As a longtime Batman fan, what DC Comics have done is refreshing jolt to the conversation and to activists like “Black Live Matter.” When we see our Cape Crusader and put right in the middle of current talks of police corruption, criminality and oversight. Batman’s New York City-esque hometown or Gotham, has always been plagued by corrupt cops, Commissioner Gordon pledged to git rid of. What DC depicts in the latest issue, we have never seen before in Batman, the systemic racial injustice within the police force is tackled head on. This issue is on sale now and I suggest every activist, buy it, to send a message, that this subject is a needed conversation in the superhero universe.
The story begins with the Dark Knight investigating the murder of a 15-year-old black boy by a white police officer. The crimes takes place when the boy exits his father’s bodega in Gotham City after fighting with a local gang. He then encounters the officer, and before he can oblige his demand to lie down, the officer fatally shoots him in the stomach.
The image of the dead, unarmed black teen reminds me of many deaths in New York and even the shooting of a black cop, Christopher Ridley. The fictional character’s body is left on the street “for the crows,” reminding readers of how Ridely’s body left on the street for four hours after he was killed. The boy is also portrayed wearing a hoodie, an apparent direct nod to the appearance of Trayvon Martin on the night he was killed.
Speaking to The Guardian, author Scott Snyder said:
“Batman is learning he can’t solve problems in the ways he thought he could,” Snyder said. “It’s much more about understanding what people face in their everyday lives: knowing their fears, knowing their anger, and trying to show them, in a way, that they can and we together can fix, or hopefully make baby steps in fixing these problems that seem intractable, entrenched and impossible to overcome.”
As a black law enforcement professional, a little assistance from the Dark Night to address the issue of racial injustice is welcomed and needed. Will Batman be labeled a terrorist magazine or anti-police? We will see.