What they should have learned: Writers Mary Joe Duffy and later Mike Baron melded elements of men’s adventure novels and VHS-era crime films to superhero comics elevating Frank Castle from a fairly one-note Spider-Man foil to a compelling anti-hero whose popularity continues today.
What they actually learned: Marvel and DC Comics churned out scores of deadly gun carrying anti-heroes trying to recreate Frank’s success over and over again.
What they should have learned: Alan Moore’s magnum opus is a one-of-a kind blend of world building, non-linear narrative, and alternative history to create a true mind-spinning work of unparalleled depth.
What they actually learned: Swearing and death scenes makes you “mature.”
Batman: The Killing Joke (1988)
What they should have learned: With it’s sickening violence, lurid nightmarish colors, and elaborate backgrounds Moore’s most controversial DC book is a masterpiece of tension that takes Batman & the Joker’s conflict to it’s furthest logical conclusion and intends to sicken the reader.
What they actually learned: Rather than being the apex of grimdark “The Killing Joke” inspires a generation of readers and writers to decide that Batman should ONLY be grimdark to the point that characters like Harley Quinn and The Mad Hatter have quadruple digit body-counts. Also Barbara Gordon remains crippled for years despite Moore regretting making that part of the story.
Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man (1988)
What they should have learned: A young artist takes some visual risks and becomes popular by eschewing Marvel’s house style of the time creating a unique and striking visual. The time experimenting with Spider-Man gives McFarlane the tools to create his wildly popular original series Spawn.
What they actually learned: Rather than inspire companies to take risks with their artists the popularity of McFarelane, Jim Lee, and Rob Liefeld inspire Marvel & DC to make their house style an amalgam of “The Image Style” resulting in eyesores like “Extreme Justice” and “Force Works.”
What they should have learned: By mixing cartoon antics and high fantasy Jeff Smith proved that child friendly comics can reach a wide audience and that cartoonish books don’t have to be simple or boring.
What they actually learned: Once the value of a mint condition copy of Bone #1 shot to $100 in Wizard’s Price Guide speculators started looking at black and white indy comics like they were lottery tickets.
What they should have learned: Another genre mash-up this neo-noir mix of violence, sex, super-heroics and gritty story-telling FINALLY gave Marvel a critically acclaimed Mature Readers title that could compete with DC’s Vertigo line.
What they actually learned: Writers see Bendis’s take on The Purple Man and conclude that sex crimes are an easy way to show how bad your villain is. Thus paving the way for sleaze-fests like “Identity Crisis” and “Kick-Ass II.”
Ultimate Spider-Man #1 (2002)
What they should have learned: By taking a thoughtful slow build a young Brian Michael Bendis proved that with clever dialog and solid pacing that character building can be just as exciting as superhero action.
What they actually learned: You can pad-out a one-issue story to six issues then sell it as a trade.
do you know if eric or dylan ever interacted with any of their victims before nbk?
Rachel Scott:was shot by Eric outside of the school.Sheknew Dylan since kindergarten. He was in the same drama production class as her. There’s only one known incident that they talked each other, which was when Dylan was the sound tech for the talent show. The audio cut halfway through her performance and it was Dylan that fixed it. So Rachel thanked him.
Makai Hall: Makai and his friends were hiding underneath the tables in the library when Dylan looked under the tables and smiled at them, before shooting Makai in the knee. He knew Dylan from French class that they took in the previous year and even worked on a few class projects together. Makai described Dylan as an “alright guy, “decent and real smart.” He also said that Dylan was a nice guy that never treated him badly.
Brian Anderson: was shot by Eric near the west entrance of school. Brian suspects that he was shot because he was wearing a white hat on 4/20. He did have one interaction with Eric and Dylan 2-3 weeks before the shooting, when they asked him for help to find a website that had sound effects on it. They told him they needed the sound effects for a video they were working on (probably Radioactive Clothing). Brian was unable to help them.
Evan Todd: was injured by wooden splinters caused from Eric’s shotgun blast. He told investigators he knew Dylan because he saw him everyday. Although Evan was only 15 at the time, meaning it probably wasn’t from any interactions from their classes.
Jeanna Park: was shot by Dylan in the library from the back. She stated she did share a class with Dylan before.
Gotham by Gaslight is a DC Comics one-shot by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola, with inks by P. Craig Russell. It spawned a sequel, Master of the Future (1991), also written by Augustyn, but with drawings by Eduardo Barreto.
Although not originally labeled as such, Gotham by Gaslight is considered to be the first Elseworlds story, where DC Comics heroes are taken out of their usual setting and put into alternate timelines or realities. Subsequent printings have included the “Elseworlds” logo.