It didn’t take long. I mean I knew it would happen, but this was a quick one.
The Washington Examiner is asking whether or not the Denver Dark Knight Massacre was based on a scene in The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, the tone of which has informed much of the current Christian Bale Batman trilogy, as well as lending it its Dark Knight title.
They don’t give an answer, they just raise the possibility.
There have been tens of thousands of Batman stories published since the character was first created, there was going to be a cinema shooting in one of them. The scene in question is momentary and one example of many – such as a scene when The Joker gasses a theater watching a chat show, yet that doesn’t seem to have been picked up on. And even the scene above shows a normal man with a gun exhibiting signs of madness, rather than the elaborate lengths the real life killer went to. That it was a Batman film where the massacre occurred seems to have had more to do with there being a large crowd present at a midnight screening rather than what was playing on the screen.
Time after time, the media tries to pin such actions on examples of media, as if that solves the crime, divorces responsibility for actions from a person who is just like us, and gives them an easy target to blame all of societies ills upon.
What happened in Denver is a human tragedy. The Dark Knight Rises will be tainted with this massacre for many years. And there will be clearly many reasons why this man decided to attack and kill so many, and why he was able to do so.
You can expect the character of Batman, the comics, the cartoons and the movies to be dissected looking for inspiration for this massacre. But reading a comic book from 1986 is not going to be at the top of those reasons, unless we choose to believe it.
For those following the tragedy, Reddit is providing excellent coverage.