starwolf_oakley: (Default)
[personal profile] starwolf_oakley posting in [community profile] scans_daily
I've said on this board I don't like it when superhero comics (and other forms of pop culture) make it look like mental illness is some sort of moral failing.

Three actual psychiatrists have taken issue (pun intended) with DC Comics and their description of the mentally ill, especially Batman's rogues gallery. It was originally in the New York Times.

Newsarama covered it as well.

More and four pages from THE KILLING JOKE after the cut.



"You're trying to explain a character's villainy or extreme violence by using a real-life illness, that people in the real world have, that are very common. That's when it's harmful to people in real life."

"The psychiatrists repeated several time that they don't want the beloved villains in comics to be changed, and they are fine with depictions that show bizarre behavior. But they want the references to mental illnesses to be handled more responsibly."

Most comic book villains like murdering people for their own amusement. It is hard to describe the behavior of in "genuine" psychiatry terms.

There was praise for how Geoff Johns wrote Starman, who had schizophrenia, in JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA.

Here are four pages from BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE. While the Joker wanted to prove a point about mental illness to Batman (one bad day will drive the sanest person mad) I don't think Alan Moore was trying to write an examination of mental illness. If Moore ever did examine mental illness in a graphic novel, it would be something. (WATCHMEN touched on mental illness, but it wasn't the theme of the story.)









I recall someone once saying THE KILLING JOKE would have worked better as a Two-Face story. Perhaps.

Date: 2011-11-04 12:02 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: Ororo/Storm face close-up (Storm)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
I'm in Australia, and here there is some chance that you will be let out (after a long time!) of a secure mental health facility, but it's still ridiculous what they did with Osborn. I think I'm one of the few people who can get past it because I read it in trades and didn't see the bit where Osborn goes on TV and basically says "I was mentally ill, so not responsible, but I'm better now!" I was presuming as I read it that he'd tricked his way into being in charge. Then I went back and found out what had happened and...no. Even if Osborn had somehow bribed and threatened his way out of a facility, there is no way the government is going to put someone with a documented history of mental health issues in charge - the discrimination against people with mental illness, let alone violent mental illness, is far too great.

Date: 2011-11-04 11:11 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
It was ridiculous, really, even without the mental illness thing attached to Osborn. Shoot a skrull in the face and you get appointed to the top position of national/world security? It's like suggesting 'if you shoot Hitler in the face, we'll make YOU President of the United States' to any infantry men back in WWII.

Date: 2011-11-04 11:34 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: Beast, Marvel Comics (beast)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
It was ridiculous, but fortunately I'd missed that bit at the time, so I could enjoy the rest of the story arc without it being undermined by the stupid origin!

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