Batman’s new villain, Miracle Molly, is the anti-Joker … and that’s a good thing
When DC and Marvel Comics put out press releases to introduce the latest “hot” new hero or villain (like DC did for Batman Miracle’s new “villain” Molly a few months ago), you tend to do it. take with a grain of salt.
“Nothing will ever be the same” like to tell us the editors … a lot … But the punchline is that mainstream comics almost always end up reverting exactly to what they used to be (DC’s rivals across the country, Marvel Comics, have pretty much mastered the concept).
And as I read it at some length, and what I found to be a very thoughtful introduction, I slowly began to realize that not only did I love Molly as a character, but that she reminded me of another short story. high level comic book. supervillain many of us have met recently. And by invoking similar concepts, writer James Tynion IV may also have adopted a similar storytelling strategy that could serve him well and put a definitive stamp on his Batman era.
Maybe Gotham in fact will be changed significantly from now to …
Spoilers for Batman # 108
Over 12 pages, entirely a Sorkin-esque walk-and-talk dialogue with Batman, Molly reveals herself on purpose, and this simple exercise is refreshing.
While it sort of sounds like the classic villain trope of revealing their dastardly plan thinking they’re about to kill the hero, what’s different about Molly is her lack of gameplay or involvement. personal. She doesn’t seem to be setting any traps for Batman. She doesn’t serve her own ego by taking a victory lap. She simply reveals her motivation to Batman because he asks and because she has a perfectly legitimate reason to tell him.
Batman is as surprised as the reader.
The dynamics are engaging. Molly makes it clear that Batman doesn’t need to use his greatest detective skills in the world, and she actually sees through the “ Matches ” disguise he arrives in when he tries to infiltrate what it is believed to be the headquarters of the Unsanity Collective (the organization / community of which Molly is second in command).
Molly also doesn’t appear to be a physical match or a threat to Batman. Her powers and / or skills are that she is a genius at creating wearable and / or cybernetic human tech / enhancements (it’s not clear if she is metahuman or just plain very intelligent). Tynion gives no indication that she’s improved in a way that gives her physical prowess.
The artist of the series Jorge Jimenez also draws it as not very imposing. Batman physically dominates her in the panels they appear together, and her colorful aesthetic but looking like she bought her costume at Target Gotham City enhances the dichotomy and differences between her and the other Gotham villains, which are often gothic, grotesque and funny reflections, reflecting the fears of the people.
But despite all of this, Molly is clearly in the driver’s seat for all of their interaction. Batman is here to learn, and Molly is here to tell him whatever he wants to know, mainly because it follows her and the Unsanity Collective’s basic tenet of letting Batman join their cause if he wants to.
And it’s that confidence in his cause and the lack of any fear of Batman, along with his youth and lack of physical intimidation that reminds Karli Morgenthau of Erin Kellyman / the leader of the Flag-Smashers of The Falcon and the winter which has just ended. Soldier. Almost certainly entirely a coincidence since Molly was announced months ago and certainly conceived long before that, the similarities are still present. While Molly has yet to show her willingness to kill to make a point like Karli has, their politics … their “awakened” politics … share common ground.
Karli and Molly both fight for the oppressed, for those left behind by society. In Molly’s case, echoing some of the classist politics of The Dark Knight Rises, she’s fighting for who she thinks is the person in Gotham City who clings to a false hope of playing by the rules and succeed in a stacked system. against them. She describes those who aspire to a minimum of safety and security, but who live instead in fear of never getting it or of the little that they slip through their fingers. In his opinion, living this kind of life is foolish, the opposite of what society is trying to dictate to him.
While Molly can certainly be described as an extremist, Tynion never reveals her as a fanatic. She is calm, grounded and never displays a hint of fanaticism.
Batman pushes back some of Molly’s bolder ideas and statements – especially her dismissive views of the rich (she is able to deduce that Batman comes from wealth as well) but Tynion clearly doesn’t offer her much resistance or a counter-argument. . Molly’s opinions appear to be views that Tynion is invested in, although they are somewhat exaggerated for effect.
Molly doesn’t seem to want to rule the world or even Gotham City; its main motivation does not appear to be to punish the rich; and she certainly doesn’t seem interested in being the polar opposite of Batman.
For now, at least, Tynion seems to want us to see her more as an antihero than a villain who is willing to break the law and maybe harm those she sees as the villains. her story to save who she believes are victims.
There isn’t a hint of nihilism or cartoonish evil in Molly. She’s more like a committed progressive liberal you might meet on Twitter, projected across the comic book world of a billionaire urban vigilante who dresses like a bat.
One day Batman may have to fight Molly and / or her infantry using the technological weapons she creates. And maybe she’ll be forced to keep secrets from him only to find herself in a battle of the minds to put her detective skills to the test. But for now, Batman and Molly’s real opposition seems to be in the philosophical arena, with the Dark Knight finding himself unprepared in a legitimate debate of topical ideas.
An unprepared Batman. Think about it.
Which makes Miracle Molly a very interesting “new Batman villain”.
James Tynion IV could start pushing for a change in the best Batman stories of all time.