Truth be told, I am no longer a comic book reader. I outgrew the genre sometime around the age of ten, when I discovered Tolstoy and Quattrocento painting, and never continued my childhood fascination for the Justice League into the genre of graphic novels. That does not mean, however, that I outgrew my appreciation for superheroes in general.
The superhero world allowed young boys to escape from the everyday and imagine what it would be like to fly, melt things using our eyes, or be able to survive all sorts of adventures. For my part, I was always somewhat torn between whether I identified more with Superman or Batman, though none of the other superheroes out there had much of an appeal for me. I have a friend who to this day, without question, always wanted to be Aquaman, but personally I find the idea of living in the ocean a bit unappealing (too many spiny sea urchins to step on.)
Now it has been announced that a new Batman comic will issue on May 29th entitled “Batman in Barcelona: Dragon’s Knight #1”. The plot, as I understand it, involves Killer Croc, one of the Batman villains I always found particularly terrifying, becoming brainwashed into believing he is the mythical dragon from the legend of St. George and the Dragon. Bruce Wayne fills the role of St. George as Killer Croc’s mortal enemy. And no city is more entwined with that legend than Barcelona, where even the city flag features St. George’s cross, and images of that battle are everywhere from public buildings to the names of streets and bars.
It is something of a shame that the comic is not being released on the Feast of St. George on April 23rd, when Barcelonans take to the streets to purchase books and roses for their loved ones, something like our St. Valentine’s Day. D.C. Comics would probably have sold even more copies with that opening date. Still, the cover art of the Dark Knight brooding over the Sagrada Familia, a building which in its unfinished state has something very dragon’s lair about it, is a wonderfully iconic image.