Batman and Robin 23.3: Ra’s al Ghul

Alternating Currents: Batman and Robin 23.3: Ra's al Ghul, Drew and SpencerToday, Drew and Spencer are discussing Batman and Robin 23.3: Ra’s al Ghul, originally released September 18th, 2013. This issue is part of the Villain’s Month event. Click here for our Villains Month coverage.

villain divDrew: I’m not sure I’ve ever “gotten” Ra’s al Ghul. Sure, as the immortal leader of a criminal empire, he’s a great villain, but I never fully understood why he’s a Batman villain. The best Batman rogues highlight some important element of Bruce Wayne: Joker’s gleeful chaos reflects Batman’s brooding order, for example. Without a gimmicky hook, I was always left thinking that Ra’s was meant to highlight Bruce’s mortality, which is kind of a defining characteristic, but one that is brought up every time he’s put in moral peril, so not really specific to Ra’s. With Batman and Robin 23.3: Ra’s al Ghul, writer James Tynion IV finds that parallel in the way both men wield myths to make them stronger, turning in a character-defining secret origin that actually builds on the character’s history, rather than simply rehashing it. Continue reading

Batman 23.2: The Riddler

riddler 23.2

Today, Shelby and guest writer Lindsey are discussing Batman 23.2: The Riddler, originally released September 11th, 2013. This issue is part of the Villain’s Month event. Click here for our Villains Month coverage.

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Shelby: The Riddler and the Joker. Two clowns, of a sort, with very different reputations. To the Joker, the world is a gag, a cheap joke that doesn’t make sense. That’s why he’s so scary; you literally have no idea what he’ll do next. The Riddler has always been different to me. Riddles are silly, true, but they’re clever. There’s a perverted sense of logic to them. That’s how I’ve always thought of Edward Nygma: clever, but ultimately rather silly and harmless. Ray Fawkes and Scott Snyder show us a different, more dangerous Riddler, and I am liking what I see.
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