Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gotham Underground: The Spoiler Better Than the Spoiler

I understand that lots of people have made a big deal about the death of Spoiler, and how its entirely unfair that she didn't get a memorial case in the Batcave. I actually agree, but in a mild kind of way, the same way that I agree that, for example, the cast of JSA should be half the size, and that Sasha Bourdeaux and Michael Holt make a cute couple. If you are going to insist on watering down Obsidian, or breaking up Mr. Terrific, I will sigh and move on.

What has got me worked up much more than the brutal death and posthumous disrespect of Spoiler is the poor treatment of her assumed "killer" in the War Crimes arc -- Dr. Leslie Tompkins. Dr. Tompkins has been a long-time bat ally who completely disapproves of Bruce's conduct because she is a complete pacifist, and strong believer in non-violence, and believes that while Batman's goals are worthy, the use of violence to carry them out will end up being counterproductive.

I don't actually agree with Dr. Tompkins, but she had been consistently portrayed with the same viewpoint -- in flashbacks all the way back to Bruce Wayne's childhood.

Which is why -- far more than Black Mask's torture of Spoiler -- Dr. Tompkin's motive of "by letting Spoiler die, I can show Bruce the error of his ways" is beyond the pale. Dr. Tompkins would not slap a killer to save a room full of babies. And yet, she'd let a hero die for some abstruse moral argument? Didn't buy it. Letting that decision stand is FAR move unbelievable than Batman deciding that Spoiler wasn't a "real" Robin.

So, with all the rumors about the "Return of Spoiler," I immediately looked past Spoiler herself to the next logical conclusion. If Spoiler isn't really dead, then Dr. Tompkins didn't really kill her! Suddenly, all is well in the world.

And that is why, while everyone is waiting for some sort of big reveal at the end of Gotham Undergound, my resolution was in the last page of #6, with Dick Grayson in mortal danger, and a familiar doctor telling him that everything would be all right . . .

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