The Dark Knight: A Cartoonist’s Take

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Time was when comic-book fandom would keel over, twitching and gasping in excitement, when every decade or so a new movie based on a comic book hit the big screen. In my days as a younger, peppier geek, I too awaited each new comic-book movie with bated breath. Now, I’m just overwhelmed by the sheer volume of offerings (not to mention burned by two decades of movies like Batman Forever, and both versions of The Fantastic Four).

Marvel alone seems determined to overwhelm theatergoers this year: The wildly successful Iron Man (and wildly less successful Incredible Hulk) will be followed over the next few years not just by more Iron and Spider types, but The Silver Surfer, Ant-Man (no, really), and an entire Avengers team-up.

Then there’s rival house DC’s Batman offering, The Dark Knight, opening this weekend. There’s already talk of an Oscar nomination for Heath Ledger‘s performance; currently, the only actor to have won a posthumous Oscar is Peter Finch (for his iconic madman in Network).

Given the heavy media coverage of this summer’s stylized films, maybe that’s why the only comic-book adaptation that really fascinates me right now isn’t a movie.

Yes, I can’t stop thinking about the Spider-Man musical. Bound for Broadway and featuring music by Bono and the Edge, Spider-Man put out this casting call for its three leads:

Peter Parker: male, 16-20’s. Great Rock voice, can be nerdy with understated sex appeal, good sense of humor.

Mary Jane: female, 16-20’s. Beautiful girl next door, strong pop/rock singing voice.

Principal Woman: female, 25-35 years old. Amazing Rock vocals, think Sinead O’Connor with a Middle Eastern /Bulgarian/Greek/ twist. Foreign, world music types are great, foreign accents are great! All ethnicities.

Rumor has it that Across the Universe stars Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood have already been cast as Peter and MJ, leaving fans alternately scratching their heads and speculating about the identity of the Principal Woman.

Oh, please let there be a singing Black Cat.

Shaenon K. Garrity is a webcartoonist, manga editor and comics blogger. All her stuff is at www.shaenon.com.

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