Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight and a Dark Night in Colorado

As a blogger of comics and pop culture I feel I need to say something in regards to the shooting that took place at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. I have seen other blogs, Facebook posts and tweets in regards to what happened and several people have taken different stances.

More gun control, don't make the killer immortal, honor the victims, going to see the movie to show that you're standing up to what has happened. All different points from both sides of the view expressing how they feel because of this shooting. I've heard there are Batman ribbons to get to put on your car, and seen photoshop worked Ttumblr posts in both good taste and bad. But through all of it I think one thing has been lacking being said and I'm surprised because I hope I'm not the only one who feels a certain way, let me explain.

On Friday morning I turned on the TV while going to make the bed and caught the tale end of Matt Lauer saying there was a shooting at a movie theater in Colorado. My first thought, please don't let it be Batman, please don't let it be Batman. I changed the channel to the national news as the Today show was going to commercial and sure enough the graphic they were using at the bottom of the screen that rotated between it and their logo was "Batman Movie Massacre". A graphic that would soon be taken down and replaced with Colorado shooting, but just as I had assumed, The Dark Knight rises was the movie that was being played when 12 people were killed and 59 others were shot.

Being such a comic fan I felt immediate remorse in that my thoughts were that could have been me and my family, we've been to so many midnight premiers to comic movies over the years. Knowing that a group of people who like the same things I do were attacked by a crazed gunman was so depressingly sad.

You've heard all the news and his name James Holmes, who is calling himself The Joker has colored his hair orange and red to emulate the arch rival of Batman. The news is using the image of Heath Ledger dressed as a nurse from The Dark Knight because there is no record of the classic character Joker ever having red hair, all fans and even non fans know the Joker is white skinned with green hair.

This man decided he would purchase 6000 rounds of ammunition, dress in full tactical combat gear and open fire on fans of Batman, his motivations as to why are still unclear, but its obvious he's not mentally stable, mentally stable people don't plan attacks like these.

My biggest concern with this whole thing is someone went this far to emulate a villain. The Joker is by far one of the most famous villains in comic book history and he's taken so many forms from the Heath Ledger version that is being put all over the news to the Lego version in the new Batman 2 which makes him a much cuter fun character. But to me the ultimate versions of the Joker are either Mark Hamil in the animated series or in the comic itself. Both of those versions are good representations of the character an insane man who is a serial killer and a sociopath. I will admit I have enjoyed Joker stories but not once was I ever rooting for the clown prince of crime. Even when I see someone with a Joker tattoo I question why, why do some people out there like these villains, why would someone want to say I admire the actions of a man who's goal is to hurt people.

What should we take from this tragedy? For every one man out there who wants to be the Joker let there be ten of us who want to be Batman and help people. For every one guy who thinks Wolverine is cool let us look to Cyclops and his leadership. For those who think the Punisher is awesome with his huge guns he uses on the bad guys let us look to Captain America another soldier who uses his shield to defend.

I have a tattoo that wraps around my right wrist that says "All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." It doesn't matter if its a a Facebook post, a tweet, go see the movie, buy a ribbon, or do whatever, if you choose to be on the side of the good guys you're doing the right thing. Don't let anyone tell you how you need to morn or show your support.

In the words of Alfred from Batman Begins "Why do we fall sir, so we can learn to get back up."