Villains Make the Best Heroes: Batman vs Lex Luthor

Happy new book day, everyone! I hope you are all doing well this week. I am quickly closing in on the six month mark on this column, and for this entry I decided to look forward instead of backward. The first true big event of DC’s New 52, Forever Evil by Geoff Johns and David Finch, recently wrapped up, and I believe it has been out long enough to talk a bit about it here. Be forewarned, though, that this post contains spoilers if you haven’t read Forever Evil #7.

Forever Evil has been quite a treat for me to read. Its tagline, “Evil is Relative,” plays well with my growing belief that villains make the best heroes, and that small evil actions can be committed for the sake of larger good ones. Criminality and disposition aside, you cannot argue with the effectiveness of the methodologies of such characters as Lex Luthor and Sinestro, two of the characters featured as defenders of the earth in Forever Evil.

Why, then, is Batman featured as the sole active hero in this team of villains? Though he is initially hesitant to work with Lex Luthor’s team, it can be argued that Batman functions better with them than he does with the Justice League. I can write entire posts (and have, and will again) about the things that differentiate Batman from his fellow heroes, from his lack of superpowers to his personality.

I have previously raised the question of whether or not Batman may even be in the right fictional universe, and I now pose a new question: is Batman a villain who decided to fight for justice rather than personal gain? As I’ve pointed out before, Frank Miller wrote Batman from the perspective that the darkness in Batman is greater than the light, but he makes this darkness work for the benefit of everyone around him. I believe this thought is worth meditating upon for awhile.

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JeremyBlog — My 10 Favorite DC Characters

by Jeremy DeFatta

Good day, everyone! Today, I have a list of my top ten favorite characters from DC. Let’s jump right in.

  1. Batman – This one goes without saying. I write a column here at Sourcerer focusing on him. Aren’t you reading it yet?
  1. Sinestro – I briefly addressed his character in a previous post, but I have to say that Sinestro is my favorite villain who isn’t really a villain. He’s morally complex and good at his core, even if his sense of order seems a bit extreme to outsiders. Check out that earlier post to see more of my thoughts on him.

Sinestrofly

  1. The Martian Manhunter – While he might be seen by many as the Silver Age attempt to reinvent Superman, J’onn J’onzz holds his own as a powerful, compassionate, and endlessly fascinating superhero.

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Will Cullen Bunn’s Sinestro Fly?

Sinestrofly

by Jeremy DeFatta

DC announced last night that Sinestro will get his own series in April.

Thaal Sinestro is oneof my all-time favorite comics characters, and ties with Batman as my favorite DC character. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to hear this news, until I saw who was writing it…

Now, I admit I haven’t read Cullen Bunn‘s The Sixth Gun, which I’m told is genius and certainly his best work, but his track record on non-creator-owned properties has been pretty lackluster. I have read some of his work on Captain America after Ed Brubaker‘s departure and found it wanting. His work may simply not be my cup of tea, but I have heard other people complain that his presence on a title while at Marvel was often that title’s kiss of death.

All of that aside, I may yet check out this new Sinestro series, and I encourage all of you reading this to do so. Support Sinestro. Believe in Sinestro! He deserves his own series!

He is perhaps the single greatest gift of Geoff Johns‘s run on Green Lantern, which is full to bursting with wonderful things and will be discussed in later blog entries. Johns took a silly, shallow, Snidely Whiplash-esque Silver Age villain (Seriously? A villain whose name is a play on the word “sinister”? How 60s!) and turned him into one of the most complex characters in any comic being published today. He certainly made Sinestro more interesting than Hal Jordan, the hero of the title.

Sinestro is a villain you can’t help but respect; his methods are brutal but there is reasoning (even a sort of nobility) behind them. He seeks to make the weak strong and give his people safe, peaceful lives under his rule. I’d like to hear thoughts (or even criticisms) from other fans of the character.

On a side note, I’d like to remind everyone that Sinestro was played by the amazing Mark Strong in the Green Lantern film from a couple of years ago. He may be the only reason to watch it, honestly.

Remember to support your local comic shops! Chances are very high they have back issues of Geoff Johns’s run on Green Lantern. If you haven’t checked it out yet (which seems unlikely), give it a shot. Tweet me @quaintjeremy.

image: Comicscube