Batman shooting parallels: When fiction takes strange leap towards reality

QUESTIONS are being raised about any connection between the deadly shooting inside a packed Colorado cinema showing the Dark Knight Rises, the film’s plot and the Batman character.

QUESTIONS are being raised about any connection between the deadly shooting inside a packed Colorado cinema showing the Dark Knight Rises, the film’s plot and the Batman character.

In the Dark Knight Rises, a masked villain leads a murderous crew into a packed football stadium and stages an attack involving guns and explosives. It is one of the more haunting scenes in what was one of the most anticipated movies of the summer.

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It is unclear whether the shooter’s motives had any specific link to the film. The shooting happened early into the midnight screening that marked the film’s opening day.

Violent attacks on the public by villains are key parts of most superhero movies, including the Avengers and the Amazing Spider-man, both in cinemas.

By Hollywood standards, the Batman movies are more grim than bloody.

However, there are general parallels among the Colorado shooting, the Dark Knight Rises and the comic book character:

• Bruce Wayne’s drive to become Batman arose from witnessing the deaths of his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, at the hands of a small-time criminal who shot and killed them after they left a cinema.

• The Batman video game called Arkham City takes place in an abandoned cinema (the Monarch, outside which Wayne’s parents were killed).

• In the third issue of DC Comics’ Batman: the Dark Knight, a gritty retooling of the Batman character that was written by Frank Miller in the 1980s, the Joker kills an entire late-night TV audience with gas.

• In the same book, a man shoots up a porn theatre after getting fired from his job.

• The Dark Knight Rises features at least two scenes where unsuspecting people are attacked in a public venue: the stock exchange and a football stadium.

• A page from Batman: the Dark Knight Returns features Arnold Crimp as a mentally unstable Gotham resident “inspired” by Batman who shoots three people
dead in a movie theatre.

It has been suggested this comic may have been the inspiration behind the Colorado shooting.