Batman: A City of Scars

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Rarely do I get impressed with fan fiction.

But Aaron and Sean Schoenke’s Batman: City of Scars shows that just $27,000 can put most high-budget films to dust.

Picking up where Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight left off, the Schoenkes produced a 30-minute Batman film. The Joker has just escaped from the asylum and kidnapped a man and his young son, after brutally murdering his wife. The mini-movie debuted on The Daily Motion this past weekend, already with more than 100,000 views under its belt.

I have long been a Batman fan and for the most part the character is the reason why I have this unquestioning loyalty to DC Comics, even if the company has often made lousy cinematic depictions of its characters as compared to Marvel. Although Christopher Nolan’s redefinition of Batman shows how a villain Joker, has a nagging way of not being wrong beneath his madness, echoing Alan Moore’s portrayal of the Joker in his classic Batman: The Killing Joke.

The City of Scars shows the Joker escaping from Arkham and murders the parents of a young boy, Batman recalls the pain of losing his own parents as a child. He is pushed past his limits to the point where his focus becomes revenge on all who stand in his way, including many of Gotham’s underworld. Finally, Batman is forced to look at the psychological profile of his own mind and accept the consequences of his life to find resolve.

Apart from being a homage to Alan Moore’s Killing Joke which explores the idea of
Batman and the Joker being creations of a random and tragic 'one bad day.' Batman spends his life forging meaning from the random tragedy, whereas the Joker reflects the absurdity of 'life, and all its random injustice. As well as the City of Scars’ accurately chilling depiction of Arkham Assylum, (which brings into mind the Dave McKean’s art in Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth), is its anti-climatic ending of a child finally ending the life of the Joker with a single shot.

Here lies the portrayal of humanity’s inherent direction towards paradise lost, which started with Adam and Eve’s lost of innocence.

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