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What's so special about Florence?
by

Florence, Italy was the cradle of the Renaissance, that resurgence of art and learning that followed the dark ages.  Without going into anything about the art of those periods, it works on the most superficial level: after Gotham, after the darkness, after the Dark Knight, Florence is the most appropriate place for a rebirth, a new life, and most significantly a new life of light

 

But it all becomes so much richer and more significant when we consider how much the dark ages reflect the reign of darkness in Batman storytelling.  The ruling bodies of the Middle Ages, both religious and secular, founded their power on the concept that man was fundamentally evil and fundamentally irrational.  That's why they needed God's anointed one to be king and the Church to look over his shoulder.  In a democracy, we feel people are capable of assessing the world around them and, if properly informed, making their own decisions and governing their own affairs, but in the middle ages, we were assumed to be too fundamentally sinful and foolish - or as Joker put it in The Dark Knight "these civilized people will eat each other."   Nolan's Joker personifies an attitude towards humanity that is both medieval and that of influential 80s writer Frank Miller.  Everyone is fundamentally corrupt and corruptible, people are irrational idiots.  The people mindless mobs of Gotham in Burton's Batman's films are what the Millerites think of you and me. 

 

For all it's flaws, The Dark Knight Rises could have signaled an end of that Batman, in allowing not just Bruce and Selina but the entire mythos to escape out of the dark age into a new era where heroes are indeed noble, acting from the best of motives.  Where flawed does not mean corrupt but merely human, where man is fundamentally good and fundamentally rational, where individuals can make a difference. 

Editor's Note:

That's interesting, Chris, but when we asked you to write this, we really thought it was a subliminal nod to your Catwoman origin Cattitude where Selina spent so much time there.  You have to admit, it would be the ideal place for your Bruce and Selina to find a HEA.

 

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