Monday, 6 August 2012
Watchmen And The Dark Knight
(i) The Dark Knight Returns is set in a near future where there is a danger of nuclear war. Watchmen is set in an alternative present with nuclear war imminent.
(ii) Each has a US President who is known to us: Reagan in Knight; Nixon in Watchmen. (Near the end of Watchmen, a headline raises the spectre of "RR" as President but a character ridicules the idea of a cowboy actor in the White House. They refer, of course, to Robert Redford.)
(iii) In both, independently operating costumed crime fighters are banned although a masked vigilante defies the ban and a powerful superhero works for the US government.
(iv) In both, the ban is expressed by a diagonal red line across the image of a crime fighter. (In the DC cross-over series, Legends, a temporary ban was expressed in the same way. Super-powered mutants were persecuted in the Marvel Universe.)
(v) In both, a powerful superhero leaves Earth.
(vi) Because both involve a character falling from a skyscraper, they both raise the question of whether such a person would lose consciousness before reaching the ground.
(vii) Watchmen involves an attack on New York; Knight involves an attempt to destroy the Twin Towers of Gotham City: Two Face's clue is that his next target will be twice as big as you can possibly imagine...