Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Dark Knight

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Dark Knight

Article excerpt

THE DARK KNIGHT

Directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner Brothers, 2008)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The truth understood by every 14-year-old comic book fan is that we love superheroes not because they are "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound" but because these steel-bodied crusaders can beat the living daylights out of the most satanic boogeymen.

Campy or solemn, the Batman franchise has produced blockbusters for more than two decades because its creators knew that superheroes must vanquish villains--and the better the villain, the sweeter the victory. With the late Heath Ledger playing a criminally insane Joker who only wants Christian Bales Batman to come out and play carnage and slaughter in the streets of Gotham, the franchise has found a fiend fans will love to despise.

Still, the darker questions raised by these films are why we need such fiendish foes and what sorts of violence can be used to vanquish them. …

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