Thursday, January 26, 2006

Batman & Ferro Lad

We should have watched something Australian, you know, for Australia Day (see January 26, 2005 comments on that day) but Batman Begins somehow made it into the Netflix queue, and arrived in the mail in the morning. In the evening, Lilly obliged us by playing girly computer games the entire time the movie was on. Sometimes Ann watched her, sometimes she bothered us.

Batman’s interesting enough in various iterations – I haven’t read or seen them all – but he never was a favorite. Not sure any superheroes count as favorites, though I did read and enjoy a cache of early- to mid-60s superhero comics passed along to me by my brothers. My favorite among them was a two-parter of the Legion of Superheroes that told the story of the death of Ferro Lad while fighting the sun-eater, a mindless space cloud that ate stars -- and was headed right for Sol! (I think that was where I learned that another name for the Sun is Sol. Later, I learned it was Latin.)

Ferro Lad's ability was to be able to turn into iron at will. The biochemistry of that is a little dodgy, but no more so than, say, the physics of Superman. He also always wore a helmet that obscured his face - so he might have been disfigured. This remained a mystery, because he gave his life to save Sol. He might have had a horible face, but he had moxie.

Anyway, if I had more energy I might write more about this latest Batman. Michael Caine as Alfred the Butler was good casting. The movie had lots of explosions and chases. Gotham City was suitably Gothic, and corrupt as Medellin, and occasionally I saw bits of Chicago passing as Gotham. (I’ll check again, but I’m positive I saw 35 E. Wacker, where I used to work.)

It was amusing to imagine where it was that Bruce Wayne went to study “ninja” ways – Japan, you’d think, but it looked more like Tibet. Seemed to be an all-purpose Orient, the place from which mysterious Oriental wisdom can be learned, from that mysterious Oriental, Liam Neeson.

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