By Jarrod Jones. Why would anyone want to make a sequel to a controversial stand-alone story told nearly thirty years ago? Because money. Also because DC Comics peaked in the Eighties, and they’re going through something of a mid-life *snort* crisis right now. So we must all be patient with it, even when news like this hits.
Yesterday at the KomMissia comic convention in Moscow, legendary artist Brian Bolland let the unfortunate news slip that DC Comics approached the 64 year-old to illustrate a sequel to the seminal Batman: The Killing Joke one-shot, this time to be written by Brian Azzarello. Because, the Eighties. And to make money. (Possibly for cocaine.)
And while Bolland told the crowd he used the ol’ “I’m too old for that shit” excuse to dodge the gig, it’s likely he actually told DC Comics — who had to skip the DEVO concert in order to meet with the artist — that he wasn’t going down memory lane with it only to render what would have probably been a comic about Tim Drake losing both his arms to Two-Face (or something equally awful).
Excusing the fact that DC Comics uprooted its entire life (to say nothing of its family’s) to move to sunny Burbank, California, or that it still rolls its sleeves and wears pleated pants like Miami Vice premiered last night, this next wave of destructive behavior will likely only further the estrangement between the out-of-touch publisher and the fans who have grown up to have their own opinions about life, love, and what comics like The Killing Joke mean to them today. (As in, 2015, DC! Yeesh! You don’t need a car phone anymore!)
And so, in its typical, “I don’t have to listen to this garbage” fashion, DC Comics decided to say, “Gag me,” and moved on to another sequel to a noted Eighties saga, The Dark Knight Returns. Only this time it asked the more amenable Frank Miller — a man who also feels the need to dress like a Smooth Criminal — to come back and recapture some of the old magic with — yup — Brian Azzarello. So no matter what, this behavior will carry on until DC Comics finally realizes that we love it no matter what, and that Game of Thrones didn’t happen in the Eighties.