I remember sitting on the couch when I finally turned the last page of The Wake, the last book in The Sandman series and feeling bereft. I had become very emotionally invested in the story and characters, especially Morpheus. So when it all came to end and there was nothing else to read, I really did wonder what I was supposed to do in a world where there was no more Sandman to read. (Imagine my delight when I watched this.)
But this isn’t meant to be an entry about the joy that is The Sandman. No, the little story above is meant to be an illustration of how I’m feeling right now because I’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises.
Once again, I’m feeling rather bereft.
There’s no more Christopher Nolan Batman movies. It’s done. Finished. Concluded. And I once again find myself wondering what I’m going to do now that there’s no more new Batman films to watch.
I know there are plenty of people out there who will think I’m very weird for having such a huge emotional investment in a comic book character. It’s an odd thing for a girl to do. I’m supposed to be obsessed with hand bags and shoes but not this little black duck. Nope, I spend a lot of my disposable income on comic books.
Batman Begins came out about a year after I’d been through a horrible, hideously painful break-up of an eight year relationship. I was kidding myself that I was okay but I really wasn’t. I was stuck doing all the things I’d done before and I really wasn’t moving on from my now very dead relationship. I saw the film at the movies, like it but I didn’t really think about it that much again until it came out on DVD. That’s when the obsession started. I watched the movie repeatedly, sometimes several times a week. Then I watched all the documentaries on the disc and heard Chris Nolan talking about the comics he’d been inspired by. Being an obsessive little fan at this point, I decided I had to read them.
Within the space of about three months I had read all of the major Batman storylines from the last twenty years (and bought them all). And I had started collecting comics.
All because I saw a movie.
The significance of this is that it’s the first thing I did on my own after “the break-up”. For such a long time, I only thought about the wreckage of my relationship. I obsessed about it, wondering what I did wrong. But suddenly there were Batman comics. Stories, writers and artists to discover. Instead of living in the past, I was discovering new things. Because of Batman Begins, I now have friends all over the world, a brilliant art collection and have been to America four times. So you’ll have to forgive me if I’m more than a little sentimental about Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy coming to an end. It gave me life back and helped me move on.
I shall give the final word to Matt Wagner. One of my favourite comics is his story called Trinity. He set it in the early periods of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman’s crime fighting careers. It’s such a great example of everything that’s wonderful about comics and Batman.
Wonder Woman confronts Superman after yet another for her infuriating meeting with Batman (who she’s decided she really doesn’t like).
Wonder Woman: Why?
Wonder Woman: Why do you allow him to continue like this? Don’t his methods make him little better than the very criminals he pursues?
Superman: I know. I felt that way once. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re both orphans. I had the benefits of a foster family, but Batman had to grow up on his own. But more important… I know his courage. I’ve seen him throw himself in harm’s way time and time again, all to rescue the lives of the innocent.
Superman: And remember, he’s got no extraphysical prowess like you and I.
Superman: I can’t find it in myself to deny the exercise of such bravery. Even if I don’t always agree with his style. In fact, I often wonder if I were an ordinary man, would I show the same valour?