Thursday, May 31, 2012

Don't Eat Batman's Cake

The above image was drawn for Kurt Busiek's blog by Joe Quinones (who drew Busiek's Green Lantern story so well for DC's Wednesday Comics a couple of years back). But you're probably wondering why Batman is eating his cake so protectively. I'll get to that.

Last week I mentioned to one of my fellow teachers (who is a fan of comics himself) that the current Cartoon Network DC Nation Green Lantern series is so very, very good. His response was, But why did they make a Green Lantern cartoon anyway? Why not just make a Batman or a Superman?

The answer, of course, is that there will always be another Batman or Superman cartoon. Why not try something different in the meantime! Thirty-three flavors, not just two! This new GL series mines the Green Lantern Corps mythos wonderfully, leading to stories that could not and would not be told with Batman or Superman.

Writer Noah Berlatsky has addressed a related issue on his blog.Somebody asked why Bruce Wayne has never been given a Green Lantern ring and the great answer to that question is that everybody wants Green Lantern stories and Batman stories, not just Green BatLantern stories. Noah quotes Kurt Busiek as follows:
It’s fun to have Batman stories, and it’s fun to have Superman stories, but it’s fun to have Justice League stories, too. It’s not really any more complicated than that. It’s entertaining.

The stories are the cake, and the shared-universe stuff is frosting. Things tend to go horribly wrong when people start to think the frosting is more important than the cake, and then get better when they remember that it’s about the cake after all.
So don't eat Batman's cake; it's his. And don't offer him a ring either. Let him be Batman!

You can visit Kurt Busiek's blog over here.


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