Writer Chuck Nixon and artist Graham Nolan weigh in on Friday’s ‘Dark Knight Rises’ viral moment: “Is he like a Batman villain? In many ways he is.”
All eyes were on Donald Trump as he assumed office Friday, but a surprising personality made his way into the new president’s inaugural address: Bane.
There was a similarity between a line in Trump’s speech and one Bane (Tom Hardy) delivered in The Dark Knight Rises — and the moment instantly went viral. Trump has long been jokingly compared to DC supervillains, most notably with Mark Hamill’s Trumpster project, which sees the actor record Trump tweets in the voice of The Joker.
Here’s the Bane/Trump comparison:
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 20, 2017
To shed some light on what’s going on, Heat Vision got in touch with comic book writer Chuck Nixon and artist Graham Nolan, who are credited with co-creating Bane with writer Doug Moench for the now-legendary 1993-94 Batman storyline Knightfall, which saw Bane break The Dark Knight’s back.
Both comic creators voted for Trump and are hopeful he will bring positive change to the country. Below, they reveal their thoughts on the speech and speculate on what kind of country a President Bane would preside over (it’s not pretty).
What did you think of Trump’s inaugural address?
Chuck Dixon: It was much like his other speeches. But I saw that as a good thing, the sealing of an oath he made during the campaign. Basically, I’m not going to forget my promises. It was also a warning to almost everyone seated behind him. He’s going to keep being Trump with no plans to compromise. This is going to be a wild ride.
Graham Nolan: I did watch it. I’m always in awe of this process. The United States is the democratic envy of the world. That every four years the peaceful transfer of power takes place to the most powerful office in the world is nothing short of astonishing.
Trump has some classic comic book villain qualities. He’s rich, powerful and has a way with words. What is your response to people like Mark Hamill and others making connections between Trump and DC villains such as Bane and The Joker?
Dixon: We have a right to be disrespectful to our elected officials. They are, after all, just one of us. Not popes or kings. And Trump does have that kind of outrageous charisma that invites satire. But I think those that oppose him fail to understand that a lot of those tics and mannerisms that they see as faults were positives to those who voted for him. The bluntness. The swagger. Like how they used to mock George W.’s inarticulateness though his devotees found them endearing. On the right Obama was made fun of because of his aloof manner. But his followers saw that as regal.
Is he like a Batman villain? In many ways he is. But our last guy in that office often reminded me of a Bond villain. So there you go.
Nolan: Politicians and public figures are fair game for jokes and satire. I think that sometimes these entertainers/comedians cross the line and are mean spirited though. Some trolls are even going after the President’s young son and I think that is despicable.
What kind of president do you think Bane would make?
Dixon: Brutal. The guy likes being the top of the heap and he likes staying there. He’d be an all-term president and probably serve as vice president and most of the cabinet too. Except secretary of agriculture. Bane has no interest in where his food comes from. Only that it’s hit when it arrives. Or someone will pay.
Nolan: Bane serves Bane. He wouldn’t be a leader in any democratic sense but rather a dictator in total control. He would kill off all of Congress as well as the Supreme Court. No need for those other pesky branches of government. I would not care to live under a Bane presidency. But in the world of Bane there is also the Batman. So we have nothing to worry about.
How are you feeling about President Trump? Were you a supporter during the election?
Dixon: I was and am a supporter. Trump got my support when he announced during the first GOP debate when he said to the world that he’d written checks to almost everyone else on that stage at one time of another. You could almost hear the comic book style “GULP!” from all the others. It was a galvanizing moment. I really do think he’ll go to work on my dearest political desire to see the federal government shrunk down to a manageable size. Will he succeed? The deck is stacked against him. But it’s a noble fight and I wish him the best.
Nolan: I am willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt. Let’s see what he does before we lose our minds. He couldn’t be worse than the entrenched establishment we’ve had for many years.
I’m a life-long registered Republican but the party of Reagan has left me and others behind. They have lost their identity so now I think of myself as a Constitutionalist. I voted for Cruz in the New York primary because of his adherence to constitutional principles. I voted for Trump in the general election.
If the President comes through on his many promises, a stronger more robust economy, a more affordable and better healthcare system, respect from our allies and fear from our enemies, then yes I think this is the right step. If not, well, the beauty of our republic allows us to kick him out in four years.