Superman Stats

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Breaking Bats and Killing Hope: DC Comics circa 1993

Breaking Bats and Killing Hope

In an effort to write a character not conceived by yourself and with prior decades worth of history, it's very important to have a look through the main stories they develop from. In comics this means going through literally a hundred or more books (or floppies), unless the character has warranted such a status that everything they indulged in has been collected in trades.

For a man or you can say a boy who is so into comics (that for the next 50 odd years, it will be a major driving force of his life), it's odd that I never got into the habit of writing fan fiction/comics on characters I had read myself, until last year. As I might have mentioned before, it stems from the fact that I fear I wont do justice to the characters I have come to know and love. 

But ultimately a re-introduction to DC's animated library seemed to instill a new-found ambition in me to try my hand at writing a plethora of superhero characters mostly just Batman. It was the Batman animated series that first got me into comics, and it was that which introduced me to the character of Bane. 

Now you possibly know this, that I'm not a particularly big DC lover. I was always and still am a Marvel fanboy. My first taste of DC comics came in the form of Green Lantern around 2006. So while I did have an affinity to Batman, I didn't know or care much about the (back then) B-Listers of his rogues gallery. 

Bane then so by 2009 took on a mythic role for me, when I read (through those infamous nefarious means) Batman: Knightfall. 

A bit of context, Batman: Knightfall released in 1993. It was a comic in which Batman must face a new and dangerous threat; a muscle bound juiced freak, who is as cunning and smart as he is strong. Bane was both brawn and brain, he was basically a sort of Batman just on the wrong side of the tracks. But above all else, Bane was the man that broke the bat. 

He literally took Batman and cracked Bruce's spine on his knee. It's a defining moment for both characters, and one of the most iconic pages and covers in comic book lore. 

That moment has defined Bane as a character for decades, and for everything that has since then been written about him. It has basically become a trait for the character, such that it followed suit onto celluloid when Bane appeared in Dark Knight Rises.

It's a hard point to pass by when I'm writing the character in my graphic novel titled; Batman: Bane's Reckoning (yup, I lifted that from the movie). Obviously it's one that needs mention, as Bane and Batman try to work together for their mutual benefit.

What's more, is that as a whole; Knightfall basically forms the basis around this comic I'm writing, simply because as a reader beyond this Bane has never been interesting to that level. His anti-hero turn in Secret Six was wonderful, especially when he decides to stop using venom (the aforementioned juicing drug) to fuel his body. Beyond that nothing much, even the whole Bane and Talia Al Ghul thing in Bane of the Demon was a letdown, although used effectively by Christopher Nolan for his film. 

Writing such a character who in some way peaked early is a difficult task, it basically informs everything I have to do. Not to mention the fact that the story I'm writing is vaguely similar to the first time Batman and Bane teamed up. 

Why am I writing this post? I have no idea, I'm just bored and I've forgotten why I started. 


Knightfall itself was an interesting time for DC Comics. A few months prior to the event, there was another event. A comic book that holds a special place in my heart. 

My copy of The Death of Superman trade paperback

It was the iconic Death of Superman story, where Superman fights against the beastly Doomsday and manages to save Metropolis at the cost of his own life. The death of the most iconic superhero began with issue 18 of Superman: Man of Steel. 

While I don't particularly like the comic, or Superman heck I didn't read it until last year. The story holds a special place simply because of its iconography and the fact that the first issue released in the same month that I was born.  I knew of this by 2003, and looked at it in a mythical way like I never had Superman.

For something like that to happen, an iconic and definitive moment in the history of the first superhero to occur on my birth month and year, it gives me the giddy sense of destiny and weird fanboy pride.

But back to topic (not that there is one). 

So Superman died and Batman retired forcibly. Beyond the point that their returns were marred by shoddy storytelling, these iconic moments define DC comics in 1993. While they may not define my comics history with DC, I do look at each with a sense of wonder and love. 

Death of Superman informs my own blind skewed sense of destiny, destiny that brings me to love, cherish and above all else want to be a part of comics. 

Where as Knightfall can hopefully become a story that defines my first taste of mainstream comics success. What I mean by this is, is that Knightfall is the major influence on Bane's Reckoning, and hopefully Bane's Reckoning if written and drawn well enough can become my first successful superhero comic (not originally created by me).

Thanks for indulging me. 

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia  

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