Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dear Batman #1--More Psychos, Please

From the letters column in Batman #258 (1974):
Ohs, nos.

This is fairly ironic, because Batman #258 was the issue that had the very first appearance of Arkham Asylum. Yes, the first--incredibly, Arkham didn't exist in comics prior to 1974!!

So this letter, calling for more stories featuring villains "consumed by their inner demons," literally appears at the dawn of the Arkhamization of Batman's rogues gallery.

Now, I'm not against complex villains. But does every villain have to be "consumed," and nuts? What's wrong with Batman fighting thieves and crooks and gangsters some of the time?

Well, Atone Perry thinks the villain is boring if they're not motivated by "deep emotional reasons." By this school of thought, every villain will end up tortured and complex and buried in Arkham, which will have to house all of Batman's villains and become a joke because then the only way Batman can fight someone is if they escape. This is the school of thought that transforms Joe Chill into the guy who eventually became the Joker.

So come on, DC editor, let your answer nip this in the bud!! Be firm (but polite) and suggest to Antone that there's room for all types of foes in the Batman Universe! Come on, tell him--

Oh, gods, don't put it up to the readers!! D'oh!!

And thus, we were doomed to the crazification of Gotham City. Thank you, Denny O'Neill and Atone Perry.

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