Comic Book The Dark Knight Returns Discussion

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03:45:11 AM Sep 27th 2012
We need to talk about this one:

I don't think this is entirely accurate. In this specific scene, only one of the Mutants is hesitant to attack Bruce; the other that's talking is all about doing it because of their quota. The "into it" comment reads like they can tell he's jonesing for a fight more than he's not scared of them. Also, later on one Mutant pulls a gun on Jim Gordon in broad daylight without hesitation.
04:34:17 PM Sep 29th 2012
edited by tsstevens
I have the DVD, let's have a look at the scene.

The two Mutants approach Bruce, one on each side. Bruce sees them.

Mutant 1: Aces, he's seen us.

We can interpret this as him only wanting to go ahead with the mugging on a victim who has no chance to fight back.

Mutant 2: Don't go all billy, go around, behind him. Slice and dice. Show him we're nasty.

The second is more into it, however let's look at what happens below.

Mutant 1: I dunno man, spud's awful big, and look at him.

Bruce then clenches his fist.

Bruce: Come on.

The Mutants are taken aback by this.

Mutant 1: Geez man, spud's into this.

Second Mutant is still up for a fight.

Mutant 2: So what? Slice and dice.

Bruce: Come on.

Mutant 1: Oh no. Can't do it if they're into it. Blow this. Let's head for the arcade.

Clearly Mutant 1 is a Dirty Coward. How does Mutant 2 react? Runs off frightened with him.

To be fair this is exactly how the scene plays out in the film, not having read the comic I cannot tell if it plays out differently there but if it does it might be worth moving the trope to the film page. Or if not Dirty Coward, how about we change it to Truth in Television? How thugs like the Mutants are up for a fight but not against someone who can fight back?
03:39:18 AM Oct 1st 2012
Oh, I see...I haven't seen the movie (yet). The scene plays out the same in the comic, but the dialogue is a little different and you have Bruce's internal dialogue. If I get time tonight, I'll grab my copy of the comic and do up the scene like you've done and we can compare notes.

Also, I don't think we need to split the movie version off to its own page...the comic page should be adequate to cover both versions, and anything that's specific to the movie can be split off to its own section of trope examples.
02:44:51 PM Oct 1st 2012
edited by tsstevens
You should. I was impressed with how the comic was portrayed in the cartoon episode Legends of the Dark Knight. The film completely blows it out of the water. I might even do a review of it.

I think I might change the trope to Truth in Television and explain how Real Life thugs having a tendency to only target those who cannot defend themselves. For that reason that scene in particular grabbed me. If that's an issue I have no problem with it being altered.
03:32:10 PM Oct 8th 2012
edited by Willbyr
Alright, I finally watched the film, and it definitely lends itself to the Dirty Coward portrayal of the Mutants in that scene, but the comic is still ambiguous and lends itself to interpreting their actions as just dismissing Bruce instead of being truly scared of him. Here's the dialogue from that:

Bruce (this is all internal dialogue from him) And the man who stole all sense from your life, he could be standing...

(Bruce sees the Mutants)
Bruce: Right over there...
Mutant 1: He sees us, get around behind him. Come on honey, slice and dice-
Mutant 2: - I don't know man, he's awful big.

(Bruce has a fist clenched)
Bruce: It is him, it is, and we know so many ways to hurt many lovely ways to punish, it's not him.

Mutant 1: Slice and dice, we got a quota.

(Bruce's teeth are bared and he appears to be glancing back and forth between them looking a bit crazed)
Bruce: So many...
Mutant 2: - I don't know man, look at him, he's into it.

(The Mutants are off-panel but apparently are walking away and it's unclear which is talking)
Mutant(s?): Can't do murders when they're into it. Let's hit the arcade, man - always a good time at the arcade.

(While this is happening, Bruce has closed his eyes, pulled his arms to his chest, and slowly sinks to his knees.)
Bruce: Not him. He flinched when he pulled the trigger. He was sick and guilty over what he did. All he wanted was money. I was naive enough to think him the lowest sort of man. These - these are his children. A purer breed - and this world is theirs.
01:53:27 PM Oct 11th 2012
edited by tsstevens
Reading over this I get a Teens Are Monsters vibe, as the man who killed Wayne's parents was a scared man who knew about the consequences of his actions. Not a Dirty Coward as such but...what might be a good trope for him? Driven to Villainy perhaps?

With the Mutants themselves, they don't care about that sort of thing. All they care about is preying on others. Just so long as it's someone who is defenseless. I still get the Truth in Television vibe as as much a monster someone like the Mutants might be, they only want to prey on those weaker than them, which is what I changed the trope to. With the exception of the Mutant Leader I don't think they were ever for a fair fight. Another trope that we might like to use is Always a Bigger Fish as the Mutants think they're cock of the woods, then they come across Batman (of course they don't know it's him) and have second thoughts. On Wayne's part I'm not sure if Bully Hunter would apply as he wasn't looking for a fight.

As I said I watched this scene and thought it was so true of real life thugs. They want a fight they just want it with someone who can't fight back. Thus, when you thought Dirty Coward didn't work I thought Truth in Television would be more accurate.
04:56:19 AM Sep 12th 2011
Regarding the rescue of the toddler from the 3 Mutants - DOES Batman kill the last Mutant? Or just shoot to wound? I assumed he did shoot to kill, till we get to the Joker fight. IIRC, he talks about "going back on a vow I made years ago" regarding killing...

Unless...maybe by the time TDKR comes around, the vow is regarding MURDER (killing in cold blood) and not so much killing in defense (as would be the case of the Mutant kidnapper)? Then again, where Joker is concerned, I think suffocating him in his sleep with a pillow would constitute "self defense" in most people's view...
07:22:37 AM Aug 8th 2010
RE: last edit. The Joker didn't laugh after he died; Batman just told his burning corpse to stop laughing because his mouth was hanging open. His last laugh choked off as he died.
08:54:12 PM Aug 1st 2010
One question: Was the bomb maker the Ventriloquist? They story never identifies him.
09:30:59 PM Aug 1st 2010
No, that was just some mook of the Joker's.
10:33:12 PM Aug 3rd 2010
I was really confused at that part. "Oh hey this is about as realistic as any other Batman graphic novel... WHYARETHEREFLYINGTALKINGDOLLBOMBS"
05:20:03 PM Jul 24th 2010
"Batman: Why do you think I wear a target on my chest? I can't armor my head."

...Isn't that what helmets are for?
10:06:23 PM Jul 24th 2010
My assumption is that any version of his cowl that would be strong enough to stop a bullet without incapacitating him would be so cumbersome that he wouldn't be able to use it effectively. Also, it makes for better drama.
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