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  • Kite Man!

  • Hell yeah.”

  • Those four words would turn small-time criminal Charles Brown into a legendary fan favorite.

  • Created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang, Kite Man was originally a one-off supervillain,

  • first introduced in 1960's Batman #133.

  • Like most villains of that era, Kite Man just kind of showed up one day to take on the Caped

  • Crusader.

  • Armed with his arsenal of kite-themed weapons, he did just that!

  • And then subsequently failed.

  • Now, I'd love to tell you that, like the Joker, this unlikely one-off criminal turned

  • into an iconic supervillain after his first defeat at the hands of Batman, but that's

  • not the case.

  • I mean, look at this guy, he's no clown prince of crime, he's Charlie Brown, kite

  • king ofwell, kites.

  • There's really not much to him, he's one of manyjoke villainsthat Batman's

  • rogues gallery has accrued over the years: Calendar Man, Condiment King, Kite Man.

  • You get it.

  • So, why then, is Kite Man so important?

  • Because of this guy.

  • No, he's not playing Kite Man in any adaptation of the character or anything.

  • This is Tom King, current writer of Batman and one of my personal favorite humans.

  • Remember that phrase from earlier, “Kite Man!

  • Hell yeah.”?

  • King actually coined that with his reintroduction of the character in 2016's Batman #6.

  • This is where Brown started to pick up some more traction, it's at the very least the

  • first I had seen of him.

  • See, after Kite Man's first appearance, he faded into obscurity, eventually dying

  • in 2006's 52 #25.

  • With only a handful of comics featuring the villain, it was a strange experience to see

  • him grace the pages of a modern comic and fit right in.

  • He felt like he had been around Gotham forever, even though this was the first time he had

  • showed up in a decade.

  • It's not unlike Snyder's introduction of the Court of Owls back during the New 52

  • in this way.

  • In the issue, he's seen robbing a house, only to be intercepted by Gotham Girl and

  • handed over to the police.

  • After this he does show up a few more times, but is treated as the punching bag, D-Tier

  • joke of a supervillain that he is.

  • Not much was made of Kite Man, he clearly kept showing up and getting panel-time because

  • Tom King thought he was funnyan easy way to inject some levity into an otherwise

  • dark comic.

  • But, that's not the whole story, King had bigger plans for our Kite King, starting with

  • a story arc called The War of Jokes and Riddles.

  • CHARLIE, JR. Daddy, can I tell you something?

  • KITE MAN Sure, Charlie.

  • What's up?

  • CHARLIE, JR. Mommy was talking on the phone, I don't know to who.

  • And she said

  • well, mommy said you're a joke.

  • KITE MAN She said that in front of you?

  • That I'm a joke.

  • CHARLIE, JR. She said it before too, she says it lots.

  • KITE MAN Your mother didn't mean that like it sounded.

  • It's fine.

  • CHARLIE, JR. It sounded like you're a joke.

  • Is mommy a liar?

  • KITE MAN I mean, she didn't — I mean, maybe

  • She's not a liar, no.

  • CHARLIE, JR. You are a joke, daddy?

  • KITE MAN Yeah, fine, I'm a joke.

  • I mean, look, buddy, here's the thing.

  • I try a lot of things, and I'm not always good at them.

  • And when I fail, people laugh.

  • I get it, it's funny to watch.

  • But, what am I supposed to do, you know?

  • Am I supposed to just quit?

  • So they stop laughing?

  • The thing is, you gotta laugh too, it's the only way.

  • You gotta laugh with them.

  • 'I'm a joke and I'm funny!'

  • Then you're laughing with them.

  • And if you're laughing with them, then at least you're laughing.

  • Being a flashback story, The War of Jokes and Riddles takes place before Charles Brown

  • became Kite Man.

  • In fact, this is where we see his origin.

  • Two interlude comics during this story, titled The Ballad of Kite Man, reveal a lot about

  • this 'joke character.'

  • For one, he was the father in a dysfunctional family — a petty criminal who occasionally

  • helped out the Joker and other villains, sure, but he loved his son above anything else.

  • Hell yeah,” Charlie, Jr. would say as the father and son flew kites together.

  • They had a pretty good life.

  • This was, of course, interrupted when Joker and Riddler struck up a civil war among the

  • villains of Gotham.

  • Brown was caught in the middle, being used as a pawn to pass information between Batman

  • and the two sides.

  • Riddler was fed up with this and, as a power play, tragically killed Brown's son.

  • This sent him into a fury, creating the Kite Man costume and identity so he could join

  • Joker's side and end the war.

  • As ambitious and ridiculous of a plan that this was for a dude with a kite strapped to

  • his back, Kite Man actually did have an essential role to play in Batman's takedown of the

  • two titular supervillains.

  • He basically engineered a way to get Batman's team of supervillains up to the Joker's

  • lair to allow the final showdown to take place.

  • The plan involved a lot of kites, because of course, which allowed the team to fly up

  • to the 73rd floor of a Gotham skyscraper, where Joker was hiding.

  • One huge battle ensues, and the story arc comes to a close.

  • It's hard for me to describe how much character development King gave Kite Man in these few

  • issues, so just go read them yourself, you won't be disappointed.

  • The point here is that King was able to turn this one-off joke of a character into a deep,

  • three-dimensional antihero.

  • He doesn't care if people laugh at him, all he has to do is embrace it and laugh along,

  • because at that point at least you're laughing, and what's wrong with that?

  • And I'm not just praising Tom King like he's the second coming or anything here,

  • either, I think there's a greater lesson in writing to be learned from Kite Man.

  • Some of my personal favorite characters follow thissad clownarchetype.

  • Characters that are introduced, and are largely used as comedic relief, but have a lot more

  • to them, sometimes left unspoken.

  • It's an incredibly relatable facet and can truly turn a fictional 'thing' into a

  • tangible, well-written character.

  • A tragic backstory or interesting origin can turn a one-dimensional, forgettable character

  • into a fan favorite with a cult following.

  • Basically, what I'm trying to say here is; Kite Man.

  • Hell yeah.

  • CHARLIE, JR. Daddy, you know how I don't like to fly kites, 'cause I can't get them to fly?

  • KITE MAN Yeah.

  • Y'know, I can show you

  • CHARLIE, JR. You wanna go outside and do the kites?

  • Like now?

  • KITE MAN Really?

  • Charlie, you want to go fly them?

  • With me?

  • CHARLIE, JR. I never get it up.

  • It'll fall, I know.

  • But, if it falls, then I'm a joke.

  • And I can laugh!

  • We can laugh, right?

  • Me and you, Daddy.

  • It'll be funny?

  • KITE MAN Yeah, Charlie.

  • It'll be hilarious.

Kite Man!

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What Kite Man teaches us about comic book writing. | Auram's Corner

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    Harry Huang   に公開 2020 年 01 月 27 日
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