Nemeses, Restaurants, and Superman

Nemesis.  A word that gets thrown around from time to time, but of all the many times it’s used, I feel that it best fits with Batman and The Joker.  It is important to note though, that it goes one way.   Batman is Joker’s nemesis.  For a nemesis must be somebody who brings justice or retribution to another.  To be the agent of their downfall.  That is Batman to Joker, he always brings about Joker’s downfall.  But what I feel makes him even better, is the fact that they are so similar.  As a matter of fact, The Joker sums it up in Alan Moore’s comic The Killing Joke; it explains The Joker’s origin and what drove him to be the way that he is.  Here is his quote:

“So… I see you received the free ticket I sent you. I’m glad. I did so want you to be here. You see it doesn’t matter if you catch me and send me back to the asylum… Gordon’s been driven mad. I’ve proved my point. I’ve demonstrated there’s no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up as a flying rat? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else… Only you won’t admit it! You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there’s some point to all this struggling! God you make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? What made you what you are? Girlfriend killed by the mob, maybe? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that, I bet. Something like that… Something like that happened to me, you know. I… I’m not exactly sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another… If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice! Ha ha ha! But my point is… My point is, I went crazy. When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can’t you? I mean, you’re not unintelligent! You must see the reality of the situation. Do you know how many times we’ve come close to world war three over a flock of geese on a computer screen? Do you know what triggered the last world war? An argument over how many telegraph poles Germany owed its war debt creditors! Telegraph poles! Ha ha ha ha HA! It’s all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for… it’s all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can’t you see the funny side? Why aren’t you laughing?”

So one bad day is all that it really takes.  The both of them had that bad day, with Batman’s parents killed in front of him, and The Joker’s pregnant wife held hostage and killed as well to get him to do a job for the mob so that he could make money to support them.  Both snapped, but after that they followed their own separate paths.  The Joker is all that Batman decided to stand against and vice versa. They compliment eachother in every way.  There are very many good ‘couples’ like that any more.  I don’t feel that Spiderman has that, the closest to it would be Venom, but really Venom is just a darker aspect of what Spiderman is already capable of, he has been down dark paths and come back, he even wore the alien symbiote that became Venom.  If there is a better example I will gladly recant, but maybe I’m just partial to The Joker.   Oh and in case you wanted to know the joke that is allured to in the title of that story, here it is:

See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum… and one night, one night they decide they don’t like living in an asylum any more. They decide they’re going to escape! So, like, they get up onto the roof, and there, just across this narrow gap, they see the rooftops of the town, stretching away in the moon light… stretching away to freedom. Now, the first guy, he jumps right across with no problem. But his friend, his friend didn’t dare make the leap. Y’see… Y’see, he’s afraid of falling. So then, the first guy has an idea… He says ‘Hey! I have my flashlight with me! I’ll shine it across the gap between the buildings. You can walk along the beam and join me!’ B-but the second guy just shakes his head. He suh-says… He says ‘Wh-what do you think I am? Crazy? You’d turn it off when I was half way across!

They say that authors represent the time in which they lived.  If that is the case, then in our time I think it would greatly break the suspension of disbelief if a writer had a character go to ten different restaurants, and in that time they got great service at more than one.  Maybe I have too high standards, but being waited on in a timely manner, while also keeping a personality and not acting harried doesn’t seem to be too bad.  I’ve done pretty well everything in a restaurant from serving, to washing dishes, to cooking, and even managing, so I know that it’s not impossible, and yet so often am I disappointed.  A lot of times it seems as though when you ask your server a question, even something as innocent as “I am doing fine, and how about yourself?” They normally answer with something along the lines of “Fine”, or “Good”, or “OK”, but no matter what word they use when answering your questions, it always sounds like “Fuck Off” with a smile. Meh. Oh wells.

I have gotten a decent bit of writing and organizing done today while my son plays video games.  He is happy, I am happy, wife is working, so it all works out.  It’s a great trip watching a 3 year old play games on the computer and know exactly what he is doing.  His current favorite is playing the first Fable game..  Well off to do some more of that, if only writing a story were as easy as throwing thoughts down.  Maybe I just want the story to have more substance than my thoughts, although that seems a might bit impossible.

One last thing.  For anybody who likes Batman Beyond, turns out they are doing a Superman series set in the same universe.  It will be an old Superman having to get pulled back into the loop.  I’m curious about it.  Here is the image that has been released so far.

Bon voy-agi.

  1. Really? A new superman? Sounds interesting. I wonder if it will have the Justice Lords in it. That is honestly my favorite story arch of DC.

    • To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t that familiar with the Justice Lords, I did some reading though, and it seems pretty interesting. I don’t know if it will have anything to do with them. I’m curious if it is just going to be old Supes or if they are going to try to do the same thing that they did with Batman Beyond and have old Supes train/mentor new Supes

  2. I didn’t know there was going to be a new superman series. I have always been a fan of Batman Beyond so I hope it’s good.

    I have never read The Killing Joke even though I love Batman. The Joker quote is so awesome because it so true. We are just one bad day away from turning crazy. I like how similar Batman and Joker are in reality but still went in different paths.

    • I strongly suggest The Killing Joke, along with most other Alan Moore work. Espedially if you’ve not read Watchmen or From Hell. V for Vendetta was good too but the artwork is tough to get past for me.

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