June 28th, 2010
And so we continue.
All the As can be found here, along with an explanation of what the billy-o I’m doing
Amy’s already done this one and it can’t be bettered. All that’s left to be said is that Amygdala and the rest of those muscle men live permanently in Bane’s liefeldian shadow. If Bane is leader of the cult of bulk then they can only ever be his disciples; Sweaty, raging, flesh machines lost in the stink of his meat locker come gymnasium.
Dirty. Nasty. Fucker.
Start with the mask: you’ve got dehumanisation and the death of identity. This guy’s face isn’t just a black skull, these days it’s a black skull with red eyes – that’s demonic evil straight outta the 80s. There’s also something specifically horrific about a skull wearing a suit, it brings to mind the triumph of the material, modern monsters like the denizens of Hostel, and Patrick Bateman, terms like slasher and torture porn.
The character’s origin is begging to be jeuged up into a full blown Giallo nightmare. After murdering his parents for interfering with his love life, Roman Sionis takes control of their business and markets a cosmetic that hideously scars thousands of women. You’ve got brutality, misogyny, matricide and patricide, operatic vileness. Dirty. Dirty. Dirty. People who care about boring shit will be quick to point out here that Roman didn’t know what the product would do, but I like to think of Sionis spending his nights “market testing”, and fucking his lover, Circe, over the same desk where he makes the phone calls, has the meetings, and deliberately and methodically works to ensure that his facial treatment will do the maximum damage possible.
While we’re feeling gratuitous, perhaps it would be good to work an oedipal subtext into his background: maybe his mother, a woman who wore a disturbing amount of make-up, loved him just a bit too much, maybe his Father hated him for it, maybe that’s why they tried to destroy Roman and Circe’s burgeoning romance.
As a paid up member of the misogyny can fuck off club, and someone who isn’t particularly interested in seeing the Bat-franchise rub more grime n grit into its spandex I’m not very keen on Black Mask’s torture happy ways. I could do without a villain who lives to stuff women into refrigerators, but I’m happy to concede that he readily gives himself to the kind of voyeuristic violence and horror so popular with today’s audiences. So I say go with it, have him be all that stuff that the crime lord incarnation of the Penguin couldn’t hope to be. Have him be one hell of a nasty bastard.
Play up the monstrous verging on supernatural slasher angle by having his masked henchmen simply be an extension of him – think you’ve killed the fucker? Guess again, kid – and forget all that cultist stuff. The false-face gang aren’t his minions, they’re his claw. Have him kill and kill and kill, give him an ebony room with an operating table, and casino where the patrons can bet against the lives of their enemies’ children. Have him make Catwoman’s sister watch while her husband is tortured to death and then force her to eat him.
Hang on, he’s already done that…
Or maybe just bin the horrible git.
There’s two sorts of Blockbuster and they’re both more than a little yawn inducing.
1. The chap who drank the science potion and got strong and dumb and was exploited by his criminal brother. He’s a bit like the green Hulk.
2. The chap who got strong and then did a deal with the devil so that he could also be clever. He’s a bit like the grey Hulk but with a bigger head.
The first has the whole tragic monster thing going, which certainly fits with the kind of story that some people like to tell with Batman but I couldn’t give a monkey’s about, mainly because it’s been done to death in Batman and elsewhere (the Hulk, Frankenstein, why am I bothering to list these?, etc…). The second is just… well… it isn’t really anything. Big strong criminal = so what? I suppose you could do something with the hackneyed Faustian bargain bit but I wouldn’t want to.
Whatever, see the Bane entry.