Have you ever had one of those moments where your childhood becomes alive again? A moment where you giggle with glee and purr with contentment. You proclaim all is well in the world. You smile and it is just right.
Well friends I had a moment like that yesterday as I watched The Dark Knight again. Let me back up a bit. I am a lover of all things comics. I love the books. Growing up I was all over the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” books. I freaked when Thunderbolts came out. It was so fresh and the art is amazing. In seminary, I feed my habit with the 52 series. I freaking love The Fantastic Four, which in my opinion is the best super hero group ever! I collect graphic novels. I love the Rex Mundi books. I generally love alt-universe stories set in a world with some kind of magical mysterious thing happening. I like the classic hero books and love Groo. My spiritual discipline for 2010 was to only read graphic novels and comic books!
My brothers share this obsession. In our early 20’s we sat around in the dirt farm (our first apartment) and cast our favorite comic books. Things like Harry Connick Jr. as Gambit and Christiana Ricci as Rouge. We ate up the comic lore. By all accounts we were fan boys.
I love Frank Miller’s Dark Knight stuff. I am not into the easy, cheesy world of here & there, good & bad, or defined lines of us & them. I love the darkly colored lines of blurry distinction between good and bad in the Dark Knight stuff. It forces you to become invested into the characters and really care. There is no surfacey BS here. In order to get the storyline you must invest and be willing to see it all through.
This new film did just that. It brought me in and atoned for the sin that was the first Hulk film. Along with Iron Man & the new Hulk flick, not to mention all of the upcoming Marvel & DC films that have been arriving in theaters over these last few years. We will need a few more to atone for Dolph Lundgren’s craptastic voyage called, Punisher and the equally craptastic film [if you can call it a film] Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. That movie needed an IV it sucked.
The Dark Knight was amazing from the word go. It love the way it develops the story. It is not in a hurry and it captures you and makes you invest. You must care what happens in this film. You dare not give in to the temptation of relieving yourself as long as Mr. Bale is on screen. Michael Caine steals the show. Followed by a close second from Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes. Good riddance to Katie the Cult Pup. Heath Ledger performs beautifully. He captures the arcane nuttiness of the Joker in the Dark Knight books to a tee.
My favorite part of the movie is that is brought you into real issues in a manner that made it safe to explore them. The deal with the razor thin line between good and evil in a way that let us entertain objectivity and check our predisposition at the door. What is evil but a companion to good? Are either witness absent the other?
It made me think of the current situation the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and we as a nation are in. Who is right? Who is wrong? When does evil exist but in the hearts of the righteous? Is good intention enough to disguise the evil products of the creative creation of Gods wonderful creatures?
In a way The Dark Knight resembles the saving grace in Christ and sovereignty of God. We are but witnesses of these things. Are we willing to dirty our hands and grab the detonator and do what we “feel” is right? Why must we assume the conviction and belief we hold is good for all or any? There is that razor thin line between evil and good. God is good. What then is evil? God is love. Then what is hate? I wonder then if evil and hate can exist in a nation that proclaims itself righteous protector of Gods freely, natural given rights [in the guise of democracy]. Surely a practicing Christian cannot be evil or hate. If so, is God with or without them? The Dark Knight points us to the dynamics of relationships and all of its messy rewards. It is in relationship, in covenant and full of faith that we are a people find the love and goodness that is God. Hate and evil lie outside of the domain of relationship and are no stranger to the Creators beautiful creatures.
What say you? Is there a difference between good and bad? Righteous and evil? How do you know? Who makes up the rules? Are you sure?