[REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #45 - September 2007 [spoilers]

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 11 23:32:22 PST 2007

On Nov 12, 12:23 am, Martin Phipps <martinphip... at yahoo.com> wrote:

> > Well, a character doesn't have to be likeable to be interesting.  TAXI
> > DRIVER unfolds solely from the point of view of Travis Bickle-- but
> > I'd hardly call him likeable.
> Maybe not but it is the movie that gave us the famous Robert Deniro
> line "Are you talking to me?", isn't it?  There must have been
> something about the character that people liked. :)

Um... the fact that he's a bloodthirsty psychopath who hates women and
blacks and is obsessed with pornography?  Yeah, I guess one could call
that likeable. :-)

The thing isn't that he's likeable at all-- but that he's compelling
and interesting.  Part of that is achieved by getting us into his
head, and seeing what parts of us are reflected in the dark abyss of
his soul.

> > I think that singleness of focus is a positive in Law and Order, which
> > I still think is the greatest television show ever made.
> And yet the show on the other channel that had investigators juggling
> up to three cases at a time got better ratings. :)

And JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA as written by Meltzer was DC's top-
selling book.  That doesn't mean it's good, though.

> > Well, the old Batman TV series was a comedy, and so I'd cut it a bit
> > more lee-way. :-)
> True.  I think the comics were pretty much the same at the time
> though.

Well, in the comics, if I'm not mistaken, Batman and Robin _were_
deputized as police officers.  Generally, though, they were only
called in on cases that pointed to the Joker, the Riddler, et al.

> Maybe I missed it but I also would have expected a lawyer (or even a
> judge) at some point in #'s 10-11 to have argued that nobody could go
> to trial, let alone jail, when there isn't even enough evidence to
> prove that the victim is dead, let alone murdered.  Granted, I have
> the same objection with regards to Prison Break.

But Martin isn't sent to jail on those charges; he's sent on the
Supervillain Charge, which is a result of his possession of a Vibra-
Jacket.  And he only goes to jail because he's remanded to custody.
He's not sentenced to prison, but rather being held there because he
was considered too dangerous to be on the streets; the ADA uses the
"murder" investigations and Martin's own rotten reputation against him
to get the judge to agree to remand him instead of granting bail.  He
does not go to trial, and probably wouldn't have done so for several
months, as is generally the case with the U. S. justice system.

> Martin Rock said that "capes don't swear" which is a bit silly.  

Yes, but he also swears in the next scene. :-)

I think he's *trying* to be silly in that case.  Or that he's trying
to live up to the shiny nice ideal he used to live by.

> also said that they don't lie which is why he had to keep his word to
> Snapp.
> Which reminds me: if the DA was in Snapp's pocket then why did Snapp
> tell the Green Knight to stop Derek from testifying?

So he could have something over the Green Knight.  It's a power play.
He's also testing to see if the Green Knight will keep his word, in
case he can exploit that at a latter date.

> Unfortunately, I see a difference between what Martin thinks the ideal
> hero should be and what he really is and that makes him seem a bit
> hypocritical.  

Well, it would be hypocritical of him if he said he _was_ that hero
he's trying to be.  But I think he's acutely familiar with his
failings, and that's part of what drives him to try and be better.

>And that's not a good thing.  Take for example the
> secret identity thing: we found out in #11 that he had a valid reason
> to keep his Mask with No Name idenity secret: as the Mask with No Name
> he had killed people.  Thing is, that is not a very honourable reason
> to want to keep your identity secret.

That's not the only reason, though.  Part of it is out of habit, sure;
part of it is to try and keep Ray's secret, as anyone looking into
Martin's past is likely to look into his long-time connection with
such a prominent citizen.  And, by the time JOLT CITY # 2-4 rolls
around, his Martin Rock identity has been fairly damaged in the public
eye.  The revelation that he is the Green Knight would damage any good
he's trying to do.  Same thing with the Mask With No Name.  You could
call that a selfish or dishonourable reason, and it's certainly an
image thing, but at the same time, the kind of superhero he's trying
to be-- one who's going to inspire people not to give into drugs and
violence and despair, one who's going to make a real positive
difference besides punching baddies in the nose-- would be finished if
his secrets got out.

> Martin


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