Rebutting Jonathan Last’s portrait of Batman as the comic book answer to liberalism, Travis Smith (writing at the Weekly Standard site) argues that Spiderman is the better antidote to modernity:

“The essential difference between Spider-Man and Batman can be detected in their styles: Spidey’s banter is full of quips and gags, while Batman is always grim and gritty. That Batman’s archnemesis is the Joker is fitting. One who believes that suffering can be abolished through determined human effort has little patience for jokes. To him, humor is an affront. Comedy mocks the vanity of visions of rational control. The person who can joke amidst a confrontation with evil, like the quick-witted Spider-Man, must be reconciled to the permanent imperfections of a corrupted world populated by fallen creatures.”

More on: Film

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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