Happy Friday everyone!
Screenshot from "Ravenwatch" trailer
Over the summer, while at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL, I bought my son a book called “Batman: A Visual History.” Although I only had maybe 1 or 2 comic books of my own growing up, nevertheless I was a huge, huge Batman fan. Superman was cool, but Batman was the man to me. Honestly, I don’t think there’s been a better animated series on television since Batman: The Animated Series. A few years ago, I even purchased the first season on DVD. Twenty-eight episodes of pure Bat bliss.
Gotham City could have easily been any major city in America. And for many, it was through watching or reading these adventures that we in some ways matured, as the episodes and comics would often incorporate real life, complex issues such as class division along economic lines, poverty, disease, capitalism, globalization, environmental pollution, terrorism, etc. You name it, and in many cases, it was weaved in somehow. That’s the mark of a superb comic series. It magically has the ability to create the perception that what’s happening on the page or screen could be happening outside your window in an alternate reality.
Speaking of an alternate reality, this week Charlotte experienced peaceful protests that turned violent following the shooting of an African-American male by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Tensions that have been bubbling under the surface for decades came to a boil and the end result was chaos and property damage in the University area, on I-85, and in Uptown. As I sat down to figure out what I was going to write about this week, I wondered how something of this magnitude would be portrayed in Gotham. Or better yet, what if there was a comic series or comic book hero based in Charlotte. What would that look like? How awesome would that be? Would the writers use it as a creative platform to highlight both the city’s glitz, as well as its blemishes?
I did a quick Google search and discovered that back in July Charlotte Five did an article entitled, “Charlotte’s about to get its very own superhero.” Apparently, everything is in the works, but a local crew is working diligently to bring us something pretty special. And according to their page on Facebook, the first episode is almost finished. Husband and wife team JC and Carolyn Kingsley joined forces to create a superhero called, Ravenwatch, where the story is set right here in the QC. The physical copy of the first book is said to be 13-pages and will be accompanied by a digital version that will feature “a radio show format that reads the comic book aloud. In addition, certain frames will have a “play” button and will come to life,” reports Charlotte Five.
Character Arty Fletcher in Ravenwatch, played by Keenan Isaiah
The most exciting part is that “super powers are technology based, like a Batman or Ironman, and guns are not used to fight the villains,” and that “the plot lines for Ravenwatch come from the Charlotte Observer’s archives.” This will undoubtedly ground the series in an unusually familiar reality and pique the interest of those new to the city and the natives, alike. Hopefully, the writers will have the flexibility not to incorporate present-day issues, as well, and not just stick to the archives.
Right now, we could use all the tools we can get to bring people together and provide positive outlets through which discussions can be fostered and perceptions can be challenged. Perhaps a comic book would be more effective at showing that perception is not always reality than reality is.
Until next week!
Email me at chris@704Shop.com if you have interesting Charlotte facts you’d like to share or just to provide feedback!
Find all previous Fact Friday blog posts by clicking here.
Information taken from:
Additional commentary added.
“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass