Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The psychological aspect of the story starts with the fact that the narration places us in Tim Drake's thoughts. The genius of the scene is that it begs us to hope for some mercy -- the Joker claims at first that he will play by some rules, according to a code of honor. Then, with a number of murders and revelations of yet more, he pulls that hope away sharply. It works as well as ever a scene that I've read has in putting the reader's sympathy into the role of the victim of a supervillain, and in facing his cold wrath. Inevitably, Tim escapes, but not before we ourselves felt hope recede multiple times. Unmistakably, this comic is to be remembered not first and foremost for the heroism of the hero but for the look we get into the eye of villainy.
#7 has something in common with "Slayride". We look in the eye of pure evil and feel the pangs of the hero who faces it. But this time there's no escape.