Wednesday, 28 July 2010
Batman: Under the Red Hood
Almost as old as Batman himself is the character of Robin, a kid friendly bundle of colours designed to bounce alongside his mentor dispelling the madness. Frequently marginalised, or outright discarded in motion media, the Boy Wonder is a core concept, as deeply relevant to the Dark Knight as James Gordon or The Joker. The Robins are the Batman's children, subject to their father's overwhelming expectation. This idea is the root of Batman: Under the Red Hood. The world of Red Hood is concocted out of all sorts of comic craziness - death isn't permanent, easily overcome by a satanic spa dip, and an entire city stands back as Gotham becomes a high-stakes playground for clashing vigilante disciplines, but the hysteria always moves with faint devastation. This big-feet action angle masks a rawer yarn about the murder of a child, and an apparent absence of grief. Under the Red Hood wrings permanence and regret out of well worn resurrection cliches, examining the psychological state of a person hideously returned to life and mourning that his passing didn't mean more.