Martha Thomases: Batman and Reality

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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12 Responses

  1. George Haberberger says:

    “Reporter: What’s a Sears catalog?”
    Funny line. And too bad you’re not DC’s publicity manager. I can’t imagine a better response.

  2. mike weber says:

    Actually, he DIDN’T say he was the Joker – at least, last i heard, the allegation that he did had been pretty well refuted.

    • Martha Thomases says:

      I know that (or rather, I know that now, I probably didn’t at the time I wrote the piece). However, I can guarantee that some reporter would have called up and insisted it was true.

      • mike weber says:

        Oh, fer shure.
        I wasn’t aware that the lead time on these was that long.

  3. vtorch says:

    Batman is NOT an outspoken opponent on GUNS. He himself doesn’t use it. Does Ms. Thomasses understand that whether a gun is made illegal, that a person with a criminal mind can get an illegal gun anyway? Guns don’t kill, people do.

    • mike weber says:

      Yeah, yeah, yeah.
      People without guns don’t kill people using guns.
      Guns make it altogether too easy to kill someone you really wouldn’t have killed if you had to beat them to death with a pool cue.
      Guns are the only manufactured device i know of that’s available to the general population which have killing as their purpose.
      (Well, bows & arrows, but it’s a lot harder to smuggle a satisfactorily lethal bow and arrows into a movie theatre, and they’re a lot harder to operate effectively.)

      • mike weber says:

        Ummm – that should read “people without guns don’t use guns to kill people.”

    • Martha Thomases says:

      Uh, yeah, he is. He may not campaign against them, he doesn’t take them away from law-abiding citiizens, but he is most often portrayed as hating them. It is personal, not political for him.

      I would argue there is no difference, but that is my opinion, not DC’s.

  4. Rich says:

    Let’s be clear and stop this rumor right now…

    The perpetrator did not say he was the Joker. I have had discussions with people who would know who have confirmed that he did not say that. But since I can’t name those sources let’s us a little logic:

    The perpetrator was arrested outside behind the theatre within 5 minutes after the shooting. An Aurora policeman discovered him and made the arrest along with another officer. He was handcuffed immediately and placed in a police car and taken to the police station for booking. No one else, especially the press, was there during the arrest.

    So no one could have heard anything he said except for the police. And they immediately placed a lock on all information about him. The first thing the next morning the police chief held a press conference and said they would not disclose any information since it was an ongoing investigation.

    Yet the Joker story broke on the news within hours of the shooting.

    During that period there was a lot of speculation on the news. For example, right after the incident CNN was going to great lengths to explain to viewers that Aurora is a city located about 8 miles from Denver. In actual fact, the theatre itself is within 5 miles from my house and I live in Denver. Aurora is a suburb.

    I spoke to the the owner of the comic store located within 1 mile of the theatre 2 days ago and learned that at least one of the victims that was shot was a customer of theirs. One can safely assume that all of the people in the theatre that night were Batman fans, either of the comics or the movies if not both. Yet the store owner related to me that he has had calls all week from the media, including national media, trying to document that the perpetrator was a comic fan. He was not. The victims were fans.

    Thanks for a great column. Point well made.

    • mike weber says:

      On the “eight miles” thing – i’d be willing to bet that they looked Aurora up online or in a gazeteer – and it said “Eight miles”.
      Such distances are stated center-to-center.
      For instance: Hapeville Georgia and Atlanta are literally contiguous – in fact, Hapeville is surrounded on three sides by the Atlanta city limits – but Google maps says ten miles.
      Covington KY is separated from Cincinnati by the width of the Ohio River.
      Map distance? Two miles.
      As for Denver and Aurora? Google maps gives distances ranging from nine to eleven miles, depending on what routing you choose.
      It’s not bad reporting – it’s assumptions built into the available information upstream.

  5. Batman says:

    Guess joker was against me because I am the real batman

  6. Rich says:


    No, it’s lousy reporting. I took journalism in college. Good journalists double check their facts before running a story. CNN talked about this as the news was breaking because they were rushing without verifying information first. Google is a lazy way to do research and the worst part is they had a live feed from Channel 9 in Denver within the first hour and still not ask.