Andy Bentley has been looking at the New Gods and I was struck by the lack of explanation from Kirby, at least as far as I know, about Serafin -- why is there a Cowboy in this cosmic bunch? I like the lack of explanation there. I have also been thinking about the LOST season 5 finale. I wanted to quote Anthony Lane's New Yorker review on Star Trek. I hated the review, but this sentiment was worth a discussion:
"A long range backstory -- a device that in the Hollywood of recent times has gone from an option to a fetish. I lost patience with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" once we learned of Willy Wonka's primal trauma (his father was a dentist and forbade him candy, so guess how he reversed that depravation?), and likewise, with Batman Begins, from the moment that mini-Bruce tumbled into a well full of bats. What's wrong with BATMAN IS? In all narratives there is a beauty to the merely given, as the narrator does us the honor of trusting that we will take it for granted. Conversely there is something offensive in the implication that we might resent that pact, and like plaintive children demand to have everything explained. Shakespeare could have kicked off with a flashback in which the infant Hamlet is seen wailing with indecision as to which of Gertrude's breasts he should latch onto, but would it really have helped us to grasp the dithering prince?"
In Dark Knight the only part that really works is the Joker -- and the Joker simply IS.