Leonard Pitts Jr
"Am I my brother's keeper?" -- Genesis 4:9
A few words about the tragedy in
In "Dark Knight Triumphant," the second chapter of a four-part Batman graphic novel, there is an incident in which a goggle-eyed, mentally disturbed young man with orange hair shoots up a movie theater. Three people are killed.
That scene, published in 1986, carries a new and frightful resonance now. How could it not? Last week in
That graphic novel was a sensation far beyond the comic book shops. Rolling Stone noted its "bold thematic twists." The
Writer and artist
Lord knows we could use some saving.
Could have used it at Columbine and at
You know what happened there, of course. How a man left the theater and returned through the exit door wearing body armor. How he threw smoke grenades. How he started shooting.
In a place of escapism, where people had gone to enjoy the fantasy of a man who could fight what we cannot, h--l broke loose and chaos reigned. As, periodically, they must. In a gun-besotted nation where the right of each citizen to possess as many weapons of mass destruction as he or she wants is considered sacred and inviolable, who can expect otherwise? We are all vulnerable, always.
And yet, vulnerability is not surrender.
That awful night in
In an instant, called upon to be heroes, ordinary people in an ordinary suburb became exactly that.
It is the single hopeful note from the carnage of that evening, the one example worth holding and cherishing and carrying forward from this awful time, not least because it gives the lie to that central conceit of the American superhero myth.
You see, heroes don't come from above.
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