Batman in Barcelona

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.

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2 thoughts on “Batman in Barcelona

  1. >Scholar of architecture Donald Kunze views the St George myth as being one in a long line of stories told wherein a hero must visit the underworld (katabasis). This he relates to the foundation of cities, with temples as their centrepiece, upon sacrifice; in effect, the hero goes into the underworld/’foundations’ in order to assure the stability of the buildings above.Cheekily, one might ask whether BCN is the netherworld?Politically, one might wonder whether it requires the advent of a hero, Batman, in order for Barcelona to be ‘founded’ as a world city (i.e. it takes an American author setting a story in Barcenlona in order to ‘legitimise’ Barcelona as a place of interest/important)…But either way, an interesting and timely blog (for me – I read the Kunze piece not two days ago).Hope all is well.w

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  2. >It’s funny that you mention heroic founders, because city legend has always been that BCN was founded by the Carthaginians under Hannibal and named for Hannibal’s father, Hamilcar Barca. The Romans called the city “Barcino” and that eventually corrupted to “Barcelona”.

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