Chill Out: The Story Behind the DC Universe’s Most Important, Anonymous Figure

Alex M. Parker

Alex M. Parker

Alex Parker is a policy writer in Washington, D.C. with 15 years of journalism experience.

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Awesome post.

    In the original Death Wish, Charles Bronson’s wife and daughter is assaulted by a group of thugs. The wife is killed, the daughter put into a coma.

    What makes Death Wish such a grim movie is that we never see those thugs again. Charles Bronson goes out and he kills people like those who attacked his family, but never the ones who actually did.

    I think Joe Chill works best when he’s similar. The guy who kicked it off. But we never see him again.

    We demand that justice be done and we find out what happened to him (even that he died! Inevitably given his lifestyle!), but, thematically, I think Joe Chill works best when he’s merely gone.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

      Have any stories tried to tie Batman to Captain Ahab?Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

      We don’t need to see him ‘again’, in that we don’t ever need a plot involving him, but we do need a bit more than the sole scene. If they’re going to have Bruce go conspiracy-theory, we need to know that Bruce is wrong. Thematically we need to know the entire crime was meaningless. That he was just some random guy that saw a rich couple and stole their wallet and pearls and sold them cause he wanted the money, and that was it, that was the entire story, there was nothing else. So…show that, and then…he vanishes forever, some random low-life.

      I’m not sure Bruce ever needs to know that, though.

      Although him learning that would make an interesting inciting moment in the formation of Batman. Is that what Gotham did? I didn’t watch it, but I knew they had kid Bruce dealing with some sort of conspiracy into that, which the article just explained turned out to just basically be a crime boss saying sometime like ‘Uh…crap, I don’t have as good a control on crime in this city as I should, and having very prominent citizens killed by random criminals makes Gotham look really bad.’. And I like that ending…but did Bruce ever figure out that the conspiracy wasn’t actually the reason they died?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

        In the television show, they had “Joe Chill” be an alias for Patrick “Matches” Malone. Matches was a hit man who got hired by Hugo Strange to kill this lady and this guy in an alley and he did. He had no idea who they were and didn’t really care.

        So I think we just get to yell “REMIX” really loudly as if it were ’99.Report

        • Alex M. Parker Alex M. Parker in reply to Jaybird says:

          Which is even weirder because Matches Malone is, in the comics, an alias that Bruce Wayne uses when he goes undercover as a low-level criminal.

          I didn’t want to get into all of that, but I did watch the pilot episode which had the clever idea of a conspiracy to frame someone as the Waynes killer.Report

  2. I dreamed I saw Joe Chill last night
    Alive as you and me
    He says “Bad luck I spared the child”
    “He’s Batman now” says he
    “He’s Batman now” says heReport

  3. I love this!! Among your best!Report