Seen some photos from the new Prometheus movie. Gota say, as an Alien fan I’m pretty worried. Then again, this franchise has already been dragged through the gutter a few times I shouldn’t care at this point.
“Game Over” I made this for a tee shirt. I thought it was pretty good. I’d really like to transfer this to a canvas some how. Tee shirt designing always got me thinking on how to express the most amount information with the least amount of materials.
I’ve decided to start posting more stuff here. This was for another shooping contest but I didn’t even place. This is Reed Richards from the Fugitive. I guess this is how I imagine him if he was actually doing time. Did he get the death penalty? I haven’t seen it in so long.
I just spent two days trying to find a crack to some software I downloaded. I gave up when I realized it was just easier to pay for it. What’s going on?
side note: just made this for the next cracked shooping contest. I want that $50!
Batman was released in 1989, directed by Tim Burton. The movie is essentially about the iconic comic book hero, Batman. Batman is millionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne’s alter ego as he fights crime in fictional Gotham City. Batman’s enemy is known as the Joker, a bizarre clown- faced villain. At the core of the story are two people who wear masks to become someone else. Both characters are motivated by revenge, and both go through a physical and psychological transformation. Burton takes a few liberties with the characters and plot lines, however, at its core the movie can be interpreted as a western. The Batman character and story has been ever-changing since his first appearance in Detective comics, 1939. Batman has always been reflecting the attitudes and values of the culture that created him. (Wolk)
The first movie, Batman: The Movie (1966) was based on the 60’s Batman television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin respectively. The 60’s TV show was intentionally made to look and feel as cheesy as possible; nobody today can describe the batman TV show as anything other than campy. The very word camp seems to be almost exclusively used to describe that particular batman series. Although many fans would scoff at this incarnation of batman, it was really a reflection of the equally absurd batman comics being produced at the time. The sixties’ Batman can be enjoyed knowing that its intentions were to be as campy as possible and even more importantly, a satirical postmodern take on popular culture of the time.
23 years later, Batman (1989) struck a darker more, adult tone. Batman fans since have collectively described it as the first “modern” Batman movie. Just as the TV show drew from the current comic book source material, so too did Tim Burton when making his movie. In 1986 Comic books had taken a serious turn as a much more relevant medium. (Wolk) Comic books weren’t just for children anymore; Art Speiglmen’s Maus was released, a graphic novel recounting his father’s survival of the Holocaust. Alan Moore’s Watchmen gave readers a realistic and psychological take on the whole super hero genre. 1986 was also the year Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Night Returns was published, featuring a more cynical and tortured Bruce Wayne fighting against both criminals and the police. The comic book industry as a whole changed during the 80’s as reader’s demanded more complex and engaging protagonists to read about. 1986 was as described by Douglas Wolk, “…the year comic books grew up.”
Bruce Wayne’s mask in the movie is Batman, played by Michael Keaton. The mask of Batman is a simple black cowl covering his head, leaving room from the mouth, chin and eyes. Two short bat ears stick out at the top. Batman’s costume is all black with a black cape and yellow batman symbol on the chest. Batman almost seems to operate independently as a separate character. In fact, nowhere in the movie is there a scene where Bruce Wayne is seen changing into or out of his Batman costume. In some scenes he’s Batman and in others he’s Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne’s costume offers him some protection from attacking enemies but also protects his identity. The obvious disadvantage to being a vigilante is the repercussions from criminals as well as regular law enforcement. With his Batman disguise Bruce Wayne is able to operate unhindered by unwanted attention. On a much more psychological level Batman not only protects Bruce Wayne physically and socially but mentally as well. Batman’s cowl is actually shielding Bruce Wayne from his own actions.
Bruce Wayne and Batman are two different personas as described by Carl Jung, two faces he presents to the world as the situation dictates. On an existential level Bruce Wayne is using Jean-Paul Satre’s ideas of bad faith, adopting a new set of morals in order to accomplish his goals. Batman could never do the things Bruce Wayne does and vice-versa. Bruce Wayne is able to distance himself from his own actions and avoid the guilt and fear from doing them. (Jung, The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious) Many Batman fans will vehemently defend Batman’s non-lethal stance against crime. It is true that in the past few decades the Batman character has avoided killing anyone. Before the juvenile delinquency hearings in 1954 and the subsequent Comics Code Authority, however, Batman used to kill people with regularity. (Finger) In Batman’s earliest appearances he even carried a handgun with him to fight crime. In Tim Burton’s movie Batman has absolutely no problem taking lives.
