Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Other Hamlets: Hambat

University professor Lee Shackleford and fellow blogger Snell both turned me on to this on to this one-shot comic strip at Funny Shorts almost as soon as it came out (thank you both). It's entitled "Hambat" and is quite the Frankenstein monster. It's a webcomic about a comic book character fused with Shakespeare's greatest play, told in the style of a movie trailer.But IS Batman Hamlet in disguise? Well, no. Though both have suffered the loss of a parent, and both have sworn some kind of revenge, Batman does not delay his action. Unlike Hamlet, he doesn't need to make sure his Claudius is truly guilty; he just goes into the night at takes his revenge on all criminals. Nor does Batman have an untrustworthy supporting cast. All threats come from outside. And yet, both characters are brooding avengers who put on an act when around "courtiers" to hide their true selves. Both are surrounded by corruption and madness. But it's in their differences that the comic irony comes through.
Hambat is a proactive Hamlet who through the same text actually enacts his revenge rather than delays it. Just goes to show once again how selectively cutting the play can create new and intriguing interpretations, even though some are just for fun.

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