Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Thelma Todd Story In CINEMA PURGOTORIO #9

This thing was written by Alan Moore. You can tell that he simply lifted elements from Donati's book in places, although the odd business of blaming Batman for the crime which didn't exsist ( an opinion not everyone would share ) can't be found in any previous account. Although I have written a little on my blog about Roland West's films being linked to the development of Batman before.

Alan Moore put Batman references in the story because Batman was partly inspired by a character called "The Bat" in a couple of movies that Roland West had made. But Batman is not actually the same character and one of Batman's basic motivations is that he was traumatized by the murder of his parents and fights crime as a way of avenging their deaths. Connecting Batman himself with murder is flying in the face of what Batman is all about. It doesn't help much to accompany the accusation with a denial that it was a murder, the accusation is still there, even if it isn't supposed to be taken seriously.

Usually I try to write about authors in a more or less impartial way, but as I consider Alan Moore to be one of the more offensive ones, I'll make mention of that.

Scans reblogged from .

 The party is something taken from page 92 of Donati's book, but Lyle Talbot ( who wasn't ordinarily bald ) didn't play Luthor until 1950*, and Cesar Romero wouldn't play the joker till the 1960's: this story is throwing everything together in the same period. and therefore is misrepresenting things.

Thelma Todd waking up in the garage and starting the car motor is also taken from Donati's book. The usual version of the accident theory was that she started the car as soon as she got to the garage. The Bat-signal shining on the garage is unique to this version as far as I know.

It doesn't make much sense to put the blame on Batman. It doesn't even make sense to say that everyone required and cherished an arbitrary murderer. Certainly Donati didn't, and Moore clearly took his solution from Donati's book. Maybe the real problem is that Alan Moore is an unpleasant hypocrite who has to have it that everyone in the world has to be wrong so he can point the finger of blame at them and, in his alleged great wisdom, tell them whatever he may think is right at the moment before moving on to his next disgusting project.

*Prior to playing Luthor, Lyle Talbot played Commissioner Gordon in BATMAN AND ROBIN ( the second Batman serial ).

Although this is another Batman connection, Moore didn't mention it here, presumably because it didn't seem to fit in with what he was trying to do. Incidentally, Bob Kane listed Jean Harlow as one of the inspirations for Catwoman, but there's no mention of that. And Lois Lane was named for Lola Lane, who married Roland West years after he had been involved with Thelma Todd. They don't seem to have that in this story, either.

Page 92 of Donati's book:


1 comment:

  1. Lola Lane does get a mention on page 6. Definitely Moore is relying on a lot of detail from Donati (whose book he acknowledged in an interview) and emphasizing connections with comics, but I don't read the story as saying that Batman did it. I think it's all "the Bat" (from West's films) as a kind of poetic stand-in for the pressures of Hollywood wealth and power that end up leading to stars' demises.
    (from Joe Linton - a Moore fan whose site you linked to above)