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Subj: Re: Did you notice it doesn't matter?
Posted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 08:01:49 am EDT (Viewed 187 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Did you notice it doesn't matter?
Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 04:43:43 pm EDT (Viewed 298 times)
Hello, I posted the message because I am very interested by the three underused golden age villains.
These three were the main super-villains that Batman fought alone, before the arrival of Robin.
It is said that Gardner Fox was the writer of the issues with Dr. Death & the Monk. After these stories, both villains did not appear again during the Golden Age, probably because Bill Finger had no plan for them.
On the contrary, Professor Hugo Strange was created by Batman's most famous Golden Age creative team : Bob Kane, Bill Finger & Jerry Robinson to become the archnemesis of Batman.
In his first appearance, he is described as :
" The most dangerous man in the world! Scientist, philosopher and a criminal genius ... little is known of him, yet this man is undoubtedly the greatest organizer of crime in the world."
That would make him some kind of professor Moriarty, the perfect opponent of Batman, the "super sleuth".
Unfortunately for him, after Batman #1, it became obvious that the Joker would become the true archnemesis of both Batman & Robin.
Thus, Hugo Strange was forgotten, after one last appearance in Detective Comics # 46.
Much later, Dennis O'Neil created Ra's Al Ghul.
Ra's Al Ghul shares some similarities with these three villains :
- He uses mass destruction biological weapons, like Dr. Death.
- He is an immortal like the Monk.
- He is a criminal genius like Hugo Strange.
Ra's Al Ghul was also inspired by the main classic villains of popular litterature (Fu Manchu, James Bond foes, Fantomas, even Dracula to some extent, et cetera).
There is, of course, a simple explanation :
Dr. Death, the Monk and Hugo Strange are archetypical villains.
Before comic books, the same kind of characters were used in serials, pulp books, and comic strips.
Thus, Ra's Al Ghul was a successful combination of different archetypical villains.
Grant Morrison tried to make a new villain, Simon Hurt, who would be "the ultimate foe" of Batman by using the same process.
So far, I agree with you : I am quite disappointed by the character.
I don't think that he is as interesting as Hugo Strange, the Joker or Ra's Al Ghul.
Nevertheless, I am more interested by other villains created by Morrison : Professor Pyg and the Hunchback.
I think that they still have potential.
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