An Origin Story . . . of Evil! by Nick

Origin myths are interesting. This is a fact. No need to bicker, there’s no disputing it. Tell me the Hindi cyclical myth of universes created by Brahma only to be destroyed by Shiva, is not at all fascinating and I will know you are quite mad. Coax me into believing the Mayan Popol Vuh diluvian myth, that of the creators causing the vast sea to recede and the solid earth to rise, isn’t at all interesting to learn about and I will resist and resist. Dismiss the fire and ice proto-worlds of the Norse myths as trite trivia and I will simply feel sorry for you.

Imagine my excitement when I came upon an origin myth for the Batman mythology. That’s right. Batman. The caped crusader. The world’s greatest detective. The dark knight. In Batman: The Killing Joke , Alan Moore brings the mythology of Batman’s greatest foe, the Joker, full circle. Moore, coupled with the dark, disturbing and highly detailed art of Brian Bolland, reveals the man behind the green hair and maniacal grin. For some diehards, this is frustrating and asinine. A famous comedian quipped that he does not need rock salt, cream, and ice to enjoy ice cream. That seeing Darth Vader as a vulnerable, lovesick, confused young man is tantamount to ruining the Star Wars epics. I understand this and can empathize, but my fascination for origin myths trumps that concern. For the first time Batman enthusiasts can witness the transformation of a man in the throes of utter desperation and ineptitude, to the homicidal psychotic we have come to love to hate.

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