Monday, June 10, 2013

Spare me your Wrath

In a recent interview entitled "Batman Writers Look to the Future", John Layman, writer of Detective Comics, said Scott Snyder's Batman was "the driving force" behind the Batman books, whereas Detective Comics is more the "Law and Order" of the Bat-books. "What I've got coming up is a character called The Wrath," said Layman. "He is the anti-Batman. He's a rich playboy industrialist, but instead of fighting crooks, he's killing cops. It's fun to play with a dark reflection of Batman and then have them face each other.

The Wrath. Ugh.

The Wrath was old news when he was introduced in 1984.

Re-introducing the Wrath is many things, but it sure ain't "looking to the future".

We don't need another Anti-Batman, like...

The Reaper


The Phantasm











The Talon


Killer Moth


Really, after Killer Moth, all other anti-Batmen are superfluous.


Anonymous said...

I don't necessarily think the "dark reflection" well is dry, not even for Batman; but it's incumbent upon the writer to have something to say about the hero (and ideally, something that hasn't been said better elsewhere). "He's like Batman except he murders cops" just shows a complete lack of imagination.

I'm going to pull a better idea out of my ass: a rich boy's parents were murdered outside a movie theater, so to prevent this tragedy from befalling anyone else, he uses his vast resources to visit every movie theater in town and whiz in the popcorn maker, then he calls the health inspectors to get them shut down. That's still a garbage idea, but at least it is a new twist on how to make Gotham a better place.

Jeff McGinley said...

Sadly, even that isn't original, as Marvel already gave us "The Whizzer" in a yellow costume no less.

Bryan L said...

I have a low and cynical nature, but I suspect bringing back "The Wrath" has more to do with maintaining copyright on the name/character than it does with developing "original" storylines.

And pretty much all Batman's major villains are distorted reflections of Batman himself: Joker (madness vs. logic), Penguin (dissolute socialite vs. responsible millionaire), Catwoman (physical skills used for crime vs. using them for good), etc. And if you start down that path, Wrath is REALLY superfluous.

Chad Walters said...

And even this list excludes Batzarro and Hush and arguably even characters like the Penguin or Bane.

Nathan Hall said...

Someone ought to do a story on the costume maker who caters to industrialist playboys. If nothing else, it'd be great to learn how sick he is of hearing, "Make it like Batman's, but different!"

Bryan L said...

I'd read that story, Nathan. Presumably Killer Moth eschewed this metahuman haberdasher's services, preferring to chart his own fashion course. That gives us our narrative framing device right there.

SallyP said...

But...but I LIKE Cat Man and Deadshot! Granted, mostly because of Gail Simone, but still.

And who doesn't like Killer Moth's incredible striped leggings?

Other than that however...I am with you.

JohnF said...

It's not really fair to compare the Wrath to the Reaper, Phantasm, Prometheus, Talon, etc. The Wrath predates all of them. You can think he's a lame concept, and certainly not fresh, but the tone of your post seems to imply that he's a ripoff of these other characters, when he's predated all of them except Catman and Killer Moth.

Scipio said...

it's the RE-introduction of the Wrath I am complaining about. THIS Wrath will have come after ALL these others.

JohnF said...

Well, I always had a soft spot for him. He had potential, but they killed him in his first appearance.
Owning the original issue creates sentimental value for me.
Prometheus has essentially the exact same origin as Wrath, right down to the cops killing his criminal parents. Grant Morrison must have liked the idea.

Scipio said...

JohnF, your comment makes me realized I could be being COMPLETELY unfair.

Because I have NOT read that story.

Perhaps the Wrath is a great character in a great story. Perhaps he is the one who deserves to be brought back as the Anti-Batman.

Not more than Killer Moth, of course, but still :-)

JohnF said...

A nice Killer Moth story would do us all a world of good.

Jon Hendry said...

Shouldn't it be a *light* reflection of Batman?

At least, that'd be more original, it seems.

A white-garbed, blonde-haired, cowl-less nice guy fighting crime with niceness, but who isn't what he seems.

Nathan Hall said...

Jon - see Mark Millar's Nemesis. Don't read it because it's not very good, but it does show what Batman would look like in white. Also, he isn't what he seems.

JohnF said...

Ugh, Nemesis.