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Batman's new fan base: adults

June 26, 2005

It's stunning that the author of "Road to Perdition" finds Frank Miller's approach to Batman "wrongheaded" (Book Review, June 12: "Watching as Batman Takes Wing"). Undoubtedly, as Max Allan Collins states, "Batman was created by kids for kids," but the comics medium has outgrown kids. One need only enter a comic book store to find that (a) the few kids present are accompanied by parents, and (b) the parents are buying comics for themselves.

The future of comic books lies not in appealing to new young readers -- as Collins might hope a less gritty Batman might do -- but in appealing to new mature, sophisticated readers. To do that, one doesn't return comic books to camp -- one turns comic books into literature.

Robert Harris

Garden Grove

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Just as Collins notes that years ago DC Comics came up with Robin for the juvenile market, today Batman has grown up for the "adult" market. The last kid I saw in a comic-book shop was my 4-year-old son, and he was bored. Batman has always been a fascinating if not complex character. His prime motivation is vengeance for the murder of his parents. He has become darker and more complex as the world around us has done the same. Maybe the reviewer is pining away for his youth, but the rest of us want a character in the here and now.

Greg Clausen

Northridge

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