Thursday, October 06, 2011
Heads up, DC!
Hello, everyone! The Rolling Head of Pantha here! As longtime readers know, I embody the Spirit of Bloody Corporal and Capital Violence in the DCU… to the degree I can be said to ‘embody’ anything, that is. You may also know me from several Halloween carols, or my custom Heroclix figure.
I’ve been doing a tour of the state capitals, winding up here in the nation’s capital, visiting Scipio, who invited me to do a guest-post, which I composed primarily by falling nose-first repeatedly onto his iPad; thanks, auto-correct!
I know many of you were concerned that ‘the new DCU’ would be alienatingly different for you. But I’m here to report that under Geoff Johns’ steady, labrys-wielding hands, characters are still being decapitated on a regular basis in the new DCU. It’s true what the French say, “the more things change, the more they splay the same.”
Last month, I was afraid DC has gone soft on us, when the best Detective Comics, its flagship title, could offer us was a de-face-ification. Granted, it was a very high profile de-face-ification of comic’s most famous face. And it did make me miss Jean Loring…
I think the “Dollmaker” is just the neo-DCU’s new, less scary version of Jean Loring.
But (if you’ll pardon the pun) face it: Batman’s earliest recurring foe, Dr Death, already did the “oops I lost my face” routine seventy-some years ago. Heck, Harvey Dent became famous for losing half his face over fifty years ago. To say nothing of Dr No-Face!
Remarkable diction, considering.
De-face-ification isn’t cutting edge; it’s a poor man’s decapitation, if you ask me. So I took heart (um, metaphorically) to see that Detective #2 featured a prominent decapitation and the headless corpse of a GCPD member. With flies. Now, I’d have happily traded the swarm of flies for some actual in-panel violence, particularly an in-panel rolling-head scene. But a girl in my position – nose-first on a iPad – can’t be too picky.
But it was the first issue of Penguin: Pain and Prejudice that really brought a lump to the remains of my throat! There we got to witness, first-hand, a mugging that culminated with decapitation! Now that’s what I call getting capped! For extra points, it was a sweet, philanthropic old lady who got the ax; plus, they didn’t kill her first then cut off her head. No, it was proper death-by-decapitation; thanks, DC! William Gaines would be proud.
Really, in retrospect, I wonder why more muggings in the DCU aren’t decapitation. Guns are so… cold, so impersonal. How much more dramatic Batman’s origin would have been had we seen Martha Wayne’s severed head bouncing off the Fourth Wall in glorious 3D, bloodied pearls EVERYWHERE! Well, I can still hope; perhaps DC will take the opportunity the reboot affords to, um… ‘re-cap’ that scene.
Honestly, it’s something that could be worked into almost all the major original stories. We know now that Barry Allen’s mother was murdered; that might as well be a decapitation, mightn’t it? Abin Sur died in a freaking space-ship crash, which could easily have severed off his head, leaving his chatty power ring to do any necessary exposition. Crazy J’onn J’onnz’s reaction to Dr. Erdel’s experiment could easily have turned neck-severingly ugly. We still don’t know how Tom Curry died; cue the shark! During the explosion of Krypton, the sight of Jor-El’s flying noggin, headband and all, sliced off by some shard of sunstone would be the most natural thing in the world. And as for the Kents, well, two words:
DC; don’t waste this opportunity!
A Tale of Two Cities
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
1984 (not really a beheading, but a rat cage over the head threat should count for something).
... and that's the required reading from one class at my local high school.
I swear, that I read somewhere that a French scientist who was about to be decapitated during the Terror in the French Revolution made sure to have his assistant time just how long his head lived after...well, you know.
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