It’s hard to think of a movie this past decade that could possibly top The Dark Knight. Chris Nolan’s vision is just flawless. For the first time on screen we saw a Joker who was a genuine threat. And a Batman who struggled with deep, human insecurities, despite being the tower of strength he molded himself into. It’s hard to think of a better movie this past decade. But maybe there’s an equal.
At the heart of The Dark Knight is a simple parable. Level the playing fields, and the good in human nature will win out. And an even simpler corollary, sometimes, people deserve to have their faith rewarded. But some 9 months later, almost to the day, Star Trek 11 tells a very different kind of parable. “We weren’t who you remember us being by destiny”, JJ Abrams’ new cast of the original Star Trek seem to be saying. “It wasn’t an inalienable worth that allowed us to throw ourselves head first into all those adventures. To safe the galaxy time and again. To life, to survive. No. It was a quirk of fate, an accident of history”. And the real horror of their predicament, “Tilt one thing out of balance, send back one Spock in one tiny spaceship, and all we were goes out the window”.
The Dark Knight was about sacrifice. Star Trek was about a redemption the characters weren’t even aware of needing to earn. Slowly, over the course of their early lives they fought their way back to the kind of Kirk, and Spock, Bones, Scotty and Sulu that we remember them being.
DC’s taken one of the most courageous decisions in comics publication. To jettison the accumulation of seventy plus years of publication history on nothing more than the belief that these characters have earned that history. That these characters are smart and engaging and incisive and have become familiar for a reason.
So when I hold a copy of All Star Western #3 and I read about psychiatrist Amadeus Arkham taking those first steps into a world that will eventually cast a shadow into the life of Batman, I shudder just a little. This is, so much better than holding Detective Comics #1,000. This is the reason why issue #1,000 would have any meaning at all.
This Thanksgiving, before you hold All Star Western #3 in your hand, enjoy our exclusive preview.
// Notes from the Road
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