June 11, 2017

Friday night Adam West the original TV Batman passed away at the age of 88. After I had read a lot of the tributes to the man and his acting skills, I started to think about comic books and their characters. Before I start I should tell you I had a very large comic book collection which I sold at deep discount to help finance my move to Medellin. During my collecting days I read up on the history of comics and I remember one book in particular which I think was published in the fifties. I don’t remember the title but I do remember it was more of a sociology text book. It showed how the characters reflected the event of the times. They mostly took in WWII and its aftermath the beginning of the cold war, it also showed how comic book faced censorship at the time and managed to avoid governmental censorship by imposing what was a comic book code of conduct. I decided to look at one character in particular and see if this was still true, at least the part about them reflecting the time we live in. the character I decided to use was Batman and just so you know I was always a big fan for whatever reason I just didn’t dig Superman. Batman has come a long way since Adam West played the character on TV. In the comic books he has become a much more darker figure and books that were written for youngsters are now be written more for adults. This reflects society because our Children are forced to face reality more now than before. The cold war made kids think they would never see old age this was expressed during the hippie generation. So young children grew up faster and faster, now they were adults and started looking for escapes from the world that was out there, of course many found it in drugs, booze and music. Still others sought it in literature and movies Syfi became more and more popular while comics began to reflect the somber mood of this new generation. While one new company, Marvel decided to concentrate on science fiction and fantasy, the older company DC but all its eggs into one basket called Superman. Its other main character became truly a Dark Night. But he was also a hero to those adults who were tired of being beaten down all the time, now they had a character that would punish the ones that need to be punished without the interference of politicians. This was also the period where in literature a paperback hero called the Executioner written by Don Pendleton and in marvel comics The Punisher was born. These two character suffered great losses and then decide to be Judge, Jury and Executioner all in one. Even the Batman was caught up in this. I sit around down here wondering how the comic book and literature in general will portray the events of our time, if nothing else it should be both sad and hilarious. This is Flounder and Fats saying CIAO from Medellin, Colombia.

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