super Friends? Maybe. They all have the same fashion sense. Up no. They had Wonderdog. Wonderdog was retarded, but he was a big dog and a big dog is more than a match for the Joker's bad fashion sense. Hell, Gleek could probably kick the Joker's ass.
I make up, and nominate "Melvin Palmowitz", better known as "The Completely Normal Guy."
Here's the origin: Melvin works at a toll booth up on the Gotham interstate. One day someone gives him a quarter with a Joker face on it. Melvin says "Hey, this isn't president Obama, what's the deal?"
It turns out to be a "Joker Quarter". (You know you have a good police force when escaped criminals have time to mint coins.) The Joker says that he sells them on late night infomercials and now Melvin has to be his new butt monkey because Batman keeps dieing and getting crippled.
Everywhere Melvin goes, he sees the Joker grinning and looking threateningly at his children and making sawing signs on his throat when ever Melvin goes to stroke his pet alpaca (The Lockport Alpaca, come for the wool, stay for the mullet!)
The police are, of course, oblivious to all this. It's not like it's the 800th time the Jokers escaped. It's not like he's wearing a lavender jacket. It nothing like he's got a pancake white face and is the most recognizable villain in the entire world. Nope. No Jokers here. Carry on!
So Melvin is forced to go along with the Joker's next zany plot to kill millions of Americans, most of which have guns and would shoot the Joker the first time they saw him, yet oddly, they don't.
Melvin is called to the warehouse where the Joker gets his evil shipments. FedEx can find the Joker, the cops can't.
The Joker is explaining his plans and dancing around and calling Melvin a butt monkey. Melvin is wishing that the Gotham police had higher entrance requirements.
Melvin sees a big pair of scissors sitting by the shipping receivable receipts. He picks up the scissors, sneaks up behind the Joker and stabs him in the neck. No big speeches. No fancy Vulcan neck stab. Just a plain old American puncture, the way god wants a neck stabbed!
The Joker, being a dick in a lavender jacket, is not known for his stab proof neck. He gets a "Did you? Are those scissors in my neck?" look on his face, and falls over dead.
Melvin, realizing he is no longer a butt monkey, wipes off his finger prints from the scissors, drives home and pets his wife and alpaca. We never hear from Melvin again! The Joker says dead!
There's no way Melvin would get caught. The cops show up and see Joker dead. They're happy! They're hanging around the crime scene singing and dancing and putting funny hats on the Joker's corpse. The Joker has killed something like 1000 cops at one time or the other. They're not going to lift a finger to find his killer.
What would Batman do? Cry? Would he swoop in and threaten stoolies until he was too pooped to swoop? That wouldn't get him anywhere. What do stoolies know about toll takers?
He could use his alleged amazing deductive powers. Deduct a way! Warehouses have millions of people tracking through them, and the cops won't stop doing a conga line around the stiff, so Batman's screwed.
Besides, doesn't Batman have other, bigger criminals to fail to catch. Maybe the Joker was killed by that probabilistic villain "The Rock/Paper and/or Scissor" (He'll kick your ass 1 out of 3 times.) Nope, it's just Melvin and a found pair of scissors.
Like it? I think if they're trying to make comics more "realistic" then this story works. The Joker is just a dick. Sometimes dicks get stabbed.