During the movie, Batman destroys a chemical plant using explosives killing an unknown number of the Joker’s henchmen. Later in the movie while fighting one of the Joker’s men in a cathedral’s bell tower, Batman throws his opponent off a stairwell to a certain death. Only moments later after confronting the Joker on the top of the cathedral, Batman and a reporter are left hanging on the edge of the building struggling not to fall off as the Joker is making his getaway, hanging on a rope ladder from a helicopter. Batman uses this time to snare the Joker’s ankle with a grappling hook and tie the other end to a gargoyle. Despite having his own life and someone else’s hanging in the balance, Batman kills the Joker by intentionally weighing him down causing him to lose his grip and fall. The mask and costume of Batman provide Bruce Wayne with the anonymity and freedom to perform these actions without giving pause to question the morality. The parallels of this technique are fairly common in cinema. Sergio Leone’s character “the man with no name” is the archetypal western persona as played by Clint Eastwood. Although this character has no name he is given many nicknames. In The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966) it was “Blondie” and in For a Few Dollars More (1965) it was “Manco” a Spanish nick name meaning one-handed. The character does have two hands but Manco very deliberately performs all mundane actions with his left hand; his right hand is used exclusively for shooting. In this way, similar to Bruce Wayne, he is able to objectify his actions and detach from the situation. Bruce Wayne doesn’t kill; Batman does. (Jung, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious)
The Joker also has a mask only a bit different. The Joker’s real name in this film is Jack Napier played by Jack Nicholson. In the beginning of the film Jack Napier, a small time thug, is betrayed by his boss and is involved in a confrontation with the police and Batman in some sort of chemical plant. In the resulting struggle, Jack falls into a vat of chemicals and is assumed dead. Jack survives although disfigured. He assumes the persona of the Joker and takes his revenge against his mob boss. The Joker’s mask is actually his real face. Due to the accident his real skin color is white and his hair color is green but he applies beige makeup and dark hair dye to appear in public. The clown face is real and the human face is a fake.
The Joker’s persona changes when his mask is applied. When appearing as Jack Napier with his makeup on, the character is very serious, calm and even toned. Without the makeup, the Joker becomes hysterical and spontaneous. Jack Napier’s personality becomes amplified and outrageous, making him an unpredictable and dangerous character. The Joker derives all of his power from his new mask. A fall into a vat of chemicals didn’t give him super powers. Jack Napier’s transformation into the Joker was simply the disfiguration of his face. After having his face changed the Joker goes on to kill his enemies, assume control of his former gang and then proceed to take control of all organized crime in Gotham City. The Joker’s new face masks his old identity as Jack and gives him new confidence. The Joker’s success in the film is directly attributed to his masking. This is a classic case of Carl Jung’s notions of persona: instead of everyone looking at Jack Napier they are looking at the visage of the Joker. Real world examples can be seen throughout pop culture. In music, Saul Hudson wears a top hat and aviator sunglasses and becomes the guitarist Slash from the band Guns n’ Roses. Chaim Weitz applies black and white makeup and becomes Gene Simmons of Kiss. David Bowie changes his hair and makeup and becomes Ziggy Stardust. The identity of the Joker is a shield that protects him from judgment.
Batman and the Joker confront each other four times during the film and each time wearing a different mask. The first time they meet, Bruce Wayne is a child and Jack Napier guns down his parents. This traumatic event causes Bruce Wayne to invent the character Batman and dedicate his life to fighting crime. The second time they meet, Batman fights Jack Napier in a chemical factory leading to Jack’s fall and disfiguration creating the Joker character. In their third confrontation the Joker finds Bruce Wayne in his girlfriend’s apartment. Without his Batman persona Bruce Wayne has no choice but to let himself get shot. Bruce Wayne hides a plate of metal under his shirt to absorb the bullet in a direct reference to the man with no name in Sergio Leone’s A Fist Full of Dollars (1964) where Clint Eastwood’s character does the exact same thing. In the final conflict Batman and the Joker finally meet “face to face” and Batman defeats him. Every possible combination is used during the movie.
Tim Burton’s movie really isn’t so much about Batman as much as it is about the psychological power of masks. Neither the Joker nor Batman were ever given any super human abilities. There are no super gamma rays, no alien births, and no experimental super serums. Batman and the Joker are simply two people using the power of their own masks to transcend their identities and inhabit new personas. Bruce Wayne is able to stalk the streets at night and fight crime because the mask liberates him to do it. The Joker can take the risks he does and commit the crimes he wants because his new face also allows him to do it.
A Fist Full Of Dollars. Dir. Sergio Leone. Perf. Marianne Koch, Gian Maria Volonté Clint Eastwood. 1964.
Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, John Higgins. The Watchmen. New York: DC Comics, 1986.
Batman. Dir. Tim Burton. Perf. Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger Michael Keaton. 1989.
Batman: The Movie. Dir. Lesli H. Martinson. Perf. Burt Ward, Lee Meriweather Adam West. 1966.
Eichler, Alex. “The Existential Loneliness That Unites Batman and the Joker.” 6 December 2009. http://io9.com/. 17 January 2011 <http://io9.com/5418487/the-existential-loneliness-that-unites-batman-and-the-joker>.
Finger, Bill. The Batman Chronicles. New York: DC Comics, 2005.
For a Few Dollars More. Dir. Sergio Leone. Perf. Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté Clint Eastwood. 1965.
Frank Miller, Kaus Janson. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. New York: DC Comics, 1986.
Jung, Carl. “Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious.” (1935): 442.
—. Psychological Types. New Jersy: Prinston Univeristy Press, 1971.
—. “The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious.” Two Essays on Analytical Psychology (1928): 305-306.
Satire, Jean-Paul. Being and nothingness. New York: Gallimard, 1943.
Spiegelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Dir. Sergio Leone. Perf. Eli Walach, Lee Van Cleef Clint Eastwood. 1966.
Wolk, Douglas. “1986: The Year Comics Grew Up.” Comic-Con Annual 2011 25 February 2011: 44-46.