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Old 12-04-2018, 11:28 AM
Abishai100 Abishai100 is offline
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Inferno/Batman: Extrapolation & Medicine

Dante's Inferno is an epic poem about purgatory and souls in anguish and outlined a 'method' for us to evaluate and re-present ideas about spiritual journeys and even pain/suffering.

The modern age has given us very graphic imagery and bizarre 'villains' in comic books and horror-films. This 'shock-value' art arguably began with the films of Alfred Hitchcock who wanted to turn suspense-storytelling into horror-trauma consciousness (e.g., Psycho).

Since Hitchcock, we've seen very intense fear-driven films by directors like Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter, Wes Craven and others as horror-cinema and horror-comics became very popular (e.g., Halloween).

Now, even standard adventure-comics offer outlandish tales of fantastic 'superheroes' fighting very bizarre 'super-villains' in films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Dark Knight, Iron Man 3, and Spawn.

Batman (DC Comics) stands out in this respect, like Dante, in that the character typifies a human fascination with the contouring of 'extreme' emotions, urban purgatory, 'criminal-insanity metaphysics' and even rape.

Batman-media have been adapted into video-games such as Arkham City which offer fans a chance to 'immerse' themselves into the world of Gotham City where Batman (a masked urban vigilante with a fantastic weapons-and-tools belt) deals with very odd forms of evil and mania.

One 'super-villain' appearing in Batman video-games is the brutish and cruel Mr. Hammer who wears a clown-face and wields a giant sledgehammer which he does not mind using to demolish his adversaries to death.

Obviously, since Batman is a comic book character who deals with graphic forms of crime and insanity, Mr. Hammer is an iconic nemesis who typifies the extreme sin that Batman must manage in Gotham City.

So how should we as an audience coordinate old-world conceptions of Dante's rendition of purgatory in The Inferno with new age comics-presentations of graphic crime in 'hellish modern cities' (e.g., Mr. Hammer)?





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BATMAN: Do you know why you're in Arkham?
MR. HAMMER: I used my sledgehammer to devastate!
BATMAN: Do you realize what you've done?
MR. HAMMER: I used my sledgehammer to demolish heads and hands.
BATMAN: You crushed cops' hands and fingers and heads!
MR. HAMMER: You'll never understand me...no one will.
BATMAN: You're in Arkham so we can learn from our mistakes.
MR. HAMMER: What can Gotham learn about urban vice?
BATMAN: Vice and sin are not isolated or hidden; we can learn.
MR. HAMMER: You're merely concerned about the extremity.
BATMAN: I am indeed concerned about the extremity of your malice.

This interview between Gotham's heroic masked vigilante Batman and the once-incarcerated serial-killing brute 'Mr. Hammer' was recorded just one year ago. Now that Mr. Hammer has broken out of Arkham, Batman is once again chasing him in the streets of Gotham, trying to apprehend the city's most malicious clown-faced hammer-wielding terrorist/psycho. Batman has called Mr. Hammer an incarnation of the Devil himself, and Mr. Hammer has sent notices to the Gotham Gazette such as, "If Batman chooses to vilify me as a simple psycho, people will never understand why the 'weight' of my crimes reflects the 'gravity' of natural sin...I'm merely an 'executioner' of punishment!"

Batman chased Mr. Hammer into an abandoned warehouse after a large gang-related street brawl on Devil's Night, the annual night of ritualized 'mischief' that comes right before Halloween Eve in October. Batman was wielding his usual rope-gun, tranquilizer darts, and bladed boomerang, while Mr. Hammer wielded his signature sledgehammer and one small mini-hammer in his own belt. Batman managed to use his rope-gun to snatch the mini-hammer away from Mr. Hammer's belt, leaving the brute with only his signature large sledgehammer. Batman then tranquilized the brute with his sedative-tipped darts which he fired into Mr. Hammer's neck and legs.

BATMAN: You're back in Arkham...
MR. HAMMER: I knew you'd carry me back here!
BATMAN: You've killed 20 more cops since your last incarceration.
MR. HAMMER: I so love my sledgehammer, Batman.
BATMAN: You need to evaluate why you 'love' that hammer.
MR. HAMMER: Don't you see?
BATMAN: See what?
MR. HAMMER: My hammer is a scepter of vice-punishment in the city.
BATMAN: Are you a 'messenger' of purgatory?
MR. HAMMER: The pain I inflict reminds people of the reality of sin.
BATMAN: So you believe you possess the authority to punish?
MR. HAMMER: In a city without morals, only the strong are punishers!
BATMAN: Demolishing heads/hands/fingers of cops is a hellish 'mission.'
MR. HAMMER: I'm not on a crusade...I'm merely trying to 'cleanse' Gotham.
BATMAN: So this 'extreme' form of 'cleansing' is a substitute for medicine.
MR. HAMMER: No, Batman; punishment is medicine!
BATMAN: What about the AntiChrist?
MR. HAMMER: Christian myths about Rapture and Armageddon are symbols.
BATMAN: When you pulverize the heads/hands of cops, are you angelic?
MR. HAMMER: Even the Angel of Death himself is a 'messenger.'
BATMAN: We must find a 'place' for you in Arkham...as a patient.

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